This is getting serious!
This article contains some serious spoilers. Read at your own risk!
Serious Sam: The Second Encounter is a first-person shooter video game developed by Croteam and published by Devolver Digital, Gathering of Developers and Global Star Software. It is the sequel to Serious Sam: The First Encounter and the second installment in the Serious Sam franchise.
On April 28, 2010, a high-definition remake, Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter, was released for Microsoft Windows, and September 2010 for the Xbox 360 port. On April 04, 2017, a virtual reality version of the game was released.
After the events of The First Encounter, Serious Sam is seen traveling through space in the SSS Centerprice. Suddenly, a crate bus piloted by Croteam Heads collides with the spaceship, causing it to fall back down to Earth and crash into Sierra Madre de Chiapas, a mountain range in Central America.
According to NETRICSA, they have landed in the Mayan city of Palenque, in the pre-Columbian era. However, Sam is not trapped; NETRICSA discovers a backup spaceship that the Sirians left on Earth just in case something happened to the SSS Centerprice. As the ship is located in a different time period, the Sirians had a solution to the problem, they placed several time portals with each major civilization on Earth so that the time portals would send sometime forward in time to the same time period that the ship is in.
Sam starts his travels through Mesoamerica in order to find the key that leads to the Mesoamerica's portal. After fighting through a few temples, Sam discovers the key; a crystal skull. With this in hand, he heads to the ancient city of Teotihuacan while fighting more of Mental's forces. Sam travels through the capital city and the challenging “trials” under the city, and finally manages to get to the teleport. However, it is guarded by the Mayan wind god, Kukulkán, who doesn't recognize Sam and fights him in order for Sam to prove his worth in using the teleporter. Mental's forces attempt to intervene, but Sam manages to best Kukulkán in battle, allowing Sam access to the teleporter.
The teleport sends Sam to the Babylonian city of Persepolis in ancient Mesopotamia, where he must find the teleporter there. Much like in Mesoamerica, Sam fights through temples and villages to find it. As he makes progress through the city's complex, NETRICSA discovers a very likely location for the teleport; the Tower of Babel. After gaining access by finding the three tablets scattered in various yards, Sam discovers that the area is guarded by one of Mental's monstrosities; an Exotech Larva. Sam kills the creature and enters the second and final portal.
Sam appears in a quiet town in medieval Poland, near a large castle that contains an important item, the Book of Wisdom, which has the location of the key to activate the backup spaceship, the Holy Grail. Of course, Sam is attacked by Mental's hordes, who strike with more force than they did before. After reaching the heart of the castle, he finds the book, which leads him to a village on a snowy mountain, which has a lava-filled cavern hidden below. Inside the cave is a teleport that leads him to an ice castle. When he gets there though, he discovers that Mental has stolen the Holy Grail and placed it within the Grand Cathedral. Mental is unable to destroy the Holy Grail though, because him and his forces are considered “unholy” by it, so he moved it to the Grand Cathedral as a temporary measure.
Sam makes his way to the church, the location of the backup spaceship and the Holy Grail. Sam fights through the 'Corridors of Death' and reaches the cathedral. Before he can enter the cathedral, Mordekai the Summoner appears, who is guarding the Grail with his dark magic. After one last fight, Sam defeats him and obtains the Grail. A phone rings in one of the confessionals. Sam answers and confesses his "sins" to Mental for killing his forces. He threatens him and then activates the backup spaceship, heads to his original destination, Sirius and its trade routes, while the Croteam Heads cheer him on.
- Aludran Reptiloid: Highlander's Bride
- Beheaded Rocketeer
- Beheaded Bomber
- Beheaded Firecracker
- Beheaded Kamikaze
- Common Aludran Reptiloid
- Cucurbito the Pumpkin
- Exotech Larva (Boss)
- Fiendian Reptiloid Demon
- Highlander Aludran Reptiloid
- Kleer Skeleton
- Kukulkán, the Wind God (Boss)
- Lava Golem
- Major Bio-mechanoid
- Marsh Hopper
- Minor Bio-mechanoid
- Mordekai the Summoner (Boss)
- Reeban Electro-Fish
- Scythian Witch-Harpy
- Sirian Werebull
- Zorg Commander
- Zorg Mercenary
- 12 Gauge Pump-Action Shotgun: A pump-action shotgun that fires 12-gauge buckshot shells. Useful for low to medium range elimination of weak opponents, but lacks decent firepower to use against tougher enemies.
- Double Barrel Coach Gun: A side-by-side shotgun that is deadly against enemies at close range, but its high spread prevents long-range firing.
- M1-A2 Thompson Submachine Gun: A fully automatic submachine gun which is a modified replica of the original Thompson.
- Military Knife: Handheld combat knife that can be used for slashing up weak enemies or as a stealth weapon.
- MK III Grenade Launcher: Experimental grenade launcher.
- P-LAH Chainsaw: A chainsaw modified for combat. The weapon is extremely useful against most varieties of smaller foes, being more effective than the knife against multiple targets.
- RAPTOR Sniper Rifle: A very powerful long-ranged weapon which can be used for taking out targets from a distance.
- Rotating Cannon: An automatic cannon attached to a rotating wooden base. It will fire at the player within its range. The cannonballs fired by this cannon are deadly.
- SBC Cannon: A portable cannon that fires powerful cannonballs that can mow down hordes of enemies at once.
- Schofield .45: A revolver with unlimited ammunition that deals decent damage but has a rather low rate of fire.
- Serious Bomb: A handheld explosive that deals instant death to any non-boss enemy within its range when detonated.
- Static Cannon: Functions just like the rotating cannon, but can only fire when the target moves past it.
- XL2 Lasergun: Powerful energy weapon which deals 'slowlight' energy pulses towards targets, dealing high damage upon impact.
- XM214-A Minigun: A very powerful, rapid firing automatic weapon that can annihilate hordes of weak enemies, but eats up ammunition quickly.
- XOP Flamethrower: Experiential flamethrower which can burn up masses of weak enemies with flesh-penetrating flame. The flames can engulf even partially hidden targets.
- XPML21 Rocket Launcher: Experimental rocket launcher that fires unguided armor-penetrating rockets.
Taking place directly after the events of The First Encounter, The Second Encounter functions much like its predecessor; all of the enemies and weapons from the previous game are included in it. The major differences are the new levels, enemies and weapons.
The Second Encounter introduces four new weapons, the chainsaw, the sniper rifle, the serious bomb, and the flamethrower. These weapons are designed to fill gaps in the player's arsenal that existed in The First Encounter, such as how the sniper rifle is used to give the player long-range firepower, the flamethrower is for dealing with hordes of medium-power enemies, such as the Kleer Skeleton, the chainsaw is meant for slicing through hordes of weak enemies, like the Marsh Hopper and the serious bomb is meant to serve as a last-ditch weapon for those that are trapped in a battle and need a way out.
Three new power-ups appear in the game: Invulnerability, Serious Damage, and Serious Speed. Invulnerability makes the player invincible for a short duration of time, serious damage greatly increases damage for all the player's weapons, and serious speed increases movement speed. While their effects are short-lived, they can greatly increase the chances of the player's survival, especially on harder difficulties.
New enemies have been introduced, mostly to give the player more of a challenge, especially if they're used to the enemies in The First Encounter. There's the Zorg Mercenary and Zorg Commander, skinless, lizard-like creatures armed with a laser gun who's function varies, depending on the enemy type, the Zumb'ul, a strange chubby alien that dual-wields plasma rocket launchers, Cucurbito the Pumpkin, a large humanoid creature holding a chainsaw with a pumpkin for a head, and the Fiendian Reptiloid Demon, a demon-like creature that tosses a powerful and fast fireball that can home in on a target to an extent. Some other enemies have received upgrades, such as how the Scythian Witch-Harpy is able to hold a Beheaded Kamikaze and drop him onto the battlefield.
It also introduces several new environments, such as Mesoamerica, Babylon, and the Middle Ages. These areas feature new traps, not seen in ancient Egypt, such as bouncy walls, walls with spikes on them, and a tunnel that allows the player to walk on walls. Every time the player enters a new time period, they are stripped of their weapons except for the Schofields and knife to make it more of a challenge.
Level design is the same as The First Encounter, but there is more of an emphasis on traps and gimmick rooms. Secrets are still common, as they are in The First Encounter.
The engine is very similar to the version used in The First Encounter, but a few upgrades have been implemented. These add some special effects. However, there are enough differences between the two revisions of Serious Engine 1 that it is impossible to run a level from The First Encounter in The Second Encounter without crashing or major bugs.
The Second Encounter also features three instrumental songs from the Croatian heavy-metal band Undercode.
Multiplayer is the same as The First Encounter, but new player models have been added. A special multiplayer-only mod named Seriously Warped Deathmatch was bundled with the game, but recent versions (the Good Old Games and Steam versions) require some file editing for it to be activated.
Serious Sam: Gold Edition, a later release which includes both The First Encounter and The Second Encounter, adds 3 brand new deathmatch maps (Lefty, Ra-Spa-Shoy and GO Hunting!), 2 new deathmatch maps from Serious Sam: Xbox (Docking Bay and Sun Palace) and the fan-made campaign The Dark Island.
Development on The Second Encounter appeared to have been started around May 2001, as model files for the sniper rifle, flamethrower, napalm, and modified Serious Sam model found in the “mission pack” folder in the model section of the The Second Encounter SDK. It was officially announced on September 2nd, 2001, and preview screenshots were released later that month.
In February 2002, The Second Encounter was officially released to much fanfare.
In April 2010, The Second Encounter was remade using Serious Engine 3, a newer version of the Serious Engine. However, because of engine problems, Scythian Witch-Harpies can no longer carry Beheaded Kamikazes, and the strange gravity room in the original game (in The Pit) has been replaced with constantly moving platforms that rotate around the gravity room. Otherwise, it remains the same as the original Second Encounter. It features updated visuals, models, and lush environments in high definition. Along with improved textures and character models, the remake features 16-player online co-op (4-player in the XBLA version), deathmatch, dedicated servers, and achievements.
The remake of the game, titled Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter was released on April 28, 2010 for Microsoft Windows and on September 22, 2010 for Xbox Live. On January 14, 2011, the Fusion DLC for the game which merges The First Encounter levels into The Second Encounter was released on February 23, 2011, this DLC is free for those who own both encounters on the PC.
On April 04, 2017, a virtual reality version of the game, Serious Sam VR: The Second Encounter, was released. Like Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter, this game also has HD graphics and the player has the ability to dual-wield weapons, just like other virtual reality games in the series.
While The Second Encounter didn't recieve as many awards as its predecessor did, it was still a huge success. The game was praised for its graphics, enemies and levels. The game scored 85/100 on Metacritic and 9.2/10 on IGN.  Ivan Sulic of IGN said "He may sound like he has the IQ of a daft caveman who's been kicked in the head by one too many wooly mammoths, but Sam "Serious" Stone is the future's greatest soldier. He's also darn good at what he does: carrying large weapons and killing lots, and lots, and lots of things. If it lives, he can kill it. And if it doesn't, he can at least shoot a lot of crap at it."
Behind the scenes
- The sniper rifle, flamethrower and Cucurbito the Pumpkin were originally designed for Serious Sam: The First Encounter, as their model data files can be found in the The First Encounter SDK. It seems that the sniper rifle, flamethrower and napalm were one of the first things added to The Second Encounter, as a folder named “MissionPack” can be found in the The Second Encounter SDK, which has model data for those items that was last modified in May 2001, about 10 months before The Second Encounter was released.
- The First Encounter HUD appears to be been used in early screenshots, but was replaced by the final one before the game came out.