The weird thing about Prey is that it has almost no story, but it has absolutely tons of backstory. Most of the game consists of Morgan just trying to get from A to B and running into an endless series of hazards and complications because the space station is in such disarray. Morgan’s adventure is primarily a series of door-opening exercises, but there’s a ton of worldbuilding and history leading up to that adventure.
The author shows a lot of respect for the intelligence and curiosity of the player. There’s never a scene where someone grabs the player’s camera for a brute-force info dump. Very little of the history is revealed through direct dialog, and the little bit we do get is provided out-of-order. If you want to understand the world of Prey, then you need to read bits of in-game lore, listen to optional audiologs, pay attention to environmental cues, and extrapolate the whole based on these various hints.
I love it. The knowledge is there if you care about it, and the gameworld rewards serious inspection. At the same time, the game never force-feeds you and you’re free to run around and shoot shit in blissful ignorance if that’s more your speed.Although, if that’s the case then I can’t help but think you’d be better served by some other genre.
For the sake of this retrospective, I’m going to present the important bits of historical context in order.