Let me tell you what you can do with your green eggs… Review

Serious Sam Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • 1 - 1

Publisher

  • Gathering of Developers
  • Gotham Games

Developer

  • N/A

Release Date

  • 03/15/2001
  • Out Now

Platform

  • PC
  • Xbox

rating

Let me tell you what you can do with your green eggs…

When was the last time you looked at your shirt tag and saw “Made in Croatia"?

Can you name a beer brewed there? A car? Have you ever in your life heard of

anything significant produced in this small European country that is apparently

a great secret vacation spot? In fact, the only time we hear about Croatia is

in the little blurbs in the news surrounding the constant wars in the area.

Well, that may change if the developers at Croteam have anything to say about

it. Out of the small war torn country comes an impressive new FPS engine: the

“Serious” engine. And what better way to introduce a new game engine than to

develop a solid game and sell it super-cheap?

Enter Serious Sam, a new FPS that offers more enemies than two rival

anthills. The setting is pre-Ancient Egypt, before the Pharaohs and Gods that

fill our history books were around. Apparently, there once existed a civilization

more technologically advanced than NASA. This civilization held powers great

enough to take over the world in a plan even more diabolical than this!

On an archaeological dig, someone unearthed a relic from these times allowing

a single person passage through time. The problem is that it’s a one-way ticket

to an overpopulated, high-tech ancient world filled with monsters. Of course,

you play Sam "Serious" Stone, the lucky ticket holder with the task

of hopping back in time to destroy an entire civilization. At least they gave

you a knife and a handgun.

Serious Sam plays a lot like Doom, but with more enemies. Way

more. Like, the most EVER. And they just keep coming and coming, like roaches

to a donut. You just blast away like a madman…and it’s lots of fun.

Part of the fun is that the enemy types are just bizarre. At one point, a headless

mutant with bombs in place of his hands comes screaming over the edge of a bluff.

You blow him away…only to then hear about 30 more screams as a wave of his

brethren come billowing forth. The sheer mania of thousands of enemies swarming

your way is a gas, and they never really let the foot off the pedal.

Battling hordes of enemies has its ups and downs. It definitely keeps you on

your toes and the adrenaline rush is great, but after half a dozen levels it

gets kind of old and repetitive. However, if you need to practice for a Quake

III
tournament, Serious Sam is a great way to warm up the trigger

finger.

The graphics in Serious Sam are an interesting amalgam. The pseudo-Egyptian

hieroglyphics are vibrant and nicely detailed, while a lot of the widely open

areas are bland, with little coloration. But as a whole, the environments, light

sourcing, fog, mist and shadows are more than adequate. And whatever they did

to avoid distortion at close range worked, because when viewing textures up

close they only get a slightly grainy – no pixelation or blur. It’s some of

the best around. The enemies are also well-rendered, with plenty of detail and

effects.

However,

framerates seem to drop a little and the game gets a bit choppy when levels

are loading or there is too much action onscreen, even on a solid machine. All

you vertigo-prone gamers, beware.

The sound is rich and immersive, especially with an Environmental Audio compatible

sound card and a set of surround-sound speakers. This really helps when you’re

being hunted by hoards of minions from both the front and back.

There are tons of secrets to find, most hidden behind sections of wall, again

simliar to Doom. If you pay enough attention, you’ll start to see that

certain items in the game act as triggers for other events. Pick up the health

pack and you are instantly surrounded…again. Nothing’s free!

Multiplayer is an option, but I have yet to find a smooth game. Cable and DSL

users will find it much more stable, but modem users shouldn’t bother (unless

you set up a server and let others join you). The cool thing is that like Quake

II
, a cooperative mode is offered allowing a team of players to play through

the single-player missions. This is a great idea if you have a twin-view video

card and two monitors (all four of you).

I have already found a bunch of mods to Serious Sam, including some

crazy deathmatch levels and games, so it goes to show that the developers made

it easy for people to work with the engine. Hopefully we’ll start seeing more

mods stemming from devoted fans of this new workhorse.

Included on the disk is a “technology test,” which is really just a showcase

of what our new Croatian friends can do. If you have a high-end machine, there

are some impressive textures, shading, lighting tricks and models to explore

and drool over.

Frankly, Serious Sam is a serious bargain; with a MSRP of around

$20, you definitely get your money’s worth. The hectic gameplay and nifty little

engine coupled with the low price and the prospect of mods on the way make this

a no-brainer.





REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

4
Rating
Nice engine
Only 20 bucks?!
Hordes and hordes of enemies
Mod city
Hordes and hordes of enemies
Sluggish framerates at times