Environmental Storytelling is one of those aspects of game development that you know it when you see it, but it’s hard to talk about what it actually is. When it works, environmental storytelling can elevate a game, and it is an effective skill for game designers to master if they want to improve their game designs and storytelling.
Prey by Arkane Studios did not have a lot going for it at launch. The complete reboot of a series that already spent years in development, Arkane decided to do what they always do: Make something completely different. What we got was a sleeper hit in terms of game design, and another game that blurs the line between action and abstraction gameplay.