It's visually breathtaking, very difficult and the soundtrack is to die for.
The story of Pinocchio is one we all know well. The tale of a puppet who comes to life and whose nose grows with every lie he speaks. Now, while rereading the book for this review, I felt that the original author Carlo Collodi really missed the chance to give Pinocchio a flamethrower and a sword and to send him on a mission to kill hundreds of crazed puppets. Thankfully, Neowiz games, Nough and Round8 studio fixed this problem with their game called Lies of P.
The game is set in the beautiful Belle Epoque city of Krat. The city used a revolutionary power source called Ergo to power puppets to make them do many menial jobs around the city. With the exception of Pinocchio, to make sure these puppets wouldn’t kill or rise up against humanity, they bound them to the grand covenant, a set of rules they must follow including the inability to attack humans or to lie. Unfortunately for them, the puppets rose up against the humans suddenly and killed most of those residing within Krat in something known as the puppet frenzy.
Lies of P is a type of game called Soulsborne and they takes many aspects from the Dark Soul trilogy. Some of these are difficult bosses with hard but predictable attacks, parrying, a stamina bar, dodge rolls with invincibility frames, large weapon variety and attempting to smash a keyboard/controller when you “swear” you dodged that attack but you somehow died anyway. However the developers made sure that it is a game in itself, not just some cheap copy, by changing some of these core mechanics.
We begin as Pinocchio in an abandoned train station and attempting to make his way to hotel Krat. There, he is instructed to rescue his creator Geppetto and to find a way to stop the puppet frenzy. Along the way, he is joined by the cricket Gemini as he helps guide Pinocchio through the city streets and beyond with his comedic quips and commentary. In Pinocchio’s arsenal, he has many weapons ranging from daggers, swords, spears and comically large hammers and great swords. His left arm being mechanical, can be swapped out for legion arms with varying utilities. From an aforementioned flamethrower, to a grappling hook, a cannon and many others. His path from area to area is unfortunately blocked by bosses of increasing difficulty which Pinocchio must beat before moving forward.
To help him beat these bosses, there is a system to help level your stats, from more health or stamina, to how much you can carry at once and stats to increase your weapon’s damage. Your weapon uses a completely new game mechanic in which the blade and hilt of a weapon can be separated and swapped with others to make a different weapon. This means the 29 separablef weapons becomes 841 different ways to kill the puppets. Your P organ (the heart that powers you) also allows you to upgrade yourself to get perks like being able to double dodge, regain more health from guarding and to hold more amulets.
While parrying is still in the game, instead of allowing you to deal a critical hit, it negates damage and slowly breaks the weapon of an enemy. This can destroy enemies weapons and can even skip some boss phases. And unlike previous Soulsborne, literally everything is parriable, even bullets!! Parrying is also essential to avoid taking damage from special red attacks which can not be dodged by anything other than parrying or doing some careful running. A critical hit instead though parrying, is landed when the boss’s poise is high enough which is shown by a white bar surrounding the boss’s health, and then by landing a heavy attack. Later on, some bosses will do 1-3 attacks before the critical hit can actually be landed which has left some feeling that it’s unfair and unlike Dark Souls. However, in my opinion, Lies of P should be allowed to carve identity for itself.
As you progress through the game telling lies, killing humans and listening to records, you slowly become more human (which tells us that having a good music taste clearly is the greatest show of humanity). It becomes clear later in the game that there may be more to the puppet frenzy, Ergo and yourself in the progress. There are many things in the game from boss weapons, the alchemists, the petrification disease, fable arts and much more that wouldn’t fit in the review. The only way to truly understand the Lies of P experience is to play it yourself. And if that’s not enough to convince you to play this game, there is an adorable cat in the hotel you can pet.
You’ll just have to trust me, after all, would I lie to you?