Serious Sam 3: BFE
|Serious Sam 3: BFE|
Cover art of 'Serious Sam 3: BFE'
|Engine||Serious Engine 3.5|
Serious Sam 3: BFE is a first-person shooter video game developed by Croatia-based indie development studio Croteam and published by Devolver Digital. It is part of the Serious Sam series and the prequel to Serious Sam: The First Encounter. The game takes place in 22nd century Egypt, during Mental's invasion on Earth, as implied in The First Encounter. The game features a 16-player online, as well as 4-player splitscreen co-op campaign mode. The game was first released for Microsoft Windows on 22 November 2011. The OS X support for the game followed shortly after and was released on 23 April 2012. The Linux version of the game started being worked on after a high amount of requests, where the first Linux-related update was the porting of the game's dedicated server. The game itself, however, was released one day after Valve Corporation opened the beta branch for "Steam for Linux", namely 20 December 2012.
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 the 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, unlike 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.
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 have 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 any 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. 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 extinct. 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.
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 arachnoid is spawned: this creature can charge at high speed, melee attack, and attacks from a range with twin chainguns. This makes progress in the game much harder, and ultimately prevents the player from progressing further. Those invincible arachnoid are also known as the DRM Scorpions.
If the invincible arachnoid protection is bypassed, there is another one: mid-way in the game during a fight with the aliens, the camera permanently locks to the sky preventing the player from aiming.
Marketing and release
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 Double D - A side-scroller platforming game featuring an ability to wield multiple weapons at a time.
- Serious Sam: Kamikaze Attack! - An Android and iOS 2D-game that allows player to direct and control Beheaded Kamikaze.
- Serious Sam: The Random Encounter - An action role-playing game with simplified graphics.
The Gold Edition of Serious Sam 3: BFE includes:
- The main game
- The "Jewel of the Nile" expansion pack
- The Bonus Pack, which consists of:
- The original soundtrack of the game composed by Damjan Mravunac and Filip Brtan in AAC, FLAC and WMA formats
- The "Brett Sanderson Headless Kamikaze" skin for the "Headless Kamikaze" multiplayer model
- A sniper scope for the single-player AS-24 "Devastator" weapon
- A making-of video of the game (in Croatian, with English subtitles)
- A digital 42-page colored artwork album
- A digital copy of the game's box art
- High-resolution images of the game's posters
- High-resolution versions of the game's different trailers
If the user pre-ordered Serious Sam 3: BFE, they received Devolver Digital's CFO Fork Parker as a model for the game's multiplayer mode. Additionally, if the user decided to pre-preorder the "Serious Deluxe Edition", they received the Gold Edition, the Fork Parker model, golden skins for the Fork Parker and Serious Sam models and both classic Serious Sam titles, namely Serious Sam Classic: The First Encounter and Serious Sam Classic: The Second Encounter. On top, all deluxe pre-orderers were gifted a copy of Serious Sam Classics: Revolution, which released into Steam Early Access in late 2014.
A downloadable content pack titled Jewel of the Nile was released for the PC and Mac versions of the game on 16 October 2012. 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 Xbox 360 on 17 October 2012, together with the game itself.
Serious Sam 3: 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. 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. Destructoid gave it an 8.5, saying "It's a lot of fun indeed. A lot of backbreaking, grueling, soul-destroying fun." Review aggregation website Metacritic gave the game a score of 72 out of 100 based on 53 reviews. GameRankings gave the game a score of 75.61% based on 37 reviews.
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- "Serious Sam 3 Update Released - "Support for Mac OSX added"". Steam. Valve Corporation. 23 April 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
- "Serious Sam 3 Update Released - "Dedicated server now works on Linux"". Steam. Valve Corporation. 23 April 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
- "Steam for Linux Beta Now Available to All". Steam. Valve Corporation. 19 December 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
- Fletcher, JC (7 December 2011). "The painful sting of Serious Sam 3's anti-piracy protection". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
- Papadopoulos, John (9 December 2011). "Serious Sam 3 Protection V2 – Look up in the sky, is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it’s DRM pwnage". DSOGaming.
- Hinkle, David (5 October 2012). "'Jewel of the Nile' DLC runs screaming to Serious Sam 3 on October 16". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
- Tyrrel, Brandin (4 November 2012). "Serious Sam 3: BFE – Jewel of the Nile review (XBLA DLC)". XBLA Fans. XBLA Fans. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
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- "Serious Sam 3: BFE for Xbox 360". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
- "Serious Sam 3: BFE for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
- "Serious Sam 3: BFE for Xbox 360 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
- Sterling, Jim (25 November 2011). "Review: Serious Sam 3: BFE". Destructoid. ModernMethod. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
- Whitehead, Dan (24 November 2011). "Serious Sam 3: BFE Review - Blast from the past.". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
- Biessener, Adam (23 November 2011). "Serious Sam 3: BFE - No Frills, Some Thrills". Game Informer. GameStop. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
- Watters, Chris (8 December 2011). "Serious Sam 3: BFE Review - Crisp visuals and legions of enemies struggle to invigorate the lackluster Serious Sam 3: BFE.". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
- Goble, Gord (1 December 2011). "Serious Sam 3: BFE Review - Thought? Creativity? Not in Sam's blood-drenched retro world.". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 5 January 2012.