Serious Sam 3: BFE

7.5 Overall Score

Fast Paced Fun Still Present | Costs Significantly Less Than On PC.

Cuts Number of Co-op Players | Loses Other Cool Options From PC

Written by on October 22, 2012 in [, , , , ]

Last year, after six long years of anticipation, we finally saw the PC release of Serious Sam 3 BFE. While the game had a few problems, for the most part it was a brilliant call back to the original Serious Sam games. Devolver Digital and Croteam have finally ported the game to Xbox Live Arcade and while it does have a few added problems, the port is still an excellent example of why Serious Sam is such a fun game.

Serious Sam 3 is a prequel to the original Serious Sam: The First Encounter. Earth has uncovered ancient alien technology which has allowed humanity to reach the edges of the known universe. It appears to be a new golden age for humans until Mental, an intergalactic warlord, declares war on Earth. Within only a few years, Earth is reduced to mostly rubble. The remaining humans enlist “Serious” Sam Stone to help start an ancient relic known as the “Timelock” so that they can travel back in time to fight Mental’s hordes before they reach Earth.

The game is still as hectic and as crazy as any other Serious Sam game. This FPS has you mowing through thousands of enemies with a huge arsenal of weapons. There are a number of large, open arena-style areas where you will have to fend off hundreds of enemies at a time. This is the core of the Serious Sam experience and in Serious Sam 3, it’s been polished to near perfection.

The port is comparable to the PC version in many regards. Areas are still vast and it appears that there were no compromises in making the game any less difficult for the console port. You still fight against thousands of enemies and can easily die if you’re not careful. However, one notable change is the blatant auto-aim assist feature that is, by default, turned on in the console port. You can be aiming at one group of enemies but your bullets will target a different set of them. This can be turned off from the options menu, but it’s telling that the developers felt the need to have this turned on.

Graphically, the Xbox 360 version can’t touch the visual fidelity of the PC version on its highest settings. However, the 360 port still looks fantastic running on the Serious Engine 3.5. There are a few notable drops in frame-rate throughout the game that can easily drop the game to below five frames per second. Additionally, the sound on the port has a nasty habit of cutting off dialog within several cutscenes.

The Xbox 360 version does see some notable exclusions of content from the PC version. The most notable of these is the reduction in how many players can fight alongside you in co-op. The PC version has sixteen player co-op while the Xbox 360 port only has support for four players. While it’s a notable reduction in players, it’s still a lot of fun to play with four players in through most of the game. Additionally, the PC version had a number of different graphical style options which allowed for different color schemes which are missing here. It’s a small complaint, but it considering that the promotional materials for Serious Sam 3 on PC included a trailer specifically about this, it is notable.

Without the Jewel of the Nile DLC, which was released on the same date as the Xbox 360 port was launched, the game also lacks any competitive multiplayer. While that may prove an issue for some, it’s actually almost welcome that the game doesn’t include it. Without going into too much detail, the PC version featured an extremely lackluster competitive multiplayer which almost felt like more of an afterthought. It’s a blessing that you don’t have to buy it in order to play the single-player/co-op campaign.

However, without the Jewel of the Nile DLC, you also lose out on the Classic, Coin-op and Survival co-op modes from the PC version of the game. This feels like it was blatantly left out of this release, as these modes are the most fun you can have with co-op. The regular co-op mode limits you to three lives, though you can unlock more lives by getting a higher score in a level. However, near the end of the game this becomes nearly impossible as you can never get the score high enough to earn more lives. It’s still fun but playing the other co-op modes is far more enjoyable. We will be reviewing this DLC in a review of its own.

Many of the problems with the PC version are still present, though those are more to do with actual gameplay design decisions than with anything else. It still takes a bit too long to get any real weaponry other than the pistol. Additionally, the game spends way too much time in dark, dank caverns where you can’t really see anything.

It should also be noted that this version of the game cost significantly less than the PC version. While that version costs $40, the Xbox Live Arcade port costs 1200 Microsoft Points ($15). Considering the quality of the game overall is still fairly high, it’s almost a steal for Xbox 360 players.

With all of the issues with the port, this version of Serious Sam 3 is still a lot of fun. The core game is still intact, even if there this version of the game does have some notable issues. If you don’t have a PC capable of running the game, this port is still an absolute blast to play.

A code for Serious Sam 3 BFE was provided to The Married Gamers for review.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Addam Kearney View all posts by

Leave A Response