Lies of P takes players on a fresh journey into the well-known Pinocchio tale, adding a unique twist to the narrative. Developed by Round8 Studio and NEOWIZ Games, you step into the wooden shoes of Pinocchio, a puppet on a mission to rescue his creator, Geppetto. The backdrop is a steampunk-infused world plagued by a mysterious outbreak. As you progress, you’ll explore this intriguing world, confront formidable foes, and tackle intricate puzzles.
AT A GLANCE
Developer: Round8 Studio
Publisher: NEOWIZ Games
Release Date: 18 Sep, 2023
FINAL SCORE: 9/10
The narrative in Lies of P is a captivating journey, meticulously designed to draw players into its enigmatic world. Let’s explore the narrative while drawing parallels with FromSoftware’s iconic soulslike games, all without revealing any spoilers.
The game’s setting places you in the city of Krat, a steampunk-inspired locale reminiscent of Europe during the Belle Époque era. In this world, automated puppets play a pivotal role in daily life and mark a significant cultural and technological evolution.
As you awaken as Pinocchio, a mysterious magic brings you to a city in chaos. On one front, the puppets have gone berserk, turning against humans and their city. On the other, a devastating plague has struck, turning people into stone.
Much like FromSoftware’s soulslike titles, our protagonist remains silent, allowing players to immerse themselves in the world. Your initial objective is to locate and rescue your creator, Geppetto, to unravel the unfolding catastrophe.
The narrative in Lies of P plays a central role, and I’ll avoid revealing too much to prevent spoilers. However, fans of the original Pinocchio story will likely recognize iconic characters like Geppetto and the cricket, who accompany you throughout the adventure, adding depth and familiarity to the game’s plot.
What sets Lies of P apart from traditional soulslike games is the unique lie system. In this game, Pinocchio can choose to lie to NPCs, influencing their actions and the overall storyline. Your choices, whether through dialogues or actions, carry weight and shape the unfolding narrative. The ability to lie, typically a trait of humans, humanizes Pinocchio unusually and intriguingly.
Throughout the game, you’ll be faced with decisions, both in dialogues and actions, that impact the course of the story, ultimately leading to various endings. These choices give players a sense of agency and influence over the narrative’s direction, reminiscent of the branching paths found in FromSoftware’s titles.
As you interact with a diverse cast of characters, you’ll discover that each one possesses their own unique stories and motivations. The central base serves as a hub where many of these characters reside, and it plays a pivotal role not only in advancing the plot but also in character development.
In terms of structure, Lies of P features interconnected maps divided into acts, maintaining the soulslike essence while offering a relatively linear path. This linear design ensures players always have a clear sense of direction, which is essential in the soulslike genre. At the end of each act, a formidable boss encounter awaits, with the option to summon a spectral ally for assistance, akin to summoning in FromSoftware’s games.
The game’s setting is nothing short of breathtaking, and players will likely draw parallels to the dark and eerie atmospheres of FromSoftware’s titles. This atmospheric resemblance is evident in the visual design of the maps, the diverse array of enemies, and the unique weaponry and abilities at your disposal. However, Lies of P manages to carve out its own identity, blending elements from both Dark Souls and Bloodborne to create a distinct gaming experience.
Combat in Lies of P is a notable highlight. The game offers a wide variety of weapons for your right hand, each with its own distinct statistics and special abilities. The ability to customize your weapon’s grip further adds depth to combat, allowing players to tailor their playstyle to their preferences.
Lies of P adopts the familiar soulslike mechanic of collecting souls, referred to as ergo in the game, from fallen foes. These ergo can level up your character and enhance specific attributes. Each type of ergo scales with a particular attribute, incentivizing players to focus on specific statistics to suit their chosen playstyle.
Your left arm in the game is a robotic appendage, that can be customized to offer various functionalities, including a shield arm, flamethrower, electrical fist, and even the ability to deploy mines. This level of customization allows players to adapt to different combat situations and experiment with various strategies.
When it comes to defense, you can equip amulets to bolster your defenses and gain passive abilities. However, it’s important to note that clothing in the game is purely cosmetic, with defensive statistics primarily influenced by equipped amulets and other items.
Visuals, Audio, and Technical Performance
The visual design in Lies of P is a feast for the eyes, crafting a dark and atmospheric world that draws players into its hauntingly beautiful landscapes. In this section, we’ll explore the game’s visual aspects while maintaining a balanced tone.
The game’s steampunk-inspired city of Krat serves as the backdrop for your adventure. It’s a place that exudes both charm and eerie foreboding. Drawing inspiration from Europe’s Belle Époque era, Krat feels like a living, breathing character in its own right. The intricate details in the city’s architecture, from the cobbled streets to the towering clockwork structures, immerse players in a rich and captivating world.
As you navigate the city’s bustling streets and delve into its abandoned laboratories, you’ll quickly realize that Lies of P pays meticulous attention to environmental storytelling. Each location has a unique story to tell, hinting at the grandeur and decay that define Krat’s history. The juxtaposition of the city’s once-thriving past and its current state of desolation adds depth to the narrative.
Enemies and bosses in Lies of P are equally well-crafted in terms of visual design. From grotesque abominations to nightmarish creatures, each foe feels like a product of the game’s dark and twisted world. The attention to detail in their animations and designs makes every encounter a visual spectacle.
One cannot help but draw parallels to the works of FromSoftware in Lies of P’s visuals. The game’s dark and eerie atmospheres, reminiscent of Bloodborne, create a sense of unease and anticipation around every corner. At the same time, elements of Dark Souls influence the game’s interface and certain design aspects.
Lies of P manages to blend these inspirations into a unique identity. The game maintains a consistent and enthralling visual style that is entirely its own. It’s a world that feels simultaneously haunting and captivating, ensuring that players remain visually engaged throughout their journey.
The game’s soundtrack, composed by a talented team, seamlessly blends with the steampunk-inspired atmosphere of Krat. Haunting melodies and ambient sounds create an eerie and suspenseful backdrop, intensifying the sense of foreboding as you explore the city.
Sound design is meticulously crafted, with every footstep, weapon clash, and enemy growl contributing to the overall atmosphere. The audio cues for approaching dangers and hidden secrets add to the tension, keeping players on edge throughout their journey.
Voice acting, while sparingly used, is executed with precision, bringing key characters to life and adding depth to their personalities.
Lies of P ran smoothly for us on the PlayStation 5, although we do recommend the high FPS mode over the quality mode because in a game like this, smooth performance really helps in combat.