[Pre-emptive backlash to backlash to positive reviews for Judas]


In the same way that shoulderpads sometimes become cool again, and everyone is buying over-sized hair scrunchies like wot I used to have when I was 11, games journalists are destined to be trapped in repeating discourse cycles of ever-decreasing size. This is why I will often specifically advise people to never, ever pitch me opinions about BioShock. Any opinions about BioShock have already been had. There are no more opinions to have about it.

My state of peace in this area was just scuppered by that utter bastard Ken Levine, the creative director and writing lead on both BioShock and BioShock Infinite, when he revealed some of the new game by his studio Ghost Story Games (aka The Developers Formerly Known As Irrational). As observed by everyone who saw the reveal at The Game Awards last night, Judas is basically BioShock in space. The bad news is that this will put more fuel in Thomas The Take Engine, but the good news is that, if it is indeed like BioShock, we can save ourselves a lot of time. When Judas comes out please just return to this article and insert a specific title and delete options as applicable.

When Ghost Story Games’ [philosophical treatise/political and religious satire/rumination on paternal relationships] but-with-guns-in-space Judas came out, we were pretty much all in alignment. Though the game [had some technical flaws/was a bit smug], Judas more than made up for that with [satisfying/innovative/crunchy] combat that [nails the fundamentals/redefines a genre/whips ass]. I mean, who doesn’t want to fire [an albatross/a bunch of, fuckin, nails or whatever/actual fire] from your hands at will? Plus, the derelict spaceship itself, the [Fancy Fortune/Blue Iguana/Queen Rand’s Revenge] was an absolutely fantastic setting – a place at once beautiful and forbidding, offering glimpses of its former glory even as it falls into ruin. It wasn’t surprising when Judas got a metacritic score of [83/86/88].

But because this is [2023/24/25], there was an inevitable backlash to those scores. People pointed out that [some of the gender politics were real bad/it gave an overly simplistic view of the themes it wanted to tackle/calling your main character Judas is a bit fuckin’ on the nose, lads]. Even if their objections weren’t to the theming and writing, there were dissenting opinions on the [combat/characters/enemy design], suggesting [it/they] [was/were], rather than being very good, actually [messy/ridiculous/boring].

A faction leader in Judas, a young woman with primary coloured clothes and pink hair, but whose skin is peeling away to reveal she is a kind of advance android or robot

I’m not going to deny that a lot of these arguments had, and still have, merit. The issues of subjective taste around the combat or design were presented well by [Eurogamer/Polygon/Kotaku], [and/but] the extremely nuanced that went into some of the thematic pitfalls Judas walked into are [excellent/infantile].

In any case, we at RPS are here to say that, actually, Judas is still a good game! It isn’t a perfect game, but what it achieves [as an artistic leap forwards/as a new benchmark for the medium/vis. being really cool and fun to play, shuddup] is by no means devoid of value! And I for one really enjoyed the [weirdo who makes art out of people/moustachioed cult leader/sexy egg magician] faction leader and what their story said about [God/man/man and God], as well as [time/love/sex/death] in the context of [death/sex/love/time]. More than anything else, Judas is a compelling and enjoyable experience to have, and [being aware of the criticisms of a thing does not always preclude enjoying the thing itself/the criticisms are all bad and wrong].

I hope this is satisfactory, please never speak to me about it again.

For more of the latest news and trailers, check out our Game Awards 2022 hub. We also live-blogged the show as it happened right here.

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