E3 2012: First Impressions
"Lucius has a delightfully depraved premise."

The star of the game of the same name, Lucius is one of those taciturn, creepy kids seen so often in horror movies these days. He has a reason to be despondent though: he sold his soul to the Devil at the tender age of six, and Lucifer now has plans for Lucius. He must kill his parents and their friends in the family mansion while making the murders look like accidents and avoiding being suspected.

Although developer Shiver Games amounts to just a few people (based in Finland), Lucius has a delightfully depraved premise. In the style of 3D adventure titles, Lucius must explore the mansion, pick up objects, combine them, and orchestrate fatal accidents for the residents. He also has a few supernatural skills to further the Devilís plans. What creepy horror toddler would be complete without some telekinesis?

We saw two out of approximately twenty murders. The first was a very basic puzzle scenario that serves as a tutorial for the game. Lucius corners the mansion maid in the walk-in freezer, locks her in with a padlock picked up from the table, and turns down the temperature. She dies, and he must later remove the padlock to disperse all suspicion. In the second, a friend of Lucius' father gets his face burnt off by a trapped oven. The situations are sure to get more complicated as the game progresses, and there are even stealth segments. Lucius can use telekinesis to burst light bulbs to avoid detection, and the same tactic could be used to create distractions.

Although the premise is novel enough to justify a full-length game, the story promises to include other characters' dark pasts, and perhaps the Devil's plans aren't quite what they seem to be. There are also achievements to be earned by dedicated players, but these aren't often as obvious as they are in other games. Lucius' mother begs him to clean his room, and what might have been a piece of pointless dialogue in another game is actually a subtle hint at an achievement. Aside from an in-game journal detailing Lucius' current assignments, the Devil also offers hints in case players get stuck.

Publisher Lace Mamba has chosen Lucius as their flagship title, and for good reason. Even if you're tired of deranged children taking the spotlight, the premise alone should be enough to warrant the interest of survival horror fans and adventure gamers. Look for Lucius, appropriately, this October.

© 2012 Lace Mamba Global Ltd, Shiver Games. All rights reserved.

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