For years, information about Ken Levine’s next project after BioShock Infinite was limited to the idea of “Narrative Legos” that he introduced in a 2014 GDC talk. The concept involves building non-linear, replayable narrative sequences by breaking down the narrative into small yet non-abstract elements and finding ways to combine and recombine them for nearly infinite narrative opportunities. Levine’s idea of building stories that can be rearranged like Legos is intriguing, but the trailers for Judas, his new project, do not reflect this concept. Instead, they portray a game that appears to be similar to a new BioShock installment set in space, lacking the innovative storytelling techniques promised by the “Narrative Legos” idea.
In the bits of gameplay shown, it’s possible to speculate that alliances with different characters may lead to varied story outcomes, but this aspect is not clearly highlighted in the trailers. There are doubts about whether Judas has evolved into what was initially envisioned by Levine, who has spent a decade working on this game and may have faced development challenges similar to those experienced with BioShock Infinite. Ultimately, if Judas is indeed intended to be the realization of the “Narrative Legos” idea, it is in need of better marketing to accurately convey its unique storytelling mechanics.