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Bioshock creator's new game Judas reportedly feels a lot like, er, Bioshock

The upcoming game from Ken Levine-led Ghost Story Games also involves that famous “Narrative LEGO”.

The player using a power and a gun to battle an enemy in Judas.
Image credit: VG247/Ghost Story Games

Following the fresh trailer for it that aired during late January’s State of Play showcase, we’ve now gotten some more info on Judas, the upcoming sci-fi action title from Ghost Story Games, the studio co-founded by BioShock creator Ken Levine.

If you’ve been eagerly awaiting any news on the game since it was revealed back in late 2022, you’ll be glad to hear that there are some gameplay impressions this time around. The verdict? Well, it sounds pretty interesting, and also plenty like, well, BioShock.

Ghost Story Games invited both IGN and Geoff Keighley to sample 5 to 6 hours of it, and they’ve now shared what they thought of what they saw during that time. The former says that Judas is “a first-person narrative-driven shooter that, from a moment-to-moment gameplay perspective, will feel familiar to BioShock fans.”

Yep, as Keighley outlines, there’s the classic combo of weapon in one hand, power in the other, there’s some hacking, and plenty of the typically in-depth story elements. Basically, he says that “all the things you’d expect in a BioShock game are there”. That said, both do point out a bunch of stuff that is designed to bring something a little different to what we’ve had before in our trips to Rapture and Columbia.

The big thing seems to be that pesky “Narrative LEGO”, a phrase that Levine used during a 2014 GDC talk which for a long while represented the only inkling we had as to what he’d be aiming to do game-wise in the future. What does it mean? Well, a flexible narrative that’s a lot more dynamically adaptive to the player’s choices, something Levine’s now actually explained a bit more about.

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

As a bit of an example, he added: “So, when you decide to go, ‘I'm not doing that, I'm going all the way over here’, then [this] game knows what to do, because in BioShock Infinite, the gamers just went over here, and [that game] panicked and said, I can't do that, I can't do any of that.”

Regardless of what you think of that, Judas’ setting, a huge spaceship called the Mayflower - led by three figures called Tom, Nefertiti and Hope - that was designed to transport humanity from an Earth that sounds like it’s not doing so hot to a brand new planet, sounds pretty cool.

So, hopefully whenever the game, which is still without a release date, actually arrives, it’ll be a good time.

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