Serious Sam II (sometimes abbreviated as SS2) is a game made by Croteam. It is the sequel to Serious Sam: The Second Encounter and is the fourth game in the Serious Sam timeline. It was released shortly after the Xbox version on October 11th, 2005.
Serious Sam 2 plays much like its predecessor, but has a different art style, remodeled weapons, and vehicles.
Without using Cell shading, the textures and models used in Serious Sam 2 result in a much more cartoon-like version of the universe as portrayed in other games of the series. Serious Sam 2 is the first game where the story travels to worlds other than earth, resulting in much more varied environments, and the result is a stark contrast in overall visual style to the other games in the series, most notably Serious Sam 1.
Weaponry has changed somewhat as well. The shotguns from the previous games have been replaced with new ones, the XL2 Lasergun has been replaced with the XL 808 Plasma Rifle and the M1A2 Thompson has been replaced with dual Uzis. The rest of the classic weapons remain, but they have been given new models based on the new art style. There is a new weapon, the Klawdovic, which is an explosive projectile that homes in onto enemies when thrown.
Enemies are much different as well. Only a handful of enemies from the previous games appear; the Kleer Skeleton, Beheaded Kamikaze and the Harpy being the ones that survived from Serious Sam 1 to SS2. The rest of the enemies are all new. A notable change between Serious Sam 1 and 2 is that SS2 has enemies that fit the theme of a level, such as how Centaurs appear only in the fairy tale-themed world, or the Martial Arts Zombie appears in the Chinese-themed world. Most of these enemies behave like enemies that appeared in Serious Sam 1 (i.e. the Martial Arts Zombie behaves like the Kleer Skeleton, and Marcel the Clown behaves much like the Beheaded Kamikaze), so the differences aren't as startling as they first appear.
The tone of the game is much more humorous that before. Each level has a cut-scene that has at least one joke or humor instance in it, and even events that should be taken seriously are played for laughs.
The power ups and items from Serious Sam 1 appear in the game, but also included are new score items, which give the player a certain amount of points when picked up. These items include a coin, a sack of money and a treasure box, each giving away more points than the previous item. Most of these items are hidden in secrets and destroyable items, such as statues and crates.
The lives system from the Xbox version appear in this game, but is used by both the PC and Xbox versions of the game. Those playing the PC version can use quick-saves, bypassing the lives system entirely.
The biggest addition to the game are vehicles. While they first appeared in Serious Sam: Next Encounter, they made their first debut in an official game in SS2. Various levels allow the player to pilot various vehicles, such as a Flying Saucer, a Helicopter or a Hovercraft. There are also turrets with various guns attached to them the player can man in order to get some extra firepower during sections of the game.
Serious Sam II's single player mode is the exact same as SS1's; the player must go through a level and kill everyone they meet until they reach the end of the level. When the player completes a planet, they are stripped of all their weapons and must get replacements in the first level or two. Some attempts at spicing up the gameplay can be seen, such as the player going through an obstacle course and defending an important NPC from enemies, but these never deviate too much from the core gameplay.
Serious Sam II featured only co-op when the game first came out. A huge change between SS1 and SS2 is that players must use single player's lives. The lives themselves are shared between players; if someone dies and re-spawns, then a life is taken from everybody. If all of the lives are gone and everybody is dead, the level must be restarted. Most servers these days have gotten around it by editing the game so that it offers the players a huge amount of lives, making it almost impossible to run out of them.
A patch added death-match mode. SS2's rather poor net-code made Death-match difficult to play, which, along with the community's preference for co-op over Death-match, made it dead in the water when it was released.
The only way to play offline multiplayer modes is via LAN, as split-screen has been removed from SS2 in both the PC and Xbox versions of the game.
Sometime after the end of The Second Encounter, Sam is observed by three Sirians. They decide that he is the one that is meant to kill Mental, so they warp Sam to their home. After calming Sam down, they explain that there is a medallion that is needed to weaken and destroy Mental. However, it has been cut into five pieces, each one entrusted to one of Mental's minions.
The first planet Sam arrives on is M'Digbo, a planet based on stereotypes about Africa. Soon after arriving, Sam sees Simbas, natives of the planet, being attacked by Orc Grunts. After killing the Grunts, Sam travels to a nearby village chief, who has the location of the medallion piece. However, it turns out that it is the village shaman, not the chief, who knows the location of the pieces, but he has been captured by Mental and is in a prison at a large city nearby. Sam departs for the village and manages to take over one of Mental's outposts for the Simbas while traveling.
Sam sees that the city is under Mental's control, making his trip to the prison a bit harder than expected. After fighting throguh several streets, Sam manages to get to the prison and free the shaman. After freeing the Shaman, he tells Sam that he'll meet him at the end of the prison, but the Shaman takes a shortcut. At the end of the prison, Sam meets the shaman, who tell him that Sam must reach the ceremonial part of the village before the end of the day. Of course, Mental does not want him to get the medallion part, so Sam must fight his way to the ceremonial part of town. After getting to the ceremonial area, it is revealed that a huge gorilla, Kwongo, holds the piece, but must be summoned via a large banana. However, he is quite aggressive, and only the Simbas have the weapons necessary to kill it. Mental sends his forces to attack the Simbas so that they can't kill Kwongo in time, but Sam used a turret to kill Mental's forces while the Simbas attacked Kwongo. Eventually, Kwongo is killed, and Sam gets the first piece of the medallion.
The next planet Sam arrives on is Magnor, which first appears to be a huge swamp filled with stations controlled by Mental. His goal is to get in contact with the Zixies, the natives of Magnor. Sam fights through the swamp, and is eventually ambushed by the Zixies, who take him to their villiage. Before they can explain where the medallion part is, the village is attacked by Mental's forces, and Sam is forced to clear out the village while getting to the other side in order to see the villiage elder.
After clearing out the village, the elder reveals that the piece of the medallion is held by ZumZum, who resides in another part of Magnor. Sam is then sent to the part where Zum Zumis, which is actually a greatly oversized outdoor area that has litter, such as cans and bottles, scattered here and there. As usual, Sam fights through the area to ZumZum's arena, where ZumZum appears. Sam learns that ZumZum uses nearby flowers to regenerate his health, so he destroys all of the nearby flowers, then kills ZumZum. After grabbing the medallion piece from ZumZum's remains, he teleports to the next location; ChiFang.
When Sam arrives, it seems that ChiFang is being oppressed by Prince Chan, who also happens to have the current medallion piece. Prince Chan has joined Mental, who, in turn, has put his forces on ChiFang and are oppressing the locals, the Chi Che. Luckily for Sam, Prince Chan is having a large and public birthday party, giving Sam a perfect opportunity to strike. After fighting through a city and a collection of ferris wheels, Sam gets to Prince Chan. However, because of a mistake Sam makes involving Prince Chan's awful singing, Prince Chan escapes to his palace, but Sam follows. Sam fights through a part of the palace, including Prince Chan's game room, but discovers that Prince Chan has retreated to another part of the palace. After destroying every enemy runs into, Sam finally finds Prince Chan. Price Chan tries to kill Sam via his awful singing, but thanks to a conveniently-placed Holy Gong which hurts Prince Chan when shot and Sam's usual weaponry, Prince Chan is killed and drops the medallion piece he had.
Sam is then warped to Planet Kleer, where some Kleer Skeletons are using a stuffed Serious Sam doll as target practice. Sam interrupts them and begins his search for Count Kleerofski, the person that has Planet Kleer's medallion piece. After fighting through Planet Kleer, he meets Count Kleerofski on top of a mountain-like area. Sam manages to disable his shield via reflecting light into it, then kill him and obtain his medallion piece.
The last planet that has a medallion piece is Ellenier. He appears near a villiage that is under Mental's control, but he kills every creature in it. He is then directed to The King's castle, which is located nearby. After getting to the village surrounding The King's castle, Sam infiltrates the village's sewers in order to sneak into the castle. After fighting off a horde of Mental's minions in the sewer, Sam reaches the castle, but must collect four of the greatest musical hits in order to actually access the castle and The King. After collecting the hits, which are scattered in the castle garden, he arrives to the front of the castle where a stage and a large horde of enemies are waiting for him. When the enemies are defeated, Sam meets The King, who tells him that he has the medallion piece, but will only give it to Sam if he frees the princess from Cecil the dragon, who has taken her to one of the islands floating above Ellenier.
Sam files to the floating islands via a flying surfboard. He then starts traveling through the islands while defeating the hordes of flying enemies that Mental sends after him. After traveling through a few islands (with some Elvians using wooden ships to transport him between islands), Sam arrives on the island that has Cecil and the quite-ugly princess. Cecil says he really doesn't want her, but wants to fight Sam. He will give her to Sam if Sam defeats her in battle. Sam agrees. He then discovers that, while it is impossible to harm Cecil with his weapons, he finds crossbows and conveniently-placed Holy Arrows, which can harm Cecil, on the island. After firing a few arrows at Cecil, Cecil says that Sam has beaten him and gives Sam the princess. Sam returns to The King, who keeps his promise and gives Sam the last medallion piece in exchange for the princess.
With the medallion completed, Sam meets with the Sirians again, who tell him that he must go to Kronor, a moon orbiting Sirius, and disable the shield around Sirius by firing a huge cannon that's on Kronor at the shield in order to disable it long enough for anti-Mental forces to enter Sirius. Sam is then sent to Kronor, where he invades a huge base that Mental has, frees prisoners from the previous planets he visited and takes over a an airfield for anti-Mental forces to launch their fighters from.
Sam then travels to the cold part of Kronor, which houses the cannon that can pierce the shield. Because Sam forgot to wear warm clothes, he uses various heat generators in order to warm himself up while fighting before he dies of hypothermia. His first destination in the cold part of Kronor is a tower, which has explosives for breaching the cannon that was dropped by anti-Mental forces. After grabbing the explosives, Sam travels to the cannon. When he gets close to the Shield Generator, he found a a Boss in a Box, which contained Hugo. When Hugo came out of the box and starting attacking, Sam was forces to retreat because his weapons did not affect Hugo. After some running, Sam encountered a helicopter landing pad with a helicopter on it. Sam boarded the helicopter and used its rockets to kill Hugo and proceed to the cannon.
Sam managed to pierce the shield long enough for him to go through, but the rest of the fleet was stuck. Sam's new objective was to shut down the shield generator inside Sirius so that the rest of the forces could attack Sirius. However, Sam crash-landed at Siriusopolis, making his objective a little harder. Despite the overwhelming odds, Sam fought through Siriusopolis and reached the generator. However, Sam was caught by Mental via a simple trap involving bananas as bait.
After being captured, Sam was forced into being a contestant on a “game show" that Mental had for the residents of Sirius. The idea was to complete various objectives (such as racing through a canyon, collecting golden Helmets, and going throguh an obstacle course) within a set amount of time.If he didn't complete it before time ran out, Sam would be killed. Sam went through several days of the show before the anti-Mental Federation managed to destroy Sirius' shield once and for all and rescue Sam from the game show. The ship that rescued him was supposed to take him straight to Mental's hideout, but was shot down near Siriusopolis Downtown. Sam then continued to the nearest rail system on foot while Mental sent some of his best creatures at Sam. He eventually reached the rail system and used it to reach Mental Institution, Mental's hideout on Sirius.
Arriving at Mental Institution, Sam saw that the area between the rail station and Mental Institution was divided into areas that changed depending on how many of Mental's minions were killed. After fighting off a huge amount of enemies, including multiple very large monsters, Sam reached the front of the Mental Institution. However, the Institution sprang to life and began attacking Sam by teleporting Fighters to the area and bombarding Sam with cannonballs and lava rocks. Sam managed to find a powerful Hovercraft and use it to destroy the Institution’s crystal core, which shut it down.
After defeating the Mental Institution, Sam entered it, ready to face off Mental once and for all. After Mental tried to taunt him by saying that Sam is his son in a dark room, Sam got tired of his crap and fired at him, seemingly killing him. However, after Sam turned on the lights, he saw that “Mental” is actually a speaker attached to a chair. Mental used the “confrontation” as a distraction so that he could escape in a space saucer. After Sam realizes that he's been tricked, the camera pans to Mental flying away form Sirius while a group of people watching the game make fun of the ending and call it a cop-out because Sam didn't kill Mental.
Sam goes back to tell the Sirians about what happened with Mental, but before talking to them, he saw a pile of the same medallion he pieced together, revealing that the whole quest regarding the medallion was just a ruse! He confronts the Sirians about this, who run away screaming while Sam chases them through their house. Serious Sam II ends here.
Xbox Version DifferencesEdit
Noticeable differences between the PC and Xbox versions of Serious Sam 2 are that the graphics in the Xbox version are greatly compressed compared to the PC version, and looks quite sloppy. Also, the gore in the game are mostly the same in all enemies, or different colored (purple, greenish brown).
In addition to the ending of the game, the final boss is missing in the Xbox version and, in the final cutscene, does not show Sam turning the lights on, revealing that Sam in fact didn't kill Mental.
Development of Serious Sam II began right after the Xbox version of Serious Sam was completed.  The team decided to develop Serious Engine 2 for SS2, which increased development time, but would make the game look better.
Serious Sam II was first revealed via a tech demo at Games Developer Conference 2004, showing off the features in the new Serious Engine 2. The press responded very favorably, which was encouraging to the developers. Croteam updated their website up to August 2004, updating people about the improvements Croteam had done to the game and its engine. Then, they went quiet for a long time because their publisher put a gag on new SS2 info.
In 2005, SS2's publisher, 2K Games, officially announced the game and said that Serious Sam II will appear at E3 2005, which got people interested in SS2 again.
As expected, SS2 appeared at E3 2005 showing off two level; one showing ChiFang, with the other one showing Siriusopolis, along with screenshots showing off various levels in the game. Like the GDC 2004 presentation, press reaction was positive.
Serious Sam II was released on October 2005 to mixed reviews. More negative reviews (such as Gamespot's) believed that the battles weren't as tense as those in Serous Sam 1 and that the humor wasn't as funny as expected. However, it did sell, just not as much as expected. After this, Croteam broke their contract with 2K and went into somewhat seclusion until the Unnamed Military Shooter was announced, which was eventually canceled.
On January 31st, 2012 Serious Sam 2 appeared on Steam for 10 USD. This re-release is exactly as the original retail version with the 2.0700 patch. The only difference is that the intro credit videos have been changed to be recordings of Serious Sam 3: BFE's intro credit videos.
Croteam have revealed plans to revisit Serious Sam 2 and recreate the game from the ground up with aesthetics similar to Serious Sam HD and Serious Sam 3: BFE.
Behind the ScenesEdit
- The title pictures for two levels shown at E3 2005 are still in the game's files, but the levels themselves are gone.
- Level pictures for many unused multiplayer levels, including a remake of Desert Temple can be found in the game's files.
- There was supposed to be a CTF gamemode, but it was scrapped. The level screenshots for its levels can be found in the game's files and are the only leftovers from it.
- The player was supposed to be able to dual-wield any combination of weapons at one time. This can be reactivated via a tweak in the game's files.
- Two powerups, Serious Strength and Serious Disco, were removed during development. Serious Strength is still mentioned in the game's manual.
Serious Sam 2 HD: BFMEdit
"SS 2 HD: BFM is in our plans, but still a long way from the development start, as we have plenty of other things to be done before." ~ Croteam
Croteam is planning on remaking Serious Sam 2 with some changes. It is unknown if SS2HD:BFM will be completely different from SS2 or not, or if it will be made on Serious Engine 3.5 or perhaps Serious Engine 4.
- Croteam: " Depends mainly on Stjepan Sejic. He said he wants to recreate ALL SS 2 enemies for HD to make them look scary awesome, like he did for SS 3. And he is the true master in that. You can check his portfolio and what he does with superheroes comics and 3D modeling at nebezial.devianart.com"
- Croteam: "Most weapons will (most likely) be replaced with the same versions from SS 3 or HD weapons (e.g. SS 2 shotgun with SS 3 shotgun), which already have more than enough of Required HD look. For rest we will see later."
- Croteam "Yes, but with all other things we plan to do, it would make more sense to do SS2 HD for XBLA, pressuming we do SS2 HD for PC (for now still only in plans)."