Lies of P was reviewed on PC.
After the long wait, Neowiz Games’ Lies of P is finally here. With its amazing demo that was released back in June, the game has made a huge splash in the month of September. I had personally been looking forward to this title for a while. Now that it’s here, does it live up to expectations? Is it as good as the demo released back in June? Well, here’s our review of this dark fairytale.
Puppet Frenzy and the Plague
The city of Krat was an advanced city. Way ahead of its time with the innovation of robotic puppets to serve humans in any way possible. Suddenly, something happens to where they start attacking any organic being. The way the game sets up the dark atmosphere was truly haunting as a picture show-like introduction plays, depicting all the violent bloodshed that happens in the city. The game throws you right into the atmosphere without messing around and that’s exactly how I like it. No drawn-out dialogue or exposition. You learn and adapt as you go.
The poor citizens of Krat have much more to deal with besides the violent puppets. There’s a mysterious disease known as the Petrification Disease plaguing the city. There is no cure, so people who are infected are forced into quarantine and await their painful deaths. What’s worse, many of the afflicted don’t necessarily die, but turn into gruesome monsters. It’s a very bad time to be a human in the city of Krat.
Fight and Survive
Naturally, the game is inspired by Dark Souls, which I’m sure you’ve heard a lot. It’s very true. Fighting is not reduced to a simple hack-and-slash, but patiently coordinated attacks. The game heavily encourages you to learn how to block and perry, because there are certain enemies who are relentless. It’s never wise to take on multiple enemies at a time because they can wipe you out in under 10 seconds.
I’ve briefly gone over how fighting goes in the Lies of P in the demo review, but I’ll go over it here again. At the start of the game, you’re given three combat choices: Balance, Dexterity, and Strength. Depending on what you choose will set your stats at the beginning of the game. But if you realize you don’t like what you started with, you can always change your weapons and level up your attributes to create your own style. The attributes to P are as follows:
- Vitality – Your health
- Vigor – Your stamina
- Capacity – How much you can carry.
- Motivity – Your attack with certain weapons
- Technique – Your attack with certain weapons
- Advance – Your resistance against different elements
You level up by defeating enemies. They drop this special blue substance called Ergo. This serves as both experience points as well as the game currency. You can level up P by going to some of the checkpoints and at Hotel Krat which is mentioned below. Be careful, because if you were to die, P will lose some of his Ergo. You will have to fight your way back to get it back.
No More Haven
The main “safe” haven in the game is Hotel Krat. There, you can interact with NPCs, craft and upgrade weapons, and level up. And throughout the world, there are checkpoints known as Stargazers. When you approach one, you are given several options. You can return to Hotel Krat, you can quick travel to other stargazers you’ve discovered, change your weapons, and restore your health.
The issue with restoring your health, however, is that all enemies will respawn in the area (except the bosses). Your health gets restored, and your items also get replenished, but you may have to fight your way again. So, it’s always a strategy when you find these safe points. Choosing to restore your health could help you, or it could make you waste time.
While it seems barren, I found myself revisiting the hotel quite a bit. Whenever I just needed to take a break, I would talk to some of the people at the hotel. It’s a good idea to do so because they will provide little tidbits here and there that may help you figure out what the heck is going on. It also might make you think twice about how you deal with survivors. Many times, I would stop and contemplate on what a character would say and hope that it doesn’t come back to haunt me later.
Weapon Customization and Useable Items
Leveling up your attributes isn’t the only way to succeed in this game. You’re also given the ability to create your own weapons, technically. Each weapon you receive can be disassembled and paired with something else. I heavily recommend doing so, because as the enemies get tougher, you may need to get creative and use your own combination. Each style of sword has its own attack pattern. I preferred the quick weapons. Later on, though, I ended up relying on the ones that were slower to wield but delivered powerful blows.
Useable items are also extremely helpful. There are several instances where you need to get a jumpstart in attacking your enemy from a distance. The game provides you with a variety of throwable items to use to your advantage. While I did die a lot, using different throwable items, especially elemental ones saved me from banging my head against my keyboard.
It is quite easy to run out however, so you must really pick and choose when and where you use them. Though I found if I really needed to get more, I would respawn enemies back in an area and go through them to pick up the items. Trust me, it’s worth it. Farming could be your best friend. A lot of us hate farming, but it’s a necessary evil if you value your sanity.
Facing the Bosses
The sheer dread I have every time I come across a big door and a small star fountain right next to it, I can’t even begin to explain. When you come across this in the game, you know you’re about to face off against something big and ugly. There are items you can collect called star fragments. If you have these, you can deposit one into the fountain to call on an otherworldly being to fight with you. I used it all the time because these bosses can be a nightmare to begin with.
Every boss you face has an insane introduction sequence. The way the game dramatically introduces them really invokes a sense of dread in the player. Each main enemy is incredibly unique in their design and of course, their attack patterns. Basically, you know you’re going to get wiped on the floor. Oh, and your pride will be decimated, too.
While I dreaded fighting each one, I couldn’t help but be so curious as to what they were going to be. Heck, one of them even scared me and I didn’t want to face it. The Lies of P does an excellent job in invoking fear and anxiety in the player before each major fight. It likes to make sure you’re truly ready, otherwise it will gladly pummel you in the face.
The Environment and Music
What initially draws a lot of people’s attention is the hauntingly beautiful setting the game takes place in. A bell-epoque era in a torn city in France. Lies of P utilizes its environments brilliantly to set the tone of each place you come across. Many of your enemies lie in wait in the dark corners of the city and will jump at you when you least expect it. It’s by no means a scary game per say, but the game does a great job utilizing its atmospheric sounds to put you on the defensive. That’s the key: defensive. You’re not some unkillable character. You’re a puppet that both humans and other puppets will hate. You can easily be wiped out and drained of everything you work for.
The music of Lies of P is quite beautiful. A good part of the game, you’re only listening to the sounds of the atmosphere and P’s footsteps. But when you do hear music, it really places you in that time. There are records that you can collect as you progress and do a few quests for people. Listening to these records helps P to feel more human. The records themselves play some beautiful and melancholic music. Several times I found myself just stopping what I was doing just to listen to each song. It really helps cement how passionate the developers were to create a world players can immerse themselves in.
To Lie or Not to Lie
As we all know, one of the main themes of Pinocchio is lying. There will be several moments where P is given the option to lie or tell the truth. Often, telling the truth leads to pain and heartbreak. On the other hand, lying seems to protect yourself and others. Depending on your choices, there are three different endings you can achieve. One of the endings, however, doesn’t depend on the lying system.
What I found impressive was that I genuinely had a hard time choosing whether to lie or not. I always like to play good runs whenever a game gives me the option to choose what kind of person the character could be. However, Lies of P makes it hard for the player to determine what’s right and what’s wrong. What you thought could be black and white, turns out to be a lot more complicated than what you’d expect.
What’s more, the game saves automatically. Meaning that if you make a choice that you want to go back and change, tough luck. The game expects you to live with your choices. So, choose carefully and be ready because you will be given a limited amount of time to decide. When I say this game gave me major anxiety, I really mean it.
Should you get it?
Lies of P was a game that I had been looking forward to for a long time. It pretty much delivered exactly what I expected: A Dark Souls-like fairytale adventure. Aside from a few clipping issues here and there, it’s a fantastical experience. I don’t believe it’s as hard as Dark Souls or even Sekiro, but it will give you a good challenge and provide you with a satisfying reward. If you’re new to these types of games, I feel like this would be a good starting point. I recommend it. This experience was worth every penny.
Lies of P is available for PC, Playstation 4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and Xbox One.
- THE GOOD
- Engaging and Challenging Gameplay
- Unique and Haunting Setting
- Fantastic Character and Boss Design
- Replay Value
- Interesting Story
- THE BAD
- Some Glitches
- A Bit Linear
Lies of P lives up to its Dark Souls inspiration by providing an excellent and haunting challenge.