BioShock creator Ken Levine reveals further details over his studio's new project, explaining that the game will explore the themes of artificial intelligence.
When Ken Levine shut down Irrational Games to work on a more "entrepreneurial" project, many members of the gaming community were left wondering exactly what the BioShock creator would come up with next. Over recent weeks, more and more details surrounding this mysterious game have come to light. Now, Levine has revealed that his in-development title will explore the themes of artificial intelligence.
Speaking in an interview with Game Informer, Levine confirmed the previously-suggested notion that the game would have a science fiction angle. According to Levine, the project "involves themes like artificial intelligence and what it means to be programmed." The game looks set to explore the issue of artificial beings as agents of their own future, with Levine also continuing to state that the game is likely to discuss the idea of "how much agency you have outside of what you are as a piece of programming instructions."
Levine also gave his opinion on the recent unveiling of System Shock 3, wishing the game's developers "the best." The BioShock creator acted as the lead designer and lead writer on cult classic System Shock 2, and Levine admitted he has a "personal connection" to the cyberpunk System Shock series. The upcoming third instalment in the franchise may well explore some of the same themes as Levine's new game, and may well even be VR compatible.
Rather than showing any kind of longing to work on the System Shock series again, however, Levine seems to have left the franchise behind. In fact, Levine explained that he is "scratching a lot of those itches" that System Shock based itself on with his new project. Levine then pragmatically explained that, had Irrational Games received the rights of System Shock before the studio started work on BioShock, then there "wouldn't have been an Andrew Ryan, or Big Daddies, or Elizabeth."
As it stands, the new Ken Levine project looks likely to be far detached from either System Shock 2 or any of the BioShock games. The designer has previously explained that the game will not follow the same format, even dropping the idea of a linear narrative. Most recently, Levine also revealed that the game will not be set in a close quarters setting, and will instead be open world in nature.
Artificial intelligence has proved to be a topic of choice amongst high-profile games of late, playing a major role in the plot of Fallout 4. However, fans of the BioShock series will no doubt be able to attest that Levine is able to bring an interesting new layer to common themes, such as the meta moments of BioShock Infinite. Let's hope that the designer's new project will continue his level of quality.
Source: Game Informer