Lies of P Review – An Honestly Exceptional Souls-Like

    That's no lie.

    I’ll admit that I went into Lies of P somewhat blind. Of course, I knew that it was an upcoming souls-like with the novel concept of sticking the classic tale of Pinocchio in a world reminiscent of Bloodborne. However, that’s where the extent of my knowledge surrounding this game ended, until now. This is not the game’s fault, as this year’s release schedule is filled to the brim with standout titles.

    While I did miss out on the hype train, I also got to experience the game with no particular expectations. So, did Lies of P manage to impress someone who didn’t even play the demo? I’m happy to report that this game is probably one of the best experiences I’ve had with a souls-like made by a studio that isn’t FromSoftware. So, without further ado, let me elaborate on why that is. 

    Welcome to Krat

    Rosa Isabelle Street in Lies of P
    Krat has seen better days.

    Perhaps one of the most important characters in Lies of P is the setting itself. Players will find themselves in the once prosperous, but now desolate city of Krat. It’s abundantly clear that life in this city isn’t pleasant. If you weren’t lucky enough to be mauled to death by a killer puppet, the game’s fictional Petrification Disease will likely give you a slow, agonizing death. 

    Despite the dire state of Krat, much of its beauty remains. The streets may be an absolute mess, but decay hasn’t really set in yet. This communicates to the player that this tragedy is recent, and you have woken up during the worst of it. The atmosphere is oppressive, and besides some characters you will meet, pretty much everything wants you dead. 

    As you can tell, this is about as far from Disney’s take on Pinocchio as you can get. In the earlier hours, this game is eager to remind you just how depressing this setting is. For example, you can take a request from a woman in a quarantine zone suffering from the Petrification Disease. She is losing her ability to see and requests that you find her baby. I won’t spoil how this little side quest can end, but it isn’t particularly happy no matter the outcome. 

    An Eerie Adventure

    The Cathedral in Lies of P
    Environments such as this one radiate a gloomy atmosphere.

    You may already be able to guess, but one of my favorite aspects of this game is its atmosphere. This Belle Epoque setting clearly has a lot of love and care poured into it. With a strong art direction, the streets of Krat are wonderfully detailed, and it’s not hard to imagine that life was once a lot less dangerous here. The sensation of exploring these streets is somewhat similar to the first time players enter Raccoon City in Resident Evil 2

    While Lies of P may technically not be a horror game, it gets very close to being one sometimes. Several of the enemies you will fight are creepy as hell, including their designs, animation, and the sounds that they make. A lot has been done here to give the player a sense of dread as they explore the steampunk hellscape of Krat. 

    All this helped me get somewhat invested in the game’s narrative, which I did find a bit easier to follow on a first playthrough compared to games such as Dark Souls or Elden Ring. However, the game isn’t very heavy on cutscenes and will require players to interact with NPCs and read collectibles to get a better understanding of the lore.  

    Exploring Lies of P

    Hotel Krat Lobby
    Hotel Krat feels like a genuinely relaxing place to visit after a brutal boss encounter.

    Another aspect of this game that I really took to was its level design. While these aren’t the most complex levels you will ever find in a game, the quality is quite consistent for the most part. In fact, Lies of P retains the iconic interconnected level design that you can find in soulsborne titles. 

    It’s difficult to get lost, but it’s a joy to comb through the game’s various areas. Finding a shortcut that leads back to a previously found checkpoint is as satisfying as ever, and it feels great to stumble upon a rare item. However, I did not enjoy a few of the game’s later areas as much, as they came off as a bit more bland. That being said, I was feeling a bit fatigued by that point, so that could be a factor.

    One gripe I have when it comes to exploring Krat is the need to visit Hotel Krat for character progression. I would much prefer being able to level up as I explore, but this doesn’t ruin the game for me by any means. Fortunately, Hotel Krat is an aesthetically pleasing location that feels comforting to visit. 

    Lies of P’s Combat

    Fighting the Scrapped Watchman boss
    Bosses will quickly humble most players.

    At first, it took me a bit to adjust to Lies of P‘s combat. Don’t get me wrong, as I very much enjoyed it. However, it initially felt like a grab bag of mechanics from various FromSoftware titles. That isn’t inherently a bad thing, but I was a little bit concerned about how these ideas would all come together. 

    Fortunately, I did come to thoroughly enjoy the mechanics as I progressed throughout the game and more options opened up. There are many ways to approach scenarios and often found myself experimenting with my equipment when challenging the game’s terrifyingly tough boss encounters, which brings me to my next point.

    It is worth noting that Lies of P definitely isn’t for anyone who doesn’t like a significant challenge. This is a consistently difficult game that will constantly test the player. Lies of P doesn’t really forgive mistakes easily and you will likely die a lot. 

    Why Lies of P Isn’t an Easy Game

    A combat encounter with a Carcass
    Not every enemy you face will be a puppet.

    As someone who didn’t have too much trouble with some of the more notorious bosses in Armored Core VI, believe me when I say that Lies of P may be the most difficult game I have played this year. Every boss encounter can feel overwhelming at first, but with enough perseverance, they are definitely possible to get through. The fact that there was a new, beautiful location to explore after each major boss fight was enough of an incentive for me to push through these encounters. 

    Players have a few defensive options at their disposal. These can be impacted by the stats of what you have equipped. Understanding that fact is vital to making the most of those options. If you are carrying a light load, it will be a lot easier for you to get out of the way with your dodge. In addition, some weapons are better at guarding than others. 

    Learning to parry attacks can be brutal. There are quite a few enemy attack animations that have a long startup and a quick active phase, which can be somewhat irritating to deal with, especially when trying to learn timings. If you simply guard, you will have a chance to get your health back. However, anything that directly strikes you can cost you a lot. 

    Smooth as Butter

    Krat Exhibition in Lies of P
    Lies of P looks good and performs even better.

    While the general graphical fidelity obviously isn’t going to compete with the best the industry has to offer, Lies of P is an incredibly polished game. Besides some flickering geometry and character models when playing specifically on the Steam Deck, I can’t recall encountering any bugs. If I did, they were so insignificant that they didn’t impact the experience at all. 

    It’s a bit sad that I have to give this praise, but Lies of P likely has the best PC release of any title I have seen this year. I played the majority of the game with an RTX 3070 and it ran about as close to flawless as anything can get. The game includes FSR and DLSS upscaling options, but great performance is still possible without them. With my rig, I was able to achieve performance of over 100 FPS with every setting at its maximum.

    Yes, you heard that right. Lies of P performs outstandingly well for a modern single-player game. Sure, the game doesn’t feature cutting-edge visuals, but I can think of many games with a similar level of graphical fidelity that perform much worse. Overall, Lies of P feels like a properly finished game with lots of time and care behind it. 

    Lies of P is a Wonderful Surprise

    Entering the Opera House in LIes of P
    Some locations can be jaw-droppingly gorgeous.

    I don’t believe I was expecting to enjoy Lies of P as much as I did. This is probably one of the best souls-likes I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing. Lies of P is another hit to add to the absurdly huge pile of outstanding titles that were released in 2023. Unfortunately, I am a little bit worried that this game will get overshadowed by all the incredible games coming out. 

    Despite this, I am blown away by the efforts of a development studio I’ve never heard of before this. NEOWIZ and Round8 Studio have hit a home run with Lies of P. I am honestly a bit stunned by the quality of this game, even if it makes its inspirations a little obvious. If Lies of P piques your interest at all, it is very much worth your time. I will be looking forward to seeing what these developers do next. 

    Lies of P will be available on September 19 for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC via Steam. Players who pre-order the Digital Deluxe Edition will receive access to the game 72 hours before launch. Be sure to keep an eye on Final Weapon to stay tuned for guides and more coverage on Lies of P!

    Disclaimer: NEOWIZ provided Final Weapon with a Steam copy of Lies of P for review purposes.


    While Lies of P may feel quite derivative of the games that inspired it, there's no denying that a lot of care and passion went into making Lies of P. This is likely one of the best Souls-likes out there, and I'm looking forward to what these developers do next. This is an easy recommendation to anyone who is a fan of the genre.
    Itch has a strong passion for PC gaming and retro consoles (especially the Dreamcast). From Melty Blood: Actress Again to Forza Horizon, he will play just about anything that catches his eye. Ever since playing Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit as a young child, he has been in love with the medium of video games and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

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    While Lies of P may feel quite derivative of the games that inspired it, there's no denying that a lot of care and passion went into making Lies of P. This is likely one of the best Souls-likes out there, and I'm looking forward to what these developers do next. This is an easy recommendation to anyone who is a fan of the genre. Lies of P Review - An Honestly Exceptional Souls-Like