In retrospect: Second Sight (Xbox)

I’ve been at tying up some loose ends in my videogame library. I started the task with Doom 3 on the Xbox and next in line was Free Radical Design’s Second Sight, also on the Xbox.

I’ve written about Second Sight’s merits before, but they warrant repeat. This is a game every Xbox gamer should play and own – as far as action adventure and quality writing goes, Second Sight has it all.

The overall design is impressive, art direction is exemplary, gameplay mostly rewarding. The stealth can be cumbersome and some of the sections with respawning enemies are misjudged – and the camera never ceases to be in the way. But I found myself actually gripped by the storyline, which is impressive considering it’s very cheap science fiction. You’ve got your psychic children, government test projects and conspiracies, but it managed to first keep me guessing and then completely surprise me in the end, in the best possible way – not cheaply, but with good writing. The pacing is top-notch throughout.

And the combat is really satisfactory; I think I may return to some of the better action set-pieces again. The comprehensive statistics on offer per level are another motivator. If I find myself really bored one day, I might grab a FAQ and see just how little violence might get me through some of the worst spots.

I’m sure I left it around here somewhere

So what’s next? Knights Of The Old Republic II. It had been to the day a year since I last played it. Points for the in-game journal: I was on the ball within half an hour, despite having already forgotten what the game was even about. My old gripes stand: it just smells unfinished around every corner. But the KOTOR drive is still there. Jedi Mind Trick never gets old!

Some credit for getting back in the game so smoothly is due for myself, too – I know my inconsistent gaming habits well enough to always try and leave games in a situation that’s easily graspable should an unforeseen, long pause in playing the game occur. In Oblivion, this literally means saving the game with the nose pointing towards the next objective!


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