Croteam has outdone themselves. They have officially done what many developers have failed to do time and time again, and that is produce a re-make of a game that out does the original. This is what Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter is all about, if you think you know Sam from 10 years ago, think again. The game is back sporting full 1080P visuals, updated textures, updated shadow and lighting, pretty much upgraded everything. You'll notice this as soon as you turn on Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter while the visuals run through the different locales of the Serious Sam world. This game is Seriously beefed up.
If you are new to the Serious Sam series, it is a first-person shooter, about a guy named Sam. And Sam is very Serious, about killing bad guys that is. Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter is a FPS that unleashes upon you waves and waves of seemingly endless enemies, as you fend them off with various weapons that you procure throughout the journey. It’s not a duck and run shooter, it’s a run and try not to get hit while you are killing things shooter, which makes the game fun as hell.
Let’s get into the meat of the game: killing bad guys. This has always been the focus of the Serious Sam series, and it remains a focus with all of the enemies from Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter normal edition returning. New in this game from the original are fifteen brand new secrets located throughout the levels. You also have the returning enemies plus a few new ones, totaling 27 different enemy types. The game also includes three brand new killing devices, including the sniper rifle, the flame thrower and the chainsaw.
Croteam didn't stop there with the additions. They decided to kick the game additions up to a level 11 by also introducing several brand new multiplayer modes. These modes include survival mode, versus, 16 player Co-Op (that’s right SIXTEEN), 16 player Deathmatch, team Deathmatch and capture the flag. As you can tell with all these additions, the developers really wanted to make fans of the series feel as though they were playing Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter for the first time.
Now for those that are brand new to the series, you need to understand something: this is a difficult game and simply not everyone. The difficulty of the game can be rather daunting for people whom aren't used to playing a horde-type FPS. As such with so many enemies coming at you, and with so little health lying around, some players may become frustrated. However this is one of my only complaints with the game. If you aren't used to it, it really only takes a while to get it all down pact.
Unlike the first Serious Sam HD that we reviewed on the Xbox 360, it was clear that Croteam put a lot of time and effort into making Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter more graphically advanced. The game is actually is a chance for Croteam to show us how powerful their Serious 3 engine really is. This engine on its own is capable of some pretty gnarly things, including HDR, Multiple light source refraction, shadow refraction and much more. Playing the game at 1920x1080 in 1080P mode the game actually looks so gorgeous that I personally think that parts of the Serious 3 graphic engine look better than Crysis.
Along with the fantastic graphics, there’s even in some incredible sound effects in Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter. You can tell that the producers were going for highest of quality sound that is rarely seen these days. The sounds are lush and brilliant. Trees make the falling sound as you chain saw them down. Plants make a hacking sound as you shoot them. Waterfalls actually sound like a waterfall; you get the picture.
Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter is totally worth your money. This game is one of the few games I have played in the past few months that was a “requel” if you would like (sort of a remake and a sequel at the same time since it is done in new technology), that was very impressive. I sincerely hope that the luck sticks with Croteam and they are very successful that way we can get a wide launch release and distribution of Serious Sam 3. If you are on the fence about this game, be on the fence no more. Right now the only place to get Serious Sam: The Second Encounter is on Steam, so all you Steamers out there could be having all the Serious fun you need right now.