Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter

Sometimes all gamers want to do is unload some lead

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Devolver Digital  Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter
  • Devolver Digital  Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter
  • Devolver Digital  Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter

Pros

  • Frenzied gameplay, incredibly creative weapons and enemies, HD graphics look great

Cons

  • Co-op matches are hit or miss, single-player campaign is a bit too short

Bottom Line

Long before Gears of Wars Horde Mode and Left 4 Dead's frantic army of the undead, there was Serious Sam and the unending hordes that he battled his way through. Serious Sam wasn't the best FPS ever created, but it was an unabashed celebration of ballistics and explosions that gave gamers a chance to just blow off some steam. It's been over four years since we last saw Sam and his deadly arsenal of weaponry, and though genre has become more and more sophisticated, this HD remake proves that there is still plenty of mindless fun to be had.

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  • Serious Sam Hd: First & Second Encounters Xbox 360 48.80
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Sick and tired of unexpected story altering plot twists? In-depth analysis of the nuclear arms race got you down? Never want to hear the word "nanomachine" again? As much progress as the current generation of gaming has made for the medium of digital storytelling, there's no denying that its quite easy to get bogged down by the heavy-handed ethical lectures many triple A games force upon their players. It can be undeniably sobering and intriguing to see your protagonist's morality brought into question in a half-hour long cutscene, but sometimes... well, sometimes you just wanna kill stuff.

Sick and tired of unexpected story altering plot twists? In-depth analysis of the nuclear arms race got you down? Never want to hear the word "nanomachine" again? As much progress as the current generation of gaming has made for the medium of digital storytelling, there's no denying that its quite easy to get bogged down by the heavy-handed ethical lectures many triple A games force upon their players. It can be undeniably sobering and intriguing to see your protagonist's morality brought into question in a half-hour long cutscene, but sometimes... well, sometimes you just wanna kill stuff.

Adrenaline junkies of the world rejoice, as the good people over at Croteam have resurrected their legendary one-man army for this HD redux of one of the finest shoot-em-ups (shoot-em-alls?) to grace last generation consoles. Following in the footsteps of the timeless Doom and Duke Nukem 3D, Serious Sam HD pits players against a legion of bizarre, horrifying and hilariously creative foes in this fast-paced first person shooter that doesn't just celebrate "old school" run-n-gun action -- it revels in it.

Serious Sam never had any trouble laying on the cheese, and just about every tongue-in-cheek quip, quirky character design and outlandish weapon has found its way into HD territory with this re-release. The most notable upgrades are the game's remastered visuals, which have really come a long way since the game's original 2002 Xbox release. Dynamic lighting, revamped character models and a silky smooth framerate make Serious Sam HD quite the looker, and this is all offset quite nicely by the game's absolutely massive maps.

Also new is the game's sixteen player co-op mode which pits you and fifteen other Sams (all of assorted player-customised bad-assitude) against a legion of the game's eccentric armies. While the widescale co-op certainly has its charms, I couldn't help but feel that it just didn't mesh too well with Sam's famous fast-paced gameplay. Sixteen players means sixteen Sams filling your screen, all pumping lead in different directions and leading me to actively have to search out my enemies in between the relentless rain of lead, rockets and cannon balls. The slightest hint of lag can also seriously hinder the game's breakneck pace, and with sixteen different connections there's almost guaranteed to be a hiccup or two.

Again, sometimes all gamers want to do is unload some lead, and while Serious Sam can get old relatively fast, gamers with itchy trigger fingers and corny one-liners to spare will more than likely find this nostalgia trip to be worth every cent. For all its simplicity, there's no denying that Serious Sam HD has enough old-school charm and addictive gameplay to make it a worthwhile purchase for gamers that just want to get some killing done the old fashioned way: with a portable ship cannon, gatling gun and four-barreled rocket launcher in your pocket.

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