‘Lucy: The Eternity She Wished For’ (henceforth referred to as ‘Lucy’) is a visual novel that plays with the ideas first considered by Asimov and Phillip K. Dick; primarily the concepts of robotic sentience and its impact on the human population.
Being a visual novel there is absolutely no interaction beyond progressing dialogue and at times (nearing the end of chapters) making a decision. These decisions seemingly play very little into the narrative of the story; at a stretch they change the next dialogue line. While this is disappointing for the gamer in me it is an absolutely necessary concession to make for the sake of a convincing narrative. And being a visual novel means that this game lives and dies on the strength of its narrative…
…throughout the first hour I was incredibly worried for the game, the story in this hour is bloated and the writing is borderline awful. The dialogue is contrived and in no way reflects how native English speakers share information and express themselves – it is hugely distracting and constantly pulled me out from the story. However, there is a turning point and it is when the android ‘Lucy Valentine’ gets repaired – it is here that the writing has a noticeable improvement. Suddenly the exchanges between characters are much more believable and natural, the game even throws in some brilliantly self-aware references that play into the themes being explored. By the end you will have been dragged through an emotional ringer – you will feel every step of these characters journeys.
You could argue that for this hour the game was trying (and succeeding) in replicating the awkward exchanges between a machine and her socially inept owner. I’m inclined to give it this benefit of the doubt.
Visually ‘Lucy’ is beautiful to look at, everything has a hand drawn Manga look to it and the character models, while static, have subtle cues and animations that heighten the experience. However the writing and the artwork are often at odds with one another; for example the repairman character is described as “neither too young or too old” yet he resembles a teenager! And while it may sound minor, it creates a conflict between what you read and what you see and it can throw you when it occurs.
Aurally however ‘Lucy’ is excellent! The music creates tone, emotion and mood in every scene and it totally absorbs the player. Every track has been composed and implemented with a care to detail that rivals even AAA titles. The voice acting for ‘Lucy’ (the only voiced character) is also of an exceptionally high-quality; the sound direction is undoubtedly the strongest technical aspect of the game.
Overall in the space of five hours ‘Lucy: The Eternity She Wished For’ takes the player on a roller coaster of emotions; although there are little to no surprises within the narrative this is definitely a case of the journey rather than the destination. While there are some technical issues this is a visual novel that can stand up with the best in the genre and is well worth experiencing!
Have you played ‘Lucy’?
Did you enjoy it?
Does it sound like something you’d want to play, tell me in the comments below!