Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter and Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter, or Serious Sam HD, are two first-person shooter video games in the Serious Sam series, released for Microsoft Windows and Xbox Live Arcade.
Serious Sam HD consists of high-definition remakes of Serious Sam: The First Encounter and Serious Sam: The Second Encounter using a newer version of the Serious Engine: Serious Engine 3. The level layouts have been kept, but nearly all of the graphics, textures, models, lighting and special effects have all been updated. Gameplay-wise, Serious Sam HD functions pretty much the same as it does in the old games.
Not everything has been kept in the remakes. The inverted-gravity effect in The First Encounter and The Second Encounter has been removed and Scythian Witch-Harpies can no longer carry Beheaded Kamikazes due to issues regarding the engine.
The HD remakes also have improved net-code that fully takes advantage of modern internet connections unlike Serious Sam 1, which was built around modems. This makes online gameplay smoother and more consistent for those with modern connections.
Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter has single-player, cooperative and deathmatch game modes. Scorematch has been removed for unknown reasons.
Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter features the same game modes as Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter, but many new game types have been added. Both single player and multiplayer have survival, which pits the player against an endless horde of enemies. Medals are given for surviving for a certain amount of time. Multiplayer has many more game modes. For co-op, a new game mode called coin-op co-op was created, which adds score and limited lives. Competitive gameplay received many new gamemodes.
team deathmatch has been added, allowing people to play deathmatch in teams. last man standing and team last man standing give each player one life, and the last person (or team) wins. beast hunt and team beast hunt are a competitive version of traditional co-op, as it lets players compete to see who can get the best score at the end of a level. Finally, my burden is a variation of deathmatch where one person holds an item and gets points for holding it, while other players must kill the holder in order to get the item.
Capture the Flag maps:
- Two Egypt-themed maps: Little Trouble and Flagrante
- One Persia-themed map: Ashes to Ashes (previously introuduced in Serious Sam: Xbox as a deathmatch map)
- One Medieval-themed map: Fort Wars
Also, several new deathmatch maps have been added:
- Three maps from Serious Sam: Xbox: Hoodlum's Backyard, Brkeen Chevap and Sun Palace
- Five Egypt-themed brand new maps: Flood, Gvide, Horus Web, Shotty Trouble, Simply One
- One South America-themed brand new map: Jump Over
- Two Medieval-themed brand new maps: Medieval Rage and Royal Purgatory
Compound and Red Station have been removed. Little Trouble is still playable in deathmatch mode, but is now Egypt-themed instead of South America-themed. Docking Bay is the only map from SS:Xbox to not make a return in any capacity.
Below are two sets of screenshots showing off the graphical differences between the original Serious Sam 1 and Serious Sam HD.
- Aludran Reptiloid: Highlander's Bride (Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter only)
- Beheaded Bomber
- Beheaded Firecracker
- Beheaded Kamikaze
- Beheaded Rocketeer
- Common Aludran Reptiloid
- Cucurbito the Pumpkin (Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter only)
- Exotech Larva (Boss) (Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter only)
- Fiendian Reptiloid Demon (Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter only)
- Highlander Aludran Reptiloid
- Khnum (Boss) (Legend of the Beast only)
- Kleer Skeleton
- Kukulkán, the Wind God (Boss) (Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter only)
- Lava Golem
- Major Bio-mechanoid
- Marsh Hopper
- Minor Bio-mechanoid
- Mordekai the Summoner (Boss) (Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter only)
- Reeban Electro-Fish
- Scythian Witch-Harpy
- Sirian Werebull
- Ugh-Zan III (Boss) (Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter only)
- Zorg Commander (Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter only)
- Zorg Mercenary (Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter only)
- Zumb'ul (Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter only)
- 12 Gauge Pump-Action Shotgun
- Double Barrel Coach Gun
- M1-A2 Thompson
- Military Knife
- MK III Grenade Launcher
- P-LAH Chainsaw (Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter only)
- RAPTOR Sniper Rifle (Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter only)
- Rotating Cannon (Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter only)
- SBC Cannon
- Schofield .45
- Serious Bomb
- Static Cannon (Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter only)
- XL2 Lasergun
- XM214-A Minigun
- XOP Flamethrower (Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter only)
- XPML21 Rocket Launcher
Serious Sam HD was announced by Croteam on June 25, 2009, and was published for the PC by cDV and Majesco for the Xbox 360. The original plan was to release both The First Encounter and The Second Encounter in one package, but the decision to split them into two games so that Croteam could focus on The First Encounter and see how well it sold before continuing development on the The Second Encounter remake.
Croteam took their publishing rights from 2K Games to new startup Devolver Digital, after 2K Games became uninterested in Serious Sam, waiting for their long rival Duke Nukem Forever to finish. Both episodes were remade using Serious Engine 3. They featured updated visuals, better performance and lush environments, all in high-definition. The remakes featured 16-player online co-op (4-player in the Xbox Live Arcade version), deathmatch and a new game-mode called "Co-Op Tournament".
The remake of the first episode, Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter, was released on 24 November 2009 for Microsoft Windows through Steam, on 13 January 2010 for Xbox 360 through the Xbox Live Arcade and on 20 March 2017 for Linux through Steam thanks to the Fusion Engine. The remake of the second episode, Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter, was released on April 28, 2010 for Microsoft Windows through Steam, on September 22, 2010 for Xbox 360 through the Xbox Live Arcade and on April 4, 2017 for Linux through Steam, again thanks to the Fusion Engine.
Two packages featuring both games have been released on Steam. The Serious Sam HD double package contains both games and costs $29.99 USD, while Serious Sam HD Gold, which contains both Serious Sam HD games and the original Serious Sam 1, costs $39.99 USD.
On 23 September, 2010, Serious Sam HD: Gold Edition was distributed onto Steam. It includes Serious Sam: The First Encounter, Serious Sam: The Second Encounter, Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter and Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter.
On February 2011, the Fusion DLC was released, which merged Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter with Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter code and executable, finally allowing people to play The First Encounter in The Second Encounter.
Currently, three pieces of downloadable content, Fusion DLC Pack, Serious Eight and Legend of the Beast were released. The Legend of the Beast DLC and the Fusion DLC pack are currently available, while the Serious Eight DLC is no longer available, as it was a promotional item. After numerous requests from fans, the Serious Eight DLC was released on Steam for $4.99. It's the only item not available in the Serious Sam Complete Pack; it needs to be purchased separately.
Serious Sam HD received mixed to positive reviews from game critics. Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter scored 8/10 on Destructoid, with critics saying: "It looks really good for what it is, and the hardcore, old school shooting action is just as robust as ever. Whether you have a gaming PC or Xbox Live, it's highly recommended that you pick this one up. There are fewer examples of solid, instantly gratifying gameplay that you can buy for the money." The game scored a 4.0 on GamesRadar, which praised the game's graphics and creative gameplay, though the game was also criticized, stating that, despite being an HD remake of the game, it still remains unchanged in terms of features and gameplay. Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter scored 68% on Metacritic, while IGN gave both games a rating of 7.5 out of 10, saying "With so little in the way of new content, players who already blasted their way through the adventure eight years ago might not find enough here to bring them back for another go round. But if you're a shooter fan who missed Serious Sam the first time, now's your chance to see why it's a cult favorite".