Lies of P is getting ready to release on September 19th, and it’s already making an impact with reviews. The impressive 4-hour-ish demo that we were given showed us a gritty souls-like that calls back heavily to Bloodborne in not only its aesthetic but in its gameplay as well. This isn’t a bad thing as it’s been a while since a souls-like scratched that terrifying, gothic itch. While you wait for its release, here are the five best soul-likes to get you ready for Lies of P.
5. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a game that takes a bold departure from the traditional RPG elements of the Souls series. While FromSoftware still makes it, it takes a lot of inspiration from a different game in the company’s past called Tenchu. We’re not playing with giant shields and suits of armor here. Instead, it focuses on precision-based combat, stealth mechanics, and a rich, historical Japanese setting.
In Sekiro, you assume the role of a shinobi named Wolf, armed with a katana and grappling hook. In contrast, other souls-like will stack you to the brim with weapons, but that isn’t the case here, as those will be your primary tools throughout. The absence of character customization and RPG elements may disappoint some Souls fans, but the bizarrely gripping narrative, incredible, interconnected world, and relentless challenge make up for it.
4. The Surge 2
The first game in the series was a great start and a unique attempt at the souls-like genre. The 2nd one, however, turned it up a notch and remains one of the best games the genre has to offer. The Surge 2 gives us a creepy, dystopian future to explore that’s full of dangerous enemies, interesting lore discoveries, and, surprisingly, tons of people to interact with. It retains the brutal difficulty the genre is known for and a wild number of options when it comes to how you want to build your character.
The combat is based on targeting limbs and dodging. The dodging mechanics here are very intensive, allowing you to dodge in multiple directions and jump in order to dodge the enemy’s attacks. This creates a complex, rock-paper-scissors feel to the combat that doesn’t get old. The story is a bit all over the place, but it’s interesting enough, and the awesome world mixed with the unique and original takes on weaponry you can find will more than make up for it. It’s as unique of a souls-like gameplay-wise as Lies of P appears to be.
While the acclaimed second game might strike most people as the one to take this spot, it is not for me. The first Nioh game was a brilliant mix of old-school action and soul-like mechanics. It felt like Devil May Cry had a baby with Onimusha, and the vibe reflected as much. The amount of options you have for equipping and building up your character, William, in this game is just staggering. You can find yourself choosing between 4 different kinds of swords, spears, bows, guns, and more.
The challenge in Nioh is among the toughest in the genre. Some of these bosses will drive you to the brink as you try to juggle three different weapon stances, which all manage to have entirely unique combo strings. There are also countless side missions, hidden items to find, and a fairly intriguing story to follow as well. Some might prefer the 2nd game due to the increased graphical quality and expansion of combat options, but I’m taking Williams’ adventure as the game in the series. It’s an excellent way to get you ready for the challenge of Lies of P and a great souls-like.
2. Remnant 2
It’s a tough world out there in gaming in 2023. If you’re not a gargantuan triple a title that’s releasing to critical acclaim, do you even exist? In Remnant 2‘s case, you most certainly do. Although it’s been overshadowed by other releases with more hype, you’ll find it tough to find a better next-gen souls-like than Remnant 2.
Gameplay-wise, Remnant 2 gives you guns and melee weapons to deal with the horrors you’ll be facing off against. Some worlds will feel familiar, while others will be outrageously absurd ones where you’ll fight enemies that have to be seen to be believed. One fight in the game has you taking on a giant cube that spawns other cubes that all try to crush you as you run through a maze. It’s unique in every way and one of the best games around, not to mention a killer souls-like to get you ready for Lies of P.
Lies of P wears its inspirations on its sleeve, and no game comes to mind more than Bloodborne while playing it. FromSoftwares masterpiece is one of the more thought-provoking and disturbing games in the soul-like genre and feels familiar and foreign all at once. The name of the game here is aggression, as shields are non-existent, and rolling is eschewed in favor of dodging. The action is fast and bloody here, with just about every item in the game involving the word blood in some facet.
The world of Bloodborne is one of a kind, mixing Lovecraftian horror with some of the most disturbing levels FromSoftware has ever conceived. This massive, interconnected world will take you to gothic castles, downtrodden villages, and beautiful, dreamlike vistas on your way to discover just what is going on in this world. Boss-wise, Bloodborne stands alone as having the scariest fights in the souls-like genre. Some truly grotesque beasts await you in this adventure, and some remain at the top of any “most challenging souls-like bosses” list. If there is one souls-like game to prepare you for Lies of P, it’s the one that inspired it.