Serious Sam (2002)

4.50 from 5 votes
Serious Sam on the Xbox packs in the first two PC releases along with slick graphical makeover and new multi-player options.
First released
Nov 10, 2002
Serious Sam
Developed by
Croteam Ltd.
Published by
Gotham Games
Action, First-Person Shooter
  • XBOX - Serious Sam United States

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*Warning: spoilers* Amazing game that felt totally different from the PC version
Serious Sam for the XBOX felt like a totally different game. I already finished Serious Sam: The First Encounter and The Second Encounter many times on PC, but when playing this version, it felt fresh and new, although eighty percent of the game was the same in terms of levels, enemies and story.

In the core, it is still Serious Sam. The earth is under attack by Mental and his alien horde and earth is overrun, lost completely in disarray. In a desperate attempt to turn the tide, you are teleported back in time to ancient Egypt to, hopefully, change the course of history in favor of humanity. You travel to different parts of Egypt, including Karnak, Luxor, the suburbs of ancient Cairo and the Valley of the Kings.

On your journey, hordes and hordes of Mentals monsters attack you from all directions and you blast your way to the Great Pyramid, where you defeat Ugh-Zan IV, Mentals most powerful general. After that, you leave a phone message for Mental, telling him that you are coming for his ass and then fly away in your spaceship, which is put down by stupid Serious Sam fans flying in a rocket crate cart and crash into you, starting the Second Encounter.

In the Second encounter, you start in Sierra Chiapas, in ancient Mayan territory. Your ship is wrecked and not usable anymore. Luckily, you learn about a back-up ship, located in another world. You need to hop between two portals to reach this ancient world and fight your way trough the Mayan lands and towns, Ancient Persia and eventually, ancient Poland. On your journey you are again hindered by even more hordes of Mentals soldiers and three big fat bosses that guard the portals. In the end, you fight the sorcerer Mordekai, who guards the Holy Grail itself. After you whoop his ass, you sarcastically confess your sins in the Grand Cathedral about what you are going to do to Mental when you find him and then fly away in the back-up ship.

What makes the XBOX version different is a number of things. First of all, you got a score system in which you make combos for higher scores. After enough points, you earn an extra life, another new feature in this game. When you die, you can re-spawn in place and move on. You can also find money and treasure to increase your score even further.

You also got auto aiming (which can be expected from a console title) and a quick select menu for your favorite four weapons, which are selectable with Y, B, X and A.

The best difference was the tutorial levels, which all played on present day earth. You complete the levels and then walk up to the teleporter that takes you to ancient Egypt. It is kind of like a mini prequel to the main game. I loved it.

Levels have been split in multiple parts, mainly because of the memory limitations of the console I guess, nevertheless, it felt like playing more levels, although they were the same length in the end.

It was strange to see that the XBOX version of Serious Sam featured the Serious Bombs and Chainsaw in the first game. Those weapons were originally introduced in the second game. The models for these weapons are all different too, they look more polished in my opinion.

The XBOX version of Serious Sam also introduced more cut scenes that all looked a lot like Serious Sam 2’s cut scenes. The PC version had horrible stiff cut scenes in which Sam just moved to a certain item he collected, put it in his hand and the cut scene ended, but here, Sam talks and interacts with the object and environment, making it feel more realistic and fun.

The graphics and animations are all very different from the PC version. Every enemy has a new touch to them and although they still look the same as the PC version, they have other features on their bodies, other weapons or other clothing or gear. It is funny to compare all the differences with the PC version.

Sound wise, the game plays and feels the same as the PC version. It is just as epic, nonetheless. Especially the boss battles and swarm battles.

Finally, you can now collect more ammo, health and armor, even if all is maxed out. The extra health, armor and ammo will simply count as point when you pick them up. This was a nice difference instead of ghostly walking over them.

The XBOX version of Serious Sam was a lot better than its PC counterparts. It is not entirely fair to compare the two because the XBOX version came out much later, but the improvements and differences gave me a fresh new experience and I loved every second of it.

Definitely would recommend this retro gem to everyone.
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