Lies of P review for PlayStation, Xbox, PC

Platform: PS4
Also On: PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC
Publisher: NEOWIZ
Developer: Round8 Studios
Medium: Digital/Disc
Players: 1
Online: No

No one would blame you if you said this game looked familiar… Set in a crumbling metropolis filled to the brim with creatures maddened by mysterious causes. You’re wielding modular weapons as you need to mind your stamina and master evasive/defensive tactics to survive every combat encounter. Well the studio that is generally known for these gaming tropes are busy supporting a game about robots at the moment…but NEOWIZ and Round8 cooked up something that can sate the appetite looking for something more in-line with that company’s previous works.

Lies of P is a Soulslike set in the seaside city of Krat. Once a town on the rise thanks to the discovery of a mystery substance known as Ergo, all the progress was sundered when a petrification plague afflicted a large swath of populace and the Puppets, which are Ergo powered automatons that help led to the prosperity of the city going on a frenzy and turning on their human masters. You control P, a personal creation of the master puppeteer Geppetto is awakened and tasked to put an end to the madness.

P’s means of defending himself primarily consists of wielding 5 classes of melee weapons (Daggers, Swords, Greatsword, Blunt, and Large Blunt). Weapons consist of two elements, a blade and a handle. Blades determine damage and can have elemental properties such as fire, poison and electric, handles determine how attacks are done. A rapier handle will mean your attacks are thrusts whereas a club handle will mean you will be making wide sweeps. You can mix and match blades to fit your preferred playstyle. So you can have a hammerhead that you thrust or a dagger blade you can swing widely.

All the weapons in the world won’t necessarily prepare you for the challenges that lie ahead. As you traverse the city of Krat you will find yourself in a wide variety of environments from the glitzy theater district to a desolate swamps with danger lurking everywhere, be it the deranged puppets which have ordered to attack anything on sight, inhuman creatures or even humans can come seeking your head. Most of these encounters can be survived by remaining cool and making sure you are not overwhelmed, but there were definitely enemy types that were deemed “engage if necessary” and frankly that made my time with the title a bit more enjoyable. While I do enjoy the power fantasy of games…sometimes I need to be kept on my toes.

Each zone also features a boss character and this is where players can hit a wall. Don’t get me wrong, each of them have a discernible pattern, but recognizing and reacting to them properly is the challenge. The game will also allow you to summon a specter that can assist you in the battle, but don’t expect this apparition to clear the boss for you. I can count several bosses which took me, a casual souls player way too much time to clear, but when they are slain I definitely feel like a job well done.

Despite the praise I have for the title, there are certain elements of the game that do not live up to the titles of FromSoftware. While the world is rich, the side quests in Lies of P aren’t really that deep and I never found myself truly immersed. The item drop seems skew towards items that aren’t really that in demand. I don’t need to load up on the Star Fragments that are used to summon the specter during the bosses, in fact Star Fragments should actually be a rare resource. The game allows you to equip two weapons, but the weight of the inactive weapon is incorporated into your character weight…leading you to be encumbered rather easily. The “Lies” system which was touted as a prominent feature in pre-release never really felt like it was well fleshed out…usually involving a binary choice which moved a invisible meter one way or another.

Despite the inevitable comparisons, Round8’s title stands on its own and can fill the void for those always beseeching a new entry of Bloodborne or at least a port to different platforms. Krat in this current form is indeed horrifying and built off of the suffering of many, but man what I would pay to see the city in its prime. While I think I’m done with my playthrough, I believe a second playthrough will unlock many more insights to the world of the title and once I’ve recovered my nerves that might be something I will indeed do. Like many fairy tales and fables, I can expect Lies of P to be experienced for a long time to come.

Note: NEOWIZ provided us with a Lies of P PlayStation code for review purposes.

Grade: A-