PC Review: Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter

Sam’s second outing is just as good as his first…again.

The First Encounter HD was a great start to the Serious Sam series for me, while it didn’t knock me away…it was impressive and enjoyable, while remaining simplistic and true to its roots. The Second Encounter lands a few months later and is more of the same, added with multiplayer modes to expand lifespan that the original lacked, but is it enough?

The campaign picks up immediately after the end of the first game, so it’s back to business. Serious Sam still packs a major arsenal of weapons and the enemies you come across will be familiar to veterans. This campaign feels perhaps too similar for my liking, but it’s still highly enjoyable…especially if you are playing it through co-op. There’s also a survival-type mode in the package, which is pretty tricky and addictive.

Multiplayer is a collection of typical modes like Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, CTF and Last Man Standing while a few modes are variants of said modes (For example there is a Last Team Standing mode). It’s all extremely fast-paced like the main game and I got my arse handed to me a lot playing against others online. I’m usually quite good at FPS’ online (with the exception of Modern Warfare, which I just plain suck at) So be forewarned that there are some real pros online that will tear you a new one!

In terms of visuals, The Second Encounter looks identical to the last game…which isn’t a bad thing by any means. The framerate remains steady, despite the constant attacks from tons of enemies and all types of effects like explosions. It’s impressive on a technical scale, although I imagine only those who played the original games would be able to appreciate the upgrade in graphics (Like when I saw Perfect Dark on XBLA compared to how I used to play it on the old N64). Voice-acting is minimal but feel of cheesy one-liners from Sam that fit the nature of the game.

The Verdict

Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter feels more of the same, but that’s not the worst thing in the world considering the first was a damn good game. Newcomers may want to try the first before trying this, but veterans will embrace more from Serious Sam.