should have loved this. The six year old spawn of Satan treads the halls
of Dante Manor dealing death to the occupants at the behest of his
father. Not in any old straightforward way either Ė death can come in
all sorts of dreadful ways and a lot of them are present here. As the
deaths pile up, the living unravel, and we all spiral down into the
depths from which daddy came.
Except it isnít.
best bit is the bit I just mentioned. Lose one inhabitant to a grisly
accident and itís just that. Lose two and, well, old houses have things
go wrong. Lose another and something else is clearly afoot. Watch and
listen as family members try to explain, then just understand, then
simply fall apart as the body count gets higher. Holding it together
ceases to be possible long before the final death. The inexorable
build-up of the psychological tension is definitely the high point.
Most of the rest is unfortunately nowhere near as powerful.
Through nineteen chapters you pilot Lucius around the manor, one murder
at a time. Find out who needs to die, then have at it. Nothing
confrontational mind, and nothing anybody must see. Rather, create an
accident waiting to happen and the invite the victim to step in.
Gruesome it can be, all the more so if a slow-mo cutscene of the deadly
moment and its aftermath are involved.
Lucius is suitably Damien-esque. Dark haired, darker eyed, brooding, and
non-communicative. His various powers (Telekinesis among them) add to
his death dealing repertoire, or can just throw things around for fun.
Which tended to be what happened whether I meant it to or not. Mind
Control was more forgiving, although not for the target.
Lucius is played in the third person, with the w,a,s,d keys used for
locomotion. Getting around the house is helped by a map, which I found
very helpful as itís a big house. Not helpful, but certainly lifelike,
was the fact that other occupants didnít stay put, and wandered around
as well, generally doing whatever business they were employed to do.
Very unhelpful were some of the puzzle constructs. They veered between
reasonably guided to maddeningly frustrating. Lucius takes notes as he
learns things, which can come from all manner of interactions, but at
times I had not the faintest idea how it was I was supposed to bring
about the demise of the next unfortunate victim, and ran hither and yon
for ages looking for something, anything, to assist. Eventually I ran to
YouTube, which was very helpful indeed.
being helpful meant it became a chore, and chores arenít fun. You can do
actual chores if you want to, given to you throughout the game, but as
far as I could tell you didnít have to. I stopped because, as I already
mentioned, chores arenít fun.
often Lucius just went nowhere, and after a while, apart from the deadly
pay-off, it all got a bit the same. Itís the same house, the same
objective, the same lots of things. Itís also completely linear. And
while at times the dark undercurrent of humour brings a little spark, or
a nicely put together mishap with, say, a meat saw tickles that little
part of your hindbrain that you donít like to talk about, overall its
Drab too, both in look and sound. Which is ok, given the goings on.
Items you can interact with react to the cursor and there is a lot that
can be opened and closed and examined and rummaged. The Manor is a
functioning home, and functions like a Manor should Ė except for the
save game function didnít appeal, mainly because there isnít one. At
least not one you can operate. Get to the end of the chapter and you get
a save at the start of the next one. Fail anywhere in the chapter Ė be
seen doing something suspicious, get caught using your powers Ė and
start the chapter again. Some are short but some arenít, especially if
itís one of those ďwhat the hell am I supposed to doĒ chapters. And
donít even get me started on the enemy dodging start again endgame. Did
I mention my good friend YouTube?
Itís a shame about Lucius. In there was a good game, perhaps even a very
good one, struggling under the weight of some poor design. If you like a
grisly death or dozen, and have a good deal of patience and persistence,
the unravelling of the family and those around them is well done indeed.
Too much though isnít, making it unattractive to anyone else.
Processor: Intel i7-3820 4GHz
RAM: 12GB Ripjaw DDR3 2133 Mhz
Video card: AMD Radeon HD 7800 2048MB
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