Hidden & Dangerous rescued and re-released by GOG

Like a child who clambers up a drainpipe onto the roof of a crotchety neighbour and becomes a hero cheered by the assembled masses as she flings down years of lost footballs and frisbees, deflated and sun-bleached but still treasured, GOG have rescued another two games from the digital gutter. This time, it’s the Hidden & Dangerous games. They’re a pair of tactical squad-based World War 2 stealth-o-shooters release in 1999 and 2003 by Illusion Softworks (who are now 2K Czech), and they’re still quite good. They’ve been off the radar for a while but are now sold DRM-free on GOG.

Adam has called Hidden & Dangerous 2 one of the best stealth games:

“Hidden and Dangerous is to Call of Duty what SWAT 4 is to Battlefield Hardline. Rather than treating war as a shooting gallery, Hidden and Dangerous uses a combination of first- and third-person direct squad control to simulate the tactics of SAS operations behind enemy lines. The sequel improves the stealth mechanics, allowing the player to take prisoners and steal uniforms, as well as incorporating a greater variety of appropriate objectives in its missions.”

And here’s what Jim said about the first in his Very Important List of PC Games:

“Hidden & Dangerous, for example, used a third-perspective across a squad of special ops characters conducting clever missions in exciting World War II scenarios. This game is important because it was the subject of the sample review I produced for my interview at PC Gamer magazine, thus getting me through the door of the industry. It was probably a fairly good game, too.”

Okay, maybe that game’s importance is quite Jim-specific.

£4.69 will get you Hidden & Dangerous, its expansion, and the revamped ‘Deluxe Edition’ that was given away free to promote the sequel. But, as GOG explain, not everyone liked all the Deluxe changes – so this packs both. You might want GameRanger to help you play online.

£7.79 gets you Hidden & Dangerous 2 plus its expansion. These instructions should let you bypass the collapsed GameSpy and play online.

18 Comments

  1. Optimaximal says:

    I remember when everyone lost their shit over H&D but I found it functionally dreadful (there’s eclectic user interfaces, then there was H&D’s key assignments) and devoid of fun.

    Horses for courses, but it’s hardly a ringing endorsement of the games release quality when a successful mission involved being lucky enough that your team didn’t all fall through the level geometry.

  2. BobbyDylan says:

    AWWWWWEEEEE YEEAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!

  3. Tartrazine says:

    Me like it. 1 more than 2 but me like it enough to hop off and buy these.

    I recall a PCG giveaway of a H&D2 watch they’d been given as a promo and later found in a cupboard somewhere. The comment was something like ‘another game that nobody bought and we don’t know why’. Got generally favourable reviews but sales tanked apparently.

  4. Jenuall says:

    I’m assuming it’s still a bug-fest? I just remember spending lots of time maneuvering my squad into an optimal position only for them to fall through the floor!

    Great game though!

  5. JB says:

    Man, I loved H&D back in the day. I still have my H&D2 discs under my desk, I played it multi with a friend a few years back. Still good, still hard as nails.

    Time for me to get a digital version, for safety’s sake, maybe.

  6. Freud says:

    It was a buggy masterpiece. One of my favorite games of the 90s.

    • TheSplund says:

      I think you’ve summed it up perfectly.
      A great game and I’ve still got the discs but having reloaded it a few years back but I can honestly say it’ll not be re-installed.

  7. Lord Byte says:

    I remember the interface and AI being abysmal. So I just played it solo, me alone against the odds and beat it ;)

  8. Minsc_N_Boo says:

    I have fond memories of this game, mostly getting shouted at and mocked by the German soldiers.

    *Da Tommy! Englander!*

    • DEspresso says:

      Now imagine the confusion a German named Thomas faced during these time.

  9. jonfitt says:

    I remember not being able to pass the first patrol and cross a bridge in H&D1 for ages. The detection mechanic was unforgiving and took a while to click.
    But when it clicked suddenly I was off and really enjoyed the game.

    H&D2 was a better game. I don’t recall too many specifics after all this time, but I remember the missions being grander with more flair. Escaping the airfield was dramatic.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Neurotic says:

    H&D was a world-class championship bug festival, but also had so much new and charming too.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Edski says:

    I spent so much time programming elaborate move orders into Hidden and Dangerous. Levels could be completed without needing to take control of any soldiers. So much pain and frustration was required. I loved it so much, and am now off to gog to give them my money.

  12. bfar says:

    Wow, there’s a blast from the past. H&D was in my all time top 5 for years. The very first level was one of the toughest, but once the mechanics clicked, you were in. And some of the missions were beautifully presented and amazingly dramatic.

    I never finished the second :(

  13. Marclev says:

    Wasn’t this (in)famous for being phenomenally buggy?

    I seem to remember really enjoying it, but also lots of trial and error and lots of dying and save scumming to work out how to get past sections.

  14. Collieuk says:

    HD1 was bug central. I loved HD2. Trying to plan moves for your squad was tricky but rewarding & I often preferred to go lone wolf.
    Online was great fun and the first online game that really hooked me despite having atrocious netcode. Kids today moan about lag in Call of Duty games but it’s nothing like the lag dances of HD2. Quite literally many firefights would end up with you and your foe circling each other and spraying bullets in the vain hope some connected. I later discovered by packing light & selecting a troop with high strength & stamina I could often top objective matches by running around lobbing the odd grenade and getting lucky with a pistol kill. The enemy couldn’t catch me if I ran for cover and they’d waste entire magazines trying to hit me. Maybe modern fibre connections would improve the situation.
    More fun was the co-op the add-on brought with it. Modding the gear you could bring along meant you could create some tense missions. Especially if you limited lives to one or two each. Sadly after a while the online community moved on after waiting for a patch that never came. Would love to revisit it someday.

  15. poliovaccine says:

    Wow, I remember missing these games, back when I read of em in my *subscription* to PC Gamer’s *magazine in the physical realm,* only to go back and try em out of loyalty to the devs, back when Mafia was new (and had just become my favorite game) and they were still called Illusion.

    Not gonna play it now, tho. Might boot up Mafia, frankly. I really am not much of a stickler for graphics, but early 3D has this particular, grotty look I just cant go back to… even at its time it was pretty hideous.