If you like first-person shooters, but camping in a dark corner for hours waiting for the perfect opportunity to fire a sniper shot through your enemy's skull is your idea of video-game hell, this sequel might be right up your alley. You just blow away the bizarre foes until you wear yourself out.
The Serious Sam II engine isn't as sophisticated as shooters like Half-Life 2 and Doom 3 (which retail for twice as much), so you won't get fancy extras such as rag-doll physics. However, the environments are impressive, the interface is easy to navigate, and gameplay is smooth even at the highest video settings. Although there's a bit more of a mission-based feel than in the original, the missions are mostly blasting enemies until they're all gone, then moving on to the next checkpoint. Colorful graphics and bright areas are a welcome change from conventional shooters, but a few invisible landscape barriers detract from the wide-open feel of the Seriousopolis Uptown level.
The goofy platform-hopping mid-mission nearly cost this demo a top rating. In the end, though, the unique look, generous free content, easy installation, and multiplayer gameplay push the scales in favor of Sam Stone.