Week in Arcade: Serious Sam HD – The First Encounter

serioussamhdAnother week, another lone, solitary release. This time, 1200 point remake of a PC classic FPS.

Serious Sam HD – The First Encounter

Serious Sam returns in this remake of the original, a game that took shooters forward in terms of their insanity levels. Sam crams countless, utterly absurd enemies on-screen at any given time, tough for a solo player to handle, not so much for four when in co-op.

As a remake, Sam has a clean, sharp look, although despite being redone, textures are smudged and flat. However, if it is to maintain the speed when things become crowded, so be it. Shattering the chest cavity of a suicide bomber or blasting the eye of the cyclops remains satisfying, the brute force of a shotgun cutting right through each foe.

As a remake, this shares the same problems of the original. Level design is open and expansive in order to contain the sheer numbers of foes on-screen. Unfortunately, that also means backtracking can take some time, Serious Sam still stuck in a “find the key, enter the door” style of play. Those same open valleys that were fun a minute ago drag when nothing is happening.

Still, the work that went into this remake is obvious, and Serious Sam maintains its playability, now as a throwback affair that almost seems to be making fun of genre cliches.

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