Thursday, April 9, 2015

Second Sight

Developer: Free Radical Design
Release Date: September 2004 (Console), February 2005 (PC)
Genre: Action-Adventure, Stealth

One Sentence Review:
A nifty little idea let down by some ridiculous design choices and a lack of creativity in key areas.

This was the only game Free Radical Design ever ported to the PC and boy does it show. They became Crytek UK before they ever touched that concept again!

So before I begin with my review about this game, make sure you're playing the console version. It's available on Playstation 2, Xbox, and the GameCube so you have no excuse! The PC version is extremely poorly ported. The controls are wacky and weird and there are game breaking bugs and glitches which seem determined to force you to replay each and every mission.

Hardware issues aside, the game itself is pleasantly organic. You have multiple routes to complete your objectives and it doesn't grab you by the nose and force you to play it their way. It has a nice feel to it for 2004 era graphics and there's something euphoric about crafting bullet with face to create dead asshole. The psychic powers are all nicely varied and I'm pretty sure the world ended in 2004 because they actually managed to create an invisibility power that didn't break the game open for us all to obliterate with little to no effort (looking at you Elder Scrolls).

On the downside the story is very pitiful. The twists and turns that are supposed to shock you into immersion are all predictable, the characters are starved of traits and generally only have two or three each if they're lucky, and the number of escort missions in this game is too damn high! Escort missions are hereby listed in my book of "Cardinal Game Developer Sins" as something that just plain does not need to exist. This game has placed it there and all other developers thinking of making an escort mission can thank this game for their crucifixion.

This game is $15 to $40 USD depending on where you get it from and what console you buy it for. If this review has told you that this game needs to be a part of your existence to complete your life just make sure you buy the console version and buy it on sale. If you can pick up a used copy on EBay that still works and is cheap, that's your best bet. It's better than most of the dribble that comes out of Triple A development these days, but considering how formulaic Gears of War and Borderlands are that's not very hard to do. My personal price tag on this would be around $10 USD.

This game is no longer available on Steam due to copyright issues with the publisher.