Second Sight Reader Review
We've all wished we could use 'The Force' to benefit ourselves, if not for riches then for humour. Well, now you can (sort of). Second Sight sees you playing a man who has been admitted to a psychiatry ward for some particular reason. He's got to find out why he's in there and all the usual guff that comes along with it.
The adventure takes you through the mental institute, streets of the city, sewers and places of residents in a bid to escape from his captors. There are even sections of flashbacks and playing things from his past thrown into the mix, and it all makes for an exciting adventure.
The main tool of your trade is using your psyche and psi powers to do all manner of crazy things, like telekinesis, heal, projection, charm, and a few others. You only start off with one or two and as you progress you'll learn the others until you get hte full set. The good thing is that you will use all of them and not just for puzzles where they are mandatory. As most of the psi-powers have two functions - one where you aim for a target, another which is area-effect - you'll find yourself choosing the best one for the current situation, usually one to get you out of the shit the game puts you in.
I say the game because there are times when you get swarmed with enemies shooting at you which respawn when killed. It is a bit annoying but the thing is that the respawning doesn't happen if you make the kill inconspicious (i.e. no-one sees the kill or the dead body). If you can manage it, you should be able to get through the levels without a single kill (and knocking unconscious doesn't count as a kill) so long as you use psi-powers only. And it's fun to try to do so too (Mystic Meg would be proud of that sentence), as you use your psi-powers to grab enemies and fling them around the round - some nice rag-doll effects accompany the characters as they get knocked about. Or maybe you prefer to leap into someone else's body and run around for a bit, shooting friendlies to clean out rooms. Or charm you way past people so as not to have the hassle of fighting.
But then there are times when you just can't be arsed, and those are the times when you're in possession of any weapon that is fully-automatic. Second Sight employs the lock-aim system with switching between targets a matter of flicking the C-stick in the necessary direction. There's even the opportunity to fine tune your aim and go for a single-shot headshot, if it takes your fancy. The sniper gun zoom is the best I've seen - the viewfinder is displayed via an inset on the main-screen, meaning that you're able to keep an eye out on the surrounding locale within being blind-sided. You can also combine psi-powers with weapons, such as telekinesis an enemy into the air next to you and then unleashing a clip into them - a bit horrible, but the possibility is there.
There are nice little puzzles within each of the levels that keep things beyond just a plain gaming of massacre, and most involve using the psi-powers. They are all pretty logical and shouldn't hinder progression, hence the only frustration that you'll encounter is when you get swarmed-on by a load of respawning enemies.
The story is actually pretty, if not for the way it builds up the 'why and where' quota throughout the numerous missions, but for the nice and totally unexpected twist - something that the developers have managed to pull off without making it seem like it was shoe-horned in, nor making it obvious throughout. There are also some nice little extras to be found like classic arcade games - find the game cartridges and you'll be able to play whenever and wherever you like (you carry a PDA-type thing).
Graphically, it's okay. Nice environments and backdrops, animation is clean, and the characters remind me of TimeSplitters (proportion of body-parts, I think). Psi-powers can be quite visual, but nothing that will blow you away.
One more thing about this game is that you are marked on every level - and it's just great! Really, they've brought back the old and proper way of determining the best from the rest and put up scores on kills, stealth, psi-units used, time, etc. There's quite a wealth of stats to ponder over and it can provide that bit of replayability when you know that it's quite possible to get through the whole game without having to kill. The nice thing is that you can play each level again to up your scores. There's a 'Best Scores' for each level too, when there's more than one profile on the GC memory card.
If you're one for action-adventures then definately have a dabble in this one, especially now seeing as you can get it on the cheap.