Reader Review: Serious Sam HD

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Justin does, as he still manages a blood-curdling scream despite having no head.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.

This review was submitted by Justin Robson. If you’ve played Serious Sam HD, or just want to ask Justin more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Serious Sam HD (XBLA, PC)

Serious Sam is back, this time injected with pure HD awesome, or so they say.


It’s Serious Sam: If you know anything about Serious Sam, it’s that it doesn’t even pretend to have realism, consistency, plot, depth, etc. If that bothers you, don’t play it. But for the rest of us, this is why we love it. It’s unashamedly over the top, and mind-bendingly stupid. It is a parody of itself, and of FPS in general, and that’s a very rare quality.

Excessive Gameplay: Serious Sam is like Duke Nukem on crack… yes, as well as the steroids. Take the number of enemies in your average FPS, times that by about ninety, and you’ve got Serious Sam. The difficulty has also been bumped up more than a few notches, making its replay value through the roof.

Design: Sam hasn’t aged a bit. Unmistakably the same look, sound and feel of the original, but with genuinely improved graphics. The game still has impressive large environments, with enemies in their hundreds on screen at one time. The engine switch really does highlight the timelessness of the game.


First Encounter Only: Unlike the port on the original Xbox, Sam HD only features the First Encounter. You’re essentially getting half the game, which for the DLC price isn’t terrible, but it’s safe to say we’re going to have to pay the same amount again eventually if we want the other levels.

Most People Don’t Get It: Sam is, after all, a very acquired taste. Think of it like a BBC comedy, it’s so obvious that it becomes subtle in the way that really, it is making fun of itself. And to a lot of people, it’s hard to comprehend a game that disregards current FPS conventions, and attempts to take us back to an obsolete, but nostalgic Duke Nukem era of gaming.

Serious Sam HD was the best possible step that could have been taken for the series. If not for the newcomers, it’s an extremely solid arcade game, with Left 4 Dead like replay value. Seriously, get it…

Reviewed by: Justin Robson

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 300 words – yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


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