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Lies of P Review in 3 Minutes


Watch the Review in 3 Minutes for Lies of P, an excellent recursive action RPG from developer Neowiz that might be the best non-From soulslike yet.

Lies of P Review Transcript

Lies of P is a recursive action RPG from developer Neowiz, set in a dark fantasy world based on the story of Pinocchio. In the once-bustling city of Krat, master inventor Geppetto revolutionized the world with his automated robotic creations, which act as maids, caretakers, and laborers for the city’s people, commonly referred to as puppets. As a mysterious fatal illness starts spreading amongst the populace, puppets suddenly begin to murder every human in sight, transforming Krat into a hellscape overnight.

The story contains only the faintest of similarities to any retelling of Pinocchio you’ve likely heard. It’s full of nods, iconography and references, but carves out a very unique and compelling plot full of conspiracy, moral quandaries, and heartbreaking scenarios. All of its moving pieces don’t fit together perfectly but I enjoyed its broad strokes the whole way through.

You play as Geppetto’s latest creation, a life-like puppet with a special heart who’s free of the Grand Covenant, a set of rules every puppet must follow similar to Asimov’s laws of robotics. This allows you to choose whether or not you will lie to people as you make your way to uncovering the truth of the city’s events. This passive mechanic acts as an invisible character alignment that seemingly affects how certain characters will respond to you and can possibly influence your ending, but as I only finished a single playthrough it’s hard to say just how much changes.

Gameplay is very familiar, not just in the sense that this is a soulsborne-like, but that Lies of P feels every bit as good as Bloodborne itself. It employs a similar health-regain system for attacking immediately after being hit but adds a super-satisfying parry that allows you to damage enemy poise, setting them up for big damage if you can break it entirely. The combat is fun, fluid, and responsive, and enemies are distinct and dangerous, with fear-inducing animations that are nothing short of incredible. I felt my heart jump out of my chest in a moment when a menacing Jester puppet came storming towards me out of a dark doorway. I have some gripes with the game’s liberal use of a couple of well known FromSoft staples, namely enemies bursting through walls or dropping you through the floor without warning. These things happened so often I was trauma jumping on every walkway. 

Where Lies of P gets original is with its weapon assembly system, which allows you to mix and match almost any weapon blade with any weapon handle. While you keep the damage type and properties of the blade, the handle changes the attack animations and governs the stat scaling. This consumes no resources and doesn’t affect any upgrades allowing you to freely try tons of weapon combinations to create something that works specifically for your needs. You’re also equipped with the Legion arm, a swappable gadget that allows you to use a number of useful tools like a grapple, a flamethrower, or even an exploding shield.

I adored the number of options available to me, as no gear requires minimum stats.You’ll find new weapons and parts that increase your defense by scouring levels for chests, defeating tough enemies or by purchasing from various shopkeepers and there were never any duplicates. The meta game of finding the perfect weapon for the current situation hooked me even if I did have to default to my hardest hitting one for many of the boss encounters.

Speaking of, Lies of P has a huge number of formidable bosses. Areas will often pit you against 2 to 3 mini bosses before you can take on the main one, and that’s not counting some of the optional hidden encounters you can run into. It’s highly impressive how each and every boss fight earns its place even though by the game’s end I was desperately hoping to get credits only to be introduced to yet another boss. I was able to get an ending after about 60 hours but notably there were at the very least three areas in the game I could see but didn’t discover an entrance to. With a host of missing collectables like vinyl records with amazing music you can actually play in your base I’m sure there’s even more hidden in the world.

It’s rare to see a game in this genre so decisively match the quality of FromSoft themselves. If you love recursive action RPGs, Lies of P is gorgeous, challenging, absorbing, polished, and an absolute must play. The game is out Sep 18 for $59.99 on PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and included in Xbox Game Pass.

About the author

KC Nwosu
KC Nwosu has been making video game content for nearly half a decade. He also streams with his son Starboy who has legitimately won a Mario Kart race against him.