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Lies of P Review - Nose Way You Should Miss This Soulslike Action Title

Lies of P Review written by Ophidian Mind


Lies of P

PC/XBOX/PS

9/18/23

NEOWIZ



When Lies of P was announced, it seemed so surreal that a game with such an interesting concept existed. In fact, I had to check again to see if I had interpreted the announcement correctly. Mixing Dark Souls with Pinocchio is an idea so bizarre it may seem a bit unusual, but does Lies of P manage to combine its unique backdrop and punishing gameplay loop into something compelling? Let's find out, I promise to be truthful in my examination and just because my nose is big doesn't mean that I'm lying.


Lies of P takes place in the city of Krat where the residents are in peril both because of a deadly disease that is spreading and because the mechanical puppets who were created to serve humans have violently turned against them. The streets are filled with human corpses and the few survivors remaining are scattered throughout the city. A group of humans calling themselves Stalkers don costumes and battle against the puppets for various reasons, many of them working as mercenaries. Gepetto, who initially designed the puppets, creates a unique puppet of his own that is more human-like and has the potential to save Krat from threats that are on the verge of destroying the city.


The puppets and much of the technology in Krat are powered by an energy called “ergo” and P is awakened by Sophia, a human who has the ability to control and interact with ergo. She tells P to come and find her at the Hotel Krat, where surviving humans have set up a base of operations to attempt to regain control of the city. The introduction to the game involves P heading off to meet Sophia and the basics of the game are taught in the process. Once you have met her, she sends you to rescue Geppetto and after accomplishing that, more of the game opens up and you can get more upgrade options with Geppetto's help.


a man with a machine arm
Soulslike is an understatement as Lies of P is brutally tough

Players are given the choice of starting as one of three classes that are each assigned a path. The Path of the Cricket starts with the Puppet's Blade weapon and is a balanced class that begins distributing stats more evenly, allowing you to use the vast majority of weapons. The Path of the Bastard starts you with the Wintry Rapier weapon and is a class focused on dexterity and speed. It gives you more stamina and evasion, but at the cost of strength and the ability to carry a large amount of items. The Path of the Sweeper starts you with the Great Sword of Fate and is a class that allows you to deal more damage and have higher HP but at the cost of having lower stamina and speed.


When leveling up, players can choose which stats to upgrade so it is also possible to eventually make a custom build for your character regardless of what class you started with. Vitality increases HP, Vigor increases stamina, capacity increases guard regain, motivity increases weight limit and physical defense, technique increases attack, and advance increases elemental defenses. What class to begin with and what stats to upgrade will depend on personal preference with your playing style. It’s ultimately up to you to decide which stats will be the most beneficial to increase.


The weapons you receive can also be customized because they are composed of a handle, which determines the attack patterns of the weapon, and the blade, which determines the kind of damage it does. Both handles and blades also have their own attack stats, so you can mix and match blades and handles to create custom weapons at locations across the world. Weapons also have a durability meter and when it is diminished, you will only be able to perform a weak attack with a single strike. The way to increase the durability is by using a grinder, which will take a few seconds to restore to full durability, or to use a consumable repair kit item that will restore durability instantly.


Throughout Krat you will find items called stargazers that have a similar function to the campfires in the Dark Souls series. Interacting with these refills' health, saves the game, refills your pulse charges that restore HP, and also causes defeated enemies in an area to respawn. In the early part of the game, you can also increase your level at a stargazer, but once you meet Sophia you will have to return to Hotel Krat and speak with her to do so. The number of levels you can gain before meeting Sophia is capped, but you can gain levels freely once you have met her.


dark streets
The atmosphere is bleak and very impressive.

In addition to weapons, you also have defensive parts and amulets you can equip that will boost stats, give elemental resistances, or increase certain kinds of damage of weapons. Your left arm can also be replaced with other arms you obtain, each granting you a special ability that's use is limited by a meter. This meter can be restored through using consumable items or through interacting with a stargazer. Your default left arm does a powerful physical attack, but you will later receive abilities like a hook shot which functions similarly to Scorpion's "get over here" spear attack in Mortal Kombat. This was my personal favorite.


There are also special attacks called fable arts that are charged via a meter as you dish out damage to enemies. These can be used to provide quick attacks that allow for a considerable amount of punishment, but they will also do a lot of bonus damage if an enemy is stunned. An enemy's health bar is surrounded by a white outline indicating that it is stunned and using either fable arts or your more powerful charged attack will do a lot of extra damage as well. Saving your fable arts for these moments easily finishes enemies off or drains a considerable amount of their HP in a short amount of time.


Both guarding and dodging can be important combat skills depending on your class. All guarding is done with your weapon and heavier weapons will provide additional protection from damage. Performing a perfect guard, which is essentially parrying, allows you to take no damage from an attack and it also damages the enemy's weapon, potentially leaving them stunned. What method you use to deal with enemy attacks will depend on your stat build, equipment, and playing style, so there are multiple ways to handle a situation in Lies of P.


The combat in Lies of P is really enjoyable, and getting the feel for it along with improving your stats and skills is very satisfying. While the game is brutally difficult even by souls-like standards, learning to succeed is a matter of learning more about your enemy's strengths and attack patterns. You’ll need to discover how to increase your strength and implement strategies if you hope to stand a chance. So, while the game is very challenging, Lies of P also feels fair. The boss fights are incredibly fun and even though you might get your ass kicked multiple times, finally getting your revenge after learning attack patterns provides a very sweet and satisfying victory, eventually.


A house with people
Lies of P has many systems but souls veterans shouldn't have an issue

Lies of P also features a system in which you can get assistance before a major boss fight through the use of an item called a star fragment. These can be found or obtained through enemy drops and using them on an item located next to the door that leads to a boss fight will summon a ghost to help you. This is similar to a summon in the Souls games, an AI-controlled character that will join you in the battle against the boss. These creatures will have their own HP and then disappear once that has been depleted or after the boss has been defeated. These are very useful for getting some extra hits in and also drawing the aggro of bosses. This is especially helpful for those playing as the Sweeper class, because while a boss is distracted, you can get in charged attacks you wouldn't be able to do otherwise that will do massive amounts of damage.


Once you have rescued Geppetto and he has arrived at Hotel Krat, you can then use the P-Organ device to use quartz fragments that provide upgrades that can be chosen from a skill tree. Each segment on the skill tree has two slots where skills can be chosen for the price of one quartz fragment, and gaining more segments will increase the number of energy pulses you can use to restore your HP. The skills improve the stats of one of your abilities, such as taking less damage when guarding or doing more of certain types of damage to enemies.


Lying also has a role in the gameplay and story. Unlike other puppets, P has the ability to lie. Because of this and his more human-like appearance, he can pass for a human in some situations and use this to his advantage. Successfully performing lies is often linked to a side quest with some kind of reward and some of the ways in which it is implemented is rather creative.


Lies of P has a captivating look and feel to it that makes it easy to get pulled into its fictional world while playing. There is a heavy, gloomy atmosphere as you traverse the cities filled with death and despair. A mix of ambient sounds and low drones bring this world to life and provide a sense of tension. Enemies are scattered about in and around corners and some of them are lying down until you come into their proximity, so it may be difficult to tell them apart from all of the human corpses you see filling the streets. This creates a strong feeling of uncertainty that makes the experience all the more exciting.


city streets
Such a strange concept and yet it works!

All in all, Lies of P looks, sounds, and plays great and also executes the seemingly bizarre theme of the story in a compelling, immersive and memorable way. If I didn't already know otherwise and someone told me it was developed by From Software, I would believe it. That isn't to say that it doesn't have an original voice of its own, because it does, but that the quality of the game on every level is just that high.


While Lies of P probably won't appeal to players who don’t enjoy the souls-like genre, fans of the style will find much to love. It is a new classic and that is why I am happy to award Lies of P a Golden Genie Lamp of Approval. It is a must-play for souls-like fans. Lies of P is an awesome game worthy of your attention and that is no lie.



Golden Genie Lamp


Pros

-Looks and sounds beautiful and creates a fascinating world to explore

-Great combat and fun gameplay

-Interesting and unique take on a familiar story that is well-done and compelling


Cons

-The difficulty will be overwhelming for players who aren't fans of souls-likes

- Lots of systems could leave certain players a bit confused or overwhelmed


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