If there is one type of game that seems like there is too much of, that will be the genre of Souls-like. Nearly every game since at least 2017 has taken some influence from From Software’s magnum-opus Dark Souls, whether that be in tone or style or in terms of gameplay by hitting the player like a stress doll for nearly 40 hours. Then you have games that walk the tightrope of influence and rip-off, but every now and then, you have that game that balances both that it can be viewed as a rip-off at first glance; then, after playing, you realize it is far from a rip-off. That game being Lies of P.
Lies of P is an interesting combination of Bloodborne and Pinocchio, though the latter isn’t as implemented as much as I was led on to believe from reading previews and watching videos on the game before release. The story is quite easy to get an understanding for; take that as you will for any souls-like game. Pinocchio wakes up in the city of Krat and is told by the Blue Fairy to go rescue his father, Geppetto, occupying him is the Talking Cricket. Along the way, you fight enemies and bosses inspired by characters from the book, like the Red Fox and Black Cat, and Candlewick. It is an interesting take on the story of Pinocchio, and if you know the story well, you be surprised that it hits all the main points in the story. But it didn’t grab me overall, I think that has to do with the fact I don’t really care for Pinocchio at all; I mean, the first version that I thought was really good was the Netflix version that came out last year. So, what kept my attention to finish this game, well, to quickly explain, this is the unofficial Bloodborne sequel fans have been wanting for years.
I say that because, out of all the other games that try to grab onto the Dark Souls pain train with some form of success, always have one unique element in the gameplay department to stand out from the masses. Here the unique element is the setting and characters, so the gameplay is largely based on Bloodborne fast-paced combat. I would place it in the middle of fast-paced but easy to get a grip of Bloodborne, and if you don’t get it, we will beat you into the ground, Sekiro. It is difficult, but that is to be expected with games like this, and that is their appeal, to be dopamine the game. That feeling after finally killing a boss after trying for 45 minutes is just as satisfying as it was in Bloodborne.
But it also takes a tiny element from Sekiro, that being, you should be timing your parries every chance you get. This was the main gameplay difference I noticed while playing. You can hold to block, but it will take stamina and health when you get hit; typical Dark Souls element there. However, if you time the parry just right, you will only get a small bit of health taken off, and the enemy will be in a short daze for you to get a quick attack. I like this addition because it somewhat forces you to study the enemy’s movement more closely than you would in these types of games. Though it does fall into the same pit that most souls-like fall into is, once you find a pattern, you use it for every single small enemy group. The boss battles, as mentioned earlier, were good, and in keeping in line with Dark Souls, some of them were epic but were epic in the moment, not the everlasting kind that we see with games of similar nature.
So do I recommend Lies of P? Well, this is an interesting case because the game is an Xbox Game Pass headliner, and if you have any interest in trying this game out and have Game Pass. I would say at least give it a chance; it won’t hurt your bottom line. It has enough of an interesting atmosphere to peek its head above the ocean of souls-like games out on the market as of late. The gameplay will feel right at home if you are a fan of the faster-paced nature found in Bloodborne, and for a game coming from an unknown South Korean team, the game looks really good running on an Xbox Series X. But it will be a while after release to see if the games unique selling points are enough for it to be committed to memory for those who have experienced it. I hope it does. I did enjoy my time with it, but I can see where its tone will turn people away. If you have any interest in this game I would give it a try.
Score: 8 out of 10
Reviewed on Xbox Series X