Croteam's HD-ifying of the second game in the Serious Sam series is complete and ready for purchase for all you steam users out there. The game features better visuals, new additions to the original campaign as well as a co-op play feature and additions to the game's 16-player multiplayer. All this is available for a meager $19.99.
Hit the jump for a complete list of additions and features in this re-release.
Majesco Entertainment announced today that Croteam's Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter is now available on XBLA. Gamers and "'bad-A%#s' in training" can pick the game up for 1200 MS Points.
"This game takes my good looks, swarthy charm and timeless cool from the original version and ups it to a level of god-like brilliance," says Sam 'Serious' Stone (he's a real person, didn't you know?). "Gamers can even play online with up to three friends to wipe out the thorn in my side known as the Sirian Army."
So seriously, put your badass hat on and shoot some headless, bomb-wielding dudes.
Check out our review of the game here.
Destructoid has been getting all the juicy details from Croteam boss Roman Ribaric this week. In their latest exchange, he talked about developing on a PC vs. developing on a console. According to him, PC development is a lot easier; however, launching a game on a PC is a "nightmare."
"We are covered either way it goes. PC market, with a direct digital distribution, works really good for the developers. XBLA and PSN work good as well, since we can decide to go directly to MS/Sony/Nintendo," Ribaric said. "They are also reopening that arcade market and allowing for cheaper priced games, so that’s also good for everyone. Prices are important factor. Do I want to pay 550 kuna ($110) for a new game in Croatia? No way. But, 50-100 kuna ($10-$20) for an XBLA/PSN/PC game, that's a pretty good deal to me. That's how much it costs us here in Croatia for one cinema ticket, mid-sized popcorn and small cola.
Serious Sam wants to wish you a merry Christmas by offering up this Holiday card, reminding us that we get to blow $%*& up on Xbox 360 starting January 13. How thoughtful. Let us remind you that this would make an awesome wallpaper if you click for the full size.
With the recent release of Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter and with The Second Encounter HD version coming early next year, gamers might get the idea that taking an old game and making it pretty isn't much work. Croteam CEO Roman Ribaric might have something to say to you about that. Speaking with Destructoid, Ribaric mentioned how much work it really was to take Serious Sam and HD-ize him.
"Funny how some think that HD is achieved by raising the resolution and that's it," he said. "Well, that's not what HD actually means in the game's development. At least not when it comes to Serious Sam HD. It's changing key aspects to a higher quality level adding some new things like leaderboards and achievements and making it possible (financially and technically) to have the continuous future improvements. A lot of work had to be done to achieve HD mark. We first had to code the converters to import the old levels, so the gameplay could stay intact. Then we redid most of the levels geometry to get more details and also increased the quality or created the new level textures. Further, we recreated enemies in high poly, since we only have them previously modeled in low poly. Same was for enemy skins, first newly created in Zbrush and then finalized in Photoshop. Same procedure was also done for weapons. Key with all that work was not to loose that original feel."
Serious Sam HD uses the Serious Engine 3, which, according to Ribaric, is based on the Serious Engine 2, albeit heavily recoded. Ribaric said the engine's full potential hasn't been seen yet, but Serious Sam 3 will show it's true power.
While speaking to Destructoid, Croteam CEO Roman Ribaric gave his opinion on the PC gaming market. He believes PC gaming is far from dead thanks to Valve's Steam platform. "With Steam now strongly commanding the digital market, PC's future looks better for us developers," he says. "I have to congratulate Valve for creating Steam, such an awesome piece of technology and server infrastructure, and making it available for other developers to use. I may sound overly enthusiastic with Steam, but this is nothing compared to what our programmers were saying when they started to implement it. I think it's enough to say that we always aim to do our technology, instead of using 3rd party, but with Steam, we don't need to do that."
Of course, Croteam's Serious Sam HD is also coming to Xbox Live Arcade January 13, so Ribaric commented on the use of that platform as well. "Having said that, XBLA platform is great as well. It allows for games that are really great to play and not just great to watch," he added. "They also don't have to cost ridiculous amounts to make, as you don’t need 100+ people to create it...XBLA Certification process took a bit longer than expected, but it's all sorted out now."
No matter which way you look at it, he's write about Steam. That being said, it's also one step closer to a more console-like experience, with a unified service not much different from Xbox Live or PlayStation Network, but one thing's for certain: PC gaming is not dead.
Everyone who's played a Serious Sam game can agree that there isn't much to the game. It's just running around blasting big monsters with big guns and very little, if any at all, narrative. Sounds pretty mindless, right? Croteam founder Roman Ribaric doesn't think so. In fact, he thinks Serious Sam isn't simplistic at all. While speaking to Destructoid, Ribaric spoke about the game's intricacies and why he thinks it might not be as mindless as you think.
"Yes, simplicity is our thing," he admitted. "There are lots of players to enjoy that kind of gameplay. Seems that almost everyone played the original Serious Sam. And with Left for Dead 2, there is a huge base of players that like wandering around and shooting like crazy at the same time."
"People seem not to realize how complex Serious Sam gameplay actually is," commented Ribaric. "Most of the time, you can hear them saying 'you just run and shoot' or 'it's a brainless shooter.' However, I would like to see them play on some higher difficulty than Tourist or Easy. Not to mention on Serious difficulty. I bet they would survive only for a few seconds there in some mid-sized fights with just 3-4 enemies on scene. If, of course, they use cheats, which they mostly do and then comment on easy, boring or not challenging and complex enough."
Yeah, Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter and The Second Encounter are awesome and all, but are we ever going to see a Serious Sam 3? The answer is yes, we are, in 2010 no less. Destructoid sent the question in to Croteam's Roman Ribaric, who responded with a surprisingly detailed answer. According to Ribaric, the game is still under development, and it's expected to be finished in 2010.
"Serious Sam 3 is happening for sure," Ribaric said. "It is currently planned to be finished in 2010."
Devolver Digital has announced that it plans to bring Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter to the PC and consoles in early 2010. The studio is adding a new game mode called "Co-op Tournament," which makes the co-op gameplay competitive. Neither Croteam nor Devolver Digital have specificed when exactly in 2010 the game will release (other than saying "early"). In the meantime, keep on left-clicking and strafing in the revamped The First Encounter.
Serious Sam is all about mindless running and gunning, which is why it’s such a brilliantly simple, brilliantly stupid and – consequently – brilliantly awesome game. Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter is a complete overhaul of the original with improved textures and character models and 16-player co-op (4-player on the Xbox 360). Considering the greatness of the original, it can go without saying that Serious Sam HD raises the bar and then some.