Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem
«Fans know better» — That phrase has never been more relevant in the last couple of years. When the industry is literally drowning in scandals of crude releases, microtransactions, publishers' greed, and a complete lack of understanding of its audience, listening to the opinion of the CA is not a bad idea. Even better — Let her make the game herself. And strangely enough, that's exactly what the guys from Croteam did.
Here's the story is very short: a team of testers Planet Badass, consisting of Russian fan-community modellers Serious Sam, one wee morning offered to let the Croatians make their own version of the final act of Part 4. After all, one map, quite frankly, it is difficult to surprise, let alone describe the breadth of the Siberian soul: there should be at least a pack of five levels, in all the glory of the scale of the generosity of domestic. And Croteam agreed. And what, the engine people know, the portfolio of mods available, and the test of the last game the guys already did — so why not?
As hard as it was to berate Planet Badass, it was just as easy to praise Siberian Mayhem. And for exactly the same things. From the very first location, the assembled and polished engine surprises. Apparently, testers better understand how to properly optimize the game and make it more presentable. This despite the fact that the run across the same vast open spaces has not gone anywhere, only now on the way is not cloudy in the eyes from the ever repeating textures. According to the authors, they opted to make the level design more linear and concentrated, more reminiscent of the first parts of the series. This does not cancel the magnificent open-air locations to explore, but even they are driven within reasonable limits, very carefully marked with thorny vegetation and impassable minefields (believe me, we tried), so get lost in the levels will not work, but the exploring will be enough: a lot of secrets, humorous and farcical among them also enough, but also stashes of weapons and bullets did not go anywhere. And since the game unfolds in the vast expanses of Siberia, and did it with the hands of our compatriots, purely «of their own» There's plenty of gags.
With enemies in «Sime» The eternal mishap: everyone loves the game for their abundance — fact. However, in recent parts of the game, the authors, as we have repeatedly said, lost a sense of proportion and thought that this formula can work well in absolutely any situation, swamping the players with mountains of painfully respawning one after another enemies. As a result, some narrow corridors turned into a miniature puzzle «What you have to do not to die in the next second?». It got to the absurd: in the narrow corridors the enemies stuck in front of each other and even interfered with shooting at the more difficult enemies in the distance, turning the event into a shoddy mess. This is the wrong enemy stack, based not on the number or hard-to-kill enemies, but on how well you pick them up for a certain terrain. В «Arrivals» with it is in complete order and harmony (even in the latter levels), and closer to the last parts, the authors seem to have forgotten their own methods, so fights looked more and more like an attempt of the current Croteam to repeat the success of the old Croteam, as if they were two completely different studios.
That makes it all the more enjoyable to hear and see that in creating Siberian Mayhem, the developers tried to strike a balance between the classics and the four. And they do it perfectly: alternate narrow corridors, large arenas with meat, medium corridors with meat, huge fields with an immeasurable amount of meat and generally do everything the same as the four, only much more thoughtful and fun. It's the same fucked up Sam, where no one hesitates to hurl a dozen red demons and two dozen minotaurs with snipers on the rooftops at the player just because it'll be fun.
We received a very generous gift from the testers table — to a table of gamers. Really well aware of all the nuances and subtleties of game balance in a rather fragile game, the creators from Timelock Studio were able to achieve a reasonable balance of meat, scale, humor and sense of proportion, which the grandfathers from Croteam were unable to cope with. All that was so diligently broken on the release of the original, here performs exactly the same function, only works. And it makes it look interesting! Without feeling overpowered or fatigued: four and a penny hours of adventure and competently placed hordes of enemies — though a belated, but not a bad New Year's present!