Posted: April 15
Serious Sam The Second Encounter is the second game in the "Serious Sam" series. It takes place right after the events of Serious Sam The First Encounter. This sequel has improved upon many things but it has brought some minor issues along with it as well.
The story is...Uhm, it's about, like, uhhmm... Something about the Holy Grail or some nonsense, I wasn't paying much attention. The story really doesn't matter; this is a game that solely stands up on its gameplay. And how is the gameplay?
The game is very similar to the previous game; in fact it almost feels like an expansion pack at times, the gameplay is pretty much identical. It's a first person shooter where you take on hordes upon hordes of enemies with a massive arsenal of guns. There's not much to say that I haven't already mentioned in my previous review of the First Encounter, so I'll mainly talk about the new stuff.
The weapons here feel just as good as they did in the previous game and you you have all the guns you previously had but with a few new ones, which are: the chainsaw, it's like the knife but instead of clicking multiple times you can just hold the mouse button and slice away, it's a bit weaker than the knife but it can slice things in half and it's really satisfying. There's the flamethrower, very handy against a group of enemies since the flames go through them and it burns everything in its path. Another new weapon is the sniper rifle, with the massive open environments of this game it's really handy for taking out enemies at a distance, and it packs quite the punch. And lastly there's the serious bomb, when activated it kills every enemy on the screen, making it the "♥♥♥♥ YOU I AM GOD KNEEL BEFORE ME EVERYTHING DIES!" button, but the down sides are that these bombs are quite rare so you have to consider that heavily before using it, because who knows when you might need it for later and you also don't get any points for using the bomb. So that's four new weapons, which isn't bad but you have to consider that this is on top of the massive amount of guns from the previous game, which brings it to a total of around fifteen or so guns, which is just gun-tastic.
But what good are guns if you don't have anything to shoot at? Well get ready because holy ♥♥♥♥ there's a lot of stuff to shoot at, this is Serious Sam, you fight off a ludicrous amount of enemies throughout the whole thing, your body count in this game alone will be higher than any other FPS you've played. There's a big variety of enemies to kill here, with some new ones for the second encounter of course, namely pumpkin-head-chainsaw-wielding hillbillies along with reptiloid demons, skinless alien soldiers, the Zumb'ul which is dual-wielding rocket launchers (very similar to the Mancubus from Doom 2) and there are also unmanned cannons that can insta-kill you. Honestly, besides the Zorgs (skinless aliens) and the Zumb'uls, all the new enemies are more frustrating than anything else, the Cucurbito Pumpkins aren't supposed to be this annoying but in the HD version they were made worse because they can home in on you after you dodge their attacks and it takes off a massive amount of your health. Homing projectiles and insta-kill enemies are also just down right infuriating. But overall, it's still really fun to kill off all these enemies, and you get the whole family from the previous game to take down as well.
Now, one of the bigger steps up in this game compared to the previous one are the levels, which are GIGANTIC! Each level in this game can take up to half an hour to an hour to complete and they are packed with lots of stuff, the level design itself is still kind of just okay, but the size of these levels is quite impressive and it's always nice to have more room to fight in. But, the game has added some fairly unnecessary things to the levels in the first chapter, something I like to call the "gimmick areas", rooms where physics change in a way to make it more infuriating for you to get through it, rooms that have bouncing floors, or bouncing walls which suck you towards them, or having the entire room spin like you're in some giant blender and it just feels kind of dumb, especially when they throw in Kamikazes, Kleers and Marsh-Hoppers, some of the more challenging enemies that you try to keep yourself away from when fighting, are now bouncing with you in these rooms and overall these gimmick rooms don't require much skill, it's mostly luck or using dirty tricks to get through them, they're horrible. But other than those rooms, the rest of the game is fantastic, while the level design isn't special, it's still fun to go through and you still get rewarded for exploring. There's a lot of variety in the locations this time around, while the first game was only in Egypt, this one is in South America, Persia and some medieval areas.
If you enjoyed the previous game, you'll probably like this one as well. There are some minor annoyances here and there, mainly in the first chapter, but as a whole, this game is very enjoyable.