10 people found this review helpful
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 11.6 hrs on record
Posted: Jun 13, 2020 @ 4:01pm
Updated: Jan 5, 2021 @ 6:56am

Curator page here-->DaRevieweD #25<-- New review every Sunday

Shiver Games from Finland has created one franchise to their gaming portfolio and that is Lucius. A cult classic in its own right most likely inspired by the Hitman (which you've guessed it, I've yet touched) series of stealth gameplay and creative assassinations. Except instead of a bald, highly trained professional- you're a bold but gullible six year old. Keep in mind, this is their first ever game so accid- mistakes are understandable. Is the game as scarring as the description? Yes, but in a good way!!

"House of Pain"

The Gist:
You are brought into the world as the eponymous Lucius to the Wagner household on a rather unfortunate date. On the night of your sixth birthday, Lucifer appears before you with some startling revelations and before you know it. Murder, bloody murder....

! For Satan worshippers only.... Just kidding, we don't discriminate!

[+] PROS;

(a) The .....'s Playground
The core gameplay and mechanics are actually pretty fun. Exploration-wise, you start off in very linear missions with a lot of locked doors. Before you know it, the entire mansion is yours to venture. Finding certain items ahead of having yet needing them (as you are expected to) will save you plenty of time and the need to backtrack is removed, how neat!! Though each target is dealt with in a linear manner, it felt like an accomplishment because getting there is not very straightforward. If you're stuck midway, residents of the Manor will provide clues as they pass by Lucius. With every kill order that Lucius executes, his abilities grow stronger into telekinesis, mind manipulation and playing with fire. With each one, daddy dearest will visit him in his fiery dreams to educate him the how-tos.

(b) One Spoiled Brat
Fortunately there are things to keep Lucius occupied, namely in the form of chores. Some completely optional but you would do well to undertake them to be given rewards for 'good behavior'. These include mundane tasks of taking out the trash, teeth brushing (which I've made Lucius do as part of his daily routine) and seeking out lost items. You know, other typical child household tasks.

These will aid you in your bloodbath such as giving vague hints through a ouija board or a music box with finite use that literally shows you what to do next. There's even a tricycle you can ride 'The Shining' style just for fun and it's slightly faster, I think? Hahaha, it gives me chills and nostalgia every time Lucius rides it!! There's an extra score attack mode where you set ablaze samey priests. So..... yay?? :'O

(c) Don't Deal with The .....
The plot is simple but reminds us (in case we forgot) to never strike a bargain with otherworldly beings, especially ones much powerful than us. From what I understand that's exactly what Lucius' "grandfather" Fabius did many years ago when he err.... ran a mafia?! Wow. Anyways, he promised to give anything in return one day and wouldn't you guess it. Lucifer is one thirsty, slithering snake- with horns and a cape (so I'm told). Needless to say it doesn't end well for the staff and relatives alike. :'(

(d) May God Have Mercy
As for the 'horror' aspect. I have to say, despite its shortcomings in design- you cannot deny that this kid is creepy as hell (HEY XD). The fact that that nobody ever suspects the kid, making for one hel- sorry... effective smokescreen is truly terrifying. It definitely made me think twice to ever let my future kid wander around unsupervised.

Speaking of which, the game actually makes me sick to my stomach as it probes deep into the relationship between a child and the parents. Is the whole murder spree just a case of coercion, being taken advantage of by an adult? Is he afraid to disappoint his father?? If it's the latter case, gosh I can relate. No matter how you think about it, the player is the one perpetrating these murders. OMG, he actually likes it doesn't he!!?

(e) Been Ages Since My Last Confession
Say what you will about the VA. But man, some of the greatest horror classics of PS1; RE1, SH1 to name a few had questionable but ultimately passable and memorable performances to date!! That's exactly the case here, this game actually pulls off with its not inherently terrible line delivery, just mediocre. It could be the writing too, now that I think about it. It's not easy to describe it, something you have to listen yourself! I thought Charles and McGuffin (mhmm) were the best performers. Tell you what, it's a good thing Lucius is mute, I shudder and actually low-key want to picture as to how he'd sound like.

[-] CONS;

(i) Tough Love
This game hands out a surprising amount of help; tutorials, loading screen tips and the bonus in-game gifts I mentioned. However, there is still a severe lack of clear hints when it comes to the objectives. I'm not going to lie, I had to look up what to do next probably for half of the kill list (even though the solution was right in my face, nine out of ten times). It could be a missing indicator (that reveals only when near AND right item at hand) or an object that's designed way too bland. Perhaps it's just me. This could be a plus, because it challenges you to think outside the box and maybe even power through that migraine!!

The controls also feel lackluster especially the camera in narrow and confined spaces. You can zoom out to remedy this, but there's no avoiding his janky movements. It does make for some hilarious backwards running though~ Moving levitated objects is also near impossible as they never go where you want them to the first time. A certain mission with a hairdryer was insufferable!!

(ii) Comedy = Tragedy + Time
Not sure if it was unintentional but there were a couple of moments that just reasserted me back into reality. In the few starter chapters, a number of people tirelessly ran into walls and doors. Most likely because they were programmed to constantly patrol the whole house but since the doors are locked early on...

Then there was the dialogue that plays out with either messed up timing (lips don't match words) or out of context situations. For instance, Lucius' mum being mildly terrified but then proceeds to tell me to do laundry in her normal tone. Countless instances of that. Finally the rag doll physics which just obliterate the realism at times of death. Just try firing a gun at anyone (which is an instant game over)

(iii) Death's Design
The game design itself seems to be poorly done at times; firstly, objects inconsistency. When fiddling with Lucius' telekinesis, some everyday items can be broken and some can't. It's a minor matter, but shows lack of attention to detail. Furthermore, inventory items keep getting moved around, again so nit-picky of me but it's an eyesore. Bigger ones include issues with saving. Granted, each chapter is basically very short but without a proper saving system, you have to pretty much replay them (everything you did resets except for items collected) say if you stopped during a cutscene when the chapter concludes.

"Now, Worship Me."

Verdict? Lucius has done a considerably well effort at subverting the horror genre by making you- primary cause of the mayhem. There are some bugs That are simply hilarious and flawed designs that leave players wondering what could've been. Its most gigantic issue lies in the frustration you'll get traipsing what seems like purgatory until the next target/kill. After reaching a certain body count, you may have a breakdown and have an existential crisis. But then you replay those awesome kill sequences with all the blood and slow-mo. But was it all the suffering justified? HELL TO THE YEAH!!


Got the DEMAKE and the sequels. But I don't know if I can...
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DeadeGuard98 Jun 16, 2020 @ 4:48pm 
@kris.aalst Thanks very much! Is that so about the demake? I suppose I just am a sucker for 8-bit things and I think it would have done better if they did the entire franchise like that (of course I'd have to play it first) but again those games are not catered to everyone!. I agree about the sequels- I was always worried about how they would take Lucius' tale.
kris.aalst Jun 16, 2020 @ 9:21am 
Good review. I liked this game a lot, too. Indeed, sometimes you feel a lack of freedom and have to 'guess' the developer's plan to kill someone, but it's still fun and all. I'm not a fan of the 'demake' as I don't see the point at all, and I didn't play the sequel but it seems the general consensus is 'it sucks'. As FruitNDoggie says, they've been milking it :yazdsmile:
DeadeGuard98 Jun 13, 2020 @ 4:31pm 
@FruitNDoggie "Looking Forward to The DEMAKE as I Think That One Is How The Game Frankly Should Have Been!! But Yeah, From The Trailers Alone- Lucius II and III Immensely Lose Aspects of What Made The OG So Charming, Unique..."
FruitNDoggie Jun 13, 2020 @ 4:27pm 
They really have milked this franchise pretty heavily.