by Chris Priestman
reviewed on PC
Merry Men (cntd)
As for the rest of the multiplayer features, well, they are quite bland and consequently no one is interested. Even at launch, finding a server to play Deathmatch, Capture The Flag or InstaKill was basically impossible. The problem is that these Versus Modes are classic through and through, and are understandably aged and boring. The levels they take place in are of the same breed. There is one addition worth noting though, and that is Beast Hunt, which is in more descriptive terms, competitive campaign. This basically gives you and your band of musketeers a way of measuring who is actually killing the most enemies with an individual score. Friendly fire is also turned on in Beast Hunt, which only goes to encourage seeing red and destroying anything that moves...friend or foe.
You Can't Be Serious!
All things considered, the campaign is where you are going to be spending all of your time, and you are going to want to do this in co-op. As a single player game, Serious Sam 3 is very challenging and quite frustrating - it lacks the fun of the co-op experience. Death means reloading at the last autosave point and, with so many enemies filling the screen, it soon gets overwhelming and not so distant from a chore. The problem is that Croteam have forgotten about a side of Serious Sam that makes Second Encounter still the best in the series. It's something that can only be described as pure silliness. There are no rooms with bouncing floors, there are only a couple of secrets actually worth finding, and most outrageously, there are no Serious Speed pickups! These are the types of things that make Serious Sam surprising and downright hilarious with it. While it is true that my co-op partners and I were cackling as the enemies got bigger and grew to ridiculous numbers, it was very disappointing that this was the only silly thing happening in the gameplay.
Instead of adding iron sights aiming and the handful of new enemies, Croteam should have focused on adding more diversity and the occasional distraction from the shooting. The "parkour secrets" were a good start to this as they encourage the player to explore the environment by bouncing along roofs and edge around window sills. Yet, even that came to a halt when we started to fall into holes that we couldn't get out of on more than one occasion, meaning that that the whole level had to be restarted. Another rather confusing choice made by Croteam was to not give weapons like the sniper and laser gun (a personal favourite) to players in the campaign. If they are in there, they are hidden very well as an obscure secret. Otherwise they only appear in the dead on arrival versus modes, which is a real shame.
For all the slights and minor disappointments, Serious Sam 3 is still great for those who love the manic co-op action the series is renowned for. It proves that there is still room for this type of shooter as long as it remains true to form in every aspect. Taking on the dull colour scheme of those around it and attempting to assemble a storyline rather than its notorious silly gameplay was definitely a step in the wrong direction. Still, picking up the minigun and facing a full breadth of enemies in the anticipation of mowing them down with friends backing you up, is still a great and often overlooked feeling. Twitch shooter junkies and those who love co-op gaming, it is imperative that you play Serious Sam 3.
Traditional gameplay, gorgeous graphics, stable co-op fun.
Dull colours, stale versus modes, not as silly as it should be.