TimeSplitters creator David Doak has revealed that he would rather see a new Second Sight game than a new TimeSplitters.
I spoke with Free Radical Design founder Doak – who previously worked on Goldeneye 007 – about the recent Koch Media acquisition.
Asked which series he’d rather see resurrected, he said, ‘It would probably be Second Sight, but I'd want them to do it well.’
The reason Doak gave was that, with a series as storied as TimeSplitters, ‘The easy thing for people to say [of a new game] is “Oh yeah it's not as good”... It’s really hard to surprise somebody with that.’
Whereas Second Sight, which has gathered something of a cult status, could surprise people: ‘I think with Second Sight, even if you just remade [it] and fixed all the shonky physics and the controls and stuff, people would still go, “that’s great.”’
Doak even has some design ideas: ‘There's a mechanic I thought would be really good for a sequel. There’s a bit in some film – maybe it’s Minority Report – where somebody is trying to get across a crowded environment, and they can kind of see where people are going to go.’
Any conversation about Second Sight invariably involves mention of its rival, Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy, and Doak is humble about the whole thing. ‘Their physics were a bit tighter,’ he says. ‘I think they were using some sort of third-party solution… In second Sight you can TK somebody and lift them up and shoot them in the air and things, but it’s a little bit clunky doing it, and I think in Psi-Ops a lot of that stuff flows better.’
Doak also described Second Sight’s odd tension between stealth and action, saying, ‘It’s not confident about the pace that it wants you to play it at, so it’s much better if you play it like it’s MGS or something. you’ve got the stealth stuff but then you’ve got these kind of, you know, vicious things you can do.’
In the end, Doak said that both developers – his own studio, Free Radical, and Midway, who made Psi-Ops – suffered. ‘It hurt both games I think because it meant you kind of picked one.’ Referencing two ‘90s Hollywood blockbusters, he then joked, ‘My stock [joke] was always: “It's like imagine if two people had decided to make films about asteroids hitting the earth in the same year! You’d think there would be checks and balances to make sure that didn't happen!”’