Amid the buzz about upcoming releases like Battlefield 3, Rage, and Skyrim, it's easy to forget that another classic PC game series is about to get a new chapter: Serious Sam 3. The guys at Rock, Paper, Shotgun got a chance to play a pre-release version of the new Serious Sam game, and they've come away quite impressed, by the looks of it.
According to RPS's preview, Croteam hasn't forgotten its roots. The game reportedly starts off slow, hinting that it might take after the on-rails, hand-holding shooters we've all become familiar with, but it soon diverges into something Serious Sam fans can be truly happy about: trying not to die while fighting dozens of enemies converging from all directions in wide, "agoraphobia-inducing" levels. RPS says circle-strafing to dodge attacks isn't enough—"even when engaged in the world's most elaborate . . . Möbius-strafe, you're still getting pelted by bullets and desperately worrying about how the only health you can see is on the other side of them all."
The game has gotten a graphical update, too, although that's been obvious since the first screenshots appeared. The levels are still huge, and the engine still shows enemies on the horizon without distance fog or any other tricks. However, the cartoony appearance of the monsters from the first games has given way to "a shiny, visceral awfulness that makes exploding them into gibbage that bit more satisfying."
I've gotta say, I'm definitely looking forward to this one. Shooters are definitely stuck in a rut these days, with un-challenging combat and hand holding going, er, hand in hand. Serious Sam 3 should be a nice break from the status quo. Now, if only more developers tried something new once in a while...