Ken Levine’s Judas sounds a lot like a BioShock sequel

Early previews for Judas paint an ambitious picture of Ken Levine's plans.
judas game ken levine

Early previews for Ghost Story Games’ Judas, a new first-person adventure shooter from BioShock creator Ken Levine, have painted a rather familiar picture. Over on IGN, it’s been referred to as a spiritual BioShock successor, with plenty of key touchpoints shared between the games.

As detailed, it appears you’ll be journeying through Judas with a gun in one hand, and “various organic powers” in the other. Per IGN, you’re also treading familiar ground with a high concept story about the nature of existence, and nefarious forces trying to find perfection in science.

“Story-wise, you play as Judas, a young woman aboard the Mayflower, a city-sized spaceship on a multi-generational mission to save humanity by transporting what’s left of it from Earth to a new planet, called Proxima Centauri,” IGN revealed.

“You start the game having been reprinted (yes, meaning you were dead), where you’ll wake up and begin interacting with the holographic projections of the three leaders who run the ship: Tom, the ship’s head of security who wants to protect all of humanity by ensuring that the Mayflower’s original mission stays on course; Nefertiti, the ship’s Nobel Prize-winning doctor who wants to create a civilization of full robots with no human flaws; and Hope, who wants your help deleting herself because the existential crisis of her existence leads her to the conclusion that deletion is the only way to end her suffering.”

Read: Bioshock creator’s new game Judas finally announced

Over the course of your adventure, you’ll attempt to appease these three leaders, testing your loyalties to forge a path to a brighter future. Speaking to IGN, Levine described balancing the whims of these leaders as like playing with Lego bricks, and figuring out where each piece fits.

“You’ve got a bunch of these pre-crafted bricks and they’re really well designed and the bricks know how to communicate with each other. They know how to interface with each other and this is the genius, but you can build, how many things can you build out of those bricks?” Levine said of Judas‘ development journey.

With time, the Lego bricks found their place, as Levine built out the intricacies of Judas with his Ghost Story Games team. “I started falling in love with the world and I started seeing more and more opportunity to tell a bigger story, not a rollercoaster ride in the same way as before, but more of a player, a deeper player, interaction-driven world,” he said.

In conversation with IGN and The Game Awards host Geoff Keighley, Levine also revealed Judas has been heavily influenced by classic sci-fi, and emerging technology, in the depiction of its strange society and its “reprinting” tech, which has redefined living and dying.

“There’s this technology called reprinting on the ship, and that’s the promise they have because it’s a generational journey,” Levine said.

“Now we get into some philosophical stuff here because in an entirely materialistic universe, your memories, your personality, your experiences, they’re really just chemicals in your body, their proteins and their salts and the water, all those things. And if you could make a duplicate of that exactly, is the thing that’s being printed you?”

Per IGN, a six hour build of Judas is now playable, suggesting it’s fairly well along in development. It’s been in the works for around 10 years now, in one form or another, but it does appear we’re getting closer to a real look at what the game is.

For now, Levine and Ghost Story Games are keeping their cards close to their chests, but with new details now floating, we’re likely set to see even more of Judas in the near future. It doesn’t have a release date yet – but while you wait, you can now check out a comprehensive game preview over on IGN.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.