Pit People Preview

By Marc Hollinshead,
Turn-based RPGs come in a variety of shapes and sizes nowadays. We have seen plenty of AAA developers mold the formula in their own unique way to create good and not-so-good games. The latest title to utilise this method of combat is Pit People. Now part of the Xbox Game Preview programme, the game is available for those who wish to try it out. If you're still on the fence as to whether this is the game for you, read on a little further for a small taste into how this unusual adventure is shaping up.

Pit People Game Preview screenshot

Pit People starts as any turn-based RPG is expected to start. The main character goes through trauma and the game's omnipotent narrator, a giant purple bear, decides to make their life that little bit worse. After the introduction of the initial characters, a quest for vengeance is underway and the game truly begins. Before heading out into the open world, you are led through the game's hub world that takes the form of a city with a few buildings. Each of these buildings provides different services for your squad of fighters, such as acquiring new equipment, customising and changing your characters, and gathering new quests. You'll regularly be coming back to this city (which the bear randomly keeps moving around the map) to enjoy the spoils of your endeavours, or even to fight other players online (more on that later).

With your carriage, you travel through different maps and environments to your destination, guided by an arrow through different enemies and terrain. The challenge here is that every enemy will attempt to engage in battle if they spot you. Like many turn-based games, you can completely bypass this battle if you don't get too close to the enemy. You are also provided with a cannon that shoots missiles at enemies to stun them and this gives you the chance to quickly rush past them before they can recover. A small amount of XP is regularly gained as you traverse the map, but the main bulk of your levelling will come through engaging the opposition.

Gameplay

Once battle commences, your squad will be up against a group of enemies with varying abilities and weaknesses. Instead of every fighter having their own unique turn, both teams will control all of their squad in a single go. The arena is split into hexagons and by simply using cn_A, you can move any character a specific number of hexagons. If the squad is within reach of an enemy that they can engage with their particular abilities, they will attack. Certain fighters possess strengths that can help to tip the odds in your favour as well; for example, both a healer and shield bearer can help your team out drastically.

Along the way you will be able to recruit new fighters by caging up lone enemies at an opportune time, so it seems that analysing the battlefield is a good strategy before charging in straight away. Doing absolutely nothing with your characters is also a viable option as they can still perform an action if they do not move on your turn. It's all down to the placement of fighters rather than taking constant action at every moment.

Pit People

Another way to fight is by going to the Pit in the city. You can fight against rounds of AI opponents or even other players online if you wish. Connecting online is a very simple process that is achieved by either inviting players yourself or by joining another random player's game. In addition, there is an unlockable insane difficulty that can be activated at the edge of the city. This will cause flames to appear on the screen to signal that the challenge has increased significantly, so be wary of going into the pit or open world if you pluck up the courage to do that.

Pit People is appearing to be a title that is accessible for anyone who desires to jump into this genre, toting an inviting art style if you make the purchase. While available as part of the Game Preview programme, it is now able to be bought for £11.99/$14.99. A full release date is not yet available.
Marc Hollinshead
Written by Marc Hollinshead
To summarize Marc in two words, it would be "Christian Gamer." You will usually find him getting stuck into story heavy action-adventure games, RPG's and the odd quirky title when he isn't raving about Dark Souls and Mass Effect. Outside the world of gaming, Marc attends and helps out in his church on a regular basis and has a not-so thrilling job in a supermarket.