“Always making the most of what you have can be an absolute godsend.”
This world of corrupted puppets is one that is not for the weak-willed or faint-hearted; the city of plagued Krat and all its dark alleyways swarming with unknown horrors and aggressive figures who will turn against you in an instant given the chance. In Lies of P, you play as an adaptation of Pinocchio, a puppet created by Geppetto, and you are tasked with fighting and adapting to your enemies in a soulslike setting within the incredibly captivating and dynamic Belle Epoque era. This is your chance to take on all those who fight against you and face the unfathomable horrors which will inevitably cross your path, make choices on whether to tell the truth or lie in multiple instances, and extend your power in whichever way you believe will become the most valuable. Developed and published by NEOWIZ, Lies of P teaches us to watch every corner and always be on our guard. You never quite know what will await you but it’s wise to always be prepared – as prepared as a puppet can be. Time for my thoughts, and the truth, on Lies of P.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series S | Review code provided by PR/publisher. This review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on X!
The Hotel Krat – The main hub area of Lies of P. Where your allies and upgrade opportunities can be found.
Things I liked!
- Breathtaking visuals | I don’t think I’ve been as heavily captivated by a video game and its visuals as I found myself being by Lies of P. They stand out in every conceivable way, giving Lies of P incredible attention to detail in countless sections. The game is set in an incredibly bleak, desolate, and rundown Krat along with surrounding areas that just ooze with mystery and suspense with each area you come across. The colour palette and lighting are mostly darkened, with any noticeable shades of colouring or beaming lights kept to a minimum, therefore keeping in tune with the atmosphere generated – I guess it did give me a slight glimmer of hope and safety within Hotel Krat. As for detailing, just flawless. I dare say my eyes were possibly glimmering from how beautiful the game looked – there was just beauty everywhere, even amongst all the chaos and hardship surrounding me. My favourite was the spillage of oil and/or blood on my clothing as I fought enemies; this detail made me smile maybe too much at times. However, there is plenty more to mention – the brickwork detailing gone into the buildings, the running through rain and puddles, the characters and their appearances, the intensely beautiful variety of combat… I could go on but honestly, you should just check it out for yourself. If only there was a photo mode so I could show off everything and its mesmerising aesthetics.
- Story and chapter design | A story of puppets which have become corrupted and have turned against the world and their creators, with one who seeks to destroy and banish the evil that has been created – What’s not to like? It’s interesting, creates tension, and certainly doesn’t appear to be as clear-cut as it may seem. The world is full of lies and misconceptions and it’s up to you to uncover the truth. The quality and variety of areas found within Lies of P are insanely well-created to create a unique setting for each chapter you progress into. It was incredibly satisfying to know I was playing Lies of P, expecting the world to be similar throughout, but instead having the enjoyment of running into completely new environments frequently, giving the game a feeling of freshness and excitement I craved. From a built-up city with dingy alleyways to a heavenly cathedral and a puppet factory to overgrown pathing, I was astounded by the designs. Not only did the chapters provide me with a sense of curiosity and unexplored potential, but they were mapped out to make use of the whole area without repeating previous sections or having dead zones, using the low and high ground to their advantage. I can’t quite put into words just how pleasantly surprised and happy it made me to progress into an unknown area, knowing I would have an entirely new territory to fight my way through and uncover any secrets it may be hiding along the way. The visuals continued to look amazing in each area and weren’t compromised in the slightest so a huge thank you and well done to the level designers for their effort and attention to detail.
- Sound quality | I always found a sense of peace and tranquillity when playing Lies of P – almost to the point where it felt magical. Using the grammar phone in Hotel Krat to play records (which can be found and purchased) made for an alluring and delightful soundtrack that had a particular harmony of hope and positive energy. It’s not too overwhelming, just the right melody. As for the music presented in boss fights, it should come as no surprise that it was always more dramatic and energised to match the intensity of the battle, even with hints of relaxed tones mixed in to keep in touch with the world we have come to know. Sound effects don’t disappoint either, sounding crisp and clean in every instance. The sound of weapons colliding was especially satisfying with parrying and blocking taking the cake for me with their metallic connection always causing adrenaline to grow within me. Finally, we have the voice actors/actresses for the NPCs in Lies of P who were all of the highest quality and were well-suited to their character. With the era and location, I would expect everyone to be fluent and well-spoken; the standard was second to none and would’ve been hard to top.
- Enemies/boss variation and technique | Oh boy, I’m a real boy, and that’s not all there is to Pinocchio and his story. Enemies can be on a rather large difficulty scale with some being relatively easy to handle and others needing greater precision and time to defeat. I found myself in awe at the different enemy types and their impressive designs; they all looked badass and intimidating. Even from a distance, I was constantly saying to myself “You know what? I think I’ll leave them be” because they just radiated anger and danger. Bosses are typically harder and more threatening which is where your technique comes into play to get the most damage off while avoiding costly mistakes. Parrying and blocking are essential to combat but do require practice to get the timing just right. This can then allow you to apply extra damage and use your fatal attacks and fable slotted powers when the opportunity presents itself. The techniques should be mastered sooner rather than later as it will make the gameplay seem a little less frustrating but the only way to do that is to dedicate time and patience to the cause.
- Levelling and upgrading | With the use of Ergo and the wonderful powers of Lady Sophia, you can upgrade Pinocchio in multiple elements, once again, depending on how each player wants to proceed with their build. This is another important part of Lies of P and will reflect your style of play depending on what you decide to level up. I prefer the use of quick weapons and the ability to dodge consistently with some decent health meaning I put the majority of my levels into vitality and vigor with technique making my damage reduction greater, giving me a good quantity of both HP and stamina. Obviously, how you distribute your levels is entirely down the the player. Also, you can level up your weapons if you have the materials and resources required, making you even more powerful. The ability to re-spec isn’t an immediate option so it pays to be cautious and wise when choosing which attributes you want to level up.
- Changing and creating gear | A critical asset in Lies of P is the ability to change your gear around and create altered weapons by changing or combining parts into something that could benefit you more than the original, depending on your build and fighting style. Having the ability to take weapons apart, blade and handle, allows you to make alternative weapon combinations that could work to your advantage and it really is worth experimenting with them as you have nothing to lose by playing around with them. You can also change the attachment on your left arm depending on what you feel will work best given the enemy’s nature. Having these as options which can be changed out incredibly easily can be detrimental to your survivability and success and shouldn’t be ignored. I constantly found myself changing between equipment to better prepare myself for different enemies and it worked a treat! Always making the most of what you have can be an absolute godsend.
- Less punishing | A small yet valid point I feel should be mentioned is that Lies of P doesn’t punish the player as much as other soulslike games are known to. This is because of the way Ergo is lost and depletes upon death and the way pulse cells work when you have used all in your possession. Now, Ergo is the currency you obtain from slaughtering enemies and is used for upgrades and levelling up your statistics so it’s incredibly important. Upon death, your current held Ergo will be dropped where you perished meaning you must get back to that location and successfully collect it or risk… losing it all? Not quite, thankfully. For each time you die and unsuccessfully retrieve the Ergo, a small portion will be deducted from the original amount so you can rest a little easier. As for pulse cells, using them all isn’t the be-all and end-all; there is still hope. When you have none in your bag, successful attacks on enemies will regenerate a single pulse cell over time until it’s used. After this, you can repeat this process if you’re careful and tactical enough to survive fights. So although I viewed Lies of P as difficult overall, these small factors were often a saving grace.
- Linear pathing | For the small amount of time I played Dark Souls III, the main issue I found myself having which ultimately put me off continuing was not knowing where I was supposed to go next. It became more frustrating than some of the boss fights and that speaks volumes to me which is why I was over the moon when I learned through gameplay that Lies of P is easier to navigate exactly where you’re heading instead of going around in endless circles. Sure, there are other paths you can take but I often took these in an effort to find shortcuts and hidden loot with the main path being quite obvious in comparison. It allowed me to play the game with the ease of knowing I was going in the right direction with the choice of exploring other avenues if curiosity got the better of me – which was always and paid off every time.
- Options and accessibility | For anyone who isn’t already aware and wants to know – yes, there is a performance or quality mode option. I don’t see how anyone can play on quality mode but that’s beside the point. A good amount of options have been made available and included to suit many players, including the ability to change your button mapping should you find the base controls don’t work for you. Common options can be altered – audio, sensitivity, languages – which should always be made available but other options such as motion blur and blood appearance have also been added. I liked the inclusion of the battle options though as they allow you to adjust the lock-on mechanics and attack direction to create a smoother fighting experience. During my playthrough, I utilised the auto lock-on and a low distance degree which made a huge difference to my combat and survivability – especially when I found myself outnumbered.
Look up and bewware of the Scrapped Watchman?!
Neither good nor bad
- Optional content | Uncommon and not always linear to find, but somewhat straightforward, there are additional quests and content to be completed which can provide you with rewards you may miss otherwise which makes them worth your time. I don’t know much about other soulslike games in this area but I’m a sucker for side quests and exploration wherever possible so I was always excited when I came across NPCs offering me tasks to complete. Not only this but when interacting with the Stargazer and its fast travel capabilities, symbols and NPC portraits can be shown next to locations to inform the player of someone or something that requires your attention which was most helpful. Due to my need for countless quests, I would have liked more but I guess the difficulty speaks volumes about the majority of content to keep you more than ‘entertained’.
- Difficulty spikes | It should come as no surprise that soulslike titles are known for their harsh and demanding difficulties with Lies of P being no exception to this pattern. The common enemies become tougher to face but nothing out of the ordinary as I would expect this in any video game. The problem for me lies with the named bosses (stalkers not included) with their damage output and reduction. Luckily for me, I made sure my vitality was always the highest of my stats and when developing my P-Organs, I looked at increasing the quantity of pulse cells available for me to use to help lessen the spike of difficulty. However, even with this, I felt the need to level up further and often returned to prior areas to become stronger. In most instances, I did feel under-levelled for the upcoming boss fight but maybe that’s just the difficulty showing me who’s the boss. Either way, I don’t think there is any wrong with being over-levelled when possible. If anything, I’d probably recommend farming some enemies for ergo and experience should you want to increase your chances of victory.
The fatal blows in Lies of P are incredibly satisfying to land on enemies; they never get old and look beautifully dramatic.
Things I disliked!
- Collision perimeters | When I first started playing Lies of P, I honestly thought I would be most frustrated by the difficulty, knowing that soulslike games are known to be challenging for the majority of people. How wrong I was. Instead, it was the constant occurrence of my weapon catching on the environment, sometimes inaccurately, when I was in close-quarters combat. Now, I understand that if I swing my right-handed weapon and there is a wall to my right, the hit should not go through, and therefore, I was okay to be punished for my misuse of the immediate environment. However, when I’m a noticeable amount of steps away from anything and my weapon catches on the smallest margin of whatever is surrounding me, it gets my blood boiling. I often resorted to luring enemies into the most open areas to even attempt to fight them just in case I had the misfortune of hitting anything. I think an improved accuracy of distances would have made Lies of P far better because combat would have flowed almost flawlessly.
How long did I play the review before publishing? Around 15 Hours
How long to beat the story? Approximately 30-40 Hours
How many Achievements did I earn before publishing? 10/42
How long to achieve 1000G | Approximately 50-60 Hours
You’ll love this game if you like these | Dark Souls Series, Elden Ring, Bloodborne, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Lies of P surprised me in the best way possible and has perhaps become the first of many soulslike games I will invest countless time into, really drawing me into the gameplay and design of challenging combat. Apart from the troublesome collisions during combat, I have had – and am still having – a blast with Lies of P and think many will say it shares good qualities with other soulslike games; perhaps being one of the better additions for those who are yet to try out the sub-genre? The gameplay is fluid, the audio is admirable, and the visuals look marvellous. Not to mention the thrilling combat and relief that comes with defeating bosses. Without a doubt, a great addition to the soulslike genre and one I would recommend to almost everyone.
Hello, I’m Victoria. I’m from the UK and have been playing video games for as long as I can remember; back on DreamCast. I’ve pretty much fallen for Xbox since I was around eight years old and remember BioShock being my first game on the Xbox360. Although I find it thoroughly enjoyable to not only experience gameplay, I also find comfort in getting lost and engrossed in the online worlds that sometimes differ greatly from what we know. Another side of my Xbox passion would be achievement hunting and gamerscore. I thrive when I hear the little sound of one popping up on the screen and I’m always finding ways to work on my backlog when possible. Horror is my favourite genre so if you have any recommendations, don’t be afraid to send them my way!