Serious Sam 3: BFE Review - Cheat Happens CHEATfactor
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Serious Sam 3: BFE
PC



Reviewed on: PC
Developer:
Croteam
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Rated: "M" for Mature



CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

   
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User Rating:        6
   
Presentation: 6

It's not quite as detailed as today's top of the line AAA shooters, but Serious Sam is a game that knows its strong suit - giant monsters and loads of blood, and does them right. Still, you can't help but notice the lack of detail as you play through the game.

Gameplay: 5

Variety? Nope. Differing mission objectives? Not here. Serious Sam is a game that asks you to plow through a ton of different wave based monsters and gives you more than your fair share of blood in the process. It's fun for a while, but looses steam fast.

Lasting Appeal:
5

Though it's incredibly repetitious, Serious Sam 3: BFE is a huge game that only gets bigger once you go online. The amount of mods popping up throughout the game's online community doesn't hurt its replay factor either.

Overall: 6
It's wildly fun to take out monsters and watch their blood spill out on the floor, but it's also a game that repeats itself long before it should. Serious Sam 3: BFE is a great game to play with friends over a few beers - as long as you don't expect too much from it.
CHEATfactor: 6
 
 
   
     

One of gaming's biggest trends of 2011 has been the throwback first person shooter. Games like Bulletstorm and Duke Nukem Forever aimed to show us what shooters were like before multi-million dollar budgets, high-def, realism and regenerating health. While the unapologetic nod to bullets gone by is great for a bit, they merely serve to remind us of just how much we miss the amenities of the new breed.

Serious Sam 3: BFE is no different. It's got everything you'd assume a retro shooter would; in-your-face anti-hero? Check. Loads of over the top weapons? You got it. Loads of blood pouring out of demonic monsters? By the bucket. Variety? Oddly missing. This is a game that knows what its fans want, but may have overestimated just how much they want of it. If you're looking to get the most out of the latest Serious Sam, be sure to bring some friends as the core experience gets old fast.

Set as a prequel to Serious Sam: The First Encounter, BFE (which stands for before first encounter) places Sam in Ancient Egypt defending the world from an Alien Invasion. It's a story that does its best to feel like a campy B-movie, but sometimes tend to fall flat on its face. Sam is no gentleman, and his off color one liners frequently hit the right notes, but the rest of it almost seems like the developers were trying too hard to force the vibe they were looking for and the result is a game that doesn't quite know what tone it wants.

"In short, you'll be doing a lot of holding down the trigger button and running."

 
   

But, let's be honest, odds are you're not looking for much story here - you want guns, monsters and blood, and BFE delivers it in buckets. The game is built on a wave system (think of it as a survival mode, sort of like Horde Mode in Gears of War) and features you facing an ever-increasing onslaught of enemies. In short, you'll be doing a lot of holding down the trigger button and running. It's a simple mechanic to build a game on, but its also one that does its job. It's incredibly satisfying to mow down some of these gigantic enemies and watch their blood splatter throughout the environment. It's made even more rewarding when the game allows you to be incredibly brutal with your enemies, like ripping out eye-balls Kratos style.

Still though, it's a risky move building an entire game out of what many games feature as a side mode, and BFE pays that price. Long before it should, the action in Serious Sam starts to feel incredibly stale and repetitious. You're basically doing the same thing (with little differences thrown in here and there) for the entire lengthy campaign - and only serious die-hard fans of the series are likely to stick around for the entire thing.

Don't mistake that simpleness for ease though, as Serious Sam: BFE can be an incredibly tough game. The game features five different difficulty settings, and once you get past the first two, you're pretty much going to need to rely on saving as fast, and as often as you can. The waves of enemies in BFE come fast and hard and you'll probably die more times than you'll care to admit. That in a way exposes one of the game's biggest downfalls - when the waves come, there's a ton to do, but after, it's incredibly quiet and boring. It's startling how uneven this game can be.

"...the enemies never really get a chance to spawn..."

 
   

The true meat of Serious Sam 3: BFE is in its multiplayer suite. Featuring support for 16-player co-op, it's a blast to play with buddies, especially the drinking kind. It's great fun to save each other from baddies at the last second and watch the blood fly. Be warned though, playing with a full 16-player game (or close to it) will sometimes limit the amount of fun you can have with the mode. It's simple, putting that many players in the same environment means that the enemies never really get a chance to spawn, and it becomes incredibly easier to pick off waves quicker. The competitive modes often feel like they're tacked on because they had to be there.

Visually, Serious Sam 3: BFE is a mixed bag. The monsters and weapons animate well enough, but the environments repeat far too often and lack the detail of today's top tier shooters. I know that its going for the whole retro look, but that's not an excuse to create drab and unimpressive environments.  Voice acting is on par with what you'd expect from the series, and Sam's one liners deliver just as they should.

Serious Sam 3: BFE is the latest game of 2011 to attempt to remind us of what shooters used to be like, before multi-million dollar budgets high-def makeovers. For the most part, it succeeds - it's wildly fun to take out monsters and watch their blood spill out on the floor (maybe that should be gush), but it's also a game that repeats itself long before it should. Serious Sam 3: BFE is a great game to play with friends over a few beers - as long as you don't expect too much from it. 

 

CHEATfactor

CHEATS USED: Reset Health, Armor

The action in Serious Sam 3: BFE is so feverish and fast, but then there are times when literally nothing is happening - and that's exactly why the trainer from Cheat Happens is so useful. After defeating a wave, I found it incredibly fun to reset my health and armor and get ready for the next wave. Of course, I did find myself having to use some of these same cheats in the middle of waves, but more often than not they were used in between.

The Cheat Happens trainer for Serious Sam 3: BFE is like your personal between rounds towel boy for spilling monster guts.

 

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