I'LL GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS

The entire campaign can be played with sixteen allies, injecting another dose of madness into an already crowded battlefield. I’m of the mind that co-op play improves nearly every gaming experience, and Serious Sam 3 is no exception. The sound of several miniguns spinning up simultaneously is a sadistic sort of melody that you just have to hear. There’s also a survival mode, which is probably the most Serious Sammy part of the game.

The arenas – of which there are only two, sadly – are littered with ammo and weaponry. Enemies of all sorts spawn indefinitely and you must move your reticle over them and click until they go away. It’s far and away the most entertaining part of the whole package, and if the game ends up having decent legs, this mode will be the reason why.

There’s also a competitive multiplayer option that could not be more misguided. Serious Sam 3 shines when you’re frantically clicking hundreds of foes to death, feeling an oncoming finger cramp but ignoring it because you’re super extreme. One-on-one conflicts? Not so great. If that’s what you’re here for, I’d recommend checking out some of today’s more well-known shooters.

 

GET SOME... CULTURE

Serious Sam 3 is an incredible game, a relic from a time when having a sore hand meant you did well. But before you buy it, you need to know what exactly you’re looking for. The campaign is short but a blast to replay, especially with fifteen friends. Adversarial multiplayer is way off the mark. Survival mode, the best part of the game, only has two maps. However, one year from now when you decide to boot up Serious Sam 3 with a few friends, survival mode is the reason you’ll be doing it.

If your first console was an Xbox 360, it’s possible that your shooter diet consists entirely of mega-popular shooters like Call of Duty and Halo. For you folks, I could not recommend this game more. It’s not a better game than Battlefield 3, and it doesn’t have the features of Modern Warfare 3, but it is one of gaming’s greatest history lessons – one that I urge you to experience. Just make sure you prepare by lifting some weights with a tiny, finger-sized dumbbell.

Wow. That really should have been a pre-order bonus.  

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