review by Stevil
Take the story, character development, and tactical cover mechanics in today's shooters and throw them on the ground, you're an adult!
What you have left is a challenging first-person shooter experience in its purest form.
This game is all about the combat. If you are looking for an epic story to go along with the explosions then look elsewhere. While a game that's light on story may cause more elitist gamers to jerk their noses up in disgust so violently they barrel roll off the sofa, I'm fine with minimal story as long as it sufficiently explains character motivations and the context of events. In Serious Sam 3 the story goes something like "Aliens are bad, we need to kill a lot of them."
Frantic battles against truly absurd numbers of bad guys are where this game really shines. Single levels can contain 1000+ enemies and they enjoy attacking suddenly, from more than one direction, and in massive waves. The fact that enemies are pouring in from all directions really keeps you on your toes and encourages a running gun battle through the large and very well designed levels. Enemies come in many shapes and sizes, as well as unique behaviors and inherent weaknesses that can be exploited. While there are some great new monsters, fans of the franchise will recognize many a familiar face among the hordes—such as the nimble and deadly Kleer Skeletons, as well as different varieties of the heavy-weapon toting Biomechanoids.
Each enemy type is best defeated by combinations of different tactics and weapons and you can expect to find many different enemy types in each battle. Battles are dynamic and your already slim chances for survival are maximized when using the right tool for the job, much like a muscle bound Bob Villa spreading intergalactic justice one smoking barrel at a time.
One of the areas Serious Sam 3 really shines is in the large selection of weapons it offers, 13 to be exact. Each weapon plays well, has its own feel, and covers a unique area in which it excels. Earlier I mentioned that using the best weapon for the job is your best bet for making it out alive; however it is still very possible to stick with just the one or two weapons that strike a resonance with your inner Chuck Norris and survive. I had a great time taking on some of the biggest and baddest enemies in the game with my sledgehammer, just to see if I could, and if I played my cards right I usually could. Very challenging but also very satisfying.
Serious Sam 3 runs on Croteam's new Serious engine and on higher settings it does look pretty; although at times I felt like the lighting could get a little weird (too much/little light intensity and some other very minor issues). The environments are detailed and well rendered as are the enemies. Be sure you're hardware is up to the task—those sweet graphics are going to tax your system. There are engines out there that are superior, however I think the Serious engine has potential and look forward to seeing it developed further.
I would recommend this game to anyone looking for a solid, fast-paced shooter. It delivers in all of the important areas and it delivers on them well. I would also recommend playing with a friend,
CO-OP is an absolute blast. Seriously!