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Serious Sam 3: BFE E3 2011 Preview

Much like the Duke Nukem series, the Serious Sam games focus on very absurd storylines, bizarre and humorous enemies, and some crazy weapons to dispatch them with. With the success of the Serious Sam HD XBLA re-releases, it was about time for Serious Sam's third debut.

As far as the story, all that was revealed is that the game is a prequel to the previous two games. Don't fret, though, because all of the crazy enemies (such as the insanely loud, headless kamikaze monster) make a return. There will also be a slew of others that are sure to please Serious Sam fans. The graphics have gotten a significant overhaul. Running on the new Serious Engine 3, everything from the environments to the creatures look really great.

The first level I was shown was a destroyed city environment. While the level was mostly linear, the size and openness gave the illusion of free exploration. The initial minutes were very calm, probably so I could admire the detailed environment, but soon I found myself surrounded by all kinds of mutants and monsters. The second level took me to Egypt, where I had to traverse a desert area with plenty of opportunities to test out the different weaponry, one of which is extremely entertaining, launching a giant cannon ball that crushes anything in its path.

Melee is SS3's new addition and more or less act as a finisher. For example, a monster with a giant eyeball came running toward me, and with a click of a button, Sam ripped out the eyeball, leaving the monster's lifeless body in a puddle of blood. Sam is also able to wield a sledgehammer, which can break walls to reveal hidden areas and better yet, one-hit kill most of the smaller enemies. Anyone familiar with the Serious Sam games knows that enemies tend to come from all directions and in hordes. A very useful 360 degree spin move helps you deal with these types of situations.

The biggest and possibly coolest announcement was the 16-player co-op mode. You and 15 other players can team up to watch the chaos ensue as you take on the massive monster armies in the game's main campaign mode. This feature unfortunately wasn't shown off, but it sounds extremely fun. Competitive multiplayer is present, and in usual form, such as team deathmatch, capture the flag, and a co-operative "horde" type mode that has you and your friends killing waves of enemies.

Another part of the demonstration included one out of three indie games that take place in the Serious Sam universe. The playable Serious Sam: Double D was a sidescroller in the veins of Contra. Developer Mommy's Best Games, who is best known for Weapon of Choice--or the excellent Shoot 1UP--is behind the project, and so far the game looks like a very fun 2D shooter. The other two games were not shown, but one is a runner game for the iPhone much like Canabalt, where you play as a headless kamikaze trying to outrun Sam as far as you can, and the other is a turn-based RPG.

Although Serious Sam 3: BFE is only in its alpha stage, the game will be making its Steam debut late this summer with possible console releases later this year.

Charmander
Mike Splechta GameZone's Editor-in-Chief, retro game enthusiast, savior of kittens. Follow me @Michael_GZ
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