Hidden Agenda Review – Spoiler Free Review
Hidden Agenda is a PS4 game which was made by Supermassive Games. It’s a story based game where you as the player will make decisions for characters in the story and it’s these decisions that will determine how the narrative plays out. Hidden Agenda as a story based game has a few different endings and outcomes depending on what decisions you make as the game progresses. You can get good endings, or bad endings depending on how you play.
When I first saw the trailer and started hearing about this game, I became quite interested in checking it out. I have always been a big fan of these branched story games and have enjoyed games in the past such as Life Is Strange, Beyond: Two Souls and Until Dawn in the past. So having a new story and a new bunch of characters to play with is always nice.
What’s different about Hidden Agenda compared to other games I’ve played before is that to play it you don’t actually use your PS4 controller. Instead you need to download the “Hidden Agenda” app from the the IOS and Android store, connect to the same WiFi as your PS4 and then control the game with your phone. The process is fairly straightforward, but it’s there as the game is meant to be a ‘party’ game. The idea I think the developers have, is that at a party, everyone has a phone, so they’ve all now got a control. The game can be played with multiple people at the same time and they can all make decisions, but for my playthrough, I played on my own.
As for the phone controls themselves, I found it to be quite fluid. I actually have a Sony phone myself (Sony Xperia XZ Premium), so maybe things are better on a Sony product than for other phones, but I didn’t run into any real problems. The Hidden Agenda campaign goes for about 2 hours and is designed to be completed in one sitting, which I did do. I did feel that my phone was quite warm towards the end and in the last decision in the game, there was a slight lag, but it might have been a one time thing, I’m not sure. But other than that, I liked the new way of doing things. Although, it would be great if I could just use my controller if I didn’t want to use my phone, it would be nice to have the option.
As for the story itself, the game has you playing as a detective by the name of Becky Marnie who is charged with the investigation of the case of a serial killer known as ‘The Trapper’. You will investigate the case with your character and make a variety of decisions on the job which will actually impact on the storyline as things go forward. In the game you will also control another character known as Felicity, who is a DA and is also investigating the case. Between the two characters, the decisions you make can actually impact on the story of the other character. In my case, I made some bad decisions by mistake and ended up with a very bad ending. So it does matter what you do.
The story being about two hours long gives the feeling that you are playing through a movie. As the run time is about the same for a film as this game. I don’t really feel that there was much character development in the story, but I don’t see it as the goal of the narrative, instead it’s all mostly focused on finding out about who the killer is and using the clues you find to make decisions. The name of the game “Hidden Agenda” seems to make up much of the theme for the storyline, you’ll wonder as the story goes which of the characters you meet have a hidden agenda or not as everyone is suspicious.
The voice acting in the game is fairly good. Fans of the Arrow TV show will be pleased to know that Katie Cassidy voices Becky, which is the main character in the game. I thought that Katie was actually a fairly good voice actress and it was a pleasant surprise to hear her voice in Hidden Agenda. Christy Choi who voice Felicity also did some great work in this game.
The graphics are quite impressive. For a game that was only two hours long, I guess I don’t expect things to look this great, but they did and I have commend the people at Supermassive Games for putting in some good work in this area. Things felt real and characters like Felicity and Becky did stand out as impressive character models, with realistic features and animations.
Overall this is a decent game, with an interesting storyline which is filled with mystery. The story will keep you guessing as you uncover who the killer is and the characters of Felicity and Becky were interesting ones to get to know and investigate the case with. The phone controls are a fun new way to play the PS4, although if I’m just playing on my own, I see no reason I can’t use the regular control as well, but it’s not too bad using your phone to control your PS4 for a bit anyway, it all felt quite fluid for the most part. The graphics are superb, but the campaign is only about 2 hours long and I know it’s meant to be played through in one sitting, but it’s something to consider should you purchase the game. It’s a fun experience and is possibly a good one to play along with friends. There is some replay value if you do get the ‘bad’ ending as I did as you can go back and play it all again and fix your decisions, but apart from that it is a little short still, but still a good time.