Demon Pit is a fast-paced arena shooter with classic 90s retro graphics that resemble first-person shooters on PC during that era. Play as a demon hunter whose soul has been damned to the depths of hell for all eternity and before submitting to eternal damnation, one must go out with a bang by taking out as many demons as possible.
Demon Pit is very fast-paced to the point where controls can feel a bit too floaty. The character feels like they’re constantly walking on ice, making precision an issue. However technically speaking, the game runs without a hitch, allowing the player to truly take aim and blow some brains out without so much as a second thought.
The game’s weapons do a great job at each feeling unique, with a total of seven to pick up and swap between. You’ll never be without ammo as your pistol is always defaulted as having an infinite amount of ammo. You also don’t need to reload which for a fast-paced arcade shooter is actually a welcomed addition.
For a first-person shooter on Nintendo Switch, and an arcade arena shooter at that, I was surprised that there was no trace of gyro aiming. I scoured the Options menu (rather, what little there was of it) and couldn’t see any option to turn it on, either. However, the game appears to have an auto lock-on feature that isn’t as precise as you’d like it to be however if you could imagine that enemies and your aimer to be like magnets to each other, with your aimer having a centrical force pulling it towards the closest target, that’d be the best way to describe it.
With such fast-paced movements, it takes some adjusting to get used to the grappling hook that you use with the ZL trigger. This pulls you towards small shining beacons, allowing you to zip around the arena in a heartbeat. This also allows you to pick up health that are situated up above on platforms located at each of the four sides; just don’t get too comfortable on these platforms, they’ll slowly begin to retract when you stand on them – nobody is safe in the pit.
I also regularly had the feeling that a mini-map that showed feint outlines of enemies around you wouldn’t have gone astray. There were a few moments where I had taken damage from an enemy that I had no idea was behind me. Some may argue that this comes with the challenge of the game, to which I’d retort that the option of toggling one on or off would have been suitable for everyone.
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Demon Pit features no HD Rumble (or any rumble) whatsoever which for a game such as this, is just pure blasphemy (no pun intended… maybe a little pun intended). With the issue that I had just recently brought up with feeling the space around yourself, especially in a first-person shooter, some rumble upon taking a hit or some slight feedback on shooting would have greatly improved on the game’s immersion.
World / Level Design
Each level comes in the form of a wave of enemies, to which stronger enemies are spawned the further you are able to progress. However in terms of level design, the game makes a point of ramping up its difficulty in keeping you on your toes and forcing you to adapt to shifting surroundings. In Wave 6, 60% of the level is engulfed in lava, forcing you to stay on an island in the middle and fight in a much more enclosed environment. It’s moments like these that provide variety in what is a somewhat repetitive game.
The story is bare minimal, with a short overview at the beginning of playthroughs. The concept works for what it is and the motivation is clear, however there appears to be a lack of want or reason to continue. While the game is set up to be an arcade first-person shooter, focussing more on replayability in order to rank high on global leaderboards, the lack of depth in its plot is disappointing, to say the least.
Graphics / Art Direction
The scenery never changes but then again, it’s hell, why would it? The demon variety is there, but they don’t stray too far beyond the norm, ultimately leaving you with a lot of red, green and yellow. Just once I wanted to see a blue demon, is that too much to ask?! But in all seriousness, the lack of variety can leave the game feeling repetitive and without a sense of progression.
Music / Sound Design
The music consists of a lot of fast-paced metal, coupled with overlays of distorted chanting. It’s a consistent combination of bone-chilling, adrenaline-pumping and mind-numbing repetition. You will hear it in your sleep if you play Demon Pit for long periods of time… you have been warned.
Final Score: 68%
Demon Pit is mindless fast-paced fun, but it doesn’t go far beyond that. It’s chaotic and brutal, with a consistent sense of satisfaction as you blast your way through hordes of the damned, however its lack of story progression and repetition can result in a player thinking, “that was fun,” and never boot it up again. It lays the foundation of a solid retro first-person shooter, but without an overarching plot to work through or areas to explore that aren’t just square arenas, the game feels like a very well refined tech demo.
Thank you for checking out our Demon Pit Switch review, thank you Digerati for providing us with the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support:
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