Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem is a 2022 first-person shooter game developed by Timelock Studio and Croteam, and published by Devolver Digital. A standalone expansion to Serious Sam 4, the game was released on 25 January 2022 for Microsoft Windows, and on 6 October 2022 for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.
Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem takes place in Russia, somewhere in deep Siberia. The events occur in an alternate timeline of Serious Sam 4, between two of the last levels from the main game.
Sam angrily starts a fight with Brand, who stabs himself with the Grail, absorbing the power of the artifact which evolves him into an even more frightening creature. Despite this, Brand is defeated by Sam who kills him without any regret or hesitation. Shortly afterward, a time portal suddenly appears, from where emerges Sam from the future. The future Sam tells Sam that killing General Brand in this timeline will result in a darker fate for the Earth. One-Eye Olga also walks out of the portal and reports that she has killed Napoleon, but this did not affect the future in any way. Future Sam says that he just wanted "someone to shoot that little twerp", and presents Sam and Olga with a new mission, to go to 1352 BC, where Pharaoh Akhenaton has just discovered a buried Sirian ship. The three of them go through the closing portal, and game credits roll.
Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem was developed by Timelock Studio, a Russian group composed of long-time members of the Serious Sam modding community, under the oversight of Croteam, the series' creators. The Timelock Studio members had previously not been affiliated with each other but by chance worked together as testers for Serious Sam 4. The team felt that the game's levels set in Russia had unexplored potential and wished to develop them further. With initiative from their team lead Evgeny, they compiled an 80-page design document that they submitted to Croteam in September 2020, just before Serious Sam 4's release. The company greenlit the project as a three-level piece of downloadable content (DLC) for Serious Sam 4, though it later expanded to a standalone expansion as it outgrew the usual scope for DLC. After settling on the name Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem for the game, the group of modders founded Timelock Studio in 2021. The development pipeline for a retail product marked a shift for the developers: According to director Igor Grinkevich, the workflow for an individual piece of content is creating and then simply releasing it, whereas the development for Siberian Mayhem introduced them to deadlines, marketing, and localisation. Each team member coincidentally had their own speciality, which Grinkevich described as a "wonder". In the design process, the developers sought to combine classic Serious Sam elements with modern ones to make up for faults they found in Serious Sam 4. Secrets and Easter eggs were added spontaneously. Croteam consulted Timelock Studio on creative and technical aspects, including optimisation, while Devolver Digital acted as the game's publisher.
The game was first teased via a 34-second video published to YouTube in December 2021, showing protagonist Sam Stone navigating a frozen landscape. Devolver Digital referenced the video again in early January 2022, stating that it would announce a new Serious Sam entry later that week and release it later that month. The company announced Siberian Mayhem on 10 January 2022 and released it on 25 January for Microsoft Windows via Steam and GOG.com. Owners of Serious Sam 4 received a 25% discount on the new game.
Serious Sam is a video game series created and primarily developed by Croteam. It consists predominantly of first-person shooters. The series follows the advances of mercenary Sam "Serious" Stone against Mental, an extraterrestrial overlord who attempts to destroy humanity at various points in time. The first game, Serious Sam: The First Encounter, was released for Microsoft Windows in March 2001. Several spin-offs were developed by other developers, such as a Palm OS conversion of The First Encounter by InterActive Vision, Serious Sam: Next Encounter (on GameCube and PlayStation 2) by Climax Solent, and Serious Sam Advance (on Game Boy Advance) by Climax London. All three were published by Global Star Software.
Croteam created a proprietary engine for use in both Serious Sam: The First Encounter and Serious Sam: The Second Encounter. At the time Croteam was making Serious Sam, licensing other engines was costly (upwards of US$1 million), so they made their own from scratch, following the feature set of the first Doom engine, which simulated 3D spaces in 2D, and did not include up or down targeting. As they were creating their own, both Duke Nukem 3D (which added up-and-down freelook) and Quake (a fully 3D rendered environment) were released, requiring Croteam to incorporate these features into their engine for their game to be competitive. Development was further complicated when the first 3D accelerators were released, forcing Croteam to develop for hardware rendering over software. Recognizing they needed to bring something new to what other games were pushing at that time, Croteam decided that they would make their Serious Engine support extremely large environments, with virtual view distances of over a kilometre, physics support, and capable of rendering up to a hundred enemies on screen at a time, and do this on the processing power of what current low-end computers using the original Pentium CPUs could handle. The team devised ways of doing object path caching so that they only had to perform collision detection with environmental features every few seconds rather than every cycle. Collision detection was also sped up by approximating the environment with spheres rather than boxes. This also enabled them to have multidirection gravity which was used for some of the game's secret areas.
The central joke of Serious Sam is that he isn't very serious at all. And nor are his games. In fact, they're extremely silly, and if they don't start behaving they're not going to get any sweets. Yes, Croteam's long-running flagship FPS is a gleefully daft blaster that revels in throwing as many enemies at you as possible, creating huge, ridiculous battle sequences that can be genuinely exhilarating.
All that said, it's far from unplayable, with a few caveats. The controls are just fine, but we personally found the intensity of Serious Sam made the game extremely difficult with the slightly loose Switch analogue sticks in handheld mode. In the menu, you can switch on auto-aim, which makes a reticule appear around the currently targeted enemy, and we heartily recommend this for a breezier and less frustrating experience. Purists will rubbish this, but as we all know, purists aren't worth listening to on any matter whatsoever (except perhaps water purity, which is life or death).
Serious Sam Collection is two-thirds amazing, but the final third is a real technical mess; Serious Sam 3: BFE is one of the least impressive Switch ports we've ever seen. It's playable, but surely the machine that can push out an acceptable version of Doom can manage this? There's the potential for early patches to improve matters, but the way it is now, we can only recommend The Serious Sam Collection as a great way to play the First and Second Encounters. That's not what's advertised, though, and as a result, we can only give this package a cautious recommendation. A three-game collection should be a three-game collection; not two games and the faintest suggestion of one.
@Reprise That's what I was thinking, especially since he used the word "amazing" to describe two-thirds of the game. I'll probably get this since I've never played these before. Maybe patches can help with the third game.
@Thaliard Especially if I remember correctly, in co-op, you could kill your co-op player and add their combo to yours, which led to some hilariously hectic situations. I'm quite certain that was in Serious Sam, but I may be mistaken. I played Timesplitters Future Perfect more than 2, but then again, I may have played that game more than any game ever.
Wow can't say I agree with this review. I mean is the reviewer aware of how there's a performance mode option? They mention it but I've been playing this on my Switch Lite and the performance is fine for all the games, never seems to dip below 30fps and it looks like Serious Sam to me. Obviously it's not going to look as good as it would on a gaming PC but you shouldn't be expecting that. The aiming also feels fine for me and the loading isn't that bad. I kinda feel this just wasn't a game the reviewer was into. If you enjoy this kinda classic PC FPS there's a lot to enjoy, tons of content for your money.
@doctorhino Mileage may vary, naturally - it runs better in some areas than others, but it frontloads poor performance. For me it's pretty much a dealbreaker to offer three games and have one of them run as poorly as this. Patches, like I said, could fix it! And I hope they do.
5/10 seems bit harsh. I can't comment much tho cause I've never seen or played any of these except the first one for about 20 minutes at friends house. But imo there needs to be a serious issue to merit such a loss of points. Like there's a game I'm not gonna mention atm that I love to defend, but it HAS a fatal flaw that has still yet to be fixed. So yea it can def sit at it's real life score of 5/10 and I understand why. Good game with an unfixed fatal glitch. I don't get the low score on this review. Only real issue was with frame rate on 1 game of the series set. Oh well, to each their own.
I skipped this on Switch and opted to get the Xbox version because I expected it the Switch would have issues. To be fair, the 'remaster' bit is somewhat overstated in my opinion. The games really don't look very current gen to me and come off like early Xbox 360 titles more than updates. Still, I'll always love them. I really would like to see a Complete/Definitive Edition with all of the games though. 2b1af7f3a8