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Serious Sam - The Second Encounter

The best way to describe Serious Sam is to call it the game that Doom would be if it was made today. After Doom, the rest of the world seemed to favor a more tactical approach to action gaming, with id Software slowing things down a bit for Quake, and things have gotten even slower lately with the popularity of games like Metal Gear Solid, Splinter Cell, Resident Evil, and Counterstrike that incorporate stealth and some cases aspire to some degree of realism.

Not so with Serious Sam. This game is a throwback to the "more is better" approach to gaming, with upwards of fifty enemies unscreen at once. Instead of focusing on having more intelligent enemies, Serious Sam simply focuses on having more enemies, which you are encouraged to kill in great numbers and in rapid, delightful succession. The action is frantic and fast, with copious amounts of weapons and ammunition. I think we're all kind of bored with first-person shooters, but Serious Sam has some neat level design that keeps things interesting and much better than the old "find-the-key-and-open-the-door" gaming cliches. It's actually far from a mindless shooter because a lot of the situations will take several tries to beat, as you figure out the best way to approach them. It's challenging even on the "Normal" setting.

Serious Sam: The Second Encounter has a suggested price of $20, and I found mine for $10 now that it's been out for a while. I wonder if that low price might actually go against it, since a price tag like that might suggest a low-budget game which is not the case at all. The graphics are amazing, with gorgeous level design and great-looking weapon effects. The monsters aren't that detailed, but with 50 of them attacking you at once, it doesn't matter... and the boss battles are spectacular. If this sort of game is at all appealing to you, Serious Sam is a shining example of its breed, and at $20 or less is a no-brainer purchase. If this

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