Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.
I thought of the Hidden & Dangerous games as Rainbow Six: WWII. That was no bad thing. Combining stealth, squad management, action, and lots of careful planning that often ended in a few brutal seconds of panic and failure, they were wonderful things. I've been revisiting the sequel following its recent arrival on Steam.
The most surprising thing, after all these years, is the discovery that I can actually get quite far without all of the meticulous planning that I thought was necessary. I didn't leave anything to chance when I first played Hidden & Dangerous and missions still went horribly wrong more often than they went fantastically well. Now I'm faced with the startling fact that I could have been winging it the whole time.
That's not quite true. While it's certainly friendlier toward a running and shooting approach than I remembered, Hidden & Dangerous 2 still wants to slow down and smell the tactics. And I do, because that's what I'm here for.
It might not be as slick as later tactical shooters but Hidden & Dangerous still has something special. The things I might have been critical of at the time of release - the sheer size of some maps, the complexity of the controls and interface - are now the things that help it to stand out. It's as ambitious and flawed as ever, but definitely worth a look. And it's extremely difficult not to start daydreaming about what a sequel would look like.