Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter
Has It Really been eight years since we first locked, loaded and lobbed bullets around an alternate version of ancient Egypt with that most stern-browed of game heroes, Serious Sam? Ah, there was Serious Sam 2 a few years ago, but that didn't have the impact as the original, despite being more ambitious.
Well, it was ambitious only in a geographical sense, because the actual gameplay was exactly the same. And so it is in Serious Sam HD, where Croteam have spent a long time spitting on and vigorously polishing their old game, so much so that they created a new engine.
With as much imagination as went into the decision to just make the game identical to the original in virtually every way, the new engine has been dubbed the Serious Engine 3.0. It does indeed look pretty good. For some reason, it doesn't seem as radically beautiful as some were saying it was going to be, but it's pretty decent, considering the size and scope of the levels and the number of enemies zipping about the place. Of course, it's not Crysis, but, just like with the original, sheer beauty has been sacrificed for playability.
But, for $20 or so, is just this graphical boost worth it when you could just play the original and get the exact same gaming experience? Probably not, sadly. It's a little overpriced (at least on Steam, as other places do the game cheaper) for what it is - an old game given a new lick of paint - and even with the addition of Achievements and all the bonuses being on Steam brings with it, it still essentially boils down to being an expensive nostalgic novelty. But shave $12 off the price and we'd be laughing.
Keep On Shootin'
Co-op is still great fun though and the game remains very challenging as you ramp up the difficulty. You'll really need a microphone to get the most out of it, because the text chat "facility" leaves nearly everything to be desired.
Anyway, as far as introducing new players to the old school, constant blasting style of shooter that Serious Sam is perhaps the embodiment of, it's the best place to start out. It looks good and still has that all important fun factor present to make playing it a blast. But for older players, veterans of the series, it might not be worth spending nearly $22, when there are so many other important games either out or on the horizon.
Download Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP