Goose Chase: Playing chicken in Sir, You Are Being Hunted
There I go: a bohemian mongrel wrapped in ragged bandages, chugging beer and occasionally poking my head out of the brush to listen for the telltale beepity-boop of robots. Am I scared? It’s hard to say, though I suppose I should be. The robots hunting me have rifles, hot-air balloons, dogs, and an unsettling, maniacal chuckle. I have moldy bread, some rocks, and the empty liquor bottles I’ve been hurling to create impromptu distractions. I had a hatchet, but taking the fight to the robots is ill-advised—they are sturdy, I am not. And so I lurk, roaming these quintessentially British isles scrounging for supplies and the mysterious artifacts I need to collect to get home.
Sir, You are Being Hunted is survival horror in the classic Alone in the Dark or Resident Evil sense. Remember those? Before an over-reliance on gore and jump-scares became the de facto definition of “scary”—I’m looking at you, Dead Space—we had actual terror to contend with: woefully limited resources, relentless, seemingly unstoppable foes, weapons that were either ineffective or so maddeningly rare you’d hoard every precious round and flee before you fought.
Hunted has all of that in spades. As the titular Sir (or Madam), you’re dropped into a procedurally generated world consisting of five islands. Each hosts a few of the 25 chunks of a failed experiment; you’ll need to collect and deliver these pieces to a pillar on the central island to get home. The murderous robots who occupy the island would prefer you didn’t, giving chase whenever you’re in sight. So you’ll be doing a lot of slinking, crouching in tall grass or hiding behind walls as they clink and clank about.
It gets better (or worse, technically). As time passes your vitality meter plummets—starvation will eventually kill you, so you’ll want to prop that up with food and drink. A separate health meter falls when you take damage; you’ll get better automatically if your vitality is high enough, but severe wounds cause bleeding and your health will plummet until you bandage your wound. The game also uses a classic grid-based inventory system, which I absolutely love. Supplies and ammunition must all be carefully arranged around the quest items you’re ferrying back to the central island, which lends an extra degree of wonderful tension as you’re deciding how valuable that beer is, as robots take potshots at your skull.
The game is currently in an alpha state, though remarkably polished and already quite a bit of fun. It’s not the handsomest gent on the block, but the barren, foggy moors and perpetually gloomy skies are charming. This one will only get better with time, and is well worth the $20 entry fee. Grab it directly from developer Big Robot’s site, or on Steam.