Review by bluemanadrop

"Somewhere between Doom and Halo saunters Sam."

Serious Sam is a straight up, fast, dumb, loud, violent FPS. In other words, it's a heck of a lot of fun.

Originally 2 PC games who retailed at 19.99 each brand new, the XBox version of Sam is a collection of the 2 games on one disk. It released at 49.99 in November, but as of mid-December it retails for 19.99. Sweet.

Gameplay is very old school, there's a ton of enemy soldiers and beasties rushing you, and you blast the crap out of them. No deep and immersive story, just the muscle-headed main character saving the world. What else do you need to know?

Control is nearly identical to every other console FPS available, moving with the left stick and looking with the right. Right trigger shoots and left jumps. Apart from that, you need only the B button to switch weapons and the black button to ''use''. (Like saving.)

Graphics aren't as mind blowing as some of the more recent PC based FPS's, but the textures are nice and the colors are very vibrant. The frame-rate isn't too bad, although you can sometimes see the lines skip up and start to anti-alias themselves as you truck down hallways. Masses of enemies haven't caused any slowdown for me yet, either. In other words, Sam looks and plays right at home on the XBox.

Music is very hard-rock oriented, and the sound effects are all suitably cheesy. Sam himself sounds quite over the top, spouting off one liners as he battles and does boneheaded things along the way. I don't imagine many people are expecting an operatic score and a Shakespearian cast for this one, anyhow.

Sam can be compared to Duke Nukem, but I never found Duke Nukem funny. After all, Duke was just a generic Schwarzenegger appearing ''man with a gun'' character who recycled all of Ash's lines from Evil Dead 2 and Army Of Darkness. However, Sam is all right by me. His one liners are actually original, and funny. My personal favorite; ''AAAAAAARGH, yourself!''

Weapons in the game feature the usual FPS staples like the shotgun and the rocket launcher, but also gives us the always fun double colt revolvers and my personal favorite since the days of Doom: the chainsaw! Nothing like slicing up some demons with the spinning blades before whipping out that shotgun. (Hey, all FPS's emulate Evil Dead, it's just that not all of them do it well...)

Multiplayer in Serious Sam offers the standard Deathmatch fare, and also offers the always fun co-op mode. It also supports linked XBox support for more fun. If you've got fellow XBox owning friends, give it a go!

If you want an FPS with a gripping story and a gritty, war-like experience, (something actually ''serious'') then play Halo or Medal Of Honor. If you want to blow stuff up and crack jokes at the screen, then look no further than Serious Sam!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 12/27/02, Updated 12/27/02

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