GameSpy is gone. Not just the site *sniff*, but the multiplayer server thing that for some reason outlived it. This link should you tell you all you need to know about any games in your collection unfortunately burdened with the "Powered by GameSpy" motto, but you can now add another to the list. Serious Sam 2 - confusingly the sequel to Serious Sam: The Second Encounter - has swapped GameSpy for Steamworks, which should hold us until Steam goes bust at any rate. The update that makes the transition happen also fixes "problems with FOV on widescreen resolutions" and "wrong rendering of Uzi weapon in first person", which is good to know.
Croatian game studio Croteam first came to the attention of the world in 2001 with Serious Sam: The First Encounter, a goofy, guns-blazing shooter that dispensed with the frippery in favor of over-the-top horde-slaying mayhem. After that came Serious Sam: The Second Encouner, Serious Sam 2, a couple of hi-def remakes and Serious Sam 3: BFE. It's been a lot of years since the studio did anything Serious, and yet here it is with The Talos Principle, a "philosophical first-person puzzle game" written by the guys who did FTL and The Infinite Ocean.
The latest recipient of the Humble Weekly Sale is Croteam's hyper-realistic military simulation, Serious Sam. For a fistful of dollars, you can get the entire series, including Serious Sam's First and Second Encounters, Serious Sam II, Serious Sam 3: BFE, and the Serious Sam indie series. More seriously, all funds directed towards Croteam are being put towards development of Serious Sam 4.
In a post on this Steam forum thread about a new Serious Sam 3 patch, Croteam's CTO Alen Ladavac has spoken out against Microsoft's latest Windows revision, describing the Metro/tiled UI's Windows Store restrictions as a "horrible" idea, and blasting the certification process currently being used to keep certain mature games off the Store.
The problem with Serious Sam 3's rocket launcher is that it looks too much like a rocket launcher, rather than, say, a disconcertingly headless enemy that fits in the palm of your hand like a particularly grisly Polly Pocket. Thank heavens then for the Pet Scrapjack mod, and for Steam Workshop in general, which has welcomed Serious Sam 3 into its moddable embrace.
No cover. All man. So reads Serious Sam 3: BFE’s macho tagline. Those other shooters you’ve been playing? The ones that let you hide behind things? You were playing a coward. You had formless voxels where your bump-mapped man-genitals should have been. Serious Sam despises you and your modern FPS standards, in a fun way that’s sometimes difficult to appreciate as intentionally ironic.
As with the previous games, this is an FPS that prides itself on bedlam and ultraviolent, large-scale carnage versus tens of thousands of streaming, screaming monsters. It’s defiantly old-school PC in tone.
[embed width="610" height="340"]http://youtu.be/e91q5BtlxK0[/embed]
The video above shows off Croteam's ingenious DRM solution for Serious Sam 3: BFE. It's got nothing to do with secure-ROM, or product codes, or online validation. Instead, those who boot a pirated version of the game will find themselves hounded forever by a gigantic pink scorpion that can never be killed. The video above comes from RPS, who scooped it from DSO, and shows the terrifying thing in action. It might well be the most inventive DRM trick since Rocksteady coded Batman to forget how to glide in pirated versions of Arkham Asylum.
[embed width="610" height="640"]http://youtu.be/MRrvZD_VImQ[/embed]
In a refreshing change to developers moaning about piracy levels on the PC, Serious Sam publisher Devolver Digital have given the platform a big bigging up. The company’s chief financial officer, Fork Parker, tweeted: “people will pay for awesome.”
Destructoid asked Parker for more comments, and he followed up with: "Piracy is a problem and there is no denying that but the success of games like Skyrim and our own Serious Sam 3 on PC illustrates that there is clearly a market willing to pay for PC games.”
Serious Sam 3: BFE will make a Big Fancy Entrance in four hours time. Croteam have broken recent trends by releasing a launch trailer on the day their game actually comes out, which is nice, and the video does a good job of showing just how serious Sam is about this one. He even does a swear, before obliterating a hundred monsters in slow motion with a rocket launcher. It looks like bloody good fun. There's still time to pre-order it on Steam and Direct2Drive at 10% off.
Are you at all squeamish? Does the sight of enough blood to drown the lost city of Atlantis make you go sheet-white? Which way does the prospect of a man ripping out a cyclops' eyeball and then throwing it back into its own face rub you? Depending on your answers to those questions, the new Serious Sam: BFE trailer might be just what the doctor ordered... you to stay far, far away from.
For everyone else, though, the menagerie of melee monster mashing is pretty incredible. It's almost poetic, really. I mean, what can I say? Sam really has a way with, er, murder.
Often have I turned my face toward a deaf heaven and cried, "Why can't Serious Sam be a turn-based RPG?"
Apparently, it can. In a shocking turn of events, Serious Sam: The Random Encounter, from indie developer Vlambeer, follows Sam into something that looks a lot like an SNES-era JRPG. To judge from the trailer above, however, The Random Encounter has one big advantage over its predecessors: it knows exactly how ridiculous it is.
The Steam page promises turn-based battles, "serious strategy," and a "challenge mode" in which players battle endless waves of enemies until they are overcome and sent to leaderboard Valhalla. I'd love to tell you more, but words fail when faced with something like this.
You can get Serious Sam: The Random Encounter via Steam.
Serious Sam 3: Big Frigid Elephant was originally due to bring its old school big-guns-'n-a-million-monsters formula to our machines mid October. We'll have to wait a little longer, according to a message sent over from the devs. Serious Sam 3: Bouncing Fretful Elevator will now come out on November 22, and is available to pre-order with a 10% discount from Steam. "Chief creative guy" at Croteam, Davor Hunski explains that "the team wants to take a little extra time to make it perfect for Serious Sam fans worldwide.”
“The game is playing wonderfully and looks great so we are going through to balance the difficulty and fine tune the code to eliminate any technical issues at launch. And we’ll probably add some more enemies to the hordes to blow your mind,” he adds.
Sounds good. We look forward to trying out the 16 player co-op mode and blasting enormous enemies when Serious Sam 3: Bentley Fallout Extreme is released in ten weeks. But seriously, what does the BFE stand for? Croteam still haven't said.
The debut trailer for Serious Sam 3: BFE is out, and it's... well it's very Serious Sam. There are hordes of monsters. They mostly run straight at you. You shoot them. Some of them are giant. Most of them die quickly, but there are always more. There's really not much more to say, Serious Sam has always been about old fashioned shooter fun and that's what you get here.
Serious Sam 3: BFE is due out 'this summer'. No-one actually knows what the 'BFE' stands for yet, what do you think readers?
Earlier we mentioned the appearance of the first screenshot for Serious Sam 3: BFE. Croteam have since added four more screenshots to the mix, and announced that the game will be coming out this summer. It's a prequel that will be set in the ruined cities of 22nd century Egypt. It will also feature a co-op mode that will support a whopping 16 players at a time.
Croteam have put up the first Serious Sam 3 screenshot on their Facebook page, showing a hulking monster behind some bars in a bullet-ridden urban area.
They're calling the game Serious Sam: BFE, but aren't saying what the initials stand for yet. The prevailing fan spectulation is that since the first game was The First Encounter, it could be a prequel: Before First Encounter. But setting the game before Sam's first encounter with his enemies would rather limit the scope for any, you know, encounters.
The Arabic writing on the street sign suggests that the sequel may be set on Earth rather than an alien world. Battle for Earth?