Serious Sam II is the first true sequel to the original Serious Sam game which was released a few years ago. Yeah, I really liked the last two Serious Sam games. They were unique at the time because they were the only games to throw huge numbers of enemies at you at the same time while still looking great. Serious Sam II still has the wild, structure-unconcerned nature that made the first two games such a pick-up-and-play blast, but this edition pumps up the visuals and physics by incredible degrees with a brand new graphics engine. Despite the gameplay hasn't changed much, Serious Sam II is still a bit different then its predecessors. So, let's take a look!
Serious Sam II's story is not the strong point of the game. Basically, there are five wildly different worlds (jungles, swamps, tundra, cities, and volcanic planets), each of them home to a piece of the medallion which an end boss guards. Your job is to reunite the pieces of a medallion scattered between different tribes of cute little people. These are in turn threatened by a myriad of enemies that be must be defeated with extreme prejudice. Actually, the game is more about staying alive and surviving than the hunt for some lame medallions :) You will still be running through many different levels, killing countless numbers of enemies, while picking up power-ups and ammo in the multitude of available weapons. Besides running and gunning, there are some vehicles sequences as well. You'll have the option of piloting a hoverbike, a jet fighter, and a dinosaur over the course of the game. In addition to the moving vehicles, there are also gun turrets that must be manned on occasions.
Serious Sam II has a huge arsenal of weapons to choose from - a total of 15 different munitions will be placed at your disposal, everything from classic stand-bys like the shotgun, the plasma rifle, the sniper rifle, the rocket launcher and the mini-gun all the way through to oddly exotic destruction-delivery systems like the Parrot-guided explosives launcher, Serious Bomb (destroys everything in sight) or a giant rolling ball with spikes on the outside that can destroy anything it faces. Most of the weapons have a secondary mode of fire, with about the only exception being the Sniper Rifle. The weapons are fairly satisfying but not balanced. For example, the shotgun is powerful but slow loading and overly effective at any range, the enemy-seeking parrot bomb is awkward to use in some cases, etc.
There is also the possibility of playing multiplayer. There's not much to it, since you'll just be playing cooperatively (up to 16 players via LAN/Internet) through the whole single player mode. Sometimes the result is a little laggy on the net but the end result is truly something special as there will be other people shooting the countless enemies as well.
Yeah, it's still "Serious Sam", however, that sequel feels a bit different. It's fairly hard to describe it (try out the demo), but I would say that Serious Sam II just doesn't capture the feel of the original, instead the game feels more consolish and even more cartoonish than before. Which is not a bad thing, but some Serious Sam cult fans may be disappointed.
I urge you to download the demo and give it a try! Who knows you might like it!
Minimum supported (low-end system): CPU: ~1.5 GHz Athlon XP or Pentium
M, or ~2 GHz Pentium 4, 256 MB RAM, DirectX 8.0/8.1 compliant or low-end DirectX
9 3D accelerator (nVidia GeForce3 and 4 series (not MX!), GeForceFX 5200 through
5700 series, ATI Radeon 8500 through 9200 and X300 series, S3 DeltaChrome or XGI
Volari), any DirectSound compatible sound board,
Recommended (mainstream): CPU: ~2.0 GHz Athlon XP or Pentium M or ~2.6
GHz Pentium 4, 512MB RAM, DirectX 9.0 compliant 3D accelerator (nVidia GeForceFX
5900 series and GeForce 6200 and 6600 series, ATI Radeon 9500 thru 9800 and
X600-X700 series, ...), DirectSound3D compliant sound board (Creative
SoundBlaster Live series, nVidia SoundStorm, ...)
Full-experience (high-end): CPU: ~2 GHz Athlon64, or ~3 GHz Pentium 4, 1
GB RAM, DirectX 9.0 high-end 3D accelerator (nVidia GeForce6 6800 and 7800
series, ATI Radeon X800 and X850 series, ...), DirectSound3D with EAX 2.0+ sound
board (Creative SoundBlaster Audigy series, nVidia SoundStorm, ...)