- "Good Morning, Morgan. Today is Monday, March 15th, 2032."
- – Opening lines
Prey is a first-person shooter video game developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. The game is set in the near future of an alternate reality, on a space station Talos I invaded by the Typhon. The game was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on May 5, 2017.
Prey is a first-person shooter with role-playing game elements and strong narrative, inspired by System Shock 2. The player takes the role of Morgan Yu, a human aboard a space station with numerous hostile aliens. The player is able to select certain attributes of Morgan and make choices that affect elements of the game's story. To survive, the player controls Morgan collecting and using weapons and resources aboard the station to defeat the Typhon. Prey is not an open-world game but it features open-level gameplay similar to Arkane's Dishonored.
In March 2032, Morgan Yu is recruited by their brother Alex to join TranStar's research team on Talos I. However, while taking a series of tests prior to leaving for the station, one of the supervising doctors is attacked by a Typhon and Morgan is knocked out. Morgan wakes up again in their apartment, but quickly finds out that it is merely a simulated environment. It is 2035 and they have actually already been living on Talos I for three years. Morgan is then contacted by January, an Operator and artificial intelligence that claims to have been created by Morgan. January warns Morgan that the Typhon have broken containment and taken over the station, killing the majority of the crew. It also reveals to Morgan that they had been testing neuromods for the past three years, with Morgan continually adding and removing them. However, a side effect of removing a neuromod is that the user loses all memories gained after installation of that neuromod, explaining Morgan's memory loss. January then claims that Morgan built it to help Morgan destroy Talos I, taking the Typhon and all of its research with it. Meanwhile, Alex contacts Morgan and pleads with them to instead build a special Nullwave device that will destroy the Typhon but leave the station intact, citing how their research is too valuable to lose.
As Morgan makes their way through the station, they come across other survivors which they may choose to help or not. Alex then tasks Morgan with scanning the Typhon "Coral" growing around the station and discovers that the Typhon are building some sort of neural network. However, their attempts to study the neural network are interrupted when the TranStar Board of Directors learns of the containment breach and sends a cleanup crew to eliminate both the Typhon and any surviving station crew. After the cleanup crew is eliminated, Alex further analyzes the data and concludes that the Typhon are sending a signal into deep space to summon something. Suddenly, a gargantuan Typhon (called Apex) appears and begins to devour Talos I. Morgan is then given the choice of activating the station's self-destruct sequence or building the Nullwave device to defeat the Typhon.
If Morgan chooses to activate the Nullwave device, all of the Typhon on Talos I are destroyed and the station is left intact to allow further neuromod research. If Morgan chooses to activate the self-destruct, then the entire station explodes, destroying all of the Typhon with it. Based on Morgan's earlier choices, Morgan can either find a way to escape the station or is stranded and dies in the explosion as well.
In a post-credits scene, Morgan wakes up in a lab and learns that they are not the real Morgan, but instead a captured Typhon implanted with Morgan's memories in an effort to teach it human emotions and empathy. The real Morgan is implied to be dead and the Typhon have already spread on Earth. Alex and his Operator assistants known as Dayo Igwe, Mikhaila Ilyushin, Danielle Sho and Sarah Elazar then judge "Morgan" based on the choices it made throughout the game. If Igwe stated that "Morgan" failed to show human empathy, then Alex destroys it and starts the experiment over. If Igwe state that "Morgan" did show human empathy whether it was middle or high, Alex lets it go, whereupon it can choose to accept his offer to become an ambassador between the species, or kill him and join the rest of its kind in the extermination of humanity.
Originally, Human Head Studios was developing Prey 2, a sequel to the 2006 video game Prey, but development was eventually cancelled. Bethesda Softworks, which still owned the intellectual property, offered Arkane Studios to work on the title. They proposed to work on not a true sequel but instead "a re-imagining of the IP".
The subsequent game Prey was announced on June 12, 2016 by Bethesda at their E3 press conference. Development was led by Arkane Studios CEO and director Raphael Colantonio and his team in Austin, Texas. Veteran developer Chris Avellone also worked on the project. More information on the game, including plot and gameplay, were revealed at QuakeCon 2016.
The announcement trailer showed the game's protagonist in something like "a space horror version of Groundhog Day", according to CNet's Seamus Byrne. Bethesda's vice president of marketing Pete Hines explained that the new game had no elements from the canceled Prey 2 outside of the player facing against aliens. Hines explained that Arkane evaluated the title property to its core and built up a new game around it, calling it more a psychological game rather than a horror one.
See also the Easter eggs
- While the game has no direct connections to the original Prey, it has some indirect similarities.
- Both games feature Wrench as the first weapon player protagonist obtains.
- Both games are set on a floating spacecraft of sorts in space.
- Both games feature player as a prey to the hostile aliens on said spacecraft.
- A coffee mug with the Transtar logo appears as a collectible in The Evil Within 2, another game published by Bethesda. It can be found in the Sanctuary Hotel in the Business District, behind the reception desk.