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Sir, You Are Being Hunted

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By Fr33Lanc3r.00701-10-2013
BloodyFanGirl (editor)
StuntmanLT (editor)
Sir, You Are Being Hunted

The Defence

Developer:
Big Robot Games
Publisher:
Big Robot Games
Genre:
Adventure
Release Date:
TBA

The Prosecution

CPU:
Intel Core 2 Quad 2.0 GHz
AMD equivalent
VGA:
Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS
AMD equivalent
RAM:
8 GB
HDD:
500 MB
DirectX:
9.0c

Sir, You Are Being Hunted is a procedurally generated, first person survival game currently being developed by Big Robot Games. You play as a stereotypical English gentleman (or lady) who has found themselves lost on an archipelago of five islands, each entirely made up of one of three hostile wildernesses, after an experiment gone wrong, searching for the pieces of the device you need to return home. But before you go crying that it's a Don't Starve rip-off, that's pretty much where the similarities end.

Sir, You Are Being Hunted is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. During your scavenging, you'll find patrolling packs of steampunk-esque robots in old timey hunting gear that seem to have no other purpose but to seek you out and put you down like a rabid dog. If the groups with shotguns weren’t enough, they also have patrol balloons that sound an alarm when they spot you, and robotic dogs that detect you faster and chase you down and attempt to bite you to death. Your best method for getting around these obstacles and recovering all of the pieces of the device is to take a stealthy approach. Now, I have to say, this game has in place one of the best stealth systems I’ve seen since the original Thief. It's visibility based, with an emphasis on crawling through the undergrowth to remain out of sight of your enemies. Enemies that manage to spot you will head towards your location and will conduct a rather sophisticated search pattern around the area if you’ve managed to get out of sight.

Gotta avoid these guys.

Gotta avoid these guys.

The robots will even break from patrol to stand guard over the machine pieces that you seek, forcing you to get creative, or to fight. The buildings you find scattered around all contain items that you can make use of, some of them being weaponry from shotguns to revolvers, which you can use to take on pursuers that will not relent or those that stand between you and your objective. Combat plays out in the style you would expect from an FPS, with one small exception - bleeding. Since your enemies are armed almost exclusively with shotguns, close range encounters will hurt a lot, and even longer range encounters can leave you with a wound that causes you to continually lose health unless you can bandage it up with the rags you find in buildings. Once you stop the bleeding, health will regenerate as long as you're relatively well fed, as measured by a separate meter. There is a range of food and drink items available throughout the buildings you encounter and eventually the wilderness you explore. The meter does seem to decrease unreasonably quickly at this point in time, but food is relatively easy to come by in the current environments available when spawning a world. It’s an Alpha after all.

There isn’t much of a story at this point beyond the intro cutscene, but the opportunity to further the questions that arise while playing the game (what exactly is this strange archipelago that you’re stranded on? What happened to everyone who used to live on these islands? Where did the robots come from? And why are they so eager to hunt you down and kill you?) is there, mostly through the already present letters. These letters are an item you can find while looting houses, and while they do not say much at the moment (there’s a few with excerpts of poetry on them, and most of the others I’ve found seem to be gibberish), they could potentially be used to tell the story of what happened to the previous inhabitants of the island.

Now how do I get this piece?

Now how do I get this piece?

The graphics at this point still need some work, with even the title screen mentioning that some of the textures are only temporary fillers. Despite this, all of the environments manage to look both appealing and hostile, with the fens in particular giving off a wonderful atmosphere that captures the spirit of the game perfectly. This is backed up quite effectively by the sounds, or the lack thereof in this case. Wandering through countryside that is obviously modeled on rural Britain, but without any of the sounds that you would expect from such a setting like birds, the noises of animals or farmers, and without even the rustle of the wind through the trees, is an incredibly eerie experience and one that re-enforces the feeling of being utterly alone in a hostile place. The sounds made by your pursuers are even worse, with robotic bleeps that announce their presence nearby, and as you get closer, the speech that you would stereotypically expect from a group of British hunters rendered in a robotically synthesized voice that reinforces the fact that what you are facing is completely inhuman, unable to be reasoned with, and without pity or remorse.

There’s still a lot more to come for Sir, with different enemy archetypes like the blunderbuss and trap using poacher, to the mounted riders that will chase after you like it’s a fox hunt, as well as gameplay features like hunting and preparing your own meals. New places to explore are also planned, each with their own challenges and bonuses, along with a greater range of options for distracting your pursuers in order to slip past them, and items and options that will make your overall task more straightforward.

Imagine the stories these could tell.

Imagine the stories these could tell.

Part Don’t Starve, part Thief, and part Amnesia, Sir, You Are Being Hunted is already a near perfect blend of stealth and survival with a suitably tense atmosphere, and there is every indication that it's only going to get better. If you haven't been keeping an eye on it so far, I'd recommend that you start watching.

Comments (3)
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Posts: 2552

Haggis, tea and crumpets D:

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Posts: 172

Honestly I asked for the name of a game with an oppressively tense atmosphere, and was given Amnesia by Bobfish....I don't generally play those sort of games, so I went with experience. Also, I've never played S.T.A.L.K.E.R....

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Posts: 240

Ah, the most British of games. Proud to see haggis be given its inclusion in the latest update. :P Loving this so far though. Going to be amazing when every feature's included, and I'm really excited to see the last few biomes because, aside from clipping issues, and items getting stuck in places where they shouldn't, the procedural generation is honestly very impressive.

Anyway, although I have no idea where you got Amnesia from (because the robots are creepy...?), you did miss S.T.A.L.K.E.R., which I think is one of the bigger influences when it comes to gameplay and atmosphere, and the one the developers did cite as a source of inspiration I believe.