"MMMMmmmm... hot lead...(gurgling noise)"

Serious Sam: The First Encounter

Introduction

Serious Sam might be one of those games you see on a shelf and pass by- it's not the flashiest first person shooter, or the most stylish; or heck, even the smartest. But still, Serious Sam is one of those games that's pure nostalgia. From beginning to end you'll hearken back to the 'ole Doom days. Tons of nameless-faceless enemies rushing at you as the corpses pile up, lead flying everywhere as you stand tall with a chain-gun in hand. That's Serious Sam.

Sound

Serious Sam is by no means a musical masterpiece, however most of the sounds are crisp, but the enemy’s voices sound like they were made fifteen years ago. There is nothing really great sounding with the weapons either, a chain gun sounds like well...a chain gun. The voice acting is horrible, but that's actually sort of the point. The music is quite nice, a great drumbeat that constantly keeps you pumped up, as well as keeping you in the Egyptian setting.
8/10

Graphics

By now, Serious Sam's engine is a bit dated; however at the time it was top notch. Very clear textures, which stay as crisp as can be up close. The enemy models are very good, but most are really just carbon copies of each other with different paint/sizes (Like Diablo (II)). The weapon models are very nice as well, and you can destroy some objects in the environment, which adds to the graphic sense of absolute destruction.
9/10

Story

This is not the game's strongest feature, but it's meant to be like that. The whole point is that aliens invade Egypt and the government sends you to blow 'em all up. Simple, huh? Well, don't expect many plot twists since the story is basically an excuse to gun down hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of enemies... Did I mention that the story involves gunning down hundreds of enemies? Good.
2/10

Playability

Very nice control set up; nothing is wrong here. You can customize everything in the control set up, so they are pretty much perfect. The menu is also easy to navigate and has very clear fonts for extra points.
10/10

GAME PLAY

To all nine of you who have read this far (or read my review at all) this is the most important feature in the game; and being completely unbiased you can trust me about this. Ahem, Serious Sam's game play mostly involves you wandering around HUGE environments filled with hundreds and hundreds of enemies gunning them down. The game play is not quite on Half-Life or Halo par (of course not), but it has way more violence, explosions and a higher body count than a bear strapped to a chain saw that's been fed mammoth steroids and has a rocket strapped to it's crotch...which has just been released into the downtown district. Yeah. It has lots of killin'. Do you like the smell of napalm in the mornin'? Would you like to be like good 'ole duke on the cover of Duke Nukem 3D? Before you walk into a gunfight do you begin smoking a cigar? Do you like decapitated enemies running, screaming and eventually exploding into little piles whilst Sam whistle's the Indiana Jone's theme? If you answered yes to these questions, the read the top game play rating. If you are the tactical sort who prefers long and well thought out fire fights rather than Lord of the Rings size battles....only with rocket launchers? Then read the bottom rating for game play. (As a personal note...I picked the top rating =)
9/10
5/10

Ending thoughts

It's taken me all of eighteen minutes to write this review...in other words you should be kissing my feet. I really enjoyed this game, and it is the BEST bargain game (on release) that I have ever played. It has a nice Co-op multiplayer, comes with Editing tools (it's more difficult than you think, so don't believe you can hop on and start making games), and the best multiplayer connection service since battle.net. Get this game and enjoy...I did.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/02/04


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