The announcement of Lies of P was met with enthusiasm by many, but regular visitors to the MMO13.ru portal and fans of the MMORPG genre in general looked at the project with suspicion. The thing is that the developers of this game are the NEOWIZ studio, notorious for the failed MMORPG Bless Online, which was unsuccessfully relaunched several times. However, having played the full version, I can say with confidence that they really managed to make a great game.
Lies of P is a purebred soulsliking game with all that it implies. Here you have an analogue of souls, called ergo, and complex gameplay based on timings, and a variety of bosses. She even has her own Melina. In general, if you have played something like this, you will feel at ease. However, there are also some distinctive features that make the project stand out a little. First of all, this is the ambiance of the French Belle Epoque, imbued with steampunk. The game has a very nice aesthetic, highlighted by great graphics. At the same time, the new creation of NEOWIZ has excellent performance, which Bless could not boast of. However, it’s not just the setting that surprises the game, but more on that later.
The main character of Lies of P is Pinocchio – but not the wooden boy with the elongating nose that you know from classic books and cartoons. Geppetto created him along with other wind-up dolls called marionettes. However, unlike the others, who for some unknown reason began to attack everyone around, our protagonist retained his sanity and is now fighting with his “brothers”.
Since we’re playing as Pinocchio, we’d be remiss if we didn’t add a lying mechanic to the game. In Lies of P, from time to time you can choose dialogue lines that involve telling the truth or lying. Lying, oddly enough, increases your “humanity” score. Why? There are four laws of puppets in the game world, and one of them is that puppets cannot lie. Thus, by deceiving people, you become more like a person, no matter how paradoxical it may sound.
In general, the story in Lies of P is presented more clearly than in “souls”, but still not as obvious as in story games. There are small cutscenes and obligatory dialogues, but you will have to find everything else yourself, reading notes, looking closely at objects in the environment, and so on. Learning about the world of the game is interesting, and the plot does not distract from the gameplay.
Lies of P’s gameplay is reminiscent of Bloodborne in many ways, leading many to jokingly refer to the game as “Bloodborne for PC.” You can attack with weapons, dodge, block and parry enemy attacks. Your actions drain your stamina, so you need to keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t run out at the most inopportune moment. Block reduces damage taken, but the loss can be compensated by damaging the enemy. Parrying allows you to completely avoid even the most powerful attack, but it is not so easy to perform. In addition to consumables and throwable items, you can use the abilities of your mechanical arm in battle. For example, attracting an enemy to you or releasing an electric charge. You can change your hand, like in Devil May Cry 5, and new options are given as you progress or can be found in locations.
You definitely shouldn’t neglect exploration in Lies of P, even though it’s not an open-world game. There are simply a huge number of additional places that you can visit if you wish to find useful items or fight optional bosses. During the passage, you will also open “shortcuts” in order to get to the desired locations faster.
The gameplay does not look original, but it is very exciting and constantly keeps you in suspense. Although the game has several mechanics that can make gameplay easier, it does not slide into complete “casualism”. It is necessary to study the behavior patterns of both bosses and ordinary enemies, since they act differently, and each requires certain tactics.
If you run out of all impulse ampoules (local “healing points”), then you can restore one by striking enemies and filling a special scale. Thus, the game gives you a chance to heal even after you’ve used up your entire stock of healing items, but to do so you need to survive without them for a while. To fight difficult bosses, you can call on an AI-controlled ghost. True, he is very stupid and dies quite quickly, and to summon you you need to spend special stones. If you die twice without having time to pick up the dropped ergos, you will only lose some of it, and not completely, as in other soulslices. Finally, after dying in the boss arena, you can pick up an ergo in front of the entrance. Again, all this makes the game more convenient, but not simple.
Lies of P also has a character development system that allows you to become stronger in order to quickly deal with enemies. Leveling up your stats is no different from other similar games – you collect Ergos from defeated enemies to invest in six points, all of which give an increase to certain stats. Moreover, with each inserted point the number of required Ergos increases. With the help of a very rare resource called Quartz, you can give your hero tangible bonus effects on a special analogue of the skill tree.
Lies of P has a wide variety of weapons with their own unique characteristics and abilities. In battle, it is important to choose the right weapon for your playstyle, but you can also upgrade it to increase attack power. However, the assembly mechanics look more interesting. If you wish, you can take the blade of one weapon and attach the handle from another to it, thereby obtaining a new combination. I spent a lot of time trying different options. Fortunately, no resources are spent on assembly.
For the sake of objectivity, it would be worthwhile to talk about the disadvantages in the review, but the truth is that during the playthrough I did not have the feeling that any particular aspect was done very poorly. Except that when playing on the keyboard, the character turns too sharply to the side without any animation – there are no such problems with the gamepad. Also, someone may be put off by the price, because the price even for a PC is 4,000 rubles. Luckily, the game is included in Game Pass, so subscribers can play the full version.
It’s hard to believe, but the developers of the failed Bless Online managed to make an excellent game. Lies of P is not some kind of breakthrough, but it is a really high-quality soulsliking with complex and interesting gameplay. The project takes you into the dark and atmospheric surroundings of the Belle Epoque, offering a new perspective on the story of Pinocchio.