Evan Burkey

Games You Never Played: Second Sight

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Games You Never Played is a new feature here at MWN, written by yours truly. Every Thursday we will discuss games that flew under the radar of the mainstream and never got the attention that they deserve. If you have a suggestion for this column, shoot me an email at [email protected] And now, on to this weeks offering, Second Sight.

Released in the fall of 2004, Second Sight is a third person action-adventure title published by Codemasters. It was released for Gamecube, Playstation 2, Xbox, and PC. Free Radical Design, the developers behind the amazing Time Splitters series, were the developers of Second Sight.

What It’s About

The storyline of Second Sight follows John Vattic, a parapsychology professor at MIT. John wakes up in an unknown medical facility covered in bandages. He is suffering from total amnesia, save for a US Marine mission he was an adviser for six months ago. As you begin to press through the first level, John’s psychic powers start to awaken. He begins to remember things about the mission, and has flashbacks. The game then jumps between flashbacks to the mission and John trying to escape the facility he’s been locked in by using his new psychic powers.

Why It’s Worth Your Time

SPOILERS AHEAD:

First off, the story in Second Sight is very well written. The game starts with John jumping between flashbacks and the present, but a strange thing keeps happening. Every time he comes across a major piece of evidence about the mission, he remembers it happening differently, and then has a flashback that proves the evidence wrong. When the flashback ends, the evidence has changed. This leads up to a big reveal that in reality, the flashbacks are the present, and what you thought was the present was actually the future. This reveal is very well done, and I had absolutely no idea it was coming. Looking back, it makes sense, but the writing is superb at keeping you from figuring it out until you are supposed to.

END OF SPOILERS

Another reason this game is so great is because of the wealth of psychic powers at your disposal, and how the developers created puzzles and scenarios that utilize them. The powers are all very fun to use and are pretty cool. My personal favorite is Possession. John can basically take over one of the guards and control him for a short time. Taking over a guard and using him to kill the rest of his patrol is somewhat satisfying (don’t worry, the guards are evil… I think) only to have him look at his fallen comrades and say “Oh no, what have I done!” as you sneak up behind him and knock him out with a Psychic Blast.

How It Was Missed

Second Sight is a good game, but it has its flaws. The controls are kind of clunky, especially on the PC version. As the PC version is the only one I’ve played, I can attest to that. It’s not that the controls dont work, but the way the buttons are mapped it just doesn’t flow right. Also, there are some issues with the cover system where John doesn’t stick to walls every time you push the cover button.

Metacritic puts its reviews at 77-73, depending on the version. This probably had a lot to do with it getting passed over, since September of 2004 was a month with some big releases, like Fable, X-Men Legends, Burnout 3: Takedown, Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War, and Katamari Damacy.

Where You Can Get It

Second Sight is available on Gametap (which is where I first played it), and you can probably find it at Gamestop or any other used game store still selling last gen games. You can also buy a new copy of the Playstation 2 version on Amazon, but they are currently charging 30 dollars for it, which I think is a bit high. I would recommend that you purchase the Gamecube version, as it had the least amount of bugs and control issues.

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