Serious Sam: Next Encounter
|Serious Sam: Next Encounter|
|Publisher(s)||Global Star Software|
Next Encounter is a first-person shooter with both single and multi-player modes. The single-player story mode sends the player through 6 historical settings to face huge waves of monsters. The two multi-player modes consist of a deathmatch mode and a cooperative gameplay version of the story mode.
The game starts out with Mental talking to an Evil Serious Sam Clone and telling him not to do anything bad nor get into Mental's Time-Lock while he's gone. However, a short while after Mental leaves, the Clone deiced to jump into the Time-Lock. Soon afterwards Sam and a scientist investigating an unusual time anomaly in a lab. It's determined that Sam should enter a Time-Lock and investigate the anomaly himself.
Sam teleports into the Colosseum in Ancient Rome. After appearing and clearing out some of the Evil Clone's forces, a glitch in the Time-Lock warps Sam far away from the Colosseum. Sam, still determined to figure out what's going on, fights through the Roman countryside and ends up in Rome. He carves a path through the enemy forces until he manages to reach the Colosseum again. After being tricked into giving some of his money to a stand made by the Evil Clone and seeing the large amount of enemy forces that are in the Colosseum, Sam decides to sneak into it via the sewers. After a rather nasty trip through the sewers, Sam is finally back to where he started. However, the Evil Clone is more prepared this time, and sends out stronger monsters at Sam. Finally, he brings out his big guns, a gigantic creature named the Diablotaur. Sam defeats the creature, which also shuts down the time anomaly noted at the start of the game. However, the Evil Clone escapes into another time period.
After defeating the Diablotaur Sam is warped to Ancient China via the Timelock. Again, there appears to be strange anomalies in this time era. These “anomalies” soon turn out to be more of Mental's forces, most likely left by the Evil Clone. Sam travels through some of China's countryside and enters some old buildings located in the area. Sam then found out that there was another Time-Lock in an old pagota, which was also the source of the time anomaly that NETRICSA detected when Sam first warped to Ancient China. Much like in Ancient Rome, Sam forged a path to the old pagota, traveling through castles and a village along the way. Finally, Sam reached the pagota. What he found was a very, very large room underneath. However, before Sam could figure out what was going on, the Subterranean Hydra Emperor burst through the parts of the floor. It was clear that it was the source of the anomaly, as it seems to have been altered by Mental for his own purposes. Sam managed to defeat the Emperor, which cleared up the time anomaly and revealed the Time-Lock NETRISCA detected earlier.
After going through the Time-Lock, Sam appears near the lost city of Atlantis. Things start becoming more clear while Sam starts traveling though the icy landscape that leads to Atlantis; the Atlanteans had a connection to the Sirians, but the connection was still not clear at the time. Finally, Sam managed to enter Atlantis, and saw that every living thing in the city had become soldiers for Mental. Sam then fought through Atlantis in order to see what was the cause of the time anomaly. Near the other side of the city, NETRICSA discovered that there was an old Sirian ship buried underneath the city; more specifically, the throne room for Atlantis' royalty. Sam then boarded a sub supplied to him in order to get deeper into the city.
After getting to the deeper parts of the city, he managed to enter the areas meant for royalty. However, there were several security measures meant to prevent intruders from entering the city, such as a strange void with four triangle-shaped platforms, a gravity system that was damaged, and a set of three mini-Timelocks that had to be cleared of monsters in order to activate the teleport to the throne room. These challenges, along with the monsters that were scattered throughout them, were quite a challenge, but Sam managed to overcome them. After bypassing all of the security systems, Sam finally managed to enter the throne room, which was heavily guarded by Mental's forces. Sam killed them all and managed to enter to get a chance to sit on the king of Atlantis' throne. After relaxing in it for a minute or two, along with a group of cheerleaders cheering him on for being so great for “finishing” the game, the throne became a trap door and sent Sam flying down into the Sirian spaceship.
Finally, Sam managed to enter the Sirian ship, and NETRICSA was detecting a huge anomaly in it. The ship was infested with Mental's hordes, showing that Mental was very interested in something in the ship. Sam fought through the ship, and managed to get somewhat close to the core. Thankfully, there was a Gnaar with a taxi nearby, so he hitched a ride with the Gnaar to the core. When Sam reached the core, everything became clear. The Evil Clone's goal was to find and reactivate an old Sirian defense system built into every Sirian spaceship called the Sirian Darklord. The Darklord is a very powerful mech that was nearly indestructible because of its powerful shields and ability to use the ship's materials in order to rebuild any damaged limbs. However, NETRISCA discovered that there was a few moments when the Darklord was vulnerable to attacks.
After destroying the Darklord, Sam walked to the remains of its head, where suddenly the Evil Clone popped out of it. It seems that the Evil Clone was the one that mastermind behind everything that Sam went through, and that Mental really was off doing something else. After spanking the Evil Clone, Sam decided to take it back to the present with him. However, the teleport sequence was rigged to create more Evil Clones when it was activated. After Sam and the Evil Clone warped back to the present, the new clones were created, ready to do more mischief.
Next Encounter was met with average to mixed reception. GameRankings and Metacritic gave it a score of 73.48% and 69 out of 100 for the GameCube version, and 68.30% and 65 out of 100 for the PlayStation 2 version.
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