Serious Sam II

Serious Sam II
Category :pc & lan game
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Having played Serious Sam on the Xbox and Serious Sam: The Next Encounter on PS2, it was only natural that I would wind up playing Serious Sam II on the PC. Why wouldn’t I play the game on different platforms? Having a feel for the game with different controls really makes me appreciate the fact that … oh, who am I kidding? If you’re reading a review of Serious Sam II you’re most likely not concerned with technical details, you just want to know if the game kicks ass. It does, you’re free to skip down to the bottom of the review and read the score now if you want.

Here’s the bottom line – Sam is not a “cookie cutter” first person shooter. Where the Doom, Quake, Wolfenstein, and Halo franchises are seen as pinnacles of the “serious” FPS, these games take a much more lighthearted approach, a somewhat more “arcade” style if you will. To that end there is a scoring system just because it can be there, not to unlock a certain weapon enhancement after a certain (usually arbitrary) number is reached. Instead, when a new weapon is needed, Sam gets it automatically, and gets to use it like there’s no tomorrow.

Ammunition is spread around the field like candy at a sugar convection. It’s all over the place, and believe me when I say that you may wind up using every piece of it. To help fuel the arcade feeling of the series the enemies come in waves, and in such numbers and variety that it takes less aiming and more trigger pulling to survive to the next level. I’m pretty sure I described Serious Sam’s gameplay as “fast and furious” when I initially reviewed it. I can’t access that review as it resides with another website that has long ago ceased to exist. The point of bringing that up, however, wasn’t to lament on a lost review, but to describe how little the gameplay has changed over the years – and this is a good thing.
Serious Sam II is all about firing rapidly and having fun while doing it, just like its predecessors. There’s plenty of irreverent humor throughout the game with a few places where you will laugh out loud. I didn’t laugh as much as playing the previous two games, but I’m sure that has to do with the fact that I have played the previous titles, and have become somewhat used to the style.

One thing that is different in Serious Sam II is the complete openness of the various levels. Previous titles had players in wide open areas that were ripe for exploration – often with rewards for doing so (secret enemy hoards, heath, extra ammo, etc.) but this time the design is a bit more linear. This detracts from the fun.
Should I bother talking about the story? No, really, should I bother? Players of the first couple of Sam games will know just how thin and transparent the plot is to these games. Unlike other FPS titles, there isn’t some grand story or theme to explore – Serious Sam is all about firing big guns, a lot. And quick. It’s not that the story isn’t important or treated with disrespect (Sam isn’t shifting his allegiance halfway through the game or anything) but instead the emphasis is on keeping the action up.

I’ll not go into the differences between each of the weapons either. Really – if you’ve read this far, I sincerely hope you’ve gotten the point that this is an arcade style FPS. Along with that will come plenty of weapons, like the rocket launcher, bombs, chaingun, machine gun, shotgun, and others. Reloading? Ha! I laugh at you with your conventional ideas of how first person shooters are supposed to be. Realistic physics? Bah! We have enemies with bombs for heads.
Still not convinced if this game is for you? How does co-op play sound? Not interested? Do bright shiny graphics appeal to you? How about pretty explosions with graphical effects that will make you stare in amazement? No? Then you’re dead on the inside and this game isn’t for you. Go away.


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