Lies of P is on the brink of its release across various platforms, including PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S, scheduled for September 19, 2023. Developed by Neowiz, this game, often dubbed as a “soulslike,” transports players into the shoes of a reimagined Pinocchio, amidst the turmoil of the city of Krat, plagued by a mysterious disease and an uprising of mechanical beings.
Throughout its development, Lies of P has showcased several points of convergence with FromSoftware’s classic soulslike titles, including elements such as the soul system and melee combat. Additionally, the game’s world bears a striking resemblance to that of Bloodborne, prompting many to draw comparisons between the two titles.
In this article, we aim to provide you with a comparative analysis of Lies of P and Bloodborne, highlighting three distinctions and three similarities we’ve identified through our examination of the substantial demo released in recent months. Before delving into this analysis, we also recommend perusing another article where we discuss games akin to Bloodborne for those longing for the streets of Yharman.
Disparities between Lies of P and Bloodborne
Let’s commence by elucidating the three primary distinctions that distinguish Lies of P from Bloodborne.
A More “Defensive” Approach:
The most conspicuous dissimilarity between Lies of P and Bloodborne is their approach to defense. Bloodborne, developed by FromSoftware, predominantly emphasized offensive maneuvers and evasion, with minimal consideration for parrying. In contrast, Lies of P incorporates parrying as an integral aspect of its gameplay. Consequently, approaching Lies of P with the same combat strategy employed in Bloodborne can prove to be quite challenging.
In Lies of P, the defensive capability is closely tied to the weapon carried, making it a pivotal gameplay mechanic. Players must be mindful of their encumbrance, as heavier loads reduce mobility and stamina. Surprisingly, dodging does not always suffice for defense, especially against certain red-coded enemy attacks, necessitating impeccable parries, which, admittedly, can be demanding to execute. Notably, successful parrying allows for health recovery, making it a crucial skill for surviving encounters with formidable adversaries.
Introduction of a Skill Tree:
In traditional FromSoftware soulslike titles, character progression predominantly revolved around equipment and statistics. Players often found themselves in a cyclical pattern where improving their character’s statistics was futile without acquiring the appropriate equipment, and vice versa. This mechanism necessitated extensive farming to enhance the character effectively.
In Lies of P, while this fundamental system remains, Neowiz introduces a skill tree, a unique departure from the standard formula. Such a feature was absent in previous FromSoftware soulslike titles, barring Sekiro, which is often regarded as a distinct entry in the genre. In Lies of P, skills play a pivotal role in providing additional boosts and abilities. This guided progression requires players to seek specific items to unlock these bonuses, offering a more structured approach to character development that may prove beneficial when confronting formidable foes.
Co-op and PvP Absence:
FromSoftware’s games have often been critiqued for the complexity of their multiplayer components. Although cooperative gameplay with friends was possible in these titles, the systems for accessing multiplayer features were intricate and not immediately intuitive. Players frequently resorted to online guides to navigate the prerequisites for playing alongside friends.
However, Lies of P diverges from this pattern by entirely omitting cooperative play. While certain battles permit the summoning of AI-controlled allies through specific items, this is intended as a last resort to aid players facing exceptionally challenging adversaries. Consequently, Lies of P does not facilitate cooperative exploration of game areas or player versus player (PvP) combat.
Common Ground between Lies of P and Bloodborne
Having discussed the disparities, let’s now explore the three shared elements that connect Lies of P and Bloodborne.
Setting and Narrative:
Both Lies of P and Bloodborne unfold in similar historical eras. While Bloodborne is situated in the English Victorian era, Lies of P draws inspiration from the French Belle Époque, set during the concluding years of the Victorian era. Despite their distinct artistic and cultural movements, these periods share geographical and temporal proximity. As a result, the nocturnal ambiance of Lies of P’s Krat evokes the atmospheric and decadent sensibilities of Bloodborne’s Yharnam.
Moreover, narrative parallels are discernible between the two titles. Though the full scope of Lies of P’s story remains concealed until its release, information gleaned from the demo, trailers, and developer insights offers a glimpse into the game’s plot. A mysterious malady transforms citizens into monstrous entities, mirroring a theme present in Bloodborne. Furthermore, the player character receives guidance from an elderly character well-versed in the disease’s intricacies, akin to Bloodborne’s Gehrman, and a female figure offers support, reminiscent of the Blue Fairy in Pinocchio.
Attack to Heal Mechanic:
Both Lies of P and Bloodborne incorporate a unique mechanic that enables players to recover health by engaging in combat. In Bloodborne, this mechanic mitigates temporary damage, encouraging players to adopt an aggressive combat style, prioritizing offense over defense.
Lies of P introduces a similar mechanic with slight variations. When successfully parrying, the player’s character endures temporary damage that can be restored by landing subsequent attacks on foes. Although defense remains vital in Lies of P, this mechanic encourages players to combine defensive and offensive strategies, discouraging overly cautious gameplay.
Additionally, when healing items are depleted, Lies of P allows players to regain health by inflicting a specific amount of damage, further emphasizing the importance of a balanced approach to combat.
Both Lies of P and Bloodborne offer players the ability to transform and customize their weapons. While this feature was notably introduced in Bloodborne, it is not a standard feature in other soulslike titles.
In Lies of P, Pinocchio can break weapons and subsequently combine them, resulting in unique combinations and attack styles. Each weapon possesses distinct abilities, allowing players to tailor their weapon selection to suit their preferred combat techniques.
In essence, Lies of P embraces the concept of weapon transformations, possibly inspired by Bloodborne, providing players with greater combat versatility.
Lies of P Nails the Essence of Bloodborne
Bloodborne represented a significant departure from FromSoftware’s typical design and gameplay style. Departing from its high-fantasy ARPG lineage characterized by methodical combat, Bloodborne transitioned into a Lovecraftian, gothic-horror setting while adopting a more aggressive combat approach, diverging considerably from its predecessors while retaining the core DNA of the Souls series. Lies of P derives substantial benefit from its Bloodborne inspirations, evident in its gloomy horror aesthetics. The portions of the story displayed in the demo hint at a unique interpretation of Carlo Collodi’s classic fairy tale.
Beyond visual aesthetics, Lies of P draws inspiration from Bloodborne’s gameplay mechanics, particularly the Rally system that rewards players for pressing the attack. This inclusion enhances the combat’s visceral satisfaction and compensates for the absence of a seamless dodge mechanic in the game.
The Soulsborne subgenre, stemming from FromSoftware’s creations, has experienced immense success, with Dark Souls serving as a pivotal milestone in video game history. While many studios have attempted to create their own Soulsborne-inspired titles, they often fall short of capturing the intangible quality that distinguishes FromSoftware’s releases. Lies of P, however, stands as a promising entry in the Soulsborne genre, even though it invites comparisons to Bloodborne. The challenge for future titles in this subgenre lies in transcending mere imitation and establishing their unique identities, thereby moving beyond the shadow cast by FromSoftware.
In summary, Lies of P effectively channels the essence of Bloodborne, enriching the Soulsborne subgenre with its own narrative and gameplay twists. While comparisons to Bloodborne may set specific expectations, Lies of P is poised to be one of the standout Soulsborne titles of 2023.