When it comes to Soulslikes, it’s no surprise that FromSoftware reigns supreme – the developer created the genre, after all. But every once in a while someone has a good crack at it, and this time it’s Neowiz Games alongside Round8 Studio with Lies of P. Fans of Bloodborne might like this in particular.
While there are no werewolves here or other grotesque creatures, the dark, run-down European-inspired streets give the same atmosphere as FromSoftware’s much-loved PlayStation exclusive. But what really makes us draw a parallel between the two titles is how players can restore a portion of health after being attacked by quickly getting some hits in of their own. It makes for a Soulslike experience where it pays to go on the offensive.
Anyone familiar with the Soulslike genre will get on with Lies of P like a house on fire. This has all the usual elements, such as a currency gained by defeating foes that can be used to level up or purchase items from vendors. It also has frequent rest points, where you can restore your healing coils and more while respawning enemies in the area. One thing we’re not to keen on, however, is that you can’t use these resting spots to level up: you have to travel back to a specific NPC for that.
Lies of P does have some originality to it, though. You have to watch the durability of your weapon, for example. If you let it run out, you’ll soon find yourself at a disadvantage, especially in the middle of a boss fight. Thankfully you always have a sharpening device on you, but using it takes time. Being a puppet – Pinocchio, in fact – you also have the ability to switch out one of your limbs. At the start, your metal limb can simply be used to powerfully punch your adversaries, but soon you’ll be able to switch it to a grappling hook that pulls enemies towards you. And there are more to discover.
Another unique aspect of Lies of P is its weapon customisation system that lets you combine blades and handles. Each affects the overall effectiveness of your weapon, with the blade determining the basic moveset, and the handle how it scales with various stats. Both blades and handles offer special skills as well. Handles offer buffs you can activate to give you the edge in battle, while blades offer special attacks. You need to use them strategically, though, as they require numerous levels of a charged gauge to be activated.
All in all, this feels like one of the best non-FromSoftware Soulslikes out there in terms of gameplay. The action is fast-paced and tense, the mechanics dependable, and the combat fun and engaging. There are some issues, though, all mostly minor. The voice acting is pretty poor, for example, and so too the lip-syncing. Perhaps the worst thing about Lies of P we’ve encountered so far is that its difficulty is a bit uneven. Some enemies you encounter are beastly, while most go down pretty easily. We struggled against the first real boss in the game, for example, but then steamrolled most that followed.
While Lies of P greatly apes the environmental aesthetic and gameplay of Bloodborne, it does enough to make itself stand out. It’s atmospheric, it’s intriguing, and the combat is fun, fast-paced and engaging. As far as Soulslike games go, this might just be the best yet outside of those made by FromSoftware. All of Lies of P’s minor issues are easily overlooked when it’s so rewarding to explore its world and experiment with your combat options. And so, whether you’re a fan of the genre or are simply intrigued by the game’s dark spin on a familiar tale, it’s worth jumping in.