|Pardon the dust!
This page includes some jargon that hasn't been added to the site's glossary yet. I'll be around to fix this later, but sorry for the inconvenience in the meantime.
Review: Serious Sam: The Second Encounter
At a Glance
|ESRB Rating:||M - Mature Audiences|
|My Rating:||Ages 13 and up|
|Genre:||First Person Shooter|
|Review Published On:||August 19th, 2020|
|Played on:||Martha & Thaddeus|
As with most First Person Shooters, there's a lot of graphic violence involved. You can disable the gore or turn it into candy if you want, but you'll still be playing a game where everybody is trying to kill each other.
As you know, after many trials, Serious Sam had succeeded in boarding the Sirian space ship summoned by the Great Pyramid's beacon, and had begun his journey toward Sirian space. But, before the ship left Earth's orbit, things went sideways as the Croteam's brain crate bus accidentally suffers a burnout, collides with Sam's ship, and sends them both hurtling back to Earth in a fiery heap.
Left without a vehicle, Sam is temporarily trapped in Earth's past. But not without hope: if he can get through various time portals, he can hitch a ride on the Sirian's backup space ship and resume his journey to defeat Mental. Each time portal is guarded by a powerful being of some sort, such as an ancient god, a cybernetically enhanced hornet, and a fearsome sorcerer. These are otherwise known as "big thing to shoot", "big bug to shoot", and "dude with a staff who needs shot". Fun for the whole family!
Seriously though, the Second Encounter blows the First Encounter out of the water. Everything you enjoyed about the First Encounter can be found here, including the first game's entire campaign. If you have both games installed, you can (and really should) play the First Encounter's levels using the Second Encounter. Aside from new levels to explore, there are new weapons, many new enemies to use them on, and a whole lot of Rule of Funny craziness going on.
This is a must-have for fans of First Person Shooters. Importantly, the Second Encounter includes the same censorship features as the first game, so you can turn off the blood and gore if you don't want to see it. Or you can have the monsters explode into lollipops and confetti, as seen in the second screenshot above. After all, this game was not meant to be taken too seriously.
Points of Interest
Another, potentially bigger, issue is that there's an opening cutscene in the original game that isn't played at the start of a new game in the HD re-release. This establishes who the big-brained aliens are, where Sam is, and what's with the UFO and "crate bus" wreckage in the first level.
Concerns and Issues
On the other hand, there are now situations where the player needs to harm or kill an innocent. The Croteam Heads are a group of non-threatening (yet somewhat annoying) creatures who are big fans of Serious Sam, and they mostly wander about or follow him around. But, if you want to get 100% completion on a level, then you're required to kill every single monster, including these guys.
There are also sections of the game inspired by Halloween and Christmas, complete with Santa Claus making an appearance. The player can use him for target practice, earning various prizes if they do so.