Bioshock creator Ken Levine reveals new details about Judas, will feature a 'pseudo-procedural' narrative and roguelike elements

(Image credit: Ghost Story Games)

Judas, the new game from Bioshock creator Ken Levine and Ghost Story Games, will be a single-player FPS and feature a "pseudo-procedural" narrative.

Several media outlets including IGN, as well as Geoff Keighley, were recently offered the chance to preview the upcoming narrative-driven sci-fi shooter for themselves, following the release of the game's official story trailer earlier this year.

Although Judas is comparable to Bioshock in style and mechanics, it offers a new twist in terms of replayability and how you experience the story.

In short, you play as the titular character Judas on a space station city called the Mayflower and as you explore the spaceship there are three characters you'll meet: Tom, Nefertiti, and Hope. The player will need to decide which leader - and respective faction - to align with as they progress through the story, which results in certain consequences. 

Keighly explains in his preview that the characters will react to what the player is doing at all times and that there's a "non-linear mission structure". He compares the characters to being "alive" - like the Nemesis system from Shadow of Mordor - and will react and remember everything the player does. 

For instance, characters may sabotage health stations or lock doors to prevent you from proceeding if you interact more with one certain leader, or even appear during certain missions to goad you.

In IGN's interview, Levine explains that this is the "narrative Lego" concept he spoke of 10 years ago.

"We call it pseudo-procedural because it's not like Minecraft where everything's being generated off a set of pure mathematical heuristics," Levine said. "You build all these smaller piece elements in the game and then you teach the game how to make good levels essentially, and good story, and most importantly, reactive to what you do."

The game also has roguelike elements which are implemented via Judas' "reprint" ability, seemingly a mechanic that allows you to come back from the dead and allow you to change aspects of your build, like weapons and "improve yourself".

However, Levine doesn't want to put a specific label on this feature, and says that the team uses game design elements as "tools to help tell a story. It's really refining, internally we call it a Judas Simulator."

"We're not trying to make a first-person shooter," he adds. "We're not trying to make a roguelite. We're not trying to make a strategy game. We use elements, and I've always done this."

Ken Levine closed Irrational Games in 2014 before forming Ghost Story Games and it wasn't until The Game Awards 2022 that the studio announced Judas as it's first project.

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