Neowiz Games’ Lies of P made its initial appearance at the 2023 Summer Game Fest this past week, and the game is looking to be a gem of a time. Along with gameplay and cinematic press releases, it was also announced that a free demo of the game would be playable on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series consoles, and PC. I got to play my share of it on the Xbox Series X, and here are my initial impressions so far as a newcomer to the genre.
The game seems to be running at a native 1440p resolution and targeting 60 frames per second easily on the Series X (a feat quite impressive given the scope of modern games). What is interesting to note is that in the graphics setting of the game, “performance-centered” seems to be what the demo is playable at, and no other options for graphics are available. Textures look sharp and crisp, and lighting is enhanced greatly with the HDR support of the Series X. The open world suffered slightly in the way of graphical fidelity, but keep in mind this is a pre-release demo.
As the game starts off in a train car, you really get to take in the ambiance of the dreary world you are about to enter. Lights flicker, sounds echo, and bloodstained floors unravel the path ahead…it is clear something is wrong here. The game does not get any more gleeful from there. As the game opens up, the gloomy steampunk atmosphere engulfs you as you begin to face your first enemies and learn the combat systems of Lies of P. The game is quite clear in its cinematic approaches, with candlelight’s being your guide as you traverse the gothic industrialism.
The game does offer the player a sort of lamp system for those particularly obscuring rooms and environments. The impressive length of this demo has given players multiple environments, from dark abandoned train stations to city streets and the halls of citadels. This all while maintaining a stable and concise visual uniform, even if it is a dirty and beat-up one at that.
Fans of Soulslike games such as Dark Souls, Elden Ring, and Bloodborne will feel right at home with Lies of P. The game plays like your typical souls-like, with the usual hallmarks: slow combat, dodging, health items, RPG mechanics, and a not-so-forgivable save and respawn system. Players will also have a choice from 3 archetypes: balance, dexterity, and strength. Each of these will give slight bumps, while the balance option offers a more well-rounded experience.
While the game is slower than what my pallet is attuned to, weapons have considerable weight to them, and attacks must have intention behind them to be meaningful. Souls-likes are famous for the intensive moment-to-moment gameplay, in the sort of cat-and-mouse style of timing, dodging, and attacking. Precision is key here, and Lies of P, to its credit, did give me a lock on system that I found useful, as well as a “sneak attack” instant kill mechanic. The game, nonetheless, has proven quite a challenge for me. The demo will allow players both a main weapon as well as an ability pertaining to that weapon, opening up different styles of combat.
Each archetype also has its own set of main weapons designed for that specific approach to the game. Overall I would say fans of the genre will feel right at home. However, I personally could not adjust to the difficulty and respawn design of the genre.
Lies of P’s sound design is great. Raindrops make considerable impacts; wind whirls around you, and swords clash As steel meets steel. It’s all here, and it’s all great. The atmospheric nature of the game is only enhanced by the audio experience. Grab yourself a good pair of headphones, and you are in for a treat. The directional sound, while not specific to this game or genre, is a marvel for this particular release, as the experience is only heightened by the enveloping characteristics of the world and setting.
Overall, Lies of P, I feel, will be a welcome addition to any souls-like enthusiasts’ collection. It has all the trappings of the genre and still manages to spice it up with its own steampunk aesthetic. Even though I was taken aback by the difficulty, the combat was still robust and weighty, yet it also felt stylish and fluid at times. The presentation was the most enjoyable aspect of the demo and made me continue to die over and over in this lost and abandoned world. Seasoned vets of the genre will have a field day with Lies of P, just not me. Lies of P is set to release sometime in 2023. A playable demo is available now on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series consoles, and PC.
Lies of P release date for PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC is September 19, 2023.