00 |  ng_zz  Blopvertz
Video Cards for Gamers

01 | Anand Tech -
GeForce FX (NV30)

02 | Anand Tech -
GeForce FX

03 | Toms Hardware -
GeForce FX

04 | Anand Tech -
ATI Radeon 9700 (R300)

05 | Anand Tech -
ATI Radeon 9800 (R350)

06 | Toms Hardware -
ATI Radeon 9800 (R350)

07 | MURC -
Matrox Parhelia-512

08 | Hard Ware Zone -
Matrox Parhelia-512

09 | GameSpot -
Matrox Parhelia-512

10 | nV News -
Matrox Parhelia-512

11 | Beyond 3D -
Matrox Parhelia-512

12 | GameSpot -
GeForce 4

13 | Anand Tech -
nVidia GeForce 4

14 | Anand Tech -
nVidia Quadro 4

15 | Toms Hardware
GeForce 4

16 | Technoyard -
GeForce4 MX440

Info / Misc

17 | Toms Hardware
nVidia GeForce 3
Technical Squiz

18 | Toms Hardware
CDRW - Back-Up Copy
Mysteries Revealed

19 | Toms Hardware
DVD - Six Burner Tests
Seven Times The Capacity

20 | Tweek 3D's -
Video Dictionary

21 | Downloads -
File Swap / Share

22 | Linux -
Version Line Up

23 | Cheaters Suck -
Some Thoughts Shared


16 | Demo Zip's
Complete Goof Off

24 | Wolfenstein
Single player

25 | Wolfenstein
Multi Player

26 | Serious Sam 2
Second Encounter

Serious Sam: The Second Encounter (PC)
Sam is back, and we couldn't be happier.
By - Sal "Sluggo" Accardo

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It was a throwback to the days of DOOM -- waves upon waves of enemies, nonstop action, and badass end-level bosses to make you cry for your mommy. We're talking about Serious Sam, the surprise first-person shooter hit released earlier this year, a game still selling well and continuing to inspire lots of user-created modifcations and levels.

To the delight of these fans, developer Croteam is hard at work on a sequel (OK, it's technically a standalone expansion), called Serious Sam: The Second Encounter (TSE, for short). We've played through an alpha build of the game, and it's shaping up to top the original in just about every way.

Yes, There's A Story! Well, Sorta

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Welcome to Babylon
If you remember the end of the first game, you already know our hero Sam "Serious" Stone, having been sent back in time to ancient Egypt to prevent a future alien invasion, UFO-jacked an alien ship and went off to kick some ass. Unfortunately, the ship didn't get very far, crashing somewhere in South America.

From there, Sam traverses three acts, leaving South America venturing further back in time to Babylon, and finally winding up in the Middle Ages. The game contains 12 sprawling levels, and feels pretty close to the length of the original, if not longer.

Leveling Off

As you'd expect, the levels are filled with mountains upon mountains of enemies, are fairly huge, and range from huge outdoor areas to indoor caverns and temples.

One new spin from the original game is the inclusion of a number of jumping puzzles from time to time. While I can hear some of you groaning, none, in fact, are very hard and provide a nice breather between waves of headless bombers.

There are a number of nifty "wow" moments as well. My favorite was a cylinder-shaped room where you can actually run up the walls and around the ceiling � as can all the enemies. Traps are rampant in the Mayan ruins -- many of them will surprise you when you least expect it.

A Seriously Improved Engine

When the original Serious Sam's first technology test was released, there was a great deal of buzz about how Croteam's new engine could render large outdoor areas with bucketloads of enemies. This is all back in the second installment, and while most sequels tend to bump up system requirements, it seems TSE actually runs faster than the original.

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I played through the alpha on the same system that I played the first game on, and there was no doubt about it -- it was much smoother, with very little stuttering and much tighter control.

It also appears the developers have gotten much more comfortable with the engine. The trademark lens flare is back, and is still cause to stop and gaze once in a while, especially in big outdoor areas. Textures appear to have been improved for TSE, adding more variety to the various settings of the game.

Next: Enemies...

The One Million Alien March

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Happy Halloween!
There may not be a million enemies in The Second Encounter, but it certainly seems close.

Many of the old baddies are back from the original, including our favorite, the screaming headless bombers. A series of new enemies are present as well, including one we've affectionately dubbed "Pumpkinhead," yelling and screaming his way around with a chainsaw.

Of course, one of the best features of Serious Sam were the badass bosses, and TSE does not disappoint. End-act bosses are once again huge and over-the-top, and fans of the original will get everything they could want...and more.

Armed and Serious

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Flamethrower + alien = tasty BBQ
The new game offers up all the weapons of the original, including the shotgun, my beloved chaingun, and oh-my-god-how-can-you-use-this-in-coop cannonball. The fairly useless knife is still present, but you now have an additional melee weapon you can really use -- a chainsaw. If you can get close enough to your enemies, the saw will mow them down pretty quickly -- a great asset when you're low on ammo.

Another new addition is the flamethrower, which graphically looks spectacular and is pretty effective to boot. It conserves ammo well, and once an alien is aflame, will continue to burn a bit more without wasting more napalm. I used it more than any other weapon in the game, and never got tired of it.

The final new weapon is the sniper rifle, which allows you to pick off enemies from great distances, perfect for wide outdoor settings. In sniper mode, the gun is extremely powerful, so you can take out most small enemies with one shot, and finish off big hulking enemies before they even know you're there.

Seriously Warped Multiplayer

One of Serious Sam's best features was its full co-operative mode, allowing groups of buddies to take on the entire single-player campaign. We have fond memories of playing though the game as a group of 16 here in the GameSpy office, and we're happy to report that TSE will feature the same cooperative support as the original.

For TSE, Croteam has also enlisted the services of Texas developers A Few Screws Loose to develop what's being called "Seriously Warped Deathmatch." This multiplayer mod is actually several game modes in one, where (depending on the map) players will try to control an area, steal an objective, or even hold on to an item in a "Rugby" game, similar to many Tag-style mods we've seen before.

A number of teamplay modes are present as well, including team Deathmatch, team Control Zone, and of course, standard Capture the Flag. Over 20 multiplayer maps are being promised, and it sounds like it could provide a great deal of fun for a while.


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Life with the sniper rifle is good.
Considering it was labeled an alpha, I was actually surprised at how finished TSE appeared. I was able to play through the entire game with only one glitch, which is more than we can for most released games these days.

While no solid release date has been set for the game, we've been told to expect a Christmas release at the same budget price as before ($20 in the U.S.), and that the box will perfectly match your Christmas tree. (They told us so today!)

We think you'll like it. Seriously.

Essential Links

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