Lies of P has one cool boss at the center of the story that’s “not just another grotesque Soulslike monster”

Lies of P has one cool boss at the center of the story that’s “not just another grotesque Soulslike monster”

Lies of P Gamescom - King of Puppets

(Image credit: Neowiz)

Lies of P is a Belle Epoque era nightmare in the best of ways. Having adored the horror-heavy moodiness of the demo a few months back, sitting down to play it at Gamescom 2023 gave me a peek behind the curtain at a later-stage area and boss battle that truly sold me on the game’s atmospheric charm even more.

“The reason we picked Pinocchio is that the adventures of Pinocchio really match the mood that we want to show with our game,” Lies of P director Choi Ji-won tells me in an interview after my demo session. “Since it’s our first try with Soulslike games, we also wanted to attract more people with a familiar story. But of course it has to be our own color, done in our own way, to show it’s not just the boring old Pinocchio that you already know.”


Lies of P Gamescom

(Image credit: Neowiz)

Gamescom 2023


(Image credit: Gamescom)

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Pacing down Rosa Isabella Street in the dystopian city of Krat, the controls come back to me fast. By this point in the game, P has a lot more upgrades for not only his melee weapon but the clunky mechanical arm as well, which here serves as a mine-launcher. I use it to blast my way through the first few rounds against the miniboss I find here. Unlike the other enemies, she’s far more humanoid – much like P himself. 

“We wanted to respect [the text] as much as we could, but we also wanted to do it in our way, in our form,” Choi tells me, and that’s something I can see represented in the variety of enemies in this demo segment. From ticking time-bomb dolls that launch themselves at me through windows unless I dash out of the way, to the lumbering mechanical puppets I’ve bested time and time again in the demo seen just a few months ago, the enemies you face in Lies of P fit the context of a steampunk 1800s France perfectly. 

The Belle Epoque era itself is an important component of the game’s DNA. “We wanted to use this because it’s a rare era to see in a Soulslike game,” says Choi. “The Belle Epoque era is known for its romantic vibe, but we want to turn the tables and make it darker.

Lies of P Gamescom

(Image credit: Neowiz)

[Lies of P] has to be in our own color, done in our own way, to show it’s not just the boring old Pinocchio that you already know.

Choi Ji-won

“Beautiful but creepy is our slogan. We didn’t try so hard to put horror-horror factors in the game, since the original story is already pretty dark and cruel, but we wanted to make it bigger. We wanted to go even darker, and even more cruel.” This juxtaposition of the romantic and the horrific is presented with style, with P’s ruffled white shirt from the earlier demo here being traded out for a dashing dark blue jacket. The blood spatters all over it still glimmer in the dim lamplight of Rosa Isabella Street, and that inherent darkness of the source text seems mirrored in P’s attire as the game progresses.

Loading into the street for the first time, my cricket companion Gemini chirps up with some contextual background about where I am and what I might encounter. That leads me to wonder about other characters in the game. “Soulslikes are pretty notorious for being hard to understand the storyline, or follow how it goes. But that’s why we wanted to pick the Pinocchio theme,” says Choi. “We wanted to bring in many characters that are also shown in the original story. 

“For example, we have a mad donkey that shows up as the enemy in the game, but it’s actually Pinocchio’s friend that has been turned into a donkey. The original story features a boy named Antonio, but we’ve turned him into Antonia, an old granny who helps Pinocchio throughout the game.” These little narrative touches serve two purposes: to flesh out the story, and to draw in new players who might be purchasing a Souslike for the first time.

Armed with a litany of powerful weapons and a bionic arm, Choi and his team are definitely succeeding in showing a brand new side to this well-known storybook character. The miniboss I face on Rosa Isabella street is a slick swordswoman, but she’s not the ultimate big bad of the game. “I love the King of Puppets, which is not an enemy or monster but actually a character at the very center of the story,” explains Choi when I ask about his favorite enemy design.

“There’s also one more character, one more boss that you will see later in the story, which is a really cool looking character. It’s not just another grotesque or creepy looking boss like in any other Soulslike game. I think you’ll really be fascinated by how it looks.” He teases that this unnamed monster has a lot of unique plot elements tied to it, but since he can’t reveal anything else right now, I’m tempted to flick though a copy of Pinocchio to make some guesses of my own.

I went hands on with Black Myth: Wukong, an upcoming Soulslike where you play as a martial arts master Monkey King.

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Jasmine is a staff writer at GamesRadar+. Raised in Hong Kong and having graduated with an English Literature degree from Queen Mary, University of London in 2017, her passion for entertainment writing has taken her from reviewing underground concerts to blogging about the intersection between horror movies and browser games. Having made the career jump from TV broadcast operations to video games journalism during the pandemic, she cut her teeth as a freelance writer with TheGamer, Gamezo, and Tech Radar Gaming before accepting a full-time role here at GamesRadar. Whether Jasmine is researching the latest in gaming litigation for a news piece, writing how-to guides for The Sims 4, or extolling the necessity of a Resident Evil: CODE Veronica remake, you’ll probably find her listening to metalcore at the same time.

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