Lies of P – Game Review

Lies of P

(available for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X & S, and PC. PlayStation 5 version used for the review)

Despite me not talking about them that much, we seem to be getting a lot of Soulslikes this year. We’ve already had Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty and Star Wars: Jedi Survivor, and at time of writing we are only a few days away from the release of The Lords of the Fallen. And yet out of all of them, the one that’s got the most interest (outside of maybe Star Wars) is Lies of P. Maybe it was because of the setting, maybe because it seemed very Bloodborne inspired, maybe it was because the game is very heavily based on Carlo Collodi’s The Adventures of Pinocchio. Either way a lot of eyes were on this game, making it one of the most highly anticipated games of the year. Lies of P was developed by Neowiz Games and Round8 Studio and was released on 19th September 2023 for PlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox One & Series X/S and Steam.


Lies of P takes place in the City of Krat, at some point during the late 1800s. Krat was a prospering and peaceful city, all thanks to the puppets that aided its citizens and the Alchemists who created them. This peace doesn’t last however, as out of nowhere the puppets go on a rampage, attacking and killing any, and all humans that they can find, thus leading the once great city into disaster. You play as a puppet created by Geppetto, one who is not bound to the Grand Covenant and therefore has the ability to lie and kill, and is given the task of putting an end to the puppet rampage for once and for all, all the while having to deal with the threat of the Petrification Disease, which is causing the humans of the city to die slowly and potentially transform into abominations. His first task: find Mr. Geppetto. Like most Soulslikes, the story is more in the background and in the lore rather than clearly laid out for you. I do quite like the story; the lore is very well fleshed out and hinted at while still being able to keep everything a mystery. There is also an ongoing story as well as recurring characters that will show up every now and again, each with their own arcs that are expanded as the game goes on. These characters are very well defined and really make you care about them, heightening the world building and making you want to keep playing. 


From the setting alone, you can tell that this game was heavily inspired by Bloodborne. The derelict and automaton ridden streets of Krat are haunting with how dark and gritty each corner and alleyway can feel, all of which is made possible by the game’s presentation. The use of lighting and atmosphere are utilised to great effect, and the style of the levels and set pieces will make any fan of gothic horror very happy. Character models and enemy designs are simply amazing, your allies at the Hotel Krat look great though it’s the enemies and bosses that especially got my attention, they all just look so gritty and threatening that I can’t help but get mesmerised by them. The voice acting in Soulslikes, as mentioned in previous reviews, are always superb, and this game being no exception. The voice actors all do a fantastic job at making the characters come to life, like Allegra Marland as the Blue Fairy having a calm and serene voice, and Henry Lloyd-Hughes as Alidoro for sounding more upbeat and somewhat cowardly. There are even some actors who worked on previous Soulslikes in this game, such as the previously mentioned Allegra Marland who played Millicent from Elden Ring and Anthony Howell (Geppetto) who was the voice of Margit and Morgott also from Elden Ring. 


Finally, is the soundtrack, which is simply astounding. Most songs only play during boss fights, and they are all the perfect combination of haunting and epic, with every symphony being accompanied by a soul-stirring choir. If you want a soundtrack that is most reminiscent of Bloodborne’s, then this is it. 

World Design

Lies of P mostly takes place in the city of Krat, consisting of multiple locations for you to explore. These areas will have you wandering the streets, exploring buildings, sometimes trudging through swamps. Like literally every other Soulslike, you’ll have checkpoints that you’ll have to interact with to activate, here you can do things like change equipment, warp to other checkpoints, though of course their main purpose is to act as a respawn point when you die. Each level will normally have about four of these and will always end with a boss fight, while also having multiple throughout the level. One thing that I’m certain will disappoint a lot of Soulslike enthusiasts is the linearity of these levels. There are very few open areas in this game, and while there are some branching paths, which may be hiding some items for you to snag, there’s only ever one way forward and finding your way through is pretty straight forward. Personally, I don’t mind this, the game is tough enough without me getting lost so I’m glad I don’t have to worry about that, but I know that this will be a problem for others, especially after the release of Elden Ring last year. 


This game’s combat works like any other Soulslike, fighting a variety of challenging foes by utilising a series of weapons and items, likely running out of stamina and dying more often than you would in any other game. Of course, there are a large number of mechanics that makes this game unique, from changing the names of resources (Souls are now Ergo, Bonfires are Stargazers etc), to some very big ones that greatly change the game. 

The biggest and without a doubt coolest change are the weapons. At first the weapons will probably seem fairly standard, yes there are some strange ones like a circular saw, a giant wrench or just a shovel, though the rest seem to be your standard swords and axes. But what really makes these weapons special is your ability to swap around their Blades and Handles. This system is surprisingly really simple; the Blades determine the damage that the attacks will deal, meanwhile the Handles are more about the attack pattern you’ll perform as well as stat scaling. While some Blades work better with certain Handles – putting a Blade better used for slashing on a Handle with a stabbing attack pattern won’t work as well for example – there are no restrictions with the combinations you can create. And if you don’t have the stats to use a certain Handle but really like its attack pattern, you can use a crank that works best with the stat you’re highest in and you can edit said handle to scale slightly better with said stat. I adore this mechanic so much. There are already a decent number of weapons in this game, and this heavily increases the customisability options and makes me even more excited every time I find a new weapon, even after I found my main, I still look forward to testing out new combinations. 

Your weapon will degrade the more they’re used, it will deal less damage if the durability becomes low and could break completely if reduced to zero. Luckily, from the start you carry a Grinder with you, which will rapidly restore your weapon’s durability. Though while it does have infinite usage, it’s not instantaneous, forcing you to use the Grinder for longer if you want to fully restore your weapon. As strange as it may sound, I actually like how this works, I was always conscious of the fact that my weapon could break if I’m not careful and it intensifies fights if my durability is in the red. 

One weapon in your arsenal, which I’m almost certain was inspired by Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice are the Legion Arms. The Legion Arms uses the prosthetic arm that Geppetto’s puppet is equipped with for greater advantage in combat. Like shooting a hook to bring enemies closer to you with the Puppet Strings, blasting a stream of fire with the Flamberge, or a shield that explodes when hit with the Aegis. This weapon greatly enhances on your playing style and has a large variety of options for greater experimentation and builds. Personally, I used the Fulminis, as while it takes some time to fully charge up it deals heavy damage when done so. Don’t assume that you can just spam these attacks however, as the Legion Arm does have its own MP bar that can be very easily drained if abused. While you can restore said MP by using consumables, you will still find yourself running out of MP often. 

Guarding is surprisingly different from what I expected it to be. Almost every attack from every enemy can be guarded, and while you will still lose health by doing so, you’ll be able to regain some of your lost health by attacking the enemy back, the more you attack the more health you’ll get back, just as long as you don’t get hit again. But be warned, because the health you can regain will decrease the longer you don’t attack, so be prepared to get aggressive. And yet another mechanic taken from Sekiro, this game has borrowed its Perfect Guard mechanic. It works basically the same as in that game, block at the exact time that an enemy’s attack is meant to hit, and the damage will be negated. In fact, some stronger enemies and most bosses will have an attack that can only be avoided by using a perfect guard, so you’re going to need to practise on your timing, otherwise you may struggle.

Fable Arts takes the place of Weapon Skills, first introduced to the genre in Dark Souls 3. Just like in that game these skills are exclusive to a certain weapon, though in Lies of P you actually get two Fable Arts, one for the Blade and one for the Handle. Some of these skills are just a powerful attack or a string of attacks, while others will have different effects, like increasing a certain status element that said weapon will deal or will temporarily Perfect Block an enemy’s attack as a couple of examples. These attacks require Fable Slots to be performed, some will use up only one slot while others could use up all of them. You can refill your Fable Slots by attacking enemies or using consumables. My one problem with this is that these attacks are very easily interrupted, add in the fact that you use up Fable Slots when you press the button to perform the attack and you can understand why that gets annoying. I would have preferred it if your attack didn’t get interrupted, but you could still take damage when doing it, that way there’s still a lot of risk but you still get the reward. 

One of my biggest surprises are the changes that this game makes with death. Now death for the most part is the exact same as it is in every Soulslike, you drop your Ergo if not at the exact spot, then close to where you died, and respawn at the last Stargazer you rested at. Though there is one key difference, the Ergo you drop. Beneath your current Ergo counter you’ll see the number of Ergo that you dropped upon death, if you get hit by an enemy, you’ll notice that said number will decrease with each hit, and if you kill that enemy the number will return to what it was before. Basically, get hit and you’ll lose a small portion of Ergo that you dropped, and if you die you won’t lose all of it, but you will lose a large chunk. This addition makes it much more tense when you’re trying to regain what Ergo you’ve lost and almost forces you to fight enemies on your way to grab it, it also doesn’t completely screw you over if you die before regaining your Ergo and you’ll just lose some of it instead of all of it. One more difference with dropped Ergo that I’m certain some of you will love, if you die in a boss arena, the Ergo you dropped will spawn outside of the fog wall, meaning you’re not panicking about trying to get it while the boss is lunging forward to pummel your ass. 

Enemies and Bosses

Luckily this game doesn’t have the same issue that a lot of other Non-Fromsoftware Soulslikes has, as this game has quite the roster of enemies attempting to prevent you from progressing. Some of these will be simple marching band puppets carrying pipes or zombie-like creatures that will rush you, while others are genuinely terrifying, like giant circus puppets covered in grime with spikes for hands or giant mutations that can wipe out your health in a couple of hits. A lot of these designs are genuinely creative and can be very threatening at times. There is one problem with a few of them, but we’ll get to that in a minute. 

Boss fights, I have to admit, I’m a little bit mixed on. Which is a shame because I actually really like most of these fights; I’m not kidding when I say that some of these fights are on par with the bosses from Soulslikes by Fromsoftware. The attacks are well telegraphed and are difficult to learn but very satisfying to master, with a great combination of giants and fighters your own size, most of which are super fun to fight. Though there are a couple of things that make these fights not nearly as enjoyable as they could be. For starters, some of these bosses have way too much health. I was dealing a decent amount of damage to bosses, around 350-550 per hit in the later game as an example, and yet I was consistently barely making a dent in their massive health pool. This isn’t just a problem with the bosses either, there are some enemies that I felt had an insane amount of health compared to others. These bosses also have a mechanic similar to yours when you guard, when you hit them, they also have the ability to regain a small portion of health overtime. Though the difference is that while you need to hit the boss to regain health, they just get it back if you’re not hitting them consistently. It almost forces an aggressive playstyle onto the player rather than encouraging it, otherwise their already large health bar will be regained – this is especially annoying against aggressive bosses that barely give you a chance to heal, not to mention the fact that they barely stagger, thus making their barrage of attack uninterrupted.

Lies of P, unfortunately for some, doesn’t have multiplayer, thus meaning no co-op against bosses. Don’t worry though, as this game does have some form of help with these horrible foes, that help being the Specters. Outside of certain boss arenas, you’ll see what looks like a birdbath, by dropping a Star Fragment into it you’ll be able to summon a Specter that will spawn inside the boss arena when you enter it. These guys don’t really help much in damaging bosses as they do very little damage, instead they act more as a distraction for the boss to swing at, so you can get a few hits in. The Specter doesn’t avoid attacks very well though and can die quickly because of that, so keep that in mind. 

Upgrading your Arsenal

Character progression and upgrades are essential to how Soulslikes function, so of course there are plenty of ways to upgrade yourself and make yourself stronger, all of which can be found at the Hotel Krat. Of course, we have the standard Levelling up system, where you spend Ergo you’ve accumulated to increase one of your six stats, letting you customise your character for whatever build you wish to make or to help scale your build to whatever weapon you prefer. Of course, there is the weapon upgrade system, which will power up your blade for further damage. Though that’s not all:

For starters, the way you upgrade your Legion Arms is fairly unique. Instead of just upgrading the amount of damage you can deal, you instead get more abilities with said Arm. For example, adding an extra charge to the Fulminis, or increasing the range of the fire blast to the Flamberge. It’s really cool to see that the devs thought to do more with these abilities than just “do bigger numbers”.

The last one is the P-Organ. The P-Organ is basically this game’s version of a skill tree. Unlocking these upgrades requires you use a Quartz, which you can get by beating certain bosses or just finding them in the world. Though just using a Quartz won’t unlock you the ability as each one will have a number of slots that you must fill up before doing so. What I really like about this is that you fill up ability slots with, well… more abilities, which you’ll gain access to straight away. Once you unlock a certain number of abilities from the P-Organ, you’ll gain access to more that you’ll then have to unlock. While I do really like this, there is one complaint that I have to make, and that is that you can’t swap around abilities or even just completely refresh the board if you get an ability that you don’t really like or want to swap it out for something else, which is pretty annoying. 


I unfortunately wasn’t able to finish Lies of P before writing this review, partly because I ran out of time (I have three more games to review this month), partly because I’m currently stuck on what I would call this games Melania (and I’ve likely drawn about 25% of readers away with that line alone… sorry), which is a shame because I think that this is a great game. When it comes to Non-Fromsoftware Soulslikes this game is easily one of the best and I highly recommend it if you are a fan of the genre and especially if you’re a Bloodborne fan, because let’s be honest, games like this are the closest we’re ever going to get to a Bloodborne 2.


Elliot Chapman
Anime Amigo and Nerd Consultant

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