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Second Sight

Developer: Free Radical | Publisher: Codemasters
Players: | Release Date: 09/21/04 | Genre: Action

Second Sight is the new game from Free Radical Design. You know them best for their TimeSplitters series. This year two developers have decided to make titles that incorporate psychic powers. Earlier in the year Midway released the popular Psi-Ops and now we have Second Sight.

Players control John Vattic who wakes up in some sort of medical facility and these psychic powers slowly emerge. The problem is, John can't remember anything. So you must lead him through the game trying to uncover the truth of what happened to him, why he has these powers, and why he ended up at a medical facility. As you journey through the game, players will give you doses of the backstory. You will play as John before obtaining these powers. If there is one thing that Second Sight does a lot better than Psi-Ops it is in the story. Second Sight is much more story-driven while Psi-Ops is much more action driven.

Although Free Radical Design is known for First Person Shooters, Second Sight plays out in the third person viewpoint. However, with Free Radical at the helm, you know they love to include some great gun gameplay. This is included within Second Sight with a targeting system that helps you kill enemies with headshots. But the game isn't completely about run and gun gameplay. Players will need to incorporate some steal in certain areas and use their psychic powers. At times you can use whatever method you want but since this is a game involving psychic powers, I tried to use them as much as possible in the game's seventeen levels. However, one drawback to the gamplay is that there are quite a few different missions you encounter where you can kill everything in sight and just wait until the alarm ends to carry on. I would have liked to see the stealth aspect of the game enforced a little bit more.

There are a few issues I encountered during my time reviewing Second Sight. While I really like how the game is very story driven, it does seem that it may have been rushed to retail. The physics seem to be a bit off. In several places items will continue to pass through walls after you have touched them. Overall, the AI is also very bad and doesn't give players that much of a challenge. On occasion though the enemy will locate you and sound the alarm on certain levels for no reason. It almost seems like instead of reworking the AI, the title was rushed out the door and an artificial challenge was put in place.

Visually Second Sight is very much like the other graphics Free Radical Design has used in other titles. This is an area where the Developer succeeds in all their titles--including Second Sight. The graphics all have a lot of depth and personality to them with great use of colors. I have come to expect this from all Free Radical titles. Although we are reviewing the Xbox version here--the GameCube also shows details that are the same quality as Xbox. However, the PS2 version is not quite as nice looking or has a framerate that is as smooth. But all three versions still look and play well.

The voice acting is great in Second Sight. This is a good thing sine there is so much spoken dialogue in the game. Besides the voice acting, the sound effects are also very good too. I especially like how the Psychic power sound. Players will also find some pretty good music to listen to while playing through the roughly fifteen hour game.

Overall, Second Sight is worth a look if you are a fan of Free Radical Design games. Although some may find the fifteen hour length to be a bit short and the game to seem a bit rushed, there is some enjoyment to be found here. It can be fun while it lasts but there isn't much need for a replay once you have been through the game.

By Kaleb Rutherford - 11/21/04
ESRB Details: Blood, Mild Language, Violence

Screenshots for Second Sight

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