When Lies of P was first announced, I assumed it was some elaborate joke. A Souls-like based on Pinocchio? No way, right? Wrong. Lies of P is not only very real, but it’ll soon have a demo available for anyone who wishes to see precisely what it entails. The game is quite a bit better than I had imagined and has some surprisingly decent art direction, considering. From the demo, though, I can’t see how it differentiates itself from similar games, even if it isn’t silly or totally questionable as I expected, given the subject matter.
Yes, Lies of P casts you as Pinocchio, the puppet boy from the classic Italian children’s book. In practice, however, if some of the characters were given different names, you’d be hard-pressed to be aware of this. The premise is straightforward: Pinocchio is told to find Geppetto and become a real boy. But you don’t play as a wooden puppet and go on bizarre misadventures where he learns lessons about why it’s bad to be selfish. This Pinocchio is closer to a robot than a puppet. The game describes him as a “puppet mechanoid”, and he looks like a real person, albeit with a metal arm.
The game begins in a train station and Pinocchio must find a key to unlock the door leading to a larger area. The game appears to stick very, very close to Dark Souls, down to the object you interact with to level up, which also respawns enemies. You lose your currency upon death and return to the object to try again. Enemies also drop glowing items upon death that you can pick up. You use the currency to level up, which increases your health, stamina, dexterity, strength, etc. There were very few surprised beyond how decent the game looks, as it’s honestly quite atmospheric and detailed.
The enemies are mostly other puppet robot things. They look appropriately toy-like, and they all animate well enough. There are also dog robot enemies. Combat is pretty much exactly like you’ve likely imagined if you’ve played a Souls-like before. You’ve got light and strong attacks, a dodge with invincibility frames, plus you can run. Pinocchio can even jump, but only while running, which is a bit different. He’s also got a healing item with a few uses that recharges. The main difference compared to other games is in special attacks.
“Lies of P appears to offer most of what players could want from a Souls-like, so you’ll have to check out the demo that drops soon to see if it’s worth your cash.”
As you defeat enemies, a three-pronged meter fills up that allows you to use special attacks. There are two here, one used with the Y (or Triangle) button and another used while blocking. While I didn’t see a shield in the Lies of P demo, you can still block with your default weapon, although you’ll take some damage doing this. Pinocchio’s dodge is a little leap and not an actual dodge roll, so it isn’t quite as handy as the dodges in the Dark Souls games. Once you use all three of your healing charges, you can fill up the meter by defeating enemies and get to heal some more.
One thing that caught me off guard in Lies of P is how easy it is to aggro a large group of enemies this early on in the game. Attempting to outrun everything can see you completely surrounded, but the enemies in this section mostly don’t take more than a few hits, save for one stronger foe. Speaking of stronger foes, there’s a boss battle here too. A large enemy shows up beyond the game’s version of a fog gate, and it glows red and gains a new moveset once you get it down to half health.
Lies of P appears to offer most of what players could want from a Souls-like, so you’ll have to check out the demo that drops soon to see if it’s worth your cash. It strongly reminded me of another Souls-like that featured robot doll characters and enemies, so we’ll need to wait and see how Lies of P ends up.