When Pinocchio dodge-rolled out of an attack and crushed a vial to heal himself, I knew what was going on.
Lies of P is so Soulslike that it crosses the border of inspiration into replication. There are animations and UI elements that are probably not actually stolen from FromSoftware’s Bloodborne, but they are ridiculously similar.
Last year, publisher Neowiz told Kotaku (opens in new tab) that making a game that’s extremely Bloodborne “definitely wasn’t intentional,” and that FromSoftware’s games are purely inspirational to the team at Roung8 Studio.
The new 12 minute gameplay video from IGN (opens in new tab) makes me skeptical of that quote. The game is a third-person action horror game where you slice lanky lads and shoot a gun from your left hand. It’s Bloodborne set in the 19th century and you play as Pinocchio for some reason. It’s not a bad way to find a way to make Bloodborne for PC; I just think the developers should be a little more honest about it.
Here’s a list of things that were clearly inspired by Bloodborne in that video:
- The whole health, stamina, and item interface
- Combat looks weighty and deliberate
VictorianBelle Époque enemies with bed hair
- Dark, dense levels filled with abandoned carts
- When you die, text covers the screen as everything else fades to black
- Status effects build up on hit
- That healing vial animation that looks very familiar
- Items glow on the ground, and the animation for collecting those too
- Lock-on effect is a white dot
- Inventory screen is full of stats
- Weapons have durability
- You can wind-up a heavy attack (not sure about visceral attacks though)
Now try to tell me Lies of P is a game made by people who simply like Bloodborne. I think everyone at Round8 Studio loves Bloodborne a lot, and are doing admirable work to make more Bloodborne happen.
Lies of P got a substantial trailer (opens in new tab) during Gamescom’s Opening Night Live stream. In it, we saw Pinocchio totally-not-Bloodborne his way through Paris to find his creator, Geppetto. “Finally we meet, son,” the monocled man says in a wizened voice. I wouldn’t have disputed a short chuckle after that line if the developers wanted to go all the way with the Dark Souls inspirations, but the fact that he doesn’t is a sign that this game, despite its entirely absurd premise and devotion to another popular action game, is taking itself very seriously. I respect that.
Lies of P will probably beat any official Bloodborne port to PC—and might be a sick alternative—when it launches in 2023.