Is 2011 the year of misogynist? Duke’s back, we’ve had one Serious Sam game already and CroTeam are busily making the final changes to Serious Sam 3: BFE. One thing is for certain, I’d take Serious Sam over Duke pretty much 6 days out of any week.
Getting hands on with CroTeam’s latest build for Serious Sam one thing is plain straight from the start – my graphics card is getting way to old for this stuff! My once top of the range 8600 GTS 512mb is managing to pump out Sam in a whopping 25 – 30 frames at mid levels and the game still looks and moves beautifully.
The latest version of the CroEngine is rendering large open areas just as well as it ever did with some spectacular lighting effects in operation though out. Having played RAGE in the same week I can say that the exterior rendering compares very favourably to id’s latest.
The revised enemy design is just a wacky as ever. In the opening few moments when the cinematic intro dies down you find yourself weapon less upon a rooftop. As you move a huge one eyed monster pounds towards you. You naturally shat yourself and wildly hit the button to swing your fists against this intimidating cheerful beastie. You suddenly realise Sam has gripped the beast by the ocular cavity. One swift wrench later Sam is holding it’s massive eyeball as the beast slumps dead…. Awesome start fellas! Not too long after you locate a very nice looking sledgehammer and it’s just so frikkin “on” from that point forth!
The standard Serious Sam fare is on offer here. Headless men with bombs for hands come running at you screaming. Massive ape like one-eyed beasts charge you down and all the rest we’ve come to know and love with a handful of new nasties too. Beasts run fast and swarm like crazy the further you get in to the levels and you will spend more time running backwards in circles on a level than you will moving forwards. You will also spend a portion of that time with a grin on your face squealing like a school girl as yet another monster joins the horde after your blood as you fire wildly in to the chasing crowd.
The game appears to employ some more tricks later on as further stages will leave you in ruins with little more than a flashlight.. of and a shed load of guns. The best part… those are not even enough guns to get the job done as wave after wave of beetles and bizarre climbing panther like creatures fling themselves at you out of the dark. Your flash light casts around wildly just trying to get a bead on these high speed foes.
CroTeam have moved the release back a couple of weeks to help tease out any last issues and I have to say, from the build I played, they won’t have too much to do. Difficulty is possibly an area they might have to tweak as it is easy to become too overpowered at times on even the Normal setting. I know for a fact this is one of the elements they are looking at in this time.
A few elements of the level were a little obscure and progression paths were not always noticeable at times – especially in the poor light levels. Hopefully this will be addressed prior to release but even as it stands it won’t be a game breaker.
Fans of the original series, like me, have nothing to fear here. This is good old Sam at his very best. Plenty of cheesy dialogue, stupidly fast hordes of monsters and all the bullets a man can hold. Oh and the sledgehammer is bloody fantastic and oh so satisfyingly squelchy!
Look for the finished title November 22nd.