It would seem that nowadays games have shifted away from the straightforward formula of yesteryear. Instead, they are enticing players with epic narratives and staggeringly realistic visuals. While that may appeal to the majority of players, I have grown tired of this kind of game. Rather than having each character stop the action just to talk about their motivations, I prefer non-stop action that I can play at my pace. Fortunately, Into The Pit fits into the latter category. All it wants of you is to run through dungeons killing demons as a spell-wielding mage. Suffice to say, I was hooked from the start. Despite some challenges and frustrations, I am confident in saying that Into The Pit is an incredible indie.
“It is an exceptionally fast-paced game that offers exhilarating gameplay akin to classic Doom.”
Into The Pit doesn’t waste time with an overly complex narrative. Instead, its simple premise allows for players to jump into the action almost immediately. You are tasked with exploring a cursed village in order to find your cousin, Luridia. They have gone missing while investigating the titular pit. Beyond that simple but gripping motivation, you’ll also be asked to rescue villagers who are trapped in the pit. Saving them will give you health and power upgrades to take into each run.
I thoroughly enjoyed the ten or so hours I played of Into The Pit. It is an exceptionally fast-paced game that offers exhilarating gameplay akin to classic Doom. Running and gunning my way through the dungeons never got old and I found the gunplay to be astonishingly well polished. Additionally, the game’s stunningly haunting visuals coupled with excellent lighting and vibrant colours made my experience that much more atmospheric. They accentuate Into The Pit’s more horror-focused elements while never making the gameplay too murky.
“It is a shame that Into The Pit doesn’t experiment with its weapon types and instead plays it a little too safe.”
Unfortunately, while I found shooting the game’s assortment of enemies to be thoroughly enjoyable, the lacklustre spells failed to make me feel like a badass mage. Instead of even the most cliched of spells appearing in your arsenal, you’ll be outfitted with spells that essentially imitate guns. For example, you can wield the spells The Shotgun and Needler which are simply a shotgun and a submachine gun.
However, while it is fair to say that each of the game’s weapons that I used felt a little underwhelming, the minute-to-minute action is often enough to distract you from this issue. Blasting through waves of enemies with a shotgun-like weapon is still fun, regardless of whether or not the blast comes from a barrel. It is just a shame that Into The Pit doesn’t experiment with its weapon types and instead plays it a little too safe.
“From tight corridors to wide-open arenas, Into The Pit frequently shakes up the layout thus directly impacting the gameplay.”
Of course, outside of the game’s phenomenal, albeit slightly uninspired gunplay is the main attraction: the dungeon. Fortunately, this is where Into The Pit shines. The chaotic layout of each arena offers an enticing sense of the unknown as you’re never quite sure what lays behind the next corner. Rushing through each dungeon was a truly nail-biting experience.
Fortunately, the randomness never felt too stale as there was enough variety to keep each run interesting. From tight corridors to wide-open arenas, Into The Pit frequently shakes up the layout thus directly impacting the gameplay. For example, running the gauntlet down a compact corridor offered a challenging set of close-combat encounters. Conversely, the wide-open arenas meant stumbling too far in could result in you becoming quickly overwhelmed.
“It is a more than welcome addition to the ever-growing library of rogue-lite games.”
Furthermore, Into The Pit introduces a novel mechanic that allows you to combine rituals to create entirely new dungeons. While I had hoped that by combining two dungeons the monsters or even bosses would experience slight changes, in reality, it’s nothing more than a cosmetic alteration. It is exciting seeing what the combination of different rituals will create. However, beyond that initial buzz, this mechanic isn’t fleshed out enough to truly offer a unique experience each time.
Ultimately, Into The Pit is a more than welcome addition to the ever-growing library of rogue-lite games. Despite its somewhat rocky and uninspired start, Into The Pit features enough novelty, stunning visuals and world, and exhilarating gameplay that it’s easy to overlook its faults. With time, Into The Pit will become a truly iconic and exceptional indie hit that not only harkens back to classic FPS games but also offers a unique rogue-lite experience.
*Disclaimer: Reviewed on PC, code was provided by the Publisher.