Serious Sam 3 review: All man no cover? Not really.



And here I was hoping for an enjoyable blast to the past........

The good:

-Nice explosion and gore effects.
-Weapons are fun to use.
-Lots of enemies on screen at once.
-Lots of fast paced action.

The bad:

-Pacing is poor.
-Unbalanced difficulty.
-Lame level design.
-Game requires a powerful PC inspite of the graphics only being so so.

Serious Sam 3 was a game I had been looking forward to play for some time. Being a huge fan of the original Dooms as well as People can Fly's Painkiller, I was looking forward to playing another fast paced "just blow everything to **** style shooter.

Unfortunately, this game is a rather mixed bag.

I will mention the game's biggest single flaw right away: It just tries too hard to throw lots of **** on the screen at once in an attempt to wow you without worrying too much when enough is enough. And as a result, the game will more often then not become painful to play rather then fun. Don't get me wrong, having to fight dozens and even hundreds of monsters at once isn't something that I haven't done before. Like I said, I loved the original Doom's as well as Painkiller. But there are moments where the game will throw so much **** at you that often you can't even go to weapon crates to pick up more ammo for your weapons because standing still for more then 1 or 2 seconds means you almost instantly get swarmed by enemies. This isn't always a problem, like when the area you are playing in has lots of corridors and rooms to hide in, but when you are playing in a large open outdoors level (and the game will throw those at you all the time) a lot of the time there isn't much you can do to prevent yourself from taking damage from enemies attacking you.

I love fighting ****loads of enemies at once, but the game should at least give me enough time to resupply my guns with ammo or at least quicksave before it throws more enemies at me, and a lot of the time it just doesn't.

Lowering the difficulty level isn't a good solution either, because on easy the game actually becomes TOO easy and the challange goes away. So the game is either too easy or too hard. The "ALL man NO cover" phrase used to advertise the game is also really misleading, unless you are playing on easy you will probably want to take cover all the time if you don't want to die.

However, there are other problems with the game as well. The level design is boring and often confusing, with most of the levels either being large open areas (sometimes literally just large box shaped rooms) with no cover fallowed by waves after waves of enemies or very non-linear levels that are difficult to navigate because of the highly repetitive nature of the level design. Expect to walk around for a good while every now and then not knowing where to go or even where you are. There are also some really cheap and annoying enemies in the game which doesn't help either, like small spider creatures that try to zerg rush you and also have the ability to spit some kind of acid. The graphics are nothing special either though the explosion and gore effects are nice. For some reason though, the game still appears to require a powerful machine. Perhaps its the number of enemies the game throws at you?

There is also a game mode call survival where you have to defend yourself from waves of enemies. It can be fun but its little more then a distraction and there are only 2 maps.

Interestingly enough, there is a splitscreen option even on the PC version. I haven't tried it but perhaps playing with a friend could make the game more enjoyable.

All things considered, the game is a mixed bag. It can be fun at times to blast away the dozens of enemies the game throws at you at once, but the unbalanced difficulty and unfair painful moments prevent this game from being great. This game could have been awesome, but instead its merely "ok".

Final score: 6.5/10.

your complaint about graphics you nailed the reason for, the amount of moving enemies on screen means they have to require some power, hence why the earlier dynasty warrior games were better than later ones.

And as for the rest of your complaints, a simple look at the previous ss games would have shown you that thats how the gameplay always was.

Also try the co op at least, its 16 player enabled. If your lucky enough to know 16 people not playing skyrim.

I agree with you on some of the points you raised, but I feel that you didn't go into what made the game fun for you. From what I read I was expecting a three or a four out of ten rating.

You should also definitely play the multiplayer, makes the hordes of enemies easily bearable and the difficulty curve not so steep.

I've been trying to get a chance to play it, but your review helped me to decide weather or not I will get it

I do intend to buy this but not quite yet. Maybe it needs a patch.

And as for the rest of your complaints, a simple look at the previous ss games would have shown you that thats how the gameplay always was.

haha but no, the older games never pulled the same level of bullshit SS3 does.

The sheer amount of hitscan enemies that SS3 throws at you is ridiculous.

Most of the new enemies are shit (scrapjack isn't new), the witch breaks flow of gameplay no matter which way you kill her. Making the Khuum killable with only cannon/C4 only also ruins the momemtum as does the technopolip with it's hitscan damage and explosives only vunerablity.

No more powerups also damage the variety that the game is famous for.

The sniper and laser + ammo shouldn't be secrets only, they are holding back weapons just for the sake of it and make you run around for gaes if you want to use them all.

The last level is 100% bullshit with the infinitely spawning enemies, the only tme SSTSE did that was near the end but at least it gave you health as well as ammo. It's terrible game design when I kill 2 rocket robot things, 2 technopolips and 3 witches then 30 seconds later I'm assaulted by 3 more witches as I didn't run ahead like the game wanted me to as I stopped to look for health. My only solution from then on was to sprint past all the enemies and just cannon ball my way until the cutscene triggered.

I have more gripes with the game but that's enough.

Overall it's good, 6/10 good but the "all man, no cover" line is bullshit as the first 4 levels are ALL spent in cover due to waves of hitscan enemies while all you have is a shotgun then the new enemies force you to cover as well like the technopolip.


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