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Serious Sam: The Second Encounter Review

What is there honestly to say about Serious Sam… it’s a very simple game with some very simple mechanics—it’s caveman smart… it’s the AK-47 in the first-person world, you can’t go wrong with it at all. It’s dead simple—complexity just doesn’t exist in the dictionary, but the game is so hectic… so visceral and so awesome that you just can’t say no to it. With a quirky sense of humor and a nice sense of action—feel—design—art—etc… this game has that aura that makes you come back for more, no matter how much you try… no matter how hard you try to ignore, that name, Serious Sam, just comes back to you urging for more.

Serious Sam doesn’t have a story that makes you rethink life—racism isn’t a theme, nor is the common love-story hidden anywhere in here… you are Serious Stone, the most serious guy in the world and you come to realize that some dude named Mental is coming up in Earth, taking it over and what not. Well, that doesn’t flow with Serious and he gets a bunch of guns and does justice around the world. Well, that’s how you boil it all down to… it’s simple, it’s easy, it’s fun. It’s definitely a shift in scenery apart from the old Aztec art design from the first one—this one, instead of sticking to the Mesopotamian through the story, the variety ensues and every story arc (three in total) switch up in environments and art design… Mesopotamian, Nightmarish castle, renaissance, it’s all in there.

You’re still fighting the same monsters… but you are doing it in a pretty place like… that pyramid, or that hanging garden… and stuff. Though with that all being said… there’s a subtle lack of population within all these environments—they all feel too flat, not much else apart from lighting and texture washings all around you… it can get quite lonely when you run through the game—it be nice to see some market places, something other than structures to fill the gap within the horizon.

While the story lacks in this small yet wonderful package, that isn’t what this game’s all about… it’s all about the numbers, all about the guns, all about the action on-screen—and what’s on screen is absolutely phenomenal! You got lasers, you have minigun’s, you have rockets… you have everything in the game to make the action look that much better. The game is simple point and shoot, nothing more—and for ten bucks, this is more than what you usually get from other games. It’s a throwback to classic games such as Doom and the like… you don’t need advanced tactics to take down mass of zombies, headless kamikazes, skeletons, etc. you just need a big ass gun and a will to kill—if you have an actual plan, devised in a military boardroom somewhere in Nevada… well you a bit of a wanzer and deserve to be punched in the face for doing such a thing—this game is all about furious, non-stop action with guns that never stop firing. This is doom… but with ton’s-o-shit more monsters than ever before.

You have several different guns, all stronger than the last. Essentially, it’s a progression and when you get to the handheld cannon ball launcher, you never really need to use the colt magnums much afterwards. You have shotguns, minigun’s, tommy guns, rocket launchers, grenade launchers, sniper rifles, flamethrowers, etc. All guns have a job to do, it’s just deciding on when to use them is the trick about it all… they have basic tutorials when you actually get the gun in-game—when you get the flamethrower for example, you are given a mass of enemies (weak frog thingy’s) to take down with… you do the math on what you use the flamethrower against. They are all fun to shoot and satisfying to use—the report of each round though, each spray, just feels all too hollow… it feels too quiet and doesn’t add much to the ambiance of the game itself. But when you look up to see what you’ve done… it’s an art what the game does for the shooting itself—nothing more.

The graphical update of this game is probably the main reason you bought this arcade game, and the update was a welcomed addition… it brings this old ass game from the dead and the results is perhaps the best looking arcade game to date… and considering what worth you are getting from the singleplayer, this is a steal at ten bucks. The world is much brighter, the textures crisp to the glance and the animation is less blocky then before. The lighting has a nice spruce and the end results are technical showcases per level—though the problem with the lighting is the levels that exhibit large amounts of HDR lighting tend to be much too bright for the eyes to bare.

The on-screen action is what makes this game special though and with the new engine running this game, the crisp visuals help propel the action into the next-generation. The number of enemies on screen and on the map at once make the action look phenomenal, and the size of the maps can sometimes be mesmerizing… they are perhaps annoyingly large–so big they have secrets hidden around every corner and every valley you come across—trust me, it’s annoying trying to find them all in one… don’t bother with this. It definitely plays a whole hell of a lot better than the last one—framerate was relatively smooth and the action played out crisply without a hitch to spot… it was a blast to watch on HD.

The welcoming addition of the game was the multiplayer—coop, deathmatch… you’re standard multiplayer game really. In time, the game really hasn’t changed all that much apart from the graphical update—you are essentially paying for the game again, but it looks awesome and sounds great as well. That isn’t a bad thing at all. At the cheap price of roughly one-thousand gamer points, this game is completely worth getting. It’s a one trick pony with the killing, but there so much of it, so much variety in the waves that come for you that you just have to give it a whirl just to experience the thrill that was ever so many years ago. With coop to add and a bit of deathmatch for good measure, this is perhaps one of the better arcade games to grace the world today.

Rating
7.2

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