Lies of P Review – Dark Pinocchio adventure

Lies of P puts a dark twist on the story of Pinocchio and his creator Geppetto. A true Soulsborn game where you have to defeat various other puppets while your goal as Pinocchio is of course to become a real boy. That certainly sounded interesting so I went with it.

A new version of Pinocchio

It’s a bold choice to use a name like Pinocchio as the basis for a Soulsborn game. After all, when most people think of that name, they quickly think of the Disney movie or the common fairy tale read to small children. But Lies of P seems to draw primarily from writer Carlo Collodi’s original work. This is reflected in both characters you meet during your adventure such as the Fox and the Cat who tell you lies and half-truths at every turn, and the various locations you visit will seem familiar to readers of the original story. Although, of course, an enchanted and scary forest can be found in almost all fairy tales.

You begin your adventure in the city of Krat where you regularly have to make choices on how to face many enemies. At the start of the game, you must first choose from three fighting styles consisting of swift swords, a large sword that deals extra damage and a class that falls in the middle of these two styles. In the end, your choice does not matter too much since, after a short prologue where you are explained the basic skills, you always have the freedom to change your chosen weapon.

Lies of P is slightly more forgiving than most Soulslike games.

The locations you visit in Krat, the atmospheric lighting and the pretty creepy-looking dolls you encounter along the way give the world of Lies of P an oppressive but cool atmosphere. A doll can be hidden around every corner, so you are constantly on your guard and prepared to fend off a counter attack. Lies of P uses a counter system in which you must exhaust opponents and then deal them the final blow with a special attack. Don’t know how to counter in time? Then it’s important not to get caught off guard and attack as quickly as possible. Lost life energy can be regained by taking out your enemies. It makes Lies of P slightly more forgiving than most Soulslike games. During battles, I found P’s evasion skills a bit disappointing. I would have liked to see him kill a little faster than he did in most battles. As the game progressed, the many upgrades and new weapons made it a little easier. In fact, you can assign a number of upgrades to P’s left arm that make gameplay a lot more varied. How about a hook you can use to pull your opponents towards you? Or a cannon that lets you fire at enemies from a distance and finally deliver a final blow when you’re close to them.

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Pinocchio has to lie

Of course, defeating enemy dolls also earns you Ergo. This variant of souls from the Souls games allows you to increase your skills and stats at the first Stargazer you encounter in the game. Now of course, fans of the Souls games think that this is simply a campfire replacement, but unfortunately further on in the game such Stargazers are just a way to teleport to the hotel in Krat and upgrade your P there. On the one hand, I don’t understand this cumbersome choice, as it makes you go through a number of unnecessary and redundant steps. On the other hand, this is also a way of the developers to let you, the player, pick up new sidequests, make improvements to your arsenal and occasionally put on a record to unwind. By the way, listening to music also causes you to earn more Humanity points and slowly but surely transform from a doll into a human being. Another gameplay element is that at intervals in the story you have to choose whether your character tells the truth or deals with them empathetically but lies to them. The more you lie, the more human you become. If you choose to be pretty brutally honest, then you remain more of a puppet because you seem to show no compassion for the situations such characters find themselves in. These choices affect both how the situations in question unfold but also which of the three different endings of the story you will get to see.

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It’s an interesting choice to give the basic concept of a lying Pinocchio a new interpretation during the story. Fortunately, your character will not get a huge long nose when he lies, although that might be used ingame as a huge battle weapon, look at how often I chose to lie instead of telling the truth.

Another thing I thought was a cool addition is the extensive weapon system. You constantly find loot and weapons that you can combine and dismantle to your heart’s content. All the blades of swords and the handles have stats and unique properties that you can combine into a new weapon. For example, at one point I had a bat equipped with an electric core. Let’s just say that my opponents didn’t exactly appreciate a few raunchy blows with the bat. In any case, Lies of P gives you a wide range of options so that there is a build for everyone that best suits your preferred play style.

Lies of P has become an impressive addition to the Souls genre. The gameplay is challenging and has a good range of options to develop P to fit your play style. The extensive weapon system and many ways to customize your weapons gives you the freedom to create cool and unique weapons and character builds. And the choice of developer NEOWIZ to use Pinocchio as the heroic protagonist as the basis of their game in terms of story as well as gameplay is both bold and successful. In my opinion, the combat could have been more forgiving, especially when it comes to dodging, but the overall picture of Lies of P is certainly impressive.

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