TPG Second Look: Serious Sam 3 Review

By – Mike Andre

Call of Duty and Battlefield are easily among the most popular franchises today and whenever you hear the term “FPS” I bet you immediately think of one of these series or even both.  After a long pause, Serious Sam is back to remind us why FPSs don’t need to cost millions to make and have a shiny almost photo-realistic engine to be fun. Big guns? Check. Big explosions? Check. Gore? Check. Absurd enemies? Check. This is old-school first person shooting at its finest.

Seriously Fun

The game doesn’t take off immediately though. In the first moments of the game, you will face only few enemies at once. As you progress however, you’ll be attacked by increasingly bigger hordes of enemies, coming from various sides and eager to kill to you.

You’ll spend the entire game in Egypt which is a bit disappointing. One of the best things about the series is the variety of environments and, while there’s a nice level of detail and the scenarios usually look pretty good, I would have preferred the inclusion of different themes like in the earlier games.

Shooting in Serious Sam 3 BFE is always fun. Hitting a enemy with the sledgehammer or the rocket launcher is always satisfying. The only problem is, even the most pleasant activities will become less fun if done to exhaustion. That’s easily the biggest complaint I can have about Serious Sam 3. This game can be very, very repetitive.

Also Seriously Repetitive

This is the perfect example of a game that must be played in short bursts, instead of a game you can finish in two afternoons. Things can quickly become frustrating as well, special by mid game when the difficulty is already so great you are almost forced to Quick Save every two steps if you don’t want to lose all your hair.

But hey, that’s probably what you expected right ? This is purely old-school action. Auto regenerating health? Heavily story-driven campaign? Weapons limit? Not on Serious Sam!

Graphically, it’s no Battlefield 3 but that’s not very important. It’s pleasant to the eye and runs smoothly even on my low range laptop. That’s a pretty notable achievement given the number of enemies you’ll see at once in the screen, and that’s especially good news for the old school gamers, who are not usually known for having new generation machines.

The voice acting is a bit on the mediocre side. Sometimes you feel the actors could have done a much better job but I’ve seen worse. Some lines are clever and funny while other are so unfunny you’ll probably laugh anyway. Which, I suspect, was made on purpose.

Still The Same Sam

The music is good enough. You won’t find any particularly annoying tracks and it does its job at injecting the right amount of adrenaline at the right moments but no standout or particularly epic tracks can be found, sadly. The two previous games were notable for having some memorable pieces so it’s a little disappointing in this aspect.

Another slightly disappointing aspect is the lack of big innovations when it comes to the Serious Sam formula. It’s very much the same “walk for a few seconds, fight big hordes of enemies, repeat” gameplay you know from the previous games. That’s probably not a bad thing for diehard fans, and I’m definitely not saying I wish it was a Call of Duty clone instead but after three very identical games I would expect Croteam to add something new to the series, without losing its old school appeal.

This feeling is also partially caused by the fact that this game is more similar to the first game in many aspects than Serious Sam 2, which introduced grenades and some new weaponry you won’t see in this new game.

Conclusion – Is It Worth Your Money?

Well, despite these slightly less positive things, I enjoyed the game a lot. Serious Sam 3:BFE is a good addition to the series and if brainless pure action is what you want, you won’t be disappointed. Serious Sam always promises visceral fun and once again he delivers.

  • Time Played – 12 hours
  • Widescreen – Yes
  • 5.1 Audio – Yes
  • Bugs – Ragdolls don’t always behave as expected.
  • Control Scheme – M/K or Gamepad
  • DRM – Giant Scorpions
  • Availability – Steam, Direct2Drive, Impulse
  • Demo – None
  • Review Specs – Core 2 Duo, Radeon 4550, 4GB RAM

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