Lies of P is a recreation that does not make an entire lot of sense. Made by South Korean crew Round8 Studio, it feels just like the product of a developer taking its second and even third swing on the Souls-like method. It places nearly all of different titles impressed by Darkish Souls to disgrace, but the one different recreation to the identify of Round8 Studio is an MMORPG known as Bless Unleashed. How has a comparatively unknown developer managed to prime a number of the trade’s elite with higher fight, intensive customisation, and high quality presentation? Lies of P is a recreation that does not make an entire lot of sense, however what’s abundantly clear is it is one thing FromSoftware followers cannot afford to overlook.
A passing look on the title would seemingly draw comparisons to Bloodborne, and whereas it does use the identical set dressing of Victorian London, Lies of P goes above and past to face by itself two toes. By retelling the story of Pinocchio in a considerably darker method as town of Krat is gripped by an animatronic revolt, the sport units itself aside from nearly another online game ever produced. Terrifying puppets roam the streets. Killer clowns are boss fights. Conventional kids’s toys turn out to be extra of a nightmare than a supply of pleasure.
It is a very distinctive course to take, nevertheless it’s one which pays off because the Timothée Chalamet knock-off of a primary character battles between the stereotypes of a puppet and embracing the ideas and emotions of a human. This inside wrestle is introduced to you as choices to make all through the sport which result in one of some completely different endings. You’ll be able to inform the reality, or lie and begin working in the direction of changing your wood limbs with actual flesh.
With wind-up keys protruding out the backs of enemies and purposefully wood animations to replicate the jerky motion of puppets, Round8 Studio totally commits to the aesthetic and would not miss a beat. It could have been the butt of some jokes earlier than launch, however the design decisions and inspirations of Lies of P make for a first-rate expertise. Now you are not going to neglect about “that puppet recreation” for all the appropriate causes.
What’s much more spectacular is our compliments prolong to the general presentation. It isn’t boasting top-of-the-line visuals like a Naughty Canine title, however the recreation presents the whole lot so immaculately at a rock-solid 60 frames-per-second. From the spectacular opening credit cutscene to the satisfying on-screen animations when a boss is crushed, it is clear a lot love and care has been put into perfecting even probably the most minute of particulars. It is a thriller how Round8 Studio has completed it, however Lies of P sports activities some breathtaking manufacturing values. Even the primary menu updates with new background scenes to replicate the place you might be within the marketing campaign — it is actually pleasing stuff.
None of this could matter if the sport wasn’t really enjoyable to play, nevertheless it’s backed by a very good fight system and a good higher suite of upgrades and customisation choices. It is structured similar to a typical FromSoftware expertise previous to Elden Ring, with linear environments funnelling you thru enemy encounters, objects and secrets and techniques, and unlockable shortcuts to make future runs simpler. You may acquire Ergo (Souls) to stage up your character at Stargazers (Bonfires), and retreat to a house base at a resort the place varied NPCs act as distributors, improve specialists, and quest givers.
Lies of P is at its most reserved when it is conforming to the fundamentals of what it means to be a Souls-like. There are few surprises within the normal gameplay loop; if you happen to’ve performed a FromSoftware recreation or any one of many many copycats, then the expertise will really feel like consolation meals. To its profit, although, the title has a number of issues to name its personal to kill any Bloodborne rip-off claims.
With a weapon in your proper hand, your left is interchangeable with Legion Arms granting you completely different skills. You’ll be able to package your construct out with something from a flamethrower or a protect to armour-piercing bullets and landmines, all designed as a get-out clause for when the going will get actually powerful. They broaden the chances of fight, providing up possibilities to chain injury from one hand to the opposite, delivering conventional sword slashes alongside an electrical shock. They’re all very satisfying to make use of, bettered by upgrades to make them much more viable throughout fight.
Lies of P additionally gives the same old kind of weapon enhancements you’d count on out of a Souls-like (gathering oddly named improve supplies) alongside the traditional levelling-up system to spice up your vitality, stamina, and assault energy. As well as, a P-Organ mechanic gives extra vital upgrades. By gathering Quartz off highly effective enemies or from particular chests, you possibly can tune your wood physique to have extra Pulse Cell (your Estus Flask) makes use of, prolong the timing home windows of sure assaults, or allow you to equip extra Amulets without delay, amongst others.
Moreover, most weapons are available in two components: its blade after which the deal with. Utilizing a vendor again at resort Krat, you possibly can combine and match swords, daggers, and greatswords by attaching their blades to completely different handles for various results and talents. It is a actually neat spin on customisation, providing one other layer from which to supply an ideal construct. Altering how your weapon swings and the kind of expertise it has entry to, you possibly can give you some fascinating mixtures to get a leg up on the enemy.
Whenever you’re constantly upgrading one factor or one other all through the 25-hour playthrough, you possibly can actually really feel your character develop in power to a satisfying diploma. With new weapons with completely different playstyles and Fable Arts (particular assaults) to experiment with, the sport gives a incredible quantity of customisation and enchancment choices.
The one subject is you’d must grind out these improve methods a severe quantity to keep away from any of the mid-game problem spikes. Lies of P is possibly one step under a Darkish Souls expertise by way of total problem, making it a extremely good entry level if you happen to want to give the style a attempt. That’s till some excessively tough boss encounters block your progress. You’ll be able to summon in an AI companion to assist out (there is no on-line co-op for teaming up with a good friend), however even with some help, one or two encounters really feel unbalanced to the purpose of frustration. To be clear: they gave us extra hassle than the ultimate boss did.
One other space the place the sport cannot fairly match a few of its friends is the extent design. It’s totally linear, which is not any dangerous factor in itself, nevertheless it will get to the purpose the place new places begin to really feel a bit too predictable. Upon reaching a brand new space, there’ll all the time be one path by way of to the subsequent mainline boss after which the odd aspect avenue with a chest or secret on the finish. Certainly, that is how a variety of linear titles are structured, nevertheless it’s so blatant in Lies of P that the expertise very not often surprises you with what may be across the nook. It makes exploring late-game areas somewhat uninteresting past admiring the visible backdrops.
You would improve the decision for some higher graphical splendour by deciding on the sport’s High quality Mode, however this unlocks the framerate to the place it will hover wherever between 30 and 60fps. The Efficiency Mode just about locks the title to the latter, making for an especially easy expertise. Whereas it is the easiest way to play Lies of P, a scarcity of haptic suggestions and adaptive set off assist means you most likely will not really feel such as you’re getting the whole lot doable out of the PS5 model.
Lies of P seems like the results of a developer having already taken a number of stabs on the Souls-like style, so it is spectacular that Round8 Studio has completed a lot on its first try. By totally embracing its darkish tackle the Pinocchio story, it units itself aside from anything obtainable. Elevating it above different video games are high quality fight and intensive, satisfying customisation, turning Lies of P right into a first-class expertise for FromSoftware fanatics.