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Serious Sam: The Second Encounter (Windows)

Mature
ESRB Rating
Genre
Perspective
Theme
83
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.0
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Lucas Schippers (59)
Written on  :  Jun 29, 2002
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Summary

Like Doom on steroids-a rare FPS experience these days!

The Good

I vividly remember my time with Doom (and Doom II). The game was nearly plotless - you were pitted against adversaries from Hell, and then left on your own. No cinemas, no talking heads - just A LOT of fragging. Serious Sam is the first FPS I've played in years that completely captures that feeling of senseless, breathless slaughter. Not once are you bogged down in bullshit (and lets face it, even the better plotted FPSs these days seem like they were written by some pimply-faced dork in Mrs. James' sophomore English class). You just have to kill what seems like millions of bad guys through the game's three worlds and 11 stages. I like the weapon selection - you get your standards, plus interesting weapons like the cannon and the flamethrower (now rapidly becoming an FPS mainstay). The enemy AI is so simple it's laughable - bad guys either run straight at you as fast as they can (the Kleer skeletons), or run toward you slowly while firing as fast as they can. But you don't play Serious Sam for the AI - you play it for the non-stop, glorious carnage. Plus, Croteam (the designers) have a whacked-out sense of humor that pervades every aspect of the game. From the strange one-liners that Sam spits out once and a while to the odd text messages left for you by your computer-based ally, there's a lot of strange, vaguely European-translated into English-jokes to make you laugh (or at least, wonder what they were thinking when they programmed that).

The Bad

I already noted the lack of sophisticated AI. Apart from that, there's nothing really all that bad about Sam, besides the occasionally too tough encounter (some of the situations you'll find yourself in are so damn hard you'll want to resort to cheats - real men don't, however). Furthermore, it can all get a bit tedious - I found myself unable to take any more than an hour of Sam before it all got to be too much.

The Bottom Line

A Doom-style FPS that completely flies in the mold of every other FPS out there today. Don't miss it if you're tired of all the stupid dialog, pointless puzzles and endless key hunting that bog normal FPSs down.