Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass - Pre-Alpha Gameplay and Everything We Know So Far
Back in April, we covered the release of the first trailer for the upcoming Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass, which featured the game’s main protagonist Sam, casually riding his bike through a sunny forest, gunning down a headless kamikaze and disappearing into a wave of oncoming enemies. As the hype around the upcoming sequel grew, the developers over at Croteam kept silent and patiently waited for E3 before revealing more details. Although the E3 screening was behind closed doors, we did get some info and a few screenshots afterwards, with a very rough pre-alpha gameplay footage appearing online just a few days ago.
Judging from the released videos, official announcements and sprawling rumors, its seems that big changes are coming to Serious Sam franchise, with some even having a potential to become revolutionary.
First of all, the trailer and the pre-alpha footage both show large number of enemies congregating on a small area and attacking Sam, and while this is nothing new for the franchise, as every previous iteration had dozens of enemies running at you from all sides, some sources suggest that this time around, the developers are aiming at having tens of thousands of enemies appearing at once. Seeing how developers have been making a new engine for Serious Sam 4, this might very well be true as it is very doubtful that current Serious Engine can handle such a large amount of characters at once. If Croteam does succeed and manages to implement so many NPCs in one area, this will undoubtedly put to shame many bigger open world games.
Left: Groups of enemies as seen in the Trailer, Right: Groups of enemies as seen in the Pre-Alpha Footage
With so many NPCs potentially chasing after Sam, it is expected that a large sprawling map will also be included in the latest sequel. Developers suggested that the map will be 128 square kilometers and that players will be allowed to explore every corner of it. Although the game will keep its linearity and will not be open world, it is safe to assume that such a big map will probably be divided into smaller areas which can be visited as players progress with the story. Smaller sections will allow developers to experiment with different environments and map layouts thus making the levels more diverse and interesting which is going to be of crucial importance considering that large maps can often get boring and repetitive.
In order to further eliminate this potential downside, Croteam also promised a new coop mode to be implemented in the final release. Unlike previous parts, coop mode in Serious Sam 4 will feature up to 16 players which can jointly take on the hordes of evil Mentals. This means that some old friends of Sam’s, such as Rodriguez, Hellfire, Jones and others, might make a return as the upcoming sequel will probably take place prior to their deaths and the Earth’s destruction in the Serious Sam 3: BFE. Implementation of the coop mode is a big plus and is sure to make exploration of the huge map and fighting tens of thousands of enemies more fun and engaging.
Serious Sam 4 will also feature vehicles which players can use for both traversing the map as well as combat. Besides the motorcycle we see in the trailer, Serious Sam 4 will supposedly also have a bulletproof popemobile, along with a combine which appeared in the pre-alpha gameplay footage and which Sam uses to mow down enemies in front of him.
Screenshots of the combine that the players will get to drive around.
Considering everything mentioned above, Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass is shaping to become another exceptionally fun game just like all the previous franchise iterations (except the PalmOS version of course). With the promise of a large map, more enemies, diverse vehicles and coop play, Croteam did set the bar high, however knowing their reputation of delivering on what’s promised, there is really no need to worry for the future of Serious Sam 4 and the franchise in general. As such, do not be put off by the rough pre-alpha footage, as it will definitely get better, and it won't be long before we will all get to experience what’s it like being chased by tens of thousands of headless screaming kamikazes.
You can see the trailer, as well as the pre-alpha footage of the upcoming Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass below.
Edited by EchelonBrk