Serious Sam 4 has finally brought fans back to the wild series that first gained popularity back in 2001, taking the first-person shooter genre and ramping up the mayhem. After a nine-year break since the last title, even veteran players are going to need to knock the dust off their controller and adapt to the new gameplay mechanics.
Throwing you into a hostile world where you’re fighting back giant swarms of aliens isn’t exactly a beginner-friendly environment. Knowing all the important information before you charge into battle is the best way to avoid banging your head against the wall trying to figure out the right strategy. So here are some pro-tips you’ll want to discover.
Know When It’s Time To Run
Serious Sam 4 is set up to let you get lost in the action, mowing down hordes of enemies with a ridiculous amount of firepower. |Due to this, it’s easy to start believing you’re indestructible. Experienced players will know that getting caught up in the action is a one-way ticket to trouble.
The number of enemies that pour out at one time can even give veterans a tough ride, leading to the less experienced player getting gobbled up in the mob. Running away is almost always the best choice when you feel overwhelmed. The maps have plenty of space and give you time to formulate a plan B. Vehicles are plenty fast, so these are a great way to avoid most attackers, especially since they received a speed boost since the last game.
Don’t Rely On Useless Tactics
Hiding places can seem like a good idea at first, until you end up stuck behind a flimsy cover with no way to counter the growing horde attacking you. There are too many mobs floating around, leaving too many options to get spotted, alerting the rest of your enemies and quickly turning it into a chase.
The second thing you have to worry about is the strength of the aliens, easily busting through your defenses and leaving you exposed. The wide variety of species forces you into a fight or flight style of play, and running behind cover shouldn’t be part of the plan.
Find Worthwhile Quests
Side quests are a hit or miss in any game, sometimes robbing the spotlight from the main story, or becoming background noise that you rarely entertain. Serious Sam’s selection of wacky adventures satisfies on the side content, providing some great rewards alongside the humor the series is known for.
From Black Hole weapons to Holodecoys, the long list of crucial gadgets and weapons come as a welcome reward when you’re done. Specific quests like Twisted Little Passages and Portal Too will save you the time of combing through everyone, even though you should.
Dual Wielding Is King
A long-standing tradition in the Serious Sam series, dual-wielding your weapons is still the best way to mow through waves of aliens. Starting in the mid-game, you’ll start to notice the difficulty increase and advanced enemies pushing your single weapon to its limits.
The most fun is had upgrading the Dual-wield skill tree, unlocking the abilities to mix and match heavy weapons once you reach the third and fourth options. From shotguns to assault rifles, finding a great combination for your style of play is the mark of a true veteran.
Learn The Art Of Melee
A heated debate amongst the player base, melee combat was only introduced in the third game. Getting your hands on an enemy doesn’t fit with the all-out arsenal that every Serious Sam brings to the table, but it’s a very effective tool to have in your back pocket.
New players tend to get absorbed by all the shiny toys and forget their most reliable weapon, their hands. Enemies close the distance too quickly to ignore your close-range potential. Unlocking the ”The Harder They Fall” skill lets you explore the range of finishing moves on bigger enemies, all performed with your combat knife.
Make A Strong Gadget Choice
Weapons are the meat and potatoes of the gameplay, but the gadgets are definitely the gravy. Finding the right gadget unlocks unique mechanics that open up combat. Turning the game from a hard-fought slaughter to a test of your creativity, gadgets are a key part of the enjoyment of the title.
Some gadgets stand out among the pack, starting with the psychotropic grenade, forcing enemies to attack each other and do all the heavy lifting for you. Time Warp slows down time for everyone else but you, and the H.E.A.R.T. device gives you an extra life for those tough levels.
Roll With The Bugs
The most significant downside to the game’s release was the slow performance and mildly buggy environment, most of which can be mitigated with some performance tweaks in the settings. Real professionals take advantage of any detail they can, or at least make the best of a bad situation.
Things like the pump-action shotgun not needing to reload and picking up objects through barriers are all exploitable workarounds. The lack of invisible walls also means that you can maneuver around certain levels to get the drop on large groups of aliens, turning them into unsuspecting target practice.
Use The Environment
The expansive maps that give large areas of free space can distract you from the fact that Serious Sam 4 has some slick positional combat. Using the select few buildings and barriers to direct the masses cuts out on a lot of weaknesses an open field brings.
Pinch points and small entryways can cut off an entire crowd or force a line of one on one encounters, all depending on how big the first alien is. Large enemies can be deadly, especially when they have smaller minions for backup, forcing you to take every advantage you can get.