Getting stuck in a game can be the best way to bond with it and reflect on why you're playing in the first place

Lies of P trailer
(Image credit: Neowiz)

Lies of P is exceptional. A soulslike reimagining of The Adventures of Pinocchio, this visually impressive game is as captivating as it is intimidating, serving alluring mystery with a side-helping of a riot of demanding enemies ready to dismantle our outrageously handsome hero puppet. As such, there are points when the punishment seems too much to overcome. However, this feeling isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 

When I first encountered Fallen Archbishop Andreus I was thoroughly outmatched. This monstrous entity gave me no quarter, cutting me down with a swiftness I’d not experienced since Elden Ring’s Radahn. After numerous attempts – and a fearful moment when I genuinely felt I was unable to go any further – I decided to take a different approach and go back the way I came. In doing so, I found Lies of P to be even better than I first realized. 

Despite being fairly linear, Lies of P has no shortage of side content. In what is no doubt an intentional reference to FromSoftware’s Bloodborne (this game has many), there are several NPCs available to talk to at various street windows, and multiple optional objectives to be procured this way. Thanks to Andreus having no chill, I discovered and satisfied some of these extra missions as I explored previous areas, gaining opportunities to lie – a core mechanic in the game – and, in turn, a more profound understanding of the in-game world of Krat

We go again

Lies of P

(Image credit: Neowiz)
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(Image credit: Future, Focus Entertainment)

This feature originally appeared in Play Magazine. For more great features, interviews, and more delivered to your digital device or doorstep, subscribe to Play Magazine

With my newly-acquired appreciation for Lies of P, I returned to the boss who’d so easily crushed me and began the task of learning how to beat them. I studied their patterns, and in doing so realised I’d picked up some bad habits. As well as figuring out how Andreus operated, I learned that I needed to be more patient and brave. I had to face this two-phase roadblock head-on, trust my reflexes, and time my guarding perfectly instead of attempting to dodge out of the seemingly endless reach of my opponent. 

When I eventually triumphed it gave me a wonderful sense of accomplishment. This boss didn’t just demand I learn what they do, they also made me examine my own shortcomings. Since then no foe has been too daunting and no stone has been left unturned. My newfound confidence allows me to take my time exploring because I believe I can triumph over any adversity, as long as I learn enemy behaviors and avoid being lazy or overzealous. 

In some ways, the feeling of getting stuck is nostalgic. Hitting a wall is something that happened to me a lot as a kid. From Metal Gear Solid to Resident Evil, the ’90s saw my childhood self retracing his steps like a manic Columbo. Being halted by a skill check in Lies of P transported me back to those moments, when coming up against the challenge and savoring the bits you could do was all part of the fun. 

All of this is to say that when you next hit a stumbling block in a game, it could be a good thing. Explore some untaken paths or revisit areas you hurried through. Rethink your approach and playing style. You could relive the joy of playing a game when you were young and the world was new.

This feature originally appeared in Play Magazine. For more great features, interviews, and more, subscribe to Play Magazine

Editor / Producer at FGS

James Daly is a writer, producer, silly goose, and willing servant to good RPGs. Once of GamingBible, you can find him now at FGS.