Lies of P - Review
Interest in Souls-computer games is only higher, pushing small game studios to develop new versions of FromSoftware.
The fashion for Souls games does not go away, pushing small game studios to develop new versions of the well-known FromSoftware creation. And if most authors are trying to rethink the classics, bringing their not always working, but still original ideas, some artisans bake pies from old dough. Lies of P from the Korean team Neowiz Games is engaged in what can now be called "homage". In other words, they copy the ideas of the original outright, offering familiar concepts and mechanics in a new mechanical Pinocchio wrapper.
The events of Lies of P take place in the gloomy city of Krat, where the technical revolution has saturated the world with puppets that have removed most of the worries from the residents of the city. But the steampunk utopia did not last long: at first the world was covered by a stone disease, and after the quarantine zones, the wrath of the distraught puppets descended on the remnants of civilization. The main character of the story is a unique puppet, which, unlike other mechanical creatures, can lie like a real person. And only he can stop the uprising of machines and rid humanity of the disease.
However, behind the facade of the literary reinterpretation of Carlo Collodi's fairy tale, the same concept of FromSoftware games is hidden. The player kills opponents and collects agro energy, reviving at the local analogue of bonfires – stargazers. In addition to the traditional pumping system with endurance, health and strength, you are also offered a talent scale, which affects the local analogue of magic – a mechanical hand. As in Sekiro, the customizable arm serves as an additional support during battles. The player can shoot lightning bolts from the limb, pour fire on the enemy or, in the best traditions of Mortal Kombat, pull on a rope. Naturally, the hand actively wears out, so that its charge can be replenished with the help of auxiliary items or by returning to the stargazer.
The battles themselves rest on a system of blocks and parries. With a normal block, the main character temporarily loses some of his health, which can be returned by counterattacks, but parrying allows you to repel a blow and deliver a series of powerful attacks or even put the enemy into a state of stupefaction. In the latter case, a strong blow will allow for a deadly combination.
In addition to the main weapon, our Pinocchio is able to install a second set of weapons, but this will greatly affect the overall weight and endurance of the character. In addition to ampoules with health, the menu allows you to set active items — from performance enhancers to throwing weapons. Additionally, a whetstone is available to help update the blunted blade and apply a special effect on weapons like fire or electricity once per session outside the stargazer.
It is worth mentioning the installation of mechanical heart perks in exchange for rare quartz. This allows you to extend the effects of sharpening weapons, increase the force of blows or add the number of items used. In the two initial equipment slots, you can place special amulets that increase health or the amount of available weight. There are also purely cosmetic solutions, such as changing the clothes of the main character. Collected crystals from agro-bosses can be exchanged for unique weapons from a local collector.
The Lies of P customization system demonstrates a noticeable depth — unlike the games in the Dark Souls series. You can sharpen the blade and rearrange the hilt from a heavy sword to a rapier, getting a completely new weapon with its own behavior and special strikes. Pumping the hand allows you to discover and create new types of mechanical assistant. In addition, the cube prayer is available to Pinocchio, which affects the health and characteristics of a partner.
The fact is that Lies of P offers a ghostly companion specifically to help in boss battles. He is certainly stupid, but he copes well with the role of bait, distracting the boss's attention. A special cube allows you to strengthen his attacks, revive him in case of death or restore his health.
New abilities are exchanged at the merchant for the fruits of the money tree, which yields a harvest after a certain period of real time. The same fruits are needed to reset the pumping and build a new build. The weapon class and one of the pumping elements affect the killing power of the blade used.
Pumping weapons with the help of moonstones, running around with blades for red butterflies for special items, a mechanical hand, poisonous swamps, parrying, saving from balls, conversations with the puppet Sofia, who raises the main character's level – all this refers to the worlds of FromSoftware, but Neowiz Games also offers something of its own – bosses. Giant steam robots, crazed clowns, mutants distorted by disease and crazy city guards in animal costumes will give you a desperate rebuff, forcing you to try different tactics and approaches. Some bosses can be met only in proud solitude, leaving a ghostly partner only for the level masters. And although not all opponents are interesting, many of the battles are truly admired.
The main plot in Lies of P is made for show, while side stories, often interconnected, are distinguished by excellent elaboration. One of the random NPCs will ask to return the things of his beloved wife, Pinocchio will find a ring on the puppet and learn the tragic love story of a man and a machine, and later the butler will admit that he loves a woman, and this wedding ring will be able to change his and your life for the better.
In terms of graphics, the work of Neowiz Games can be compared with another Souls clone with mechanical opponents - Steelrising. And here the Koreans have a serious advantage — Lies of P looks modern, standing out with a good lighting model, pleasant animation and detailing of enemies, of which there are more than fifty. And the difference in budgets is too noticeable even by the way the clothes of the main character get dirty.
Result: The most important problem of Lies of P is a very weak beginning with faded labyrinths of levels and boring enemies, but already in the fourth act, with the advent of new mechanics, opponents and an increase in the variety of weapons selection, the game reveals itself, turning into an exciting product in an established genre. However, to endure and overcome is already in the blood of fans of Miyazaki's work. And this in this case is clearly worth it.
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