The Best Games of 2023: Lies of P

From developer Round8 Studio, Lies of P is a Pinocchio-inspired Soulslike, drawing its aesthetics from the Belle Époque era of French history. There are obvious inspirations, but Lies of P confidently forges its own identity. This fairytale foray into the ever fraught FromSoftware imitators’ club is dark, delightful, and relentlessly engaging from start to finish.

lies of p

The city of Krat is gorgeous and decrepit in equal measure, perfectly echoing the style of Souls. Breathtaking locations abound, and there’s an increasingly satisfying feel with their revelatory design. Shortcuts grow closer to full “Eureka!” moments, verticality is toyed with to great effect, and even with the tonal, visual variety on offer, everything feels cohesive. There’s never a loss of aesthetic vision. From underground rafters to puppet corpse-ridden swamps, every location feels like it belongs. That sense of belonging is delightfully ironic in a city where everything is trying desperately to kill you.

Lies of P

Lies of P takes the lore of the lying puppet and twists it into its own unique blend of Bloodborne and Sekiro, while still bringing inventive mechanics of its own. The Legion Arm is one of my favourite in-game gadgets of the year—perfectly timing a Puppet String smash did not get old for 40 hours straight. A fun variety of automatons and artful dodgers to battle roam the streets, each encounter immediately familiar yet incredibly tense. There are also Eldritch-adjacent beasts! With a deft mix of parries, dodges, specials, strikes, and healthy throwable spam, every fight becomes a wonderful waltz befitting of the sweeping score it’s set to.

Lies of P Parade Master

Lies of P challenged me, yet never let me forget how much fun I was having. It is a joyous achievement which, much like the soul it captures, feels almost impossible. It more than lives up to its inspirations, and manages to stand tall alongside the greats of an incredibly stacked year.

Lies of P is just one of GameLuster’s seven Game of the Year nominees for 2023. Make sure to check out our other nominations for this award and many more in the Lusties 2023!

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