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"Lies of P": Performing Darkness in Fairy Tales

After many trailers, real machine demonstrations, and a not-so-small demo preheating, I think most players interested in soul-like games should have noticed and experienced “Lies of P” (hereinafter referred to as “LOP”).

Soul-like game, PC60 frame bloodline, bloodline meal replacement…

These tags and titles are not only people’s jokes and first impressions of “LOP”, but also largely reflect that it does have many shadows of Bloodborne – similar game mechanics to the Souls series, high game difficulty, and gothic-style architecture.

While the overall quality of the previous trial was recognized by everyone, a considerable number of players also gave different opinions.

During the process of playing “LOP”, I can clearly feel that most of the minor flaws in the DEMO have been corrected. This Clark, set in a “dark fairy tale” background, is definitely a feast for soul-like game enthusiasts.

If the most impressive setting in the Souls series is the extremely high game difficulty and the “turn-based” gameplay, the exquisite box-style map design is also an essential part, and “LOP” also demonstrates sufficient excellence in this regard.

The scenes displayed in the trial play, such as the Bliss Avenue, are quite in line with players’ exploration habits. They only need to follow the searchlight or the “guidance” of the enemy’s position to continuously push the map forward, and then circle back to the “origin” to unlock a new shortcut.

To be honest, the map design shown in the trial of “LOP” seems to be mediocre and does not show a sufficiently exquisite box-style map design, which makes it difficult to compare with other excellent soul-like games. However, after playing the official version, this small regret has completely disappeared.

After all, just like the names of various map sections, the “Bliss Avenue” section, which is framed by urban roads, is difficult to construct a good map due to the lack of height differences in the roads themselves, no matter how clever it is. However, when the game reaches the middle stage and the map scene is switched, the joy of exploring in a small box-style level is fully displayed in front of me.

To give a simple example, there is a save point called “Stargazer” at a crossroads. As we are coming from direction A, we need to first kill an elite monster in direction B to get the key, then open the door in direction C and start exploring the scene. After some exploration, we can finally reach the door in direction D and open the door that originally “cannot be opened on this side”.

At this point, the “Expo Exhibition Hall” really left a deep impression on me. Because compared with other scenes, this scene relies on more height differences to combine multiple small box-style levels together. I successfully opened the way from the save point to the boss room by dying multiple times and unlocking several small shortcuts.

When completing map exploration and unlocking shortcuts, it is often the time to fight to the death with the boss in this scene.

Moreover, compared to some other soul-like games where players may still get lost in the maze with weak guidance, “LOP” has actually made significant improvements. Because it provides sufficient guidance without destroying the game atmosphere . For example, through the note next to the corpse on the side of the road, and the searchlight in the dark corner just facing the originally hidden stairs…

On the other hand, the guidance of “LOP” is also reflected in the teleport waypoint. Merchants are currently marked with corresponding information on which teleport waypoint they are near, which teleport waypoint they are near, and which “records” and other collections they have left behind.

Although everyone enjoys the pleasure of exploring in a “weakly guided” environment, providing certain hints that fit the game atmosphere definitely improves the gaming experience for me.

If the exquisite box-style map design, equipment load affecting mobility, endurance bar control and other game mechanisms give “LOP” a “bloodborne appearance” in everyone’s eyes, then when you start fighting in “LOP”, you can quickly discover the huge difference between the two.

Friends who have played the previous demo experience should have felt this. Because “LOP” does not make people feel that they are in “turn-based” combat.

Thanks to the appearance of the “Divine Thunder” legion prosthetic hand, not only can it cause damage to the enemy, but also the fully stored Divine Thunder can interrupt most of the enemy’s activities and drag them into their own attack rhythm.

Another type of “puppet lifting line” legion prosthetic hand can hook humanoid monsters or hook itself towards large enemies. This design gives me more ability to avoid enemy attacks, not limited to the repetitive combat experience of “rolling/blocking, stepping, and slashing”.

This setting has made me turn the entire battle into a one-sided performance when facing the boss several times – relying on perfect blocking to resist attacks or directly interrupting with divine thunder, and then using powerful combat skills and charging attacks to fight straight and execute.

There were one or two battles where I performed well, which could be considered as one-sided “massacres”.

In addition, one of the points that has attracted much attention from the outside world in “LOP” is its own “weapon disassembly and assembly” system. Each weapon is divided into a blade and a handle, and the two parts have different built-in skills. When used, they will consume 1 to 3 corresponding skill slots (which can be charged through attacks and perfect blocks). You can completely choose two blades and handles that you are comfortable with and assemble them, and then use this brand new weapon to kill the entire Kratt.

What’s more interesting is that the attack mode of weapons in “LOP” depends on the handle. Compared to opening and closing, which is easy to be attacked by wall bouncing knives in narrow terrain, I prefer weapons like spears and swords that use poking as their attack mode.

Therefore, for most of the time in the game, I chose a large blunt weapon with high attack power, paired with a “spear handle”, and used this uniquely shaped spear to “stab” most of the enemies to death.

In addition, blocking in the game is also divided into normal blocking and perfect blocking. The health lost by normal blocking will turn gray and can be recovered through subsequent attacks, but the sharpness of the weapon will also decrease. Perfect blocking, on the other hand, does not lose any health and will give the enemy a certain amount of rigidity to accumulate and destroy the opponent’s weapon.

In addition to blocking perfectly, dealing a large amount of damage to enemies in a short period of time will also accumulate more stiffness. When the enemy’s health bar is white, a heavy blow can make them enter a stun state and trigger execution.

If diverse attack methods only encourage players to attack, then the serious loss faced by ordinary blocking is that “LOP” is indirectly punishing players who tend to use the “turtle” style of play.

If you choose a normal block without any risk to deal with the boss’s moves, you will not only face the risk of endurance decline and defense breakdown, but also the rapid decrease in weapon sharpness, which means you need to use the intervals that are instinctively used for attacks to sharpen the knife. Believe me, watching the boss fall in front of you while you can only sharpen the knife with a grinding tool on the side is definitely not a wonderful gaming experience.

It is precisely the reward for players’ “aggression” in the game setting that has gradually made me, who originally leaned towards “turtles”, change the caution that can be called “bad habits” in “LOP”, and instead lean towards offensive tactics with greater risks and benefits.

Oh, by the way, what I like most about “LOP” is probably its blood bottle mechanism. After the “pulse battery”, which is the blood bottle, is completely depleted, each attack can charge the battery until a bottle of blood medicine is obtained.

In previous soul-like games, once there was a mistake in the early stages of the boss battle, knowing that there was a high probability of losing, I would often choose to “surrender” on the spot, die as soon as possible, and start over. However, “LOP” is different. This blood bottle setting always retains a glimmer of hope and sufficient fault tolerance for players – once this knife is cut, there is medicine again. Even if you take two more moves after healing, you cannot die. This game has a chance…

It can be said that there are many aspects of “LOP” that deeply resonate with me in terms of combat. The only thing that impresses me is that compared to the initial trial play, several early bosses in the game have been significantly weakened. The most obvious one is the Flame of the King, which made me feel like dying during the “media trial” (not the public demo) session. At that time, it tortured me for several hours with its invincible charge and long-range bombing.

However, after coming to the official version, its desire to attack has significantly decreased. Not only does it rarely use the two completely unmanageable moves of throwing bombs across the map and colliding, but it also frequently uses the “smashing the ground” that is similar to being given for free. With a clear understanding of the boss’s moves, I only used it three or four times to successfully conquer it.

Despite the significant increase in BOSS strength in the second half of the game, such as “Black Rabbit Gang Boss” and “Puppet King”, I felt the familiar and exciting high-difficulty BOSS battles in soul-like games.

However, the weakening of several bosses in the early stage still did not satisfy my “masochistic spirit”, and the sense of achievement in defeating bosses was also somewhat weakened.

To be honest, “LOP” may be the most growth-oriented soul-like game I have ever seen.

For example, the more conventional weapon enhancement system, the level system that constantly increases costs and requires careful allocation, and “LOP” adds legion prosthetics and “P organs” similar to talent tree settings on this basis.

The Shenlei and Puppet Line mentioned earlier are the two that I personally use more often. The former can interrupt many attacks in the boss battle and strive for more output opportunities, while the Puppet Line has a significant role in dealing with small-scale battles during the pushing process. It can break down the battle with the minions into multiple 1V1 battles, so you don’t have to worry about facing the “Three Dog Slayer God Formation” anymore.

In addition, Flame Blade can cause sustained fire damage and continuously stiffen low-tenacity enemies. There are also Legion prosthetics that can be used to lay landmines in advance or splash acid. Considering the performance of different enemies, if you face difficulties during the map pushing process, choosing the appropriate Legion prosthetics can effectively reduce the difficulty and improve your gaming experience.

The “P organ” system enhances character performance even more. The entire system is divided into five stages, and each stage unlocks the corresponding large talent after selectively activating two small talents using “quartz”.

For example, some players, including myself, previously thought that the dodge setting in “LOP” was quite useless. Once locked, they could not roll over, and taking a step back was not enough to leave the judgment area of the attack. The “P organ” provides the ability of double dodge – of course, you can also choose the simpler and more brutal “pulse battery limit + 1”.

The “P organ” is so powerful, which corresponds to the difficulty of obtaining the material “quartz”. Except for a few given in the main storyline, most “quartz” is not on the player’s necessary path. To obtain these materials, it is necessary to run a short distance and kill a few difficult enemies.

This design is quite reasonable. Personally, I can handle the entire game’s main storyline by upgrading the “P organ” with the main storyline and a few quartz purchased from the store. If there are friends who are really bad at action games and feel that the difficulty of the game is too high, they can temporarily bypass the main storyline and explore the corners, strengthen themselves again, and then try to push the map.

Overall, whether it is the map design or the combat section, the level of “LOP” is excellent. Under the premise of looking like “Bloodborne”, its huge changes in the combat system have largely freed it from the definition of “Bloodborne Meal Replacement” and instead have many of its own characteristics.

Although no significant innovations were found during the game, being able to play such a soul-like game without obvious shortcomings in art style, combat system, etc., should be enough for “suffering enthusiasts”, right?

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