Hidden Invasion
Game Info
Platform(s)
Playstation 2
Publisher
Conspiracy Entertainment
Developer
Toka
Genre
Action
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Violence
 
Grade
The Good

• Custom control scheme
• Decent beat-em-up

The Bad

• In game camera is the real enemy
• Lots of glitches
• Did this game go through a testing stage?

 
Grade
D

In the year 2027, two members of the Shadowforce division of the National Security Special Operations are pulled off of vacation to deal with a hostage situation, only to uncover that the criminals behind the crisis are part of a resistance force that is aware of an alien invasion in which small alien creatures have been taking over prominent posts in the government. Yep... hackneyed as it is, that's the story and we're sticking to it. In Hidden Invasion, you can play as either the Duke Nukem rip-off or the less blockheaded female character, or if you have a friend, you can subject them to playing this beat-em-up/action shooter alongside you, so you can both "enjoy" the discounted purchase for as long as both of you can stomach it.

I could go into great depths to explain to you how flawed this game is, but that might be just flogging the proverbial dead animal. The graphics are easily subpar. Both character models and the levels are poorly designed and built. There seems to be a lack of detail in the way the levels are built and Hidden Invasion tends to reuse just about everything - from the limited number of enemies to the fact that a lot of rooms and even halls look cookie-cutter, so much so that one might get lost while doing even the simplest of tasks. There really is nothing outstanding about any aspect of the game visually - the effects are mediocre and if you look too long at the character models, you may go blind from the sheer ugliness of some of them. To add insult to injury, the game suffers from both slowdown (while in minor instances like when you throw a grenade) and pop-up, especially on the outdoor levels.

The gameplay behind Hidden Invasion tries to blend steady brawling action with endless shooter mayhem. You have the choice between throwing punches, kicks or picking up one of a handful of guns and mowing down your enemies. Unfortunately, the punch and kick attacks you start the game with are the same ones you'll end the game with and there is not enough variety in the guns to make them even interesting. And considering that the enemies respawn every time you enter or leave a room, you'll be growing tired of the same combat over and over again before the game is even a third of the way through.

The true enemy of this game? It's the in-game camera and controls. While the game does allow you full customization of the button layout, which is a nice addition, it does very little in helping alleviate a horrible camera/control combo that will leave you confused most of the time. The dynamic camera system might have been a good idea, but the way it's implemented is piss-poor at best. Imagine running down a hall with the camera behind you, only to have it change to just in front of you. And at that time, your character is sure to swing back the other way and head back the way you came. And with the carbon copy look of just about every location, don't be surprised to find yourself running back and forth, beating up on the same enemies over and over again. And if this wasn't enough, try running up or down a set of stairs, only to have the camera turn and swing you character "about face" and back the way you came. If the game developers had just made the camera fixed behind your characters, it would have made a huge difference.

To add insult to injury, the game not only suffers from random and often glitches, like having enemies attack you from behind closed doors and the occasional invisible barrier the keeps you from moving in certain directions, but also has the grand flaw of not deciding whether to tell you where to go or not. At times, the game holds your hand, pointing things out with a golden arrow pointing the way, but at other times, you're let to fumble around, and since every level is timed, you're going to waste a good amount of time and effort just to locate a single key card. And God forbid if that card is on an enemy who only shows up at a certain "trigger point".

Audio-wise, this game gets old fast. The sound effects and music are basically the same from the first level to the last and the voice acting is pure 100% cheese. And considering how clichéd the story is, it only makes things worse. Don't be surprised to find yourself putting on a CD to drown out this game.

If by this point, there is any doubt left in your mind - avoid this game. It's obvious that this game wasn't play tested before being shipped out. While the action can be enjoyed, there are many better games out there. Many.

- - Kinderfeld

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