There aren’t many adventure-style horror games coming out these days, especially since the Resident Evil series is taking a more action oriented approach, for the better or worse. You still have creepy games out there, or games that make you jump, but how many games on the horizon are built from the ground up to play and feel like a classic horror film? Not many, and that’s what Shiver Games and it’s key founder/developer Johannes Aikio hope to accomplish with their upcoming game: Lucius.
In Lucius you play as a young boy of the same name who was born on 6/6/66 and the game starts on his 6th birthday and yes, you guessed it, he is clearly possessed by Satan. The game tasks you with systematically killing everyone in the manor you live in by arranging a series of accidents. Below you can see my Q&A session with Johannes!
David Jagneaux: This game clearly draws heavy inspiration from certain horror movies (The Shining and Omen come to mind specifically.) Can you walk me through what it was like to take that type of experience and adapt it into the interactive medium of gaming?
Johannes Aikio: “I think what we had first was the simple game concept of creating accidents in a sort of adventure style progress but with different types of gameplay than your normal point-and-click adventure game. Well, after that, everything started to evolve quite naturally towards movies where something like this occurred.
Eventually when we settled on the player being a kid, then these heavy inspirations you mentioned came in to play. That gave us the setting and era and also influenced a lot of our choices to bring familiar things to the players attention. At this point it was clear that we were going to show the player bits and peaces of the great classic horror movies here and there but we still needed to write a story around it to bring everything together. That managed to be a whole other area where we had to look at outside influences and still try to invent something unique somehow.”
DJ: The player plays as Lucius himself, which is an interesting take on this story – most of the time the viewer or player would see the victims as the “protagonist.” What were the struggles of keeping the game engaging and keeping it from becoming a simple “child goes on murdering spree” kind of game?
JA: “We had to create the story from everyone else’s point of view. So that you are still following a “good guy” protagonist in the story and only act as part of it while creeping people out. That way we still have a very traditional story telling, but the player actually is working in the background playing one of the evil guys in that story. Of course we sometimes focus on Lucius a bit more also, but mainly it’s told from the perspective of a detective that is there to investigate the “accidents”. We feel that this setting makes the game quite unique.”
DJ: How does the game itself play? Is it a mostly cutscene/cinematically driven puzzle/adventure game, or are there moments of action as well?
JA: “Most of the game is just that but every now and then you will get more action oriented chapters. Sometimes you will have to sneak around the house during the night and avoid detection and towards the end you will be able to throw fire from your palms and will get to use it like you would in a more action based game.”
DJ: How is the replay-ability, and are there multiple endings? Are there ways for the player to shape how the story unfolds?
JA: “The game really only plays one way trough and the actual story will remain the same. We do have a couple of extra things after finishing the game and there are a lot of achievements that will not come from the first playthrough. Chores also are not part of the main plot and could be fun to do afterwards if you’ve missed something.”
DJ: What is your favourite horror movie and why?
JA: “There are so many great horror movies trough out history. I do feel that the golden era of horror movies was somewhere around the 70’s and 80’s. But it might be that I watched them fairly young and it had a bigger impact on me than the more recent ones. I do enjoy wathing the classics like Omen, The Shining, Psycho and Amityville still to this date and I think they hold up pretty well trough the test of time.”
Keep an eye on The Koalition in the coming days for our full review of Shiver Games’ Lucius, which releases for PC on October 26th. Let us know what you think of how the game sounds and the Q&A session in the comments below!