Serious Sam actually works in 2D, and it looks like a lot of fun too.
Serious Sam: Double D has come a long way since its first public demo at PAX East 2011. Indie outfit Mommy’s Best Games has obviously been putting a lot of work into it, and it shows.
Serious Sam: Double D is a 2D platformer/shooter set in the Serious Sam universe. It might seem like it was set up as a promotional game for the impending release of Serious Sam 3: BFE, but Double D should definitely not be underestimated. After seeing it at E3, it’s shaping up to take the 2D shooter to the next level with the help of Serious Sam‘s essence.
Mommy’s Best Games’ Nathan Fouts demoed a bunch of new inclusions in Double D since I last saw it. First of all, he’s added a tutorial level that helps players learn to use the game’s Metal Slug meets Geometry Wars control scheme. Further, there are brand new enemies like the chimputees, amputee chimpanzees that have had their limbs replaced with weapons and jets so they can fly around. Other enemies like the femikaze have gotten a visual upgrade and become much tougher. Fouts said it’s hard to draw pretty ladies, but he did a good job.
Gameplay has been evolved in surprisingly logical and innovative ways. The gun stacker previously shown off is now completely configurable, with players able to make various pre-sets of different gun stacks that can be switched between on the fly for different combat situations. Gun stacks can be put together after players pick up connector pieces in certain areas. Even more cool is the fact that players can now collect 4 of each different weapon and stack them on top of each other, which will make finding a secret rocket launcher worth more than being able to use a weapon early.
Double D starts in Egypt, but features other level types such as the prehistoric Nova Scotia that features dinosaurs and tar pits. Sam can hop on the backs of flying dinos to find secrets, and will have to take down giant spineasauruses while avoiding their bites.
Another fun aspect of the game was how one area forced Sam to annihilate dozens of enemies to build a hill of dead bodies so he could climb up to a platform. Fouts also talked about how the game’s jump pad, on which Sam can bounce like a trampoline, can be placed to launch incoming kamikaze foes into the air as Sam shoots them from below.
Serious Sam: Double D seems to be chock full of this logical creativity in its design, and it’ll carry over to the game’s secrets too. There’ll be power-up secrets and comedy secrets, sometimes mixed together, just as in the FPS version of Serious Sam. Fouts didn’t want us to spoil them, so lets just say you should explore every wall of every level to its fullest.
And there’s still more. Double D features many challenge levels that’ll give players tasks such as killing 100 enemies with a stack of chainsaws, or taking out a dinosaur rampage with a random stack of guns. If you just want to play through the game without getting blown up or eaten all the time, it’ll have a “chilled” (i.e. easy) mode too. Serious Sam: Double D will be a downloadable game and launch on the PC (Steam is in the cards), with console releases possible but not yet confirmed.