lies of P

This Upcoming Game Is ‘Pinocchio,’ With a Touch of ‘Bloodborne’ and ‘Bioshock’

Summer Games Fest was held on June 8, and though the lack of any feminine presence whatsoever was disappointing, we at least got some exciting game news. People were most excited about the newest trailer for Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, the upcoming Witcher Season 3 trailer, and, of course, Nicolas Cage’s “debut” in the horror game Dead By Daylight.

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But one thing that really caught my attention was Lies of P, a seemingly random title thrown out amidst all these other bombastic names. Everything about it spoke to a uniqueness that could either ultimately be another average RPG or something pretty special. Let’s get into it, as we anticipate the release of Lies of P.

Trailer and Gameplay

Per its Steam page, the game describes itself as “a thrilling soulslike that takes the story of Pinocchio, turns it on its head, and sets it against the darkly elegant backdrop of the Belle Epoque era.” From what I see in this trailer, “turning it on its head” means making Pinocchio look like a cross between Howl Pendragon and Timothée Chalamet, and setting him loose to set things right. The page goes on to say:

You are a puppet created by Geppetto who’s caught in a web of lies with unimaginable monsters and untrustworthy figures standing between you and the events that have befallen the world of Lies of P.

You are awakened by a mysterious voice that guides you through the plagued city of Krat – a once lively place that has been poisoned by madness and bloodlust. In our soulslike, you must adapt yourself and your weapons to face untold horrors, untangle the unfathomable secrets of the city’s elites and choose whether to confront predicaments with the truth or weave lies to overcome them on the journey to find yourself.

All at once, this seems reminiscent of many good titles: as a soulslike and with aesthetics in mind, Lies of P bears a strong resemblance to Bloodborne right out the gate. But the enemy and world design is also reminiscent of the Bioshock series, as well as Alice: Return to Madness.

The combat itself promises to be “unique” in its combination of weapons and abilities, but what I’m most interested in is how much emphasis they’re putting on choice. Namely, the choice to tell the truth “to comfort others” or to lie. Krat apparently was once a great city with its primary industry being puppetry. Did the puppets turn against the people? Were the puppets made of people? The more I learn about this game, the more I’m excited to actually play it.

Central to the game is Pinocchio himself, who is also described as being on a journey to “find himself,” so to speak. Was Pinocchio a pawn to Geppetto? Was he “set free”? How much of the game will revolve around true role-playing, and how can we define who Pinocchio is as a character? It’s certainly a departure from most retellings of this fable, even by Guillermo Del Toro’s standards, but I’m looking forward to seeing how it shapes up!

Release Date & Demo

Originally, the game was slated to release in August, but it has officially been pushed back to this upcoming September 19, 2023.

You can currently play the demo on Windows, PS4 & PS5, and Xbox One, Series S, and Series X. I’m going to give it a shot myself this weekend, and if it’s worth discussing more, I’ll be sure to report back. Feel free to let us know your own thoughts in the comments!

(featured image: screencap/PlayStation)

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Madeline Carpou
Madeline (she/her) is a staff writer with a focus on AANHPI and mixed-race representation. She enjoys covering a wide variety of topics, but her primary beats are music and gaming. Her journey into digital media began in college, primarily regarding audio: in 2018, she started producing her own music, which helped her secure a radio show and co-produce a local history podcast through 2019 and 2020. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz summa cum laude, her focus shifted to digital writing, where she's happy to say her History degree has certainly come in handy! When she's not working, she enjoys taking long walks, playing the guitar, and writing her own little stories (which may or may not ever see the light of day).