Developer: Timelock Studios, Croteam
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Reviewed on: PC
Also available on: N/A
Release: 25th January 2022
Initially developed as a mod for Serious Sam 4 by Timelock Studios, Siberian mayhem has been developed under the watch of Croteam (the series creators) First teased in December 2021 in a video showing protagonist Sam Stone in a frozen landscape. Serious Sam Siberian Mayhem, is another frenetic, fast paced FPS only this time set in a rather crazy Russia.
If you’ve played serious Sam before then you know, you know just how incredibly mental it is, I’ve never had any Serious Sam experience until recently with Serious Sam 4 and now Siberian mayhem and let me tell you, I’ve never been more stressed playing a video game. Stressed in a good way that is! There’s no real way to describe it other than completely bonkers.
Lets be very clear though Siberian Mayhem is more of a DLC sized release rather than a standalone game, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It lasts just the right amount of time that you don’t “get over it”.
The gameplay is exactly what you’d expect from Serious Sam, the formula for this one has never really changed and neither should it, it feels very “arcade like” and while its undoubtedly rough around the edges, it knows what it is and it does it very well. If you’re hoping for a serious FPS then funnily enough “Serious” Sam isn’t for you, its very tongue in cheek and over the top silly with its enemies and mechanics etc, very Duke Nukemesque, The weapons are outrageous and the enemies are utterly ridiculous. These enemies range from Asylum escapees with bombs strapped to their hands to dinosaur skeletons who throw projectiles at you and all the nuts creations you could possibly imagine in between. I definitely feel like the game is better played with a friend as something this wacky is much better shared with someone else, this also makes the normally annoying bugs and glitches something you can laugh at rather than getting bogged down with them.
Speaking of Bugs, I did come across a fair few, not a HUGE amount, but enough to start to paying attention to them, most are funny/mild inconveniences, however there were one or 2 that were a little more “game breaking”. An example of this is early on in the game I was unable to proceed through an area as the door didn’t open, however a simple restart allowed me through so not exactly game breaking but annoying.
Graphically, Serious Sam Siberian Mayhem is definitely a step in the right direction. These games have never exactly been leaders in terms of visuals and to be honest it doesn’t need to be. It’s so fast paced 99% of the time that you don’t notice the little details and everything is pretty much a blur anyway, Siberian Mayhem has definitely started taking steps however to make the environments look better, I think this overall look is helped by the covering of snow that Russia understandably has with very little smaller details being required.
Storyline wise, just like the gameplay its very arcadelike and rather silly. Don’t expect a Hollywood blockbuster here, its tongue in cheek and full of quick wit, quips and smart remarks.
There’s really not a lot to say about Serious Sam other than if you’re looking for something to have fun with, then I’d give this a go, if you’re looking for something with a well written story or character development then id give this a wide berth. I think the perfect way to describe Serious Sam Siberian Mayhem is “It’s like an Easter egg, it’s a tasty hollow shell of a game, great on the outside but with very little substance to it.”