I picked up Serious Sam 2 yesterday for three reasons: to celebrate my new monitor, to continue the Serious Sam saga, and to support a developer who is willing to do something original. Having only played the game for a few hours, I cannot comment on much. But I would like to comment on what I’ve seen so far.
First on this discussion list is the graphics engine. I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen for one reason: it’s original. No, the locales don’t look like something you’d see in real life, but that’s the point. This is a fictitious story about a fictitious character in a fictitious universe. The cartoon-like aspect of the game lends itself well to this formula. Everything is well rendered and the enemies are definitely over-the-top (as they should be).
I was glad to see that the humor in the Serious Sam universe has been retained. Several of the early cut-scenes are funny, and a number of jokes occur throughout the early levels. Unfortunately, there a few low-brow jokes, undoubtedly to satiate the teenage demographic. But (at least so far) these have been few and far between. All of the fun-filled secrets are still around (some of which are fairly difficult to locate), as are the Sam one-liners (which certainly provide a laugh).
All of this good comes at a price, however. The game has crashed on me twice (even with the patch installed), the user interface is still too “console oriented,” and the weapons don’t seem quite as fun as the original. Levels are much smaller than the original (although they are much larger than the demo level), and there don’t seem to be as many enemies this time around. I really enjoyed the frantic pace of having to deal with several hundred enemies at once; here we only get a handful (or two) of enemies at a time.
I still have a ways to go in the game, and I’m looking forward to completing it. The human-hamster ball is worth the price of admission alone (best original vehicle ever!) and the humor makes it all the more worthwhile.