Look, if you ask me, weapon durability is some bullshit. It’s ostensibly meant to encourage experimentation, but its implementation in games like Dead Island 2 and The Legend of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom does more to create headaches than to inspire some extemporaneous testing of a variety of weapon types, especially in the middle of a tense battle with a fearsome boss. Lies of P, the upcoming Bloodborne-inspired Soulslike by South Korean duo Neowiz Games and Round8 Studio, has weapon durability as well, but surprisingly, the way it’s implemented here results in a far more rewarding experience.
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Out on September 19 for PC, PlayStation consoles, and Xbox systems, Lies of P is a dark, loose reimagining of Carlo Collodi’s fairy tale Pinocchio. Instead of being made of wood, however, protagonist P (who bears an eerie resemblance to actor Timothée Chalamet) is more of an animatronic puppet, composed of mechanical parts like bolts and cogs and springs. He’s just one of mastermaker Geppetto’s creations; the craftsman’s other dolls can be found throughout the city, once serving as butlers, police, even family pets. Now, though, they’ve all gone haywire, wreaking havoc across Krat.
Taking control of the clockwork doll, you slash your way through a bloodied, steampunked Belle Époque-era France, chopping up the frenzied puppets to not only save Geppetto but also to get to the bottom of the plague that’s causing the once-obedient marionettes to flip their shit and kill everyone. As you traverse the city smashing them to bits, you’ll find 30-plus weapons to help you in your quest, and as you use each one, it will eventually become dull and need repair. Thankfully, the game actually does something clever and cool with its weapon durability system, and it involves the handy-dandy Grinder item.
Always grind your Lies of P weapons to peak sharpness
Each strike you land with a weapon, whether it’s a blunt one like a police baton or a pointy one such as a thin rapier, will see its durability gradually decrease. Attack enough times and your weapon will not only do less damage as its durability depletes but will eventually break if you don’t repair it before it shatters. However, the Grinder, an item you’re gifted at the start of the game, can come to the rescue. Attached to P’s Sekiro-esque prosthetic left arm, known as the Legion Arm, it lets you simply hold a button to sharpen your blade and replenish its durability as many times as you want, whenever you want. Repairing your weapon in the game both tops up the durability gauge and grants you an attack damage bonus, especially if you have specific upgrades for P that do things like enhance attack power when weapon durability is maxed out.
A damage buff is a nice bonus for taking care of your weapons, but about a third of the way through the game, you’ll unlock a merchant within the main hub world of Hotel Krat who can enhance your Grinder with elemental effects. By attaching a Grindstone to your weapon sharpener, you can temporarily imbue your armament with something like electricity for shock damage or fire for burn damage, both of which really hurt certain types of enemies. Grindstones are fragile, special items that can only be used a handful of times, but the elemental effects they grant are a blessing. If you’re going up against an enemy that’s weak against fire, the Flame Grindstone—and various other fire-based equipment, such as the Flamberge Legion Arm that’s basically a flamethrower on your arm—will be your besties. So, not only are you replenishing your weapon as its durability decreases to do more damage, but you’re also imbuing your equipment with an element to further increase your damage output. It’s not a bad trade-off for merely walking slowly while repairing.
In this way, Lies of P joins DMC-like action game Ultra Age among games that do something worthwhile and interesting with weapon durability. Lies of P’s system rewards you for taking care of the equipment you pick up and regularly use. It’s like scratching the weapon’s back—if it actually had a back to scratch, that is. Either way, if you take care of your weapon, it will absolutely take care of you.
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Lies of P’s France is bloody and desolate, with mean puppets and even meaner humans, all vying to put your mechanical ass in a permanent case—that case being a coffin. And they will. This is a Soulslike, after all, where challenge is par for the course. But by paying attention to your weapon’s durability and honing your equipment before—and during—a fight, you’ll give yourself a literal sharp edge in battle. Hey, you need all the assistance you can get for these assholes.