In our latest review, Eric took a look at Kerberos Productions’ most recent release Sword of the Stars: The Pit. The game takes place in a post apocalyptic worlds ravaged by plague, and you are the worlds last hope for a cure. Swords of the Stars: The Pit released on March 8th, 2013 across many sites for PC for $9.99.
GAME NAME: Sword of the Star: The Pit
DEVELOPER(S): Kerberos Productions
PUBLISHER(S): Kerberos Productions
RELEASE DATE(S): March 8, 2013
We’d like to thank Kerberos Productions for giving us the opportunity to review Swords of the Stars: The Pit.
A deadly plague ravages your world. Your last hope: a legendary alien facility dug deep into the Feldspar Mountains…a massive Pit, built by the ancient Suul’ka. If ‘The Pit’ really exists, there might be something left. Something that will give your doctors a fighting chance at the cure.
As of late, it seems as if roguelikes have really saturated the indie game scene. This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s rare that one does something different. Enter Sword of the Stars: The Pit.
It’s hard to explain exactly what Sword of the Stars: The Pit is. At first glance, The Pit looks like an overhead Dead Space with pixelated graphics. In some ways that is an understandable statement, but Sword of the Stars: The Pit is way more in-depth than EA’s generic alien games.
One of the first things of note is that Sword of the Stars: The Pit is a turn-based roguelike. One death and the game is over. Death can be served out in many manners. There is the usual death by loss of all HP, but Kerberos Productions heavily expands upon the idea of game deaths.
Food is a necessity in surviving The Pit. Sure, eat some meat and that usually cures hunger, but what if not all of the meat was safe? What if some of the meat needed to be cooked first? What if some of the meats needed to be purified? Well, these are some of the issues that will be run into. This is the great thing about having a “hunger bar”. There is all kinds of food to be consumed, but some skills will be needed in order to cook or purify foods. If one chooses to just consume food, they may find themselves becoming poisoned, or sometimes diseased.
Luckily, this game reintroduces survival horror. Maybe not in the ways that Sword of the Stars: The Pit is scary, but more along the lines of getting so far into the pit and having to restart all of the way back at the beginning. It’s a truly interesting concept that has never been approached in this way.
As previously stated, Sword of the Stars: The Pit is turn-based. Think of this as Chrono Trigger, only without the story to get in the way of having to get one’s head into the gameplay. Story isn’t unwelcome, but it isn’t needed in this particular game, and this is a great thing. So, how is this game like Chrono Trigger? Well, enemies are all around and choosing the strategy of which enemy to engage first can be the difference between life and death. Every action takes a turn. This includes walking, hacking consoles, opening cabinets, and attacking. Normally these types of elements turn me off to games, but Kerberos executed this type of gameplay in such a brilliant manner that I became hooked instantly.
What else does Sword of the Stars: The Pit bring to the table? A whole slew of level-up mechanics. There is the normal bar that shows the experience that the player gains, but experience is gained in a myriad of ways. The usual way of gaining experience is still here. In fact, killing monsters is the quickest way to level a character up, but it isn’t the only way. Experience can be gained by hacking terminals, cooking food, or by just about any other means.
The thing that matters is that Sword of the Stars: The Pit is very in-depth with its systems, and doesn’t hold your hand when it comes to explaining the game. I learned how to play within 5 minutes and it was a very rewarding experience.
The audio of Sword of the Stars: The Pit may be the weakest aspect of the game. It’s not because of the music. The chiptune music will get stuck in one’s head from time to time, or sometimes add to the dingy look of the caves.
The Pit can sometimes feel very dangerous and make someone feel uneasy because there are no NPCs to speak to. It’s just the character that is chosen in the beginning and the monster. But it’s hard to stay in the world with some of the goofy voice-overs. The characters sound like your stereotypical bro-shooter fans.
Other than character voice-overs, monsters sound great and can sometimes leave a player feeling unsettled. Thankfully, the sound of the monsters let the player know what is coming and how they should prepare for the next encounter.
Sword of the Stars: The Pit is gloomy, but not in a way that it is a turnoff. It’s a dark game that takes place inside of abandoned labs and caves that are all rendered in a great 16-bit style. Something about the look can really make a person become immersed into the world, and there is no better feeling than when a game can make somebody become invested in the world surrounding the chosen avatar.
Down to the Nitty Gritty:
The Pit is a fantastic game that will remain on anyone’s mind after jumping into the world. Whether it’s the unique gameplay or the ability to level up just about anything that a character can do. Sword of the Stars: The Pit is an absolute must-play for gamers that want a new spin on an old genre. Simply take out the annoying voice-overs and this game is an instant classic.
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