Lies Of P Review – The Best Attempt At FromSoftware’s Formula

Featuring murderous puppets, lying, and poison swamps.

Lies Of P Review
Overall
3.5
  • Story And Setting
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals And Performance

Summary

In a sea of weak non-FromSoftware attempts at the Souls formula, Lies of P lands with a bang and raises the bar for all future entries.

Pros

  • Compelling storyline
  • Solid Combat
  • Brilliant environments
  • Superb weapon customization

Cons

  • Excessive elite placement
  • Locking necessary abilities
  • Poor Starting Dodge
  • Simple Level Design

Souls-like is kind of a special genre for me. After experiencing the delights of this formula with Bloodborne, I went back and played all of FromSoftware‘s masterpieces like there was no tomorrow. After that, I was always on the lookout for more such adventures that took a shot at the concept.

Key Takeaways
  •  Developer: Neowiz Games and Round8 Studio
  •  Publisher: Neowiz Games
  •  Release Date: September 19, 2023
  •  Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC
  •  Game Length: 30 Hours
  •  Time Played: 100+ Hours
  • Editors Note: We tested Lies of P thoroughly on PC, including all of the base game and NG+ with over 100 hours of playtime.

However, no game managed to quite match the standard FromSoftware set for the genre over the years. Lamenting over this, I subconsciously lowered my expectations for any non-FromSoftware games. But, to my surprise, Lies of P managed to suppress those thoughts and became one of the best attempts at the formula, which I aim to discuss in my review.

Story And Setting

So, what exactly is Lies of P about? Well, it’s the tale of Pinocchio, but if you think it’s the story you know, the game flat-out says to forget that fairytale. A dark and gritty story awaits as you set foot in Krat, a ghost town. It was once the hub of technological marvel, thanks to the splendid invention of humanoid puppets, a testament to the brilliant mind of their creator, Geppetto. However, things soon took a very gruesome, “murderous puppets” turn.

City of Krat (Image by Me)
City of Krat (Image by Me)

Do you know what I like the most about Lies of P’s story? It’s a lot more real-time as compared to the cryptic story-telling in Souls games. Lies of P is principally a tale that tries to present the fact that humans can be more cold-blooded than any machine could ever hope to be if it’s to achieve what’s important to them. All the harm the puppets could do is meaningless in front of the horrors humanity is capable of committing.

Story (Image by Me)
Story (Image by Me)

I genuinely liked the overall story progression and the strong themes it tried to tackle. However, I felt that Lies of P fell short when it came to the execution of this. There are long periods of silence within the story before a little bit of truth about the world is bombed on you, making it a little less engaging than traditional stories in games. Additionally, the entire truth behind the puppets and where they came from left a lot to be desired.

Lies of P is principally a tale that tries to present the fact that humans can be more cold-blooded than any machine could ever hope to be if it’s to achieve what’s important to them

Nevertheless, I feel it necessary to give praise where it’s due; Lies of P did NG+ brilliantly. The inconceivable murmuring of the boss dialogues is unraveled into actual voice lines, adding a new layer of depth to its world and storytelling.

Gameplay

Combat (Image by Me)
Combat (Image by Me)

First, I ought to state this right away: Lies of P had the Souls formula and combat down pretty well. The basic combat mechanics, specifically the attacks, are smooth and feel impactful. The combos are versatile, and there is little to no clunk in subsequent attacks.

I have no qualms with how the game handles offensive combat; it’s the defensive gameplay where things go a little south. I don’t think it needs to be said, but dodge is the bread and butter of the souls-like combat, but this is something Lies of P compromised on. I’ll be honest: the dodge you start with is downright horrible and makes the experience extremely clunky.

P-Organ Upgrades (Image by Me)
P-Organ Upgrades (Image by Me)

It’s not until you unlock some P-Organ upgrades — this game’s skill tree — that you get a decent dodge. Trust me, the improvement is so apparent that I failed to understand why this “improved” version wasn’t available from the get-go. In my opinion, this point is Lies of P’s greatest flaw; it locks necessary abilities behind upgrades and progression.

I have no qualms with how the game handles offensive combat; it’s the defensive gameplay where things go a little south

Similarly, let’s take a look at the parry. Not only does the game have a very tight parry window, but it offers no benefits at all for parrying attacks unless you upgrade. Not to mention, the enemies have very badly telegraphed attacks;

Thus, I felt like Lies of P was suffering from an identity crisis of whether it should go with the dodge or the parry. It stepped foot into two fields, perfecting neither of them.

Parry (Image by Me)
Parry (Image by Me)

Combat discussion is incomplete without weapons, and this is where things get creative. Every weapon in the game comes with two parts: a blade and a handle, and you can freely mix and match them. This changes the weapon’s range, stats, and also movesets.

If you want a heavy weapon’s damage but don’t like its speed, slap a dagger handle on it, and Voila! I’ve spent hours just combining weapons. Take my word for it; it’s a ton of fun making your dream combo.

In a nutshell, I think Lies of P’s gameplay is a ton of fun if only it didn’t lock away necessary abilities

Next up is the fancy Legion arm, a prosthetic tool of sorts. These are essentially auxiliary abilities that consume Legion, a specific energy. Oh, and did I mention it’s always funny to drag an enemy and slam him in the face with a hammer? No? Well, now you know.

And then there are Fable Arts. From blasting enemies to oblivion, shredding them into pieces, or making your attacks hit like a truck with a solid buff, Fable Arts can turn the tide in the way you least expect.

Legion Arm (Image by Me)
Legion Arm (Image by Me)

That was all about the combat, but what about the enemies and level design? Well, Lies of P has a very good enemy variety when it comes to the grunts, but the level design feels a little basic and leaves more to desire. Oh, and those hateful elites? Man, they hit hard and are absolute sponges. And their frequent and inconsistent placement made the experience a little dull and tiresome.

Elite enemies (Image by Me)
Elite enemies (Image by Me)

Last but certainly not least is the game’s NG+, and as I mentioned before, it’s miles ahead of other games. Not just the story but because NG+ gives you access to whole new skill trees, and this happens for 3 playthroughs. When I found this out, I was pleasantly surprised the game has this solid incentive to dive into subsequent NG cycles. Plus, those new abilities are absolute powerhouses.

Well, Lies of P has a very good enemy variety when it comes to the grunts, but the level design feels a little basic and leaves more to desire

A little interesting fact is how Lies of P freezes the cost for leveling up in a certain range, after which it increases normally. Props to the developers for making farming a lot more rewarding. In a nutshell, I think Lies of P’s gameplay is a ton of fun if only it didn’t lock away necessary abilities. This becomes a lot more relevant when you realize that the game already has all the fixes; you just have to grind extensively for them.

Visuals And Performance

When it comes to visuals and performance, I have nothing but praise for Lies of P. The moment I stepped into Krat, I immediately knew what the game was trying to say. The inside of Hotel Krat signifies its glory days while the outskirts paint a much bleaker picture. This contrast in environment design is what sets the tone of Lies of P for the rest of the journey.

Environment Design (Image by Me)
Environment Design (Image by Me)

This is also the game’s strongest point. I love how Lies of P abandons neither the past nor the present. Whether it be Krat’s urban area or the suburban Malum District, the fancy Rosa Isabelle Street for the nobles, or the decrepit St. Frangelico Cathedral, each area has its own story to tell.

The inside of Hotel Krat signifies its glory days while the outskirts paint a much bleaker picture

As for the performance, I played Lies of P on PC on a humble RX 580 8GB, and throughout my playtime, it maintained a solid 60 FPS with FSR On. I’ve spent more than 100 hours, and this hasn’t changed even once. Needless to say, the game’s visuals paint a brilliant picture, and the performance is exceptionally stable.

Verdict

Verdict (Image by Me)
Verdict (Image by Me)

I think it’s safe to say that Lies of P is a dark horse among all the mediocre non-FromSoftware attempts. It tells a slightly disjointed at times, but compelling storyline filled with thought-provoking concepts grounded in reality. It’s not without certain shortcomings like the weaker level design, overuse of spongy elites, and locking necessary abilities, but it’s nothing a little more polish can’t fix. I’ll be looking forward to what the sequel does with this solid base.

That was all about my review of Lies of P. And since you’re here, do check out some more of our reviews.

This is box title
Get This Game
If you like Souls games, or just difficult games in general.
Dont Get This Game
If you don’t like challenging games and want an easy or more forgiving game.
Do I Need To Get This Game
Yes, the game is a must-play for any fan of the Souls-like genre, and is a great title if you seek the thrill of battle.
Alternative Games
  • Bloodborne
  • Elden Ring
  • Dark Souls series
  • Lords of the Fallen
  • Thymesia
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Hanzala is a dedicated writer who expresses his views as opinion pieces at eXputer. He's always been fascinated by gaming and has been an avid consumer of many different genres for over a decade. His passion for games has him eager to encounter the latest RPGs and actively look for new Soulslike to challenge. He puts forth his experience and knowledge of gaming into captivating opinion pieces.

Experience: 8+ months || Education: Bachelors in Chemistry.

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