Serious Sam: Second Encounter is a fast-paced game with huge environments, large amounts of enemies, and insane action.
gashoe13 wrote this review on .
Serious Sam, while considering it was made in 2002 and that it is now 2009 is still relentlessly entertaining. It is one of the most difficult games that I've ever played, and even on Tourist, the easiest difficulty level, you'll still be shocked by the incredible number of enemies. While you won't die at all, you'll definitely be scrutinizing your keyboard and mouse trying to avoid green balls of energy while sidestepping a Pumpkin-headed guy and flamethrower-ing a Scorpion with assault rifles for hands.
All things considered, Serious Sam is very reminiscent of Quake 1 and 2. It includes the same shoot first (seriously, DO shoot first) kind of action, use strategy when you don't feel like it kind of action, and a large arsenal for you to root through. Serious Sam has an enormous arsenal consisting of a combat knife, a pistol (of which you gain two of later on), a rifle, a shotgun, a rocket-launcher, a grenade launcher, a tommy-gun, a minigun, a chainsaw (lovely weapon), a flamethrower, a sniper (??), a cannon-ball launcher, and some other weapons I may have missed. Not bad, eh? And all this in the first 3 levels! All this variety is easily matched up with the assortment of creatures you'll have to blow through.
The creatures are sort of based on Quake and on other classic stuff. There is your usual, run-up-to-you-and-smack-you kind of guys, there are the classic lunge-at-you-and-swipe-you kind of guys that we see in Quake, we see the large-and-burly-guys-with-chainsaws, we see suicide bombers, and, of course, the AT-AT-esque robots (if you know your Star Wars vehicles) that romp around and try to blow you up with laser blasts. While it may not sound like a whole bunch of variety, there is a lot of variety. The first 3 levels alone contain up to 20 different enemies, which is quite an achievement, considering how old this game is.
Perhaps the largest difference between Serious Sam and Quake would be the environments. Quake relies on small, confined passageways to scare you and spike your adrenaline. The environments in Quake also tend to be relatively redundant. Serious Sam relies on excessively large environments so to render 300 or so enemies on screen in all directions. Also, the monotonous feel of Quake's gothic environments sort of throw away some of the replay value. A lot of this is the opposite of Serious Sam.
Another strong point of Serious Sam would be the super odd moments in it that have to be some of my favorite moments in gaming history. In the first 5 levels, you will shoot kamikazes, skeletons of bulls, chainsaw-pumpkin freaks, and all sorts of things… while facing some really ridiculous environments. For example, there is one point when you are in a humungous trampoline, and you still have to destroy all the enemies. Another sequence is when you are in a gargantuan tunnel and gravity exists in all areas, so that you can run in circles from the bottom of the tunnel to the top, and vice versa. Several other odd moments occur, but so to not spoil them, I won't mention them in full detail, although there is one moment with, let's just say, an excessive amount of wind blowing (and I don't mean farts).
Serious Sam, however, has a sniper rifle. This dumbs down the game in some ways. In one area, just after you gain one treasure, you see a cutscene where a large, red thing appears on an altar way below. It's supposed to be difficult to defeat, and it is, but you can very easily defeat it using nothing but your sniper rifle, considering that you are some 400 feet above it. It's odd, huh? You can just snipe down anything far away that was once reminiscent of a challenge. This makes some moments a trifle stupid. You are surrounded by dozens of enemies that are far off and use long range to spam you. You are supposed to run over and get close enough so that your shots would be accurate, or you could just snipe them, losing far less health and far less ammo. It's kind of lame. This minor problem, while not severely damaging gameplay, does do enough so to spoil some moments that would have been relatively interesting.
However, this problem is almost immediately pushed away by the sheer number of enemies and guns. The flamethrower is a complete joy to use, but, while it may not have the largest range, it certainly does well. The chainsaw, a new weapon to the Serious Sam franchise, is a weapon designed to kill most enemies instantly. It's a joy to use and listen to, as you slice away at various enemies.
Speaking of enemies, some of the weirdest enemies ever to grace a FPS exist right here, from the scantily clad women with angelic wings that shoot you with energy blasts, or the scorpion-esque creatures with machine guns for arms, or a sort of red bundle of feathers that throw tornadoes at you in an attempt to throw you to heaven (pun not intended). In fact, it's such a joy to shoot these enemies that you should just get this game to watch as you blow a guy to pieces with a rifle. It's just plain FUN.
The multiplayer and co-op are welly integrated, and if you both enjoy adrenaline spikes, try out the co-op! There will be double the enemies (OMG) and tons of other treats.
If you have any doubts of Serious Sam, you may kindly throw them out the window, and dice them with a katana or a chainsaw and go to eBay and get this game. NOW! It's just too much fun to pass up, if you are remotely into video games.