We said in our recent Prey preview that it "channels the spirit of System Shock," in that it's more of a first-person RPG than a straight-up stealth/murder game like Arkane's previous game, Dishonored. In that sense, it's really more akin to the studio's first game, the great Arx Fatalis, the spiritual successor to Ultima Underworld, the first-person RPG developed by Blue Sky Studios, later known as Looking Glass Studios, which developed the first-person stealth game Thief (the big inspiration for Dishonored) and also—here it is—System Shock.
It sounds a bit complicated when you say it quickly, but the point, as Pete Hines said in a recent interview with OXM (via GamesRadar), is that surface similarities between games like Prey and Dishonored are perfectly natural, and even welcome. "It’s not like we’re working with Arkane and asking them to make racing or rugby games. We’re like, 'Look, you do really cool, immersive, system-based first-person games'," Hines said.
"Dishonored was just the evolution of the stuff that they had done previously, and now the first look you’ve seen at what they’re doing with Prey is very similar," he continued. "It’s doing some things that are different and cool and unique, but at its core it’s still immersive, first-person, systems-based, non-scripted stuff that encourages player exploration and making choices. And that all ties in—I think very well—with what we feel like our identity is at Bethesda."
Hines also repeated the point that Prey has nothing to do with the original game or the long-ago canceled Prey 2, although he noted that there is a thematic connection there. "In the case of Prey it was, 'We have an idea for the core concept of this franchise boiling down into, ‘Aliens are hunting you and you are trying to survive’'," he said. "But we’re going to reimagine it. We’re going to do a completely new and different take."
Prey doesn't yet have a hard release date, but it's expected to be ready for release in the first half of this year.