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SummaryMore of the same, thank God
The GoodWell, what's not to like? SS:SE doesn't change all that much from the first game (good thing), while improving on an already impressive engine (even better) and diversifying the playfield (excellent).
The Serious Engine may not have undergone a complete makeover, but it was certainly improved: level-of-detail management has either been completely rewritten or improved to the point that SS:SE can and does utilize super-detailed environments throughout the game. The engine is apparently quite capable of handling much more than a mostly-indoor Egyptian theme as in the First Encounter: SE features quite a few settings, including jungles, medieval castles, lava caves, an ice palace, and more. I also wish Croteam would capitalize more on the engine's impressive portal engine; both the original SS and SE feature very few portals, which is unfortunate because they are absolutely spectacular! In a word, the game is visually STUNNING.
The weapon selection has improved from the first game, featuring my ever-favourite chainsaw (almost as useful as it was in Doom 2!), fun as always flamethrower, and the Serious Bomb. More enemies are always fun too. Audio-wise the game hasn't changed much; the music is again quite good (albeit not as good as in the first game) and so is the audio.
The game is just as crazy as the first, if not more; the secrets are ever weirder (secret "mutated plant", a gun-wielding Frosty, pink secret?!), Sam is as cynical as ever, and hordes of enemies still come your way. Also, Croteam's added a bunch of bosses this time, and they're actually quite cool!
The BadSome of the levels, unfortunately, have crossed the border between "challenging and fun" to "downright annoyingly insane". This applies particularly to the crazy gravity-defying combat scenes, and the final battle right before the boss is way too long, to the point of becoming arduous.