Sword of the Stars: The Pit - Impressions @ IndieStatik
IndieStatik has played Sword of the Stars: The Pit and share their impressions of the game.
TotalBiscuit has a fair video review of this game on his Youtube channel (http://tinyurl.com/cku3xou). While after playing the demo (available on GamersGate and STEAM) I'm sure it's an entertaining rogue-like with excellent tiles graphics, I'm not sure it's worth paying for it while, as mentioned above, there are tons of free gems to pick from instead. It's fairly lowly priced though.
I bought it on steam and while I'd say it's worth the money it might be a better choice to wait till a few more updates were released taking care of the balancing.
As mentioned on indiestatik, it's extremely Luck based. And with that I don't mean that with good luck it's easy, and with bad luck you die. FTL for example is very well doable once you have some experience and survived the first few sectors. Further flaws can mitigated and chances of survival are high.
In The Pit however, well…
I'll explain it by showing some numbers:
There are three classes, the Engineer, the Scout and the Marine, each with different stats, skills, gains per level and equipment.
While the Marine focuses on weapon skills, the other classes focus on opening chests and similar. Problem is: they don't survive long enough to take advantage of that skill.
The Marine has:
60 hp, a blade killing most small critters with one hit, a pistol doing 20 dmg, and a rifle doing 30 dmg per turn, he also has a very good armor
The Scout has:
50 hp, a knife doing less dmg than the blade, a pistol doing 20 dmg, no rifle and therefore no way of using rifle ammo, she got a worse armor than the marine
The Engineer has:
40 hp, an even worse knife, a pistol doing 12 dmg, taking longer to reload, no rifle and a crappy armor.
What happens on Insane difficulty:
On level 1-3 you face opponents throwing granades which kill a slightly wounded engineer or scout instantly if they are not killed on the first look (only possible via marine rifle). You face opponents taking like 60 dmg, causing 30 per turn and even smaller enemies almost kill the Engineer or Scout almost instantly while the marine survives till level 5 or a little longer.
What happens on Hard difficulty:
As Scout or Engineer you will probably survive level 1-3 and then die in the next 5 levels almost with a 100% probability as now you face almost the same situation as on insane. You did not have a chance to craft something better or to find something better. Crafing also takes materials like chitin which is dropped by an opponent hard to kill for the engineer (easy for the marine).
As marine however you die around level 5-15 due to 1. broken items (if your blade breaks, you need to use ammo to kill anything, meaning ammo runs out for important enemies and then you die) 2. ammo runs out, 3 food runs out because you need to rest too often because ammo ran out and you need to kill opponents in melee.
I never played on normal or below. But I would say that on insane the game is impossible to beat and on hard only if you are very, very, very lucky, if at all - and there is no way to compensate anything with good tactics. You can save a few hitpoints here and there, save some ammo here and there. But if there is some special enemy or group of enemies…or you don't get a repair station in time, lose an item due to a trap or destroying it on repair, you are screwed and there is no way around it. In addition the game at some point seems to spawn enemies, making the experience even more frustrating.
And while on FTL you always think like "damn, I shouldn't have done this and that", in the Pit you only think like "WTF!, there is nothing I could have done in this situation!".
Sounds very negative. But as I said, I think it's worth the money. However it's probably wiser to wait for a few more patches.
I actually really enjoy the game, it's not as deep as some other roguelikes, but it has excellent pacing. Like most roguelikes, there is a lot of luck, but with time you do learn how to use strategy to make the most of every situation and piece of gear you find. And the luck factor does make it interesting because you never know what you will find, and it can change your strategy considerably.
I will say though, that this is a perfectly good game to just play on normal. Normal just means "normal for a roguelike", which is still really hard. You will still die every time on normal and your very unlikely to make it to the end, but that's how roguelikes are supposed to be (FTL was actually very easy for a RL). However, on normal difficulty, you will survive for long enough to see some of the more interesting items, recipes, etc.
I think it is a fun little game, I wouldn't recommend skipping it if you want something fun and quick to pick up. Thought it had a fairly good list of skills for a roguelike.
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