Serious Sam 4 almost immediately disappoints. That’s not to say it’s bad — it's another generally playable slice of carnage in the long-running series — but it’s also yet another prequel, a fifth game in which the villain, the tastefully named “Mental”, does not make an appearance. It's another shooter much like the last one, with mostly the same enemies and similar environments. It’s challenging, with plenty of secrets and — for the first time — “side quests”, though these just lead to items and weapon caches rather than anything essential.
In some ways, it’s even a step back. It’s a better-looking game than Serious Sam 3, but honestly? The difference isn’t that striking. You’ve got the customary Quality/Performance toggle, but while the latter does provide 60 frames-per-second at times, it drops, and it drops hard. Anytime you’ve got a surplus of baddies on screen kicking up particles — which is almost all the time — the frame rate tanks. Last gen's The Serious Sam Collection managed what felt like a locked 60fps at all times and this sequel really isn't that big a visual leap that the PlayStation 5 shouldn't be able to handle it. The experience is compromised by the enormous firefights it’s gleefully sold on.
It also lacks local co-op, which was always the best way to play Sam; every game in the Collection had the feature as standard. We’re rather disappointed that split-screen isn’t a thing anymore. Online multiplayer is there, sure, but it’s just not the same.
While fitfully fun and well designed, Sam 4 disappoints as both a sequel and a next-gen product. While it wasn’t particularly optimised on PC it still represents a low for PS5 performance. A compromised port of a game that’s only slightly above average in the first place. A serious shame.
Are you Serious (Sam 4 for the PS5)?
Thanks for mentioning split-screen, it feels like in recent years it's dying (sadly). Because IMO any game with split-screen gets a free bonus point/10 just because friends make games better, and that's a fact.
@HotGoomba Sam on you for making this joke! 4 real it wasn't that good.
It’s almost like this game died out due to “natural causes” and waning popularity and bringing it back was a mistake lol. Nostalgia belongs in the past. What a waste of time and resources
Really sad this one is missing the split screen. I've almost finished now and it's been an absolute blast. Preferred it over 3 that's for sure. I do wish they'd reign it back in a bit when it comes to the cutscenes and other characters. Serious Sam never needed any of that.
Give it a couple of patches for the iffy performance and id wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone who enjoyed the others or any oldschool FPS like DOOM, Quake, DUSK, Ion Fury etc.
It's a shame, because there's definitely room and market for old school shooters.
They just really need to put more time, care, and creativity in to the work.
@kingbreww The Serious Sam games have never been that popular/ mainstream and have never really "died out" either. It's had a pretty steady cult following from day 1. For better or for worse, they've kept that fan base very happy it seems.
The technical side and performance should really be a focus for them in the future 😬 don't see how Croteam manage to spend so long playing around with their engine and not take the time to smooth it out.
Its brainless fun and i'm happy with that, the launch edition also comes with the SS Collection as a bonus so for the price of SS4 i got all 4 games.
Marking something down because it brings “Nothing particularly new“
CoD and FIFA (and probably other sports games) bring nothing, or very little, new each year and still get decent reviews with no mention of the lack of new ideas etc…
The core of Serious Sam never changes much as it is it’s trademark. Mindless shooting fun that doesn’t need much changing to still be fun!
I played a while back on PC and had a good time with it. I'm surprised it has performance issues on PS5 as I'm sure I was topping out my 144 Hz screen. If you just want some fun and don't take it to seriously then I can think of far worse ways to spend a few hours.
As someone who has never played a Serious Sam, I feel like this review told me next to nothing about the game.
@Gloamin well I mean serious Sam 3 was released in 2011. That was 11 years ago. Then they slapped together number 4 based on nostalgic past glories hoping it would get buys in the way other cheap content gets views. I’d call that something dying out and being brought back for nostalgias sake, no questions
What a Serious S(h)am(e) 4 for the PS5.
I expected such a low review score...if I do get this will be during a $10 sale or cheaper.
Never played any of the games but I am interested, so what would be your recommendation on what to play or where to start?
@kingbreww They were planning for 4 straight after 3. Theyve had a dev blog for years now. Most of the time was spent tweaking the engine as far as I know and it's fairly obvious to see there were constant additions and removals of features. Alongside The Talos Principle and the Serious Sam remasters it all seems like a normal timescale for a small IP and developer.
@Dr-M I'd recommend starting with the Serious Sam Collection or specifically the 1st & 2nd encounters (remastered). Not for the story but they have the best content for the price. Awesome open level design and bosses. Lots of shooting and silliness. 1 is based in Egypt and the other takes you across different time periods and environments (Aztec, Medieval etc ) The 2nd Encounter gets pretty insane by the end.
3 was the weakest for me due to its rather blander setting but has some great moments. It's in the Collection too but performance is pretty shoddy and the 60fps mode is a rather raw 1080p. Still plenty of fun to be had but the one I'd least recommend.
4 is a blend of the modernization of 3 and the level design of old. Probably more enjoyed after experiencing the 1st and 2nd encounters and getting an idea of what it's all about.
Edit: just realised that the "Launch Edition" of 4 comes with the collection if that makes any difference
i actually agree with the review. SS1 and 2 were cartoony, fun, catchy music, really fun in co op. part 3 went a bit more realistic in the grafx department and i liked it. part 3 also had the best sound track, it completely fit the game. part 4? music is... meh. location? meh. forests and vatican city or something. any ruins? any pyramids? nope! maybe in dlc? who knows. but the locations were a let down. the music was forgettable. the grafx in ss4 are indeed better than ss3. but the shoddy frame rate... just bleh. i played in quality mode AND performance. difference? quality adds a tid bit more grass and better shadows. thats it. performance has the better frames but not by much. i think the game runs in 4k, and they need to give the option to run in 1440p or at least something less than 4k, that'd help clear up the frames im sure.
i went to their reddit page, the game dev, told'em the frames were bad. also, there's a way to MAKE a co op game, but no way to JOIN one! what?! its like they forgot to even add "join game" or ability to search for games currently playing online. ss3 has a browser built in so u can see co op games running, but ss4? nope!
if they patch it, get the frame rate worked out, get online co op working.. it'd be a solid co op game. as it stands, it needs work and i dont recommend it until it IS patched.
oh and the enemies? wow.. hard! even on normal difficulty! i was running FROM enemies more than AT them in this game! tons of enemies will swarm you! i was begging for ammo around every corner.. the ammo drops are so rare in this game, i was always out of ammo and had to play more frugally. u can always run a co op match, alone, until they patch it, and turn on infinite ammo and it totally makes it fun to play, and you can get trophies, too, even though u turn on infinite ammo! also, be ready for loooooong empty stretches to run across. with. nothing. there. but they added a motorcycle.. BRIEFLY to ride in the game. then you dont ever see it again. wha?! it feels like the game is unfinished.
@Gloamin Im always a bit annoyed with give it a few patches nonsense. Dont thet play test these things anymore or is let people pay and test it themselves its 2 consoles and PC.
Serious sam 4 was a blast. It’s free on Xbox right now. Don’t make your judgment til you play it. Most of what this guy said was incorrect.
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