key review info
- Game: Lucius
- Platform: PC
- Gamepad support: No
- Reviewed on:
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Lucius is a horror-themed point-and-click adventure game that is mainly influenced by classic horror movies like The Shining or, much more obvious, The Omen. The game offers the chance to play as the Anti-Christ, a small six-year-old boy named Lucius that kills to gather souls for his father, the mighty Dark Lord himself: Lucifer.
This is not a game for the lighthearted as it features lots of gore, killing, inappropriate content and extreme violence. If you have kids under 18, I strongly recommend keeping them away from this game. Let's just assume that gamers in Australia won't be enjoying it very soon, either.
The main character of the game is Lucius, a little boy that was born on the meaningful date of June 6, 1966. At the same time, in an underground secret crypt at the hospital, a dark ritual is performed, binding the fate of the newly born child with an evil being. As most people know, 666 is the "evil number," so even from birth, the child's destiny was influenced by the most powerful being in Hell and his true father.
Right after being born, Lucius is transported to his home for the next six years: the Dante Manor, an opulent mansion where the child can grow pampered by everyone. The kid has a private teacher, private servants, private gardener, private driver and even a private butcher!
On his sixth birthday, Lucius is visited by his true Demon father who grants him special powers. From here on, Lucius has a turn of fate and begins harvesting souls for the Devil. Lucky for him, the house is filled with unsuspecting relatives and servants.
The story is quite exciting and the concept of evil little children, besides having lots of potential, is not a very common sight in games (except maybe Bioshock's Little Sisters). The main source of inspiration is Hollywood, with its countless tales of possessed kids: The Omen series, The Children of the Corn series, The Bad Seed, The Orphanage and so on.
Lucius is a third-person adventure puzzle with point-and-click action that features lots of killing done by a six-year-old boy, using extraordinary abilities given by the Devil himself. If you want to finish Lucius, arm yourself with meticulosity, patience and resilience to gore.
The game is divided into a series of chapters (nineteen to be exact), most of them ending with a person’s death inside the Dante mansion. Unfortunately, there's no manual save option, so once you start a chapter, you either finish it or stand at the mercy of the auto-save Gods. Personally, I recommend the first option, as the Gods are not always kind and, sometimes, you must redo a chapter just because someone saw you holding an item.
With each finished chapter, Lucius gains more and more powers, granted by the Prince of Darkness; so towards the end, you'll possess: the power to move objects with your mind (telekinesis), the power to control the minds of others and make them interact with objects, the ability to wipe out the memory of your victims and avoid being detected, and the skill to summon balls of fire.
Lucius follows a very strict plot, so sadly for you, these powers can't be used as toys. Moreover, everyone in the house pays close attention to you, so if you're caught doing shenanigans, you must restart the chapter. This is quite disappointing, as sometimes, I wanted to use a different approach to take someone's life, but couldn't, due to the strictness of the storyline. If only I could be a Naughty Bear...
Besides being cautious and not using his abilities in front of people, Lucius must also be careful around the crosses scattered around the manor. If you're near a cross, your ability power gauge will drop in an instant and it will not reload until you move away or you turn the cross upside down. I guess this is just a small price to pay for these super-powers.
To complete a chapter, you must deliver a soul to the Horned One and, in order to kill a person, you must first talk to the right people (in a boring and shallow dialogue), scavenge for the right objects (which can sometimes be very small and hidden in the most unexpected places), and put together the last pieces of the puzzle, so you won't be suspected.
Item collecting is not restricted to certain chapters; for example, you can collect an item that will be used in the last chapter of the game even from your second murder. Fortunately, the inventory can be easily accessed at any given time.
Lucius can also perform various chores that unlock useful objects. Chores are uncovered by talking to various persons (mainly your mother) around the household. To complete these “side-quests,” you must pick-up certain objects and drop them at your goal (either a person or sometimes a laundry basket).
These tasks are sometimes very boring and even difficult, as you have to scour every corner of the house for a meaningless object such as a toothbrush or a pair of earrings. The rewards can be helpful, like is the case with an Ouija board, a music box, or just useless as the tricycle.
Audio and Video
The soundtrack in Lucius is the one feature above average, as it intensifies the eerie mood and grants a creepy feel to the game. Wondering around the mansion just isn't so much fun without the spooky music in the background.
The voice-overs are pretty good, even if the dialogue that comes out of the characters' mouths is poorly written.
The graphics part of the game is pleasant, the house is very detailed and accurately made, and the characters are well executed. The animations drag down the video score, especially when it comes to voice synchronization, but also, when it comes to the robotic movement of some characters.
The cut scenes have a high frequency through the game, taking almost a quarter out of its length. The pixelated graphics allow the game to be even scarier.
We have an evil child, with an out-of-the-ordinary set of skills, who kills for power in the name of the Devil. We have a huge, detailed house filled with unsuspecting victims that are just ready to blame each other for the mysterious chain of murders. With a more flexible plot, wittier character dialogue and a better ending, this game could have been a real “blockbuster” and remind us of its Hollywood inspiration sources.
In my opinion, Lucius is a mediocre game that lacks the “je ne sais quoi” feeling we gamers know and love, that drives us forward, making us stay up at night for just one more chapter.