Serious Sam: The Random Encounter Steam Review

This is an old school RPG based around the Serious Sam franchise. You’ll have a top down map with enemy encounters and be taken to a RPG style battle system. The map worlds are literally one screen sections, if your party is wiped out three times, you need to restart that one map. It would feel right at home on the original Gameboy or a mobile phone. Random battles can happen when you walk one space on the map, so if that angers you, avoid this game.

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The real game is the combat, each battle pits you and your allies against several if not dozens or hundreds of enemies chasing after you. You select fight, swap weapon or item. Any of your characters can use any weapon. Here’s where it gets interesting, the weapons and enemies have uses like in an action game. The revolver will shoot at the closest enemy, the shotgun is a defensive weapon if any enemies or big projectiles get within a proximity of the user, the rocket launcher sends a spread of 3 rockets one per turn, the grenade launcher does big damage…. if you can hit your target in it, since enemies move, they might be gone before the grenade lands, and there’s a mini gun where you aim the line and fire until the end of the turn. 

Enemies have different properties too. Some will stay far and shoot, others will chase after you and damage you, killing themselves. Enemies are quicker and slower than you, so you can either outrun them or they’ll catch you. All of the combat is a really fresh take on RPG turn based combat. Oh and as your turn is happening, you can move your party up and down on the screen to dodge projectiles or stall for time as you wait for the next shotgun blast.

After every battle, you get full health. The items mostly consist of armor power ups, health, attack buffs. All of which seem to be needed for bosses at the end of each one screen map.

So if I enjoy the game how could I give it a negative rating? 

The game is a steep climb in difficulty before you know it. Walls of bullets, things become unavoidable, deaths are inevitable even if party members are revived with full health after a battle. Everything needs to be done in battle and that is the real downfall. You cannot use any items such as armor outside of battle. So if you’re facing a wall of bullets against dozens or hundreds of enemies, you’ll just get slaughtered again and again. Luck of who you fight plays a big part of your survival. You can grind all you want before a boss battle. The catch is once you’ve used your 3 lives, you’ll need to start that map over again without all of the grinding you just did. Another problem with lack of grinding is that you can’t go back to a previous map to grind and no amount of grinding will save you from bullet walls that comes with every enemy encounter past a few maps. Another downfall is there is no native controller or steam support. Not even key binding, but everything else is a much bigger glaring issue.

In all, its just a fresh take on old school RPGs and I like it, but its as if the developers didn’t play the game past a certain point. If you’re looking for a very difficult new RPG that is unforgiving and makes grinding meaningless, this is the game for you.

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