It's been a while since I last played Sword of the Stars: The Pit and I was quite excited to get my hands on the new Mind Games DLC the second I found out about it. It didn't take long for the Pit to remind me just what a wonderfully merciless place it was. If you're at all curious about what Sword of the Stars: The Pit is or you're wondering what I thought about it, check out our review here.
What new and deadly things lurk in The Pit now?
All sorts of things! Giant spiders, Wolf dog things, brains and other terrible monsters await returning players inside the Pit. Most of these have psychic powers of some variety, which makes them an extra kind of deadly when compared to normal enemies. They can turn invisible, hit the player with telekenetic powers, drive them mad or worse, turn them from a hardened warrior to a terrified rookie, running through the Pit without a single clue as to where they're going or even how they're going to get there.
There are also new tile sets to explore within the Pit, one of which is the new Biosphere which looks more like a forest than the inside of an underground facility. Unfortunately I never could make it past the 20th floor to experience them, once again proving that the single deadliest thing in The Pit are the status effects; starvation, disease, poison, fear and madness. All of these I found proved a far deadlier threat than the monsters themselves. That being said, I was playing on normal for the sake of getting through the Pit, and the game had me swimming in rifle, pistol and energy ammo, but I had next to no medical supplies or food. Gotta love the randomness of rogue likes. It is both a blessing and a curse for players of these games.
Fortunately Mind Games comes with a new kind of room encountered every five floors that I can basically only describe as a save room. Every fifth floor, if a player takes the time to look for it, they will find a blue room with two containers inside. One of them stores experience, the other stores whatever items the player doesn't think they need or would like to leave for another brave adventurer to run through The Pit. This room is incredibly useful. One thing to keep in mind though, every five floors the storage for both XP and items is different so don't expect to find any awesome gear from twenty floors down up in level five.
Players who can't get enough challenge out of The Pit can now access a brand new difficulty mode, one that goes even above Insane. It's called "Seriously?!" Which is exactly what I was saying the second I hit the second floor of The Pit and was instantly surrounded by more death than I could ever hope to deal with. There's even an infinite mode for those that can't get enough of the pit. But in order to access infinite mode players must first beat the The Pit. All thirty deadly floors of it.
The stars of the show.
So what about the characters and abilities that come with the new DLC? Well there are two new ones and both of them awesome.
The first and probably the most important of these characters is the Psion, who is specialized in using psychic abilities. It is an enormous new tool set for players to tinker with, and provides so much utility; beyond the straight forward damage abilities, Psions also have access to crowd control abilities like casting fear on enemies, turning invisible, turning both flesh and mechanical opponents to your side and even feeding and healing yourself using nothing more than your psychic abilities. He's no slouch at physical combat either. Early on he specializes in using blades and pistols. When it comes to utility skills, he's not so good. On the bright side, the Psion does get the most skill points to spend out of any of the classes, seven in total, so that Psion players can develop their psychic abilities as well as the rest of the standard abilities.
Then there's the ranger, who is the game's first playable alien - a female Tarka. Beyond that, she really stops being a special addition to the game when compared to the Psion, but that doesn't make her a bad character at all. If anything I found her to be a really good one; probably the best character to start with considering she doesn't really lack in any department. She's a jack of all trades, master of none kind of character, but of course you can always tweak her into being good at whatever you need or want.
Interested in psychic powers but not so much in playing the Psion? No worries! Just like any of the other abilities in the game, there is nothing preventing any of the other classes from developing psychic abilities. That being said, it's going to take a heavy investment of skill points to develop these skills, which means sacrificing your other abilities early on or waiting until way later in order to develop them.
Visit The Pit again.
Mind Games is DLC done right. It adds a ton of content to Sword of The Stars The Pit in every department. Fans of the base game will love it, and if you haven't played in a while, it's a great reason to visit the Pit once more in all of its deadly awesome. If the lack of aliens or anything that could pass for magic turned you off to the game, Mind Games also corrects that.
It's only 4.99 USD on STEAM as of writing this article, definitely worth picking up.
What do you think about Mind Games? Got any stories of your adventures in The Pit? Let us know by commenting below!