Disclosure ‐ Thanks go to Develover Digital for giving us codes for this review.
Serious Sam has just entered the world of VR. You can now take a gun in each hand and blast your way through more enemies than you would ever believe necessary. All in the comfort of your largest VR space in the house. Time to take down some monsters and to see the world explode… or at least that is what it feels like.
Serious Sam VR has just come out on Steam Early Access. As such, today I am writing an Early Impressions piece. We feel that it is unfair to provide a score to a game that, by it’s own admission, is not fully complete yet. When Serious Sam VR leaves the nest (and Early Access) we will be compiling a more complete and more detailed review. Until then, this is what we think of Serious Sam VR as it currently stands!
If you like guns and shooting, then this game would be right up your alley. Serious Sam VR places itself as a simple wave based shooter. It has guns, as ludicrous as they may become, and it has enemies. You take the guns and you shoot wave after wave of creeps. It does not purport to be anything more complicated than that.
To assist you in the noble goal of ‘blowing up anything that moves’, an array of weapons has been laid at your disposal. As always, however, the good things in life are not free. After completing each mission you earn credits. There are numerous ways to earn them, but the most common is by defeating baddies. Between rounds you are able to spend this dosh to acquire more exciting and effective tools of slaughter.
Within the armoury you will find access to a range of guns not too dissimilar to regular games. There are shotties, machine guns, lazer guns, rocket launchers and chainsaws. Naturally, the more damage a weapon can push out the more expensive it quickly becomes. Much like similar survival games the ammo for these thing does not come free either. All ammo must be bought before it can be fired. There is no lend-lease scheme happening here… For me, I just enjoyed the regular pistols, but that might just be because I am a little boring sometimes…
Having the guns is just one part, firing them is another. The haptic feedback is well utilised across all the weapons. While the vibration may not be all that strong, it is adequate enough to help create that sense of immersion which is so critical to the experience created of VR. These guns also help support the absurdity, and the over the top nature that Serious Sam is so well known for.
Each hand holds a single weapon. It might be a pistol, it might be a mini-gun… it might be a rocket launcher. What is unique, is that for all but the smallest of the guns, it just feels silly holding each armament. They are not only big, but so absurdly proportioned. It is such a good laugh. Especially when it is juxtaposed with some of the more gruesome enemies and death animations.
However, it is currently these enemies that I hold the greatest deal of reservation around. The ones that currently exist within the game are great. They are not too dumb and they are a genuine threat. However, I do feel that there is a lack of variety. Within the 2 currently available planets, a significant proportion of enemies appeared in both. There are some enemies that appear only on a single world, but there are also a significant number of dudes who are more liberally applied across both.
This in itself if not a bad thing, especially as we are only talking about 2 separate areas, but I feel that it is important to the future of the game that this variety of foes continue to expand over as we see more worlds released.
I cannot talk about enemies without talking about the boss battles. There are big dudes that you will have to take down. I really do mean big. Fighting for your survival as the towering colossi use the surrounding environment to beat you to a pulp (not that it ever happened to me… more than twice…) feels so satisfying. This is still the case even though the battles themselves are scripted. Various patterns repeat, opening and closing vulnerabilities which you must abuse to crush the titans. Oh my does it feel good when they fall, it just feels right.
The greatest weakness I find in this game is that it does not fully engage with the space surrounding the player. Enemies will always spawn to the front; While not on its own a bad thing, I feel that there is a sense of lost opportunity. VR puts you in a space, a zone, to then limit the players to what is a forward facing experience I think is a little disappointing. Still, there are at least 3 more worlds coming, and as such there is still hope. As it currently stands it is extremely well polished. I, for the small sample size of 1, did not encounter any bugs or performance issues.
So, for those who have VR, is this worth picking up yet? I would say absolutely. Even at this early stage the replay value is high. As new worlds are released and the variety of enemies are increased, there is only more scope for creativity and humour. That said, if you are not into titles that are focused on replaying the same content multiple times then it might be a different kettle of fish. While the base gameplay is still good, you may want to hold off just a little while longer, just until after some more content has been released. If you are sitting on the fence I would at least suggest that you check out the Steam page to see if it is up your street.
Let us know what you think below!