The Xbox spent most of the year with one game that helped keep the system alive until the later part of the year where many of the top games would be released. That game was Halo, arguably one of the best first person shooters of all time. Gotham Games saw the opportunity to try and get people’s minds off of Halo and onto Serious Sam, which was initially released for the PC and did rather well. How will Serious Sam fair on the Xbox? Not too good.
First off I want to make sure that everyone doesn’t think that Serious Sam will play like Halo, because it doesn’t at all, Serious Sam is a much more fast paced game like an Unreal or Doom. The simple objective is to have your finger glued to the trigger button and to shoot everything in sight. So to put it very simply you are going to be in for non-stop action.
It’s not surprising to me that Serious Sam is given a story, and it’s also not surprising that it doesn’t have not a bit of effect on the game. You will find at the beginning of the game you are Serious Sam who gets in an alien spacecraft and goes traveling through time. For the most part the story is not important throughout the whole game.
What is important is the NETRISCA, which will give you important information on the level, this may come in handy when it gets down to the later levels, but for the most part I didn’t find using it to be much help.
So after you get done with the first initial cut scene, you are going to be in for 36 levels of pure first person shooting action. So how does the game play out you may ask? Well for the most part exactly how you might expect it. Like I stated earlier the main objective is to shoot everything in sight. As this may be fun for a few levels, this is so repetitive it is really just sad. You will do the same thing for thirty-six levels. When you first here thirty six levels it sure sounds like a lot of gameplay time, but in all it will only take you twenty hours tops. In my eyes this is just plenty.
The multiplayer in my eyes does have its ups and downs. The ability to play through the whole game in a co-op mode had to be the biggest plus for the game. I found it a lot more fun to play the game with a buddy then alone, it just makes the game a lot more exciting. There is system link capabilities but for those of you who don’t have the option of doing a system link then you be prepared for very small screens. Croteam decided to make the screen even smaller with black borders, if you normally didn’t need any corrective lenses you might need them now. If you do have the ability to do a system link then I would highly recommend it.
As for the Deathmatch there really isn’t much fun to be had here. The reason is you will definitely be used to non-stop action but with only four people in the game it gets pretty slow and very sluggish.
For the most part though the game does do a good job for what it was trying to accomplish, which is non-stop action. The game also does a great job with the controls, which means it shouldn’t take you any time to get used to the controls. I feel that the Xbox controller does a much better job with handling this game then a keyboard.
The sound in Serious Sam does play an important role in the game, because many times throughout the game you will here voices that will help you find enemies before they can kill you. And for the most part everything in the games does sound pretty good. The 5.1 Surround Sound Support was a must and it does do a nice job with trying to keep things exciting.
If you have played the PC version of Serious Sam, then don’t be surprised when you see little to no improvement in the game’s graphics. For the most part it looks like a clear port from the PC to the Xbox.
For those of you who haven’t played the PC version, this game is just a mediocre looking game with only a few upsides. What is really the biggest disappointment in the game are the character models. There is really nothing positive to say about them. They are very plain and not very detailed. The positive portion of the game is the level design. Each level is very bright and colorful, and although some levels look very similar, for the most part everything is nice and sharp.
This really all depends on what type of game you are looking for when it comes to Serious Sam. The game is fun if that’s all you want to do for twenty hours, but for me I would have love to see a little more variety. I really just felt tired of the game in only a couple hours of gameplay, and the multiplayer didn’t extend the fun much longer then that.
This is just a good first person shooter that sure doesn’t look overly impressive. If you haven’t had a chance to tryout Serious Sam then I would just go rent this one and give it a try.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.