Serious Sam Double D XXL – Review
The timing is, if not unfortunate, then perhaps lacking in tact. The issue of guns and their place in society is high on the political and cultural agenda. As Americans grapple with the philosophical and practical questions of whether assault weapons should be permitted in their society, sober reflection and careful deliberation is needed.
Into this context swaggers Serious Sam – never a man to bring a knife to a gun debate – wearing a wife-beater and a maniacal grin and brandishing a home-made stack of projectile weapons, mounted precariously atop one another. The shotgun connects to the assault rifle connects to the chainsaw and so on upwards in a kind of unwieldy contraption that even the most wild-eyed contingent of the NRA might shy away from endorsing.
Still, for all the unsubtlety, there is a chance Serious Sam Double D XXL could steer the conversation in a new direction. You see, the gun stack in this downloadable side-scrolling shooter can be loaded with a different sort of live ammunition: bees. Turns out guns don’t kill people – high-velocity projectile insects kill people.
Gun-stacking is Serious Sam Double D XXL’s finest trick, an amusing gimmick that allows you to rearrange your bank of collected weapons into almost any configuration provided you have the requisite number of connectors. A schematic-arranging option screen displays your armoury so far and, by dragging and dropping different guns onto one another, you begin to build your personal Heath Robinson firearm. There’s a joyful flexibility to the system as you create a stack of chainsaws or alternate between flamethrowers and shotguns and so on – and, with 30-odd guns to add to the pool of resources, the number of gun-stack permutations is extensive.
The temptation, as with all video games, is to curve your creativity toward the extreme, crafting a tower with six of your most over-powered weapons. But this is rarely the best strategy. Each weapon guzzles its own type of ammunition and so there’s a danger you’ll exhaust your supplies in moments if you fire everything simultaneously, leaving you in a face-off with a 30-foot armoured dinosaur with nothing but a series of impotent clicks to shoo it away. Rapid switching between pre-set gun configurations allows smart players to take a more strategic approach to resource management, and often less is more.
Read the rest of this review over at Eurogamer here.