|Release date:||Jul 10, 2006|
|Developer:||Human Head Studios|
Prey is a first-person shooter video game developed by Human Head Studios and produced by 3D Realms. The Xbox 360 port was developed by Venom Games. The game was initially released in North America and Europe on 2006-07-11, and later was made available on Valve's Steam system on 2006-11-06. Prey uses a heavily modified version of id Tech 4 to use portals and variable gravity to create the environments the player explores. The game's story is focused on Cherokee Domasi Tawodi, or "Tommy" for short, as he, his girlfriend, and grandfather are abducted aboard an alien spaceship known as The Sphere as it consumes material, both inanimate and living, from the Earth in order to sustain itself. Tommy's Cherokee past allows him to let his spirit roam freely at times, and gives Tommy an edge in his attempt to stop the Sphere.
Prey had been in development in one form or another since 1995, and has had several major revisions. While the general approach to gameplay, including the use of portals, remained in the game, the story and setting changed several times. The game received generally positive reviews and was a commercial success, selling more than one million copies and leading to the development of a sequel expected to be released in 2008.
The story focuses on Domasi Tawodi (Cherokee) (aka Tommy), a Cherokee garage mechanic and former U.S. Army soldier living on a Native American reservation in Oklahoma. At the beginning of the game, Tommy is in a bar owned by his girlfriend, Jen. Tommy is tired of living on the reservation, and constantly tries to push his heritage away, while at the same time trying to convince Jen to leave home, if only for a short while, to which she refuses steadfastly. After an unfortunate bar fight, the entire building is lifted up by a gravitational force into a green light above. Tommy, Jen, and Tommy's grandfather, Enisi, are transported back to the massive alien starship called the Sphere. After docking, all three, along with countless other captives, are dragged through the upper levels of the Sphere. Tommy is freed in an explosion set off by a stranger who, despite being cybernetic like most of the Sphere's denizens, appears to be working against it rather than for it.
Tommy witnesses Enisi's death in a brutal alien device. While trying to find Jen, he falls from a walkway and has a near-death experience where he meets with his grandfather's spirit who bestows him with spiritual powers. After returning to the world of the living, Tommy gains the ability to spirit-walk, allowing him to separate from his body to pass through forcefields and operate consoles normally out of reach, as well as the aid of his spirit guide, the ghost of his childhood pet hawk, named Talon. Despite being entrusted by his ancestor's spirits with the mission to protect all of mankind from the sphere's invasion, Tommy can't stop worrying about Jen, and he only cares about how to find and rescue her. As the game's tagline says, "Earth's savior doesn't want the job."
It was recently reported that 3D Realms' Scott Miller confirmed that a sequel named Prey 2 is already in development for the Xbox 360 and PC.