WP : At E3, you showed off much more than a pre-build version of Sam 2. You showed us the X-Box and PC versions. Both were very good!
Jason Bergman: This version is a LOT further along than anything you saw at E3. I’m going to show you a completed level, called “Unreal Wasteland.”
WP: Unreal Wasteland? Would you consider that a “homage” to the original Unreal?
JB: There are a lot of in-game jokes like this. These guys (CroTeam) have a very unique sense of humor!
(Jason starts playing the “Unreal” level with God mode on. As he does, a swarm of enemies rush him. Cutting a swath through the enemy ranks with his Rocket Launcher, I notice many of the original villains from the First and Second Encounter are back. He switches over to the Double-barrel shotgun and blasts some of the Skull Horses from the original Sam. A grenade suddenly gets lobbed between rounds of buckshot.)
WP: Oh nice! So the Double-Barrel shotgun now has a secondary mode of fire?
JB: Most of the weapons have a secondary mode of fire, with about the only exception being the Sniper Rifle. The rest have a secondary mode which has to do with launching grenades.
WP: Looking at this level and the monsters on it, would you have to say that the monsters are more theme-based (being put on the map based upon the “look” of that particular map)?
JB: Well yes and no. Keeping with the whole Serious Sam concept, every level is part of a different world. There are seven different worlds and over 40 levels. Every world has unique enemies to it, so as you progress thru the game you not only have to fight those unique enemies but also every other one you fought so far. So by the time you get to the end of the game, you’re fighting all 40 different types of enemies you’ve encountered.
WP: So would you say that if you’re fighting 40+ types of enemies on the very last level, is that similar to the “War” sequence at the end of “The First Encounter”?
JB: Oh yeah, it is absolutely INSANE! The very last level is a madhouse. Everything…corridor, after corridor, after corridor of non-stop madness.
WP: Should we expect more infamous Sam quotes like “Seriously, is this the best you’ve got?!?” or “That’s a lot of BULL!”
JB: Oh absolutely! There are tons of them this time around, especially considering how many levels there are, and how many chances Sam has to “mouth-off”.
WP: So tell us a little about multiplayer in Sam 2.
JB: We just announced today Sam 2’s multiplayer capabilities. 16 person co-op on PC. So if you can imagine a level this big (referring to Unreal Wasteland) with 15 other people…and the enemies scale, so you’ll have tons more enemies when you have more people. It’s just incredible.
WP: So this is a big step forward for the Sam franchise – Just like Battlefield 2, you now have scalable multiplayer levels.
JB: The scaling of the level itself is the same, but the number of enemies change. You will have more turrets and hovertanks to use with the more players you have online.
WP: Wow…this looks incredible. What specs are you running right now?
JB: This is running on a super high-end PC right now (Dell XPS). It’s running on a dual 7800 GT. It has everything enabled right now, including High-Dynamic Range lighting.
(Jason proceeds to show off some of the larger enemies, including 3-story tall Mechanical Spiders and the Stogey-chomping T-Rex Bot.)
WP: Wow! This is what I like about the CroTeam guys…if they want to do something, they’ll do it. If they want to have a guy running at you, holding bombs in both hands, with his head cut off (the Kamikaze) they will do it.
JB: Exactly. Look at this mechanized T-Rex; he’s got a cigar in his mouth! And it makes total sense in the context of this game.
WP: That’s what I like about the Sam games. They make the game EXACTLY the way they want to make it. So I take it the Personal Data Assistant from Sam 1 is back. What did you call it?
JB: The Netricsa. Netricsa is now a person – an attractive blonde to be precise. She now replaces the old version, which was just e-mails and type that popped-up. You no longer have to worry about that giant fullscreen interface anymore.
WP: So I guess we should expect huge, multi-tiered monsters and bosses?
JB: There are going to be very large bosses. Most enemies, for that matter, have multiple sizes: a small, medium, and a large. So that way you fight large enemies, like the Spiders and T-Rex, that aren’t bosses but are nevertheless large.
Here’s one of the vehicles in the game (shows a Bubble enclosure that Sam rolls around in). This started off as one of the enemies, and they decided it was so much fun that they made it into a vehicle.
(Jason shows off the new Hovertank. It looks more like a Pod Racer from Star Wars Episode 1 than a realistic tank from Quake 4.)
WP: So how does your hovertank stack up to the one in Quake 4?
JB: Hmmm…ours is a little bit sillier!
WorthPlaying would like to Jason Bergman and 2K Games for allowing us to demo Serious Sam 2. Expect more on this title as it nears release in October…
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