Published on February 28th, 2022 | by Zorbz
REVIEW – Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem
Serious Sam is back again, but this time with an entry that started out as a mod for Serious Sam 4 but ended up becoming its own standalone adventure. This entry was actually created by Timeclock studios (a group of modders turned studio) under the guidance of Croteam.
Story/Concept: Honestly, having not played Serious Sam 4, I didn’t know what I was expecting going into this as I haven’t played an entry since the original back on the original XBOX. I don’t even remember there being a story apart from killing loads of monsters, which, to be fair, still rings true. I didn’t really pay attention as it’s just really b-grade purposely cheesy dialogue that doesn’t seem to have aged well and let’s be honest the real reason you’re playing this is for some badass intense gunplay.
Graphics: I was actually surprised at how good the game looks with some impressive environments to battle through that are all quite varied, from a beach to a snow covered facility to huge military buildings, there is enough variety keep you engaged. I wish the same could be said for the enemy models as a lot of the old character designs from previous games still look rubbish, not just visually but in the design itself. There are a few monsters, however, that look amazing and really stand out, especially some of the bosses and enemies that are just massive and have you in awe of the sheer size of them.
I was able to crank the visuals and was running the game flawlessly on my PC on ultra settings at over 60fps with the resolution at 1440p (using a 10th gen i7, rtx 3060ti, 32gb ram, running off an nvme ssd).
Gameplay: Serious Sam is still rooted in old-school game mechanics with no health regeneration or auto aim, but with pickups for armour, health and ammo scattered throughout.
The game is also level based, so generally clear the objective and boss, then it’s on to the next stage. I actually prefer this in a lot of games as i feel like there is a definitve break and more often then not a chance to really change up the environments and scenery you’re in without having to create an open world that somehow blends all these environments naturally.
The gunplay is super quick, and you need to be on your game as enemies come at you from all directions, and damn are they fast! The best thing was when i was playing it I didnt experience any game breaking bugs or even slight hiccups, everything ran perfectly and was at a solid framerate which is what you want for a fast paced first person shooter.
This is definitely best played with a group of friends for some dumb fun and mayhem as the single player can be a tad repeptitive without an actual story worth investing in or any change to just mowing down hordes of enemies, but hey that’s the style of game it is.
I was fortunate enough to play this with my nephew, and we actually had a fun time together.
One thing that was strange was despite playing on the regular difficulty; it just seemed like there were infinite spawns as we died a lot but never failed a mission.
Sound: As I mentioned about the story, it’s not what you really play these games for, and of course, the voice acting is pretty horrible, but too be fair I feel that it’s intentional as it’s definitely not a game taking itself too serious.
The monsters themselves sound pretty cool, and I’ve always loved hearing the enemies that come screaming at you holding bombs, always makes me laugh. The guns all sound beefy, which is what you want as it adds to the feeling that you’re just wreaking havoc.
The music is awesome; it’s got this heavy symphonic metal at times in battles that just makes you feel like an absolute badass!
Awesomeness: If you’ve never played a Serious Sam game, it would kind of be Doom on crack or Doom mixed with Left for Dead with tons of enemies to plough through reaching from point A to B. This doesn’t lend itself to having any unique features or anything that necessarily stands out to draw you in, but hey the game is what it is and doesn’t take itself seriously, apart from the fact that the gameplay is tight and the game is optimised fantastically.
Final Word: I can definitely recommend Siberian Mayhem if you want something fun and frantic to play with friends; just know what you’re getting into with the style of game it is.
Here’s hoping the next entry in the franchise has some unique hook that makes it stand out amongst the pack of FPS games of late.