Here’s a bold prediction.
Kerberos Studios‘ Pit of Doom will be a runaway hit. And not just one of those cult sleepers, name-dropped for cred at gatherings of those in the know. A bona fide smash. It sounds ludicrous to predict the fortune of an unfinished game, one still slick with Early Access afterbirth, but I have that tingling sensation.
Could be the creeping onset of Zuul poison, though. You never know.
Pit of Doom is ostensibly Kerberos’ The Pit roguelike, played as a real-time dungeon crawler. It is as much a first-person shooter as it is a Wizardry descendant, or at least hopes to be. As was the case with The Pit, you traipse around a multi-leveled subterranean base, stalking the corridors of its thirty-story facility. The deeper you go, the greater the risk and the greater the reward. Familiar territory to any leathery rogueliker.
The shooter aspect feels very competent, concealing its dice-rolls within any number of gun-specific reticules. Some weapons have spacious circular reticules, wherein the dice invisibly fall in sympathy with the vectored enemies. Of course, as you level, the bonuses invariably become more favourable. Again, no surprises, but it’s a natural coalescing of mechanics. Not at immediate as, say, Borderlands or Destiny, but this is a roguelike first and foremost.
The visual presentation in Pit of Doom is rudimentary at this stage, no doubt with a lot more to come in terms of furnishing the environment, but it totally is The Pit aesthetic. Kerberos have always had this sort of kitschy, loud palette of primary yellows, reds and greens, and it comes through in Pit of Doom to great effect. The game is set to marinade in Early Access for six months to a year, and while there’s no doubt it’ll get crisper and cleaner in the visual department, I trust the game won’t lose its current chunky, plastic aesthetic. It works.
Right now, the game is absolutely playable. I encountered few bugs, found the character development fine, enjoyed the sense of player physicality and more. Heck, do more with that physicality. Dominic Tarason over on RPS said as much, and if Kerberos can code up a wholly immersive frisson of world interactivity, it’ll be the richer for it. If I were to wish for some things to be injected over the course of development, I’d rub the lamp for great level complexity. But like my initial prediction, it’s perhaps too soon to tell where Pit of Doom will go. I mean, down, sure. Because pit. Of Doom.
Multiplayer is inbound, if that sweetens the deal. I’m practically diabetic over the possibility, so more reports to come once that drops.