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Lucius II Review – There was once a town called Ludlow…

Less linear paths, an open world, more victim- I mean NPCs, a prophecy to fulfill and another evil child. Yep, there’s a new Lucius game.

Developer: Shiver Games
Publisher: Shiver Games
Release Date: February 13th, 2015
Platforms: PC (Windows and Linux) and PlayStation 4
Platform Reviewed on: PC (Windows)

 

Lucius II is an interesting move away from the original game. It provides the players with the freedom to kill with few restraints while also guiding players along its path to complete the linear story. Players who loved the linear style of the first game may struggle with the second game as a result and well… there are a few other things.

The first game in the series has a very simple plot. Lucius must kill his family and their servants to please his true father, Lucifer. Lucius II is a little bit different. In this game, the player is attempting to complete different tasks to sound the Trumpets of Revelation to bring about the end of the world while competing with another son of Lucifer.

There’s no real depth to the plot in this game, it provides a brief explanation as to why Lucius needs to complete these objectives. Personally, I just liked having more freedom to murder everyone. Completing the main objective of each area will send Lucius to the next zone/location. Each one is filled with people to kill in order to progress through the game. However, you could also take a more passive route through the game with minimal killing. It’s really up to you.

Strangely, the detective from the first game is a supporting character to Lucius. He was visited by Lucifer who told him to protect Lucius and help him during the end of days. It doesn’t make too much sense and those who love a good plot will be disappointed with this game.

 

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The game is separated into two main chapters which each have five levels. Each level in the game has a central objective that the player needs to complete while the chapters are set in different locations in the game. There’s a short cutscene between each level in the game to explain the plot and what Lucius needs to do to progress through the game. It’s not much but it’s something at least.

Each level in the game is open world to an extent as players are able to explore the map with few restrictions. There are also many different ways to fulfil the objectives for each level in the game. Despite this, it follows the puzzle-based gameplay mechanics seen in the first game where the player must find the correct items which can be used to kill the NPCs in the world. Unlike the first game, however, players have much more freedom and can kill them in any way they choose.

To progress through the game, you just need to complete the different objectives so the main quest is completed. Pretty simple really. Different characters will carry items such as keys which are needed to open certain doors and access objective rooms. Characters will drop their items on death and if you’re anything like me…. there will be lots of brutal murder to get whatever item you need or decide you want.

Killing characters is done by finding the right items which can be used in different ways. One of my favorite moments was being able to shoot someone in the arse while they were taking a shower. I also took great pleasure in setting a couple on fire while they were having sex… because they scarred my innocent child eyes and brain by refusing to stop. For the most part, you have complete freedom over how you kill the NPCs in the world. Just remember that some methods are more efficient than others but the NPCs will always panic if they see a dead body laying around.

Progressing through the game lets you unlock more abilities. Plenty of useful and fun ones to utilize here but I found myself not using them very much.

 

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Killing people still retains the puzzle mechanics from the first game but there are definitely fewer puzzle mechanics in this game. For the most part, there’s no single way to kill a NPC so you don’t need to think too hard about it.

The player can also keep their inventory each time they go to a new location allowing players to make bombs or use acid at different points in the game. It’s a nice addition to the game which makes the puzzles slightly easier. Unlike the first game though, it’s not difficult. The entire game is very straightforward.

 

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While each map is open to the player, there are certain areas which are ‘restricted’. Being spotted by an NPC will cause them to chase Lucius. Getting caught is a game over and you’ll need to restart the level from your last save point. Enemies in the game are mostly authority figures such as military personnel or security guards.

It’s possible to use this behaviour to your advantage however by setting up a trap that will kill the target when they chase the player into it. Getting rid of enemies is pretty simple then and there’s no real complexity to it.

The final boss fight was a huge let-down to me. In the first game, it was obvious that it was the final fight and was what everything was building up to. In Lucius II, we know that this fight is coming yet it’s just lacking overall.  As a result, it’s a frustrating mess with little information that will leave you very confused until you finally look up some instructions. There is only one way to kill the final boss and it’s not very clear so don’t feel ashamed if you spend a lot of time here.

As far as boss fights go, it’s not memorable. The only reason you’d remember this section of the game is to complain about it to someone else later. It feels very different to the rest of the game and almost a little bit ‘sudden’ for the slow pace of Lucius II.

 

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Lucius II may not be the sequel that gamers were hoping for but it still has the potential for being entertaining. Personally, I enjoyed the new freedom and ability to kill characters however I felt like at the time. This may not be to everyone’s liking, however. The lack of puzzle mechanics is a shame and combined with the open world, this game feels very different to the original game. Yet, it still follows the same basic principles.

In short, the game isn’t anything amazing and gamers shouldn’t expect too much from this game. It’s entertaining to play and can result in some satisfying NPC killing but it’s also lacking in many areas.

 

Pros

  • Lots of freedom

  • Hilarious and satisfying ways to kill people

 

Cons

  • Weak plot

  • Relatively short game

  • Awful final boss fight
  • Simple puzzles

  • Lots of bugs

  • Dumb AI

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