Serious Sam: Double D (PC) Review

Author: Heath Flor
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Tuesday, September 13th, 2011
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Games/Reviews/serious_sam_double_d/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.

If you've never played a Serious Sam game, imagine a red-headed step-child whose parents happen to be Doom and Duke Nukem. When first person shooters started to become less like silly arcade fun and more like S.W.A.T. team training, game developer Croteam stepped up to deliver a whimsical nod to their favorite shooters of the past. Sure, Doom and Duke Nukem were only a decade in the wind, but it translates to a century in video game years.

At first I was a little bit confused by Serious Sam: Double D. It's a 2D side scrolling shooter, which is definitely not what I remember of the original games -- not to mention Serious Sam 3: BFE is supposed to come out next month. So what gives with this new sneaky title?

Serious Sam: Double D is actually developed by Mommy's Best Games as a tribute to Serious Sam, a precursor to Serious Sam 3: BFE, and a way for the independent studio to get some attention. It's an excellent way to advertise both Serious Sam and Mommy's Best Games, and I would love to see more studios take part in a campaign like this in the future. There are two other independent developers I know of who have joined in on the Serious Sam fun as well -- Be Rad Entertainment and Vlambeer -- though their games have been released as of yet.

What about the game?

In Double D, Sam "Serious" Stone goes on an adventure to wipe out more of Mental's minions, though Mental is currently busy and being filled in by a new nemesis: General Maxilla. Going back in time through the "Time-lock", Sam must do his best to stop the alien horde and save the future of humanity. Along the way he is coached by A.I. hologram Netricsa -- otherwise known as Nettie -- who Sam banters with in a pubescent fashion, rife with jokes generally aimed at her breasts.

Gameplay is quite simple, never going beyond the basic needs of a crazy bastard who has time traveled to destroy aliens hell bent on wiping out the human race. With the mouse, you aim your weapon and shoot, while you use the keyboard to move forward or backwards as well as jump. The keyboard also allows you to switch weapons and choose which weapons you will 'stack'.

By implementing the all new "Gun Stacker" system, you can now stack any type of your weapon in your arsenal to create one big ridiculously silly weapon. Simply collect stacker elements and more than one weapon and you're free to combine them. With six maximum weapons stacked at once, the possibilities for mayhem are virtually endless. My personal favorite is two shotguns, two tommy guns, and two bazookas. As silly as it is, it's also quite fun to come up with the most outrageous weapon combinations you can think of. Now if only I could do the same in Mass Effect, the so-called "Insanity mode" would be a cake walk.

Don't expect your new stacked gun to give you too much of an edge over the enemy, as the droves of enemies seem near endless after you find the third connector. I tried to use a single weapon for as long as I could, but quickly found myself overwhelmed and my finger fatigued by rapidly clicking my mouse button.

The Horde

The enemies are quite weird, to put it mildly. Many of them are returning series favourites, but new ones such as the flying monkeys and the female beheaded kamikaze who has giant bombs essentially covering her boobs make for strange company. With that being said, they still meshed well together in a world born from craziness. After all, where else would you find a gun toting caterpillar?

Redundancy plays a big factor in Serious Sam: Double D, and you will start to feel a little bit of "been there, done that" creep in after only a few stages. However, the stages are done very well and look crisp, albeit a bit short. After dealing with waves upon waves of endless hordes of enemies though, it tends to get rather tedious towards the end.

Play it again Sam?

The biggest downside to Serious Sam: Double D has to be the lack of replay value. While there are achievements to unlock, players who aren't fans will do a quick play through and never touch the game again. "Quick" in this case being 2-4 hrs of gameplay depending on your skills or settings. While many may scoff at the shortness of the game, at $7.99 you will still get more entertainment and value out of it than from a movie ticket.

All-in-all Mommy's Best Games does a fine job of capturing the Serious Sam atmosphere and making it their own. Even though Serious Sam: Double D is a bit simple, and even a bit boring at times, it still has the fun arcade feel which tends to be lost in games with higher production values. People who have never heard of Serious Sam will find themselves scratching their heads in wonder, while those who are looking forward to Serious Sam 3: BFE will find this to be an excellent appetizer before the main course -- to which I say 'bon appetite!'

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