Serious Sam: The Second Encounter

Aron Schatz
January 29, 2002
Review of sequel to Serious Sam
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Last year gaming world was shaken by Serious Sam the robust title that was made by a team of developers from Croatia. The game received many awards from popular game sites all over the net including the best technical graphics award. The game turned out to be fantastic in all respects, with the only downside that all great games share, it was too short and gamers were left craving for more serious action. This month Croteam released the sequel to its highly acclaimed game. Serious Sam: The Second encounter is the name of the second episode in Sam&#8217;s saga.

Being shot down on your space craft you land in Mayan pyramids to find that enemies are still at large, yet you need to go on, that is the premise for the second part of the game.<BR>

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A year ago the title from an unknown team from Croatia showed the world what the graphics is all about. With the release of the Serious Sam, we all could have the first hand experience of what all those 3d features that videocard manufacturers are making so much fuss about look like in real gaming environment.<br/><center><a href=""><img src=""></a></center><br/>Not only you could see all those DirectX 7 features in the game but could also get a tour of engine&#8217;s technology in special technology demo mode. So what about the graphics you will say. Serious Sam:SE looks even better with full support for DirectX 8. All visual and SFX look simply stunning. You can get acquainted with terminology and effects correspondingly in temple of forms and temple of effects that are present in the sequel. In short this game has everything in terms of graphics: fog, shadows, reflections, bump mapping, translucency effects, lens effects it even supports newly introduced Truform that is thumbs up for ATI card owners. One surprising thing about graphics is that even considering that you have millions of enemies on your screen with smoke effects and particle effects all over, the game runs surprisingly fast. I have noticed no slowdown as compared to the first game. Nvidia and ATI should forget about their technology demos and include this title with their cards. This title is a must have for anyone who wants to show off their videocard.
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Now after praising the technical side let me describe the general look of the game. For those who have played or have seen the first Serious Sam, expect to see more open areas that will be wider than those in the first Sam. The game is nothing like millions of hues of dark colors that Quake series had to offer. Graphics play along well with the general crazy dynamics of the game, it seems that colors went wild with everything else in the game. Old monsters have remained unchanged yet there are a lot of new ones. To summarize the graphics I will say &#8220;Oops they did it again&#8221;. Great job on graphics makes me want to praise Croteam.<BR>
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If sound could beat the graphics it probably would. Yet graphics is too damn good. One thing that makes sound stick out is its intensifying system. Whenever, you get into a very big mess the sound becomes louder stressing the situation. Unlike in any other game the sound is used a lot to make jokes.
Just like the color, sound goes wild in the game as well. Gun shots, explosions, kamikadze yells, stampede sound, flying siren (or whatever they are) scream, all in one bloody massacre of a fight. Quite hard to find this type of combined sound in any other game. The sound is impressive to the extent that you actually pay attention to it after being mesmerized by all of the eye-candy that the game has to offer.

Background music is very nice, I like the Pit&#8217;s background music enormously. Perhaps I will sound redundant in this sentence, but the sound sounds great.<BR>

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This is the most controversial part of the game. Some will love the game others will not. For those who love brainless annihilation of zillions of monsters that all run at you at the same time, this game is the ideal pick. For those who like tactical shooters like Ghost Recon, Delta Force, this game does not have much to offer other than exhausting training of you reaction. I personally enjoyed the game. This game does allow you to relax and have some fun since the game is built with humor. To describe the gaming experience, imagine a big stadium with you in the middle, and all of the audience are enemies running at you all at once simultaneously while shooting, jumping , flying. The fights in the game are a mess and that is exactly what you will love it for, of course it can get irritating at times, if it does that means it is time for you to go get a break. There are five difficulty levels. I played normal and found it quite competitive. Yet you can replay the game millions of times and each time you will find new challenges, and it will not bore you a bit.

Weapons are numerous, you will not find a title that features so many weapons. There are all of the old weapons plus a lot of new ones. The &#8220;Bonecracker&#8221; chainsaw, perfect close combat mass murderer weapon, and the flame-thrower aka RTCW yet with much more severe damage. You will love the flame-thrower when going in spiral inferno dance around your enemies.

Interactivity is improved, you can now cut the trees with chainsaw or burn them with flame, you can blow up columns and statues( it is a pity that not all of them). You can also shoot switches with your guns. A lot more traps are waiting for you in the Serious Sam:SE, they are a lot of fun too I have to admit.

The gameplay is very engaging and very straightforward, no need to look for hours for a key hidden somewhere, run and destroy everything you see. All the items you need to proceed you will find on the way. All of the above combined with a lot of humor in the best traditions of Duke Nukem make the game shine.<BR>

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The game rocks if you love the shoot &#8216;em all genre. One of the best graphics available in today&#8217;s games combined with great sound and a lot of humor make this game a worthy sequel. If the game&#8217;s price will stay at 20$ which the first Sam retailed for there no valid reason not to buy this game.<BR>

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<P><B>System Requirements/Links:</B><BR>

AMD K6-3 400MHz, Pentium II or Celeron-A 300MHz
Fully OpenGL compliant 3D accelerator
100% Windows compatible sound card
Windows 95 OSR2, Windows 98, Windows 98SE, Windows ME, Windows NT 4.0 (with Service Pack 5), Windows 2000 or WindowsXP operating system
150MB free hard disk space<BR>

AMD Athlon 650MHz or Pentium III 650MHz range processor
3rd generation full OpenGL compliant 3D accelerator with 32MB RAM
Creative Labs SoundBlaster Live
450MB free hard disk space<BR>

<BR>For full experience:
AMD Athlon 1GHz or Pentium III 1GHz range processor
4th generation full OpenGL compliant 3D accelerator with 64MB RAM<BR>

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