Have you ever thought that fairytales make the perfect dark and twisted setting for a soulslike experience? Well, with Lies of P, wonder no more.
Taking the classic story and elements Carlo Collodi’s novel The Adventures of Pinocchio, Lies of P sees the player take on the role of Pinocchio. Viewed from a third-person perspective, and must save the city of Krat, and Geppetto, from rampant Puppets and monsters alike. One of the unique story elements is the iconic Pinocchio trait of lying. This is used in cutscenes and various conversations. Initially, these feel very underwhelming and don’t seem to have much of a genuine impact. The overall outcome is a greater mystery that’s enjoyable to figure out.
The level design is linear with little straying off the path to find bosses as you expect in Souls games, but it is visually striking to look at and explore the little details of this fallen city. It’s not hard to imagine how beautiful Krat looked in its prime. Being drawn into the world is important as you could easily find the concept of a dark fairytale world absurd. The classic story is expertly woven into this soulslike action-adventure title, and there are plenty of nods to the source material.
One of my favourite aspects is that you have a mechanical arm which serves as a utility weapon but can also be upgraded with a variety of different extras. This idea of customisation carries over into the weapons and is possibly the game’s most distinctive feature.
Weapons can be crafted to combine virtually any pairing of blade and hilt to make interesting and powerful combinations that provide different stats and gameplay styles.
Lies of P does have plenty of quality-of-life features like notification when you can level up.
Music in Lies of P is phenomenal and in a year of amazing game soundtracks, this one is up there. Thankfully, you can collect these as records in the game and play them in your base.
Combat in Lies of P
As you would expect with any soulslike game, combat is a large feature. Lies of P is no different, as you must battle your way through Puppets, animal-masked puppet hunters and various bosses in between. As well as your crafted main weapon, which has both primary and secondary attacks with limited blocking capability – it is the utility arm that offers some fun options – want a cannon? You can. Want to use puppet string to grapple enemies? You can do that too.
Combat is inconsistent, and you may find the ordinary mobs are straightforward, with the bosses becoming nearly impossible, especially during their second phases. Death is a constant, and unfortunately, that does mean much repetition. The other issue is the sluggishness in combat to perform dodge actions, and the further inconsistency with the parry windows makes for a frustrating challenge at times. This is especially true when enemies use powerful attacks that can only be countered with a well-timed parry.
Despite this, combat is fun. From rapier-like fencing to hack-and-slash combat. The weapons are varied, and when combined with utility it leads to some satisfying encounters. There is a large disparity in the character archetypes and how difficult things will be – so choose wisely.
Lie or Die
When you die, it is a relief you do not lose all your Ergo. Instead, you must return to the scene and reclaim your power. You will suffer some losses if you take damage en route to this location, though.
Is Lies of P Worth It?
Lies of P is a fantastic soulslike game with strong homages to Bloodborne. The combat is fun, with the upgradability of the weapon feeling unique in how it impacts gameplay more than simply increasing damage. Resource management can be challenging, and if you can endure the inconsistency in combat, it is worth checking out. Lies of P feels familiar, yet distinctly unique, with a wonderful story and a dark aesthetic.