Realised yesterday that now we have one of those new fangled Xbox things in the house I can finally play Into The Pit on a big television. Best decision I’ve made all week because gosh, what a stunning looking videogame it is.
Absolutely criminally overlooked game too. Perhaps there just aren’t that many people looking for a videogame that mashes up a 1950’s/60’s gothic horror village set aesthetic with 1980’s thrash metal album covers, throws in the most wonderful glow, splatter and Bava-esque coloured lighting and finishes it all off by pushing it through the most intense pixellated rendering, looking like a modern successor to your Quake and Thief games (albeit via a path not taken by reality).
It’s fucking catnip to me though! Bloody hell, talk about hitting all the right spots.
It’s just such a vibe! Revisiting it for the first time in a year or so, now in big-screen-o-vision, I found myself getting killed way more often than I should have been because I was just far too busy gawping at the spectacle. The glow, the lights, the shimmer, the levels caught between chunky 90’s videogame and pulpy film set and the way everything moves and explodes and oh, look, it’s really something.
One of my favourite aesthetics in recent years for the sheer pride it takes in wearing its multitude of inspirations on its sleeve and yet still there’s a game that looks like nothing else that exists.
I’m honestly not really a fan of a bunch of the recent FPS revival games (Cruelty Squad and Prodeus being the only ones that hit the spot), most of them either don’t vibe right or just look like a game I’d have skipped had it been released in the era it purports to pay tribute to.
And sure, I’d have probably loved Into The Pit even more as a campaign FPS rather than the roguelike it is – the thought of a Quake that looks like this is an exciting one – but you know, I’ll take this as it is all the same because it’s a stunner.