SERIOUS SAM COLLECTION
By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on 20 November, 2020
Ah yes, the Serious Sam series; a very nice way to while away some time, running and shooting at about everything that moves and, in doing so, thoroughly decimate alien hordes bent on mankind's destruction! These games have been around since 2001, and now there's even a HD collection, featuring the first three games in the series. Time to get serious!
The Serious Sam games are First Person Shooter games that feature big guns, huge set pieces, hordes of alien enemies, over-the-top action and, of course, Sam Stone. This man is the very last line of defense against the alien invasion and will have to do everything in his power to crush the alien hordes and restore safety to our planet. until the aliens try again, that is! The hallmarks of these games remained the same since the start of the series. This is a good thing because, hey, why change a winning formula, right?
So, on to the collection at hand. The Serious Sam Collection has been released for PS4, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One and features HD versions of three games in the series: Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter, Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter and Serious Sam 3: BFE, as well as the Jewel of the Nile and the Legend of the Beast DLC in one highly explosive package. It lets us do what Sam does best; frantically run around war-torn landscapes and kill as many alien scumbags as he possibly can. To this end, Sam can make use of an awesome arsenal, featuring a wide variety of weaponry for our blasting pleasure! Just make sure to pick up ammo for these mighty weapons and start shooting to your heart's content!
The HD versions of the three games in the collection look really good. Nothing jaw-dropping or hyper-realistic, mind you, but they still look awesome. Plus, the high-speed action that is one of the pillars these games are built on doesn't leave you a lot of time to quietly sit around and enjoy the scenery. You're mainly blasting and running your way from point A to point B while killing almost literally hundreds and hundreds of enemies. The trick to this, as in any good shooter, is not to die. So be sure to keep moving so you're a less easy target for these intergalactic baddies! And while we're on the subject of baddies, I personally think Serious Sam has one of the best ever: the headless, screaming bomb-guy. This maniac comes storming at you, creaming at the top of his lungs and holding a bomb in each hand, and detonates whenever he is close enough. Shooting these opponents while they're next to another gives you the opportunity to take out multiple bad guys with one blast, so make sure to make the most of it!
While running through ancient ruins or ruined cities, or even an honest-to-god spaceship, one thing is clear; each game in this Serious Sam Collection puts the pedal to the metal from the very first seconds of gameplay and doesn't relent until you've defeated every alien bad guy that dared take part in the invasion of Earth. Another fun thing is the fact that you can actually play these games in first- or even third person perspective, giving you the opportunity to play them games just the way you like! I wish more games would provide this option, because it really adds something to the experience. Would you like a better overview of the situation, switch to third person mode. Or would you rather look through Sam's eyes and jump into the fray this way? Also no problem, just put the game in First person perspective and have a blast!
Story-wise, there's not much to Serious Sam; Aliens invade, mankind is on the brink of extinction, one man must save us all. That's about it really. But then again, most people don't play First Person shooters for the deep and emotionally moving story, now do they? No, they play these games for the many hours of unbridled fun and tons and tons of bullets and bad guys. They don't want to know how the protagonist feels; they just wanna kick some bad guy's ass. three days into next week, preferably! And Serious Sam more than delivers in that respect. You'll encounter more bad guys than you can shake a stick at and wield weapons that would fulfill even the most avid gun-nut's wet dreams.
So there you have it, ladies and gentlepeople; this is what Serious Sam does, and has been doing for many years now. And may I add that it does it very well! The developers have kept true to their original formula, without just copy-pasting the whole lot and slapping some new textures on it. Every game in the Serious Sam series has a look and feel of its own, and even some new game mechanics from time to time, but they always stay true to what the very first game stood for: A seriously enjoyable piece of over-the-top, action-filled extravaganza!