Hooray we found a sword. If only it were ours to keep…
A re-make of the cult PC title, Serious Sam Double D XXL is devilishly difficult, yet compulsively addictive. It completely flips the world Serious Sam on it’s side and brings players a whole new side-scrolling world of madness to play through – and all because it can.
Serious Sam DD XXL is certainly a busy game. There’s rarely a moment that the screen won’t be as busy as London at Christmas – if it was brandishing guns and covered in blood that is. It’s because of all this on-screen insanity, it keeps you coming back for more – pulling you in as you try to keep on top of the engrossing swarm of enemies all hell bent on trying to kill you.
Graphically, it’s a very simple game. While it may be in a HD resolution, there’s certainly no fancy HD lighting, realistic shaders or intensely detailed character models on show. However, this isn’t a problem as Serious Sam has never been a game about realism. It’s a game all about pure arcade carnage and unadulterated fun that goes with it.
The neatest feature in Serious Sam Double D XXL is the ability to stack weapons. Because of this you can create a weapon of absolutely epic proportion. Ever wanted to shoot six guns at once? Sure, go ahead and do that – because XXL lets you. Are you the type of person that doesn’t feel satisfied until you’ve got at least four chainsaws duct taped together to create one epic-spinning machine of death? Well, then this game is for you. And not just because you see six times the death-causing carnage you’d see elsewhere – it’s because you can create it. That’s right, you’ll be running around with six guns literally stacked on top of each other, which seems like typical Serious Sam gameplay.
There’s also the extensive feature to upgrade each weapon that you stack. You can add upgrades like bouncing bullets, ammunition that freezes your enemies in their tracks or just boost a weapon’s damage. They’re all very welcome additions in your fight against the hordes of enemies.
There’s also a surprising amount of gameplay to keep you occupied, with around eight to ten hours for you to enjoy. Once you’ve finished the single-player, there’s then an entire co-op campaign to try out with your mate. Here you’ll unlock Serious Sam’s partner in crime for use in Single-player Mode, giving you another incentive to play through the solo story.
While there’s a lot of side-scrolling shooting to be done, it’s nicely broken up with ‘boss battles’ to keep you on your toes. These battles take the form of various interactions, but one thing will always remain constant: they’re pretty massive and it’s going to take a big gun to take them down – more often than most though, it’ll take more than just one big gun.
One thing that really stands out about Serious Sam Double D XXL is something so simple, yet – in a game like this – it can make a big difference. This isn’t a game where enemies simply fade away once killed. No, here the bodies will pile up upon each other, never faltering, never letting you forget how long you’be been there killing for. Mind you, that’s not the ancillary purpose, it’s designed to help you form a platform to help you get to higher ledges that you can’t usually reach, or to items that would normally be out of reach from your basic jump.
Serious Sam Double D XXL is incredibly fun, bizarre and just downright mental side scrolling shoot ‘em up to kill some time on. It can be frustratingly difficult at times, but this just adds to how great the game is. No matter how many times you die, and however many enemies you down, there’s always an approach that you may well have missed, or a strategy you didn’t get quite right. Each death will only drive you to perfect your tactics and down that boss or room of enemies one more time.
Audio/Visual – 4/5: Visuals aren’t great, but they don’t need to be – it all fits the tone perfectly.
Gameplay – 5/5: Frantic, mental, bizarre and really fun.
Innovation – 3/5: A port of the PC version, but still rather brilliant with the gun stacking system.
Value – 5/5: Eight to ten hours from a Xbox Live Arcade game is brilliant, plenty of fun for you money
Final Score – 4/5