Serious Sam is a wise cracking hero that has the uncanny ability to make every alien he encounters want to instantly kill him. What little plot there seems to be is tossed out in ignorable one liners that Sam spits out in passing. This may sound similar to people who played Duke Nukem back in the day, as Serious Sam is in every way the spiritual successor to that series, the only difference being that people are still making Serious Sam games.
Most of my experience with the series comes from the first game which was shipped with a video card purchase back when I was in college. This somehow led to my dorm-mate playing the game non-stop until he failed out of college; needless to say that when the second title came out I tried to stay away from it. What has held true through those years is that the game is not afraid to throw literally hundreds of enemies out at a time, almost forcing repeated restarts of a single room in a level. In most of these instances, copious amounts of ammo still didn't seem like enough. This is probably the first time that I have yelled "Are you serious" at a game, many times, while still loving every minute of it.
Brutal is the word that I use to describe the normal difficulty setting, there are three settings higher than that. Oddly, the way the game plays off the entire challenge as a tongue in cheek gag works pretty well; namely the enemies that consist largely of insanity— such as the headless humanoids with bombs for hands running blindly at Sam. Yet there almost seems to be a method to the madness as going back through the first couple of areas seems amazingly easy, to the point that I took almost no damage, after playing the later levels.
The only real complaint about the game is the detail in many of the backgrounds. While the rest of the game seems to have been upgraded well to fit the new graphics engine and modern standards, it seems like some of the distant backdrops in some of the stages didn’t receive the same amount of attention. It is rather off-putting when a high-resolution enemy charges against mountains that look like they were recycled from a drastically older game.
Multiplayer is also an option for the game, and even seems to be touted highly on the trailer on its Steam page. While this function does exist as a choice there isn’t anyone else around to use it. The same seems to be true of the co-op, and even though it boast up to 16 players at once for that mode, and while that might make the game’s difficulty reasonable, it probably isn’t ever going to be used.
The game’s pricing doesn’t really help matters that much either, as it came out at 20 dollars. Not that that is too much to ask for the game, because it really is feature and content heavy enough to support that, but it falls out of the range of an impulse buy for most people. Sadly from the impression of the online matches it seems like it would have done better at a little lower price.
There really isn’t anything wrong with Sam, from his random one liners to the crazy weapons that he just seems to find laying around, aside from the fact that it doesn’t seem like enough people know about him. The game looks great on a high end gaming PC, and will even run on pretty much anything with a dedicated video card, so most people who even have a passing interest really should check the game out. Sadly the cost of admission might be the one thing that would keep the people who would really enjoy the game away from it.
Not As Good As: I remember
Also Try: The HD remake of the first one
Wait For It: A Steam sale
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