Procedurally-generated survival games are not small in number, so why should you play Sir, You Are Being Hunted over the waves of other potential candidates? Well apart from the game being just plain fun, it appears that the aptly named Big Robot have paid attention to what makes a compelling first-person survival experience. You’ll find no style over substance here.
You’re a Sir (or Madam) that has, in a freak accident with time-travel, ended up on an archipelago inhabited by murderous robots. The only way to find your way back is to collect the various rune pieces scattered about the world after your entry into it. There is no specific way to collect the runes, you must just explore the five islands that make up the game, searching each for three runes and returning them all to the central one.
The gameplay is reminiscent of any sandbox survival game. You must scavenge to find food which keeps you alive, weapons to fight with and other objects that may aid you in your journey. While these are all generic elements the strength of the game is the overriding theme seen in everything from the environments to enemies. The homicidal robots appear to have a love for tweed and all things steampunk. Robots can frequently be seen with moustaches and a double-barrel shotgun over their arm. Hell some even lead mechanical hounds or ride jet-powered mechanical horses. Whether this is an inherited love from the previous occupants of the world you find yourself in, is not known (we’ll get to that later).
Big Robot have let their imaginations run wild. Their commitment to the theme manages to make the game pretty funny as well, an example is your Butler acting as the narrator and delivering dry quips in your ear from time to time. And although the productions values are clearly quite low, the low-fi feel of the game and the world actually work with the steampunk setting.
The minimal aesthetic actually lends to the sense of loneliness and isolation by giving you even less detail just in the design. Bold but not bright must have been the mantra for the art team. While everything looks fine, it doesn’t stand out. This may be what was being aimed for but it leaves something to be desired.
So you’re sent out into the world to face off against many a type of robot with nothing more than whatever your chosen class’ starting items are. This is an interesting part of SYABH that just falls down. The only thing the class system changes is what you start with. This doesn’t seem to go any deeper than that and while a nice thing for new players, there isn’t much depth for anyone who is looking for a more hardcore experience.
Weapons can influence how you play quite heavily though, there are two types of shotgun, a rifle, a revolver, an axe and dynamite. And while that may sound like a lot of guns, there isn’t a lot of ammo, so using them sparingly is your only option. Besides, firing off a gun is a bad idea as it will bring other robots to your location.
Robots in relatively small numbers can easily be dealt with, although a large group, possibly with hounds in tow, is something to be feared. This is when you learn running away and hiding are you biggest weapons. Stealth is a legitimate tactic in this game and quite often you will find yourself running away. Also, there are traps and objects to help you distract and entrap enemies allowing you to get to that juicy loot or precious rune.
Putting an alarm clock on a timer, placing it down with a bear trap next to it, moving away from your trap and waiting till the alarm goes off is a very handy way of creating an opening to loot a house or get at a fallen rune. One class even starts with a trombone. I’ll leave that up to your imagination. But from this you can see that the level of creativity is only limited by your ideas.
After all the good things though, a lack of lore can hugely impact any game but Sir, You Are Being Hunted suffers from it more than any game I’ve played. The game seems rife with opportunity to expand what’s going on, backstory and even information about the different robots but it tells you nothing. The robots like to murder people - it’s that simple. This really didn’t sit well with me as I really like to know the world I’m playing in. And it actually was a bit of a let down after the game being such a joy to play.
With all that in mind, I would most certainly suggest Sir, You Are Being Hunted to anyone who’s looking for something fun. It doesn’t hold up for long due to its minimal story and non-existent class system but what it does, it does well.
Sir, You Are Being Hunted (Reviewed on Windows)
This game is good, with a few negatives.
I would most certainly suggest Sir, You Are Being Hunted to anyone who’s looking for something fun. It doesn’t hold up for long due to its minimal story and non-existent class system but what it does, it does well.