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Old 12-02-2011, 01:00 PM   #1   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Iobham reviews Staid Samuel 3: Best Friends Forever

You exit a secret passage under what used to be the Sphinx, shotgun in hand with a fair amount of shells. Your health isn't looking too bad either at 89%. You notice there is a large amount of extra health, armour and ammo in front of you. You can hear masses of headless fellows, reanimated skeletons and robot walkers teleporting within your vicinity.

This is when Serious Sam 3: BFE really starts. All of those levels set in urban environments were only there to ease in people who weren't used to this breed of shooter, the kind of shooter that could pass as a modern Smash TV or Robotron 2084 if the camera was placed at a top-down perspective. No regenerating health, little cover (that doesn't last long), and swarms of monsters that want you dead.

At the same time you're given a fighting chance with a variety of weapons such as the stock standard pistol, shotgun, rocket launcher and assault rifle, as well as less conventional weapons like a sledgehammer (great when surrounded by lesser enemies in close range), the devastator (a kind of sniper grenade launcher that is fun to use) and the almighty cannon. This cannon isn't some sort of science fiction-ey cannon, this is the kind of that would look at home on a pirate ship. The satisfaction gained from firing this bastard of a thing through a herd of Kleers is immense. Another great thing about these weapons is that you can carry all of these at once, as opposed to two or three in most shooters these days.

While the gameplay is similar to the Serious Sam gameplay that you’re familiar with, hordes and guns and all, the game has made some concessions to modern shooter gameplay. Some weapons have been given a function that allows you to aim down the sights (like the pistol and assault rifle, which can be used to snipe a little bit). Sprinting has been implemented, but Sam never has to stop for breath. Some prebaked melee animations have also been added (with a prompt telling you to press E when you’re able to do them). These attacks are fairly effective on lone enemies and small groups but they’re balanced so that you can still take damage while you’re executing them, reducing their convenience in particularly hairy battles. Croteam seems to have taken particular care to make sure that these new features do not make the game any easier.

The sound design is mostly appropriate for the game. It probably wouldn’t win any awards but it is very functional. Every enemy has a specific sound to alert you to their presence, so that you know what uglies are out of your sight without having to guess. The weapons sound nice and powerful. The music is also very fitting to this type of game, with ambient percussion through most of the levels as well as lighter conflicts, and when shit hits the fan the metal kicks in, made by the Croatian band Undercode.

Graphics in video games have jumped leaps and bound since the earlier games in the series, and Croteam have paid attention. While the environments are mostly shades of brown, being in the desert and all, the textures seem rather detailed, with all of those lovely texture effects that you would expect to see in today’s modern games. Levels are generally bright due to it being in middle of a hot desert. Of particular note is the amount of settings one can change in this game.

While most of the graphics settings in PC games are limited to vague brackets like “high,” “low” or “medium”, Serious Sam 3: BFE allows you tweak the settings to a level that you’re comfortable with. You can change the amount of bodies that stay before older ones start disappearing, you can choose the type of and degree of anti-aliasing, the rendering LOD bias (how far away objects have to be before they change to their lower-quality versions), among other settings.

If you’re looking for a game that makes you think about the meaning of life or how to organise your infantry the most effectively, this is not the game for you. If you’re looking for a game where you can regain all of your health by hiding behind a chest-high wall, this is not the game for you (unless you play on Tourist difficulty). If you’re looking for a game that tells you what to do every three seconds, there are other shooters for you. This is a game that remembers that it is a game and not a movie, and I applaud it for that. I give it an 8. You can give it a 6 or a 0 if the previous points I mentioned in this paragraph apply to you.

The score I gave it out of is completely up to you. 8/8? 8/10? 8/100? 8/4?
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:05 PM   #2   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Iobham reviews Staid Samuel 3: Best Friends Forever

Good review. I'm glad there's plenty of people who see what the game is supposed to be instead of disliking it for what it isn't.
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Old 12-02-2011, 03:32 PM   #3   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Iobham reviews Staid Samuel 3: Best Friends Forever

good review
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