Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy | 11.14.05
Introduction:Serious Sam has returned! This time the Croteam team gives us more of everything! More violence, more enemies, more environments, and more craziness in that special Sam way. Much like Bruce Campbell from Evil Dead fame, we have Sam, a one lined brute who loves to to shoot his overly huge automatic boom stick.
The Game: Serious Sam 2 is a first person shooter and if you're reading this, then you probably already know that fact. Really, what else do you need to know? Well Sam is about shooting, shooting and shooting more while making sure everything that moves is destroyed. The best thing about Sam is that it doesn't try to hide from what it is. Sure, this version of Sam has a story, but the bottom line is that you shoot so much that you don't even need to take your finger off the button. I'd almost go as far as saying, get the tape and tape that right trigger down! It's that wild, and you shoot that much.
If you are interested in the story aspect of Serious Sam II it has to do with Sam saving the universe (what else) from the evil menace Mental. Sam warps to a bunch of different worlds looking for pieces of a medallion that makes the Mental weak, and ready for a beating. That's the main butter of Serious Sam II and along the way you will a few good laughs. Actually this story is good enough for any shooter, when it's not based in reality it's fun to let loose and get crazy once and a while.
The actual game plays like classic shooter with a bunch of big weapons and vehicles to trounce the enemy. The game is kept simple and can be enjoyed by any level of gamer, from the Sam extreme, to novice gamers. You jump and shoot and that's basically it. Items are picked up when run over and everything is runs smooth like it should be. There is one down fall to the game mechanics is that there isn't an alternative firing mode. When a game is all about the guns, we need some options and strangely Sam is a little too basic in that aspect. Alternative firing would have been great in Sam, the game basically begs for it. Considering how much it helps other shooters like Unreal Championship, it's upsetting that it's not in. Although concerting the basic AI, you really don't need more then the shotgun too get the evil exploding like kernels in a bonfire.
Sam also boasts some crazy weapons and over the top monsters. Oh yes and these monsters are HUGE!! I mean towering, massive, skyscraper tall. Although you would think they are bosses. Nah, that's just another baddie that will barrage you. Actually the first time you meet a huge guy it's a giant mechanical spider, you beat him and you're like ah, no problem. Then another comes, and other, and so on. Until your battling a group of huge red monster spiders. Sam gets intense so your reflexes will be tested to the extreme, no time for slowing down. or blinking!
The overall gameplay is good in Sam, and it's a great switch up from every other shooter on the market. It's does have some concerns, it's not all that could be in some areas. Some fans are a little disappointed that it doesn't support split screen multiplayer, and only Co-Op for Xbox Live support. You really need a deathmatch mode for Sam, even if it's unbalanced. It would still be massive amounts of fun. The game also has a fair amount of variety, but because it's so repetitive by nature it can get a little old in extended play. Although on the opposite site throw this in for a good twenty minutes and that's all you need. We are happy to have Sam back and hopefully we see another more advanced game for the next gen.
Graphics & Sound: The graphics are good to a point in Serious Sam II, it's obviously a step up from the original. They really opened up the world by providing huge landscapes. These environments are pretty detailed to an extent and look great. Sam is bright, like Far Cry it's a nice change from the normal dark textures. Everything in the game is colourful including the enemies and NPC creatures. Sam is defiantly creative and that pushes the graphics score up a few notches. Where do they come up with stuff!? From the Tmech Nervous Chicken and Dinosaur Quarterbacks to the insanely wild Plasma Rifle, inhumane Clawdovic and Auto Shotgun. It's pretty whacked and overly huge. Someone is compensating.
The sound is as campy as every and I assume that's what they wanted. The most important thing is the Kamikaze scream and it's back. Sam usually is moving so fast you can hear any details in the audio, but like the enemies the sounds get old quick. The different worlds help bring out more diversity, but I believe it could of used a wide variation of effects and ambiance noises.
Mojo: "SAM I AM" Have greater words even been uttered from another testosterone fueled character? Sam is a big meat head and that's why he gets so much love. Like an old Stallone, or Swarchenegger this ox of a dude belongs right beside them when they took out entire armies without a thought. If you're into a campy experience with a lot of violence then you will feel the mojo in Serious Sam II. One of the coolest aspects is battling ultra-huge enemies, the sensation alone of anxiety and excitement is great. It's great 2K is sticking with Sam because he is great lead character with a bright future ahead of him.
Lowdown:Serious Sam II is a great game for what it is! Sam doesn't try to be all fancy and keeps us basic with a theory of "tape the finger to the controller and kill em' all". Because Sam's basic gameplay this one will get old fast, which a concern especially with the lack of multiplayer. I'd put Serious Sam II in the rent category. Although if the price is right, and you don't expect Halo this one a winner which will give you a few good hours of buzz.
Gameplay: 8, Graphics/Sound: 7, Innovation: 5, Mojo: 8. Final: 7.5 / 10