Developer: Croteam

Platform(s): PC, PS5, Xbox Series X (Reviewed) |S 

Gene(s): Action, Adventure, FPS

Publisher: Devolver Digital

 

Serious Sam 4 is the latest in the series of the classic first-person shooter. It’s all about big attitudes, big guns and big, enemies. The game takes a light-hearted look at the usually super serious genre of first-person shooters.

While the game follows the classic first-person shooter genre, there is a third-person view which I ended up using most of the time due to the game mechanics. You assume the role of “Serious” Sam Stone who is, in Rome to find the holy grail. This plot point serves as the main storyline in the game. Along your journey, you encounter a rag-tag bunch of characters that will help you on your way and help to develop the story. Humour and fun are also central to Serious Sam and makes it stand out from other first-person shooters. The cast of characters helps drive plotline, slapstick comedy, jokes, and just general absurdity in the game. It does a good job incorporating this in the game and, it is constant.

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However, the gameplay and mechanics are odd; the game has a clunky, heavy feel. Movement feels laboured, and aiming is also not smooth. It just doesn’t feel that smooth; the feel a first-person should have. Enemies spawn randomly out of portals. I found it hard to figure out if they, are in front of me or behind. This is problematic in the first-person mode, so I switched to the third person; this does alleviate some of the issues of random enemies spawning and not knowing where they are. 

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In the first level, I managed to activate the Christmas theme for the entire; level which consisted of Christmas themed songs as the background music. It was awful, and to compound things further, terrible sound effects of drones persisted through the level. The first level was frustrating and annoying. As I progressed through more levels, I did enjoy the new characters and enemies you encounter. The look and feel of the game did seem somewhat dated, though. In general, the game seems dated, though.

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Serious Sam 4 is a not so serious first-person shooter that has lots of actions and some gorgeous monsters to kill. However, the gameplay is clunky and lacks smoothness. The sound effects and background music in certain levels were annoying. It’s just a very mixed bag. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected. It’s mediocre and dated in general. The game lacks the level of polish and refinement I was expecting. 

Overall: 5/10