Sword of the Stars: The Pit has you playing as the last hope for your world as a deadly plague ravages the entire population. With an alien facility the last roll of the dice for your home will you be able to survive the labyrinth of floors and alien threats to find a cure? Launched in 2013 the title has continued to expand its content with downloadable content expanding each of the core mechanics with fresh challenges.
Simply referred to as The Pit this alien facility utilises roguelike mechanics to push an increasing difficulty scale that needs a deep game understanding and a touch of luck to overcome. With 30 randomised floors of roguelike goodness to conquer in Sword of the Stars: The Pit it is a game where will be dying often as you try to make it deeper and deeper into the facility to find the cure for your home world. For those that are truly dedicated you’ll also have a total of 6 different difficultly levels to attempt and potentially hundreds of hours of gameplay as you seek to master the mechanics.
The primary mechanic in this process is a turn based approach to your adventure although this doesn’t slow down gameplay as it happens mostly behind the scenes or during critical events like combat. The result is a turn based approach that does wonders for your ability to make decisions at an appropriate pace for the situation at hand and ultimately maximise your chances of success.
Even making the most optimal decisions won’t always ensure success though with a brutal randomisation engine behind the game that is a little more harsh than other roguelike experiences. While much of the randomisation appears in terms of level layout and number of enemies it is also present in the item hunt that is often critical to your plan of attack.
The sheer number of items and their sometimes random effects make every item use a risky proposition that can either quickly end your game (by accidental poisoning yourself) or dramatically helping you (such as a serum that dramatically boosts your stats). Many of the seemingly useless items also play an important role in crafting recipes which you’ll find and are persistent through all characters to give that sense of external progression to each attempt.
The foundation of each attempt though is your choice of class with a dozen options with all DLC or three classes in the base game. In the base game you’ll have access to the scout, engineer and marine which primarily dictates your starting equipment, initial stats, skills and level up gains while directing you to a particular playstyle. With skills being vital to combat, utility and psionic (spells) they play a major role in your experience and one of the most detailed elements of the game. Combined with the armour, weapons and devices you’ll acquire along the way you’ll face off against the diverse monster families with their own stats and challenges to counter.
- A huge number of items to find and craft to assist in your quest for a cure.
- Multiple classes that dramatically alter gameplay with their own starting points to grow from.
- Explore 30 levels of alien facility to find a cure buried deep behind an array of monster families.
- Carefully pick and utilise your skills to support your play style to progression.
- Turn based strategy that doesn’t feel turn based while providing the time you need to make decisions.
Review Platform: PC