Sony have had a strange E3. They’ve held back announcements for later in the year, they had a relatively low-key press conference filled more with demos and trailers for games we already knew as opposed to packed with insane announcements (as with the previous two years).
They also held a pre-show where they may have announced as many new games as they did during their press conference. One such game is Hidden Agenda.
Hidden Agenda is a cross between a crime thriller, a choose your own adventure story and a party game. Built on Playstation’s new PlayLink technology (which was also announced before the press conference), Hidden Agenda tasks players with co-operatively making decisions that will affect the game and its story.
It takes the decision making mechanics of Supermassive Games’ previous title, the excellent Until Dawn, to new and different levels. Supermassive were inspired by watching livestreams of players co-operatively making choices while playing the game. Now, that’s a core part of the experience.
Players will interact with the game via their smartphones as it plays out on the screen in front of them. Players will control characters as they hunt down The Trapper – a serial killer who booby traps the bodies of his victims to try and kill the first responders.
As the action plays out on screen, the players will need to vote on the decisions and choices the characters will make. Consensus wins out. For certain decisions, the game will nominate a single person to make a choice.
Players will also have access to information via the PlayLink app – logs, notes, documents and more that will allow them to make informed decisions in the heat of the moment. Sometimes, however, one player may have a piece of information that the others do not, adding a level of tension and potential subterfuge to the co-operative elements of the game.
It’s one of the most intriguing games that I’ve seen at E3 this year, and thanks to its announcement being relegated to a pre-conference show, very few people are actually talking about it.
Hidden Agenda launches exclusively for Playstation 4 sometime in 2017.