And, while Serious Sam
may not sport the strong storyline of Half-Life
or the hardcore multiplayer action of Unreal Tournament
, it offers something just as visceral and almost as fun -- the old-school legion-destroying action of DooM
. But Serious Sam
never pretends to be more than that sort of crazy gunslinging action, and it's a hell of a lot of fun.
And it doesn't hurt that it's being sold at a budget price. Trust me, this is not a budget game.
You take the part of Sam, a badass from the future who goes back in time to Egypt, who obviously had some serious secrets that we didn't know about, like aliens from planets all around the galaxy. There's a plot, about finding some Elements and saving the galaxy or whatever, but that's not the point of Sam. The point is to shoot lots of things as you run through some gorgeous maps.
Serious Sam has the wide array of weaponry that you've come to know and love for this sort of game -- from the starting knife and pistol to the rocket launchers and everything in between. Switching between them is a snap, and ammo is always plentiful in single-player mode.
And that's good, because you'll be tearing through ammo like no tomorrow. It seems that almost every item in the game triggers the spawning of anywhere from one to tens of enemies, all hell-bent on destroying you. It took me a while to get used to it, but then I remembered that DooM was just as 'bad' at doing that. And after a while it becomes a challenge. Do you dare to pick up that armour in the centre of the room, knowing that it'll make a legion of baddies appear to attack you?
The enemies range from the trivial to the psychotic. My favourite is the kamikazes, who scream headlessly [don't ask] as they run at you from across the map. They carry bombs, and you have to pick them off at a distance if you don't want to take some serious damage. There's also a few other enemies that specialize in charging attacks, my favourite being the bullish beast that throws you up high in the air.
The single-player campaign is where most of the fun in Serious Sam is, but there's quite a bit of craziness to be had in the multiplayer mode as well. I had to explicitly tell Gamespy Arcade where it was installed, but once I did that I could use the matching service without fear. And while the major draw of multiplayer is playing the game cooperatively, there's already a modpack out that concentrates on multiplayer mayhem.