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Ken Levine’s Next Game Draws Inspiration From Shadow Of Mordor’s Nemesis System

by Mike Guarino


Ken Levine is known for leading the creation of the BioShock series, but he’s been working on a new game that’s set to take things in a new direction. He recently joined Eurogamer’s Oli Walsh during EGX Rezzed this week, where he gave a little insight regarding how he and his team are approaching their next game.

While he wasn’t willing to release any specific details regarding his new game, he has shared what he’s been taking inspiration from. “The game that I think inspired me most—that we were maybe onto something, on the right track—was Shadow of Mordor, with the Nemesis system, which was my favorite part of the game. And that’s a very limited, rudimentary approach to it that covers a very narrow area, but boy, when I sort of understood that I could kill whatever orc boss I wanted in whatever order I wanted, and really drive who I would kill and who I would convert, all that stuff—it’s more of a meta-narrative and there’s not a lot of dialogue support for that stuff, so our thing is much more ambitious.”

He also delved into the fact that he’d like to create games that last longer than his previous ones, due to the big commitment on his part and the fact that gamers could finish games like BioShock so quickly. “The impetus [for change was] you spent five years on a game which people finish in a weekend. I’m really envious of games like Civilization which I’ve played for a very long time. A lot of games now are built to maintain a long relationship with the gamer. My games haven’t really had that. So this appealed to me.”

As for the reason why Levine is still unwilling to give any concrete details regarding his new game, he said that “one of the main reasons we’re not communicating right now [is because] game development is a perilous process especially when you’re out there talking about. Things change from under you. Ideally, and I don’t know, but ideally we’d want to just say ‘here it is, go check it out’, but we’re really not going to be talking about this thing publicly until we have a high degree of certainty of what it’s going to look and feel like.”

The BioShock series is regularly cited as one of the best that gaming has to offer, with Levine and his team working on the first and third installments. It will definitely be a tall order to try and follow up those games, but anticipation for what he does come up with will be high either way.

- This article was updated on:April 17th, 2017

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