Between Emily and Corvo's quest for revenge in Dishonored 2 and Agent 47's episodic antics in Hitman, 2016 has been pretty kind to stealth game protagonists. They're a special bunch, when you think about it - surviving a stealth game requires cunning, poise and nerves of steel. In other words, being the hero or heroine of a stealth game isn't for everyone.
Serious Sam developer Croteam has released the source code for the Serious Engine, the backbone of both Serious Sam Classic: The First Encounter and The Second Encounter.
Serious Sam HD will be released on Xbox Live Arcade this Wednesday and cost 1200 Microsoft Points (GBP 10.20 / EUR 14.40).
Croteam has said that Serious Sam 3 will be finished sometime next year.
With cattle-on-human homicide on the increase in the UK, I think the time has come for ramblers' groups to replace their standard 'keep dogs under control when close to livestock' advice, with something a bit more robust. Trampers of the British countryside, 'if charged by an enraged bull, stand perfectly still until the animal is a few feet away, then unload both barrels of your shotgun into its slavering face before stepping smartly to one side.'
Ah, Serious Sam - reassuringly violent and educational. In 2001 this shooter from the land of... um, Dalmatians and quirky package holidays, whipped PC gamers into an ecstatic froth with its frantic, open-plan slaughter and waves of ferret-mad foes. Now it's back, attempting the same trick with prettier pixels.
On hearing that Croteam was sprucing up Serious Sam: First Encounter with the help of the Serious 3 engine, my first thought was, why bother? Visually, Sam's original outing has, like Battersea Power Station and Helen Mirren, grown old rather gracefully. Its sunny Egyptian settings and colourful, cartoon-like weapon fodder still look remarkably good today. They're certainly not a reason to shun it. What can a new graphics engine possibly bring that will justify that £16 price tag?
Croteam has announced that Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter will be released for PC on 24th November.
Let's not waste time preaching to the choir. Serious Sam HD is Serious Sam: The First Encounter wearing a shiny new HD hat. It's exactly the same game, but prettier. If you loved the insanity of Croteam's wildly unapologetic crowd-management blaster the first time around, you'll love this.
XBLA/PC revamp not joking around.
Croteam boss Roman Ribaric has told Eurogamer that Serious Sam HD may head to PlayStation 3 if you lot ask loudly enough.
Croteam and Telltale Games have independently announced a pair of similar competitions to get dialogue written by you into their games - Serious Sam HD and Tales of Monkey Island respectively.
German publisher CDV has announced a PC version of Serious Sam HD, which was revealed earlier today for Xbox Live Arcade.
"I eat resistance for breakfast!"
Majesco has told Eurogamer that Serious Sam will return this summer on Xbox Live Arcade.