Hidden & Dangerous 2 Reader Review
Being a real fan of world war 2 games, I've tried out most, if not all of them at one point or another. This game however, really caught my attention. I downloaded the demo one day out of curiosity, and got hooked. I must have played the demo version 15 times, as every time you play something new happens. Once I had bought the game, within the first 10 minutes I was in, and despite other reviews I have read, there were no complications. The entire game is incredibly detailed.
The first mission takes place in the winter of 1941, and as I was moving along, I took in the detail of what Illusion Softworks had incorporated into H+D2. A truck was stuck in the snow, with two men pushing violently in the back, and one man punching the gas. Another was hauling a fresh can of gasoline, then dumping it in the gas can. After about 6 tries, the truck was freed, pulled up a little bit, and stopped. One of the men pushing stretched his arms, then went around, and eased his way into the truck. The man who had refuelled the truck pulled out a cigarette! Out of all other games i've seen, this is the most random plot of detail I've witnessed, expressing the intricate AI designs you will find scattered throughout the extensive campaign.
Another great feature about this game is the availability of anything you come across. Want a truck? Wait for the right moment and drill it with a Thompson SMG through the front windshield, haul out the dead driver, and be on your way. In addition to vehicles, you can have anything you can pick off a dead soldier, from his fur hat to his luger pistol. Everything is customizable.
Another big point that is customizable is your route of action. There is complete and total freedom of movement. You will find an infinite number of ways to approach your target, and on top of that, take your target out. Illusion softworks has given the player the ability to "climb". At first I had no idea what this meant, until I played the basic training. You can approach anything, a building, a wall, a fench, even a vehicle, and hit the climb button. Your character will interact with the object and climb it. Say it is a fence, he will grab the rail and swing his body over it. A ledge, he will grab it and pull himself up. One of my favourites is to grab onto an open top troop transport, pull yourself on top, and spray a tommy gun around inside and kill the crew and passengers. The possibility of movement really is limitless.
On a different note than character movement, the sound quality is superior. You will be amazed to find how realistic the engines, guns, and explosions are. They really keep you in suspense, along with the special effects of the game, such as shrapnel, shattered glass, and stray bullets. Everything is alive. What tranced me by surprise was the sputter of engines. I expected a warm humming like you would find in today's vehicles, but instead you get the realistic, choppy engines of the 1940's. In addition to the groan of a king tiger engine, you get the oh-so-intimidating squeal of tank tracks, something all FPS gamers know and love.
One point that isn't so great is the AI of your team. Unlike the intelligence of the enemy, your squad does seem a bit stupid, and while you drag them along, they tend to step on landmines, fall off narrow planks, and run out behind walls while under fire. They do, however, get on their stomachs when under suppression by an enemy mg42 or zb26, which definitely helps keep them alive. Unlike some games, your squadmates can only take one or two hits before they are out. Fortunately there are medpacks which you can use to heal your injured buddies, giving you somewhat of an advantage over your battle-hardened German foes. Personally, I prefer lone wolf missions, which is always an option.
The last thing I would like to address are the graphics of the game, an element no good FPS should lack. HD2 overall has great graphics, as the characters are extremely clear, and textures are very fine. Unfortunately, the detail on buildings is not the greatest. I sometimes find myself amused by the sad detail that Illusion Softworks has put into their architectural designs. The weapons in the game are not the greatest as far as textures go, but they are very accurately modelled, something that amazes me due to the number of weapons available from 5 different countries. In the large picture, I give HD2 a 9.0. I find myself playing the levels over and over again years after the release date because of the wide variety in which things can happen, and have never gotten the same result twice. This game is definitely worth trying - and you won't be able to play it just once!
9 / 10