It could only be me that previewed this game, right? I’m serious.

Serious Sam 3 : BFE was introduced to the gaming world as “a glorious throwback to the golden age of first-person shooters where men were men, cover was for amateurs and pulling the trigger made things go boom”- and right now, it’s certainly looking that way.

I’ve been having a go at a preview build of the game, Croatian developer Croteam’s first offering since 2005. Though six years have passed since then, you wouldn’t be able to tell on the gameplay alone. The action starts slow in the demo I played, first pulling the eye out of a monster then one or two baddies to off with a sledgehammer, but quickly ramps up straight back into the manic action fans of ’90s FPS games will love.

The sledgehammer doesn’t particularly remind me of the older Serious Sam games, but it fits into the genre as perfectly as any other mad weapon. It mashes the faces of your foes with a satisfying crunch and a splatter of blood. It’s often an overlooked area of games like this, but the satisfaction of a well-timed melee strike can be a very important factor. God of War, Bayonetta, Street Fighter, and even Killing Floor are all great games made better by simply turning a defeated enemy into a shot of endorphins.

It’s good then, that Serious Sam 3: BFE makes each kill fun, because there are a staggering amount of opportunities to do just that. One sequence saw what felt like hundreds of the infamous man-running-with-bombs-for-hands enemy charging over a hill at me. The best part about that was the noise, though. I couldn’t help but laugh when I heard an almighty trademark roar from behind the hill. I knew what was coming.

In fact, the only enemies in the demo I played were familiar faces from the series.  The headless kamikaze’s are iconic, but don’t forget monster-thing-with-one-eye, guy-in-purple-who-shoots-you and skeleton-bull-thing-that-messes-you-up. Those are definitely not their official names- but you know what I am talking about if you’ve played Serious Sam before.

The gameplay might be old (in a good way) but the visuals definitely aren’t. The game looks stunning, up there with the best looking games on the market. It’s only an early build but Croteam will have to really drop the ball for this to be released looking ropey. Don’t assume the impressive media screenshots are all fiddled with; the game really does look superb.

The location for the events is Egypt again- although this time it’s much more modern day. You’ve got American voices radioing you to get to the crashed ‘chopper, and smashed up buildings everywhere (perhaps that’s a bit too topical?). It’s a completely linear path, as is usual for Serious Sam, but I always maintain linear games are generally much better unless the open world is particularly good.

Serious Sam 3: BFE, then, is really shaping up to be a worthy successor to the first few games. There’s a lot of charm in a game as simple and fun as this, and I can’t wait to play the rest of the game when it comes out on the 18th of October.

Oh, and make sure you pre-order here, here, here or here, too.

Fork Parker, Devolver Digital CFO, said:

“I pledge to take one dollar from each Serious Sam 3: BFE preorder and put it towards my wife’s outrageously expensive tit job. So get to pre-ordering nerds, I want these babies to block out the sun when I’m done with them.”

For more on Serious Sam 3 check out our last hands on preview.