Events are finally starting to get back on track, and I got the chance to attend PAX West 2022 in Seattle just last week. It was a busy weekend filled with games and fellow gamers after quite a long time, which was quite fun, all things considered.
While there are definitely many titles to try out and choose from, one game I’m decidedly curious about is Lies of P.
While it follows a Victorian-era steampunk motif, which is an attraction in itself, the draw is its similarity to Bloodborne. I have a disdain for Soulslike titles, but Bloodborne is my favorite of the bunch because of its faster-paced gameplay, gothic motifs, and cosmic horror elements.
So, under the beautiful umbrella display of AMD and ROG, which held creative exhibits that included a Saint’s Row taco truck and the bombast of the Halo Infinite tournament; amidst the impressive setup of masterfully built rigs and tempting gaming laptops—there sat the crown jewel—The Lies of P game trial.
No Lies, It’s Fantastic
Visually, Lies of P is stunning and impressive, featuring perfect lighting that fully displays the mood and darkness that Bloodborne capitalized on when it was released back in 2015. This time, it combines the dreary steampunk feel with the majesty of the French Baroque era. The lighting was the first thing I truly noticed, highlighting the shadows that bring the era to life.
Another obvious observation is the framerate improvement, matching modern sensibilities seen in faster-paced titles such as Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and the Nioh series. To be blunt about it – it’s like playing a PS5 optimized version of Bloodborne.
I played Lies of P with an Xbox controller, so it definitely intrigues me how the game will possibly take advantage of the DualSense features like Haptic Feedback and Adaptive Triggers if the devs decide to do something about it.
I just want to be a real boy
Lies of P opened up two chapters for us to try out. Players are given three “memories” to choose from, which dictates the playstyle you start with for this build – Balanced, Speed, and Power.
As the modes suggest: Balanced starts you off with a hook shot and a saber allowing you to drag an enemy to melee range. Speed starts off with a pistol and a foil for faster attacks. Finally, Power starts you with a two-handed cog axe that metes out puppet justice with massive damage.
Just to stray away from the obvious similarities, I tried out Balanced mode, which surprisingly felt different enough to be called a mere clone.
One thing I noticed is that the hookshot is dependent on how much puppet string you have, which serves as ammo. It’s a pretty cool mechanic which limits cheesing enemies due to its high ability to stagger enemies.
Learning to stagger opponents with the secondary weapon puts them into a “groggy” mode, which allows you to follow up with a fatal attack. Depending on the enemy’s vitality, you can deal massive damage or kill them outright. Pretty standard stuff here.
Defense-wise, your blocking can allow for healing bonuses or a perfect block that allows a parry to give you an advantage. In a way, it’s similar to Nioh‘s Ki Pulse, and a great addition to the game.
Overall, Lies of P doesn’t really break the mold or reinvent the wheel, at least from what I got to play. There will obviously be some changes in what the features are called here – Stargazers replace the Bonfire and Ergo replaces the Echoes – but the functions are basically the same if you’re already familiar with Soulsborne games.
Despite the similarities, the game plays well and is polished enough to provide an entertaining playthrough, and also feels enough different thanks to its upgraded visuals and performance.
Lies of P is coming to the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, and PC via Steam in 2023.