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Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter Review

Do you like tons of guns? Do you like intense 16-player co-op? Do you like Pumpkin-topped chainsaw monsters? Well, if your answer to all the above questions is yes, then you will want to try the new game from Croteam; Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter. It’s the highly anticipated sequel to the first Serious Sam HD released a few months ago and is still in its fully High Definition glory. Compared to the buggy launch of Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter in the fall, The Second Encounter released without a hitch and is a perfect recreation of the 2002 masterpiece with new updated HD graphics and multiplayer game modes.

Just like the remake of The First Encounter, the new game does not change the formula of the original game that it is improving. The game is still all about the blatant slaughter of thousands of monsters with your large arsenal of new and old weapons. You are Sam in the American teenager style of an action hero, who is running around shooting and exploding baddies in jeans and a t-shirt. Sam backs it up with his huge arsenal of weapons with old favorites such as the rocket launcher, a 12-gauge shotty, and minigun. Sam is even bringing a few new weapons to the table, the chainsaw is one which is great for close quarter encounters. Second is the flamethrower, which Sam uses with skill to burn his enemies into charcoal. And last but not least is Sam’s new telescopic sniper rifle, which is awesome for blowing your enemies away from a safe distance. These three new weapons coupled with the eleven original weapons from Sam’s arsenal give a variety of powerful tools to grind, gut and explode your enemies into oblivion.

The story leaves right where the first game lets of with Sam crashing the space ship he picked up somewhere in South America in the height of Mayan civilization. Like many shooters of the late 90?s and early 2000?s the game has a shallow story, is conveyed without cut scenes, and is done in game just by completing the levels. Good thing the game is not judged by its story but the familiar kill all in sight gameplay that we all know and love.

The game has a dizzying array of enemies to be thrown in front of your onslaught who are all interesting, unique, and generally imaginative in there look and design. The game features the 20 or so enemies from the first game and includes seven more that are all unique and add more of a twist to the game. My favorite of these new enemies is Cucurbito the Pumpkin, who is a huge chainsaw-wielding, jack-o-lantern headed head case who scares me half to death when I turn around to have him trying to cut me to pieces from five feet away. The game sends waves of different enemies at you throughout the game for you to tackle with your gun toting character. Each with their unique attacking methods give you a variety of situations to try and deal with and keeps the game fresh and interesting. The game is quite challenging on its standard difficulty and only my experience with FPS’s keep me from being totally overrun and destroyed. The game has two easier difficulty settings for the weaker or casual gamers of the genre, and two higher difficulties for the insane and OCD players among our ranks.

serioussam 2 Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter Review

The levels in the game are all massive, beautifully rendered in their new HD re-mastering, and amazingly designed. Sam is taken through three zones of Ancient Mayan cities, the city of Babylon, and somewhat out of context, Medieval Europe. The levels are designed beautifully with indoor and outdoor environments for each area of the game. With each of these types of environments, different enemies are thrown at you and it can be a challenge to try to kill wave after wave of enemies in tight corridors or from all directions outside in the open areas.

All of the story can be played through single player and up to 16 player cooperative modes, but the co-op mode is where the game is most fun as you and fifteen of your buddies or randomly matched players can have tons of fun working together to kill waves of enemies in this crazy world. One advantage of playing in co-op is that when you die you spawn on your teammates rather than how in single player you have to hover your finger over F6 to quick save in order to not be sent back to the start of a mission.

The game also has a range of multiplayer modes that are standard to most FPS’s like deathmatch and capture the flag. The multiplayer is very similar in play style to games such as Quake Live in a fast paced, short-lived mayhem. I am personally not as good at this sort of multiplayer and had a negative kill/death as I was pounded upon by rocket launchers and shotguns from behind in the fast-paced run and gun gameplay that requires lots of skill and a quick trigger finger.

Overall, the game is great for fans of the original brand of FPS’s that is remade into the HD graphics of today who enjoy the fast paced run and gun gameplay of our pasts. It has many guns and huge assortment of enemies in its long and fun story mode, which is a blast in the games cooperative modes. I recommend this game to fans of the old FPS and anyone who is willing to try another type of FPS in the genre.

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Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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