Ok, I’m going to get two things out of the way right now, since it needs to be stated.
1. I HATE the Souls genre of games.
2. I cheated through this whole game and I don’t regret a single moment.
The reason I cheated is because the demo that was released a couple months before the game’s release showed me this game does not respect my time at all. This game is hellbent on being the very definition of Souls-Hard gameplay. I’ve stated many times before how much I hate the Souls series and how the games pride themselves on being unfair, and unpredictably predictable. So I won’t repeat it here. However, Lies of P takes this entire genre template to a breaking point and I really did hate the majority of my time with it.
Lies of P is prefaced with the fact that it is “loosely” based on the story of Pinocchio, and after beating the game, I can say it really isn’t based on Pinocchio at all. You have two characters who use the same names; Geppetto and Gemini (the talking cricket) and a pair of characters later on using masks of a fox and a cat. Besides that… literally nothing else about this resembles Pinocchio in the slightest. You’ve got “puppets” that are just robots… and the much more boring generic monsters that take up the majority of the game’s enemies.
In fact, the game has much more in common with Bioshock Infinite than it does with the story of Pinocchio. Steampunk designs in a Victorian gothic style city is more inline with Bioshock’s third game or the much darker design of Bloodborne than it is with the alternate reality Italy of unknown time, that the story takes place in. This game is steeped in cribbing from other games than actually building something of its own, and that’s where I feel more lied to than anything I did with my character in the game.
The whole “lying” system boils down to a few phone calls you have with a character that I’m just calling the Riddler, because that’s exactly who he is, he’s just Batman’s villain the Riddler, that asks you riddles, and even actually says out loud “Riddle me this!”. Yeah, the writing is honestly atrocious and the voice acting is even worse somehow. The Riddler is actually fine, if not long winded… but everyone else (all like 8 other characters you interact with in the entire game) sound so bored, dull or off that I honestly questioned if they were A.I. made. There is something really off with Geppetto’s voice that sounds overly produced and jilted that it really was hard to listen to; as it grated on my ears like nails on a chalkboard.
Besides the fact that the game had nothing interesting to say, nor do with the given “lying” system that just ends up being the culmination of 3 different endings; Good, Bad & Awful. There is a secret post credits stinger (because it’s all the rage now-a-days) that I did end up getting by sparing two characters at the end of the game, that *Surprise Surprise* builds to (say it all together now) A SHARED UNIVERSE!!!!!......... Ugh…. Yeah, a fables universe where “Pinocchio” is also in the same universe as Dorothy from The Wizard Of Oz. It was 3am, and I about chucked my controller at the wall in utter disgust of such an unoriginal idea.
I’m just so tired of it all, and this game really did cement the fact that Dark Souls, and FromSoftware ruined a generation of video games. Its influence isn’t so much influence, but just inspired a swath of the industry to create full blown copy-cats of games, trying to leech off the very unenjoyable notion of “But it’s supposed to be hard!” gameplay mechanic. Unfair enemy placement, and aggressive to an annoyance enemies are the tip of the iceberg and Lies of P takes it to the extreme.
I originally gave this game the benefit of the doubt, thanks to my playthrough of Elden Ring last year. While I did end up beating it, after 90+ hours (a good handful of those hours farming runes to level up and be powerful) I did enjoy the majority of the game, besides the final part. But Lies of P betrays my trust in it being an interesting tale of a twisted version of Pinocchio. You aren’t even named Pinocchio, just “Boy/Son/You”... no one calls you a name, because you don’t have one. You are a puppet, and lying doesn’t grow your nose. There is no Honest John or Gideon, there is no Treasure Island with boys being turned into Jackasses, no Mad Stromboli no blue fairy… just the loose interpretation of the “puppet’ theme that you really have to dig deep to actually believe (again, because they are robots, not puppets).
I cheated through this game at a blistering playthrough and finished at just under 10 hours. It felt like 30. The last “level” felt like 50 hours. It just doesn’t end. Nothing is original about the game as it steals fully from the Souls genre of UI, themes mechanics and NPCs that are more than worthless and delivers a hollow experience that isn’t even as real as a puppet.