Haven’t played the Early Access of Sir, You Are Being Hunted for a while, and had my first proper chance to wander through the Industrial Zone. Night falls, and I spot a town and I’m struck by the broken Romanticism of Big Robot’s vision here. Obviously, I know the guys, but seeing the dream of a Northern Town decayed into Pripriat, it’s the best single incarnation of the British Indie STALKER I’ve seen so far. In a second, it’s a vision from a Wyndham novel that’s added a splash of surrealist comedy to Wyndam’s perpetual Guardian-readers-at-the-end-of-the-world mood.
One of my perpetual riffs as a game critic was games with a sense of place - as in, they are a place. What I like even more (and rarely talk about as games which do it are far rarer) are games which clearly come from a place rather than service the homogenised monoculture of games, and then let you inhabit it.
At its best, Sir absolutely does that. The juxtaposition between the jokes and ironic appropriation of that strain of British Nonsense and the When The Wind Blows Briggsian apocalypse with broken tea-cups is kind of entirely the point. It’s something I both recognize and find surprising.
(Sir is available here.)
Sir is scary and hard.