The Hidden is a multiplayer total conversion for the popular Half-Life 2 computer game. The gameplay revolves around the retrieval of an escaped research subject with the twist that the subject is highly agile, incredibly strong and nearly completely invisible. The first beta version was released on June 13, 2005.
In the early 1950s, during the post war boom in military research, human genetics experiments were taking their first, tentative steps. A team of scientists, working at an Infinitum Research laboratory discovered some remarkable phenomenon resulting from DNA manipulation of subjects. Many subjects lost their lives or were driven insane by the irresponsible and immoral experiments that followed.
By the mid 90s, the failure rate on the experiments had reached a point where Infinitum Research felt they could move the studies onto the next step and introduce combinations of DNA alterations within a single subject, one of these alterations had proven to allow for the phenomenon of biological light refraction. Using this research, the scientists intended to develop the ultimate covert military agent. Early into the new millennium, experiments on subject number 617 led to a massive genetic trauma, leaving the subject in a reduced mental state and suffering from a number of genetic anomalies.
Shortly after the error and before the issue could be resolved, the subject was able to escape from the research laboratory. An elite section of the internal security force, the Infinitum Research Intercept Squad (IRIS) has been deployed to retrieve the subject and contain any issues resulting from his escape. Meanwhile, the experiment has been shut down and all funding recalled, Infinitum Research denies all knowledge of any form of such genetic experiments but is happy to discuss their progress in the cloning of healthy human organs.
Hidden is played by rounds. Each player selects one of the 9 IRIS characters (these are visually different but do not affect game play). A player may choose to play as 2 classes: Assault and Support, whose main difference is that Support can replenish teammates' ammo. The player also chooses a main weapon, side arm and item. Each round, a player is selected automatically to be the Hidden, usually based on how much damage they dealt to the Hidden in previous rounds. All the other players play as the IRIS, whose goal is to work as a team to hunt down the Hidden. After the time limit hits, or either side kills the other, the round will end, and a new Hidden may be selected (depending on who won the round and server settings).
As the Hidden, the player is given several extra abilities not available to the I.R.I.S; The Hidden is nearly invisible, with only a little distortion of the background indicating his presence, sticking to walls, and the ability to detect enemies' auras from a distance. Other abilities include pouncing and cannibalizing corpses of slain enemies to replenish health. He can also scare and taunt the IRIS with pre-recorded voice chat.
- "Hidden: Source online ranking system" SMOKE911, May 2007
- 2006 Independent Games Festival Awards - Finalist, Best Half-Life 2 Mod