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hardcore_gamer

What are your thoughts on the Serious Sam games?

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Lots of people throw the Serious Sam games into the same basket as Doom/Doom 2 and Painkiller, so I am wandering what your thoughts on the series is?

I am personally looking forward to playing SM 3 which will be released in a 2 months time since it looks way better then the first 2 games, but as far as the first 2 games are concerned I don't really like them all that much.

The biggest problem I have with the 2 first SM games (which I will admit I haven't played all that much since I ain't all that fond of them in the first place) is that there is no real thought put into monster placement most of the time with most of the confrontations just being the same arena style battles taking place in an open space over and over, and it gets old really fast. Not to mention that some of the more faster enemies are really annoying to fight since there is no real cover anywhere in the game or any way you can take advantage of the map layouts to your advantage.

That said, I will still be playing Serious Sam 3 since it looks considerably better.

What are your thoughts on the Serious Sam franchise?

Discuss.

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Eh. They're sort of OK as there own genre but lousy as modern updates of doom and it annoyed me to no end that they are treated as such. Doom was more then go in room, get locked in, monsters spawn, kill them while running backwards, door unlocks, repeat in next room.

I am also a little worried that Doom 4 is going to follow the Serious Sam school of gameplay as a result.

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Boring and overly simplistic level design, bad monster placement and too slow player movement. Plus those rushing bulls and leaping skeleton things are annoying.

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I enjoyed Serious Sam + Second Encounter when they were released. However, when I went to replay it a couple of years later, and again when the HD makeover came out, it felt boring and pointless. The Egyptian style levels I played looked bland, no real sense of place, and the gameplay didn't seem very interesting anymore despite the oldschool approach.

Haven't checked into SS3 apart from looking at a few screnshots. Not really looking forward to it or anything. Perhaps I'm going to try the demo if they release one.

Edit: meant Second Encounter, the addon.

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Captain Red said:

Eh. They're sort of OK as there own genre but lousy as modern updates of doom and it annoyed me to no end that they are treated as such. Doom was more then go in room, get locked in, monsters spawn, kill them while running backwards, door unlocks, repeat in next room.

I totally agree. That annoyed the hell out of me. Also there were times I wanted to backtrack to look for shit and the way back was closed off. Bleagh.

I ended up with Serious Sam II but never bothered to play it.

I doubt I will bother with the third installment.

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Fun for a romp in coop every now and then.

Other than that,

- run to next square box
- monsters teleport
- more monsters teleport
- yet more monsters teleport
^ during the 3 above steps, bunnyhop in circles with M1 firmly pressed
- door to the next square box opens
- go back to step 1

Resumes the whole gameplay to me.

I think it actually hurt the Doom genre more than any other game, as most people probably forgot what Doom is like, take a look at Serious Sam and think "oh right, it was like this" ; so clever level design, great weapon and monster balance, even lightning and atmosphere are forgotten and people think of Doom as that game where you just pressed M1 and bunnyhopped backwards until the teleporting monster horde was dead. Even though you couldn't actually jump, that carelessly running around would end up with you down in a slime pit or stuck in a wall while a cybie rocket took you out, and that a minimal amount of monsters actually came from teleports in Doom. :)

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Second Encounter was and still is one of my favourite games, and I seem to enjoy it for the exact same reasons that Phml listed as negative. It's obviously a simplistic game, supported by the wackiness of its design and concept, and that's all it really needs to work as a brainless exercise.

neg!ke said:

The Egyptian style levels I played looked bland, no real sense of place

Well bland, maybe, but I can't vouch for the sense of place not being there. I always come over all nostalgic when I recall the progression from small, creepy and remote outposts of the first half of the game (First Encounter) to the epic confines of the second half. I think Croteam made the most out of the Egyptian setting, really, and the secret level/areas are also pretty impressive.

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Serious Sam FE/SE is probably my second favorite series next to Doom, I think because I still find the actual shooting gameplay exciting. The design may be simplistic, but the gameplay changes when you are playing through a challenging mode like Serious or Mental mode. Then you have to think about which enemies to take out first, which weapons are most effective, and how to not move into positions that you may not be able to move out of without taking a beating.

Serious Sam II has some great gameplay moments that rival the originals, but the cartoony style looks retarded and some of the levels were extremely boring.

Can't wait for SS3 (already preordered it), the new trailer looks awesome, especially some of the redesigned monsters. It even brings back PC splitscreen!

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SS2 is one of the few sequels which I think is better than the original (SS1), the level design is better and more memorable, theres actually a story to the second game and its more challenging, in serious sam 1 you just got so many lives.

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st.alfonzo said:
Well bland, maybe, but I can't vouch for the sense of place not being there

Perhaps "sense of place" isn't the right term. I found the levels to be quite generic and unrealistic.Mostly spacious courtyards and halls, but lacking the mysterious awe of grandeur of Egyptian architecture. Not like an actual city or inhabited place, just enclosed spaces for monsters to spawn in. I realize this must sound a bit weird considering Doom was pretty much the same, albeit more varied in style.

I just remembered one situation where you would approach some S-shaped corridor expecting another big fight, but only a single skeleton horse would appear. And then, a moment later, just when thinking wtf, a huge horde of dozens or hundreds of horses and bulls would storm around the corner...

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Phml said:

I think it actually hurt the Doom genre more than any other game, as most people probably forgot what Doom is like, take a look at Serious Sam and think "oh right, it was like this" ; so clever level design, great weapon and monster balance, even lightning and atmosphere are forgotten and people think of Doom as that game where you just pressed M1 and bunnyhopped backwards until the teleporting monster horde was dead.


Took the words right out of my mouth. Whenever someone says, "DOOM 4 needs to be more like the old DOOMs. You know, giant hordes of monsters constantly," I die inside.

Serious Sam and Painkiller both made me realize that tons of enemies and constant fighting can actually be extremely boring. Killing hundreds of bad guys at once kind of loses its edge when that's all you're doing all the time.

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Megamur said:

Serious Sam and Painkiller both made me realize that tons of enemies and constant fighting can actually be extremely boring. Killing hundreds of bad guys at once kind of loses its edge when that's all you're doing all the time.


Painkiller is actually much more varied then Serious Sam since the level design is much better and impacts the way you play the game. You aren't just fighting an incoming teleporting horde over and over, monsters are often cleverly placed and you need to actually get between places. I think Painkiller and Serious Sam are only slightly similar.

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hardcore_gamer said:

Painkiller is actually much more varied then Serious Sam since the level design is much better and impacts the way you play the game. You aren't just fighting an incoming teleporting horde over and over, monsters are often cleverly placed and you need to actually get between places.

Bullshit. You fight the same enemies over and over again on every map, generic ranged attack dude, generic melee attack dude, generic floating dude etc. They look different but otherwise they're exactly the same. PK bored me to death before I got to the third chapter.

The maps are just as linear and the engine has horrible physics.

The only part of PK that's on par with Serious Sam are the weapons.

Second Encounter is awesome for reasons DeumReaper posted, still one of my fav FPS games.

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I really like the series, but that could be because I like having huge gunfights in FPS games. Unlike most modern-day shooters, Serious Sam requires me to think on my feet. At least when you play on harder difficulties.

Overall I'd rather play Serious Sam than almost any post-Quake FPS game.

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hardcore_gamer said:

Painkiller is actually much more varied then Serious Sam since the level design is much better and impacts the way you play the game. You aren't just fighting an incoming teleporting horde over and over, monsters are often cleverly placed and you need to actually get between places. I think Painkiller and Serious Sam are only slightly similar.

Painkiller sucks balls. Jesus, at least Serious Sam allows you to run and gun. Every room you enter in Painkiller forces you to fight weak ass monsters to generic metal to advance to the next room to fight weak ass monsters to generic metal to advance into the next...

I hate games that force you to kill just to advance. Serious Sam does this, but a little less than Painkiller.

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I really like FE and SE and don't feel the need to justify that. Looking forward to 3.

Also, Double D was released the other day. It's the most fun I've had in a side-scroller since Duke 2.

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Khorus said:

I really like FE and SE and don't feel the need to justify that. Looking forward to 3.

Also, Double D was released the other day. It's the most fun I've had in a side-scroller since Duke 2.


I haven't finished Double D yet but I'm enjoying it so far. The gun stacking system is pretty entertaining too. You haven't lived until you've fired a combination of two tommy guns, two rocket launchers, and a laser gun

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Serious Sam was one of my childhood games, and I am greatly looking forward to Serious Sam 3. I hope they put secret levels back in, because I really enjoyed the secret levels in the first one. Finding them may be a little easy(besides the first one where you use the swing), but it still gives a 'yay' moment.

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Mindless an fairly fun shooter. Funnily enough, for the lack of popularity it has, it seems right up the alley of a lot of "gamers" who don't want to have to listen to and understand a story and just want to mindlessly shoot and blow things up.

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I enjoyed both FE and SE quite a bit. I don't compare them to Doom/Doom2/Heretic/Duke3D/Blood/ROTT and so on, but I did have fun with them. I played the demos of SS2 but never felt compelled to get the full game. I suppose since it's somewhat related, I also enjoyed Painkiller. It's one of those games where I'll just pick one of my favorite levels to replay once in a while. Also, yes, I am hoping SS3 will be good.

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Level design, level design, level design. That is what essentially makes or breaks a game for me. And with Serious Sam and his friend Painkiller, It's hard to actually even call any of what is in those games "level design". When the quality of your FPS game's levels barely even rival that of Pac man or Tetris. You need to reconsider your design decisions.

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kristus said:

Level design, level design, level design. That is what essentially makes or breaks a game for me. And with Serious Sam and his friend Painkiller, It's hard to actually even call any of what is in those games "level design". When the quality of your FPS game's levels barely even rival that of Pac man or Tetris. You need to reconsider your design decisions.


I haven't really played the Serious Sam games, but I have no idea whatsoever what you are talking about when it comes to Painkiller. I thought the level design was fantastic with there being lots of interesting levels with many different themes.

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hardcore_gamer said:

Painkiller... You aren't just fighting an incoming teleporting horde over and over, monsters are often cleverly placed and you need to actually get between places.

What? Have you played painkiller, seriously? Fighting hordes of teleporting monsters is all you do. It follows the exact same game plan of serious sam: Walk into a room or general area and kill all of the monsters that appear and a door will open to allow you to move to the next area. Serious sam also had plenty of 'cleverly' placed monsters and a few puzzles and traps, but ultimately they are the exact same games save for the level thematics, which unfortunately doesn't effect gameplay as much as you seem to think it does for either of these two games, regardless of how aesthetically interesting a couple of levels in painkiller may be.

personal opinion: Serious sam has much better monster variety than painkiller and a lot of games, but the most boring generic weapon selection of almost any game I have played.

Painkiller OTOH, has very cool, imaginative weapons, good ambiance and good music that fits. But fucking terrible monster variety and horrible bugs that can cause you to literally be locked out of finishing levels if you do not go exactly where the game wants you to when it wants you to. That is to say, if you do not step in the red thing to advance into a new area and somehow bypass it, which is VERY easy to do in many levels, you will get stuck and be required to reload a save.

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I can remember two good bits in Serious Sam, one set inside a gloomy, maze-like temple where you'd be attacked at close quarters by small groups of enemies - and one set in a maze-like city where you'd be attacked individually by tough enemies. Everything else was crap

As far as I can remember the only level even slightly like Serious Sam in the original Doom(s) was The Courtyard, and only one part of that!

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