[Oct 11, 2005, 09:53 am ET] - Share - Viewing Comments
2K Games' Serious Sam II
Blasts Into Retail Stores Nationwide
is the press release with the expected
news that Croteam's shooter sequel is now available in stores. Word is:
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 11, 2005--2K Games, a publishing label of
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO - News), today announced that
Serious Sam II for PC and the Xbox® video game and entertainment system from
Microsoft is now available in retail stores across North America. Serious Sam II
was developed by Croteam and is powered by their internally-developed Serious
Engine 2. Featuring pick up and play frantic-fun, Serious Sam II allows gamers
to really blow $#!% up in more than 40 enormous levels. Serious Sam II also
features online co-operative gameplay for PC -- with up to 16 players via LAN or
Internet and Xbox for up to four players via Xbox Live® online game service or
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||Re: false announcement
||Oct 11, 2005, 22:25
|Edit: LOL @ hyper-reactive physics box-jumping.
I hate to say this, but I think most should wait for "full" reviews.
Otherwise, I agree with the tone of everything said.
I am glad that I have the game now, it is much more open than the demo, but damn this thing is slow in building up action. It is fun, but I am on level six or seen and things are still moving fairly slow. The game really is not throwing enemies at you and, if it does, it makes sure you have a turret, hamster ball, or rocket launcher at your disposal.
I really hope the action greatly increases by the second "world" area. Otherwise, it is decent, but I am just noticing a lot of little quirky/strange/annoying things:
The abrupt ending thing is a little weird. I did enjoy exploring everything or even killing everything and then huting down any secret I might have missed.
It is harder than it should be to pick up items in vehicles and, well, you should just automatically pick them up when you do something like smash through a crate.
Twice now, I have been hit with a blast...with nothing in sight, no enemies nearby, and so forth. I am not sure if that is just the way the game does fall damage, if there is some AI clipping issue, or what.
The invisible walls are hit or miss. You can at least go run/jump off to your death in the starter world, but the idea of blocking you seems to lose any logic later on. There is a lake that Sam just refuses to cross because he says something like "I hate to swim." At least have mines in there or magical, invisible creatures, or something. Otherwise, there are some bits in the jungle area where they do at least put a mound to block your access, but it is a tad shorter than it should be; anywhere else, I would be able to jump up it.
I never intentionally died in SS before - I wonder if I always loaded up a savegame? Or were there no lives in the previous SS games? Anyway, when you did come back, did it always reset weapons and stuff in the area?
Speaking of jumping, Sam has some real issues jumping out of water.
For being a 3D game, for being a 3D game known for its graphics and look, why in the heck are we using FMV? It just...it is below average for FMV (and not talking about DVDs I play on my computer, just game FMV) and just makes no sene. I don't know what the original sycn problem was, I have been playing the game with the patch, but the animation of the movies does seem to pause/stutter now and then.
I changed the use key, formerly "Enter," to the letter "E." However, if you bring up the logbook thingie, it still references the old key and will not respond to it. Not a huge thing, but just a little sloppy. Likewise, before the level loads, there is some text to read about the so-called story. It generally does not fit on the screen, but if you highlight the down arrow and click the mouse button, it ends up starting the level. Note that the menu screen only says "Press Enter to continue" and that I do realize using the scroll wheel works. But again, just a little sloppy, confusing thing.
This is really nitpicking, but you get the parrot weapon and it lands on your shoulder, facing forward, but it somehow defecates on the front or tip of your shoe. Basically, just a couple of little things in the game that make you do a double-take or make you wonder why Croteam did it that way.
Story bits seem really bad. I know, this is Serious Sam, but the weak voice acting, limited interaction, and poor FMV just really make it feel annoying. Worse, the levels are centered around it, (thus far) limiting the chances of "Sam...a big level...tons of mobs...FIGHT" scenarious.
Could you "use" (pick up) stuff in the demo? Well, you can in the game, mostly to utilize the physics, but it is really rough. It took me forever to score a point with the basketball - not because I suck, but because the physics were so wonky. Likewise, models get caught on a lot of stuff that you may or may not move around as you play. I got bored and shot one of the beach umbrellas, tilting it down just a tad. I was then able to get two different monsters stuck on it. I guess you could do this in the previous games, too, but they did not have as much clutter in the level nor did the clutter have any type of physics properties applied to them. The physics just seem really rudimentary and pointless - even for Serious Sam.
Something is really screwed up with the 5.1 sound. With EAX on, I take a pretty hefty performance hit. With it on or off, the separation is quesitonable. First off, the center channel is just under-utilized fairly frequently. The game then goes and makes heavier than normal use of the rear speakers. I am actually ok with that, it is different from most games, but that center channel is almost silent.
Looking just at that channel, very few things seem to come from it. Sometimes weapons do, music does, but sound effects are few and far between (I want to say they never go there, but I am sure that I am wrong.) Otherwise, Croteam made the mistake of (a) separating the speakers into distinct cones of hearing and (b) made the cones (at least the center one) way too narrow. Let us say that I get on the dino and fance an emey; unless I am staring directly at it (the sound cone is directly focused on it,) the center channel just drops out. But...this is Serious Sam - you are dodging mobs and shots - you are (circle) strafing all the tiem. I can face a mob and have it pick up in the cetner. The moment I strafe, even though I have it targeted in the center of the screen, because Sam is technically turned sideways, it drops out and moves to the left or right speakers. Basically, Croteam made the sound heavily positional to Sam (rather than the camera) and took an almost on/off approach to the surround sound rather than varying the level of recognition and output.
Sure, Creative is t3h su><, but its utility works for all my speakers, all of them are clearly defined, and I have not experienced this issue in any other current games (or even the demo.)
So...yeah. Do not even bother playing on anything less than hard and I am having som fun, but the action really, really needs to pick up. If you liked the demo or thought it was ok, you will like this. For everybody else, I hate to say it, but wait for reviews that have gone further into the game, finding out if the game does eventually work up to its former pace.
The demo level was ok (on the higher difficulties,) but the few levels I have played thus far are quite tame in comparison on the action front. The game is certainly larger and does open up a bit more, though...
Based solely on what I have played, I would give it something like a 7.8/10.
Basically, warming up to it, but a couple of m3h things.
A little mixed...having some fun...but a bit mixed,
I love you, mom.
This comment was edited on Oct 12, 00:51.