Marsh Davies takes a look back at Free Radical Design's stealth shooter, Second Sight, in this week's retrospective on Eurogamer.
Some of its innovations prove hard to top, even now. Second Sight sports some of the most expressively animated characters in gaming - emoting with tremendous subtlety and range. Despite the clear polygon limit, nothing's beyond those cannily crafted animation rigs, delivering everything from from cool scepticism and wounded pride to bewildered terror and pity. Even the mo-capped mastery of Nathan Drake would have trouble matching the emotional clarity of Second Sight's caricatured cast.
Rarer still, Second Sight is a rich narrative-led thriller, peopled by well-crafted characters and given a narrative structure that delivers a stomach-swivelling twist, meshing mechanics and meaning in a way that only Bioshock has managed to top. Throughout the game, action moves between the amnesiac Vattic's attempts to escape confinement and, via debilitating fragmentary flashbacks, to the military operation that led up to it. As the game progresses, however, inconsistencies between these sections begin to emerge - characters are reported dead only to be found alive and well, recorded events shift and change.