Serious Sam as a series has always been a staple of my gaming experiences. It’s fast-paced, blow-stuff-up action. The levels are well designed arenas of combat. The easter eggs and secrets aren’t always helpful; sometimes they kill you outright, and that rocks. All in all, Serious Sam has been a playable action hero since I was a kid. With the release of SS3, I got all giddy. “MORE SERIOUS SAM?!” I cried out, “How could this be? Sam, back again, to blow stuff up?”. Well, it’s true. Sam “Serious” Stone is back. Only he never left, or started in the first place. It’s a prequel. With Sam. Defending Earth.
Oh yes. Hail to the REAL King, baby.
SS3 looks beautiful. Everything has a nice, shiny bloom on it. The enemies are all high-definition, there’s some pretty fantastic dust-shadow stuff going on, it’s just all around incredible. The insane and morbid humour in the enemies has returned: old favourites like the ball-and-chain-throwing galloping skeletons, the headless bombers, and the scorpion-inspired dudes. I’m well aware they have names. I care not. I just want to spray their blood everywhere. And Serious Sam 3 let’s me do that in spades. Did I mention how awesome everything looks? When you start the game, grab that hammer and smash something. How f*cking awesome was that? Looked good, didn’t it? And the hammer isn’t the only weapon pulling pretty out of thin air. Classic weapons like the shotguns and the laser gun return with updated, high-definition models, prettier bullet effects, and more skull-exploding awesome than ever before. And there are even new weapons too, like the Mutilator and the Sledgehammer. It all just looks so amazing. Shooting things looks gory and gross. Awesome.
Music is where Serious Sam has always been awesome as well. Croteam managed to get croatian metal band UNDERCODE to record some tracks for the game. If that wasn’t awesome enough, Croteam has programmed the audio in Serious Sam 3 so that the music will fade in to one of UNDERCODE’s new tracks for the game, “The Gladiator” and “Final Fight, or to some rock/metal music to up the intensity. As if the game needed more tension or intensity during it’s fights. Even the ambient music tracks during lull periods is top quality.
Story-wise, Serious Sam 3 is a prequel to the original PC classic. Which is awesome. They take the original pre-story motivation of the original game, and turned it into it’s own game. You get to see the evolution of earth getting pummeled to oblivion, and Sam kicking ass to save earth right up until he goes into the Time Lock and shows up in the original game. It’s awesome. It’s nice to see that a game as obvious about its balls-to-the-wall gameplay as Serious Sam 3 can still have a decent story that actually creates motivation and drives the player through the plot. It’s awesome. I love it.
Gameplay is where Serious Sam 3 really shows off it’s gloriousness. The fast-pace shooting and high-intensity and tensioned firefights make everything awesome. Shooting feels impactful, if that makes any sense. When I shoot something, it’s almost like I can feel the impact of the gunshot. This makes using the shotty and rockets super-awesome. Even the melee kills are awesome to see. Pulling an enemy’s face or eyeball off is super gory, super rad, and throwing the bloody appendage at their friends is all the more satisfying. The Serious Sam games have always been about shooting enemies until you can’t shoot anymore, having four health and slaughtering an entire wave of suicidally-charging beasts ten times your size. Serious Sam 3 amps that experience from a solid 9 to a number unfathomable by mere mortal minds. Maybe Mental can figure it out while Sam inches ever closer to destroying everything Mental has ever known and loved? It’s also the little things too, like seeing blood on your weapons when you’ve blown things up from close range, or the destructible environments. It all just adds to some very awesome gameplay.
The multiplayer for Serious Sam 3 is what you’d expect. Absolute, brilliant, glorious chaos. Campaign Co-op is reportedly up to 16 players (via twitter comment from @ForkParker, CFO of Devolver Digital), which is absolutely amazing. Redness everywhere, on everything. What else can I say? Absolute chaos, absolute fun. That’s all that needs to be said.
Final Thoughs – 9.5/10
Look back over this review, and count how many times I used the word awesome. That’s how many hours, at minimum, you should spend playing Serious Sam 3 if you like/love/adore/obsess over shooters/fps/action games/anything. It’s amazing. It’s honestly one of the most fun i’ve had with a shooter, ever. Not counting other Serious Sam games. You’ll also notice that instead of using my own screenshots, that I used screenshots from Fork Parker’s “MY AWESOME SERIOUS SAM 3 VIDEO by FORK PARKER!!!”, seen here . I had to use screen from the video, because frankly, Fork says it all perfectly. Truly, why haven’t you bought this yet?