PETER HOSKIN reviews Lies of P

This world of gilding and shadows is a pleasure to occupy: PETER HOSKIN reviews Lies of P

Lies Of P (PlayStation, Xbox, PC, £49.99)

Verdict: Honestly good


You know Pinocchio, right? Puppet kid. Wants to be a real boy. Has a supercharged, adamantine left arm. Carries a sword with the other arm. 

Uses them to pummel and slash his way through all the demented toy-monsters who populate his violent realm.

Ah, actually, you may not know the Pinocchio from Lies Of P. The makers of this game have taken Carlo Collodi’s original fairy tale and twisted it into something far more brutal.

But it’s not Collodi to whom they owe their biggest debt. It’s another game: Dark Souls. 

Here is the same hyper-challenging combat: slash, dodge, parry, die, try again. Here are the same revivifying bonfires and limited-use health flasks, though they go by different names. Here is the same atmosphere of dread and discovery.

If this has you saying that Lies Of P sounds derivative — doubly derivative! — you’re not fibbing. 

I came into this one expecting the worst: a sort of angsty, teenage version of a superior game. But two things won me over.

The first is Lies Of P’s setting. The baroque, Eastern European-feeling city of Krat may simply be a new skin layered over Dark Souls’ ruins and battlements, but what exquisite skin! This world of gilding and shadows is a pleasure to occupy.

The other is the combat itself. Every thrust of Pinocchio’s sword, or roll of his puppet-body, has a weight and moment to it that feels so satisfying in the hands. 

In the end, I was surprised: Lies Of P’s dark ancestor is still superior, but only by a nose.

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