If you like first-person shooters, this holiday season has plenty of them to choose from. From Halo to Call of Duty, there is a game that will click for you. Serious Sam 4 is the latest game in this genre to come out, but is it worth your time? Let’s find out.
Let me start by saying if you are looking for a serious shooter campaign Serious Sam is not for you. The full story is nonsense and the writing can be very cringe-worthy at times, so much that I found myself skipping a lot of the cut scenes just to get to the gameplay. The silly writing and nonsensical story were not a turn-off for me; I really didn’t expect a game that has the word “serious” on its title to be actually serious.
What turned me off however was how unpolished these cut scenes felt from the rest of the game. If a game has the occasional texture popping I usually don’t mind. Serious Sam 4 however, felt like every time I was in a cut scene I would encounter these issues. Not only did I deal with texture popping issues but Serious Sam 4 has some of the worst facial animations I have seen since Mass Effect Andromeda. Well, that last part might be an exaggeration, but you get what I am trying to say here. During gameplay, I didn’t encounter these issues as often. And that’s where I feel the disconnect between cutscenes and gameplay. These issues are very noticeable and at times it feels like you are playing two different versions of Serious Sam 4.
The good news for you is that if you like to shoot enemies in the face, well this is the game for you. The shooting feels responsive and every gun feels unique to use. I loved unlocking a new weapon and getting the chance to play around with it. You have your classic double-barrel shotgun to crazier weapons, and they are truly a blast to use. The gameplay gave me a lot of old-school Doom vibes. This game also offers great variety with its enemy design. I was not expecting to shoot a vampire in this kind of game, but I did and I’m glad I did. If you are also someone that likes a challenge in your shooter games, I believe Serious Sam 4 can give you that. I actually had to turn the difficulty down a few times to get through levels.
In this game, you will also find a skill tree, but it’s nothing that you haven’t seen in the past. My biggest issue with the gameplay is that after a while it feels like you have been doing the exact same thing for hours. Every mission boils down to going to an area, shooting your way out, and then doing it again on the next stage.
I enjoyed my first few hours with Serious Sam 4 but after that, I was just finding myself going through the motions just for the sake of getting to the next level. It would be fine if the levels felt unique, but in my opinion, they don’t. A lot of these levels begin to blend with each other. Also, some areas in these stages are way too big for this kind of game and they feel empty at times. Don’t go into this game expecting an amazing level design because you won’t find it here.
Serious Sam 4 Final Thoughts
At the end of the day, if you are looking for a new shooter to not take seriously at all, a game that you can just turn on and turn off your mind Serious Sam 4 is the game for you. There is nothing on this game that will make you rethink how you see first-person shooters as a whole, but what’s in this game is fine enough for you to try. This will not replace your Halo’s or Call of Duty but it can definitely make for a nice distraction.