Hands-on-review: Catch a serial killer in Hidden Agenda
Supermassive Games released the excellent Until Dawn two years ago and it was fun because it allowed players to play the game more than one time to see different outcomes. The developer is at it again with this year's Hidden Agenda, although it's a smaller scale game.
Instead of having nine playable characters like in Until Dawn, Hidden Agenda just allows you to control the characters of Detective Becky Marnie (Katie Cassidy) and District Attorney Felicity Graves (Nichole Bloom). The pair has to find out the real identity of a mysterious killer who goes by the name of 'The Trapper'.
Before I begin to talk about the game itself, it's worth mentioning this title is part of the PS4's new Playlink range. This means the game is only playable using a smartphone/tablet device. In order for the game to work, you will need to download the Hidden Agenda app.
Speaking of the app, it does more than just a tool to control how the story plays out. It's pretty helpful to look at because the app gives you some updates on the story as well as background detail on all of the characters that you see on the screen. Much like Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier, Hidden Agenda is an interactive movie more than an actual traditional video game. You have to make choices that will shape how the story plays out. Your choices have a lot of weight because the fate of some of the characters lies in your hands. However, the only thing that stops this game from being as fun as Heavy Rain and the aforementioned Until Dawn is that your choices are limited. There are only two scenarios that are given to you at one time. The situations are not as varied and fun as the other games I mentioned.
That being said, the game does feature an interesting and unpredictable storyline. 'The Trapper' isn't who you expect it might be and it will keep you guessing. I was engaged with the story from beginning to end.
Being a smaller title, the game does suffer from a very short length. I managed to finish the game on my first playthrough in less than two hours. You can play the game more than once to see all of the scenarios, but it's not a game that will keep you occupied for very long. Sadly though, the controls are fiddly thanks to the use of the smartphone/tablet devices. Sometimes you will have to search for clues with a torch and this is controlled by your touch screen device.
The game however doesn't seem to respond well with the touch screen as the cursor will move at a slow pace. My brother and I missed out on several clues playing this game due to our devices not scrolling smoothly.
You are free to play the game by yourself, or with up to three other friends. With friends it can be fun because each person can vote on which decision should be made.
Overall, Hidden Agenda is fun if you like interactive movie style video games. Just don't expect to have a lengthy experience like in games like Heavy Rain and Until Dawn. The game costs $34.95 NZD in New Zealand so it least it won't break your wallet.