Lies of P showed up again at Gamescom 2022 in Cologne, this time with surprising gameplay: we analyzed it.
That soulslike is a popular genre is now well known, just as the constant attempt by small and large teams to take a part of the market by mimicking what FromSoftware has done in the past is now a certainty. As we have explained several times, however, not all development teams face these complex action RPGs with superficiality and, aware of their means, actually try to follow a more original and atypical path, sometimes giving rise to not underestimable successes. We’ve seen it done by Team Ninja with Nioh, which boasted a more diverse mix of systems, and even indie games like Salt and Sanctuary have been able to at least partially stand out from the crowd.
However, the release of Elden Ring has raised the bar further and, if before the alternatives to Miyazaki’s titles were mostly seen with a fair amount of hope, now many consider them to be failed projects at the start, hardly able to offer. something that hasn’t already been done.
Yet, in the mix of those who try, there is a Korean team that stood out practically immediately: i Round 8 Studio, a subsidiary of Neowiz, also known for developing Bless Unleashed. And although that MMO is not really considered a masterpiece (on the contrary …), the experience gained with 3D titles must have served something, because from the first trailer shown their Lies of P has always seemed head and shoulders above the rest of the game. competition from a technical point of view.
After a fair wait, some healthy gameplay of the game finally appeared at the Opening Night Live of Gamescom 2022, and instead of dampening the spirits, expectations have even risen. We have analyzed the gameplay video of Lies of P in detail, to try to understand how the work of this Korean team can position itself on the market.
Pinocchio, played by … Timothee Chalamet?
There storytelling of Lies of P is still covered in a veil of darkness. The only certainty is that it is partially inspired by Pinocchio, of course, but at the same time it is clear that the developers have taken enormous liberties with the plot and setting. The basis of everything seems to be the will of the protagonist, Pinocchio precisely, to meet his father Geppetto, yet the role of the elderly puppeteer has not really been specified: will he be a supporting character? An antagonist? Or something completely different? The only thing we know is that the good P – looking not only totally human, but also, for some strange reason, extremely close to that of the French actor Timothee Chalamet – wakes up in a city that has become a kind of hell. on earth, dominated by mechanical monstrosities and almost devoid of survivors.
The emphasis, however, must be placed on that “almost”, because between trailers and screenshots various characters have been revealed. The first seems to be the Blue Fairy, also predictably central to the story, where another female character appears in another scene: an elderly lady disfigured by an unspecified disease.
In the game, however, it doesn’t seem like there are just single survivors, but there are entire factions, given that in one scene another human seems to be linked to some organization because of the pin he wears, and in one of the additional images an armed band with a logo appears. Considering the factors in the field, we could find ourselves in front of a title markedly richer in plot than we thought.
Leaving aside for a moment the features of the protagonist or the assumptions about the story, it is difficult not to dwell on theart direction, a curious mix that closely resembles the dark tones of Bloodborne’s Yharnam, but in a generally more modern urban context. The style is certainly not lacking in this production and, if the story were to prove sufficiently inspired, the setting could represent almost by itself a great reason to give it a chance. That said, thank goodness, the gameplay feels anything but patchy.
While we link directly to the discussion of the narrative, it is better to bring up a mechanic that has not yet been discussed in any way by the developers, yet has been highlighted on the official website: theuse of lies. It is specified that Pinocchio has to lie constantly to survive and become human and this seems to be more than a simple reference to Collodi’s work. It is plausible that there will be multiple choices linked to some dialogue for these “necessary lies” and it will be interesting to understand how and if they will influence the progression.
The real flab, however, understandably lies in the combat, as Lies of P appears to be based on a more technical and action-oriented system than the average. The pace, for example, seems markedly higher than that of classic soulslike ones, with very mobile and aggressive enemies more closely reminiscent of Bloodborne, and a instant parade among the defensive maneuvers that could indicate series of multiple attacks by the opponents close to what is seen in Sekiro or in the recent Thymesia. It’s hard to say how central the parry will be between defensive maneuvers, but we suspect it will be a mixed system, mostly adjustable to the player’s defensive preferences. The game does not seem to lack the usual healing items, if nothing else, and at the moment there have been no attack regeneration systems of any kind, so, at least as regards the recovery of life points, the mechanics will be the classic ones of the genre.
The rest is much more particular: the weapons they are extremely diversified and apparently there are 30 basic types, which can be modified into 100 different death instruments. Such “changes” are in all likelihood related to the elemental system seen in the trailer, since Pinocchio has some kind of dynamo, with which he has the possibility to upgrade either his blades or himself during a fight. The use of these upgrades also seems to consume a specific energy bar separate from the classic stamina, and does not rule out the possible presence of a crafting and weapon improvement system. If, with over thirty sets of basic moves, similar changes also lead to an increase in combinations and usable techniques, we could find something extraordinarily elaborate on our hands. The possibility excites us very much.
There is, however, another central system in the title of Neowiz and Round 8: the use of the arm. In the game Pinocchio has a mechanical arm, apparently modifiable with various functionalities: that base is a Herculean force, which seems to allow your alter ego to break steel doors with enviable ease, but in addition to this useful power, in the video we see a powerful electric discharge and a grappling hook called Puppet String that allows you to instantly get close to an opponent while remaining in the air (confirmation of the presence of a jump and aerial combos, perhaps). The arms use separate batteries (they are in the same healing menu, not the elemental powers one), and have a limited charge bar that prevents them from abusing their abilities; if implemented properly, they could significantly increase offensive approaches.
It will also be necessary to understand the usefulness of Lantern of the protagonist, which apparently contains the Jiminy Cricket and lights up in the presence of enemies. It might just be a way to facilitate navigation or justify some specific use of the interface, but who knows.
Finally nothing to criticize on technical sector: the production values are clearly remarkable, the particles extremely accurate, the very fluid animations and the general detail of all respect. Certainly this team knows its stuff in terms of graphics, no doubt about it.
The gameplay of Lies of P positively surprised us. Round 8’s work looks graphically remarkable, featuring a technical and varied combat system, and backed up by a highly inspired setting. Between a trailer and a full game, however, there is, and this Korean team still has everything to prove. So we can’t wait to get our hands on something more substantial, to see if the good initial impressions can materialize in earnest.
- He has style to spare and a respectable technical sector
- Apparently technical combat system full of possibilities
- Very little has been seen of the game for now
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