Serious Sam 3: BFE

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Serious Sam 3: BFE
Serious Sam 3 cover.jpg
Developer(s) Croteam
Publisher(s) Devolver Digital
Distributor(s) Steam (online)
Series Serious Sam
Engine Serious Engine 3.5
Release date(s) Microsoft Windows
November 22, 2011[1]
Mac OS X
April 23, 2012
Xbox 360
October 17, 2012
December 20, 2012[2]
PlayStation 3
May 13, 2014[3]
Genre(s) First-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Download

Serious Sam 3: BFE (Before the First Encounter) is a first-person shooter video game developed by Croteam and published by Devolver Digital. It is the latest game in the Serious Sam series and a prequel to Serious Sam: The First Encounter. The game's story takes place in the 22nd century, during Mental's invasion of Earth, as implied in The First Encounter. The game is set in Egypt and features a 16-player co-operative campaign mode, as well as 4-player splitscreen. The game was released on November 22, 2011 on Windows, October 17, 2012 on Xbox Live Arcade, while the PlayStation 3 version was released on May 13, 2014.[4] The Linux version was made available through the Linux Steam version on November 7, 2012.[5][unreliable source?]


Like previous titles in the series, Serious Sam 3: BFE involves fighting against many hordes of enemies in wide-open environments. However Serious Sam 3 has more closed environments than its predecessors, particularly in the early levels. There are also a larger number of enemies that can attack the player from a distance.

The player can carry an unlimited amount of weapons, including a minigun, rocket launcher, assault rifle and a cannon. There are 13 weapons total. 5 of them have a manual reload. The signature close-combat weapons from the first game, the knife and chainsaw, have been replaced with a sledgehammer with three modes of attack (vertical strike, 180 turn and full 360 turn).

There is no regenerating health, instead there are health and armor power-ups scattered throughout the levels that the player must pick up. Additionally, the levels are full of secret areas, where health, armor, ammo and in some cases, weapons from later levels can be found, following the tradition of the previous games. Some weapons such as the Lasergun and the Sniper Rifle and their respective ammunition pickups are in fact secret-only, and otherwise are not found in the levels normally.

There are no puzzles, however the player must find keys, pull levers and find environmental anomalies to progress.

Classic enemies such as the Beheaded Kamikaze, Beheaded Rocketeer and Kleer Skeleton return in the game. New ones include the Khnum and Scrapjack (resembling the Hell Knight and Mancubus from Doom, respectively), as well as the cloned soldiers reminiscent of the Strogg from Quake (series). The Kamikaze has returned to his original design, rather than the Serious Sam II design. The Gnaar's design has radically been changed from the original game. It is now much larger, differently shaped and walks on all fours, rather than its bipedal counterpart in Serious Sam.

Serious Sam 3 features some new gameplay mechanics such as sprinting and iron sights. Unlike most other FPS games that have sprinting, you are able to sprint as much as you want, but cannot attack while sprinting. The pistol and assault rifle have the ability to aim down sights, which increases accuracy but only slightly. The player moves slower while aiming down the sight, making it impractical at close range. The player can perform hand kills or kick enemies to conserve ammo, depending on the weapon selected. For example, a Gnaar's eyeball can be ripped out or an Antaresian Spider's shell can be broken.


System requirements
Minimum Recommended
Operating system Windows XP 32-bit (with service pack 2 or 3) Windows 7 64-bit
CPU Dual-core from Intel or AMD at 2.0 GHz Quad-core from Intel (i5/i7-series) or AMD (Phenom II) at 3.0 GHz
Memory 1 GB 4 GB
Hard drive 4GB free hard drive space
Graphics hardware nVidia GeForce 7800/7900/8600 series, ATI/AMD Radeon HD 2600/3600 or X1800/X1900 series nVidia GeForce GTX 480/580, ATI/AMD Radeon HD 5870/6970
Sound hardware DirectX9.0c Compatible Sound Card

Serious Sam 3: BFE serves as a prequel to the original Serious Sam: The First Encounter and depicts the events on Earth before Sam's journey into the past. Prior to 2060 A.D, humanity had slowly begun uncovering artifacts and ruins left behind in ancient times by the Sirians, the famous and long-thought extinct race from the place of Sirius. Unfortunately, Mental has chosen this time to turn his attention upon Earth. He dispatches his space fleet carrying his endless hordes to attack Earth, leading a three year conquest that has humanity driven almost to the point of extinction. In a last-ditch effort, the survivors turn to the time-lock; A recently excavated device supposedly capable of granting a single person the ability of time travel via an inter-dimensional portal. Through it, that person could reach a pivotal point in time and alter events of the past. But as the device lies dormant, they must first discover a means to turn it on.

Sam "Serious" Stone, part of the Earth Defense force, is dispatched with a detachment of soldiers in Alpha team to modern Egypt, which is occupied by Mental's alien army. Their original mission is to recon, rendezvous and extract Bravo team who are protecting Dr Stein, a scientist carrying hieroglyphics believed to contain instructions for powering up the Time-lock. Sam's insertion goes haywire as his chopper is shot down and both teams are quickly wiped out. However, he is able to recover the hieroglyphics from Stein's phone in the museum and transmit them to headquarters. Deciphering indicates there is a hidden Sirian chamber below the Great Pyramid. Sam clears himself a path to a tunnel underneath the Sphinx and descends into the Pyramid. He not only discovers the hidden chamber, but recovers crucial information and a bracelet device from the remains of what might've been Earth's last Sirian.

In order to power the Time-lock, two dormant but incredibly powerful plasma-energy generators need to be activated. Hellfire from Charlie team inserts Sam to bring both online. This is slowly accomplished and Team Charlie is staged to enter the Time-Lock. Sam is relieved of duty and in the process of being extracted from Cairo, but is shot down once again and is forced to flee towards the lost ruins of Nubia. Traversing through more tombs, Sam finds a dead member of Team Charlie with a working comm-link. He picks it up and uses it to contact the Earth Defense Force, only to be contacted by Hellfire, who is surprised that Sam is still alive. When Sam asks Hellfire what is happening, she tells him that Headquarters has been compromised by Mental's forces, Quinn was killed, Team Charlie was completely wiped out and only she remains. With her last breath, Hellfire urges Sam to find someplace safe and if anyone of the humans survive, they will find him. A Gnaar then ambushes Hellfire and kills her, thus ending the human race forever. The Gnaar then picks up Hellfire's comm-link and tells Sam that it's all over and that Mental has won. Now determined to finish what the Sirians has started, Sam vows it is not over until he has wiped out every last one of Mental's forces from the face of the universe. (Specifically, Sam states " Oh, it's not over until I teabag every last one of you alien mother f**kers!") The Gnaar then tells Sam that it will be too late, as Mental is now plotting to "moon" Earth, to which Sam replies that "If he tries to moon me, I'll shoot off his ass and hang it on my wall" before hanging up. With Sam now officially the Last Man on Earth and knowing what needs to be done, he plans to use the Time-Lock himself and kill Mental in the past before he can destroy humanity in the present. Sam then makes one last travel to Hatshepsut Temple, where the Time-Lock is located.

The struggle to this destination ends with Sam killing Ugh-Zan IV, the newest incarnation of the infamous Ugh-Zan III from Serious Sam: The First Encounter. With Ugh-Zan IV dead, the Time-Lock then activates, displaying an inter-dimensional portal to 3000 B.C., the timeline where the Sirians became extincted. Sam then calls Mental on Stein's phone, only to be answered by Mental's daughter, Judy. Sam asks Judy to give her father a message that Sam is coming over to "play" with him, in which case he means kill him. Shocked by this response, Judy asks Sam if he is serious, which Sam boldly answers: "Why yes, as a matter of fact, I AM". Suddenly, he notices the Moon plummeting rapidly within Earth's atmosphere. Realizing what's about to happen, Sam runs toward the Time-Lock, threatening Mental one last time before jumping into the portal. The game ends with the Moon impacting Earth, destroying the planet.


Indie games[edit]

Before the release of Serious Sam 3: BFE, three indie games were announced to be in development. All were released around the time of Serious Sam 3's release.

Serious Sam 3 and other titles, such as Serious Sam 2 and the mentioned indies were released in a pack in a Humble Weekly Bundle sale, that started on June 6 and ended June 13. Serious Sam 3 and 2 were only included if you beat the average price paid for the bundle.

Serious Digital Edition[edit]

The "Serious Digital Edition" contains (on Steam):

  • Classic versions of Serious Sam: First and Second Encounter (giftable if the item is already owned on Steam)
  • Exclusive making-of Serious Sam 3: BFE video
  • Exclusive Gold Fork Parker and Gold Serious Sam multiplayer character
  • Timed exclusive Brett Sanderson Headless Kamikaze multiplayer character
  • Timed exclusive DLC: Sniper Scope for AS-24 "Devastator" weapon
  • Complete collection of high-resolution Serious Sam 3: BFE trailers and game videos
  • Official soundtrack - composed by Damjan Mravunac and Undercode (single-player), Synthetic Scar (four songs for multiplayer)
  • Digital art book, high-resolution posters and box art

If the game was pre-purchased before release, the exclusive Fork Parker character model would be received. Serious Digital Edition customers receives both the normal Fork Parker and Gold Fork Parker model, while the Standard Edition customers receives the normal Fork Parker model.

The game is AMD Eyefinity validated.[6]

Downloadable content[edit]

A downloadable content (DLC) pack titled Jewel of the Nile was released for the PC and Mac versions of the game on October 16, 2012.[7] The DLC contains a new single-player campaign and competitive game modes for the game's multiplayer mode. New achievements are also included. Jewel of the Nile was released for the Xbox 360 version of the game on October 17, 2012.[8]

Copy protection[edit]

The game features Steamworks DRM as part of its copy protection system. If the game code detects what it believes to be an unauthorised copy, it alters gameplay to make play exceedingly difficult. An invincible arachnid is spawned: this creature can charge at high speed, melee attack, and attacks from a range with twin chainguns.[9] This makes progress in the game much harder, and ultimately prevents the player from progressing further. Another method is in the level "Under the Iron Cloud", the game will make the player's character spin wildly looking in the air.[citation needed]


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (PC) 75.61%[10]
Metacritic (PC) 72/100[11]
(X360) 63/100[12]
Review scores
Publication Score
Game Informer 7.75[15]
GameSpot 6.0[13]
IGN 7.0[14]

BFE has garnered mostly positive reviews. Eurogamer gave the game a 7 out of 10, praising it for what Duke Nukem Forever failed to deliver, however criticizing the redundancy of the title's gameplay compared to its previous iterations in the series.[16] Game Informer rewarded the game a score of 7.75 and praised the game for its graphics and the heavy metal score while being true to its original concept.[17] Destructoid gave it an 8.5, saying "It's a lot of fun indeed. A lot of backbreaking, grueling, soul-destroying fun."[18] Review aggregation web site Metacritic gave the game a score of 72 out of 100 based on 53 reviews whilst the sites user score is 8.4 out of 10 based on 256 user ratings.[19] GameRankings gave the game a score of 75.61% based on 37 reviews.[20]


  1. ^ Senior, Tom. "Serious Sam 3: BFE release date strafes into November". PC Gamer. Retrieved 12 December 2011. 
  2. ^ "Steam for Linux Beta Now Available to All". Retrieved 2013-06-09. 
  3. ^ "About Croteam". Retrieved 2013-06-11. 
  4. ^ "Serious Sam 3 Announced". IGN. 2011-02-28. Retrieved 2011-03-14. 
  5. ^ "Steam for Linux : It's HERE ! (deb in the link)". reddit. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  6. ^ "AMD Eyefinity Validated and Ready Software". 
  7. ^ "Joystiq: 'Jewel of the Nile' DLC runs screaming to Serious Sam 3 on October 16". Retrieved 2013-02-11. 
  8. ^ "XBLA Fans: Serious Sam 3: BFE - Jewel of the Nile review". Retrieved 2013-02-11. 
  9. ^ The painful sting of Serious Sam 3's anti-piracy protection, at Joystiq; by JC Fletcher; published December 7, 2011; retrieved June 15, 2013
  10. ^ "Serious Sam 3: BFE". GameRankings. Retrieved 2011-11-27. 
  11. ^ "Serious Sam 3: BFE (PC)". Metacritic. Retrieved 2011-11-27. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ Watters, Chris (2011-12-08). "Serious Sam 3: BFE" Review". GSpot. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  14. ^ Gord, Goble (2011-12-01). "Serious Sam 3: BFE" Review". ign. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  15. ^ Biessener, Adam (2011-11-23). "Serious Sam 3: BFE". GI. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  16. ^ Whitehead, Dan. "Serious Sam 3: BFE Review". Eurogamer. 
  17. ^ Biessener, Adam. "Serious Sam 3 Review: No Frills, Some Thrills". Game Informer. Retrieved 12 December 2011. 
  18. ^ Sterling, Jim. "Review: Serious Sam 3: BFE". Destructoid. Retrieved 12 December 2011. 
  19. ^ "Metacritic: Serious Sam 3: BFE (PC)". Retrieved 2011-11-27. 
  20. ^ "GameRankings: Serious Sam 3: BFE (PC)". Retrieved 2011-11-27. 

External links[edit]