Can you avoid the robots finding you?
Being developed by Big Robot and designed by veteran British games journalist Jim Rossignol, “Sir, You Are Being Hunted” sees you as a human trying to escape an island filled with hunters, trying to avoid traps and collect runes in order to escape without dying. We never got around to playing it at Rezzed earlier this year, but this time we made sure we got some time with this curious looking game.
Each game takes place on a group of five islands, all of which are procedurally generated at the start with different terrains and buildings. The idea is to collect fragments to put into the runestone on each island. However, there are robots in tweed suits and hats who are looking to hunt you down and kill you. The idea of the game is to survive the robots and escape the islands. As you find houses, you can loot them to get items to help you, such as food to increase your vitality, bandages to heal you if you get shot, and various traps, distractions and weapons to get past the robots. Traps can damage the robots, and you can throw bottles and put alarm clocks down to attract their attention while you sneak around behind them to collect things.
You have a visibility meter which shows how well you can be seen. Crouching and moving slowly makes you much less likely to be spotted, whereas running will make you easily spotted if a robot or one of their dogs is nearby. Robots also have lights and balloons with searchlights on them to help hunt you down. If the robots get to a runestone before you, they will set up a sentry position, making it difficult for you to get to it.
The beauty of the random generation of the game is that no two games are ever the same. You can play one game and a friend can play another and you can have completely different experiences and different ways of doing things. The islands themselves look nice and bleak, as you’d expect. There are genuine moments of tension and suspense as you try to escape into a field of long grass as the robots see you, or you try and sneak around behind the robots without one of them turning around and spotting you. It’s tricky, but you can certainly go without being spotted if you’re careful. Despite the tension, the game does have a sense of humour about itself.
Sir, You Are Being Hunted, while still in alpha, is shaping up nicely. The random landscapes and items mean no two games will ever be the same, meaning the game has a lot of potential for longevity. If you want a real survival game with a slightly odd sense of humour, then this will definitely be your cup of tea. Pun completely intended.
Sir, You Are Being Hunted is in development for PC, Mac and Linux and is presently available as an early access alpha on Steam and through their official website.