Lies Of P Is Giving Steampunk Bloodborne But With 60FPS

Lies Of P Is Giving Steampunk Bloodborne But With 60FPS

FromSoftware’s Bloodborne will probably linger in your mind when playing Lies of P. While the similarities are obvious, the Pinocchio Chalamet-led Soulslike is more than just a xerox of the 2015 Victorian-era masterpiece, and the recent demo makes it clear that developer Round8 Studio is more enamored with FromSoft’s aesthetic than it is obsessed to the point of replication.

Published by Neowiz Games, Lies of P is an upcoming Soulslike RPG for PC, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. You play as Pinocchio, a puppet created by the master carpenter Geppetto and the world’s greatest pathological liar. Maybe you know the rest about Pinocchio, whose nose grows every time he lies, and of his perilous journey to becoming a real boy through good deeds. Throw all that shit out of the window. Lies of P is a dark reimagining of what’s normally a lighthearted children’s storybook filled with moral lessons.

The free demo gives you the first two main levels and the entire hub area of Hotel Krat to explore, and it piqued my interest for the full release this September.

He still lies, that much is true. But now, Pinocchio—who bears a striking resemblance to Dune star Timothée Chalamet—is a mechanical puppet willed to life by the grace of a woman hellbent on finding the missing Geppetto to stop his puppetbots from killing everyone. The story is giving Nier: Automata against a French backdrop. And since this is a Soulslike RPG with murderous machines, you’ll equip Pinocchio with various stabby weapons to disassemble the terrorizing robots, locate Geppetto, and put an end to what’s essentially become an armed, mechanized revolution against humans.

Read More: That Bloodborne-Looking Pinocchio Soulslike Has A Demo Now

That’s how you repair a sword

The FromSoftware inspirations—Bloodborne in particular—are obvious. Lies of P bleeds from the same vein as FromSoft’s 2015 release. From the gothic cathedrals to the blood-soaked streets to the slim-wheeled carriages, it’s understandable to mistake Lies of P for a Bloodborne clone. There’s a Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice-type customizable robotic arm you can outfit with a grappling hook, flamethrower, or gun. The movement is slower, though, putting it on par with Dark Souls. And while it doesn’t take anything from Elden Ring, Lies of P still rests its head at FromSoft’s bonfires. Sure, there are some pretty overt similarities like the somewhat gothic art direction. But to call it a clone would be overly reductive. Lies of P is more a love letter to FromSoft than a ripoff.

Image: Round8 Studio

The combat in Lies of P is a bit clunky at first blush, but it becomes more digestible as you continue on. You battle against an assortment of animatronics as you make your way to Hotel Krat, the central hub location where Pinocchio can develop new skills, upgrade his equipment, and chat with the denizens. Combat is a bit imprecise and stiff, and the block and parry don’t go far by way of preventing damage or throwing your enemy off balance, respectively. The demo is just a small snapshot, though, so things could change as you progress. That said, cutting up enemy robots—or, in my case, poking them to destruction with a rapier thanks to the dexterity-based Path of the Bastard playstyle, one of three you can choose from at the demo’s opening—is crunchy and satisfying.

Your weapons come outfitted with a durability meter, which depletes with each successful strike until they become unusable. But since Pinocchio’s got a prosthetic arm, your boy can just sharpen his blade on the spot to replenish its durability, though it will take a moment and leave you somewhat vulnerable. This has to be one of the best answers to weapon breakage I’ve seen in a minute.

Lies of P keeps its challenges behind bosses

Still, Lies of P is a little rough around the edges. While playable at 60fps, something Bloodborne can’t do without a mod, the game did drop frames and even just abruptly sent me back to the title screen more than once during my time with the brief demo. Enemy AI is also incredibly inept, often mindlessly charging you or standing around as you break them apart. I’d say that next to Team Ninja’s Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, this was one of the easiest Soulslikes I’ve played. Until I hit the demo’s bosses, both of which put my mechanical ass in a wooden coffin.

Pinocchio tussles with some demonic-looking robot.

Image: Round8 Studio

Much of the demo, which featured the first two levels alongside the main hub area, was a cakewalk. It’s pretty linear, shuffling you through cramped hallways and burning streets as you beat up (sometimes headless) bots. There is also a small handful of tougher enemies you’ll encounter on your journey, like a baton-wielding police bot and a hulking bruiser bot that’ll punch you to death. But the animations for most enemies are incredibly predictable, with long wind-up animations and even longer recovery ones. While a tad slow as well, Pinocchio recovers quicker than most enemies, so it’s never really a bother. The bosses, though, are another story. The two available here, the spiked-club-wielding Parade Master and the electrified quad-bot Scrapped Watchman, are some mean mechs. Both are capable of killing in just a couple of hits, with the second phase of each being the most terrifying. But it’s the crawling Scrapped Watchman that serves as the real skill check in the demo, requiring you to know when to get in and do damage and when to get out to escape punishment.

Watch More: The Pinocchio Action Game Is A Love Letter To FromSoftware, Not A Bloodborne Clone

It’s an impressive fight, filled with electricity as the Scrapped Watchman calls upon blue lightning to deal shock damage (which deals additional damage) while bludgeoning you with his arms. It feels like the perfect illustration for what to expect from the full game: A tough, multi-phase bout that’s bombastic and frightening. Maybe that’s expected. This is a Soulslike, after all. Not having towering, over-the-top boss fights would be a cardinal sin in this genre. Lies of P doesn’t necessarily reinvent the wheel. It’s a steampunk amalgam of FromSoft games, but it’s a compelling release that’ll kinda-sorta scratch that Bloodborne itch.

Lies of P launches on September 19 for PC, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. Meanwhile, the demo is only playable until June 27.


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