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Home > Review Archive > Video Games > Results: Serious Sam II

Serious Sam II
by Michael Anderson
November 09, 2005

Looks great, loads of fun, tons of enemies, but Sam has worn out his welcome ナ Iメm Serious!

Reviewed for PC.

Also available for XBOX.

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Scroll down for our Kid Factor.

GamerDad Seal Of Approval - Adult.  Click to learn more about our review seal. When Serious Sam and Serious Sam: The Second Encounter arrived in 2001 and 2002 respectively, they injected loads of fun, humor, and an arcade style of action back into the first person shooter. Before that, the genre had become populated with games that were more focused on realism and dramatic action. Gamers loved the waves of enemies, the humorous and irreverent comments and the low budget pricing. Three and one half years later, Sam is back for more action in Serious Sam II, with a new engine and a somewhat higher budget price.

The original Serious Sam games were framed with a plot, but were largely about moving from area to area and dealing with larger and more difficult waves of larger and more difficult enemies. Typical first person shooter tactics such as fighting from cover were useless, as all enemies knew exactly where you were and charged directly towards your position. Enemies would spawn or drop from any number of places on a map, so you could not assume that you had cleared any section, and had to maintain awareness of all sides. The environments were bright and colorful and very nicely done, especially given the huge amount of enemies onscreen at any given time.

Since the original Serious Sam games, Painkiller came along and demonstrated a whole new level of classic action using modern tools and techniques. It brought tactics and intelligence into the fray as well as loads of enemies marching at you to be killed. Painkiller was awarded "GamerDad's M-Rated Game of the Year", noting "But Painkiller reminds us that games can be gory, wild, and just play arcade action packed fun now and then! Ignore the story, skip the cutscenes, and start shooting because HERE THEY COME!" in the review.

Serious Sam II comes to the party in late 2005 with a totally revamped graphics and physics engine, loads of new weapons, a new story and setting. But after a very short while you feel like you have played it all before. The weapons are doled out as needed to fight new monsters, often making older weapons useless. The levels are all bright and pretty, but are pretty much all arenas where you can't leave until you kill everyone. There is a story about a medallion, and there are cutscenes featuring mediocre voice-acting and sound quality, but more than once I forgot where I was or what I was after. I was just shooting down everything in sight ... again and again. There is co-operative multiplayer (the only multiplayer available) which adds some fun, but is as limited as the main game with support for only two players.

There is lots fun to be had in Serious Sam II. Everything it does, it does pretty well. For short intervals the combat is a blast. Intense and chaotic, it captures the essence of the original games and takes it to the next level with the improved engine. But the impact is nowhere near as dramatic as it was three or four years ago, and given the price is higher, the lure to buy is not as strong. Given the number of very strong first person shooters on the PC this fall, Serious Sam II stands out as a good but decidedly average game, and Sam may have worn out his welcome, too.

Click to learn more about GamerDad's Kid Factor review section. Serious Sam II features a protagonist who relishes killing anything in his path indiscriminately, and has a crass sense of humor. The action is fast, furious and gory. It's not realistic in any way, but with big red explosions and splats when enemies are destroyed. There are plenty of better and more appropriate games for younger gamers, this one is recommended for adults only.

This review edited by Dave Long

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Home > Review Archive > Video Games > Results: Serious Sam II
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Game Info:

ESRB rating:
M - Mature

Blood and Gore, Violence