- FromSoftware created the legendary Souls formula, and Neowiz made an excellent recreation of it with Lies of P.
- The game had some problems though, like a poor starting dodge, locked abilities, and the excessive elites.
- With a sequel confirmed now, I hope it fixes things and makes useful additions like a dedicated jump button.
When I say difficult games, I’m sure the first thing that comes to your mind is Dark Souls. FromSoftware essentially created an entire sub-genre with its games, one that is full of brutality and merciless deaths. Yet it is this punishing difficulty that we enjoy, and why we hold this series in high regard. It was only a matter of time before others tried to replicate it. Sadly, there is little to nothing that comes close to FromSoftware’s greatness.
However, recently we witnessed a title that considerably bridged that difference and surprised us all. That is none other than Lies of P, the Pinocchio-style Souls-like with some surprising twists down the road that made it one of if not the best attempts at this genre. Being a borderline obsessive fan of this genre, I was overjoyed not only with the game but the possibilities it could unlock. Now I know Souls-like titles can reach this level, and that’s reason enough to be happy.
Filled with a charming and intriguing story, exceptional gameplay and unique arsenal, creatively designed environments, and punishing boss fights, Lies of P was the complete package of Souls goodness. In addition, the game’s ending also teased a sequel, and the developers confirmed it now; I couldn’t be happier. However, the game was not without its flaws I wish had been fixed. But that is what sequels are for, so let’s look at some improvements Lies of P 2 should consider.
Dodge Needs To Be More Seamless And Cover More Ground
First of all, the thing that needs to be addressed on priority is the game’s dodge mechanic. For a Souls-like, dodge is the bread and butter of the gameplay, you need to actively avoid enemies’ attacks to stand a chance, and it’s the defensive measure you’ll be using the most. For something that is of integral importance, Lies of P’s dodge was a little problematic. These problems are the clunky transitions from attack to dodge, and the distance you can cover.
Since the game has two defensive measures, you can present the argument that why not use parry instead, it can deal with slower attacks easily. To this, I reply that the game has a pretty tight parry window which can be difficult to adjust to since enemies have pretty erratic moves with impossibly long delays to confuse you. Thus, the game needs to strike a balance between the two and make the dodge close to the parry mechanic in terms of effectiveness and viability.
The game has little to no animation cancel, unlike FromSoftware’s entries where a short animation cancel window is available. Here, you can only dodge after the last action has been completed up to the very last frame. Still, the transition to dodge animation is a little on the slower side, which I wish is addressed in subsequent entries. Similarly, the dodge is extremely short. You cover absolutely no ground without upgrades, which brings us to the next problem.
Avoid Locking Necessary Abilities Behind Upgrades
Next is Lies of P’s tendency to lock abilities that feel pretty necessary behind P-Organ upgrades. These upgrades require a rare currency you obtain by killing bosses and doing secret objectives around the world. What’s more, there are tiers to these upgrades, which means you cannot unlock tier 2 abilities without spending on the prior upgrades first. To unlock a particular ability, you’ll need to progress considerably first.
Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but some of these abilities are stuff that the game ought to give you right from the get-go. Improved dodge mechanics are one of them. For instance, you cannot get up from the ground immediately by pressing the dodge button and instead will lie there susceptible to attack unless you get the upgrade. This is pretty basic stuff. Similarly, the dodge you get from an upgrade is still pretty short, imagine the poor starting dodge then.
I’m not saying cut the upgrades out entirely. In fact, some of them are quite ingenious, like how Lies of P unlocks additional abilities every new game + cycles for around 3 times you replay. This is excellent and gives a lot more incentive. The sequel needs to push this even further, by putting additional abilities that supplement higher difficulty playthroughs, but it should not lock basic and necessary upgrades and keep them available from the start.
A Dedicated Jump Button Can Greatly Benefit Lies of P 2
If this was the pre-Elden Ring era, I probably would never even think of making this demand. That shows how much Elden Ring has spoiled us with its awesome jump mechanic. It adds so much to both combat and traversal that it’s pretty difficult to return to the jump-less era. Thus, I believe a dedicated jump button in the Lies of P sequel. The game has a jump feature, true, but it’s far from what a dedicated button can accomplish.
You have to perform a running jump in Lies of P, pretty much like the rest of the Souls games, and there’s a downside to it. When you land, your character will roll following that momentum, and that is enough to throw you off small ledges. That’s where a dedicated jump button will aid you in comfortable parkour. Not just that, we know from Elden Ring that jumps can be incorporated into combat to make it more versatile.
The concept of posture damage already exists in Lies of P. Jump attacks can be used to deal more posture damage like they do in Elden Ring, and will make staggering enemies easier. In addition to combat, it can provide more evasion maneuvers to dodge low attacks more effectively. In a nutshell, a dedicated jump button can not only make traversing difficult terrain easier but also introduce complexity and variety in combat.
Limit The Use Of The “Dual HP Bars Bosses” Trope
Before I begin, let me make this clear; I do not mean to say reduce the difficulty of the bosses or make them easier and less of a challenge. In fact, I’m actively against any sort of difficulty nerfs. If anything, I want the bosses of Lies of P 2 to be as brutal as possible, but in a very fair and logical way. This problem is something that makes the fights more frustrating than interesting. Especially when every next boss starts packing double health bars.
A better approach to this is the two-phase boss fights. That relieves the pressure and makes the fight genuinely interesting. In most cases, the second health bar is the actual fight and the first just becomes a pain to go through every time you re-attempt the boss. If this was two or three bosses in the entire game, this wouldn’t have bothered me, but over-usage is where it starts to become tedious. An interesting second bar is overshadowed by the tedious first one.
Additionally, the two health bar thing also has a psychological strain. For instance, even if you have the same amount of HP, but on one hand is a single bar while there are two on the other, the one bar will always feel less. The thinking of I have to deplete one bar and have to drain two is completely distinct, one always gives more hope. Thus, I believe this dual HP bar thing needs to be saved for special occasions, like bosses that have a lore reason to be packing two health bars.
I Hate Elite Enemies More Than Any Boss Of Lies Of P
Okay, I admit I said I like difficulty, but the elite enemies of this game were something. Every time I saw another elite, I was horrified rather than excited. And this wasn’t because of their difficulty, but how frequent and tedious these battles were. These enemies are more challenging than most bosses of the game. They have impossibly huge health pools, hit like a truck, and are as frequent as common mobs.
As you tackle more and more of these, it becomes excessively frustrating. If these fights were more scarce, trust me I would’ve genuinely appreciated these encounters, as they are fairly challenging. But when you see them coming one after another, it becomes a slog. And it’s not like you can escape them either, as many of these fights are mandatory to proceed. Lies of P is not mistaken in the design but in the usage of this concept.
I wish it was more like mini-bosses. The elite enemies could have been proper minibosses set in certain areas around the world and spaced appropriately. They can appear as normal enemies in areas too, but in this case, they should possess health pools like a slightly beefed-up normal enemy, not a complete monster on steroids. And while we’re at it, a little more variety in the normal enemies as well as elites would be a significant bonus for Lies of P 2.
Despite these problems, Lies of P stands proud as one of the best non-FromSoftware attempts at the formula. It does a lot of things right that other games seem to miss, and is a highly satisfying adventure I can’t help but go through repeatedly. However, as I mentioned there’s still room for improvement and the sequel sets up the perfect opportunity to refine the concept even further. I hope above all else, Lies of P 2 is a step in the right direction and loads of fun.
Thanks! Do share your feedback with us. ⚡
How could we improve this post? Please Help us. ✍