Lies of P: Unveiling the Enthralling Gothic Action-RPG

Lies of P, a challenging gothic action-RPG, draws inspiration from FromSoftwares Soulslike formula. It offers a clear narrative, intense combat, and a captivating Belle Époque-era setting.

Meta Description: Lies of P, the first Soulslike from Neowiz Games and Round8 Studio, offers a captivating gothic action-RPG experience that pays homage to FromSoftware while carving its own path. This review explores the game's narrative, gameplay, challenging bosses, stunning visuals, and its deep understanding of Soulslike design.

Lies of P: A Frustrating Yet Enthralling Gothic Action-RPG

The allure of Lies of P lies in its ability to frustrate and captivate simultaneously. As the first Soulslike venture from developers Neowiz Games and Round8 Studio, this gothic action-RPG consistently leaves players struggling, no matter how many times they level up. It's undeniably aggravating, and yet, the game possesses an irresistible quality that keeps drawing players away from the comforts of their Starfield spaceship and into the chaos of "Pinocchio Souls." The South Korean duo behind this creation has done more than just borrow from the FromSoftware formula; they've internalized what makes the Japanese studio's game design so compelling, and Lies of P's excellent gameplay is a testament to that understanding. While it may not reinvent the wheel, it certainly stands out in the crowded Soulslike genre, providing the satisfaction of scratching that persistent Bloodborne itch.

Unraveling the Puppetry of Lies of P

Loosely based on the story of Pinocchio, Lies of P plunges players into a world gone mad. A puppet frenzy has decimated most of the human population in the once-prosperous city of Krat, leaving behind a plague known as the petrification disease that transforms the remaining inhabitants into grotesque blue bulbous monsters. Chaos reigns as buildings burn, homes are ransacked, and streets run red. To compound the crisis, Geppetto, the creator of these malevolent puppets, is missing. As the protagonist, known as P, your mission is twofold: find your missing father and halt the rampaging puppets while unraveling the mystery behind the viral infection plaguing the city.

Lies of P offers a refreshingly straightforward narrative, a departure from FromSoftware's penchant for cryptic storytelling. Cutscenes bookend most chapters, and returning to Hotel Krat, the central hub area, prompts NPCs to provide exposition regarding world changes and mission objectives. The game's characters react to your choices, both in dialogue responses and outfit selections, and certain bosses adapt their behavior based on your actions in Krat. While you can delve into item descriptions for additional lore, Lies of P presents a clear and concise narrative that doesn't require players to sift through menus or decipher cryptic clues. It offers a story that is both engaging and comprehensible from the outset.

Combat: The Heart of Lies of P

Combat constitutes a significant portion of the Lies of P experience, and it is unrelenting. Being a Soulslike, players can expect to respawn repeatedly at the nearest Stargazer, the game's equivalent of bonfires. The standard moveset includes blocking, light and heavy attacks, dodging, and special moves called Fable Arts, each with its own rechargeable gauge. Stamina and weight management add depth to combat, influencing attack strategies and tactics.

Lies of P shares many similarities with Bloodborne, particularly in its visuals, but it aligns more closely with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Like Sekiro, precise timing is crucial for guarding effectively. Mastering the perfect guard is essential to negate damage and, after a series of successful perfect guards, breaking an opponent's weapon. However, the window for executing this maneuver is narrow, and failure often results in a punishing counterattack. The game's deliberate animations for various actions, including attacks, dodges, and item usage, demand careful timing. Achieving mastery in perfect guarding becomes a player's lifeline during challenging boss encounters, which Lies of P boasts in abundance.

The game introduces players to an array of formidable bosses, each more intimidating than the last. From a colossal parade master wielding its own head as a weapon to a Lovecraftian slug creature bestowing poisonous kisses, from a quartet of highly skilled masked warriors to a grotesque human monstrosity, Lies of P presents a rogues' gallery of adversaries. These boss fights, following the Soulslike tradition, serve as significant skill checks and conclude each of the game's 11 chapters. While some boss encounters may feel cheaper than others, a few feature even more punishing second phases that challenge players to question their abilities or their need to "git gud." In truth, it often feels like a combination of both factors contributes to the game's formidable difficulty.

One notable issue in combat is animation recovery, which sees P taking considerable time to return to a neutral position before executing another action. This issue can lead to frustrating moments, particularly for those approaching Lies of P with a Bloodborne mindset rather than a Sekiro one. However, the game's relentless challenge fosters a sense of exhilaration after successfully overcoming these demanding foes, offering players a gratifying experience, further enhanced by the beautifully diverse in-game locales.

A World of Elegance and Decay

Lies of P unfolds against the backdrop of Belle Époque-era France, a setting that influences the game's aesthetics significantly. Cobblestone streets and grand cathedrals provide players with ample opportunities for exploration. Dilapidated villages and underground chasms await spelunkers, offering a blend of steampunk aesthetics and gory visuals. This mixture creates a unique atmosphere that lies between the gruesome horror of Bloodborne and the mechanical beauty of Steelrising. Blood and oil stain the alleyways, human corpses and dismembered puppets adorn the buildings, and the entire environment appears to be in a state of ruin. Amidst the wreckage, wilted flowers offer a poignant contrast. This juxtaposition between the macabre and the opulent exudes a captivating allure. The game occasionally returns players to cathedrals, and their similarity may give the impression that Krat is not as expansive as it initially appears.

Nevertheless, Lies of P excels in its attention to detail and the meticulous design of its levels. It opts for a more linear approach reminiscent of Demon's Souls' interlocking pathways rather than the open-world scale of Elden Ring. This design choice imbues Lies of P with a remarkable sense of place, evoking a world that feels both alive and inhabited. Characters in the game reminisce about the past while lamenting the present, crafting an evocative setting that balances clarity and mystery. This atmospheric world invites players to savor the ambiance under the glow of street lamps and chandelier lighting.

A Soulful Understanding of Design

Lies of P stands out among non-FromSoftware titles for its profound comprehension of Soulslike design. While the genre is characterized by interconnected levels and punishing combat, it also elicits a sense of accomplishment with each stage progression. FromSoftware's games amplify these emotions through precise combat mechanics and intricate world-building, leaving players breathless after intense boss encounters or upon discovering stunning new areas.

While Lies of P may not match the meticulousness and intricacy of a Dark Souls game, Neowiz Games and Round8 Studio have come remarkably close. If you were to claim that this was a FromSoftware creation, it would be a believable assertion. The game proudly wears its inspirations on its robot arms, delivering an experience that,

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