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Prey lets you transform into a mug

Mug not pictured.

Mug not pictured.

Live at Quakecon, Arkane's Raphael Colantonio and Ricardo Bare showed the first game footage of Prey (this part wasn't streamed, but they did release a trailer as well). At first, the shadowy aliens, scarce ammo and eye injections hinted at a darker, System Shock 2 style immersive sim. That's when the protagonist, Morgan Yu, turns into a mug.

Prey is set on Talos One, a space station involved in human testing. Things have gone wrong, naturally, and aliens now stalk the hallways. But, as well as earning sci-fi powers through jamming the station's 'Neuromods' into his eye, Morgan can also learn from the aliens. These shadow-creatures have an ability called mimic, which allows them to disguise as inanimate objects—turning combat into an impromptu game of prop hunt. At some point, Morgan will also learn to mimic. In the demo, he gets into a locked room by transforming into a mug and rolling through a small gap in the window.

This is just one of abilities at Morgan's disposal. Another, Kinetic Blast, lets Morgan propel himself skywards while mimicked as a small object. It's pretty daft, in that hilarious physics-driven way that immersive sims like to play with. It reminds me of the more slapstick elements of Arkane's Dark Messiah: Might & Magic, which is obviously great.

Other tools include an imploding grenade that sucks in nearby detritus, both clearing a room and giving you materials for fabrication stations—workbenches that let you build almost any object in the game. And there's the 'Gloo Gun', which lets you drench enemies in a hardening resin, freezing them in place. It can also be used to create paths to new areas.

Based on the short footage, Prey looks dark, but also silly. I'm not entirely sure how that tonal imbalance will work, but I love the look of the powers on offer. Prey is due out in 2017.

Phil leads PC Gamer's UK team. He was previously the editor of the magazine, and thinks you should definitely subscribe to it. He enjoys RPGs and immersive sims, and can often be found reviewing Hitman games. He's largely responsible for the Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.