Serious Sam II Review

By Jason "Rodzilla" Rodzik - October 11, 2005

Serious Sam: The First Encounter was Croteam’s explosive entry into the First-Person Shooter genre, and it connected with gamers who hadn’t had a true run-and-gun game since the years of Doom. Not only did it pack in tons of enemies, weapons and ammunition, but it also featured more colorful gameplay than other games, as well as huge levels and wide-open spaces. Serious Sam II takes the same formula from The First Encounter and The Second Encounter, mixes in some extra nitroglycerine, and delivers some of the finest action available.

The sequel’s story follows in the footsteps of its predecessors: Mental is out to destroy the universe and Sam must collect some medallion and yadda yadda yadda…Though the story is a bit stronger this time, with over 2 hours of hilarious cutscenes, it simply serves as a breather from blowing up thousands of enemies. Netrisca, Sam’s trusty embedded female computer, makes a return, though fans of the original Netrisca may be disappointed by the common sense dialog (Sam, grab that gun and blow stuff up!) and lack of detailed information from the original games.

Serious Sam II takes place across seven different worlds, each with its own inhabitants, enemies, and environment. While the first games drilled Egyptian culture into your skull, the variety of worlds presented in Serious Sam II is refreshing, and you will find yourself in a completely different setting well before you begin to tire of the scenery of one world. Ranging from the artic cold, where Sam can face frostbite if he goes too long without warming up, to a land of the giants, with hundred foot tall mushrooms and skyscraping blades of grass, there’s always something new to enjoy. The combination of confined and wide-open gameplay, ranging from being trapped in a small room as tons of enemies attack, to speeding around a wide-open countryside on a hovercraft as dozens and dozens of enemies charge from all directions, provides the same fun and intensity as the original games. Also, a variety of secrets are scattered across each level, ranging from extra health and ammo to the Croteam humor we've all come to know and love.

In addition to some excellent new firepower, the game’s weapons include some old but revamped classics. Sam’s favorite double-barrel shotgun makes its return, along with several other weapons such as the rocket launcher and the extremely powerful Serious Bomb, wiping out every enemy in sight. Some of the new weapons include a plasma rifle and the creative and immensely entertaining Clawdovic bird, which carries in its talons an explosive surprise to the nearest enemy. While some of the weapons could benefit from more feedback, such as the dual colts, which barely have any recoil at all, all of the weapons are more powerful than any before them, and Serious Sam II delivers tons of serious firepower right up the enemy’s tailpipe.

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