Serious Sam returns on PS2/Cube
Somebody's coming up. Somebody serious.
Fans of brainless carnage, headless suicide bombers and the roar of a galloping werebull, will be pleased to hear that Croteam's wisecracking poster-child for indiscriminate prehistoric slaughter Serious Sam is set to make a return this spring on PlayStation 2 and GameCube, in an original new episode dubbed "The Next Encounter".
According to reports, The Next Encounter is a console-only title in development at Climax, not Croteam, and should be published by Take-Two under one of its little publishing label whatsits in the US this spring, priced just $19.99. We can probably expect a similar discount rate here, too, which will be nice.
That said, The Next Encounter, which is actually identified as Serious Sam: Word to the Mothership in its GameCube entry on Nintendo.com, sounds like a pretty fitting and complete instalment in the DOOM-style FPS series, plunging our hero back in time again for another 32 levels of ancient Rome, feudal China and even pre-bath Atlantis, with a stock of new weapons (dual .45s and Uzis), new enemies (chariot-riding centurions) and even vehicles (including a jeep, a submarine and something called a thresher).
Climax is also adding some new firing modes to existing weapons - the grenade launcher should double up as a mine/spider minelayer, the chaingun has developed a heat-seeking firing mode, and the flamethrower now spits freezing and laughing gas for fun - and with enemies now said to be smarter and more team-minded, Sam's new "supercombo killing spree", brought on by multiple subsequent kills, should help clear the decks with an increased rate of fire, gathering bigger bonuses for our frazzled fragger, too. And what do points mean?
Prizes! 10 more unlockable levels.
Finally we've already learned that in addition to standard Deathmatch, Hold the Flag and Pass the Bomb multiplayer modes, the series' famously entertaining co-operative mode will be making a return. Multiplayer is supported on both consoles, with the Cube able to handle up to four-player split-screen, and the PS2 limited to two-player split-screen but with an eight-player PS2 Online option.
Although the Xbox already has its own Serious Sam - an amalgamation of the two existing PC chapters - both the new PS2 and Cube instalments could cause a bit of a stir if they do make their debut for just £19.99 in Europe. Seriously.