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Published by: Codemasters Developed by: Free Radical Design ESRB Rating: T for Blood, Mild Language, and Violence For: Xbox, PS2, GC, PC Version reviewed: GC

WARNING! THIS GAME IS RATED TEEN FOR AGES 13 AND UP, BUT IS RECOMMENDED ONLY FOR MATURE PLAYERS AGE 17+!!! Game plots rarely captivate me. They never hold me for a long period of time, and they almost never have smart, stylish writing to accompany smart, stylish graphics., Second Sight isn?t like this. In fact, Second Sight disposes of most pre-conceived notions of how a third-person action/stealth game should be done by combining equal parts of gunfights, stealth, and amazing psychic abilities into one cohesive package that looks and feels great.

Story

A man, bandaged, cut, and scarred, wakes up in a hospital bed. He cannot remember who he is, where he is, or why he is there; all he knows is that he needs to escape for reasons that he cannot remember. As Dr. John Vattic, you take the role of the amnesiac man as he discovers who he is through a unique, dual-time storytelling sequence, where the player has flashbacks that directly effect what happens in the future. GraphicsClean, smooth, and generally amazing, given that the developers are using their two-year-old Timesplitters 2 game engine to process the effects. Even then TS2 had amazing graphics, but Second Sight seems to carry a bit more polish than TS2, and is more plot-centric than anything. However, great particle effects (what comprises snow, smoke, and other environmental things), a good physics engine, and Free Radical?s signature cartoon caricature-realism all add up to an adventure that has amazing presentation, great style, and diverse environments that rarely stutter, and have nary a glitch in sight. Simply put, this is the adventure that all console owners have been waiting for, despite the new Splinter Cell.

Game play

This is a plot driven shooter, rife with dangerous enemies, mysterious locales, and often-challenging puzzles. Equal parts Metal Gear Solid, James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing, and Mission: Impossible, Second Sight manages to make stealth game play, shooting, and third-person adventuring fun, and an experience worth remembering. One of the coolest things about the game itself is its presentation, which figures directly into the game play as well as the graphics. Sniping, for example, does not turn the entire screen into the likeness of a sniper rifle scope; instead, it brings a little circle(representing the sniper scope) up, which locks on to enemies and allows you to see who?s coming near you at close range. Most of the game proves quite difficult. For example, you can?t grab a hostage, a la Splinter Cell, without the Charm power, which makes your opponents not even notice you until you touch them. Without this power, you are literally forced to use hand-to-hand combat, or stealth, to sneak past most enemies, which also gets quite difficult. Much like the most recent James Bond game, Everything or Nothing, Second Sight features a lock-on with an aim that can be fine tuned to your liking, or just left as-is so you can fire blindly, hoping you hit something. Just the same, this allows for an amazing ease of use that can literally grow with the player?s abilities in the game. Much like one of the Tony Hawk games, Second Sight starts you off with the basics, such as sneaking, hand-to-hand combat, and crouching, and then boots you up to the next difficulty, with powers such as Heal, Charm, Telekinesis, and Projection (which supposedly separates your mind from your body in order to explore areas stealthily, and eventually gain the power of Possession, which basically entails the player to control the minds of enemies and generally cause havoc. One of the main drawbacks of Second Sight is its length, which is really not much. I completed the game in about 7 and a half hours, and I kinda feel a bit ripped off because of how much I wanted this game; it?s a rental, at best, unless you just can?t live without it. All of the powers, moves, and gunfights work together well and cohesively, making Second Sight easily one of the most playable games I have ever played.

Control

The controls are a little awkward (X for a physical attack??) at first, but soon become second nature. Still, it?s a little too hard to switch weapons or powers in the middle of a gunfight, and the enemies are ruthless when it comes to attacks. Just the same, when the controls become familiar, other games like this won?t feel anything like it.

Sound

Awesome sound all around. Props to the team who did it. The original score is amazing, adding the right amount of subtle tension during a walk through a mental asylum or a dark corridor, while action-ey techno pops in during heated battles, or races to the end of the level. The voice work is equally well done. While John Vattic sounds just like a Canadian, when he?s supposed to be from the U.S.A., it doesn?t really detract from the game all that much. Other characters have excellent voice work as well, and all of the enemies have good voice work, which is rare for a game like this.

Appropriateness

Here?s where the game really stumbles, as is the case with most secular games. Second Sight features an astounding amount of blood for a game that is rated Teen, and also quite a bit of bad language that is not as extreme as it could have been, but shouldn?t have been included, just the same. Words such as hell, d***, and b****** are featured in the game in multiple areas. Second Sight also revolves around a psychic, but not the type that can predict the future. Vattic moves things with his mind, he can disappear, and he can take possession of people?s minds for a short while. I was convicted of not playing this game anymore after beating it because of the psychic aspect of the game. It is presented in a pseudo-sci-fi setting, but is still present. Second Sight also features bizarre experimentation on young psychic children, often resulting in mutations that, although not gruesome, imply gruesome attributes. The fact that the experimentation on children is implied is not appropriate for younger children, and parents should shy their children away from this game. As mentioned earlier, blood is a huge presence in this game. One character is murdered, and though the cinema doesn?t show much, it does show blood spatter on the floor as an enemy character blows the character?s brains out. These are reason enough for a Mature rating. The character getting killed by the enemy is gorier than in the game XIII, where a life guard is raked down in a sudden storm of gunfire. The combination of the language, violence, blood, and some frightening or disturbing situations should be more than enough to keep most away from this game; if you really feel the need to play it, do so for the story, but keep all kids away from this game.

Graphics A+ Game play A+ Sound A+ Control B Appropriateness F

Overall B 80%

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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