Prey takes place in an alternate timeline where United States President John F. Kennedy survives the assassination attempt in 1963. The failed assassination catalyzes Kennedy to direct more funding into the space program, allowing it to flourish and accelerating the Space Race. Drawn by humans' activity in space, an alien force made up of many different species, collectively called the Typhon, attacks Earth. The United States and the U.S.S.R. band together to fight off and capture the Typhon. Together, they build the space station Kletka (Russian for "cage") to be used as a prison for the Typhon situated in orbit around Earth's moon. The United States eventually takes full ownership after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1964 and reuses Kletka as part of "Project Axiom", research labs atop the prison spaces to study the Typhon and bring advances learned from that to Earth. After the "Pobeg Incident" in 1980 where some scientists aboard the station lost their lives to the Typhon, along with geopolitical instability at the time, the United States shuttered Project Axiom, leaving the captive Typhon alive. By 2025, the newly-founded TranStar Corporation acquires Kletka and by 2030, has refitted it as Talos I, a fully-operational research laboratory to study the Typhon and develop advances in neuroscience; this leads to the creation of Neuromods that harness the Typhon's physiology to restructure the human brain to grant the user new abilities (including superhuman ones). TranStar grows financially successful from sales of Neuromods on Earth. At the time of the game's setting, about 2035, TranStar has further expanded the station to make for suitable living quarters for its staff that spend up to two years on the station between regular shuttles to Earth. Because of the numerous agencies that operated and expanded Talos I over the decades, the station includes a large mix of architectural designs, ranging from retrofuturism that was popular in 1960s America, to brutalist styles that were common in the Soviet Bloc in the mid-20th century, to opulent Art Deco put in place by the wealthy TranStar executives.
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