The Mimics of 'Prey' Are Scarier Than an 'Alien' Xenomorph
Being smaller doesn't make you any less dangerous.
Whether you’re roaming around the wide, open lobbies of Talos I or ducking through a series of maintenance tunnels, you’re never actually safe from the alien horrors known as the Typhon that haunt Prey. The Typhon are a non-terrestrial group of aliens with a shadow-like appearance, capable of telekinesis, teleportation, and various other supernatural abilities. So, as we humans tend to do, we locked them up for research to try and find a way to obtain their abilities for our own military and commercial applications after discovering them in Prey’s alternate history. Naturally, this didn’t work out.
See, much like the xenomorphs from the Alien universe, the Typhon are extremely aggressive and able to absorb any life form they encounter with ease, consuming their energy to duplicate and further bolster their own numbers. This process can be done in a matter of seconds by Typhon aliens called Mimics, allowing them to multiply faster than any human effort could hope to kill them off. In Prey’s alternate history, they were able to form an army after their first containment breach, and the second containment breach at the beginning of the game allowed them to form an entire race of nightmarish creatures set on killing every living being aboard the Talos I space station.
Like many alien races found in science fiction, the Typhon consist of many different lifeforms that all serve a purpose in the collective. There’s Cystoids, who explode the moment they detect an enemy nearby, Phantoms, who can use elemental powers to destroy their enemies, and plenty more you’ll discover during your time on the space station. But no matter how dangerous, intimidating, or scary the Typhon enemies in Prey get, there’s nothing more horrifying than the Mimic — a small, spider-like Typhon capable of becoming anything present in its environment.
The Mimic was actually the first Typhon alien that humanity encountered back in 1961, and they’re easily the most intelligent life-form in the Typhon collective. Shaped like arachnids with a series of long tendrils protruding from a small, shadowy body, Mimics can move at lightning fast speeds — which usually allows them to dodge gunfire long enough to wrap around the throats of their victims to asphyxiate them quickly. Then, provided they want to create more Mimics, they’ll slide down the victim’s throat and drain the energy from their body, emerging with two-to-three additional Mimics as a result.
The most terrifying part about the Mimic, however, is its ability to camouflage itself as any object in its immediate environment, at will. They can become coffee cups, trash cans, or weapons sitting around the world on tables and counters. Then, when you accidentally grab a Mimic, mistaking it for your cup, it’ll strike and wrap itself around your neck for an easy kill.
During my time with Prey, I found myself more afraid of Mimics than I did some of the game’s larger enemies simply because I couldn’t see them in my environment. Each new room I entered could contain a fresh batch of Mimics, eager to end my journey to escape the space station, which began to instill a sense of constant terror in me, regardless of how often I looked for an extra chair or a coffee cup that felt out of place.
Every time I play Prey, I can’t shake the thought of how quickly a single Mimic could kill me, provided I didn’t have a suite of armor and weapon to protect myself with. Thankfully though, Prey is just a video game, and as such, Mimics aren’t able to kill you immediately as their description incites. But, honestly, it’s scary just thinking about how easily they could trick and kill us to duplicate themselves in the real world, provided we didn’t have a gigantic health bar to keep them at bay. They may not be the iconic xenomorph we’ve feared for years, but the Mimics and Typhon they serve sure make for one scary alien life-form we hope humanity never encounters.