Imagine if they made Westworld into a video game, mixed it with a survival game, and made it hell of more British. You would, more or less, end up with Big Robot’s stealth adventure Sir, You Are Being Hunted (SYABH).
The game opens with a loose story about how your latest scientific experiment worked…sort of. But it blew up, and sent you to a dimension inhabited exclusively by old-timey British robots. It’s now your job to survive long enough to collect all the pieces of your machine that were scattered over the 5 islands of this archipelago.
As the title denotes, this is quite the feat because – you guessed it: Sir, you are being hunted. Which becomes the crux of the gameplay. You have to stealth your way around this procedurally generated map without being sussed out by your mechanical pursuers. Which is damn tough, because you’re now in a world not fit for human survival. Not only do you have to watch out for robots, you also have to keep an eye on your hunger. Searching for food and vittles throughout the islands adds a layer of challenge that makes the main goal much more fulfilling.
Honestly, if you’re on your wits, it’s not terribly difficult to avoid being spotted. But, hunger then forces you into the village-like areas to scrounge for supplies – which just so happen to be where robots really like to chill out. Among the things you’ll find are plenty of items to stave off your hunger, as well as many useful items that will help you survive in this world. For example, alarm clocks are great distraction items, while bear traps can hold robots in place while you take them out silently with an axe. That’s the thing about SYABH, for a seemingly simple stealth game it has some interestingly surprising mechanics. Stirring up birds can alert robots to your location. As can building a fire to cook scavenged food.
There are a handful of different robots to keep an eye out for. Most of what you’ll encounter are the ones pictured there. They move in packs, and shoot on sight. Luckily, they’re pretty weak. Others are tougher and walk with human-sniffing dogs. Still, there are even tougher or scarier enemies, including those that are simply there to alert the mean ones.
As I mentioned earlier, SYABH is procedurally generated, which means the layout and terrain of the map will be unique every time you start a new game. On top of that, it has a robust offering of terrain, enemy, and difficulty options. You can even choose which robots you want to survive against. Most of the difficulty stems from which class you choose at the beginning, which gives you different starting items. Default is just a guy with some rags for bandages, but you can choose an easier path, like a class that just starts with a bunch of guns and ammo. The guns are, not surprisingly, old-timey as well. Revolvers, fox hunting rifles, shotguns, and even blunderbusses. Though your safest option is trying to avoid combat if necessary; it’s loud, draws in enemies, and you’re super fragile.
Here’s a quick look at just some beginning gameplay. It quickly becomes more difficult deeper in, as the harder robots show up more frequently as you find more pieces of your machine.
Sir, You Are Being Hunted is a great game, at a great price of $20 on Steam. Its surprising depth, cheeky attitude, and suspenseful gameplay are well worth the price of admission. The replayability is nearly endless with the customizable options. So, grab some tea and biscuits, don a top hat and monocle, and try not to get your face blown off.
By Patrick Fedo