Serious Sam 3 BFE’s Serious Review
Sam’s back, for what that is worth. Serious Sam 3 BFE continues the ridiculous, over-the-top carnage--which we are all familiar with. This installment of the series holds no punches. If you are looking for a game full of crazy weapons, corny one-liners, and huge scale FPS battles, this game is for you. If you are looking for a FPS with stellar plot, good story telling, and realistic style combat situations, Serious Sam is seriously not for you.
Let’s dive right into the basics. Serious Sam 3 BFE tries very hard to be hardcore. The action is intense, gory, and chaotic. No matter what weapon you use, you can make melee attacks on the aliens that aren’t huge. These attacks include ripping a large eye out, tearing a heart out Sub Zero style, snapping necks, stopping, and sliding huge armor plates off giant insects. As a side note, the sliding huge armor plates off giant insects made me queasy every time. I think it’s something to do with both the sound it makes and the animation--mostly the sound though. “Hurrrrah” - SLICE.
The banter and one-liners go above and beyond any bad cliché action film. Do you expect this? Do you play SS3 for these? Do you face palm at all of these? Yes, yes, and more yes. The one-liners are KEY to the whole experience. Like in the very beginning when you get the sledge hammer and kill something with it, Sam says “smashing!”--genius. My personal favorite is when the giant machine gun scorpion alien walks by and Sam tells him to not party without him. Then, once Sam kills it, reminds him that he told it not to party without him. I did like the whistling though.
The scenery is very well done. The environments, even the desert, are beautiful. The Serious Engine does an excellent job with destructible environments. If said giant machine gun scorpion is shooting at me, the walls and cover crumble. In such a destructive game, I really enjoyed this feature. If I’m firing off rockets like a madman, I want the environment to respond to my insanity.
Game mechanic-wise, SS3 is clearly a run and gun style of game. Movement and jumping doesn’t affect your reticles what so ever. Whether you are standing perfectly still or falling, your aim is unaffected. Early in the game, you will realize that strafing and backpedaling are your best friends. The melee-based mobs will always run straight at you, and if you can backpedal and gun them down they won’t be as difficult. You need to contently be listening to the headless undead guys that somehow scream at you while holding two bombs to suicide into you with.
The pistol bothered me this game. Once I got it, I used it exclusively for the next few levels. Why? Because it has infinite ammo. Sure you need to reload every 10 shots, but it’s still pretty fast. It also fires fast. While the shotgun does sufficient damage, the range and speed of the pistol makes it rather overpowered early game. So yes, I disliked it because it made things easier. The moment I got the pistol, the sledge hammer never was used again.
Difficulty was hit or miss. The game tries to make situations harder by just throwing endless amounts of aliens at you. The issue with this is that once you get a grasp for the mechanics and you have enough ammo, it doesn’t matter how many aliens are thrown at you. The developers throw wrenches in every once in a while with alien variation and flying harpy like creatures. This does make for epic scale combat, but this is the games only real trick. I found this to get repetitive and eventually uninterested. The battle with the first helicopter was innovative and challenging in “No Place to Hide.”
Honestly, I had low expectations entering the game. The gameplay and environments grew on me though. Once I accepted that the plot and story were just not going to happen, I allowed myself to have more fun with the carnage. Once a few more weapons were introduced and the epic scaled fights started, I got more into it. But then nothing changed. As I got further in the game, I just kept getting more guns and the fights just got larger and larger. I created a bell-shaped diagram to demonstrate my enjoyment of SS3 shown below. This graph shows how I learned to enjoy the game, but the more I played I started to lose interest.
Serious Sam 3 BFE can be purchased on PC for $40 and can be purchased with the Steam store. It came out November 22.