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Second Sight

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox
Genre: Action
Publisher: Codemasters
Developer: Free Radical Design

About Judy

As WP's senior editor, I edit review and preview articles, attempt to keep up with the frantic pace of Rainier's news posts, and keep our reviewers on deadline, which is akin to herding cats. When I have a moment to myself and don't have my nose in a book, I like to play action/RPG, adventure and platforming games...

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'Second Sight' (NGC/PS2/Xbox) - Screens

by Judy on Aug. 19, 2004 @ 2:31 a.m. PDT

Delivering a gripping playing experience, Second Sight combines an atmospheric, thriller narrative with paranormal psychic abilities, stealthy exploration and intense shooter action. Lead John Vattic, a former researcher, as he attempts to unravel a mystery that led to his imprisonment in a maximum security Medical Research Facility. As he makes his escape, Vattic discovers that he is empowered with amazing psychic abilities, capable of manipulating people and the surrounding environment.

Combining an atmospheric, psychological thriller narrative with paranormal psychic abilities, stealthy exploration and intense shooter action, the game has already received acclaim from games press with PSM2 calling it "one of the best-looking and original action adventures of the year."

Bringing a new dimension to stealth action games, Second Sight gives players control of a character endowed with incredible psychic abilities. The game offers multiple approaches to completing levels either via stealth, dramatic gunplay, psychic powers or a combination of all three. The ability to psychically influence characters and remotely manipulate objects and individuals provides for a totally fresh gameplay dynamic.

Second Sight opens with John Vattic, the player-controlled lead character, as he awakens from a coma in a US medical facility where he has been subjected to traumatic surgery and experimentation. He doesn't know his name, he can't remember his past, all he knows is that his only hope for survival is to escape and unravel the mystery that has led to his imprisonment.

Haunted by flashbacks, which are experienced as fully playable episodes within the game, and shocked by the discovery of his own psychic powers, the player takes Vattic on a search for his past and, in doing so, uncovers a fatal chain of events leading to a sinister conspiracy.
As Vattic explores his present and past, the game weaves between these two different time periods, which run through the game as a dual-narrative. The player-controlled actions of the past Vattic have consequences in the present – allowing a unique interaction between the player and the narrative of the game as Vattic's destiny is changed.

Vattic's telekinetic powers enable players to shift objects and terrify on-looking guards. As the game progresses and his self-awareness increases, additional abilities develop and existing powers are refined. Basic telekinesis is upgraded beyond simply moving objects, enabling Vattic to lift enemies and smash them against the scenery as they scream for mercy! This revelation of psychic powers makes for a highly compelling journey, and invites experimentation with the newly acquired abilities.

Further psychic powers are revealed through play: Healing (using psychic power to replenish health), Projection (send your spirit out of your body, with the ability to possess another character), Charm (alter the mind of individuals, fooling them you're not there) and Psi-blast to send a destructive shockwave toward your enemies.

Vattic's psychic powers can be mixed with an exciting arsenal of weapons – there are 13 weapons in use through the game including pistols and a sniper rifle.

As a new landmark in stealth action and an exceptional new project from Free Radical Design, Codemasters will publish Second Sight later this year for PlayStation 2, Xbox and Nintendo GameCube.

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