Serious Sam: The First Encounter
A while ago I received the reviewcopy of Croteam’s highly anticipated shooter Serious Sam, and I couldn’t wait before playing it.
Before I start reviewing the game, I do have to tell the story of the problems I had though.
After installation, I started up Serious Sam, and after playing a few minutes it completely froze my computer and it kept doing this every time I launched the game. The strange thing was that it didn’t always freeze at a certain point, but that it was really random crashes.
I notified Croteam of this, started to look at the official tech forums of Serious Sam to find an explanation and noticed that a lot of people were experiencing a similar problem.
After a long while of searching, I finally found out that the new memory I had just bought for my pc was corrupted. After getting some new dimms I reinstalled the game and it ran fluently, with a few minor glitches caused by some probs with my videocard (it’s time that I upgrade my pc ;p).
Anyway, what I experienced with Serious Sam made me conclude that to run the game your pc has to be completely in order ! Make sure you have hardware that has no faults what so ever or the game will not run properly. Also, the people from Croteam told me that one should not overclock any of their hardware components because that could also make the game crash !
So what do we learn from this : Serious Sam is a really good test to see wether your hardware works flawlessly, but I think alot of people would have enjoyed it more if Croteam would have anticipated this a bit more (alot of games including Q3A and UT ran flawlessly on my machine, even with the buggy memory, and knowing that alot of people overclock their machines I really think this is an issue) but I’m not sure wether they could have so I’m not taking this into account for the score.
So now for the rest of the review
The story of Serious Sam is a bit simple. You’re one mean pain in the ass for monsters and you’re earth’s final hope for freedom.
Monsters have started to attack earth, and the only way earth can win the battle is to get someone back in time and destroy the evil forces before they attack earth. Of course, the only man suitable for the job is you.
So you go back in time to Ancient Egypt and start shooting hordes and hordes of monsters.
Once arrived, you have to search for some ancient artifacts that will unleash the ancient evil that you have to destroy, but before you have those you have to kill monster after monster, leaving a real bloodbath on the path you’ve followed.
The surroundings are really cool with huge terrains varying from tempels over deserts to huge cities. When you’re walking, you’ll know wether some enemies are waiting for you by the sounds you hear, but also often they’ll just pop up out of nowhere right in front of you, giving you the scare of your life.
Since the time transportation machine can’t get alot of stuff back to ancient Egypt at once, you start off with e simple Colt revolver, but along the way you’ll find bigger and better weapons which your fellows from the future have sent back to you in the past.
The weapons vary from a Colt over Shotguns to rocket and grenade launchers and you’ll even get a real cannon at one point !
Don’t think that those weapons will make it any easier though, because whenever you get a better weapon, you can make sure that a whole army of enemies is going to pop up and try to destroy you.
The idea behind Serious Sam is to have a combination between Duke Nukem and Doom. You get loads and loads of monsters to kill, and Sam will comment on the monsters all the time.
An example of this is when Sam sees the Headless Ninja’s for the first time. They’ll run towards him shouting “RRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAA” trying to get close enough to him to explode, and when he’s killed them he says “RRRRAAAAAA Yourself!”
At one time I was just waiting for Sam to say “Come Get Some !” but I guess 3D Realms (creators of Duke Nukem who used to say the “Come Get Some” line) would not have been pleased if that line would have been in the game
The enemy AI is not all that terrific. Monsters just have one way point : you. They’ll pop up and start running towards you shooting everything they’ve got at you.
On the other hand, it’s for the better that the AI is not superb. Enemies try to kill you because of the enormous amounts of units they have, rather than by sniping and working in real teamplay, and if you know that they keep coming, wave after wave, you can be lucky that they’re stupid !
One last thing about the enemy AI : towards the end of the game more and more waves of monsters will attack and they’ll just keep running towards you but don’t think it will be easy. Before I reached the final boss, I guess I had to kill several thousands of monsters and although I’m capable of finishing Quake 3:Arena in Nightmare mode, Serious Sam in Tourist mode was not easy !
If you’re looking for a game that has fast and furious action, accompanied with loads of humour written all over it, Serious Sam is the game you need to buy!