Lucius

  • Type: Third Person Adventure
  • Developer: Shiver Games
  • Platform: PC
  • Release Date: 26th October 2012

A bunch of very naughty people performed a ritual. Six years and (approximately) nine months later, it turns out that the son of a senator is actually the son of the devil. Hmmm… This may be a good idea for a film.

So in the game, you play the role of the six year old Dami… um… Lucius. You get to walk him through his formative years as he discovers his developing Hell spawned powers and arranges a series of unfortunate accidents for the people that have bugged him.

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Yes, this is the game version of Omen. With names, locations and plot sufficiently changed to avoid those pesky copyright issues. And it does a pretty good job of it.

As you awaken into the young lads rather twisted psyche, you witness your mum telling one of the servants what time you should be in bed by. Oh yes, she will be first! No, not yer mum… The innocent maid who is simply following instructions. Come on. You are new to this evil stuff. You gotta start small.

Once you have offed this poor lass, your real dad pops up to show his appreciation and to encourage you to more socially unacceptable behaviour. And so begins your career of engineering more and more elaborate and messy ends to the various members of the household. And if you keep daddy happy, he bestows upon you more hellish powers.

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The game takes place in your family home. And by home, I mean mansion. Getting lost in your own house will soon cease to be an irritation and become the norm. Especially as there are other irritations that will soon surmount this. You are not told who is next in line for an unfortunate accident. You have to find them yourself. This can involve quite a lot of running about talking to people at random. And once you have identified your next mark, you have to work out how the hell (no pun intended) you are going to finish them.

My first thoughts were ‘Ooh. A scary Hitman’. And that comparison holds water. The big difference is that in Hitman, as long as the target stops breathing, you have succeeded. But it’s up to you to choose the method. In Lucius, you have to find the right things to do in (pretty much) the right order to achieve the result that they (the developers) have imagined. But this is where my niggles end.

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The game is really fun. A bit slow (again I refer you to Hitman), but really quite nice. Admittedly, the controls are a bit clunky. But this is something we have come across before, and chosen to not let it spoil the game. And all things considered… You get to play as Damie… um… Lucius !

While it may sound a bit hit and miss finding the next target or next step on the path to their doom, you are not on your own. And this is not all you get to do. And one thing leads to another. Seeing as people are dying, you need to maintain the illusion that you are an innocent six year old. So you need to do your chores, like cleaning your teeth and tidying your room. Talking to people around the house will unlock various chores. And doing them paints you as a very good boy. And good boys get presents. Fortunately, these presents help you in your real goal. For example, the Ouija board gives you a cryptic clue as how to ruin your next victim’s day, the music box can help you to find items you need and the tricycle helps you get around faster.
(Hint: Everyone keeps the bin in the cupboard under the kitchen sink, right?)

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Lucius is a low budget title. It does not have the huge industry funding that most releases have. So it is not as slick as it could be. But it does not suffer unduly as a result. I would have preferred it if it wasn’t quite so ‘on rails’. But I still had much fun finding where the rails were and thoroughly enjoyed the results.

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I like supporting the independents in the various communities in which I choose to spend my life. I like to think is helps keep the big companies on their toes, amongst other things. And rarely have I appreciated an independent work as much as this one. It is well worth a look.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

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