After finishing the very promising demo in the Gamescom week I left impressed and picked up Lucifer Within Us at the earliest opportunity. Sadly the demo turns out to be almost a third of the game, and it’s to its detriment in more than just there not being enough of a good thing.
The gameplay is good and the interface is a great innovation in the cross-examination-based investigation genre, in ways that could greatly benefit the likes of Phoenix Wright. Visual design is great too and other production values are decent enough. And the setting is highly original and very intriguing, while it lasts…
When you start to close in on the truth of the second case you feel things are starting to barrel out of control in the rate developments follow each other, and then the conclusion of the finale just dumps way too much exposition at once. There should have been hours, perhaps even an unrelated case, between the main character starting to have serious doubts and her beginning to see the terrible truth; instead there is like one line. It should have taken the better part of a case to go from beginning to see the terrible truth to having a good view of all of it; instead that only takes a couple more lines. If the storytelling had really been well-planned they could have just spread some doubts and foreshadowing in the first game and saved the big reveal for a sequel, but with the cat out of the bag the setting will never feel as good again.
If the story had been given the slow buildup it needed and deserved, Lucifer Within Us could have been one of my favorite games of the year. As thing are, I have to lament the storytelling potential that was murdered to get it out the door.
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Time Played: 2-5 hours