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It’s been quite some time since we got the last mainline entry in the Serious Sam series. The third game released back in 2011, but Croatian developer Croteam is back with a new entry in their bonkers action-packed shooter, and it looks like they’re on to another winner. In the time since Serious Sam 3: BFE first came out, they’ve worked on projects like the thoughtful philosophical puzzle game The Talos Principle, and VR conversions of some of the older Serious Sam games, but now it’s time for Sam to return in Serious Sam 4.
Despite what you might think based on the title, these games do not take themselves seriously at all. There are enemies like the iconic Beheaded Kamikaze, who can do nothing but scream and sprint directly at you, hoping to explode the bombs on his hands when within range. Don’t ask where the screams are coming from. It also throws a ridiculous number of these varied enemies at you at once, you’ve not got time to pause and consider the best strategy, you have to act on instinct alone, Shoot first, shoot some more after that, and if anything is left standing, shoot them again.
It’s a straightforward concept, but what sets these games apart is how well-executed they are. It’s a dumb game just about shooting, but it’s maybe the best dumb game just about shooting, and for that I love it.
Croteam and publisher Devolver Digital have released a series of short trailers, highlighting what we can expect from this upcoming sequel.
Perhaps the biggest single change for this entry is hugely increasing the number of enemies that can be present on a level at any time. The new Legion system has been developed to allow the game to support huge numbers of enemies, on certain levels it’s up to “hundreds of thousands” at once. That’s going to take a lot of bullets to take care of.
I loved Serious Sam 3, but I completely agreed with the criticisms at the time that the opening was kind of dull. The opening level felt closer to something like Call of Duty than what I expected from Serious Sam. The craziness and exaggerated scenarios did get introduced not long after that plain intro, but I think they’ve made the correct decision to go “full Sam” from the beginning.
Many of the fan-favorite enemies will be returning, but with a new lick of paint to suit the modern visuals. Croteam is also going to be introducing a host of new enemies, which they hope will become fan favorites once players get their hands on the game.
In a game that is almost entirely about shooting baddies, you need to have a good arsenal of weapons at your disposal. There’s a load of new weapons, including some that are going to ramp up the levels of over the top gore.
Perhaps it’s fitting that these developers are talking about their very silly game in a very serious tone.
All the prior games in the series, including a host of bizarre spin-off titles, are currently discounted on Steam, to coincide with the unveiling of the new title.
Serious Sam 4 is scheduled to release in August 2020, and it’s already got a Steam page live here. Sadly our console chums will have to wait until next year to play it, because Google paid the developer to delay the console versions, but it is going to be released on PC and Stadia concurrently.