This is getting serious!
This article contains spoilers. It might spoil your gaming experience when first playing these games.
Serious Sam: Next Encounter is a first-person shooter game that was developed by Climax Solent and published by Global Star Software (now known as Take-Two Interactive) and Gathering of Developers for the PlayStation 2 and GameCube. The game is part of the Serious Sam series, though the game in itself is considered non-canon.
Members of the Russian fan community have developed a fan-made HD remake of the game. The release date, however, is unknown.
Serious Sam: Next Encounter takes place in Ancient Rome, China, and Atlantis. Gameplay is much like other games in the Serious Sam series. The goal is to reach the end of the level while fighting off massive hordes of enemies. Weapons and ammo are scattered throughout the levels in order to make sure that the player has the weapons and ammo needed to reach the end of the level, along with healing items to recover lost health and armor in order to reduce the amount of damage the player takes per hit. The player can also use vehicles in certain levels, making it the first Serious Sam game that lets the player drive around in vehicles.
Surprisingly little has been lost gameplay-wise, even though the game is built for a system weaker than the PCs that Serious Sam: The First Encounter and Serious Sam: The Second Encounter were made for. There are still large enemy hordes, and levels appear to be the largest ones ever seen in a Serious Sam game. There is only a bit of slowdown, but only when there are a lot of enemies on-screen at once. Graphics had been scaled down to make all the content fit, so they aren't as good as the graphics in the original game, but they aren't terrible either.
However, unlike other Serious Sam games, there is a more noticeable emphasis on points. In previous games and future games, points are there for fun and there's nothing that can really affect one's score outside of a power up. The Next Encounter is slightly different for several reasons. First, there is a game mechanic called “Super Combo Killing Spree” that gives the player a speed boost and doubles the amount of points they get for around 10 or so seconds. It is obtained by killing 20 enemies as long as there is a “Combo x” indicator on the screen. If this indicator disappears, the player's kill count is reset.
The Next Encounter comes with several game modes. It contains the usual single-player, co-op, death-match, but also has two new modes; hold the flag and pass the bomb. Two people can play co-op, while four can play death-match and death-match-based modes.
Unlike other PS2 games, Next Encounter allows the player to play online. The online services are still working. However, it cannot be played online with the GameCube.
Serious Sam: Next Encounter starts out with Mental talking to an Evil Serious Sam Clone and telling him not to do anything bad nor get into Mental's Time-Lock while he's gone. However, a short while after Mental leaves, the Clone decides to jump into the Time-Lock. Soon afterwards, Sam and a scientist are investigating an unusual time anomaly in a lab. It's determined that Sam should enter a Time-Lock and investigate the anomaly himself.
Sam teleports into the Colosseum in Ancient Rome. After appearing and clearing out some of the Evil Clone's forces, a glitch in the Time-Lock warps Sam far away from the Colosseum. Sam, still determined to figure out what's going on, fights through the Roman countryside and ends up in Rome. He carves a path through the enemy forces until he manages to reach the Colosseum again. After being tricked into giving some of his money to a stand made by the Evil Clone and seeing the large amount of enemy forces that are in the Colosseum, Sam decides to sneak into it via the sewers. After a rather nasty trip through the sewers, Sam is finally back to where he started. However, the Evil Clone is more prepared this time, and sends out stronger monsters at Sam. Finally, he brings out his big guns, a gigantic creature named the Diablotaur. Sam defeats the creature, which also shuts down the time anomaly noted at the start of the game. However, the Evil Clone escapes into another time period.
After defeating the Diablotaur, Sam is warped to Ancient China via the Time-Lock. Again, there appears to be strange anomalies in this time era. These “anomalies” soon turn out to be more of Mental's forces, most likely left by the Evil Clone. Sam travels through some of China's countryside and enters some old buildings located in the area. Sam then found out that there was another Time-Lock in an old pagota, which was also the source of the time anomaly that NETRICSA detected when Sam first warped to Ancient China. Much like in Ancient Rome, Sam forged a path to the old pagota, traveling through castles and a village along the way. Finally, Sam reached the pagota. What he found was a very, very large room underneath. However, before Sam could figure out what was going on, the Subterranean Hydra Emperor bursts through the parts of the floor. It was clear that it was the source of the anomaly, as it seems to have been altered by Mental for his own purposes. Sam managed to defeat the Emperor, which cleared up the time anomaly and revealed the Time-Lock NETRISCA detected earlier.
After going through the Time-Lock, Sam appears near the lost city of Atlantis. Things start becoming more clear while Sam starts traveling though the icy landscape that leads to Atlantis; the Atlanteans had a connection to the Sirians, but the connection was still not clear at the time. Finally, Sam managed to enter Atlantis, and saw that every living thing in the city had become soldiers for Mental. Sam then fought through Atlantis in order to see what was the cause of the time anomaly. Near the other side of the city, NETRICSA discovered that there was an old Sirian ship buried underneath the city; more specifically, the throne room for Atlantis' royalty. Sam then boarded a submarine supplied to him in order to get deeper into the city.
After getting to the deeper parts of the city, he managed to enter the areas meant for royalty. However, there were several security measures meant to prevent intruders from entering the city, such as a strange void with four triangle-shaped platforms, a gravity system that was damaged, and a set of three mini-Time-Locks that had to be cleared of monsters in order to activate the teleport to the throne room. These challenges, along with the monsters that were scattered throughout them, were quite a challenge, but Sam managed to overcome them. After bypassing all of the security systems, Sam finally managed to enter the throne room, which was heavily guarded by Mental's forces. Sam killed them all and managed to enter to get a chance to sit on the king of Atlantis' throne. After relaxing in it for a minute or two, along with a group of cheerleaders cheering him on for being so great for “finishing” the game, the throne became a trap door and sent Sam flying down into the Sirian spaceship.
Finally, Sam manages to enter the Sirian ship, and NETRICSA was detecting a huge anomaly in it. The ship was infested with Mental's hordes, showing that Mental was very interested in something that he discovered in the ship. Sam fought through the ship, and managed to get somewhat close to the core. Thankfully, there was a Gnaar with a taxi nearby, so he hitched a ride with the Gnaar to the core. When Sam reached the core, everything became clear; the Evil Clone's goal was to find and reactivate an old Sirian defense system built into every Sirian spaceship called the Sirian Darklord. The Darklord is a very powerful mech that was nearly indestructible because of its powerful shields and ability to use the ship's materials in order to rebuild any damaged limbs. However, NETRISCA discovered that there was a few moments when the Darklord was vulnerable to attacks.
After destroying the Darklord, Sam walked to the remains of its head, where suddenly the Evil Clone popped out of it. It seems that the Evil Clone was the one true mastermind behind everything that Sam went though, and that Mental really was off doing something else. After spanking the Evil Clone, Sam decided to take it back to the present with him. However, the teleport sequence was rigged to create more Evil Clones when it was activated. After Sam and the Evil Clone warped back to the present, the new clones were created, ready to do more mischief.
- Beheaded Bomber
- Beheaded Firecracker
- Beheaded Kamikaze
- Beheaded Rocketeer
- Carcinus Lurker
- Chariot Harpy
- Common Aludran Reptiloid
- Devil Stallion
- Diablotaur (Boss)
- Dib Dib Dum Dum
- Elephant Gunner
- Guandi Sorcerer
- Highlander Aludran Reptiloid
- Kamikaze Marine Mark II
- Killermari Rider
- Kleer Knight
- Leikung Warrior
- Major Bio-mechanoid
- Minor Bio-mechanoid
- Monkey Zombie
- Phoenix Bomber
- Porcine Berserker
- Reeban Tooth Fish
- Sirian Darklord (Boss)
- Sirian Werebull
- Subterranean Hydra Emperor (Boss)
- Temple Guardian
- Double-Barrel Shotgun: A side-by-side double barreled shotgun that fires a spread of pellets at a target. If a point-blank shot is achieved, it can do significant damage to anything except the largest enemies. However, the weapon is automatically reloaded after each shot, making the user vulnerable for a brief period between shots.
- MK III Grenade Launcher: A grenade launcher that uses three types of ammunition; standard rounds, limpet grenades, and spider mines. Limpet grenades can stick to any flat surface and detonates if it detects movement within 5 meters of where it was placed. Spider mines have a 10 meter sensory range, and will seek out the nearest enemy and then explode.
- P-LAH Chainsaw: A tool that has been modified for combat. Can be used to slash up opponents at close range.
- RAPTOR Sniper Rifle: A powerful sniper rifle which can be used to eliminate weak targets or deliver high damage to a tough opponent from a distance.
- SBC Cannon: Portable artillery that can launch cannonballs with extreme speed and piercing capabilities. Can mow down small to medium-sized hordes of enemies in a row. The cannon can deliver a low or high damage output depending on the charge.
- Serious Bomb: An extremely powerful explosive that will kill any enemy within a certain distance of the player. There is a slight delay before the explosive is activated, as the fuse has to be lit before the bomb can explode.
- Sirian Power Gun: A powerful energy weapon that has two firing modes: laser and energy ball. The laser fires a very damaging laser at enemies that has unlimited range. The energy ball charges up for a few seconds after the fire key is hit, then releases a slow energy ball that can kill very large groups of enemies with one hit.
- Shofield Desert Hawk: A high caliber, semi-automatic pistol that packs a real punch. It's reliable, sturdy and has a high damage output.
- Shofield Uzi Pistol: Fully automatic submachine gun that, like the Desert Hawk, can be dual-wielded.
- XPML4000 Rocket Launcher: A rocket launcher that holds four rockets at once, but fires them one at a time. It has a medium rate of fire, but each rocket takes some time to travel to its target, which can be crippling when using it on long-range targets.
- XM4000 Minigun: A minigun that has been adapted to use 9 mm rounds. Despite this rechambering, the XM4000 is just as effective as the classic XM-214-A Minigun, as its high rate of fire can cut any target to pieces, no matter how strong they are.
- XOP Gas Gun: A flamethrower that sprays a pillar of fire when the fire key is held down. These flames can set enemies on fire, damaging them over a long amount of time. However, the flame itself has a short range, making it ineffective past short range.