Hidden Agenda (2017) is an adventure noir crime thriller. It's from the people who made Until Dawn, but uses the PlayLink technology to let multiple people play on the PlayStation using their smartphones to interact and make decisions.
You play homicide detective Becky Marney and district attorney Felicity Graves. Together you are investigating the case of a serial killer known as The Trapper. The game has a dark feel and looks like a movie. Visuals are supported by powerful audio. It really is a genre movie that you can interact with to affect the story.
Play involves you and your friends making decisions to affect how the game evolves. There is no exploration or moving around the environment. Instead, each player has a different perspective on what is happening and access to different information. However, you can use your smartphone to control a flashlight in hidden object (point-and-click adventure) style scenes where you are looking for clues. Once you have all the information you need, you all vote on what to do next.
At times there are challenges that require quick reactions to complete. Along with the other decisions, succeeding or failing these challenges can also determine the outcome of the story. Like with Heavy Rain or Detroit Become Human, failing can result in a character's death or survival.
The app that you use to play the game also provides each player with lots of extra information. This includes character profiles, plots, events and clues. There are also lists of ripple events that have affected the path of the story.
If you play in competitive mode, periodically one player is given a hidden agenda. They need to try and get a particular action to happen before the end of the scene. Other players can also vote if they think they know who has the hidden agenda, which results in conversations and discussions like Among Us.
The result is a really unusual way to engage with a beautiful looking story. It works best as multiplayer where the combination of different perspectives and collaborative decision-making forces players to engage with what's happening on screen. It is designed for mature audiences, so parents will want to check it out before playing with even older teenagers.
Our examiner, Andy Robertson
, first checked Hidden Agenda 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson
and updated 5 months ago.