It has been observed that in terms of gameplay, the true descendant of Doom was not Doom 3, but Serious Sam. In Doom you played a man who could run at something approaching the speed of an automobile. You carried a cache of weapons, ammunition, and armor that would, in a more plausible reality, require a U-Haul truck to transport. You were a bullet sponge of epic proportions and capable of falling any distance without being harmed. Most importantly, you fought multitudes of foes in huge, chaotic, open-air battles. In all of these ways, Serious Sam is like Doom, only moreso.
It’s all played for laughs, which is fitting. This isn’t a game where you engage in soul-searching and probe the mysteries of what it is to be human. This ain’t Shakespeare. This is a game where you kill an unbelievable number of foes with massive guns and overwhelming bravado. It’s good, mindless fun.
It actually took me a while to get through the game. I can only take it in limited doses. After twenty minutes of holding the fire button down and watching things go boom, I need to sit quietly and let my nervous system recover.
The game is wonderfully tuned. It’s built for speed, not eye candy. The last thing you want is a framerate hitch while you’re trying to draw a bead on one of the fifty or so murderous freaks converging on your position. The game runs flawlessly smooth in comparison to its contemporaries. The load times are quick. There are lots of foes, lots of guns, and lots of places to combine the two.
Actually, everything I’ve said applies equally well to either Serious Sam or the predictably named Serious Sam 2. The second game has more variety and polish, but both provide the same high-speed assault on the senses.
I know I’m always banging on about immersive gameplay, character development, and story depth. So me praising this game is like finding your pretentious music teacher thrashing around listening to Korn when the students are gone. I know this game is everything I usually hate, but it’s pure and it’s well-executed and it’s amusing. It may not be the kind of game I love, but it is an absolutely stellar example of the kind of game I don’t.
C++ is a wonderful language for making horrible code.
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Back in 1999, I rode the dot-com bubble. Got rich. Worked hard. Went crazy. Turned poor. It was fun.
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