Lies of P is Developer Round 8’s latest action RPG that has given Bloodborne fans some much-needed reprieve with its many similar gameplay elements. Like many Soulslikes, the game offers tough-as-nails difficulty, epic battles, and an intriguing albeit derivative story. My experience with the game was pleasant, but not without obvious hurdles.
A Twisted Setting
Lies of P is a dark and twisted retelling of the classic tale of Pinocchio. The game is set in the fictional city of Krat, where puppets have killed the humans they serve and now roam the city, causing chaos. We learn early in the game that this is Gepeto’s fault for some reason, so as his puppet, it’s up to you to stop all the chaos by defeating all the master puppets of mayhem.
Lies of P takes a lot of blatant inspirations from the Souls series, specifically Bloodborne. The game has a similar gothic 19th-century Victorian aesthetic with outfits and architecture to match the era. Thankfully, the developer was able to do justice to the theme via excellently rendered and modeled environmental objects, crisp models and motions, and great reflections, but the lighting in some areas could have been done better.
As for the story, while the game does the necessary exposition to introduce characters to the world, it does the rest of the world-building and narrative explanation through NPC dialogue and environmental storytelling like most Soulslikes. As such, if you’re a fan of the narrative style from Souls Games and Soulslikes, then you’re in luck, but if you’re a fan of the traditional structure, then you’ll be left disappointed with Lies of P’s narrative. The story is inoffensive, and as a reimagining of the classic tale, it does enough to distinguish itself with all its fun and bizarre differences.
In terms of gameplay, Lies of P provides a lot of great elements seen in most soulslike games. Like Bloodborne, movement is relatively painless. Dodges are swift, but rolling feels clunky, so for the most part, dodging away from close damage always proved more advantageous than rolling away.
Several levels in the game are intricately layered, enemies are aggressive and have unique AI patterns that provide new types of challenges via unique scenarios. Unfortunately, one of those ways is negative. One aspect of Soulslikes that often gets ignored is poise. This is the element of gameplay that allows you to not get staggered and keep trading blows with enemies as long as you have enough solid defense. While it comes in several forms, in several Soulslikes, it unfortunately does not exist in Lies of P. As such, fighting enemies, especially bosses, had an unexpected level of difficulty not seen in any other Soulslikes.
Another annoying aspect of the game is the parry mechanic, which is a lot lazier than in other Soulslikes, as instead of having a dedicated parry button, players have to time a block right at the moment of an attack. While simpler than other games, using the method does get confusing during boss fights, especially when you block right before you need to.
A Different Soulslike
Speaking of bosses, I must admit that the bosses in Lies of P are my favorite part of the game. Several bosses offer different types of difficult scenarios and new challenges to conquer. Some bosses are slow, methodical, and hard-hitting, while some are faster and more frantic making them harder to track. They all make playing the game extremely entertaining.
Aside from combat, Lies of P has a significantly different leveling and skill system than its counterparts. While players can grind out mobs to level up each of their stats and acquire weapons, it also provides Legion Arms; secondary weapons that offer more versatility with ranged options and add other elements like electricity, explosives, and more. The game also has P Organs; another element that allows players to unlock skills around several aspects of the game via its skill tree.
Lastly, Lies of P offers players a mechanic that lets them combine several weapon types to make stronger weapons or weapons with different elemental types. However, while the combination mechanic provides a fresh new element that’s different from other Soulslikes, some combinations like putting a greatsword on a smaller handle, are essentially useless, as they don’t provide much of a gameplay difference.
Performance-wise, Lies of P runs great on PC, specifically on my RTX 3060 PC. Frame rates are stable, with no glitches or crashes.
Overall, while Lies of P is incredibly derivative of games like Bloodborne, and has a narrative that borrows a lot of their elements, it still does justice to each and every element it replicates with fun and refreshing gameplay elements and impeccable visuals.
Lies of P
- Great visuals
- Fun gameplay
- Runs really well
- No poise
- Some confusing gameplay elements
- Very derivative
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