Lots of Souls-likes end up on storefronts these days, but few manage to capture the magic of FromSoftware’s genre-defining hits. After an hour or so with Lies of P, however, we reckon this might be one that comes close.
On the face of it, Lies of P shares a lot in common with Steelrising, which launched on consoles and PC last September. They’re both Souls-likes, of course, and they both have more contemporary settings, exchanging castles and ruins for run-down European-inspired streets. Another thing that Steelrising and Lies of P have in common is that their protagonists aren’t human, or even composed of flesh. While in Steelrising you’re in control of an automaton, here you’re guiding a puppet.
That puppet is in fact Pinocchio, who wakes up all alone in a train station in Lies of P. And then your adventure begins. Why have you awoken? Why is the world in a state of disarray, filled with dogs, men and other hostile entities composed of wood and metal, seemingly determined to put you out of action? That’s for you to discover, but you’ve got an arduous fight ahead of you.
The similarities between this game and the likes of Dark Souls are clear within minutes. The combat is tense, requiring you to manage your stamina or else you’re a sitting duck. And your loadout determines your playstyle: do you want to wield heavy-hitting weapons but have a harder time avoiding enemy attacks, or run rings around your enemies and strike with nimbler but less-damaging attacks?
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There are yet more things to consider when playing Lies of P, however. For one, there’s weapon durability. Like in Monster Hunter, your weapons get less effective the longer you use them. Totally fail to take care of them, and apparently they can even break (we didn’t let them get to this state, thankfully). It’s important, then, to make use of your grindstone to keep your weapons in tip-top shape, and that might mean sometimes getting it out in the middle of a boss fight.
Another unique aspect of Lies of P is your arm, which we’re told can be replaced. In our preview, Pinocchio’s arm simply provided an alternative attack, striking enemies hard. In the full game more options are promised, with some being useful outside of combat. In addition to a weapon crafting system, and a range of special attacks powered by a gauge, the combat of Lies of P gives you a pleasing number of options.
We have to admit that we were intrigued by Lies of P before going hands-on with it, but not overly enthusiastic about its release. There’s just been so many Souls-likes that haven’t quite hit the mark in the last few years. After previewing it, however, we’re now eager to go hands-on with the full game. The good news is that there’s not long to wait, either, with it launching this September
Lies of P is coming to PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC on September 19th. A demo is now available on both PC and consoles allowing players to give it a try before they buy.