Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I have a very strong urge to yell really loudly right now.  Serious Sam has that effect on me.

Let's take a step back.  Ten years, to be exact, because that's when the first Serious Sam game was released.  (Don't get me started on how fecking ridiculous that fact is.)  The year, 2001.  The world was simpler then.  Fuck, the world was a -lot- simpler!  The game came out in March.  That means 9/11 hadn't even happened yet.  Talk about an innocent time.

ANYWAY, a little game called Serious Sam came out, and it filled a void.  That void was left by Duke Nukem, who had been missing in action for quite a long time EVEN THEN.  There was always something different about Sam, though.  The sexism and crude humor that sort of turns me off when it comes to Duke wasn't there.  And it was refreshing.

The point of Serious Sam was to basically throw a metric fuck ton of enemies at you all at once, and give you multitudes of weapons to deal with the problem.  Simple.  Fun.  Hours of entertainment.  No complexity.  No thinking.  Just fun.  It was a lovely detour on a road of games that were becoming increasingly more realistic.  Even then.

That was then.  This is now.  Fast forward to present day.  Serious Sam 3 has been released, and a lot of people are inclined to ask:  Is this franchise still relevant?  Things have changed a lot in a decade.  Is there still a place for Sam?  After all, Duke is back.  Right?

Well, I'm here to tell you that Sam has just kicked Duke's ass clear across the galaxy.  Croteam have irrevocably captured the spirit of the first game, and brought up into the present day.  All the fun I remember having then, I'm having all over again, and it is fantastic.  Having been neck deep in Skyrim for the past 18 days, this game is -exactly- what I needed.  No worries.  No bothers.  Just murder everything in sight and crack jokes while you're doing it.  Yes, please.

Crom, where to begin?  Let's start with the tone of the game.  Playing Serious Sam is very akin to watching a James Bond movie.  You know 007 is going to win.  You know the super villain is going to lose.  So as you're watching one of those movies, you're just sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying the show.  That is -exactly- how you play Serious Sam.  In any other game, that would -kill- any intention anyone had in actually playing it.  If there was no dire threat of defeat in Skyrim, would you really want to play it as much?  Probably not.  No one knew how Skyrim was going to end.  Everyone knows how Serious Sam is going to end.  AND THAT'S OKAY.  Because how it ends isn't the -point-.  It's playing through it.  This game is designed to take you by the hand, sit you down, and say to you, "Now, just lay back.  Relax.  I'm going to take care of everything for the next couple of hours."

That is exactly why I play the game.  I can listen to Sam crack jokes and not worry what's going to happen around the next corner.  (I know what's going to happen -- there's going to be lots of enemies, and I'm going to kill them all.)

So, things Sam does better than Duke?  I thought you'd never ask:

  • Sense of humor.  It's not sexist or crude.  It's not tasteless.  It is -definitely- corny, but that's okay!  I find myself laughing every time Sam says something, no matter how bad the joke is.  His superior yells into the speaker, "Do you -have- to blow everything up?"  And he dryly replies, "As a matter of fact, yes, I do."  It's an old joke.  It's a bad joke.  Is it even a joke?  I dunno, but I laugh at it because of the way he says it.  It's masculine and laced with testosterone but it's not over the line.  (Duke was over the line.)
  • Weapons.  You can carry ALL the weapons!  I'm currently carrying a pistol, a shotgun, a bigger shotgun, an assault rife, a rocket launcher, a better rocket launcher, and dynamite.  And a sledgehammer.  And a wristband weapon.  AND I CAN RIP OUT EYEBALLS, HEARTS, AND TONGUES WITH MY BARE HANDS.
  • Setting.  It's in Egypt.  At the pyramids and ancient ruins.  THIS ALWAYS WINS.
  • Enemies.  You hear a loud "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"  It's a Kamikaze -- a human with no head and a bomb in each hand that runs at you intending to blow you both up.  Do not ask how it's yelling when it has no head.  That's part of the charm.  Sam yells, "Ah, shut up!" after killing it.   Twenty more then run towards him.  "Uh-oh."  It's brilliant.  

So basically, Sam is better in every way imaginable.  Shock horror.

I'm typing a mile a minute here.  I'm just so damned happy that Croteam made this game.  I just saw a newspost about them.  Apparently the game is selling very well on Steam, and they took a jab at the bigger developers.  They said, "Well, with quality games like Skyrim and our own Serious Sam 3 coming out, gamers will gladly pay for awesome."  YES I WILL PAY FOR AWESOME.  This was a direct jab at developers like Ubisoft who whine -constantly- and declare that the PC gaming platform has a 95% piracy ratio.  And Croteam's response to their whining was "Gamers will pay for awesome." I fucking love it.

Also -- I'm just putting this out there now:  If Jesse from OMFG doesn't do a playthrough of this game, it will be a CRIME AGAINST NATURE.  The entire time I'm playing, I can imagine parts that he would find utterly hilarious.  I can hear his laugh as I'm laughing.  This game is practically made for him.  I've already send OMFG a message stating as much.  You're welcome.

And holy spaceballs that's a lot of text I just wrote!  How about some footage in the form of screenshots then?  I should warn you -- Sam's horrible sense of humor has rubbed off on me.  The captions on these will be horrible jokes!

Dark, moldy hallway.  What could possibly go...WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?!

Hi!  You're ugly!  Y'know what you could use?  Holes.  Allow me to fix that for you!


Yes, I did all that.  With a shotgun.

Torro?  Torro?  Ole?  Aw fuck it.  BLAM!

"Ah, shit."

When I saw this, the first thing that came to my mind was, "When a very religious mother has a son, she probably tells him that a woman's vagina looks something like this, so that he'll be too terrified to have sex with a girl and maintain his "purity".

The second thing that came to my mind was the desire to kill it.  And so I did.  With a rocket.

I don't always aim, but when I do, an automatic turret steals my kill.

Not gonna lie -- Sam looks cool.

Oh look, a harpy.  Nothing could possibly go...


Think of all the bird poop...

All joking aside, Egypt looks fantastic.

I guarantee you, if this thing would have come alive as I walked up to it, I would have shat myself.

This picture does this room no justice whatsoever.  Look at the FLOOR.  It reflects -everything-.  Even Sam's image as I walk across it.  I could see his reflection as I looked down.

"Ah, finally.  Some sci-fi mumbo-jumbo."

Diablo's cousin?

I'm six levels/four hours into the game.  All of that except 20 minutes was done tonight.  MY WRIST IS GOING TO FALL OFF BUT I DON'T CARE.  

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