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Pit People is a game I’ve been looking forward to since I first learned of the title wayyyyy back at SDCC 2015. After getting some additional hands-on time (couch co-op style) and chatting with Ian Moreno about the title at RTX 2016, it’s safe to say my excitement was at an all-time high. Fortunately, I was able to delve into the world of Pit People during the Xbox One Beta, and suffice it to say it did not disappoint in the slightest. If you’re interested in simply seeing the gameplay and hearing your Bro detail some of the nuances of the title, feel free to scope this video:
If you’re like me and enjoy reading articles (or simply don’t care for watching videos when you should be *cough*working*cough*), I will summarize my experience with the beta below. Considering I’ve already covered the background on the title in previous posts, I’m going to try making this post more succinct, although that may end up being an exercise in futility considering how verbose I am. If you’re looking for the quick and sweet: Pit People is equal parts accessible and complex, with the most intricate character customization of any Behemoth title and the trademark humor the developer of is known (and lauded) for. Whether you dig strategy games or not, if you’re looking for a good time which can be enjoyed on your own or via couch co-op, Pit People should be on your radar.
Character customization is one of my favorite parts of video games, and Pit People delivers this in spades. A handy bar graph in the party selection window lets you see how equipping a new piece of armor impacts your characters’ stats. Although there are only minute differences between pieces within each category (think: small helmets, heavy armor, etc.), I found myself perusing all the options I’d accrued so I could build the perfect party of both my gameplay predilections and the all-important “swag” preferences. I spent the better part of the beta playing couch co-op, and divvying up the loot we gathered during our absurd adventures (it’s worth noting it’s exceedingly simple to gift any items you have to your compatriot) was easily one of my favorite activities. The messages during loading screens illustrate there are over 1000 items to collect, and while some items do give your characters a unique punch (I personally loved having one character outfitted with twin Uzis at all times), the vast majority provide only cosmetic differences. This ensures players will have the functional options they need to build a well-rounded team, but ensures perfectionists (like myself) will continue chasing the multitude of equipment options available.
While Behemoth titles are known for their emphasis on co-op, strategy games can be notoriously complex. Fortunately for both veterans of the genre and n00bs like myself, the learning curve for Pit People is anything for steep. Players are introduced to new game mechanics slowly with matches designed to emphasize a particular skill or enemy combatant. Within 45 minutes of firing up the game you’ll become familiar with various character abilities, the intricacies of customizing your loadout, how to recruit new team members as well as how exploration (and random encounters) works in the world of Pit People. If that sounds like a lot of information, it is; however the narrative and pacing of the game do an effective job of packaging this information so it’s intuitive instead of tedious.
The trademark humor of The Behemoth runs rampant throughout the world of Pit People, and the world is as bright and lively as any player familiar with Castle Crashers or Alien Hominid would hope. The title is quick, witty, extremely accessible and easily one of the most intriguing strategy titles to hit the gaming landscape in quite some time. The sooner it drops, the better. Until next time, Bros!