A challenge: name a game connected with 3D Realms that hasn't been bathed in brilliance by gaming angels. "Extreme PaintBrawl?" Erm, OK. "William Shatner's TekWar?" OK, OK, yes you've proved your point. "Plus Duke Nukem Forever is an aeon overdue, and that Prey game that was announced back in 1996 never saw the light of day due to engine problems and development snarl-ups." Ahah! Well that's where you're wrong! Look up at the top of this page! "Cripes. You got my number."
The greatest comeback since Lazarus? Well, we won't get out the hallelujahs until we've had a proper fiddle with the code, but the guys at Human Head (previously engaged with Rune) have taken the once-canned progeny of 3D Realms, mixed in a dollop of the Doom 3 engine and created something rather enticing. And looking quite a lot like Doom 3, only a lot better. Don't believe us? Check out the full unexpurgated 11 minute E3 gameplay movie here.
You're promised something other than the relentless march of badness of its engine-mate though, primarily a decent stab at emotionally involving the gamer. You play as Tommy, a man of Native American descent who's grown disillusioned with his roots and the reservation he lives on. This maudlin introspection is soon curtailed, however, when aliens turn up, wreck his grandad's bar, abduct his girlfriend Jenny and leave him stranded in the bowels of an invading flotilla of extra-terrestrial spacecraft. Just another day in videogame land then, folks!
Tommy comes packaged with some ancient Cherokee mythology and superpowers, and god knows why he wants to give it all up. If you had a spectral hawk called Talon who could read alien languages, would you pack him off in exchange for a career in accountancy? He can also spirit-walk, death-walk and moon-walk. The first has you scouting out territory through a hazy mist á la Psi Ops, the second means you get to hunt spectral animals after your demise to build up enough life force to reanimate yourself, and the third doesn't really happen at all - I just thought it sounded funny.
So then, it's 15-20 hours of emotional shooting in space with some really neat touches. On your quest to recover your alien-napped girlfriend you come across many other abductees, not all of them friendly. There are even some possessed six-years-old girls for you to shoot - blonde, tiny and pretty much homicidal. Add in a ton of spectacle to wrap your eyes around as well as these flying pigtail ragdolls, notably a flaming jumbo jet snatched from the sky and placed in suspended animation by the invading forces, and it's a recipe hard to dislike. Prey is back, and in fine fettle. All we need now is Nukem for the complete set.