Foreword: Apologies for the delays… I was being distracted by The Binding Of Isaac: Rebirth. ^^”
This is one of my more recent purchases. I managed to pick it up in the Humble Store’s Spring Sale during a flash sale. Again, this was another game I had seen Jim Sterling dabble with on his YouTube channel and I had made a note of it. Sir, You Are Being Hunted is a First-Person, Stealth & Survival game. It is set in an alternate version of Old England where the land is populated by robotic gentlemen.
Much like Metrocide, before you get into the game, you can select a gender preference. This changes the game from “Sir, You Are Being Hunted” to “Madam, You Are Being Hunted.” I did this swiftly, while also upgrading the resolution and details. This changes all dialogue in cutscenes and tutorials, but due to the first-person perspective little else needs to be changed. It is another little detail that reinforces the idea that games may be moving towards a better gaming environment for all. =] The game essentially has one game mode, but this can be tweaked through the choice of your character’s profession. There are an array of roles to choose from which dictate your character’s starting items. I selected the default of “Aristocrat” as I felt it was, as modern gaming would say, “how the game was intended.” After this, you can select the terrain of each of the islands from a choice of four [?] types and then the world is generated, randomly. Every play through will be different as the worlds are procedurally generated and then stored for each save slot. With your world generated and the character “created,” you get a short intro cinematic / slideshow which sets the story. A colleague seems to have created a machine which has malfunctioned and transported you to this realm. Should you manage to find the steaming pieces of the machine from across the peninsula and return them to the standing stones at the centre of it all, you will be transported home, in time for supper. When everything is loaded and the exposition has concluded, you shall find yourself in an idyllic country setting; a malfunctioning robot and a mysterious stone circle facing you. After a quick tutorial in foraging and learning what to look for, the land is yours to traverse.
You are told that the fragments you need are all steaming hot, so you should be able to find them from white steam trails in the sky; I’ve got to admit that they may have oversold this feature. It may just be my graphical settings, but the steam trails don’t travel very high and finding fragments was more achieved through stumbling about until I saw some robots.
As you can see above, the fragments look pretty bulky and will take up a lot of your inventory space. What the game doesn’t tell you is that the fragments can actually come in a number of sizes; it just gives you the biggest as an example. The randomised sizes of fragments does force you to consider your inventory layout regularly and keeps you cycling through items to maintain space.
Moving through a world filled with man-hunting / woman-hunting robots is no easy feat. This is accentuated by the lack of weapons and tools. To remedy this lack of equipment, you need to learn to forage for items and food in local buildings for supplies.
Unfortunately, robots aren’t the best at keeping their food fresh and decent food is a rarity which means you will have to forage for more natural alternatives; primarily mushrooms. The island offers two varieties of mushrooms which both give good energy boosts but come with their own risks.
Now, while all this is going on, you may have noticed the presence of a visibility meter. Depending on your location, the time of day and the equipment you may be using, your visibility to the robots changes. This is where the complexity of the game really hits you. Different robots respond to different levels of visibility and learning their different visual ranges helps you to move safely across the lands.
Now, lets talk about these robots!
These robots are wonderfully designed. They carry a sense of steampunk / classic victoriana in there design and it works very well in their environment. This is paired with excellent sound design on the robots part which gives each model their own identifying callout. These range from classic mechanical whirrings to disturbing, distressed cries. I have to admit that I became very uncomfortable while sneaking through a wood with a gigantic robot land-lord and his entourage were hunting for me.
Very often, you will find that the fragments have been found by the robots and you will need to distract their small raiding party so you can get to the pieces of the machine you need for your escape.
Now, I’m starting to feel that I’m rambling. There is a lot to enjoy about this game; it has a good aesthetic with well-designed sound work. The biggest draw of the game is it’s random generation and exploring the lands, which I don’t want to spoil for you, anymore. I really like the variety in settings and how each island has it’s own flavour. The industrial terrain really took my breathe away…
The main problem I came across was, actually, also through the game’s random generation. Finding the fragments was really tricky for me. It may have been due to the graphics settings on my Mac or it may be an idea at adding challenge. Either way, it did leave me wandering the islands for an hour or so with nothing to show for it except a pocket full of mushrooms and bandages. I eventually came across a fancy item which helped with locating the fragments, but it did make the game a little more enjoyable as there was less wandering and more focused gameplay.
The only other complaint that some might have is the Roguelike nature of the game. The items and food types have to be learnt through trial and error. You have to find out for yourself which of the “dubious” foods are worth the risk and which will give you stomach cramps. The same goes for learning how the robots will interact with the items you can use.
Again, if the game still sounds appealing, I recommend giving it a look. I will be playing this for a while as it captures my imagination perfectly. There is nothing quite like throwing a bottle to distract some robots and seeing them saunter off yelling “We will catch the bounder!” in their metallic voices.
Ellen, You Are Being Distracted!
Ellen took the screenshots herself, but the content is owned by Big Robot Studios. Ellen did not take your Blight Ridden Spuds or your Jar Of Marmalade. The dead rat, however…
Last played, but not completed on 27/05/15