While at RTX 2016, EBongo and I spent a considerable amount of time at The Behemoth’s booth. Their latest game is Pit People, a co-op turn-based strategy game that is going into closed beta on Xbox One this August. We got a chance to talk to Megan from The Behemoth, as well as play a lengthy co-op demo of Pit People! Come check out what we learned!
Pit People is a turn-based strategy game, which seems like a bit of a departure for The Behemoth. All of their previous games have been a bit more action oriented. However, Megan pointed out that each new game from The Behemoth has been a significant departure from their previous games. There are many fans of the turn-based strategy genre at The Behemoth, so picking turn-based strategy for their next game seemed like a natural fit.
Returning from previous Behemoth titles is their trademark art style and crazypants humor. Will Stamper is reprising his role as narrator, and the writing is laugh out loud hilarious. I watched the intro cutscene before the con, and again during the demo, and both times I couldn’t stop giggling.
The Behemoth have always tried to make their games approachable and co-op friendly. With Pit People, they’re tackling turn-based strategy, a historically challenging genre. To reduce the complexity, Megan explained that they’ve made Pit People a game more about positioning. Your units attack on their own, based on where they are standing.
An axe-wielding unit, for instance, might throw axes with a chance to stun if they’re one hex away from an enemy, but they can still do a weaker melee attack if the enemy is too close. Melee units will distribute their damage across multiple units if surrounded, but will focus fire if given just one target.
During combat in co-op, each player has control of a squad of units that they can move around the map, and it does take some coordination to ensure you don’t step on each other’s toes. Megan said that the plan for Pit People was to support matchmade co-op in addition to playing with friends. On top of co-op, there’s also a 2v2 PvP mode in the works.
Pit People has a bunch of quests to undertake and locations to visit. Already in the demo, we got a taste of a pretty meaty looking map. There are various side quests, arenas to compete in, and a main story to follow. From the looks of it, there are a ton of units, upgrades, and customization gear to be unlocked as you play.
The demo we played took about a half hour of co-op gameplay. We started out with a basic sword-and-shield melee fighter, then recruited a princess who preferred to bludgeon enemies and was strong against helmeted enemies. After that, we traveled to what passed for a city in this bear-blood-soaked apocalypse. From there, we recruited a few others to our motley crew – a cyclops wielding throwing axes, some sort of conquistador that trapped foes and “recruited” them, and finally a cupcake named Gluten that dished out delicious frosting-based healing.
Pit People is The Behemoth’s first foray into the world of turn-based strategy, but already their approach looks easy to pick up and play while still retaining tactical depth. I loved playing co-op with EB, I loved the art, and I loved the silly, dark humor. The Xbox One closed beta starts in August 2016, so do yourself a favor and sign up!