Bethesda Softworks and development studio Arkane have been largely preserving an air of solemnity around Prey, their upcoming reboot of the 2006 shooter. Today’s new trailer condenses Prey’s new backstory into a three-minute animated short. The trailer is purportedly a leaked classified memorandum from the game’s Talos I space station, presented — as most classified files are, I assume — in retro cartoon format. If you want to avoid backstory spoilers, you should probably stop reading here.
An earlier video told us that Prey will be set in an alternate universe where John F. Kennedy survived his assassination, and alternate-America’s space program consequently advanced more quickly than our own. This trailer goes into detail about its monsters’ origins: they’re extraterrestrial beings discovered by Russian cosmonauts in 1958, then studied on a US space station until a catastrophic incident ended the program in 1998. Prey takes place in 2032, after corporation TranStar decided that turning an abandoned, alien-filled spacecraft into a luxurious research facility was a solid idea.
Trailers for Bethesda’s Fallout series indulge in ironically juxtaposing retro kitsch with violence and destruction, but there’s none of that here — actually, this trailer doesn’t show any gameplay at all. You’ll have to look back to an August video for that, or wait for the game’s release sometime in 2017.