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Xbox/PC Preview - 'Serious Sam II'

by Thomas Wilde on June 18, 2005 @ 3:53 a.m. PDT

Picking up where Serious Sam: Second Encounter left off, Sam has rocketed off towards the conquered planet of Sirius, the new home of the notorious Mental. While en route, the Great Wizards Council of the nearly eradicated Sirian civilization telepathically contacts Sam to aid him in his quest to destroy Mental and help restore Sirius. He is then sent on a quest to find the fragments of a mystical medallion scattered throughout the galaxy that will bestow Sam with the power to defeat Mental.

Genre: Action
Publisher: Take2 Games
Developer: Croteam
Release Date: Fall 2005

There are three things you should know right off about Serious Sam 2.

  1. Serious Sam: Next Encounter does not exist. If it were to exist, you should realize that it was not developed or approved by Croteam, and as such, it’s a horrible aberration.

  2. If you’re like me, you might be wondering why this is Serious Sam 2, when there already kinda was one. (Then again, for all I know, I was too busy playing consoles and I missed a memo. Pardon my ignorance.) The answer’s simple; Serious Sam: The Second Encounter was actually half of the originally proposed game, split off from the first half. Serious Sam II is a brand-new title.

  3. It’s awesome.

Serious Sam 2 runs off the brand-new Serious Engine (oh, look, a theme’s developing), and picks up where Second Encounter left off. When we last saw Sam, he was headed towards Sirius (there it is again) for a long-delayed, final showdown with his archenemy Mental. En route, he’s contacted by the Sirians’ Wizards’ Council, who want to help Sam destroy Mental. They send him to find the scattered fragments of a mystical medallion, which will give him the power he needs to defeat Mental.

This will, of course, involve violence. Serious Sam 2 ditches the bizarre time-travel motif in favor of an interplanetary feel, as Sam travels throughout seven unique environments. There are more than forty stages, set in places like bizarrely futuristic alien cities, volcanoes, and jungles. One particularly memorable area takes place on a world of giants, where Sam – and many of Mental’s imported minions – is less than a relative inch tall. Ever wanted to hunt giant ants with a rocket launcher? Here’s your chance.

At the same time, Serious Sam 2 will meet and surpass the action of the first game. If you played that, you know what this series is about: huge armies of enemies, coming at you in a mad horde. Croteam promises that, if anything, there’ll be more enemies onscreen at once in Serious Sam 2, with forty-five brand-new enemies to blow apart, and some brand-new weapons with which to do so. So far, we’ve seen dual Uzis, Sam’s trademark cannon, and a launcher for the infamous Serious Bomb.

It’s not hard to describe Serious Sam 2 in action. Take the first game (or the first two games, if you prefer), and turn it up to eleven. Even a few years later, after a few hundred first-person shooters, there are very few games that can match the raw action, to say nothing of the bizarre sense of humor, of Serious Sam. Its only real competition is Painkiller, and Painkiller isn’t funny.

That said, it looks like Serious Sam 2 will exceed the original games’ action quotient. It’ll launch in the fall of this year for the PC and the Xbox.

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