Pit People is The Behemoth’s latest spin on another popular genre, Strategy Role Playing Games. Will Stamper returns as an antagonistic narrator telling the tale of a world that was struck by a bear from space and now suffers from constant chaos and upheaval.
The cartoon art style used throughout Behemoth’s previous games return, as does the wacky humor. It fits with the world they created, full of cannibals, blueberry farmers, mace wielding princesses, and giant green glops falling from the sky. While Behemoth’s unique creation is charming, the gameplay, as presented in the demo, is quite simplistic.
Introduced as a strategy game, the beginning locations of Pit People feature easy scenarios that require you to move here, press that, and win. There is no strategy to the placement, attack type, or speed of engagement. Instead the majority of the demo follows main hero Horatio slowly gathering a band of characters to travel the land and start life anew.
Throughout your time in the early areas the humor never lets up, from joining souls with a cyclops to the constant commentary from the snarky narrator, you will constantly be chuckling at the comedy on display. It is just too bad that the combat doesn’t allow you much input.
Most maps are constrained, requiring you to move in one direction before engaging with enemies with very little maneuvering. It opens up slowly, but enemy movement and attacks can take up quite some time with their large numbers, something that most strategy games can fall prey to as well.
I understand this slow pacing and simple rollout is something purposefully done due to the developer’s dislike of overly complex SRPGs, but I feel it undervalues the ability of players to learn and take on challenges themselves.
One thing about the game you don’t see in gameplay videos is a unique controller created for this game. Presented like a modded fighting stick, this controller has the important buttons for A, B, LB, RB, and a joystick for movement.
The most important aspect is a lever marked Y that is pulled in order to end your turn. Not that a different controller is going to make the game phenomenal, but it was another touch that differentiates the Behemoth from most other developers.
The game teased from past trailers shows large maps with dozens of characters engaging with hordes of enemies, but disappointingly we haven’t been able to play any of that just yet.
For now, we can enjoy the nonsense humor and sarcastic banter of Stamper, and hope the game ceases its hand holding early on to allow players to fight as they wish.