Sunday, October 21, 2012

No school like the old school

I am so happy that I got to play any version of Serious Sam 3, even happier that the console port was handled in an intelligent, *ahem* serious way. The game reached such a point of intensity last night that my hands were sweating, something that I do not remember any other game doing. It is a wonderful primal experience. Little story, no pretense, if it moves, shoot it. If it is still moving, shoot it with something bigger.

The old familiar trope of taking all your guns away was trotted out last night which I did not enjoy. Going back to whacking things with the sledgehammer was rather underwhelming, but I suppose that was the point. Sure, you can kill giant monsters from across the map with a sniper rifle that shoots explosive bullets. Can you do it with an assault rifle? Better yet, can you get in to point black range and do it with a shotgun?

Just like the first two games, first and second encounter (I did not play much of Serious Sam 2, it wasn't very good) the source of most of my frustrations are the skeletal kleer. Other enemies are content to charge straight at you or circle just out of range while firing rockets. The kleer do both, are faster than you even while sprinting, do ridiculous damage, and are just as bad peppered in with other enemies as they are flowing down a canyon by the hundreds, looking like a pointy avalanche. So many of my deaths came from one of these bastards I forgot about catching me from behind that I had to stop being conservative with my ammo and whip out the mini-gun every time I heard their hooves hit the ground.

I hate them. I hate them so much. Again, the game is accomplishing exactly what it set out to do. Sometimes you can tell that the developers honestly loved the game while they were working on it. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is one even  though I haven't talked about it. Other examples would be he first BioShock or this years Bastion. Croteam loves Sam. They love his world filled with Egyptian nonsense, his clear aping of Duke Nukem. They love the wide open levels with obvious spawn points. But the especially love that last cheap shot when you think you are done. One more enemy for when Sam is low on health an ammo, nearly guaranteed to kill you the first time around.

And I love it, too.

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