Serious Sam 3: BFE

Hands On The Gonzo-est Shooter At E3 2011
by Adam Biessener on Jun 08, 2011 at 06:09 AM
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Developer: Croteam
Rating: Mature
Platform: Xbox 360, PC

Were you thinking “Lots of circle strafing, silly weapons, and way too many enemies?” You wouldn’t be wrong. You also wouldn’t be wrong to drool over sixteen-player co-op in Serious Sam 3’s wide-open levels.

I circle-strafed the hell out of a whole lot of aliens in downtown Los Angeles just now. I think I chaingunned, shogunned, pistoled, and sledgehammered roughly three hundred bad guys in the course of a ten-minute hands-on demo of an Egypt-themed level of Serious Sam 3: BFE. The gameplay is so very Serious Sam that it would need a voiceover shouting the game’s title in your ear every four seconds to be any more obvious. The basic enemies have rocket launchers.

The melee insta-kills added in this long-in-coming sequel are appropriately gory; ripping a cyclops' eye out with your bare hands isn't ever going to be a subtle maneuver. Likewise, the new sledgehammer is a shockingly brutal weapon, even for a game with a giant cannon that shoots physics-enabled multi-ton balls that obliterate enemies as they roll along -- and then explode afterwards.

Fans will recognize the enemies I saw in the Serious Sam 3 demo, from the headless shooters to the kamikazes and the charging hell-bulls. Getting juggled around a desert oasis by twenty-foot tall demons shouldn't be fun, but that's Serious Sam for you.

It’s not complicated, nuanced, or much of anything more than a series of arenas filled with explosives and enemy aliens, but I’m totally on board for a gonzo high-def Serious Sam with modern graphics and twelve-player multiplayer (which I sadly didn’t see in action). The graphics are solid, the sense of humor is adolescent as ever, and the alien chunks glisten delightfully in the afternoon sun.

Expect Serious Sam 3: BFE on PC later this summer, and on consoles shortly thereafter. Devolver and Croteam didn't have an exact price point to announce, but they did assure me that Serious Sam 3 is not going to be a $60 game.