Lies of P has been kicking my ass all weekend lengthy. That’s to be anticipated of a Soulslike action-RPG, positive, however even after over 20 hours of sport time, this steam-goth retelling of Pinocchio has actually been doing me in attributable to one explicit downside: the clunky dodge mechanic.
Lies of P formally launches on September 19 for PC, PlayStation consoles, and Xbox techniques, although you might’ve gotten into the desolate streets of Krat 72 hours early in the event you preordered the $70 Digital Deluxe Version. The sport is a bloody and darkish reimagining of Pinocchio through which the titular puppet, who right here bears a hanging resemblance to actor Timothée Chalamet, should defeat a raft of rampaging dolls to avoid wasting mastermaker Geppetto and uncover the reality behind what’s inflicting the puppets to go ballistic. You’ll block, dodge, slash, and parry your means via a Belle Époque-era France that’s been overrun by demented people, deranged marionettes, and demonic abominations in a bundle that’s quite a bit like Bloodborne. Sadly, for all of the inspiration it takes from FromSoftware’s horrific Victorian-era-inspired Yharnam metropolis, Lies of P doesn’t rip off that sport’s elegant, superior dodge roll when it completely ought to.
Lies Of P’s dodge might use a bit extra work
After the criticism it obtained following the summer season demo, co-developer Neowiz Video games instructed Eurogamer that the dodge was tweaked to be smoother and extra versatile. Having performed each the demo and the total launch, I can say that, yeah, Lies of P’s dodge feels higher than earlier than. It’s barely extra responsive and a bit simpler to time. Nonetheless, it nonetheless feels horrible when in comparison with different Soulslikes. Take Bloodborne, the sport it attracts essentially the most comparisons to. The dodge mechanic in that sport propels your hunter far additional than P’s dodge does right here. Not solely do you cowl extra floor while you dodge, however Bloodborne’s iframes, moments through which you’re impervious to break when performing sure strikes, really feel extra beneficiant when in comparison with Lies of P’s. Or how about Sekiro, which helps you to cancel your assault animations by blocking, dodging, or leaping? Canceling motion in Lies of P shouldn’t be a factor. In true Darkish Souls style, when you swing your weapon, P is locked in that animation till it’s completed. I’ve no worry of dedication, however Lies of P does you no favors when that dedication comes with an ass beating. Dedication additionally wouldn’t be a lot of an issue if the dodge felt higher at first, as an alternative of about midway via the sport.
Dodging in Lies of P is atrocious while you first begin out. It’s not till you beat the second major boss, the Scrapped Watchman, that you simply’ll unlock P’s talent tree, the P-Organ. Right here you’ll discover upgrades to the dodge roll—comparable to Hyperlink Dodge which helps you to chain dodges collectively, and Rising Dodge which lets you dodge when on the bottom—that make the evasive maneuver really feel extra viable as a fight tactic. Nonetheless, to truly unlock these expertise, you want the extremely uncommon improve materials Quartz, which you get off of sure bosses and in particular chests. You want two Quartz to unlock one attribute from the P-Organ talent tree, and the fabric can’t be farmed round Krat. So, in the event you don’t prioritize upgrading the dodge expertise first, your evading will seemingly keep unhealthy till you hit New Game Plus.
That’s my dilemma right here: fairly than merely being obtainable off the rip, you must unlock the flexibility to tug off a good dodge in Lies of P. And due to the atrocious dodge that you simply begin with, I’ve died extra occasions than I care to depend. With out the flexibility to chain dodges and roll off the bottom, I’ve discovered myself caught in combo hell. There are some enemies right here, comparable to a steam guard that wallops you with a flaming shovel, that may stunlock you to demise. That steam guard specifically has a really highly effective—and really telegraphed—overhead slam that flattens you want puppet roadkill whereas burning you to a crisp. Get hit by that first assault and the enemy will observe up with a number of extra floor slams that’ll rapidly deplete your well being. Since I didn’t have Rising Dodge unlocked on the time, and the preliminary overhead slam is a type of unblockable strikes, I’d mistime the dodge and get smashed advert nauseam. The animations on this sport take endlessly, in order P’s simply kinda chilling on the bottom—regardless of me button-mashing my controller like I’m begging him to stand up on the sidelines of a boxing ring—the steam guard wound up for the follow-up punishment after which proceeded to bust my doll cranium extensive open. And this occurred on a regular basis, whether or not I used to be up in opposition to a trash mob,a terrifying boss, and even an environmental hazard.
I’m nonetheless having a good time with Lies of P, although. The setting and storytelling, coupled with the incredible consideration to element that basically creates an evocative sense of place, have me hooked. I’m dying on a regular basis, which is kind of annoying however nothing too unusual for this style of sport. And whereas I’m positive I might simply “git gud” and be taught the dodge—and belief me, I’ve gotten higher about it—the truth that some vital dodge upgrades are locked behind a fairly grindy talent tree simply feels unhealthy, y’all.