Coming to the Xbox LIVE Arcade later this month, Serious Sam Double D XXL is building on a strong performance on PC just as the bloodline release Serious Sam 3: BFE before it. However, while that title offered a first-person shooter (FPS) experience and Serious Sam Double D XXL is strictly 2D in all respects, the action is remarkably similar.
Players in Serious Sam Double D XXL will face of against hundreds of slow-minded troops, headless suicide bombers and giant alien bi-pedal robots, and that’s all before the first level ends, Serious Sam Double D XXL is a madcap no-holds barred blast-athon from start to finish; a rollercoaster of screaming death with some monsters and alien guts thrown in for good measure. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Designed to be intentionally difficult, Serious Sam Double D XXL’s challenge resides in the need to out manoeuvre your current foe whilst predicting where the next will come from. Players need to shoot anything that moves before it gets close, and if it does get too close for comfort – which they regularly will – you’ll need to be quick on that left trigger to jump out of their way. At first it feels an odd decision to place the jump on a trigger, especially as the face buttons go practically unused during gameplay, but this is a compensation made for the desire to having aiming controlled by the right analog stick.
The level design is perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of Serious Sam Double D XXL¸ designed to create challenging arrangements of enemies against the weapons you will have at the time and the amount of ammo supplied for them. Furthermore there are secret areas hidden throughout all of the levels – some which offer basic additions such as new armour bonuses or health, others can offer new weapons and arms to improve your gunstack selections – and there are other levels which are entire asides from the normal stroll through enemy corpses.
The gunstack mentioned above is Serious Sam Double D XXL’s unique selling point, allowing players to combine their separate weapons into one big gun. Up to eight gunstacks can be created with up to six guns in each, with combinations such as automatic rifles to slow your enemies down backed-up by a shotgun for close-range stopping power proving truly effective. Grenade launchers and tommy guns are also available soon after the start of the videogame, though players should never underestimate the intimidation inherent to stacking up four chainsaws and simply charging towards the enemy.
The visual quality of Serious Sam Double D XXL sets it apart from the run-of-the-mill side-scrolling experience, with a ‘cut-out’ style that is reminiscent of SouthPark’s creation paper origins though with a detailed hand-painted finish and a gritty character design. This, in a sense, could be considered the essence of the Serious Sam Double D XXL experience: it’s a madcap take on a traditional videogame template using modern hardware to push against the boundaries. So it’s business as usual for Serious Sam.