Lucifer’s Mask, created as a solo project by Peter Howell, is a reimagining of Lucifer’s origin and the formation of the afterlife. The idea was born out of the conflict between Cain and Abel and the game focuses on how the afterlife is shaped by those who were the first to sin. According to the developer, players should expect a blend of characters whom they may recognize as well as entirely new ones.
Lucifer’s Mask is a flying/platforming hybrid for the Gear VR that reimagines Lucifer’s origin and the formation of the afterlife. But probably the most interesting part is that it allows you to fly, dive, wall run and fight without controllers. You play the role of Lucifer in Lucifer’s Mask, and the game also features both third and first person perspectives, which it switches between automatically.
Lucifer’s Mask is possibly the first VR game with a religious theme. It’s interesting to see a VR developer take on such delicate subject matter this early in the life of virtual reality. But Peter said that his intention with the game is not to offend anyone or to highlight any one religion above another. In fact, he says that he was simply inspired by some questions he had around the story of Lucifer, “What if Lucifer wasn’t an angel, devil or even male for that matter? How might a myth from the afterlife be distorted on its way to the mortal world? What purpose could disease have in the afterlife? Similar to how the Metal Gear Solid series uses historical military conflicts to frame a fictional story, I wanted to use some concepts from the Book of Genesis and the afterlife to frame Lucifer’s Mask.”
Check out the trailer below:
Let’s Jump (Or Fly) Right Into The Story
There are 15 levels in Lucifer’s Mask that take place across 4 unique environments. Each environment has their own unique obstacles and environmental conditions as well. The main storyline runs throughout the game. As you progress through the game you unlock cutscenes. But the developer says that Lucifer’s Mask actually serves as the first act of a larger story intended to span multiple games. The story also serves as the main motivation to complete the 15 levels but the developer has included a variety of objective-based levels. There’s also a scoring system to encourage replayability.
There are enemies in the game, which you will encounter on several levels. But the developer says that combat isn’t the main focus of gameplay. The objective of the level you’re in will also determine if you should engage your foes or avoid them. Actually, the enemies themselves also vary from being docile to aggressive. As stated before, there are also other characters in the game, whom you’ll encounter during the cutscenes. There’s quite the cast as well, including, Adam the First Man, Cain the First Murderer, Mammon the First Thief and Belial the First Enslaver.
Lucifer’s Mask Features A Very Retro Art-Style
The art-style of Lucifer’s Mask is very colorful, with sharp, defined lines. The character designs were created by concept artist, Jonas Jerde. He worked with the developer to create Lucifer, Cain, and the rest of the cast. From there, Peter drew inspiration from various sources for the environments, including Mad Max, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and live concerts from bands like Muse. “I did a lot of experimentation on what materials and shaders to use until the style evolved into what you see now,” he said. “From an animation perspective, I was strongly influenced by Strider and Metroid Prime. Both of those titles have main characters that have a wide variety of animations for traversal and combat while preserving an unmistakable feel.”
Lucifer’s Mask Gameplay
So when I asked Peter exactly how the controls work, since it seems hard to imagine a platformer without controls, he had the following answer, “The controls are something I’m really excited about. One thing I’ve observed is that people new to VR (gamers and non-gamers alike) can become overwhelmed when you ask them to learn controller mapping with a dual stick control. So in my mind, simplicity and intuitiveness were key. The constraints I gave myself were to only use head tracking and double tapping or holding the touchpad.”
One thing Peter did reveal is that Lucifer is injured severely in the beginning of the game and it affects her (yes her) ability to fly. So you are constantly gliding within the game, but you will also need to find alternative methods of gaining elevation to avoid death. When you fly (which makes the game switch to third person view), Lucifer is moved left and right whenever you look in either direction. To gain elevation (at the cost of stamina), you can double tap the touchpad. Lucifer also dives when you look down, which serves the purpose of helping you gain speed and regain stamina.
By holding down the touchpad you can switch to first person view. This allows you to look around, attack enemies and manipulate certain parts of the environment. There are more ways in which you can control the way you move in the game. Like when you’re sprinting on a runnable surface or running along a wall. But the game’s tutorial serves well to explain all of that in detail.
Here’s a video that shows how the gameplay controls work:
Any Motion Sickness To Be Expected? Hell No!
When asked if motion sickness might be a problem in his game, he said, “I’m not worried about motion sickness since I employ several methods to keep the player comfortable. For instance, in cutscenes I fade to black between most camera movements and during gameplay, you’re constantly moving forward. Also, the main menu, level intros and outros use an airship as a “north star” for the player to orient themselves.”
Lucifer’s Mask was originally scheduled for a March 2017 release, but the developer has pushed the release back somewhat to simply “Spring 2017”. There’s also no final decision on the price point yet. But Peter says that it will be below $10. We’ll keep you up to date on any additional news on Lucifer’s Mask, as well as a final release date.
What’s your opinion about the theme of this game? It certainly makes for an interesting subject.