Serious Sam may look like a total dud. In fact the cover, though not quite the same, reminded me of a Duke 3D clone called Redneck Rampage, a humorous take on some insane farmers looking to wreck havoc. I was afraid Serious Sam would be a similar game.
The cover of the box sported a mean looking Duke Nukem-like character sporting a chain gun, wearing a funky black-yellow bomb logo. He looked so like Duke Nukem it disturbed me. Could this be another clone?
It in fact is. But its much better than any Duke-clone or even Duke Nukem itself. In fact, I think Serious Sam is probably one of the best 3d-shooters Ive ever played, better than No One Lives Forever (NOLF) or Deus Ex. It features the most mayhem and carnage that I have ever seen in a game since Doom, and has more silly, crack-headed clich?like one liners than Duke. The only thing its missing are random hot chicks in Egypt. If it had that, Serious Sam could possibly be some twisted adaptation of The Mummy.
Serious Sam manages to be the only good 3d-shooter out on the market these days. Heres the magical formula, and dont tell anyone I told you.
Serious Sam has no absurd load-times that give you enough time to cook a meal, eat it and let it out, while you wait for a level to load. Serious Sam will load instantaneously. The game boot-up time on my computer is less than it took for me to boot Doom on my 486 way back than. Levels do not take forever to load either. No watching spinning flowers while waiting for levels to load as in NOLF. Serious Sam has a little green bar that zips by several times, says some things like modeling, precaching and presto, youre playing. If you die, you dont have to go through the same agonizing load process again, unlike Deus Ex or any 3d-shooter using Monolithes stupid engine. Serious Sam actually abides to the rules of QuickLoad and loads quickly. Can you believe that? Yeah you betcha. No wonder why this game is so good.
Whoa, these monsters look just like the monsters in Doom and Duke Nukem, except they're sort of mashed together and given some Egyptian funk. Yes!! And that my friend, is part of the formula for success. No killing silly humans that all look the same and have no intelligence. What gamers want to fight are unintelligent barbaric alien-like creatures that growl and make yelling noises. The standard thug youll face in Serious Sam is a zombie-like creature that holds its own head and shoots yellow fireballs at you. Fighting these guys is like fighting imps in Doom, exactly. Joyful memories rip through my head as I blast away. In addition, Serious Sam pulls together some funny yet scary as hell creatures. Theres one guy who runs holding two bombs and screaming RRARRRRRRRRRRGHHHHHHHH?and runs toward you trying to blow you up and itself as well. You meet one of them in level 2 and after blowing it away before it gets to you, you proceed to mock it. RRRRRROARRGHHGHAHGH yourself?you say mockingly. Then you hear the RRRRRRRRRRARRRRRRGHHH?sound echoing in the distance. More and more of them sound out, and then millions of these suicide bombers come charging down the hill. Its like Indiana Jones except this time you are running and gunning for the life of Sam.
Theres a whole bunch more monsters and I cant describe them all because there are just so many. Serious Sam does something Duke and Doom dont do and that is introduce a new monster every level. Big monsters are included as well. If you thought the cyber-demon monster that shot rockets in Doom was big, you havent seen the huge monsters in Serious Sam. Theres like a twenty-foot demon with six arms I think and he shoots big fireballs. Ive never gotten close enough to get a good look, Im too busying dodging the crap that he sends at me and blasting away.
Overall, theres plenty and plenty of bad guys, including scorpions holding chain guns that remind me of the Doom spiderlords. They also have a variety of attacks, some charge at you trying to rip you to pieces, leaping five feet to lunge at you. Some bikini-wearing winged sirens fly from the sky and shoot blue fireballs before diving down to swipe at you. All of it makes you very paranoid and scared as monsters can jump out from anywhere at anytime.
No distinguishable plot. Do you really want cutscenes to interrupt your senseless killing? I dont. Serious Sam doesnt have any annoying plot scenes that you cant skip. The only cut scenes that do exist are to give you a better glimpse of what you have to get and all the enemies blocking your path. At the end of every level theres also a cut scene of Sam running to pick up something but I dont know what it is and I dont care. You wont have to go through any dialogue for this game. As far as Im concerned I think its saving the Earth from some demon horde, somewhat like the Mummy. It doesnt matter, because I dont need to know and I like it that way. Does this make the game better? Heck yeah. Doom never had no freaking cut-scenes!! Just some red text that scrolled every ten levels. Which I never bothered to read.
Unlimited amounts of big bad monsters. Not only does Serious Sam have an endless diversity in monsters, it also has an endless supply. Rather than having monsters stand around and wait for you to come, monsters appear when youre just about to get bored. Dont worry, its not an infinite amount, its a predetermined amount of monster spawn but it sure keeps you edgy. As you run to a certain section a whole hoard may appear behind and in front of you, leaving you with only your quick instincts and reactions to survive. Its a great system, and often times youll find yourself battling dozens, and possibly hundreds of monsters in huge open terrain with trees, water and nice nature-stuff to run behind.
Wow, these graphics are good. Yes, and with minimal load time, Serious Sam delivers optimal graphics with a custom-made G.O.D. (Gathering of Developers) 3d-engine. Its really cool because water effects and lighting effects come out wonderfully. Not too much polygon complexity in the buildings, but it really doesnt need any. It looks great and the action comes through its enemies, which are polygon-based and in great multitudes. This game can run and still look great on a low-end machine running around 400mhz and with a 3d-card. As far as Ive played, there has been no clipping or crashing making this the most stable 3d-shooter game Ive played all year. I think it deserves an award just for that.
See? Now theres no reason why you shouldnt go out and get this game. But for the sake of writing a good review, heres whats bad.
Whats this? I shoot a monster, it dies and it magically disappears into fairy dust? Serious Sam, in order to preserve memory and allow for huge monster counts, magically destroys corpses into blue fairy dust after a minute or two. This is kind of good, since corpses count as objects, meaning they can get in your way. But this takes a bit of the fun away from a 3d-shooter, and that is leaving a huge body count. I wish they just didnt make it look so silly though. The magical blue disappearance is a bit too goofy for me. I rather see them decompose into ash.
Im not a 3d-shooter fanatic should I get this game??
I blame the gamer for this part. But no, Serious Sam does not encourage pansies or men in tights or any other strange combination of wuss and fraidy-cat. If you dont like 3d-shooters, go back to your Baldurs Gate. Nothing disturbs me more than a 3d-shooter wannabe holding a copy of Serious Sam. If youre a tough woman gamer, well more power to you. Ill be quaking in my booties and probably serving you tea after you break me.
Alright thats the run down for one of the top 3d-shooters for this year. Though it may look weird from the box or even from screenshots, I guarantee you dont believe in the ugly promotional art and graphics. This game is 3d-shooter perfection, and will last you all quite some time.
As Ive made comparison to before, its like Doom set in an Egyptian environment starring Duke Nukem. Cant beat that, can you? So go out and get this game now!
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