Hidden & Dangerous 2: Sabre Squadron
Despite its unarguable excellence, the Hidden & Dangerous series has always been lacking in one department. Polish. Like a beauty queen walking down a catwalk in only one shoe, it's more of a blemish than a disfigurement, but it's just enough to sully the games and prevent them from being considered true masterpieces.
I'd love to tell you that Sabre Squadron is the exception, that it's broken the mould and finally attained a sparkling veneer to go with its tense, tactical and superbly crafted WWII gameplay. Sadly, I can't.
Talk The Talk
Despite bold claims by the developer that this expansion pack will iron out all of Hidden & Dangerous 2's Al glitches, the same old problems abound. Your squad of four SAS soldiers, who embark on nine new, ever harder missions in Libya, Sicily and France, are still as erratic as ever. They often refuse to follow orders until you've politely asked them three times, or open doors of their own accord, landing you in a world of hurt. Either that or they just stand in front of a door so no-one else can get through, meaning you have to switch to that soldier and manually move him before the rest of your squad can progress... Or escape.
But that's enough bitching, as everything else here is generally of a high standard. The nine new missions have been well crafted (though rarely do they reach the standards of the original) and despite the odd exception, are both tense and - on the harder difficulty levels - brain-liquifyingly challenging. Also, while their pathfinding may stink, your team is now much more adept at covering you than before.
Objectives range from taking out German submarines at a military installation, to dropping behind enemy lines to mount surprise attacks on Axis forces. There's also plenty of new firepower on offer, the highlights being the satisfyingly meaty German Panzerschreck (bazooka), which is perfect for halting heavy armour. What's more, you even get to hop on board some vehicles yourself.
Walk The Walk
However. Sabre Squadron's main claim to fame is its new multiplayer options, which allow you and some friends to play any of the nine new levels cooperatively. With the team Al problems eradicated, these levels become far more calculated and precise affairs (so long as your team-mates work together of course). It's a welcome addition, though it's somewhat surprising that it's taken Illusion so long to get co-operative gameplay into H&D2. After all, the Rainbow Six games have been doing this sort of thing for years.
As expansion packs go, Sabre Squadron is certainly worth your money, as it will provide you with countless hours of covert, squad-based action and some superb online gameplay. In fact, had it not been for the blemishes, it would have been an essential purchase. Illusion, get 'em sorted. Now.
Download Hidden & Dangerous 2: Sabre Squadron
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP