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

Judas: A New Game by Ken Levine and Ghost Story Games

Judas, the latest creation from renowned game developer Ken Levine and Ghost Story Games, is set to be a groundbreaking single-player FPS experience with a unique “pseudo-procedural” narrative.

Recently, various media outlets, including IGN and Geoff Keighley, were given the opportunity to preview this upcoming narrative-driven sci-fi shooter. This sneak peek followed the release of the game’s official story trailer earlier this year.

While Judas shares some similarities with Bioshock in terms of style and mechanics, it introduces a fresh twist in terms of replay value and the way players engage with the story.

In this game, players assume the role of Judas on the space station city known as the Mayflower. As they explore the spacecraft, they will encounter three key characters: Tom, Nefertiti, and Hope. Players must make decisions about which leader – and corresponding faction – to align with as they progress through the narrative, leading to various consequences.

During his preview, Keighley highlighted that the characters in Judas will dynamically react to the player’s actions at all times. He compared this interactive system to the “alive” characters of the Nemesis system in Shadow of Mordor, emphasizing that the characters will remember and respond to the player’s choices.

For example, characters may sabotage health stations or obstruct progression by locking doors if players favor one leader over the others. They might even appear during specific missions to challenge players. These dynamic interactions enhance the overall gameplay experience.

Levine described this interactive narrative approach as the realization of his “narrative Lego” concept, which he first mentioned a decade ago.

Additionally, Judas incorporates roguelike elements through Judas’ “reprint” ability, allowing players to respawn and modify their character’s build, weapons, and capabilities.

Levine emphasized that the team does not want to confine Judas to a specific genre or label. Instead, they view game design elements as tools to enhance storytelling, referring to the game internally as a “Judas Simulator.”

Following the closure of Irrational Games in 2014, Ken Levine founded Ghost Story Games. The announcement of Judas as the studio’s inaugural project was made at The Game Awards 2022.