Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter is another addition to the series that sends the player on an adventure in order to obtain the sacred Holy Grail. Of course, Mental and his forces aren’t going to just let you walk up and take the Grail with no opposition. Going through expansive terrains, players will encounter various enemy types, causing mass destruction to the opposing teams’ forces in order to succeed in their mission. With its macho man one-liners and tough as nails approach, does Serious Sam pack a serious punch as a great game? Read more to find out!
Upon starting the game you’ll realize that beating it will not be a walk in the park. With the locations you fight in being expansive it leaves plenty of room for enemies to it cover up, and trust me, there’s tons of them. Sam’s mission will have him travelling from three different locations: South America, Persia and Medieval, as they’re called. Though the locations are different, you’ll find yourself pretty much doing the same thing; running through temples or castles trying to find portals or multiple items to advance. Traps and puzzles are also littered throughout your ventures to try and put an end to you. While each locations is roomy and awesome to look at and explore, the repetitive gameplay can make you want to not care and just get it over with the more you play. One thing that’s fun to do is secret-room hunting because you can get armor and health, which is always handy.
Serious Sam has a vast variety of monsters to kill and a decent amount of firearms to do it. You’ll find yourself hardly ever stopping, especially when you get into later levels. Enemies come at you in waves and almost seem never-ending at some points. What’s great is that there’s many different ones, as stated before, but with the constant barrage it can become a bit of a pain after a while. Something I noticed that was pretty cool is that the monsters have a tendency of hurting each other if they’re in the other’s line of fire. This can be handy if you want to conserve ammo simply by trying to find a way to trick a monster in front of the other.
Controls to the game are pretty simple, with even a designated quick save button. A nice feature to have at your disposal is the Netricsa, which is pretty much a logbook that holds info on enemies you encounter, hints, info on weapons, statistics and descriptions of where you are and why. This also pops up after each level to give you stats on how well you played both in that one level and in the game as a total.
The graphics for the game definitely aren’t the best, but they go well with the cartoon-like design of the game. One thing this game isn’t a stranger of is glitches, one of which was game-ending for me. The first glitch I ran into was towards the start of the game when I got stuck in a corner of the wall, which wasn’t too bad. The second glitch had a tree inside one of the bigger enemies, not too bad, but still very odd. The third glitch wasn’t so friendly to me. On the last boss of the game, while backing up into a tiny space with armor in it, I got stuck and ultimately boxed into the wall and couldn’t get out. Having a glitch that forces you to restart the final boss battle is never fun.
One thing I couldn’t help but notice was how much the game is like Duke Nukem, especially when it comes to witty one-liners. But honestly, Nukem had better one-liners than Sam. With that aside, The Second Encounter seemed like a great game at first, but what really got me was how repetitive it got as I progressed through the levels. Add the fact that the game glitches and has you going on a wild goose chase until the very end and it becomes a game that had a lot of potential. The fact that the story is pretty bare also adds up to why I didn’t like the it as much. Sure you get some story before each level, but I feel it isn’t quite enough to hold the interest of those looking to do more than just shoot things.
If you like the simple run and gun type games with little interaction with others outside of enemies then definitely try this game. For 1600 Microsoft Points it can either be the perfect game for some, or a waste of money for others.
- Title: Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter
- Platform Reviewed: Xbox 360
- Developer: Croteam
- Publisher: Devolver Digital
- Release Date: Available Now
- MSRP: 1600 Microsoft Points ($15)
- Review Copy Info: A download code for this title was provided to DualShockers Inc. by the publisher for purposes of this review.