Former BioShock director Ken Levine has labeled one canned game the "best game" developer Irrational never got to make.
Last week, the Twitter account 'Obscure Game Aesthetics' posted a series of screenshots from Division 9, a canceled game that was in the works at BioShock studio Irrational. Levine has now responded to the screenshots and info in the tweet just below, labeling Division 9 the "best game we never got to make."
If this is your first time hearing about Division 9, I can hardly blame you - it's pretty old history at this point. Originally in the works around 2005 from the team behind SWAT 4, Division 9 would've taken place in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse, where players banded together to collect resources to build a base and rescue survivors.
As Obscure Horror Aesthetics notes, Division 9 featured "many similarities to Left 4 Dead," Valve's modern classic shooter, although it was conceptualized years earlier. In fact, Division 9 would barely make it beyond that stage before getting shut down, only ever existing as a proof of concept demo for studio management before it was canned.
Sure, Left 4 Dead is one obvious reference to draw a comparison to, but the description of Division 9 sounds oddly like State of Decay, albeit in a first-person perspective instead of playing from a top-down view. Still, establishing bases and rescuing survivors during a zombie apocalypse is something we're pretty familiar with in the genre at this point.
Irrational could sadly never deliver on this theme, but maybe State of Decay 3 can patch that zombie management-shaped hole in our hearts, whenever it eventually releases.
Meanwhile, Levine and company at Ghost Story Games continue beavering away on Judas, which will release by March 2025.