Lies of P Preview - The Dark Souls of Classic Literature

Published: June 8, 2023 3:55 PM /

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Lies of P Preview

There is no question that games like Dark Souls have shaped much of the modern gameplay landscape. When you have studios outside of From Software claiming their game is an “action Souls-like” title, you know you’ve done something right. Such is the case with Neowiz’s upcoming RPG Lies of P. Although “Souls-like” in structure, Lies of P aims to be something a little more off the cuff than many of the other games we’ve seen fill the now storied genre.

Instead of taking from the likes of medieval fantasy, George R.R. Martin, or Japanese folklore, Lies of P digs deep into classic literature, framing itself around Carlo Collodi’s "The Adventures of Pinocchio". This take on that universe isn’t one molded for children, however. Lies of P makes this clear right out of the gate – it’s dark, bloody and will try your patience more often than not as Souls-like games are wont to do. I had a go at two chapters of the game ahead of its September 19 release date, which came packed as part of a lengthy demo.

My time with Lies of P opened up with a quick tutorial of sorts, which is really strung along the way as P, the main character, has to make his way from a train and into a station where things have seemingly gone awry. It’s dark, dreary, and right away there’s evidence that violent things have been happening here. Certainly, this is made even clearer as P is thrust into his first encounter. Before heading out P can select from a range of combat play styles. This seems to be important because it will affect how you approach encounters. For example, the Path of the Cricket offers balance, while the Path of the Bastard gives dexterity. The Path of the Sweeper, however, is keyed to strength and this reflects in P’s weapons accordingly.

Lies of P Train Station

Once decided, P will then enter the Krat Central Station and from here the goal is to find Geppetto while hopefully remaining alive. To facilitate this, Lies of P’s combat system is about what anyone might expect from a Souls-like. There tends to be no use in just hacking and slashing about by pressing the shoulder buttons, instead, there’s an element of approach and tactics that aren’t always flashy in order to defeat the numerous enemies scattered about. Frankly, I found even the base enemies packed quite a punch, most specifically when having to deal with more than one at a time, so I learned quickly that I had to be careful – especially with healing items as scarce as they are.

Of course, all of this is intentional and is to be expected in a Souls-like game. Lies of P takes that further by introducing a number of customizations for P. First and foremost, P can splice together weapon blades and handles, which give different stats depending on what is created. The weapons themselves have abilities known as Fable Arts, a pair of abilities for the blade and handle each. Additionally, P can loadout his arm with attributes that include strength, elemental damage, or utility. It’s a unique crafting mechanic that I found worthwhile to put some time into finding which one suited me best.

On top of all that, P can increase his attributes by spending currency known as Ergo. Don’t be like me and forget about this, or else you’ll get trounced in the demo’s boss encounters. There are two of them and they’re pretty tough. Should P die, he can return and recover his lost Ergo before heading back in and trying again. The bosses I’ve seen so far in Lies of P are notable for multiple phases as well as their specific quirks. The boss battles are where you’ll really need to put P’s loadouts to the test so don’t be weary about trying to get a handle on them on some of the normal enemies. Keeping items on hand is a must too in case things go south quickly. P has several slots to place inventory for quick use using the directional buttons on a controller setup.

Lies of P Stat Menu

The gameplay loop continues outside of combat with various quests P can take on and exploration. The station, for example, is quite big and I spent a lot of time looking for items while making sure I wasn’t going to be ambushed by some wayward enemy. That coupled with the intricate character design and art direction have Lies of P looking like a fantastical world that just begs to be played in. As someone who only knows the barest of details surrounding the original novel and has only seen the Disney animated film, there’s a lot to unpack here and even elements that are familiar, such as Gemini or P himself, have been crafted in a unique way I’m keen on seeing more of.

This slice of game, despite treading similar lines as other Souls-like games, seems to elevate the experience enough with its unique features and twisting of a literature classic. It’ll be interesting to see just how much further the development team has pushed the darker themes they’re going for, and if it will be able to further separate itself from its contemporaries when Lies of P releases in just a few months.

TechRaptor was able to preview a demo of Lies of P on PC with a copy provided by the developer over the course of 3 hours of gameplay - all screenshots were taken during the process of the preview.

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More Info About This Game
Learn more about Lies of P
Game Page Lies of P
Release Date
September 19, 2023 (Calendar)
Action, RPG, Soulslike
Purchase (Some links may be affiliated)