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Serious Sam: The First Encounter - PC Game Review

by: Finn Orfano ; edited by: Bill Fulks ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Rarely games that have that jaw-drop effect are being released. And even more rarely some practically unknown game title succeeds with such effect. However, one not so famous company from Croatia called Croteam managed to surprise us with Serious Sam.

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    Serious Story

    The story behind the game cannot grab you at all. It's even far from interesting. The development takes place in the future where space travel is something common. Of course, it comes a time where humanity discovers a high-tech alien race that wants to destroy our planet. In these dark times, the only salvation is called Sam Stone, but even such a “serious” hero can't just take control of the situation that easy.

    It turns out that the only way to stop the invasion is to travel back through time and gather several ancient artifacts. The journey leads him to different touristic attractions in Egypt such as the Pyramid of Heopse and Luxor City. The whole story is very simple, but you can never expect much from a FPS. It's still serous stuff though!

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    Serious Graphics

    ss1 I'll judge the game from the time when it was released, specifically seven years ago. I don't have enough words to describe how amazed I was by the graphics. There was probably no other game that could beat Serious Sam's special effects at this time. Starting off with the great water surfaces, the enormous temples, the vast areas, and ending with the great light and explosion effects. It was a revolutionary game for the FPS genre and there was nothing better until the release of Doom 3. The best news from all is that Croteam didn't use a licensed engine from another game and company – they created their own. The so-called...

    ...Serious Engine!

    Developed for 4 years, the game engine offers great possibilities that are not only in the specifications. Expect the graphic elements under the form of flare effects, detailed waters and flying parts of destroyed textures.

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    Serious Monsters

    The enemies you will meet in this game do not just look good; they look amazing. Wait, that's not all! They come in the hundreds! Even by ss2 playing Doom 2 on hardest difficulty you wouldn't meet that many monsters as in Serious Sam. Now combine the nice look and quantity with very acceptable system requirements. Have in mind however, that there is zero artificial intelligence in those technical monster brains - they just attack you whenever they see you. Except that the authors took care of you not trying to escape, you always get trapped into a specific zone and until you kill all monsters there, and you can't progress. I can say this is sometimes boring, but most of you will enjoy killing hordes of attacking monsters.

    The levels are also very interactive. There is nearly nothing you can't destroy if you have the needed arsenal. There are lots of enemy types, so you won't get bored. My favorites are the bulls that throw you around like a soccer ball. You should see for yourself.

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    Serious Weapons

    ss3 Talking about killing monsters – we have to say a few words about the arsenal. It's spectacular but not very creative. You have access to ten weapons total - very typical for most of the shooters. They include a common knife, the one I loved to kill bulls with playing a toreador, pistol, shotgun, two types of rifles, rocket launcher of course, plasma rifle and everything else we have seen until now. The only new addition is the cannon. It shoots big cannon balls with high explosive power that can kill several enemies at once. In case you miss the target, the cannon ball starts jumping around like a billiard ball trying to find its target. You may end up with running from your own weapons if you shoot many at once.

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    Not So Serious Requirements

    The game runs good on a P2 400 with a good 3D Accelerator and 64 MB RAM. The only serious requirement is the memory of the 3D Card - the very minimum is 16mb but it's recommended to have at least 32. You won't see any problems with the current PC configurations of course.

    In conclusion I can only repeat how great game Serious Sam is. If you were once a Doom, Wolfenstein, or Duke Nukem fan and you miss them, then Serious Sam is the serious offer for you.