Second Sight (video game)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Second Sight
Second Sight cover.png
Developer(s) Free Radical Design
Publisher(s) Codemasters
Director(s) Rob Letts
Producer(s) Martin Wakeley
Artist(s) Karl Hilton
Writer(s) David Doak
Andrew Lawson
Composer(s) Graeme Norgate
Christian Marcussen
Platform(s) GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Microsoft Windows
Release GameCube, PlayStation 2 & Xbox
  • EU: 3 September 2004
  • NA: 21 September 2004
Microsoft Windows
  • EU: 4 February 2005
  • NA: 18 February 2005
Genre(s) Action-adventure, stealth
Mode(s) Single-player

Second Sight is a science fiction action-adventure stealth Single-player video game, developed by Free Radical Design, and published by Codemasters for GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox and Microsoft Windows. Players assume control of an American parapsychology researcher, who awakens in a medical facility with no memory of their past and powerful psychic abilities, and breaks out with these powers in order to uncover their past and their involvement in a mission they undertook with a specialist taskforce of the U.S. Marines. The game's action is divided between gun combat and stealth, with emphasise on players making use of different psychic abilities to survive against hostile opponents and overcoming obstacles and tricky puzzles.

Since its release, the game's console entries have received mostly favourable reviews, while the PC version received mixed feedback.


In the game, players control the story's protagonist through a series of levels, in which the aim is to complete a series of tasks, dealing with hostile enemies and some minor puzzle-solving. The game's action is viewed through a third-person perspective, though at times players switch to a first-person viewpoint under certain conditions (i.e. crawling through a vent). Each level features different situations, ranging from full-scale combat situations, to the use of stealth and subterfuge to get around enemies and achieve important goals. When combat situations are inevitable in most levels, players can, along with engaging enemies in close combat, utilises a variety of fire-arms to deal with hostiles - pistols, sub-machine guns, assault rifles and sniper rifles - with gun combat featuring the ability to hide behind cover and a targeting system that allows players to lock-on to enemies and fine-tune their aim to hit specific body parts on an opponent. However, in levels where combat should be avoided,[1] players engage in stealth by staying out of sight of enemies through the use of cover, with the ability to knock out opponents with a silenced tranquilliser gun (where available). In addition to enemies, player must also avoid security cameras; these can shut down if the player finds the computer terminal that controls them. If the player is spotted by an enemy/camera when trying to be stealthy, an alarm is triggered that not only increases the number of enemies in the section of the level that the player is in, but also causes all enemies to seek them out and engage them; the alarm is only cancelled out when enemies cannot find the player after a period of time. In some levels, the player must solve a minor puzzle, which may involve anything such as finding a password to operate a computer system.

Second Sight's most unique aspect of gameplay is the protagonist's ability to use a variety of psychic powers, which can used either to aid the player in combat, avoid detection, and help to solve some puzzles. At the start of the game, the player begins with only a few powers, but unlock new ones and upgrades to those they possess as the story progresses. Such powers drain the players psychic energy either in a set amount or over time; if the player is drained of psychic energy, then they are momentarily stunned for a few seconds, leaving them vulnerable. One unique power that the players gain access to at the start of the game is the ability to heal themselves, which is later upgraded to allow the player to heal allies that they have in later stages of the game; in some of the earlier stages, players do not possess psychic abilities, meaning that any damage they take can only be healed by finding first aid kits within the level.



The game takes place in a world in which parapsychology exists, and secret research projects into it were conducted during the Soviet era after World War II and uncovered proof that powerful psychic abilities could be transferred genetically into other subjects. The events of the story take place across locations within the United States and Siberia, including a training base in Germany, between two different points in the same year within the late 1990s. The game's main antagonist is a fictional US agency called the National Security Executive (NSE), which seeks the parapsychology research that was conducted for its own ends.


John Vattic, an American parapsychology researcher, awakens in an isolation cell at the Osiris Medical Facility, Virginia, with no recollection of his past or identity; the only knowledge he has is that he possesses powerful psychic abilities of unknown origin. Upon breaking free from his cell with the intent to uncover his past, Vattic experiences a flashback that allows him to recover his identity. Six months ago, the Pentagon recruited him to assist a special taskforce of U.S. Marines, codenamed WinterICE, led by its commanding officer, Colonel Joshua Starke, and aided by his adviser, Jayne Wilde, a psychic whom Vattic had clashed with over his published works. WinterICE had been tasked with going to Siberia to recover Victor Grienko, a renowned Russian scientist seeking political asylum with the United States, and to learn what his research into parapsychology had uncovered.

Seeking to find out what happened on the mission, Vattic gains access to the facility's computer records. Learning that Wilde died during an ambush by Russian soldiers, Vattic finds himself reliving the event and managing to save Wilde's life when they explore a nearby pipeline station for clues to Grienko's location. Upon his return to the present, Vattic discovers that upon Wilde's return to the States, she was incarcerated at the Penfold Asylum, Vermont, and so decides to rescue her. After breaking her out of the asylum, Wilde reveals to him that Starke died when Russian snipers attacked the pair after the pipeline ambush. Reliving the moment, Vattic encounters a psychic projection of one of Grienko's child test subjects who helps to awaken his dormant psychic abilities, allowing him to change history by ensuring Starke survives; in the aftermath of the attack, the pair discover that the Russian soldiers they had been fighting against were really US special forces.

Learning from Wilde that Starke went into hiding after the mission was over, Vattic has her take him to where he had been hiding out, as they find themselves being hunted down by NSE agents. Arriving at Starke's apartment within Queens, New York, Vattic finds himself reliving the past again when he learns that the WinterICE team died upon reaching Grienko's location at the village of Dubrensk. Although he ensures the team survives the attack on them, WinterICE find that Dubensk's villagers were slaughtered, save for one survivor who had been mortally wounded. Returning to the present, Starke reveals to Vattic that the slaughter of the villagers had been ordered by Silas Hanson, the director of the NSE. Hanson had been in the village to steal Grienko's research, dubbed the "Zener Project", before covering his tracks by killing those involved in the project. Starke hands over to Vattic what he had managed to find out about Hanson's involvement, advising him to discover what he is planning.

Heading to the NSE headquarters in New Jersey, Vattics uncovers evidence that Hanson has begun creating a global army of psychic super soldiers with the stolen research, but is powerless to stop him, and so decides to go back to the past to try to prevent the theft. Returning to the moment that the slaughter was discovered, the dying survivor reveals that no-one in WinterICE can approach the project's children without being killed, except for Vattic, whose psychic abilities would be accepted by them. Forced to enter the research facility beneath Dubrensk on his own, Vattic soon encounters Grienko in the process of transferring his work and test subjects to a new facility in the United States. Believing him to be one of Hanson's men, Grienko reveals how his research had created a potential weapon that could change the world, but after Russia decided to ignore his research, he chose to contact the US in order to get further funding for his work. Knowing what Hanson will do to him and what he plans to do with the resarch, Vattic informs Grienko that Hanson plans to kill him once he gets his tissue samples from his test subject. Realising his mistake, Grienko directs him to where the project's children are, moments before one of Hanson's men kills him.

As Vattic heads deeper into the facility, he begins receiving a telepathic message from Wilde, who explains that he had been brought on the mission because of the project's children, who needed him to help them stop Hanson's plan. Upon experiencing visions of the events that happened in the present, Wilde reveals that Vattic had actually been seeing one of several possible futures that had been manifesting from his final ability, precognition. Unbeknown to him, the ability had been active the whole time, and what he thought was the "past" was really the present. Realising the truth and knowing he can prevent what will happen in the future, Vattic confronts Hanson in Grienko's research lab with the intention of stopping him. Finding himself in a seemingly unwinnable situation when the NSE director secures himself behind a window impervious to both bullets and psychic powers, Vattic releases the project's children to help him defeat Hanson's men. After the shootout, the children use their powerful telekinesis abilities to pull at the frame of the window, the only part that psychic powers could damage, and kill Hanson. Returning to the surface exhausted, Vattic reunites with Stark and Wilde, who help him onto a helicopter leaving the area, while WinterICE and American troops arrive to secure the facility.



In 2006, Free Radical Design made the Second Sight soundtrack available for download on the company website, including printable album artwork.[2]

In May 2012, Graeme Norgate released the soundtrack on his personal Bandcamp page for £4.[3]


Review scores
Publication Score
GC PC PS2 Xbox
Edge 7/10[4] N/A 7/10[4] 7/10[4]
EGM 6.5/10[5] N/A 6.5/10[5] 6.5/10[5]
Eurogamer N/A 6/10[6] N/A 8/10[1]
Game Informer 8.5/10[7] N/A 8.5/10[7] 8.5/10[7]
Game Revolution N/A N/A C[8] N/A
GameSpot 7.5/10[9] 7.3/10[10] 7.5/10[9] 7.5/10[9]
GameSpy 4/5 stars[11] 4/5 stars[12] 4/5 stars[13] 4/5 stars[14]
GameZone N/A 7.5/10[15] 8.6/10[16] N/A
IGN 7.9/10[17] 7.5/10[18] 7.9/10[17] 7.9/10[17]
Nintendo Power 4.7/5[19] N/A N/A N/A
OPM (US) N/A N/A 4/5 stars[20] N/A
OXM (US) N/A N/A N/A 8/10[21]
PC Gamer (US) N/A 65%[22] N/A N/A
Detroit Free Press N/A 4/4 stars[23] N/A N/A
The Sydney Morning Herald N/A N/A 4/5 stars[24] N/A
Aggregate score
Metacritic 77/100[25] 73/100[26] 76/100[27] 75/100[28]

Second Sight received "favorable" reviews on all platforms except the PC version, which received "average" reviews, according to video game review aggregator Metacritic.[25][26][27][28]

In 2010, the game was included as one of the titles in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die.[29]


  1. ^ a b Reed, Kristan (24 August 2004). "Second Sight (Xbox)". Eurogamer. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Free Radical website". 
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c Edge Staff (October 2004). "Second Sight". Edge (141): 104. Archived from the original on 23 September 2004. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c EGM Staff (November 2004). "Second Sight". Electronic Gaming Monthly (184): 130. 
  6. ^ Bramwell, Tom (23 February 2005). "Second Sight (PC)". Eurogamer. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c Juba, Joe (September 2004). "Second Sight". Game Informer (137): 106. Archived from the original on 11 June 2008. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  8. ^ Dodson, Joe (23 September 2004). "Second Sight Review (PS2)". Game Revolution. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c Shoemaker, Brad (20 September 2004). "Second Sight Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  10. ^ Shoemaker, Brad (22 February 2005). "Second Sight Review (PC)". GameSpot. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  11. ^ Fischer, Russ (21 September 2004). "GameSpy: Second Sight (GCN)". GameSpy. Archived from the original on 1 December 2005. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  12. ^ Harker, Carla (25 February 2005). "GameSpy: Second Sight (PC)". GameSpy. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  13. ^ Fischer, Russ (21 September 2004). "GameSpy: Second Sight (PS2)". GameSpy. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  14. ^ Fischer, Russ (21 September 2004). "GameSpy: Second Sight (Xbox)". GameSpy. Archived from the original on 2 November 2005. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  15. ^ Aceinet (7 March 2005). "Second Sight - PC - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on 25 January 2009. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  16. ^ Lafferty, Michael (20 September 2004). "Second Sight - PS2 - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on 26 February 2008. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  17. ^ a b c Castro, Juan (16 September 2004). "Second Sight". IGN. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  18. ^ Castro, Juan (17 February 2005). "Second Sight (PC)". IGN. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  19. ^ "Second Sight". Nintendo Power. 185: 129. November 2004. 
  20. ^ "Second Sight". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine: 128. November 2004. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  21. ^ "Second Sight". Official Xbox Magazine: 76. November 2004. 
  22. ^ "Second Sight". PC Gamer: 72. May 2005. 
  23. ^ Crumm, David; Crumm, Benjamin (20 March 2005). "'Second Sight' (PC)". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on 20 March 2005. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  24. ^ Hill, Jason (2 September 2004). "Psychic action". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  25. ^ a b "Second Sight for GameCube Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  26. ^ a b "Second Sight for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  27. ^ a b "Second Sight for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  28. ^ a b "Second Sight for Xbox Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  29. ^ Mott, Tony (2010). 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die. London: Quintessence Editions Ltd. p. 580. ISBN 978-1-74173-076-0. 

External links[edit]