At the start of Prey 2,
the main character, Killian, wakes up in an alien city with no recollection of who he is or where
he is. He soon discovers that he's a skilled bounty hunter of sorts (back on Earth, he was a US Air Marshall) and has to use his hunting skills to piece his life back together. While amnesia is not an express element of film noir, the back-biting and cagey characters that color the scene
in the game certainly are. "We came up with the bounty hunter plan and we needed a backdrop for that," Sumwalt explained. "He needs lots of targets. He needs a seedy environment, and noir just jumped off the page and it was perfect." Sumwalt added that the often brutal nature of the film noir genre is a perfect fit for a violent, open-world game.
"Noir just jumped off the page and it was perfect." - Jim Sumwalt, creative dir.
While Rockstar's upcoming LA Noire
features the classic film noir elements of the '40s and '50s, Prey 2
looks to build off of more contemporary sources to create the game's "alien noir" aesthetic. Unsurprisingly, Sumwalt revealed that "tech-noir
," the term coined by James Cameron to describe his 1984 film, The Terminator,
is a key inspiration for Prey 2.
(Think also: Ridley Scott's Alien
and Blade Runner
In Prey 2,
we can expect to encounter plenty of clear-cut, self-interested villains, but more importantly, many of the characters we might at first perceive to be good guys will end up staring down the barrel of Killian's gun. Such is noir. And then, too, added Sumwalt, "A lot of times there's a power conflict going on that's bigger than the protagonist." Yeah, like that Sphere lurking out there in the galaxy abducting people. That's pretty big.
Nationally acclaimed freelance writer Jonathan Deesing has been covering video games for dozens of weeks. His professional knowledge ranges from skiing to Peruvian history, and, of course, anything with buttons.