Author’s Note: NO IMAGES ARE MINE!
This is a fun tactical shooter that is hard, yet a blast to play. If you enjoyed Rainbow Six, Call of Duty and the Medal of Honor titles, you’ll adore this game. If you love military history and if you enjoy the study of the second world war you will immensely enjoy this game. If you enjoyed commando type films and television such as The Expendables, The Desert Rats, The Dirty Dozen, Where Eagles Dare, & The Guns of Navarone, you’ll eat this game right up.
Game: Hidden & Dangerous 2 (2003)
Developer: 2K Czech
Genre: Tactical FPS/TPS
Price: $9.99 on GOG.com
Background: This is a sequel. And it is an amazing sequel. If you don’t mind older, and dated games check out the prequel. However, the prequel should be named Clunky & Cantankerous instead of Hidden & Dangerous. Why? The controls are hideous and you cannot toggle the first and third person view like you can in this game. Frankly, I lost patience with that, however I think you’ll enjoy this sequel as the execution of the concept is incredible compared to the prior installment of the series.
Like the Operation Flashpoint/Arma series of games you are a small unit leader. Specifically you are a leader of a four man unit called a ‘brick’ in SAS terminology. Who are the SAS? Nowadays the SAS consist of the 22 SAS, the 21 SAS and the 23 SAS. The 22 SAS is a full time United Kingdom special warfare unit, they carry out high risk missions. Think the United States Delta Force, Rangers, or Navy Seals. The 21 SAS and the 23 SAS are reserve special warfare units. The modern 22 SAS began in the 1960s. Prior to that the SAS existed in World War II, a commando major, David Stirling formerly of the Scots Guards created the concept of airborne raiders/commandos, and the SAS was born. 1 SAS and 2 SAS were the elite of the United Kingdom’s Army during the world’s largest global conflict to date.
Hidden & Dangerous 2 is based on their story.
Gameplay: Your team will engage Axis Forces in North Africa, Burma, Norway, Austria, and other locales. Italian forces, Japanese forces, German forces, and Soviet forces will resist the player and their team. Stealth, tactics, and initiative will be your best friends as you lead your team across wide open battlefields and close quarters combat.
Novelties: In most missions, objectives can be completed in any order. This allows for creative freedom and replay value compared to other tactical shooters. The game also has a brief campaign set in Burma. The India Burma China theatre of the war is oftentimes overlooked in electronic gaming, especially tactical shooters. Therefore, this is a good sight to look upon in a tactical World War II shooter, despite its age.
The DeLisle Commando Carbine is a weapon featured in this game that has never really seen any airtime or any mention in electronic gaming when it comes to tactical shooters. This weapon was a shorted SMLE (Short Magazine Lee Enfield) carbine chambered in .45 ACP instead of the typical .303 British Service that the SMLE fired. This weapon was also integrally suppressed. The Commando Carbine was seen in the hands of SAS, and other Allied clandestine units during World War II.
The Shortcomings: The AI for the enemies and the friendly NPCs is atrocious. You’ll laugh as your enemies don’t notice you as you run right up to them. You’ll scream at your PC as your team gets stuck on ladders or bogged down in dtiches and trenches and gets seperated from you at a moment’s notice. And you’ll possibly moan in agony as a M4 Sherman tank runs over a few of your commandos during a combined arms assault on a hill top in Burma. If you are patient, you’ll be all right.
Final Analysis: Is this the best World War II tactical shooter? No. I believe that game has yet to be made, and I’m not expecting it until this multiplayer craze in AAA gaming is over. A indie developer could do better with modern technology. If you have ten dollars to spare and want to enjoy a simulation of World War II special operations check out Hidden & Dangerous 2 on GOG.com