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Pit People

Posted by GG Goblin On April - 3 - 2018

A blueberry farmer, a Princess, a cupcake and a planet-sized space bear. Does that sound like the start of a joke, or what?

 
For those in the know, The Behemoth bring out bizarre, imaginative games, usually without much by way of fanfare. Their previous titles, such as Battleblock Theatre and Castle Crashers, have all been well received and have given The Behemoth a massive fan following, all waiting for the next game from these unique developers. Well, this time around The Behemoth have turned their hands to a strategic RPG, still packed full of their excellent visual style and quirky sense of humour. Pit People has been in early access and game preview for a while now, but in March the game finally had a full release, and it was really worth the wait.

 
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The stand out feature of Pit People is the humour. Don’t get me wrong, the gameplay is great and the visuals suit the game perfectly, but it is the humour that washes over the whole experience and sticks with the player long after they put down the controller. The entire game is overseen by an almost omnipotent narrator who happens to have a sarcastic, and maybe slightly evil, side. The narrator is great, but the humour comes through in all aspects of the game, from the characters and locations, through to the missions themselves. The story itself revolves around blueberry farmer Horatio whose home is attacked and son taken. Our silent hero, who is quite capable of taking care of himself, heads out to gather a like-minded bunch of heroes and get some sort of resolution. Interestingly, Horatio is perhaps one of the most underplayed characters in the game. The other main characters that the player comes across in the early game, such as the kick ass Princess or the cupcake healer, are more interesting and more fun than Horatio, but as the silent lead role, he is pretty cool.

 
Very little time will pass in Pit People without something funny. Awesome cut scenes in the colourful visual style are great fun and set up the story, while little one-liners that come from various characters offer the moment to moment giggles. Then you have the situational comedy, such as an early mission in which the player picks a fight with a bunch of enemies who happen to be driving muscle cars. Really. Where the hell did they come from. It’s all brilliant fun.

 
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When it comes to the core gameplay, Pit People is no joke. The core is all about the turn-based strategic battles, but done just a little differently from most other games in this genre. The play takes place on an hexagonal grid, with the player able to move their characters around the grid and get them into the optimal position. This is where the players skill comes in, as the rest of the actions are not in the control of the player. It is all about learning the role of the characters in the players team, and making sure they are moved to the correct position. Then, once the movement has been completed, the AI takes care of everything else. It does make for a very simple system, but one that holds the possibility for great strategy and learning.

 
But it is not perfect. Newcomers to the turn-based strategy genre may find it straight forward, but the veterans will struggle with the lack of control. The thing is, you move the characters, but then have to leave them to make their own decisions. As an example, if that means not targeting the enemy that you want finished off, it’s tough. Or if the cupcake healer heals the wrong character, get over it. It takes a little bit of getting used to, but if you can accept the limitations, it is quite enjoyable.

 
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The player works out of a hub city that gives access to all manner of distractions, not least of which is the Pit where players can test their skills against other real world players in PvP. There is also ample opportunity to tweak their roster of characters with new equipment and the like, or even add new characters. While out doing missions, it is possible to capture enemy units and add them to the roster of party members, giving an almost “catch ‘em all” mentality. Players can only have six heroes in their team, but being able to swap between a roster of many, and find what combination best suits each mission is part of the fun.

 
Other little extras, such as daily quests or the insane difficulty level, ensure that there is always plenty to do in Pit People, even after the story is finished. Perhaps one of the best extras is the ability to play the game in co-op. Bringing a friend along for the crazy ride may make things a little more difficult and more chaotic, but it really is a blast.

 
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Pit People offers a simplistic take on turn-based strategy, but the depth is there for those players willing to alter their thinking. But Pit People is much more than just a turn-based strategy game, with absolutely loads to do and that great The Behemoth humour propping everything up. Pit People is hugely entertaining and an essential purchase for fans of the genre. Get it now, and have a laugh.

 

 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 



 

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