Walk through Hell’s Mouth in this retro occult FPS

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I’ll just say it: Magic is only cool when it comes out of your hands. Every moment that I am forced to use a wand pretending to be a great and mighty wizard is an insult. As an unbridled source of arcane power, I don’t want to wave a silly little stick. I want to show something and have it undone, preferably by some kind of energy bolt or unfathomable beam. Fortunately, Into the Pit is a roguelite of boomer shooters that understands me. When I run at Olympic speeds through its changing hellish landscape in a blur of demonic carnage, I am only trusted with two handfuls of magic and a firm belief that I can kill any dark god that waits a few floors. lower, no wavy twig required. This is what respect looks like.

You followed your cousin’s letters to a village that in previous generations managed to be very cold about the gaping demonic pit in the middle. Sadly, its latest alderman is less “let’s keep the abyss quietly sealed” and more “I would like a legion of demons actually”, and quickly plunged the township into unholy ruin. To save your cousin and prevent a supernatural apocalypse, you’ll have to descend repeatedly through random areas of the Pit, freeing villagers and boosting your magic through old-fashioned, fast-paced FPS combat.

Races in Into the Pit all follow the same structure: four random floors of four chambers each, followed by a boss fight. You start by choosing a set of support runes that offer passive bonuses and allow you to change the odds of some of its random elements. Then you choose which area to go down to. There’s a neat mix-and-match element here: you can select a single region, or you can have the Pit mix two you’ve visited before, combining their aesthetics and enemy pools. You can introduce the Crab Demons of the Corroded Docks to the Ash Skeletons of the Obsidian Fortress, merging their original blueprints in the Obsidian Docks. It’s a fun crossover episode, but in hell.

When the race begins, you equip a spell in each hand from a random pool. The selection of short-range spark showers, mid-range cluster rifle blasts, long-range witch lightning, and explosive orbs make magical parallels to a standard FPS arsenal of rifles, rifles and rifles. hunting and rocket launcher.

They’re all well suited to the fast paced fight, where your best strategy in most situations is to keep moving (and compulsively jumping), constantly, forever. The only limit to your spellcasting is a very short recharge rate, even for the slower types of spells. It’s nice not to have to worry about the ammo count, but the only visual indicator that your spell is ready is how bright your hand is. I found this shine hard to judge as I focused on kiting around enemies, and there were enough dry-firing moments of my spells where I would have appreciated a good counter.

He plays like an old-time shooter, but Into the Pit shares a lot of DNA with contemporary roguelikes. Like in Hades, you choose the next room you want to enter based on the reward it will offer. In this case, that most often means choosing what variety of motes – collectibles that serve as currency in the village or provide ongoing perks like opportunities to cheat death – that you will find in the next room. Cleaning each room offers a choice of three upgrades to your stats or spells. These can be as simple as a fixed damage boost, or they can give your spells a chance to plant a Cursed Seed into an enemy that explodes upon death.

So far, there is enough interaction for fun combos to develop during a race. With one of my favorites, the scatter rifle spell in my left hand would mark a bunch of enemies at once with a curse that would deal extra damage every time they attacked me and I would clean up with the spell of long-range burst in my right hand that deals bonus damage to enemies with ailments or low health.

Compared to modern hardcore roguelikes like Spelunky 2 or Enter the Gungeon, Into the Pit isn’t as mechanically complex or deep in its progression, and it’s not particularly difficult as you might expect from presentation to presentation. Ancient. It might deter some people, but I found it refreshing to burn a few errands casually without even wanting to tear my hair out once. And it’s good to avoid the kind of decision fatigue that roguelikes can generate when you have to constantly wonder what your optimal build is. You’re not going to go into an Into the Pit race with the wrong upgrade choice, and deciding which words to prioritize is straightforward. And because rooms without combat encounters always reward you with a new perk or stat boost, you can opt to take a break in a healing shrine without feeling like you’re missing out on upgrades.

Visually, Into the Pit has a great style, with a sufficiently dark palette that still handles a lot of colors. A pixelated downsampling filter adds a lot of flavor to the rollback vibe, but for a setting on by default, it can blur the readability of the game. I would recommend turning off bloom if you’re sticking to pixels. And while I liked the fast pace of the fight, I wanted a little more visual flair for my spells. There is blood splatter and chatter from enemies once they’re dead, but the individual hits don’t have enough impact to distract from awareness that you’re just reducing health bars .

I enjoyed my time in the pit enough that I plan to dive back in, at least until I can intimidate the alderman for all the times he appears and delivers a cheesy monologue after killing a boss. I think my chances are pretty good. Man does magic with a stick. Absolutely unforgivable.


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