Although there have been little by way of finite details, acclaimed designer Ken Levine has been very talkative about his in-development project of late. Now, the former Irrational Games man has given a few more tantalizing snippets of information, this time in the form of a list of influences. Apparently, Levine’s next game has picked up some content from games such as Fallout, Dark Souls, and System Shock 2.
Levine explained some of these influences in the middle of a Take This livestream charity event, where he was playing the zombie-focused Dying Light. The developer decided to explain what he described as a “broad range of influences,” including the aforementioned Techland horror title. Mentioned alongside the likes of Fallout and Dark Souls were more out-there influences, including Sid Meier sim Civilization.
Those getting excited about some kind of bizarre crossover of all these games should not get too ahead of themselves, however. Levine explained that his latest project, which we already know to be an open-world, first-person shooter of sorts, will be “in the realm” of some of his former projects, which includes BioShock, BioShock: Infinite, and System Shock 2. Given that his current title is so early in the development stage, Levine also explained that naming influences outright is “complicated,” as there’s no guarantee just how much will make it into the finished product.
Levine also reiterated his interest in one specific game, once more confirming that Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor has been an influence on the development of his current title. The developer had previously expressed his love for the game’s freedom of player choice, and it’s clear that Levine will aim to give the player a similar level of control over their own narrative in his current project. Of course, it remains to be seen just how much of Shadow of Mordor makes it into the retail version.
Gamers will no doubt be interested in Levine’s specific mention of Fallout as an influence on his in-development game. The designer has stated that his latest project will focus on ideas of artificial intelligence, and will explore the themes of what it means to be programmed. Given that Fallout 4 gives plenty of time to synthetics and the role of AI, it will be interesting to see how these two games explore these ideas in different ways.
Given the stellar list of games that Levine is aiming to emulate, some may worry about just how much ground the game can cover away from the resources of AAA development. There are some questions about whether the success of BioShock can be replicated, particularly since Levine is moving away from his traditional linear narrative storytelling style. Let’s see how the new game is shaping up when more details are known.