Sunday, June 14, 2009

Serious Sam II

Serious Sam continues in the great line of FPS titles that were spawned from the first Castle Wolfenstein. If you like Doom, Duke Nukem, Unreal, or Quake-style gaming, then you’ll know what kind of action to expect out of Serious Sam. There is a story in Serious Sam but, in the FPS tradition that has preceded it, the plot takes a co-starring backseat to the real star of the game, the FPS gory mayhem of blowing up/shooting/chain-sawing/hacking every enemy in sight.

That plot, and the dialogue contained within, makes the title of Serious Sam a misnomer. Just like Duke Nukem, nothing in this game should be taken seriously and you could almost believe that the game’s hero, Sam “Serious” Stone, could be Duke Nukem’s cousin. Stone’s got the whole Duke Nukem attitude going for him, right on down to the smart-alecky remarks he’s always tossing around alongside a few well-placed projectiles. Stone is the earth’s last hope against the monster master from another dimension, MENTAL. In his quest to defeat MENTAL, Stone gets to travel throughout time with the Time-Lock relic, visiting exotic locales from ancient Egypt to merry old England of days gone by.

All kinds of bizarro enemies are after our hero Stone, including Kleer Skeletons, Cucurbito the Pumpkin (complete with requisite pumpkin head), Zumb’ul From Planet Ras-Ad-Nyk (say that five times fast), Bio-Mechanoid, many beheaded denizens, Gnaar, and the ever-charging and scary Sirian Werebull. There’s always plenty of baddies to keep Stone on his toes and sweat on your palms. This is one tough game. You’ll never find anybody that’s played Serious Sam complain about not being challenged by the game’s artificial intelligence.

Filling those huge levels is wave after wave of bad guys. The game gets really intense near the close of each level. Stone gets placed in an enclosed arena-type battleground. You literally need to kill over 500 enemies, 25 or so at a time, to complete the level and move on. Let me tell you, the loud sound of the onrushing hooves of 25 enormous Sirian Werebulls is enough to get your heart beating and your brow sweating. The only downside to this is that the gameplay can get repetitive, because this is how every level ends. But with so many opponents to worry about, you’ll have precious few moments to reflect on repetition.

To assist fighting that bevy of monsters, Stone has the arsenal to do the job. There are rocket launchers, grenade launchers, flame-throwers, laserguns, cannons, bombs, shotguns, chainsaws, pistols, revolvers, and machine guns all at Stone’s disposal. There’s also tons of power-ups and items to help make annihilating MENTAL’s minions easier.


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