The Definitive 50 GameCube Games: #44 Second Sight

The series so far: The Definitive 50 GameCube Games.

The talent behind blockbuster N64 shooters GoldenEye and Perfect Dark left Rare in the late 90s, and went on to form development studio Free Radical. This company was responsible for my favourite FPS series of last generation, TimeSplitters. Those weren’t the only games they made, however. They also gave us the much less known hidden gem, Second Sight.

This game takes 44th place on the list of Definitive 50 GameCube games.

Second Sight is a third person shooter which follows the bizarre, twisting, and cerebral journey of parapsychology research John Vattic.

The game begins with Vattic confined to a hospital room, heavily bandaged, and without memory. As he works his way toward escape, Vattic slowly remembers how he got to this bizarre state, and relearns some powerful psychic abilities along the way.

It turns out Vattic began this journey as an advisor on a military mission to Siberia investigating the work of Russian scientist Victor Grienko. John finds that he’s able to change the details of this mission as he remembers it, and the twisting plot slowly unravels in one of the smartest written games to date.

As strong as the plot may be in this game, it doesn’t entirely cover for some awkward gameplay. Switching between different weapons and psychic powers becomes tedious quickly. The game’s mechanics work well for its heavy stealth emphasis, but falter when action boils over. The perpetual streams of re-spawning enemies are especially annoying.

Still, Second Sight is a beautifully constructed game. It’s a refreshingly intelligent and subdued experience next to other first and third person shooters that doesn’t bother with unnecessary or tacked-on extras like multiplayer.