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E3 2011's Most Anticipated: Prey 2

CVG E3 2011 Awards: Vote for the games that most excite you!

The games on show at E3 2011 are some of the best in living memory. So you really owe it to yourself to vote in CVG's inaugural E3 2011 Awards... in the Most Anticipated Title category.

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Shortly before the show, we'll work out which of these 60 special E3 game previews have enjoyed the most page views, Facebook 'Likes', ReTweets and poll votes (see below) and crown our first victor of the Los Angeles event. Show your favourites the love!

Game: Prey 2
Publisher: Bethesda
Likelihood of E3 2011 showing: Certain

It might not have been a title which troubled the Top Ten lists, but Prey was a game way ahead of its time. Set aboard a reality-warping alien mothership known as the Sphere, the game tricked out its corridor-shooter core with all manner of mind-melting gimmicks.

It pipped Portal to portals and set the player's stomach spinning with abrupt switches in gravity and scale. The sequel, you might expect, would take these ideas and run. But you'd be wrong.

Prey 2 is an entirely different beast, and the physics-bending tricks have been left behind in the smouldering husk of the Sphere. So too has the first game's Native American hero, along with all his cool (if cringingly caricaturish) spiritual powers.

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Normally, ditching such defining qualities would be a disappointment, but devs Human Head have more than enough ambition to plug the gap. Instead of the Sphere, we get Exodus: a distant alien planet, teeming with criminal ETs.

Instead of the usual linear progression of corridors, we get an open world: at least three bustling cities, each the size of an Assassin's Creed II level. And instead of portals, we get parkour.

RUNNING RIOT
Borrowing some of the moves from Mirror's Edge, Prey 2 lets the player vault across its environment with fluid first-person acrobatics. The towering, sprawling urban expanses of Exodus are the perfect playground for such skills - crammed with gantries and girders, walkways and underpasses, every inch of the world is seeded with alternative routes that a beady eye and a nimble gait can easily pick out.

But whereas in Mirror's Edge these would be used to get you out of trouble quickly, Prey 2 is all about getting you into it. As bounty hunter Killian Samuels, you use your agility to locate, pursue and capture alien targets. Few of your marks are willing to go quietly either - and many have spectacular otherworldly abilities.

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You never know quite what you're up against: super-speed, teleportation, flight, or simply a host of henchmen to hamper your pursuit. You'll need to make smart use of your parkour skills if you want to keep up - exploiting every short cut to shave off the metres between you and your paycheck.

Samuels has more than free-running at his disposal, he also has a grab-bag of futuristic gadgets: hover boots that allow him to glide across otherwise impassable gaps, shoulder-mounted rocket launchers and fizzing electric bolas which wrap round a target to immobilise them.

There are more than 20 such gadgets in the game - from passive night-vision modes to decidedly not-passive anti-gravity waves which send enemies pinwheeling through the air in slow motion; the idea is to give the player so many options that they're able to carve their own play style into each combat encounter.

When combined with parkour, gun-battles become frenetic affairs, with the player darting around the scenery like a monkey, getting the drop on entrenched enemies from on high, ripping them out of cover with the anti-gravity device, or simply outflanking them with a Bulletstorm-style slide.

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