A revisit to that most serious of Sam’s sequel spectaculars is a more worthwhile enterprise than it was initially, simply because effort has been put into making it more than just a re-skin job. This time, there’s a host of new features to add a little spice to the frenzied monster slaughter staple.
First and foremost among the new additions is the plethora of multiplayer modes, with more co-op and Versus variants to consider. Up to 16 players can all play together in one campaign if they so choose, and there’s also a Co-op Survival (as well as single-player) mode to plough through. For competitive types, new additions include My Burden (carry a point-giving object around for as long as possible) and Beast Hunt.
As for the main single-player element, it’s not necessarily a given that you’ve come across the second game in the Serious Sam canon before. It’s certainly not as widely loved, perhaps because by the time it came out, people were weary of the monster-wave FPS style it employed. Now though, with Steam achievements, cloud saving and leaderboards, plus the improved (though still ugly) visuals, this is a much more complete package. The second game also eschews the classic Egyptian theme of the first, being set instead across three architectural zones – Aztec, Persian and medieval Europe.
A handful of new weapons and enemies have also been thrown into the mix, adding the fun of hacking foes to death with a chainsaw, roasting them with a flamethrower or picking them off with a sniper rifle. The action is the same as ever, though, even with the addition of the new weapons. Hordes of enemies rush you or lob flaming goo in your direction, with only nimble keyboard work and precision aiming to help in the fight against Mental’s warriors.
However good it is, and however much fun it is to indulge in such carnage, it’ll still wear you down if you play for too long. Dabble and it’s great, but it’s about time Croteam brought something new to the table. While it’s possible to enjoy Second Encounter, it makes you yearn for fresh material.
Jun 23, 2010