Serious Sam HD

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Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter

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?

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Serious Sam HD

Global swarming.

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.

Serious Sam HD may make PS3

Fan demand forcing Croteam hand.

Croteam boss Roman Ribaric has told Eurogamer that Serious Sam HD may head to PlayStation 3 if you lot ask loudly enough.

Write dialogue for Guybrush or Sam

Croteam and Telltale's similar compos.

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.