"Seriously funny, seriously addictive"

Released a few years ago for Pc, Serious Sam now brings one of the most charismatic and funny gamecharacters to Xbox. You are Sam 'serious' Spade, kinda like a runaway spacecowboy on some kind of mission.

What kind of mission it is you soon forget, seeing as the story is told through scripts between loading sessions. Seeing as these scripts are often very long, you'll soon stop reading them and just forget the game has a story at all. No problem, cause in a game like this, you'll soon find out that adding a story to it was a little pointless anyway.

Gameplay

Think of it as a reincarnation of Doom, only then with literally tons of enemies , ranging from undead kamikaze bombers, to giant robots, birdpeople , zombie bulls and much more freakishness rushing at you at most times. Serious Sam returns to the essence of FPS: set your mind to 'zero', start level, keep firebutton pressed down, and don't release until you've finished the level.

While this idea seems ancient and boring, you'll see that it's actually very addicting. The game is just one big adrenaline rush as each and every level, besides having the normal volumes of enemies guarding certain points in the levels, also has certain points at which hundreds of enemies will start storming at you from all directions. Strafe, blast, jump and pray is the key. if you die, you just start at the point you died, and one life will be subtracted from your total. After every level, your point total is displayed, and every 100.000 points get's you an additional life ( Mostly resulting in 2 or 3 additional ones after every level).

To this mass destruction you have an awesome array of weapons, including standard FPS weapons like rocket launchers, shotguns and pistols, but also chainsaws, tommyguns, miniguns and to top it all of a selection of some of the whackiest weapons you've ever seen, like a big-ass pirate boardcannon and the 'serious bomb' which instantly destroys everything on screen.

The controls are excellent. More or less the same as Halo's setup, so people who have played Halo (and who hasn't) will feel right at home. The controls are very smooth, and can be adjusted to your every liking, so frustration is never present.

The game is divided over 5 MASSIVE episodes, which will take you days to complete. I just can't believe how big this game is and the first time you play it it just seems to go on and on indefinitely! The developers state it's a combination of Serious Sam 1 and 2 (Pc versions), but I think it's even much bigger.

Graphics

The graphics are top of the bill. Everything looks great, and even with hundreds of enemies storming through it, the game keeps a steady framerate most of the time. Sometimes it 'duds' a little, but you'll hardly notice.

The environments look great and the weapons are nicely done and animated, just like the enemies. The variety in levels is also good, and once the game has been completed, you can replay every level whenever you want, in which ever order you want.

The only problem I've encountered is the 'scroll' effect. When you scroll the view sideways, there is this really strange effect that the screenimage breaks up in vertical lines, that strangely scroll by eachother. Don't worry, especially in the open levels you'll hardly notice, and it doesn't do the game any harm whatsoever. After a few levels, you probably forget it's there.

Sound

The sound is also fantastic. From the voice acting, al the way down to the background music. Everything sounds crisp and fresh. The background music, by the way, is themed according to the level, so when crossing an Egyptian desert, you'll hear Egyptian themed music, and so on. Well choosen, seeing as fast-paced music all the time would only have been irritating on the long terms.

Then there's the hectic hundreds-on-one moments during every level. During these fights the game automatically switches to a heavy beat, adrenaline pumping track that fits the action during these sequences perfectly.

Then, last but not least, there's the humor. Well , all that can be said is: Duke Nukem, pack your bags. Sam is the new funnyman. Sam's hilarious, making remarks like "Yeah it's all fun and games till someone loses an eye!" and "You may be big, but I'm SERIOUS!". My personal favorite is the one he says at the start of the last episode, when you enter the somanieth underground temple. Sam, obviously getting a little bored by all of the undergroud levels says the memorable words: "O finally! Some dark dungeons!"

Multiplayer

You can play 2 and 4-player splitscreen multiplayer. Don't expect anything groundbreaking: the game features what you'd expect from a FPS multiplayer: deathmatch galore. Nothing groundbreaking

Replay

The game is massive, and will take a very long time to complete. After that, you'll undoubtly replay it again to try and find all the secrets, to try it on a higher difficulty (4 in total), or just because it's so darn addictive! It's hard to really point out why it's so addicting. UIt may be the hilarious humor, the breathtaking, open levels, or just the adrenaline pumping gameplay. Whatever it is: this game has it in spades!

Graphics: 8/10

Sound: 8/10

Gameplay: 9/10

Replay: 8/10

Verdict:

If you're looking for a great shooter that will keep you busy for a long time, look no further. If you're looking for a strategy themed shooter....you'd better keep looking. Sam seriously is no strategic man.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 05/20/04


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