|Lies or p
|Windows, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S
|Round8 . studio
A little imitation is no stranger to the gaming industry. After the success of World of Warcraft, MMog grew up like mushrooms. When League of Legends took over the world, gangs were out of control and when PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds captured the magic of battle royale It is proved that every shooter will soon have to own something along those lines. In 2022, “Soulslike” is one of the required qualifications. FromSoftware formed that sub-genre with games like Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro, and earlier this year the Japanese studio preempted the “Game of the Year” title with Elden Ring. We can’t even look at a turtle naturally anymore without thinking about ourselves: “Why is he always a dog?” He might say that’s enough.
Now, there are other games that have tried to get their share of the big “Soulslike pie”, mostly without much success. Perhaps that will change in 2023. During Gamescom’s opening night presentation, our attention was drawn to the Lies of P from the relatively young and little-known Neowiz. Check out this South Korean publisher’s website and you’ll see a full list of games, one of which you probably don’t know. It’s okay, because that’s about to change. Lies of P captured the Soulslike hype well with a beautiful trailer that caught the attention of many people who were watching the opening night show. So it’s no surprise that even on gamescom’s quieter “Media Day” there were already classes where Lies of P could be played for a while. Of course we can’t stay behind.
It’s very difficult, of course
A game like Lies or P isn’t actually suitable for playing at a trade fair. You walk into a booth, you get a console in your hands and you can explore it further. Well, this is not really an ideal way to start a session with a Soulslike game. We can already tell you that we haven’t been able to play a lot of Lies of P yet. In the two levels we were able to explore, the first serious enemy always proved to be the end of our attempt. In that respect, Lies of P can easily compete with the Soulsborne games that Newwiz is happy to benchmark their game against: the high difficulty level is already a clear deal.
There are a lot of similarities, but let’s start from the beginning. Lies of P isn’t just another Soulslike game; It’s a fictional story. At least, a dark adaptation of a fairy tale. The main role in Lies of P is none other than Pinocchio. In this story, Pinocchio wakes up in the once familiar city of Balls, which has suddenly turned into a hostile place, full of terrifying enemies. To understand what happened to Qurat and its inhabitants, Pinocchio must search for his “father” Geppetto. He must have answers to all the questions that Pinocchio and the player have.
The questions, and the answers to those questions, are a topic in themselves for Lies or P. If you know this is Soulslike, you can actually fill in a number of game elements. However, there are also ways that Lies of P can distinguish between well-known games of the same genre and one of those ways is lying about the system. Pinocchio wouldn’t be Pinocchio if he didn’t lie a little now and then. In Lies of P, his nose doesn’t grow, but there are definitely consequences. The system works in such a way that the main characters of the story sometimes ask Pinocchio questions. This can be done in different ways, for example in the form of a task. Pinocchio must find out something and then report back. What if the truth of your findings isn’t what your customer wants to hear? Are you telling the truth, or are you filling the story more rosy? Your choice will affect the reward you get and may have consequences later in the game. However, it is certainly not the case that the game is so moral that if you choose to lie, you will always face negative consequences. In fact, the game perfectly demonstrates that you cannot escape being creative with the truth now and then. Where and when you can do this is something you should feel.
To properly test this system, you need hours of playing time, so it makes sense that we haven’t been able to test this system around lies and truth yet. What we also haven’t been able to experience yet is to combine weapons and discover new fighting styles that can arise with them. Honestly, that part isn’t entirely clear to us yet. The manufacturers hinted that the choice of your weapon will be of great importance in the gameplay, but this is actually the case in every game. Why it is a separate feature worth mentioning for Lies or P is not clear to us at the moment.
Fixed spirit-like items
What is clear is that many other gameplay elements clearly come from well-known Soulslike games. This way you can control Pinocchio almost the same way you control the main characters in Dark Souls, Bloodborne or Elden Ring. The Bonfires you know from Dark Souls, or Sites of Grace in Elden Ring, are called Stargazers here. It is where you live when you die and where you can reset the world if you choose to take a break in such a place. If you die during your adventure, you drop all of your ‘Ergo’, which is the in-game currency like Souls in the Dark Souls games. Then there are of course the enemies who differ quite well in style, both in their appearance and in their fighting style. We haven’t gotten to a boss fight yet, but the encounters with lower deities were already tough enough, so this doesn’t bode well for players who find Soulslike games challenging.
It’s still a gameplay picture of Lies of P, which is why the picture is less sharp than usual.
The question now is also how much gameplay performance contributes to this degree of difficulty. Herein lies the art of FromSoftware games. The games are challenging but very fair. The systems work, you can time up to milliseconds and if you master the gameplay systems to perfection, you can finish the game without getting hit. When one cries and calls his mother, you walk without any problem. Lies of P should show this aspect in particular, in order to be mentioned at the same time as the famous games from FromSoftware. At the moment, the game lacks the quality necessary for this. The timing of the movements wasn’t perfect for us. In addition, the city has many narrow lanes, but the camera does not always rotate in a pleasant way. This ensures that you lose the overview quite easily and that’s a problem, because Lies of P likes to surprise you in the back with an enemy from an unexpected destination.
The gameplay has not yet proven itself. The technical aspect of the game is excellent at the moment. In this respect, Lies of P reminds us as much of Bloodborne as possible. The appearance of the city reminds us of this. The style of Crate is based on the Belle Epoque, a period spanning several decades around 1900. Crate is of course a very dark version of it, which we haven’t seen much of yet. However, that first encounter is promising. The character and enemy models look good, the action flows smoothly and there is a lot of attention to detail in the environment. So we’re very curious about the rest of the city.
A dark version of Carlo Collodi’s time-honored Pinocchio story, cast in a spirit-like guise: it seems to be an excellent recipe for a highly successful game. However, Lies of P still has a few things to prove. Most importantly, the game should be challenging, but fair, with gameplay systems that work almost perfectly. Sure, the potential is there, but that’s something you don’t get to understand at a trade show. Lies of P is probably the most promising Soulslike game of 2023 with its original setting and its own twists. The game will be released for Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5 and Windows.
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