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Indie Horror: Sir, You Are Being Hunted

Posted by Rampant Coyote on October 28, 2014

Honestly, I never really thought of Big Robot’s Sir, You Are Being Hunted as a horror title, but it was billed as such on GOG.COM, and I thought, “Sure, why not?” It’s a stealth / survival game, like many others of the genre, and the gameplay lends itself to the flavor. Your enemies are tweed-wearing, very British-style robots, which is itself wonderful, but are one model change away from being far more traditional horror fare.

MadamHuntedThe game is inspired (directly or indirectly) by the classic short story, “The Most Dangerous Game,” by Richard Connell. It’s a hunting game where you are the prey. You have been transported to an alternate dimension / world from our world circa late Victorian or Edwardian era, to a similar one peopled by aristocratic robots of very gentrified British disposition that hunt humans – and you in particular – mercilessly. It’s a first-person sneaker of dark comedy and scary, fun thrills.

The game is and the world is generated randomly each time (through what they call a “British Countryside Generator”), but like any roguelike, future playthroughs prove pretty similar overall. But it’s the specifics that matter, depending upon your selections when you begin a new game.  Your goal is to gather up fragments of the teleporter that brought you here, which are scattered across several islands. When reassembled, it will transport you back home.   The robots, of course, don’t want to be deprived of their sport, and as you make progress, they step up their efforts to hunt you down and kill you, throwing new equipment and enemies into the fray. Fighting back gets harder, staying hidden gets harder, and dying becomes much easier.

Hunted2Since everything is procedurally-generated, there’s no fixed strategy or route you can take. You have to observe, take advantage of whatever equipment or opportunities you can find, and get familiar with the capabilities and behaviors of the various enemy types.

The game is highly customizeable – in addition to the standard biomes and your character “class” (starting equipment), there’s the ability to customize the entire game to the point where it can be trivial (with no enemies) or impossible (with terrain impossible to navigate).

The ability to defend yourself in a meaningful way does change the flavor of the game from some of the other stealth-survival titles I’ve talked about this month, but this ability is very limited in its effectiveness. You are outnumbered and outgunned from the get-go. You may turn the tables on your pursuers, like Sanger Rainsford in The Most Dangerous Game, but in the long run you are always the quarry – the prey.

As you hide and scavenge your way across the islands, you’ll come across equipment from weaponry and utility items (like binoculars), to things you can use as distractions, to tea and biscuits (for keeping up your health!). Unfortunately, these items aren’t always easy to come by – the AI tends to guard the bleak little villages where these things can be looted. You can get some gear from killing a robot, but it’s rarely enough to make up for the scarce ammunition and health you expended trying to take it down.

hunted1A multiplayer update is promised next year.

The game is full of nice touches, from the enemy design, to the parodies of Edwardian-era British culture, to changing its title on the options screen if you choose to play a female character. It’s a little steampunk, a little horror and dread, a little dark humor, and a good deal of fun.

If you are a fan of first-person stealth games like the Thief series, and/or “survival horror” games, then Sir, You Are Being Hunted may be a title worth checking out.


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