Don't let the promise of a new Zelda game distract you from everything else the switch has to offer. Here's why you should be just as interested in Arms.
The son of a wealthy politician is visited in his sleep by his real father, who happens to be the Prince of Darkness. Lucifer reveals that Lucius is destined to do great things, but first he must complete a series of murders to be able to achieve his full diabolical power. The maid dies first, frozen in the walk-in freezer. She didn’t stay in there all by herself though, Lucius locked the door with a padlock and then turned the temp down until she had a heart-attack. Lucifer warns his son that he must commit these murders, but he also can’t get caught doing anything murderous.
It took me a little while to get Lucius under control, which might be good for the heir to the throne of Hell, but just annoyed me. Once I’d fixed my keyboard issue, I ran into a problem with the graphics. The HUD didn’t display on the Ultra setting, and I also lost the targeting dot. The developer has already issued one patch for the game, and since they’re paying attention to the feedback from players, I’m confident the problems will be fixed. These little ripples didn’t stop me from playing the game, and luckily they were easily handled by switching graphics levels. The graphics are a bit raw-looking at times, the camera can make some odd angle choices, and there’s some lighting issues in places, but for the most part the mansion is well-detailed and easy on the eyes when you’re exploring.
Lucius has to murder a bunch of people in order to claim his Satanic Majesty Jr. title, but he can’t get caught doing so, as that would land him in an asylum or jail. So he has to move carefully and do things when no one’s looking. Adults only really pay attention to him when he’s directly in their sight, so if you can find an angle that avoids them seeing him, so much the better. The more murders he commits, the more scrutiny the house comes under, and the harder it is for him to act and complete his missions. The detective, McGuffin, is very observant and makes it difficult to get anything done, but he’s not always around to watch Lucius.
Being the son of the Devil has its perks too, namely gifts like telekinesis and mind control. Telekinesis makes it a lot easier to manipulate and break things at a distance, which helps Lucius avoid detection when murder time comes. The first accidents are simple affairs, while the later ones are more involved and take more skill to pull off, or if not more skill, then more hoops to jump through to get there. One problem I found is that there are a lot of things to open, but there’s not usually anything useful inside, which makes me wonder why the developer would’ve made some things interactive but useless. It should have the effect of making the game seem less of a railroad, but to me it had the opposite effect. This was sort of an issue through the whole game, in that each murder felt scripted and all you had to do was listen to the clues and then make it happen. Maybe I’ve just watched too many horror movies so I know how things will probably go, but I would think that this game would sort of be aimed at that audience.
Then again, if you consider Lucius as a puzzle game with each murder as the prize for finishing, then the railroad feel goes away, since most puzzle games don’t have more than one solution for each puzzle. Still, it would be fun to have multiple ways to off people, maybe even a totally overt supernatural one that you’d have to be sure of not getting caught to pull off. Maybe for the sequel.
Lucius is a game based on murder, both regular and the supernaturally assisted kind. There’s a twisted humor in this game that appeals to me, and the deaths are always interesting to watch. I won’t give away anything about the ending, except to say that the developers are considering adding an alternate one more in line with the feel of the rest of the game.
Lucius is available for PC on Steam.