Electronic Theatre Preview: Serious Sam 3: BFE

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The second level of Serious Sam 3: BFE that Electronic Theatre was recently granted access to returns the series to Cairo, bringing the familiar desert and pyramid scenes to this newest Sam ‘Serious’ Stone adventure. However, just as was proven within the first level of the preview build, just because it replicates the formula of the original games, it doesn’t mean Serious Sam 3: BFE has taken advantage of the modern technology offered to it.

Though Electronic Theatre is uncertain where the level will appear within the final game, the story progression was clearly benefit to much more detail than may be expected by long-time Serious Sam fans. The radio chatter was increased and the story based set-pieces delivered with more potency. And yet, for those already involved with the series, the story element remains a minor part of the experience, with the explosive, white knuckle challenge of the fast-paced action remaining the most important component of the Serious Sam experience.

Given new weapons, including an assault rifle, rocket launcher and shotgun, a small town was ripe for exploration, filled with ammo and armour, before passing through and facing leagues of enemies on the other side. The return of many familiar faces – now much prettier than they ever were before – is coupled with an injection of new enemy types, yet again giving players a reason to mix-up their tactics when facing the increasing numbers and variety of enemy types. Things are pretty chaotic at this point when playing by yourself, but throwing additional players into the mix can frequently cause your screen to become little more than a series of blood splatters and explosions. This, as fans of the series will quickly acknowledge, is just as it should be.

Up to sixteen players can playthrough the campaign co-operatively, and while Electronic Theatre didn’t have access to such numbers during our hands-on time with the game, throwing just a couple of bodies into the games does redefine the gameplay to an astounding degree. The host is able to customise the game options to a considerable degree, and allowing players to join mid-game changes the campaign levels from a quest to finish to a twenty minute muck-about session; increasing the replay value exponentially.  Both Versus and Survival modes will be presented within the final build of Serious Sam 3: BFE, though Electronic Theatre did not have the opportunity to sample these modes firsthand.

With just over a month until release, it’s certainly very pleasing to see just how well Serious Sam 3: BFE is shaping-up, especially after the wholly successful branch out into indie development with the recently launched Serious Sam: Double D. Whether Serious Sam 3: BFE can maintain the compelling challenge throughout the length of an entire campaign remains to be seen, but within this level in particular, the potential for replay value could well be worth a purchase alone.

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