Serious Sam The Second Encounter is a game that understand itself in a very deep and meaningful way. Much in the same way the First Encounter did this sequel makes no pretense of having a story or anything of the sort. This is about shooting aliens and looking cool while doing it, nothing more and nothing less.
Right out the gate you will notice the similarities to the First Encounter, not much has changed overall. The graphics has gotten a little sharper, the enemies a little faster, the locales more varied. Although this rehash of the original does pain me somewhat, I would have loved to seen more innovation than this, it does still succeed on the same basic levels as the original did. The Second Encounter is a no frills, full speed ahead first person shooter featuring a badass protagonist spouting off one liners that would have made Duke Nukem proud.
Instead of just the sandy surroundings of the original you now get to slaughter through alien hordes in a variety of different locales, still looking as pretty as ever. The maps are still huge and the number of enemies that gets thrown at you is still preposterous. A bigger emphasis on environmental traps makes for some very intense encounters although the puzzle sections are still highly lacking. In particular the series of jumping puzzles near the start of the game leaves you bored and hoping at that some headless suiciders come crashing through soon.
Some new weapons are introduced, most notably the sniper rifle and although Sam Stone still has a high quality arsenal at his disposal you are as last time around lacking that one iconic gun you will remember for years to come.
The soundtrack is relatively unimpressive but the weapons sounds great, both the firing and the impacting. Sam's one liners are still funny and the ambiance is passable.
All in all Serious Sam The Second Encounter could best be described as a plus one sequel. The developers have taken everything they liked from the first game and simply added a little something extra to every aspect. This creates an experience that is every bit as entertaining but still earns a little disappointment for not innovating more. Like the original, this was a bargain price even on release and as such it is a game that should be in the library of every serious FPS gamer.