Review by HoboJones

"Mindless mayhem never felt so good!"

Doom gets a major overhaul with this contribution to the first person shooting genre- SeriousSam: The First Encounter. Though the two games are different, it hasn't really added anything much that its FPS brethren hasn't, so it deserves to be called a Doom super clone. With that aside, it is a good shooting romp that most people will probably enjoy- reviving some of that old school,gun toting, maniac action that got all FPS'ers hooked to begin with.

Graphics[8]

The graphics are spectacular; from as small as the water to the grand backgrounds, this game has some excellent lighting effects no other has surpassed that truly propels the rest of the visuals in each map. The levels are huge and diverse,with plenty of unique looking areas and structural designs to explore. Loaded with eye candy, there are a lot of sections that leave opportunites for the player to fully take in the scenery, which in this case is a good thing. The only minor problem is the boring damage effects for each creature you fight. No matter what type of monster you fight, from mechanized, slime, lava, there's always the same old blood splatter. They could have at least added some different particle effects for each monster you damage other than blood splashing for all creatures. With the high quality of detail that went into the level designs, this trifle shouldn't have been too tough to tackle.

Sound[7]

Explosive sawed-off shotgun, grenade launcher, even to the more lethal cannon and laser rifle couldn't have sounded better, but the enemy death screams and battle cries seem like they were done by sound technicians that worked on black and white horror films. Well, keep in mind it could be my sound card also. Anyway, Sam's moments where he talks and comments on his surroundings are few, and a good thing at that. I shudder to think what would've happened if the designers got a little too happy with it.

Controls[10]

As with all games of its type, the controls are fully customizable, and in the options menu, you can even record yourself playing the game.

Gameplay[6]

It gets tricky here. Action was the game's goal and it was well achieved pitting you against hordes of enemies; however, people will most likely get bored with the same old mindless carnage formula. One of my biggest gripes about Doom type games like this is the weapons, each one seemingly being a better version of its former self. There isn't much weapon diversification here. For example, the tommy gun is just as accurate as the chaingun, and the same goes for the pistol and the shotgun. Making all the bullet weapons godly accurate, is annoying and detracks from the excitement of being in combat- counter strike[a popular Half-Life modification] learned from this, and having a limited number of different types with different options quickly drains the fun of using them. Over time, you'd get the feeling like you were using the same weapon even when using its more different, powerful version. The grenade launcher and rocket launcher is a tired, cliche, boring formula that needed to be changed or redone to reduce the repetition. What results from this is 2 hours of fun, followed by wishing for more weapons with each snipe of the chaingun from enemies miles away... with a faint blood squirt.

Story[4]

Aliens from outer-space, goes back in time, tries to rule the world that way, N.R.A. extremist with cheap jeans and a smiley muscle shirt try to stop them. Goofy and comical isn't a bad way to go. It's open crudeness leads to some mildly amusing moments. Nothing of the Half-Life, Dark Forces2, Aliens vs. Predator spill. It sure doesn't get you involved enough to keep you wanting more, which isn't a bad thing since the gameplay is still intact, but it wouldn't have hurt for Serious Sam to spend a little time thinking about it either.

Multiplayer Support[4]

Gamespy supports this game, and usually there are a decent number of 10 to 20 servers of good to low quality operating all the time. Most of the games are co-op that have the most people, so trying out multiplayer modifications for it would lead to a possibly fruitless search. Anybody with 56k or lower will have a tough time playing this game because of all the stuff going on, and there is A LOT of it, but if you have a powerful comp to go with the modem your experience might be better. In general, DSL and Cables can only play well here, but more so this game than any other probably.

Overall[7]

This game is pretty good for one of those bad days we all have, and with the bargain bin price tag of 20 dollars[the last I checked], for those curious about ever liking this game, its well worth your time.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 12/30/01, Updated 12/30/01


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