Serious Sam is an epic game of time travel, headless Syrians, aliens, monsters, and guns. Lots and lots of guns. Other than that, not much can be said about it. I could go into more detail about the enemies—everything from frogs of death to scorpion women with chainguns to demons to bigger demons to lava golems to flying faces … You get the idea. Luckily, to take on this massive and daunting horde of opposition you are given a veritable arsenal yourself. Starting with just a single pistol, you pick up first another pistol, then a shotgun, then a better shotgun, a rocket launcher, grenade launcher, tommy gun, minigun, flamethrower, even a laser. In the sequel, you also get a chainsaw and a sniper rifle, both excellent additions.
Unfortunately, the game seems to be mostly devoid of any substantial plot, leading to the levels blurring together, seeming to be the same thing over again. You fight your way through some temple or ruin, past legions of enemies, only to find another sacred city full of demons to fight. The game is fun, especially with friends, but it’s nothing special.
Serious Sam is anything but, really. It is a game summed up very elegantly by an annoying whiny Australian by the name of Yahtzee Croshaw as a good old fashioned point and click game where all you do is ‘use gun on man.’ It is not cerebral. It is not particularly witty, and describing it as inelegant would not be uncharitable, all told.
That said its fun. Is an age where your standard shooter has iron sights and involves lots of sprinting and being crafty and mean people who are better than you shooting you from place that you can’t see and have no hope of finding, Serious Sam HD is simple. You have a large gun. You hold down the trigger. You point it at anything that moves. You don’t need a high falutin’ liberal arts degree to get it. You also don’t need to spend 200 hours before you get really good at it. It’s simple, it’s fun, the most complicated puzzle is hitting a button. I like it.
Serious Sam is one of the best kinds of stupid fun. It has no place or need for a complicated plot; it would just get in the way. Everything is explained as much as it needs to be through all of the flavor text, which can be very amusing at times and is an optional read.
Almost all of the enemies have unique models (except the advanced enemies which are pretty much just larger versions of their early counterparts) and they all have unique ways of attacking which require different methods to attack and dodge. But all is not lost. The player has enough weapons to handle every different situation that might be encountered.
There are no guarding or escorting missions, and there are no support characters to distract you. In fact, the only talking in the entire game is a number of one-liners voiced in a deep growl by the main character.
Now back to the enemies for a brief tangent. Many of the enemies in this game are as large as regular bosses in most other games. Most of these huge foes are also just early boss enemies. Later in the game they start to show up again regularly, and in greater numbers.
Anyway, the game is a blast to play with friends and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a bit of a challenge without too much time devoted to an overly complicated story.