bitparade: Serious Sam 2 (XBox)

The title of the game is a bit misleading, don’t misunderstand this game, in fact the back of the box spells out exactly what this game is like “Bigger Guns! Weirder Enemies! Pick up where Sam “Serious” Stone left off as he battles the hordes of minions of Mental, the biggest, most evil guy in the Universe. Get ready to grab a gun and blow $#!%up…..again!” So how is the games title misleading? Well Serious Sam 2 is far from being a serious game.

Heck in the opening of the game it makes a joke of itself when Sam notices NETRISKA (a computer implant in his head) suddenly has a voice, to which it responds “We have a bigger gaming budget now” But not only does it have a dig itself but at other games too. In one particular section early on, a tribe leader refers to Sam as Samus, which appears to annoy big Sam a little.

The game itself is very on rails, aside from a few small secrets, it really is how the original Doom would be gameplay wise if it was released this generation, well minus the Mars setting and hellspawn. Theres no thinking about your surroundings, you don’t have to worry too much about ammo, theres not much chance that you’ll get lost or come across a dead end in any of the levels. Croteam have made Serious Sam 2 as simple as a modern day FPS can be in order to make it fun, and its this simplicity that is also Serious Sam 2’s downfall.

You see, because Croteam have made the game so simple, Serious Sam 2 becomes very repetitive very quickly, all it involves is moving from one location to another shooting everything in site as fast as you can, sometimes you get to use turrets or vehicles but its the same idea still and its only the games weirdly ingenious creature designs that keep you entertained. You find yourself working through each area just to see what new weird looking thing will attack you next, but even this wears thin.

Overall if your looking for something thats not as serious as Half Life 2 or Quake 4 and more macho than Master Chief (amazingly thats actually possible!) then Serious Sam is for you.

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One thought to “bitparade: Serious Sam 2 (XBox)”

  1. I’m a simple man, I see “Serious Sam”, I upvote 🙂
    No, but seriously (get it? “Serious”-ly? Comedy genius at work!), these games were probably the first Shooters I ever played and they’ll forever have a special place in my heart and my Steam library.

    I even have a silly little theory about how the series is really about Sam’s descent into madness: The third game, which is a prequel, plays out like a standard Shooter, almost like a Call of Duty clone, although it has weirder enemies and is a bit faster paced. At this stage, Sam is just a regular soldier, who’s primary goal in life is to kick names and take ass. But at the end of the game, where he is teleported back in time, he sees his own planet being blown up, which I can imagine to cause some serious mental backlash.

    From thereon (Serious Sam: The First Encounter) he enters a sort of catatonic state, where he does not perceive most of his surroundings (hence the lower detailed worlds), and has no more concern for his own safety and survival. This is represented through the hordes and hordes of enemies he encounters without so much as flinching an eye.

    In the Second Encounter, enemies and levels get more and more weird and funny. Sam is slowly losing his sanity and starts to hallucinate. Even the greatest horrors don’t phase him any longer.

    And finally, in Serious Sam 2, he gets teleported from world to world, and even the faintest grip on reality is no more. Everything he encounters is just a colourful parody of what it represents and since he does not even remember what has caused all of this, he starts talking more, and becomes cheerful once again. Ultimately he beats Mental, and saves the world. In this last moments, he remembers parts of his original life and his mission, and even realises his insanity. For a brief moment, Sam knows that he is no longer capable of differentiating between the real world and figments of his imagination, so he is worried that he did not really complete his mission (that’s the part during the credits, where the guys argue if this was truly the end).

    I know this is silly, and I am absolutely sure that this is not what Croteam actually had in mind instead of a simple, joyful Shooter. Given how more and more people struggle with mental illness nowadays (or at least it seems that way) this train of thought might even seem a bit cynical, but I wanted to share it nonetheless.

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