“I say, what a wonderful butler! He’s so violent!”
Tom Baker’s Doctor might be overly enthusiastic when it comes to being roughly handled by the staff (and have fun with that pun all you want) but he doesn’t appear to be alone. Sir, You Are Being Hunted is a first person perspective game released by Big Robot Ltd and they seem just as keen as punch to deal with some rotten robots. It’s a bloody good yarn about a chap who is looking for pieces of a device that have been scattered all over an island. In the process, very cordial robots are hunting you. What’s so special about this device? Because if you can find it, you can get off the island. Thankfully, Walters, your own robot guide, gives you information as you play. So off we go… tally ho!
“They’re coming to get you, Barbara”
Let’s start off by saying this game has a subtitle: Stealth and Survival with Tea and Biscuits. Tea and biscuits are actually listed as a key feature of the game! If you’re not getting the picture, let me help: this game is hilarious and very British. In fact, relentless Britishness is also one of the key selling points of the game! What more could you want??? You can also play as Sir or Madam, so it’s accessible to all! When Walters is speaking to you, he will address you accordingly. How’s that for a smart robot? But beyond the comedy, it’s actually really unnerving. These robots are looking for you using every tool at their disposal, including hot air balloons. Just look at that picture I’ve included as proof!
Ah, I know what you’re thinking! You’re thinking, once you know the map, your replay value drops to nil! No! In fact, to make the game unique every time, Big Robot has utilized a very special piece of technology indeed: the British Countryside Generator. A marvel of digital engineering, with this handy tool, the UK comes to life as it generates a different worlds for every play-through.
To top it off, you can customize the map to your preference (castle, industrial, rural, mountainous, and fenland) and there are five parts to every map, so you can have each one represented. A center map and a land to the north, south, east, and west will comprise your search area. Each will give you an idea of how many pieces of the device are located within, but finding them is tricky enough. Getting them is nearly impossible and once you have them, you have to get back to a standing stone at the very center of the entire map. And there are many different types of enemies. K-9 would be horrified to see the robot dogs that come after you in this game.
You start off with very little and will need to eat and drink so you’ll be scavenging for food as much as tools and weapons. For instance, an alarm clock can be very handy to distract the well dressed, pipe-smoking robot, so you can get up close and wallop him with a hatchet. But be careful. One of his compatriots might notice and come a’shootin!! And you’re no Rambo! One shot may not kill you, but a second surely will. I’d call it realistic, but then you are being hunted by robots! Let’s not question the AI…
To give you a birds-eye view of the game, you have a handy visibility indicator. By far, the most important thing to be aware of is your visibility. In the picture to the right, those red circles let you know that you are far too exposed! Vitality tells you you’d better get some nourishment and health tells you, well, if you’ve been shot! And while you may survive a gunshot, you will be bleeding and you’ll need bandages. The current item just shows you what you are using at that moment and clearly, if it were a gun, you’d have rounds and ammo. You also have a very finite amount of space in your inventory, so you have to be judicious with what you collect.
I’ve played the game a handful of times clocking in at just under 30 hours. Depressingly, I’ve only succeeded occasionally so winning is very rewarding when it does happen. Then you get graded and you almost feel better about death. That’s not to say a death means game over. You can reload to a previous save point, but the game is very challenging.
Since my last time playing, they’ve released a multiplayer version of the game and I have no experience with it, but with this write-up it dawns on me: I need to play it with my kids! That will mean buying additional copies for both of them but the game retails for $20 now. And a note about Steam, my gaming platform of choice: if you put an item in your wish-list, when it goes on sale, you’ll be updated. That can mean a serious discount. Once I know if the kids want to play it, I’ll post a comment to review the multiplayer in this game. In the meantime, get a nice cuppa tea, some biscuits, and enjoy the hunt… ML