Lucius III – Review
Follow Genre: Psychological Horror
Developer: Shiver Games
Publisher: Shiver Games
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Lucius III – Review

Site Score
3.6
Good: It is fun to kill in weird and interesting ways
Bad: A buggy mess.
User Score
4.0
(4 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.0/10 (4 votes cast)

Enemies of the fallen angel beware! Lucius is back, and he’s bigger and badder than ever (no, seriously). Back in 2012, the world was blessed… or not, by the first title in this trilogy, Lucius. Even back then, while players were excited about this title. Of course, who -doesn’t- want to be the son of the dark lord and kill a whole family in strange and interesting ways? Upon playing the game everyone found that, while it was an interesting and a novel idea, the execution was a little off. The storyline was fine, but the delivery was stunted and the voice acting odd, to say the least. The second title was just as much of a horror, pun intended, with more writing from Hell, and bugs from the depths of Hades. Will the third pick up the slack and give you the sandbox Satan’s son simulator everybody has wanted?

Story

Let’s recap first. As the son of Satan, Lucius was tasked by his true father to kill his adopted family and unleash hell on their guests. Succeeding in that task, the man you used to call father takes the blame, and you get hospitalized and locked up in a mental facility. Regaining your powers, you murder your way out of the facility and that is where the third installment starts. You escape in one of those large yellow school buses and quickly learn about a new objective. Your new given goal is to unleash the apocalypse through means of a scroll inscribed with knowledge of the four horsemen. This scroll is locked with seven seals that you need to unseal before you can read it. As with the other games, Lucius 3 is filled with vocal dialogue that is delivered stiffly and written just as bad as the other games. In the horror movies this game is based on, a lot of the story is shown instead of told, which means the dialogue is naturally short. But with Lucius, a lot of the story is told through dialogue, as the only way to show gamers is to force cutscenes, but who wants to lose three hours of gameplay to cutscenes in a game that’s only four hours long?

Graphics

Some issues arise from the graphics as well. They didn’t have to be a problem if the game had some more polish to it. We’ve experienced some extreme loading issues to the point where whole rooms were empty for seconds after entering them, and cutscenes loading significantly later than they should. Other problems exist too. NPCs have a tendency to hover above the ground, and other graphical glitches are too common as well. Frame rates have been impacted too, but especially if you go into the morph mode, which serves as a fast travel method, but because of the frame drop makes you go slow as well. Other than the issues, the game does have a nice setting. Still set in the ’60s, you now roam a small US village that the mansion from the first game was built in. The town feels nice and quiet with its idyllic cliff-side next to the sea, with some nice horror set pieces like a motel and an abandoned theme park.

Sound

The sound will be the shortest section in this review. We already mentioned how poor the voice acting is in this game, and not much more needs to be said there. It is bad as all the deliveries feel stiff and forced. The background music is the most horror-like thing about this title, the low ominous hum of the soundtrack does a lot to make players really feel the visceral gore that the player inflicts. And speaking of: the gore, while sounding reasonable, due to the frame rate issues it does not have the impact it should. Quite a lot of the time you hear the gore before you see it, making it lose the gravitas of murdering a person you think may be one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Gameplay

Lucius III is a psychological horror game dropping the stealth mechanic from the first game, trading it for open world discovery. But psychological horror has a need for a constant increase in stakes and tension, which we don’t see with the third game as much as we saw it with the other games. This puts a real damper on the game, making it feel more like a sandbox ‘murder-everything-that-moves’ title.

Every chapter of the game, you are tasked with furthering the prophecies of the apocalypse, usually by finding a person who matches the description of a horseman of the apocalypse. Walking around the town with detective McGuffin, somebody you allied at some point, you acquire a target and then need to puzzle out a way to get them in a position so that you can make them into the next part of the prophecy that you need. Usually, this is done by using some of your telekinetic powers to set off chain-reactions. This can range from turning on a stove to trigger the fire alarm in the mayor’s house causing him to leave his office and be murdered, to getting a pedophile you put in prison to commit suicide by planting the thought in his head after looking through his mail to get information.

In order to help you with your killings, wrongdoings, and mischief you have several tools at your disposal. Your inventory will get filled with useful items. From screwdrivers and crowbars to scissors and batteries. As you stalk through the town, you get to find out a lot of the other things going on in the town. Whenever you find something noteworthy, you write it down in your notebook. It keeps track of all the important goings-on around town, keeps tabs on all the important personalities in the area, and allows you to fast travel. Fast traveling does cost souls, which you obtain from the crows around town. Concentrating hard on them will explode the birds leaving the heart for you to consume to travel with. Another form of fast travel is your new morph ability to fly around town, however, due to the camera angle it is hard to make out where you are going, and landing isn’t easy either.

Conclusion

Lucius 3 is still the same old Lucius that the old two titles were. As much as it is fun to go around killing people in gruesome ways, the rough overall finish to the game makes it really hard to accomplish your goals. Bugs like the story progressing but the journal not reflecting that make it really tedious to have to reload your progress every few minutes. Overall, while the concept is great, you wouldn’t be amiss to skip the latest game in the trilogy no matter how invested you are in the games.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.0/10 (4 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Lucius III - Review, 4.0 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
Giftedbryan


Bryan, Dutch, gamer, metalhead. 26, and been playing games for as long as I can remember. Pokemon gold for life!

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