WHAT UP INTERNET?!
Pit People is an upcoming title developed by The Behemoth which I first covered at SDCC 2015. This “fast-paced, turn-based co-op adventure” (snappy and accurate description provided by Ian Moreno) is equal parts accessible, detailed and absurd. This year at RTX, I was fortunate enough to not only play the title on the custom Xbox One arcade-style controllers The Behemoth brought to the convention, but played the game with my partner in crime couch co-op style. Additionally, Ian Moreno with The Behemoth was kind enough to take a few minutes out of his busy RTX schedule to discuss his thoughts on Pit People, and how it differs from previous Behemoth titles.
The first time I dove into the world of Pit People, I was immediately struck by the increased focus on narrative. While I will not divulge any of the specifics of the story, there are several prominent characters in the title such as Horatio, the blueberry farmer who serves as the game’s protagonist. Yosef, the axe-slinging cyclops (NOTE: In a rapid-fire QA session, Ian stated Yosef is his favorite character from any game made by The Behemoth-could this mean great things for the character throughout his journey in Pit People?!) and last but certainly not least, the mallet-wielding princess Pipistrella, who packs an insanely devastating punch. The increased focus on narrative is a clear differentiator from previous titles The Behemoth have crafted, and Will Stamper’s poignant narration is hilarious while always understated, and is something I cannot wait to experience more of. Rest assured, fans of previous titles, the trademark wit and humor permeates Pit People just as much as you’d hope.
Your band of heroes is comprised of multiple character classes, each contributing to the fight in their own unique way. Horatio carts around a shield (made of a picket fence!) and is great for deflecting ranged attacks and swatting at enemies in adjacent tiles. Pipistrella is best used against armored enemies but can make quick work of basic combatants. Yosef is great for dispatching nearby enemies as his axes can travel over an empty tile between him and his foes. The cupcake (which you recruit during the early stages of the beta) is a healer, which presumably should be stationed behind your forces.
There are multiple character classes, each which can have their gear customized. Gear/loadout customization is reminiscent of the weapon selection in Castle Crashers-tradeoffs between stats so you can create a build catered to your gaming predilections. However, instead of just choosing a weapon, you can customize each character’s loadout including pieces such as helmets and shields. By the end of my RTX demo, my Pipistrella was blasting enemies with what appeared to be a giant banana. With a large roster of characters who have specific strengths and an intricately designed yet simple to understand gear customization mechanic, the options for building an army which reflects your personal playstyle seem limitless.
The most obvious differentiator from previous Behemoth games is the switch to grid-based combat. Despite the numerous options for class-specific heroes to fill out your roster, engaging with the enemy is incredibly intuitive, even for those unfamiliar with strategy games. You position your units where you believe they’ll be most effective and they do the rest. If an enemy is within their range, they will attack. If a character has a shield and is bombarded by a ranged attack, they will automatically raise it to defend. Your primary goal is to position your units in a way to maximize their effectiveness while protecting them, and eliminating adversaries such as the dual Uzi-wielding “Speckled Horseman” who popped up midway through the demo. The enemy AI is aggressive and tactical, yet never once did I feel as if I was being pummeled-merely sufficiently challenged. Additionally, Ian confirmed Pit People will not be as gruelingly difficult as Alien Hominid-something I was sure to ask!
The Behemoth titles are known for emphasizing co-op, and Pit People is no different. Strategizing and discussing how to approach the enemy is a breeze considering how intuitive the gameplay is, even if you’re playing with someone who is unfamiliar with the strategy genre. While I certainly enjoyed my previous hands-on time with the title on my own, adding a second player on my side added an interesting dynamic, one I’d be more than happy to share with both veterans of the genre and newcomers alike. Coordinating your attacks with your allies is simple considering how easy the battlefield is to view. Accessibility has always been a hallmark of The Behemoth games, and Pit People continues this tradition perfectly.
Pit People is a game which is accessible, requires strategy and encapsulates the trademark wit and humor fans of previous Behemoth titles have come to know and adore. The closed beta should be opening soon, and Ian stated the purpose of this beta is to ensure everything with the game runs as smoothly as they’ve envisioned. Whether you’re a fan of The Behemoth or strategy games in general, I’d recommend having Pit People on your radar. It’s a great experience, whether you’re playing solo or cooperative. I for one cannot wait to delve into everything the game has to offer.
I asked Ian a few questions in rapid-fire fashion, and his answers are below:
-Favorite thing you’ve eaten in Texas?
-Favorite Con you’ve been to?
“RTX 2013, because it was our first time coming here and it was a really cool experience jumping into this world”
-Favorite thing about RTX 2016?
I’m paraphrasing this one, as Ian implied it was everything. He’s a busy guy and I didn’t want to stump him on a rapid-fire question as I know he’s got a lot on his plate-if you came up with something later, my most sincere apologies, Bro.
-Favorite character from a Behemoth title?
Until next time, Bros!