First impressions of Lucifer Within Us as demoed at the Steam Game Festival! Slated for release Oct 15, 2020 by Kitfox Games.
Format: PC via Steam
The Steam Game Festival: Autumn Edition brought tons of game demos and developer live streams together in a single online event. I’m happy to be able to share my first impressions for several of the featured demos, including Lucifer Within Us. Lucifer Within Us is a sci-fi detective game featuring logic and deduction. Players solve murders by gathering witness testimony, confirming with physical evidence, and forcing new testimony from contradictions.
In the demo for Lucifer Within Us, players are brought to the scene of a suspected murder. Two suspects are present who can be questioned, providing a timeline of events according to them. While listening to their testimony, players see events replay from their point of view, including their limited cone of vision and any actions that may later be recanted or proven false.
Once players have the testimonies from suspects, they can question them for further detail on any section or replay from any point in the timeline. Suspects can be questioned about each others’ timelines and notes on the different events will keep track of what actions have been corroborated and which have not. Statements can also be corroborated by physical evidence or contradicted.
When players find a contradiction between testimonies or testimony and physical evidence, they can contradict the suspect. If the contradiction is legit (aka the player isn’t just randomly choosing items to try to find a contradiction), the suspect will revise their testimony. This may break large vague sections of their timeline into specific actions, or replace sections altogether. Contradictions also weaken the suspect’s resolve and allow the player to delve into their mind to learn about their personality and values. These traits can also be used to question subjects.
Once a player has a timeline that incriminates a suspect, physical evidence against them, and a personal trait of theirs to provide a motive, they may accuse the suspect. There’s no punishment for accusing incorrectly, and false accusations may prove useful if the suspect provides additional information as part of their defense. An investigation continues until the single correct accusation is made. Typically some amount of back-and-forth with suspects is necessary to gather all the information for the correct accusation.
My one concern while playing through the demo of Lucifer Within Us is how long the finished product will be. The demo took me about 40 minutes to complete, including the well fleshed-out tutorial. Pre-release information states the final product will have 3 cases, though if ‘3 cases’ means 3 singular murders I’ll be a bit disappointed. The introductory story in the demo indicates that the main character will likely be framed for a number of murders involved in a ‘massacre’. I eagerly await to see if the content matches up to the in-depth mechanics.
Overall, I found the demo of Lucifer Within Us to be very enjoyable. I was impressed with the details of the mechanics and enjoyed the setting and aesthetics. I’m hopeful that the content and overarching story will be able to live up to the depth of interaction that’s been created. This is definitely a title I’ll be excitedly picking up at launch.
Have you found anything you’re excited about at the Steam Game Festival?
Let me know in the comments below!