Serious Sam 4

  • TechnoHippy 21 May 2020 07:28:41 18,009 posts
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    Ooh - Serious Sam 4 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=Grwth4zX77A&feature=emb_logo

    I'm pleased to hear that iconic scream :-0

    I loved the first two games, so hoping this is good. Also hoping for console versions.
  • Rogueywon 21 May 2020 07:34:38 10,023 posts
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    Yeah, I'm up for this. The First Encounter and Second Encounter were awesome. The less said about SS2, the better. SS3 was a slow starter, but pretty good once you hit the mid-point.

    This one looks very nice indeed. As far as console ports go, I wonder if the talk of "thousands of enemies" on screen means it might skip current gen for technical/performance reasons, coming out on PS5 and XBSX at the end of the year?
  • TechnoHippy 21 May 2020 08:08:21 18,009 posts
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    I'm fine with a next gen release - to be honest this would interest me more than most of the next gen titles announced so far.

    Although that moment you first encounter the suicide bombers will never be bettered :-)
  • TechnoHippy 21 May 2020 09:00:20 18,009 posts
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    The legion video looks fun: https://youtu.be/VaqlJAovzXE
  • Rogueywon 21 May 2020 09:22:36 10,023 posts
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    Apparently the PC/Stadia only thing is a timed exclusivity deal with Google. No console releases until 2021 (but XB1 and PS4 versions at that point, as well as next-gen consoles, I assume).
  • TechnoHippy 21 May 2020 18:52:32 18,009 posts
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    Bastards.
  • Rogueywon 11 Aug 2020 10:43:00 10,023 posts
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    Just checked the Steam store page and noticed I've pre-ordered this. Must have done so while drunk (yay lockdown). Ah well, I'd have been buying it anyway.
  • Malek86 11 Aug 2020 11:15:50 11,181 posts
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    No reason to preorder this any earlier than the day before release, anyway.

    It's good that they delayed it, because I would have been busy with Moon at the end of the month anyway. Now all I have to see is whether my RX480 can handle it. Even low settings are fine, but anything less than 60fps will be unacceptable.
  • Malek86 29 Aug 2020 10:38:09 11,181 posts
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    There is now a giant mecha action trailer. That would explain why they felt that they needed to make a large world (or maybe it's the other way around?)

    https://twitter.com/SeriousSamIAm/status/1299447663474159618?s=20

    A bit worried, actually. I'm getting flashbacks to Serious Sam 2 and Next Encounter. Vehicle sections are usually the bits I hate most in shooters, especially in old school ones. And in Serious Sam in particular, since so much of the game depends on dodging enemy bullets, which looks more or less impossible on a mecha.

    Edited by Malek86 at 10:38:43 29-08-2020
  • Malek86 18 Sep 2020 22:12:35 11,181 posts
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    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1buOaD6wH-gXwncIGc2qkZTLb-8RA1B3f/view

    This is, ehm, something else. I can hear my GPU melting already.

    I'm going to assume that only a few of the enemies will actually shoot at you, while the others are more like the bots in Titanfall, acting as scenery and free targets?
  • TechnoHippy 19 Sep 2020 08:01:21 18,009 posts
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    That looks aces.
  • Malek86 24 Sep 2020 16:14:10 11,181 posts
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    So, about Serious Sam 4.

    Early reports that you need a RX470 for 720p30 at minimum settings... seem overly pessimistic. My RX480, which is barely better, gets almost always 60fps at 1080p rendering and low-to-medium. Game looks good enough even on low-medium settings, so there's that too.

    That said, textures are a hog. On medium texture settings, it fills 4+GBs of VRAM. On high settings, it takes almost the whole 8GBs and starts chugging. So yeah, make sure you have plenty of memory or be ready to drop those texels.

    Other random thoughts:

    - accessibility options, including separate bob sliders for camera and weapons
    - basic shotgun is now too slow, crap
    - double shotgun is now faster, nice
    - time is actually relevant for your score now!

    Edited by Malek86 at 16:15:16 24-09-2020
  • Rogueywon 24 Sep 2020 22:45:10 10,023 posts
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    This is definitely a Serious Sam game. No way you're mistaking it for anything else. Quite like it so far.

    And yeah, on 4k/ultra, this is absolutely hammering a 2080Ti and there's precious little VRAM headroom.

    Fingers crossed, I might be able to see how it likes 24GB of VRAM tomorrow or Saturday.
  • Malek86 25 Sep 2020 17:24:47 11,181 posts
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    Just killed the Witch-Bride boss (who, thankfully, cannot hurt you just by looking at you anymore).

    I have a few reservations so far. The levels are simply too big. Running anywhere takes too long, even when sprinting. And the big downside is that wasting time now massively impacts your score (in the previous game it barely made a difference), as does saving too often (in previous game it was an optional penalty for higher scores). I understand that the old scoring system kinda sucked, but I liked to take my time. I also feel like the level design was better in 3.

    Weak spots on enemies is an interesting idea, but perhaps not that relevant for a massively chaotic shooter. However, the problem is that certain enemies now take forever to kill if you don't aim at those weak spots. I'm already busy enough staying alive (playing on Serious here, as per tradition). I don't need to worry about that too.

    And what's up with the initial load. It takes forever unless I alt-tab in and out, and even then it still takes a very long time.

    Running on DX11, because the DX12 option is worse and the Vulkan option is terrible.

    Edited by Malek86 at 17:25:20 25-09-2020
  • Rogueywon 25 Sep 2020 17:39:37 10,023 posts
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    I can push this to 13GB of VRAM usage on 4k/ultra. It's a pretty ugly game in close-up, but certainly does like to move a lot around on screen.

    I actually quite like the single shotgun in this. The rate of fire's slow, but it has a tight spread that means it's better at range than most fps shotguns. Nice enemy variety, with a mix of series stalwarts and new stuff. The writing is dumb as bricks but has a janky charm - basically Duke Nukem with the creepy toned down.

    It feels much more like a Serious Sam game than 3 did. I was never sold on 3.
  • Malek86 25 Sep 2020 17:54:52 11,181 posts
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    They also nerfed Kleers, or maybe buffed the double shotgun. Now you can kill them with a single shot almost from medium range, no need to wait until they are in your face. Their recovery time after a lunge is also longer. A horde is still a big menace, but after softening them up with rockets, you can now manage fairly well even when there is a lot of them left.

    As killing Kleers with the double shotgun has always been my pride and joy, I don't know how to feel about this. They are not as weak as in SS2, but they don't feel as dangerous as usual.
  • Rogueywon 30 Sep 2020 14:29:01 10,023 posts
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    I think they've nerfed a good few enemies - the trade-off for that is that some of the hordes are significantly larger.
  • Malek86 30 Sep 2020 15:04:48 11,181 posts
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    They did, and they also buffed a few weapons and give you more ammo.

    But I'm not too impressed with the game overall. I'll have a definitive review up soon, I'm on the last level and should be able to finish it tonight.
  • Malek86 30 Sep 2020 21:12:10 11,181 posts
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    And that's another Serious Sam game finished.

    Ok, so my biggest issue with the game is just how big it is. You need to run everywhere, and it still takes forever to finish certain maps. Sidequests make them even longer. In the end, it took me 22 hours to clear the game on Serious difficulty (total game time is around 12 hours, but that doesn't count reloads). That's a lot. It would be fine if the map design were better, but it felt too much like Serious Sam 3, except not as yellow.

    Difficulty has been changed. Enemies are generally weaker now, or maybe weapons are stronger. But many of the new enemies are very annoying. And some of the horde combinations seem almost specifically organized to force you to use the dual weapons system, so you better unlock that. Overall, the game seems less balanced, with more easy parts and more difficulty spikes. The few vehicle sections are as annoying as I feared they would be. Luckily, there isn't too many of them.

    Some gameplay changes are more annoying. Giving enemies a weak spot means you actually have to bother aiming properly now, as some enemies take too long to kill if you don't aim precisely. This makes the game much more stressing than it used to be. The new score system also gives you a penalty for using too many saves and for wasting too much time. Seems almost counterintuitive to make a game that encourages exploration and then punishes you for going over par.

    The Legion system, which was supposed to bring much more enemies on screen, is ultimately only used in the final level, and it's little more than scenery dressing. Outside of that, the enemies on screen aren't noticeably more than usual. So it feels a bit like a copout.

    I've seen some complaints about the writing but I thought it was pretty good overall.

    By the way, the game kinda reeks of rushed out early. There's no survival mode, not even leaderboards... oh well. My final score was 548.745.780, just in case anyone wanna compare. You don't see that anywhere, you have to go to the chapter selection screen and add up all your scores. That sucks.
  • JamboWayOh 30 Sep 2020 21:30:05 21,498 posts
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    I saw SkillUps review of this I thought it looked terrible, especially from a visual point of view.
  • Rogueywon 30 Sep 2020 23:30:33 10,023 posts
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    JamboWayOh wrote:
    I saw SkillUps review of this I thought it looked terrible, especially from a visual point of view.
    It's odd on the visuals. Close-up, everything looks terrible. But it throws a hell of a lot on screen at once and it keeps it all moving. It's basically at the opposite end of the spectrum from TLOU2. That had incredible close-up detail, but kept everything small-scale. This sacrifices micro-detail for having everything that could possibly happen happen at once.

    Fascinating to see what it does to PC hardware. In terms of VRAM consumption, only the PC port of FF15 comes close. I've seen it tip 13.5gb VRAM use. I'm fully expecting the Digital Foundry "wow, this is a dumpster fire" articles for the XB1 and PS4 versions once they launch next year. May be a good demo for Stadia, though.
  • Rogueywon 8 Oct 2020 23:21:38 10,023 posts
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    Oh fucking hell. I was actually quite enjoying this through the Italy bits, but then I made it to France and they take all of your guns away and dump you into some absolutely massive open levels that take forever to traverse, with sidequests that can actually involve 10 minutes of travel time. Plus the vehicles are loathesome to control.

    I hate to get all Fuzzy about this (and no, I'm not going to start ranting about travellers), but what the fuck were they thinking? I've never been a fan of the take all the player's guns away mid-game schtick and it's really frustrating here because a couple of hours later I still don't have all of them back. Plus the level design has gone to absolute shit now.
  • Malek86 8 Oct 2020 23:36:57 11,181 posts
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    I hated that. It does improve again later, pretty much only that level and the next one are bad... but those two levels do suck a whole lot.
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