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Review | Lies of P

"Another „souls“ game, another try… Are we tired of them already? Sometimes I feel like it, but then just sometimes, they outshine the judgment and I have a great time. Is Lies of P like that? It shines so bright that I might consider it a GOTY material!"

by Foggy, 03-10-2023, Edited by: No one (yet!)

Lies of P is a soulslike video game developed by Neowiz Games and Round8 Studio, and it was published by Neowiz Games. I had no idea about the team behind the game, until I felt the magic that this game certainly has. Neowiz Games is based in South Korea (my favourite country in the last few years), and I can’t say they published some note-worthy games. Round8 Studio is a subsidiary of Neowiz, which makes sense that they worked on the game. They don’t have much to offer but Lies of P is their true masterpiece.

If I was to explain the game in short, I can easily mashup the sentence as “It’s a Bloodborne-like aggressive and action-thirsty game that offers Sekiro combat, and variety of RPG character elements where only sky is the limit”. Yeah, we have another copy paste on our plate! But this time around, I’m not sure if it’s even safe to say “copy”, because what they did here outshines the inspiration. Let’s talk about it!

Ok, so, this game is everything the Pinocchio isn't - dark and bloody (well, usually the oil spray from the puppets on you, not blood). Graphically it looks pretty, technically it needs just a little bit of fixes, but all of that is just a minor thing in the awesomeness called Lies of P(retty Awesome Game!)

So, Pinocchio, right? I was thinking “Oh, yeah, like I want a game that copies Dark Souls and the rest to be a fairy tale with a long nose”. Additionally, so many people were calling this a new Bloodborne messiah… So, long story short – I had a certain prejudice formed long before I even tried the game.

Boy, I was wrong. A few first hours in the game I was fairly reserved with giving opinion, so I just continued to play. The controls, the movement – it all felt so stiff, clunky.  The story part showed a glimpse of light though. As the time passed, I was swallowed by the game without even knowing it.

If you have fears that this is yet another “souls” game where story doesn’t matter, don’t. I think the story is above average, even awesome at times. A dark, moody journey of a boy who can lie to cover that he is a puppet in a world of puppets and insatiable human thirst for power is just a frame upon which the game builds its story. Characters are so good, they have their personalities, stories, questlines… I even loved the voice acting. If you look at the story in general, I think this is one of the first games of this genre that tells a bit more understandable story for wider audiences. And apart from fairy tale story upon which grounds it builds, the rest is original and well incorporated into the picture. If you prefer the dark tone and atmosphere, I can’t think of a better game adaptation. One note though – if you want the full grasp of the lore, please read the documents/notes/memos!

Find me someone who didn't dress up like a donkey! Costumes in this game shines, but there are no armors to equip. There are accessories though. I don't mind, everything you can customize is more than enough to be happy. Music is awesome, especially the record tracks you can find listen in the hub area. But, prepare for the boss fights, they are no joke!

What can I say about the combat? I can talk for 3 days straight, that’s for sure! Imagine Bloodborne aggressive approach where you can regain some of your health if you attack immediately after getting hit. Now, imagine deflect/parry mechanics from Sekiro. We also have deep RPG character build progression like in Dark Souls and such… This translates to having a game where you can/need to deflect, dodge when you feel it should come, and guard when you think you will fail in the previous steps. Parrying can lead to enemy weapon destruction - which is something that you really need when a huge robot keeps hitting you with a shove (it's much better to be kicked by a stick than a shovel!). And beware of the queue of your actions - you can't really snap out of the attack motion if you just press the button, you need to be careful not to chain too much as the bosses are usually aggressive as hell (It will of course not remember more than 2 moves, but sometimes attacking twice is just 1 attack too much).

How does that work? It works almost perfectly. I still think that dodge and parry mechanics need a little wider success window, but apparently when you play more and more you get it right. It’s tight, but fair. This game is hard! That’s what she said.

When you die for the first 20 times on the first elite enemy, probably you will wonder why should you put yourself through this, right? Well, think of it this way – why shouldn’t you finish the game that will give you so much joy and accomplishment, while tells a story about puppets gone crazy (well, they’ve gone human, but humans are crazy). Try to finish the game, even the developers nerfed some of the boss fights so the wider audiences can finish it.

Meet Romeo (the last pic) - he will show you a thing or two. 2-phase boss fights can be overwhelming, but fear not - you can summon a helper to help you (and it's indended to play like that). No coop (too bad). And it's fine, considering you can micromanage your character via levels, P-Organ (Quartz upgrades), Legion arm... I don't have enough letters to express my positive feelings for this part of the game.

I don’t want to go deep into the combat segment, I just want to say that not often I play a game that perfectly balances almost everything.

All blades come with a handle. You can combine different blades and handles, which then carries over the handle move set and special attack and combines with the blade. Boss weapons cannot be combined like this, but often they have unique, devastating finisher skills. Weapons can be upgraded to increase the stats. Not only that, but you can change the scaling category so the weapon can fit your character build.

There are also Quartz stones used to upgrade your potion numbers, resistance, you name it… Combine this with different grindstones that enhance your weapon attribute for a period, secondary items and amulets, and you have a build fantasy game. Everything you do matters. You can find that perfect spot by micromanaging your character to its fullest. My dream was the medium build with some cool, ass weapon that has awesome stagger move sets. I found that. Combat and boss fights are what shines in this game. Every boss fight, every area comes with unique challenges. Variety should be praised – both the locations and enemies.

Lastly, if you think the variety of your skills stops here, you’re dead wrong. With more than 5 Legion arms (like prostatic arms in Sekiro) you can use that left mechanical hand to attack with magic moves that can really change the outcome in fights. Of course, when you spend the juice, it’s either a checkpoint visit or item usage – or some Quartz skills to regenerate this in certain conditions. It’s a challenge not to find something you like in combat.

Sometimes the elite mini-boss challenges tends to be tougher than the real, main chapter boss fights. I loved that! Upgrading your Legion arm to get new and stronger skills is a must, and a huge help. Having more weapon and arm slots is optional, but also an option! 

This is a typical “souls” game where you need to find stuff and survive until the next checkpoint – called Stargazer. They are used to teleport, heal you and restore the potions and such. They also respawn enemies. Enemies gives EXP (Ergo) and items. The game is mostly linear, but it has that perfect amount of exploration and challenge. There is almost no backtracking, and where there is - it’s unique and different.

I love the dungeon design, enemy variety and boss designs. I think the atmosphere is so good, you will never think that his is a fairy tale. It’s a nightmare with puppets!

If you feel like resting, you can move to Hotel Krat (serves as a hub) and talk with NPCs while listening to records you’ve found. It’s such a nice and cosy place where everybody knows your name. Doing quests for NPCs always felt rewarding.

The outcome at the end is determined whether you like or tell the truth during many conversations. I loved all 3 endings! Of course, some rewards and trophies are also behind your choices, so plan well!

Do you like ti lie, or do you want to play the piano? You can do both!

You know, all I talked about is something that was seen in games already. That is the truth, we cannot neglect that. But I also say – it’s not a problem if you do something similar but pack it in your own package that is worthy of our time. This is a game that follows that principle at its fullest.

All you can find here is what you’ve seen and experienced if you’re a fan of the genre. Considering it’s a hard game where you need to practice every boss fight for some time, many of you will for sure skip on this gem.

If you ask me, this is not another “souls” game, it’s like FromSoftware did it themselves. Yeah, I would even say it’s better than some “From” games (don’t judge me!). A game where everybody knows your name, and you know its signature from the start. A game where boss fights are so much fun (apart from the frustration). Also, a game with weird camera and awkward parry moments, stable framerate and occasional graphical glitch. Let’s just finish… Play this game, it’s bloody awesome.

"Not yet another copy, but a proud puppet which became a master on its own. For all Sekiro and Bloodborne fans – here is something as much as good."
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