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Have You Played... The Hidden?

Hide-and-seek with guns

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Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

The Hidden is crying out for a standalone revival. Released just over ten years ago, it was an asymmetrical Half-Life 2 multiplayer mod that turned a squad of machinegun-wielding military grunts into fragile prey for one invisible player.

This player – the Hidden, obviously – could leap along walls and ceilings, kill human players in an instant, and gruesomely string up their bodies to be found by their friends. If you were one of the soldiers, the hidden was visible to you only as a faint shimmer. Shoot the hidden and they would die relatively quickly, but that mixture of near-invisibility and high-mobility made hitting them extremely difficult.

Lots of multiplayer games have tried to do something similar – for example, pitting military grunts against a single, capital-a Alien. I feel like The Hidden had the edge on them for including humour in the mix. As well as being able to string bodies up, the hidden could also jiggle and puppet them about, or fling them at the remaining soldiers. Aliens don’t do that just to, as Craig once put it, just to show off and shit up the other team.

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Graham Smith

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