Publisher: Gathering of Developers
Platform: Win 95/98/Me
ESRB Rating: M (Blood & Gore, Violence)
First off, don’t worry if you haven’t played the first Serious Sam. I hadn’t and it’s not necessary. Second, while it’s called Serious Sam, the game is in fact, very silly. The chainsaw-wielding maniacs with jack-o-lantern heads are a big clue. There is a plot, but it’s not that important to your gaming experience. You’re killing alien invaders in pre-Columbian South America, ancient Babylon, and medieval Europe. And killing lots and lots of alien baddies. Did I mention the killing?
On paper, Serious Sam 2 sounds like another Duke Nukem clone. Clearing levels of bad guys, picking up keys, ammo, and power ups, and taking out the boss creature at the end while talking trash. However, within that formula the development team from Croatia (yes, Croatia, really) has worked in a lot of originality and style. The enemies have definite attack strategies that require the player to use the various moves and weapons available. And their design runs the gamut from silly (the above mentioned pumpkin-headed maniacs with chainsaws) to the scary (bigass demons that toss massive fireballs at you).
[ad#longpost]From the towering Incan pyramids to the slick floors of the Tower of Babel to the looming castles of Europe, the levels of Serious Sam2 give off the suitable atmosphere. And there’s a good balance between cramped interiors and vast exteriors to play in. The weapons are pretty standard (knife, shotgun, minigun, rocket launcher, etc.), but the cannon that shoots lead-coated uranium balls is nice. But some of the weapons do overpower some of the others. I found I was using the flamethrower, minigun, and rocket launcher almost exclusively. But you need all the help you can get. At certain points, the game throws raging hordes of baddies to kill your ass. While this is very cool, it will affect performance on less powerful systems. If these concerns make you hesitate to pick this game up, here’s one more selling point. Most new games cost around $49.99 to $59.99. Serious Sam 2 costs $19.99. That’s right, $19.99. So run to your game store and pick up Serious Sam: The Second Encounter before the Croatians realize how much more they can charge in the US.
- Pentium II 300 or faster
- 64 MB RAM
- 3D Accelerator card
- DirectX 8.0 compatible video and sound cards
- 150 MB disk space