E3 2011: Serious Sam 3 BFE (Impressions)

by: Chuck -
Game: Serious Sam 3: BFE
Developer: Croteam
Release Window/Date: PC version late summer, Console TBD
What's polished: Fast and mindless action, great weapons, larger maps
What needs polish: Some rough animations and AI glitches that should get polished out by release.

Serious Sam holds a special place in the minds and hearts of a lot of old school FPS gamers. Before regenerating health, overly complex plots, and cover we had Serious Sam who was out just running around and blowing stuff up without a care in the world (well other than basic survival). Times have changed a bit and Sam is now being brought back by Croteam.

The first new addition on display is a sledgehammer which serves as the games melee weapon. You can use the sledgehammer to kill individual enemies or wait for them to get closer and execute a spinning attack which takes out multiple enemies near you. Given the swarming nature of the enemies in the game this is a nice addition.

Another interesting addition to the sledgehammer is a new assault rifle with laser scope that looks like it came right from Call of Duty. Look down sites almost feel a bit out of place in game where it’s mostly spray and pray and it looks a little out of place with the rest of the weapons in the game. It is effective at picking off enemies at range though so that’s probably the old Sam fan in grousing a bit.

The rest of the classic Sam arsenal like the rocket launcher and cannon are there. Launching giant cannon balls and watching them take our rows of bad guys is as awesome as I remembered it being.

The other big feature is the addition of destructible environments. If you’ve played a Serious Sam game before you know how over powered the weapons can be and this addition increases the on screen chaos quite a bit as there are body parts and rubble moving all over the screen.

The final big feature is the addition of 16 player co-op. To facilitate the chaos Croteam is taking the already large levels and making them even bigger to accommodate the jump in players. The game will scale the number of enemies on screen to match the player count which should greatly increase the chaos factor significantly.

I’m kind of stoked about a new Serious Sam game to be honest as I have a lot of fond memories of late night LAN parties that were built around playing the first game. Of course that was over a decade ago and it’s going to be interesting to see how Sam exists in a modern world. Then again with Duke Nukem coming out later this month maybe this is the time for Sam to return.
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