Plot? What kind of first-person shooter needs a plot? A story can easily weigh down a game that doesn’t need it. Just look at Battlefield 3 and you’ll see what I mean. Thankfully, the developers behind Serious Sam realize that a story should not only take the back seat, but pretty much sit in the trunk of the car. It’s always been about over-the-top action and hilarity, intended and unintended alike, as you blast enemies to kingdom come using a large scale of weapons. And Serious Sam 3: BFE follows suit – for better or for worse.
Serious Sam once again returns to a world he never made, packing an arsenal of weapons as he faces the vicious Mental and his onslaught of demons, weird-ass enemies and juggernauts. These guys come at you from all directions, and it’s your job to mow them down like grass. With everything from the Serious Sam Bomb to rocket launchers, you’ve got an ongoing barrage of ammunition to bring them down with.
The game continues its tongue-in-cheek style like the last two, with onslaughts of enemies that go into the hundreds and plenty of blood-gushing carnage to go around. And the gameplay remains smooth and pinpoint, so you’ll never have a problem taking down someone in your sights or figuring out the next place you need to know.
But Croteam should’ve done some better balancing when it comes to character placement. One minute you’re facing an army like a member of Frank Miller’s 300; the next, you’re just taking on stragglers from point to point, trying to seek out some action – even on the game’s highest difficulty setting. We understand giving us a minute to breathe or so after a really HUGE fight, but come on, it should’ve been frantic a lot more full on than this.
What’s more, the gameplay hasn’t evolved enough for this to be considered a true sequel. Is it fun? Yeah, but considering the minimal amount of work that went into the environments (more on that in a second), this could’ve easily just been a series of add-on chapters, rather than a full-blown part 3.
Now, speaking of the environments – they’re okay. Most of them take place in the sandy confines of Egypt, with lots of room to run and plenty of places to visit. But it’s lacking the kind of variety that made previous games look so stellar, as you pretty much run across the same looking areas through most of the game. Some enemy designs make up for it, though, especially the bigger rocket-launching mutants that will stop at nothing to turn you into a bloody red speck. They look great up close – well, if you survive up close. The audio is equally good, with lots of puns and war taunts, and creature effects to perk up your ears. Music could’ve been better though.
Along with the single player campaign (which will take you a few hours), Serious Sam 3: BFE also comes with multiplayer and co-op. There are no amazing advancements here, but the maps are excellent, and being able to work alongside a friend (or frag them to no end) never gets tiring. And we’re pretty sure there’s still a strong Sam community making the rounds on Steam and PC.
While the game doesn’t take huge leaps forward like other threequels that came out this year, and lacks the kind of consistent pacing to make it a classic, Serious Sam 3: BFE is an overall mindless good time, packed with carnage and wink-in-the-eye fun aplenty. Just make sure you know what you’re getting into before you hit the buy button. Approach it with a light heart and a smile on your face and you’ll be fine.