|Pub: Devolver Digital|
|Release: November 22, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
Other problems with the game are just bad decisions on the developers' part. In one early section, you're placed underground with countless crawling aliens, and the entire feel of the game changes. You're trying to pick out dark-colored bugs against a dark background, frantically waving your flashlight around to figure out where everything is. It's no longer a rush, and it's not scary; it's just exhausting. It seems that whenever Serious Sam 3 steps away from huge above-ground levels, everything falls apart.
The multiplayer is amusing in a stupid kind of way—in just about every clichéd mode that ever existed (deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the flag, etc.), players run around at top speed, jump around to avoid each other's gunfire, and race to pick up the most overpowered guns. It's completely absurd, and I can't imagine spending very much time with it, but it's an interesting throwback to the way multiplayer shooters used to work. You can also play the campaign with up to sixteen players, or with four players split-screen, which makes the whole thing feel like a bigger and more story-oriented version of Horde Mode. Speaking of which, there's also a Horde Mode (called "Survival").
In terms of presentation, the game is acceptable, but not stunning. The visuals look great for an indie shooter that puts so many enemies on the screen at once—provided you have v-sync engaged to eliminate the horrific screen tearing—but they're not as detailed as the graphics in bigger-budget games. The soundtrack, a blend of metal and atmospheric Middle Eastern-themed music, provides a backdrop that shifts with the events on screen, and the sound effects are suitably thunderous. The voice acting is fine, but the dialogue itself doesn't quite work—it seems to be going for an intentionally bad Duke Nukem vibe, but all the characters just end up sounding like low-rent imitations of that classic alien-killer.
It's disappointing that despite its great level design and adrenaline-fueled shootouts, Serious Sam is not always fun to play. But that's the fact of the matter. Unless you can deal with a wide range of frustrating quirks, you're probably better keeping this one off your Christmas list.
CCC Contributing Writer