There have been many Soulslike games over the years since the subgenre’s inception in 2009 with the release of Demon’s Souls. What keeps the subgenre fresh with every new game is the tendency to push the gaming experience to the next level with new gameplay mechanics and original content. Pushing the boundaries is exactly on the cards with the upcoming indie title from South Korean studios Round 8, Lies of P.
Lies of P is a dark retelling of the Pinocchio folk tale set in the fictional town of Krat. The winding cobbled streets are littered with bodies and teeming with automatons and murderous rats. Heavy fog obscures much of the city streets in moonlight. It seems that a plague has swept through the big city, suggesting a little Dishonored– as a prelude to the main story. All Soulslike elements are present in the gameplay trailer for Lies of Pbut there is a new element promised by the developers which is not in the trailer.
Soulslikes are well established in the gaming community as games that promise to torture gamers with complex gameplay mechanics and aggravating boss fights. There’s generally a considerable lack of hints in the game, and save points almost serve as hard-earned rewards rather than something to use endlessly at some point. In addition to this ruthless gameplay, Lies of PThe unique lie mechanic of allows this upcoming Soulslike to break new ground.
The concept of lying Lies of P is exciting but not as simple as one might think. Throughout the story, players will reach areas where they must decide Pinocchio’s reaction. Pinocchio is a wooden doll, but if he acts in a way or answers a question in a way that a human would, he’s essentially lying to himself and the people around him. He doesn’t act like a doll; he pretends to be human.
This intriguing element of the lie is that, if Pinocchio does this enough, players in the game will continue to think of him as a real human. In turn, he will also see himself as a real human. It may be that the game wants the player to think of Pinocchio as a real human, because it would be all the more tragic if something terrible happened to him.
The gameplay trailer of Lies of P is action packed. Much of the fight seems to be like Dark Souls III and transmitted by blood, with more emphasis on speed. Pinocchio’s mechanical left arm is very reminiscent of the titular hero of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, as it looks like the arm can be customized with different weapons. In the trailer, Pinocchio wields a flamethrower attachment, and it also looks like he can attach a grappling hook. The new lie mechanic looks very interesting, and it’s refreshing to see that Lies of P will also retain tried and true Soulslike elements in its gameplay.
Depending on the lies told and the number of people who believe them, the player will get a different ending. Presumably, lying could alter the effectiveness of upgrades or the ability to find or even use certain weapons. As the game unfolds and the lies are weighed against the truths, the quests will also change, as will Pinocchio’s enemies. It’s unclear how enemies change, but this idea is interesting. It’s unclear at this point in development if truths are preferred over lies for the happiest ending, but considering Lies of P is a Soulslike, there’s no doubt that even the happiest ending will contain an element of despair. How lies can affect the gameplay and enemies of Pinocchio raises an important question: will the lies also change the city of Krat?
Krat is undoubtedly a massive company surrounded by an ambience that lends itself to an all-pervading sense of dread. Its gothic design recalls transmitted by blood bloodied city of Yharnam. Lies of P doesn’t have a definitive release date yet, but the gameplay trailer promises some great things and a truly unique entry into the growing Soulslike genre.