Why should you play Serious Sam 4? Quite simply: “It’s fun, it’s pure, unfiltered action!” Croteams Damjan Mravunac, Head of Sound, Music and Marketing, confides in an interview. “Why are we playing? Because it’s fun! This is what it is about. If you want to have fun, play Serious Sam! It’s really fun.”

According to him, Part Four takes a step back to fan favorites First and Second Enounter. “We always listen to our community, that’s one of the reasons Croteam exists,” he says. “They’re loud and when we released our first demo in 1999 or 2000, they helped us make a deal with the publishers. We are actively working with our community and they wanted an experience that was more like a first and second meeting. . “

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“We listened and the action is as hectic and crazy as in any Serious Sam game,” he adds. “It’s a dance with your enemies, that’s what we call it. You have to develop certain techniques and styles of play that are effective against different enemies. You have to dig deeper into weapon systems. We are re-establishing this atmosphere of first meeting. and increase that with some weapon upgrades, everything is just bigger, the game is a little longer, the levels bigger, there are more enemies, bigger weapons, the music is louder. We go a little further everywhere. “

Sam and his friends

After the Serious Sam story began in Part 1 and continued in The Second Encounter and Serious Sam 2, Serious Sam 3 stepped back in time and showed the events leading up to the first encounter at the end. . Part 4 follows on from its predecessor and is again a prequel: “In Serious Sam 3, a few characters appeared alongside Sam, his fellow combatants,” explains Mravunac. “We thought it would be cool to deepen this buddy relationship between Sam and his band. This time he’s not alone, he’s got his team with him, and it’s… you’ve probably seen Predator, there’s this crazy couple of people each of whom is masters of their craft. “

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“This time we’re showing more of Sam’s friends and buddies and we’ve got a great story,” he promises. “There’s a great story behind it all, something we didn’t care about in previous games. One of our writers, Jonas Kyratzes, worked on The Talos Principle and his wife Verena supports him on Serious Sam 4. You have a great action. -Blockbuster story written and we are confident it will meet fans’ tastes. Everything is linked and well explained. And again: we do not impose it on anyone. You don’t have to watch cutscenes for hours on end to figure out what’s going on going – but if you want a more immersive experience this time around, you have it. “

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The right weapon at the right time

When it comes to dancing with the enemy, it all depends on the right balance, explains Mravunac: “We have different types of enemies, including ranged fighters and those who storm you. It’s about finding the perfect balance between your weapons and finding the attacking enemy. Along with the weapon upgrade system, you will find upgrades for weapons that were not available in Serious Sam before. And as Daniel would say: as soon as you have a problem… “

“Damjam likes to quote, but he doesn’t really know how to do it”, intervenes Daniel Lucic, marketing and communications manager of Croteam, and laughs. “Weapon upgrades don’t necessarily make the game more complex, they give you more variety and add spice to the arsenal. For example, if you play an early level you will come across this formidable opponent who would like to fight but give you difficulty. And in later levels you have several. “

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You still know her, don’t you?

“We give players the opportunity to improve their weapons, for example with an alternate fire mode or more firepower, that is the purpose of the leveling system,” he adds. “So you have less problems with certain types of opponents. The choice is yours: are you looking for the perfect balance that Damjan mentioned, using a certain weapon, or you are looking for specific upgrades. It was never about a super complex game. to transform Serious Sam into a deep dive into tactical aspects. You just need quick reflexes and the right weapon for the situation. “

Old friends and new enemies

In addition to the old friends, there are a number of new enemies in Part 4, although of course not all of the designs the design team came up with end up in the game: “When our character and our designers Many games have an idea for an opponent, they like to prototype it, ”explains Lucic. “Right now we have inactive enemies whose prototypes just didn’t work. I guess it works like any creative process. One day you wake up with an idea and want to implement it. In Serious Sam 4, we bring back a lot of opponents, that didn’t exist in part three, but was popular in previous games. At the same time, there are new types of opponents, some of which are certain to achieve cult status. “

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Plus, Lucic is confident modders will find one or the other that Croteam has experimented with over the years and then not used. “We had crazy ideas of weapons, encounters and enemies so strange that we gave them up,” he says. “Our modders will certainly dig up some of them after the modding tools are released. We don’t want to say anything about it yet, maybe they will find out. ”

Interview with Serious Sam 4 Gnaar
There is always something going on here.

The modding tools are the same tools Croteam uses for development – and they can be used to create essentially “anything”. The only thing missing are “very specific” features that Lucic said would be of little use to modders. However, they are not yet available at launch; they will follow in a later update.

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“These tools can be used to load the levels of the game,” explains Mravunac. And Lucic adds: “You can load any level and modify everything. Each parameter. You can import new models, build your own, play around with physics, and do whatever you need to do. People have been crazy good things made with it, our modders made some fantastic games that didn’t look like Serious Sam anymore. ”

Thousands of enemies

Another important and new feature of the shooting game is the Legion system. As the name suggests, it is used to represent a large number of opponents: “We developed it to make everything more believable,” explains Lucic, explaining the idea behind. “I think here and there maybe people haven’t understood what the Legion system is, so I’m trying to explain it. It allows us to create a battlefield that feels real. You see thousands and thousands of enemies around you. around feeling like you are in the middle of this huge battle. We mentioned a hundred thousand enemies and I’m pretty sure it will hit that number without affecting performance. “

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How? ‘Or’ What? Through the rendering, he adds: “Everything that is close to you is real, so to speak. And all that’s far is a leprechaun, a different story. At the same time, it is possible to interact with any of these enemies, although in the end it is not about killing hundreds of thousands of enemies. It will never happen because you run out of ammo. But you can definitely try. “

Serious Sam 4 interview of the opponents
Find the right weapon for your opponent.

“Let’s take a movie like The Lord of the Rings as an example,” Lucic says. “You have these two huge armies going against each other. And in the middle are the two heroes who clash. This is what we want to accomplish with the Legion system. Sam and the main monsters in the game fight each other, while the battlefield around them is real. “

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What technical magic is behind all of this? “It works the same way a system you use for vegetation, for example,” he explains. “He completely renders what is closest to you. And the further away it goes, the less detail you see, polygons and things like that. It doesn’t really affect performance. ”

“The truth is, we have hired an army of wizards who are really good at programming,” Mravunac says. “But don’t tell anyone!” Lucic said. Oops.

In the first part of the interview, you can read why Serious Sam 4 needed time and Croteam needed a break.

  • Developer / Publisher: Croteam / Devolver Digital
  • Platforms: PC, Stadia
  • Release Date: September 24, 2020
  • Price: 39.99 euros
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Source : Eurogamer.de