Serious Sam 3: BFE is the latest first person shooter in the Serious Sam series from by Croteam and Devolver Digital. The game takes place before Serious Sam: The First Encounter in the 22nd century. With the game trying to offer a fresh experience in the FPS genre by taking it back to its roots will Serious Sam 3: BFE blow everyone away or should the past be left untouched?
Let’s find out and kick off the HOTs and NOTs.
The most important part of a shooting game, especially in one like this, is the arsenal players will be able to use. There is a few words which truly describe Sam’s weapons haul; impactful, over the top and awesome!
In many modern first person shooters players are restricted to one main weapon and a secondary sidearm but Serious Sam 3: BFE takes players back to when FPSs were on the rise and allows the player to carry every weapon at once. Players will have a full arsenal to choose from once they have collected the guns: this means they will be able to go from clobbering something with a sledgehammer to blowing it up with a rocket launcher or even firing a cannon at the enemies. Yes, Sam can happily carry a cannon around as well as plenty of other guns.
While players can pick from all the weapons they will often find a favourite. Everyone has their own personal opinions but most people seem to enjoy the devastator or the good old trusty mini gun. This being said when players pick up cannon ball rounds the cannon style gun instantly is used as it is both tremendous at taking down enemies of all sizes but extremely fun to use.
Each gun has its own unique look and feel to it due them all firing different types of ammunition. While they might all be considered different they all still manage to seem solid and robust weapons capable of downing plenty of enemies.
Serious Sam 3 pulls off solid gameplay mechanics without compromising the element of fun. Taking players back around 15 year to when first person shooters were about one man destroying everything with a lot of guns. The game pays good homage to the games of the past as well as offering something exciting and different from what else is available on the market. Serious Sam throws the building blocks of realism and throws them out of the window to offer a fun adrenaline rushing gameplay that can be enjoyed for just a couple of minutes to hours on end. The weapons and enemies also add to the theme of entertainment over realism with their odd and unrestrained nature.
The first thing to note is that the visuals aren’t exactly the best but they are good enough to provide a perfectly satisfying experience. The presentation however excels when it comes to the in-game sounds and music. The sounds make the guns a lot more explosive and forceful, the environments more believable, the enemies that bit creepier and the overall experience a lot more of an adrenalin rush. When the audio heats up you know that there is something out to get you and this increases the intense atmosphere of the onslaught.
Not only does Serious Sam 3 offer a single player campaign and a multiplayer section there is also a particularly enjoyable survival mode. The mode isn’t exactly revolutionary as players attempt to survival the constant barrage of incoming enemies. Unlike other survival modes the enemies don’t come in defined waves giving the player time to prepare, instead as the time increases more and more enemies of different types spawn until the player seemingly has hundreds to face off at once. This design means players are never left too comfortable as soon another type of enemy will be bearing down on them. The top time on the Survival Mode leaderboards to give a sense of time is under 10 minutes with the average being only two!
The campaign starts with Sam falling out of a shot down helicopter and with the basic premise of finding the rest of the team and saving the world being the campaign’s storyline; although I use the word in the loosest sense possible. Unfortunately past trying to save the world the plot is essentially nonexistent and just holds together levels of increasing difficulty in various environments. The only saving grace of the lack of storyline is that it really doesn’t matter what was holding the levels together they are fun enough to be enjoyed separately due to the fantastic gameplay.
When you finally get into a multiplayer game of the mode of your choice it can be great fun however quite often I found it hard to get into a decent server and even then they were relatively empty. Deathmatch is the easiest to get into yet it isn’t most enjoyable mode to play all of the time. Other modes such as capture the flag were awfully difficult to play just due to this lack of players. If there was only a little extra support it would be fantastic otherwise you better get a group of friends together to play or the lobby will be on the small side.
One phrase comes to mind to describe some of the levels, Déjà Vu. The overall level designs are all unique but certain sections seem to be reused in the same level; in turn making it slightly repetitive. This isn’t a major issue but the problems don’t quite end there. The areas are sometimes rather confusing and players will have to spend a couple of extra minutes navigating around the level getting lost and confused about where to go. I modern games we are often used to objectives being directed to but this just isn’t the case with Serious Sam 3: BFE and it takes a little getting used to.
Serious Sam 3: BFE is a great homage to the old school generation of first person shooters. The game does have a few issues but fans of the series and new players will easily overlook them. If you’re looking for a boring, realistic shooter definitely look somewhere else. On the other hand if you want a well presented, fun and adrenalin rushing game that comes with plenty of crazy weapons and enemies look no further.
[Editor’s Note: Serious Sam 3: BFE was reviewed on the PC. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]