Lucifer Within Us Review

Solve murders by gathering witness testimony, confirming with physical evidence, and forcing new testimony from contradictions, in Lucifer Within Us. Lucifer Within Us is a sci-fi detective game featuring logic and deduction.

Format: PC via Steam
First playthrough time: 3.5 hours

Lucifer Within Us. Reviewing suspect Gideon's testimony

Released Oct 15, 2020 by Kitfox Games

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Quick Overview

Major Pros:
  • Detailed investigations
  • Compare testimonies and evidence to find contradictions
Major Cons:
  • Only 3 cases
Minor Pros:
  • Interesting setting and story
Minor Cons:
  • Testimony playback may provide extra information
Lucifer Within Us. Ada conversing with Vergil. Vergil says, a daemon may be present. here, even now, possessing someone.

Daemons are believed to be AIs that corrupt their hosts into acting on their immorality

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In-depth Review

In Lucifer Within Us, players are brought to the scene of a suspected murder. 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.

Lucifer Within Us. Finding an item on the ground in the graveyard

Finding physical evidence is often necessary for contradicting suspects

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.

Lucifer Within Us. Lies unmasked

Successfully contradicting a suspect

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.

Lucifer Within Us. A suspect's two-layer inner sanctum

Successful contradictions weaken suspects’ resolve and allow players to delve into their digital minds

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.

Lucifer Within Us. Ada saying: Out Lotan! Leave this soul and return whence you came!

Purging a demon

My biggest struggle with Lucifer Within Us is that it’s only 3 cases long. While the details and mechanics involved in the cases are very enjoyable, the length of the content doesn’t reach the same bar. This is especially true for folks that had already played the demo, which is the whole first investigation. I’d have liked to see another 1-2 cases to build up the story and really show off the wonderful investigation system they’ve created. The ending leaves the story open for continuation which I very much hope for.

Lucifer Within Us. Demonologie entry for Lucifer the Proud

Only four demons are mentioned in the game

One thing that I found odd in Lucifer Within Us is that during testimony playback (when the player is watching what the suspect is describing), details are often included that the suspect doesn’t mention. For example, an item or recognizable silhouette may become visible even if the suspect wouldn’t have known this information or wouldn’t have shared it because it incriminates them. I’m not sure if this was included as a means of giving hints, but I would have preferred to play without it for a more realistic challenge.

Lucifer Within Us. Augustine gives testimony to walking through the graveyard.

An unmentioned silhouette can be seen in the top left

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Recommendation

Overall, I very much enjoyed the mechanics of Lucifer Within Us, but was left wanting in terms of additional cases. The investigation system is very detailed and interactive and I’d like to see the content expanded to meet the same bar. I’d also like to see the difficulty turned up a little, especially in the removal of potential hints during testimony playback. I recommend Lucifer Within Us to players who enjoy detailed investigation games that are okay with there only being 3 investigations.

What detective games have you enjoyed?
Let me know in the comments below!

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