The Serious Sam series is one that has a fond gathering of fans over the years from its first two games. However, the series went on a bit of hibernation after the release of Serious Sam 3 in 2011. Fans fortunately didn’t have to wait long for a sequel when Croteam released Serious Sam 4. Today, after the release of a few patches months ago, let’s talk about Serious Sam 4 and how it changed the series.
What is Serious Sam 4?
Serious Sam 4 is a prequel to the first two Serious Sam games. The game sets Sam to find the Holy Grail, one of the artifacts that the aliens want to get to start conquering the world. Sam’s quest is to prevent them from getting the artifact through the use of superior human firepower.
If you want to know the benefits of playing video games such as Serious Sam, why not check out our article regarding the topic?
When Was It Released For PC?
Serious Sam 4 was released on September 24, 2020, for the PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Google Stadia.
Serious Sam 4 Review
As of right now, Serious Sam 4 has gone through several patches to be a better game. It’s time to put out a review to check out if you would want to play the game.
Serious Sam 4’s graphics are a mixture of the old and new. From the pretty divisive Serious Sam 3 to the first Serious Sam games having a bit more color in them. Other than that, the game looks pretty generic in terms of graphics. It’s better when compared to the third game, which is a good thing as Serious Sam 3 looks pretty drab.
The game’s music can be pretty catchy when you’re in the middle of a fight. However, there are a few moments when the music will abruptly stop and leave you hanging in the middle of a fight. However, it would seem that Croteam is working on it so there’s not much of a gripe.
Other than this, the game’s guns sound awesome and incredibly punchy. This is one of the best things about its sound design as it gives gamers an adrenaline rush.
Story-wise, there’s not much for you to really care about. You’re Serious Sam, and you’re looking for the Holy Grail to prevent an alien invasion. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. Since it’s Serious Sam, it can get away with that level of storytelling. There’s nothing much that you need for a Serious Sam game. Your only goal is to kill aliens, and the story is just an excuse for you to rain lead on the invaders.
Talking about Serious Sam’s gameplay means thoroughly dissecting its combat. This is where the game shines the most and is what we’re gonna talk about below. However, other than the combat, we need to talk about the guns and perks as well.
Let’s talk about the game’s combat, which is the main highlight of the series.
Serious Sam 4 is pretty much an FPS player’s wet dream in terms of the number of targets that is filling the screen. There’s a lot of things that they can shoot and kill. Next up on the list of this is the addition of a weak point system on all the enemies. Right now, the enemies on Serious Sam 4 have a weak point that players can hit for bonus damage. Usually, this is located on the head, meaning high-accuracy weapons can do a lot of damage. Hilariously enough, this makes the pistol a viable weapon even in the late game.
Guns and Perk Ups
The main thing about Serious Sam’s combat is the number of guns the player can use. Your choices vary from the ordinary pistols that have unlimited ammo to chainsaw launchers that lock onto enemies. We will never know why the chainsaw launcher exists, but it’s awesome to play and that’s all that matters.
Other than these guns, we also have a cannon that shoots cannonballs, a missile launcher, and a laser cannon. These weapons also have mods that increase their killing capabilities. Notable things include turning the laser cannon into a Spartan Laser that deletes whole groups of baddies and a lock-on mode for the missile launcher, among other things.
The game also gave Sam the ability to use perks. These perks are gained right after the player finishes chapter 1. As for how you can get them, you need to find skill points scattered in the levels.
These perks can change the way you play, and some of them give Sam the ability to deal maximum carnage. Among the more popular and quite honestly awesome perks in this list is the ability to dual-wield weapons. And that’s just the beginning, from longer durations on your utility items to wielding two different weapons. Using your cannon and your rocket launcher at the same time is a thing, and it’s great that it is.
However, not all perks can improve your preferred way of killing aliens, and choosing which ones among the available options fit your playstyle might be tricky for some people. Though that doesn’t mean experimentation shouldn’t be done, as some perks can combo with other perks if used correctly.
Serious Sam 4 has some pretty great controls and is one of the best things about the game. You wouldn’t expect Sam to move fluidly in the arena with all the alien purging he’s doing, but he’s actually moving pretty well. This is in keeping with the game’s usual playstyle back in the day. You run around the arena and kill stuff with weapons that come out of the wazoo. From the usual super shotgun to chainsaw launchers, a new addition to the game that’s just awesome to play.
Other than all that, there are a lot of things to be said about the way that they handle their utility items, some of which would be bad. The utilities are equipped through the use of the game’s weapon wheel, which is used by pressing the mouse wheel. I don’t need to tell you how bad that idea is for some people. Not only that, but the weapon wheel doesn’t pause the game so you’re taking damage while picking the utility item you want to use. This can lead to some pretty gruesome deaths if you’re not paying attention.
Besieds that little gripe, the game’s controls aren’t that bad after the developers released the game’s 1.05 patch. The patch fixed quite a few issues that the game had at launch. Nowadays, it’s a pretty good game to play after a few bug fixes.
It’s hard to find any replay value out of Serious Sam 4. The game is good for a single playthrough or three before you’re done with it. Though you can select the levels you can play, it’s not like Doom Eternal where you can bring your full loadout. Though you can activate cheats to compensate for this design flaw, doesn’t bring the same punch.
The game is also a bit boring to play after playing through it enough times. You go through Rome, France, and Russia to kick alien ass and save the world. After that, you’re pretty much done with the game unless you’ve missed a collectible during your run. Fortunately, the game does have mod support so you can expect the modding community to come up wtih interesting stuff to keep you entertained for a good while.
As said, the game is great for the first to third playthroughs. Other than that, you’re pretty much left floundering about what’s next. However, the game does deliver on its promise of a Serious Sam game. After all, some silly fun is all that the players are looking for. The dialogue might be cheesy, and extra cheese is probably expected since it’s a Serious Sam game. However, if you want to just blast enemies to smithereens, you can count on Serious Sam to just deliver. And for some people, that’s enough.
Serious Sam 4 vs Other First-Person Shooters
As of right now, Serious Sam 4 is a bit behind on the times when it comes to the modern FPS genre. That doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing. The game sticks to its guns and continues on the tradition of a Serious Sam game through and through. And while it’s true that there are things that it did badly in its pursuit of the feel of the previous games, it’s still pretty enjoyable.
However, how does the game compare to other games of its genre? Is it still able to compete with other FPS titans? Well, here are some FPS games that are prevalent today and how they compare to Serious Sam 4.
Doom Eternal’s gameplay is its main selling point. The game is fast, frenetic, and incredibly brutal. You’re always on the move, and you’re going to be dead if you’re not managing your ammunition, skills, and utility weapons well. Stuck between a wall and a few enemies and you don’t react fast enough? You’re dead. You run out of juice for a utility at a crucial moment? You’re dead.
This makes Doom Eternal more of a thinking man’s game than what most people think. You need to be incredibly conscious of all the resources you currently have to not get blindsided by your enemies. Keeping count of all the enemies that are in the arena is another thing you need to take into account. Maybe that Cacodemon is the last enemy you need to kill? Perhaps you need to chainsaw a weak enemy to get the necessary ammo to kill that Baron?
Serious Sam 4 doesn’t have that kind of system that engages the player, it’s just mindless killing. Now don’t get us wrong; that has its own charm. However, the sheer repetition of killing without anything bringing anything new to the table will sour the experience for people that want more. However, for those that just want to do wanton slaughter, Serious Sam 4 is a game that delivers in spades.
If you want a Thinking Man’s Shooter that makes you engage in the game and find ways to get to victory, play Doom Eternal. Meanwhile, play Serious Sam 4 if you’re someone who wants to just shoot alien scum in the balls.
When talking about Half-Life, you may want to take into account the legacy that this series has. From the original Half-Life game to the success of its mod Counter-Strike and the widely praised Half-Life 2. Hell, even Half-Life: Alyx should be on this list, given that it’s a great VR title all on its own.
When you look at the lifespan of all the Half-Life games, you see a trend. One, the games are made when Valve thinks that the game will change the gaming landscape. Half-Life 1 did that on its time, its sequel did that in its time, and so on. The second is that the games are incredibly story-driven, which was a new thing for first-person shooters at the time. If you think about it, they’re the exact opposite of Doom at the time, which provides gamers with a nice contrast.
Unfortunately, in terms of story, Serious Sam isn’t gonna compete with Half-Life any time soon. The game is pretty mindless in terms of the fun value, making it a bit bland when it comes to the gameplay. While Serious Sam 4 has more weapons than Half-Life, the latter game’s ingenuity when it comes to its mechanics is head and shoulders better. Last but not the least, Half-Life is still a great game to play even after all these years and modern technology making the game’s graphics look dated. In comparison, Serious Sam 4 has better graphics but falls flat story-wise. There are a few cheesy moments when there’s no need to.
Still, the game does have its charms. And overall, the game is for people that just want to mindlessly shoot at aliens in the face. There’s nothing else to say about Serious Sam 4 other than that.