When the times get tough…

…the tough get going. Yesterday, after a long kill-every-moving-thing-alien-or-not session I finished Serious Sam for XBox.Ehy that’s a great game. It’s not technically outstanding, surely not by today standards, but it has real genius in the gameplay and the character. It is continuously joking over the shoot-em-up genre and the tough hero stereotype.
The story is pretentious – some aliens from Sirio are invading the Earth. You, as Serious Sam, have to defeat them. It not that you are under-numbered in the quest, after all they are all alone, but you have to collect some artifacts here and there in the humanity (o alienity) history, going back and forth the timeline, bringing your wealth of destruction and pain from ancient Egypt to Mayan, to middle age civilizations.
The game is, first of all, humorous. Starting from your weapon set, where you find the usual guns, grenade and rocket launchers, the less usual flame-thrower and chainsaw, the quite exotic cannon (yes one cannon you could find on a pirate galleon) and the exotic serious bomb – a comic-like spherical bomb that causes a pocket nuclear explosion. It is humorous in the gameplay with jokes and clever stuff everywhere. Hardly forgettable is the bouncing room where everyone (you and your enemies) keep bouncing.
It is humorous in odd things you find around. It is impossible to not laugh when you find the Secret Santa Claus.
Despite of this the gameplay is solid, somewhat cathartic in the shooting, never frustrating thanks to the nearly total lack of puzzle to solve and the big yellow flashing arrows clearly indicating what you ought to take or to do before advancing to the next level.
Well done Croteam.

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