Hidden & Dangerous 2 - PC - Review - PC - Review
The first Hidden & Dangerous was among the first of the tactical team based shooters, putting you in control of a group of SAS soldiers fighting their way through World War II. While widely considered to be a pretty good game, a ton of bugs and other problems plagued the game and prevented it from being a great one. Now, Gathering is releasing its sequel, Hidden & Dangerous 2, hoping to rectify the problems with the first game. For the most part, they’ve succeeded, although the game does still have a few problems. However, aside from a few bugs and gameplay issues, Hidden & Dangerous 2 is a vast improvement over its predecessor.
H&D2 has you leading a group of four elite SAS officers throughout a variety of different missions throughout WWII. The missions will take you to practically every front of the war, from Norway to Burma to Czechoslovakia.
Controlling your team is fairly easy. You issue commands using the number pad on the keyboard, as each command (like move forward, hold position or heal). The team AI works quite nicely, as they will react and change position or return fire if enemies are around. However, the overall feeling of the control scheme is a little bit convoluted; the game uses just about every key on the keyboard. Plus, the default settings for the keys are kind of a pain. You use the Tab key to switch your characters and the arrow keys to move them, which is a really cumbersome placing considering how you need to switch around in the heat of battle.
You choose your team out of a group of different fighters, each with their own attributes and stat points. These attributes include health, endurance, shooting, stealth and first aid. H&D2 also introduces a new RPG element into the mix, allowing you to level up your surviving soldiers after missions.
H&D 2 also features a pretty impressive physics engine. Vehicles in the game handle realistically, and each of the weapons is a very accurate representation of what you would find on the field in WWII. Bullets will ricochet realistically and penetrate certain materials like wooden walls and cloth. This means that if you have a group of Nazis holding up in a little wooden shack, you can take them all out by taking a BAR and laying massive fire on the house. Very cool.
Unfortunately, the game does fall prey to some problems, namely poor enemy AI. While the team AI has been greatly improved, the enemy AI is pretty buggy and leaves a lot to be desired. Your enemies will sometimes be able to pick you off from hundreds of yards away, and yet not even be able to detect you when you’re a few feet from them. They’ll try to run at you through walls (instead of firing through them).
The graphics are pretty good, but the Mafia engine is beginning to show its age. The character models look and move great, and the lighting effects are pretty good. However, the environments aren’t as good as they could have been. Trees have a dated 2D look, and the textures are pretty blurry and runny at parts.
The sound effects are pretty realistic. The guns each have a unique sound, and the voice acting is nicely done. The music adds an appropriate atmosphere to the missions, as well. The only problems are a few bugs which cause the sound effects to cut out at parts.
Hidden & Dangerous 2 is a very good game mired by some control problems and bugs. However, fans of tactical team-based shooters should definitely give this game a look.
The gameplay is a great mix of team-based shooting, stealth, and WWII action. The interface is pretty easy, and the team AI is much improved over the original title. However, there are a few nagging issues, like the complicated control scheme and the overly buggy enemy AI.
The graphics are quite good, although Mafia’s LS3D engine is beginning to show its age. The character models look and move realistically and the lighting effects are pretty nice, but the environments succumb to blurry textures and 2D objects.
The sound effects are realistic, as the guns each have their own unique firing sounds, and the voice acting is done quite well both in the briefings and on the field. The music is appropriate and does a great job of setting the mood for the missions. The only real problems are the occasional sound bugs that cause the sound effects to cut out at points.
The game makes some great improvements over the original, but still falls prey to some nasty bugs that could have been fixed up with some more time in development.
The multiplayer mode has been greatly improved from its predecessor, now boasting deathmatch, occupation (capture the flag), and objective modes (although the once proposed co-op campaign has indeed fallen by the wayside).
There is a great game here underneath the AI problems, bug issues and control problems.