Serious Sam VR : The First Encounter; I came, I saw, I conquered. At times, I cursed. At times, I wept. At times, I wondered – How am I supposed to do this? This is a true run ‘n gun style FPS. A large proportion of enemy projectiles are something you can dodge. There is no reloading or minor cover fire mechanics but for the most part – it’s you runnin’ and gunnin’. It’s hard to believe this game was not MADE for VR. When I looked, I saw it was made in 2001. 2001. The visuals in the game obviously look dated(although improved from the HD adaptation) but this game is so fun – I frankly don’t care. I played through the entire game of Serious Sam VR : The First Encounter on normal difficulty. I consider myself a rather veteran FPS player. Not the guy who plays on nightmare but usually the second hardest/middle difficulties. I played Doom 1-2 and a lot of this reminds me of that style.
The game length is amazing for the price. It’s $23.99 (although you can usually grab it in a nice bundle) – and I got a solid 9 hours of quality playtime. This isn’t playtime of wandering in circles but forward movement with a mix of frustrating moments. My lets play is here. I did not dabble with multiplayer or other difficulties or achievement hunting but it seems the campaign alone is worth it. The balance between weapons is great and natural – everything feels useful and its easy to develop favorites. Swapping to the double shotgun for melee to ranged favorites like the machine gun/laser rifle are natural and fluid. It was satisfying as hell to kite creatures while dropping mines. Later on you get some ridiculous weapons like the cannon ball which is simply hilarious. Balance between the weapons also feels right. I didn’t find myself using the rocket launcher as much due to the fact friendly fire was crazy dangerous(much like Doom 1-2.) The double shotgun was amazing at close range but had diminishing returns at distances and ate up bullets.
Projectiles you can destroy felt very natural in a VR game. A large portion of enemies attacks you can “blow up” in the air with your own attacks. While kiting, this felt natural to feel the time to turn in a certain direction and destroy it. The variety of enemies were again – perfect for VR. Melee enemies would make you jump out of your shoes until you got used to them from growling bone-skeleton-beast things to purple monsters that looked like Grimace from Mcdonalds. The most dangerous I found were the ones you couldn’t kite as easily(like the sirian werebull) who would charge and turn towards you after missing quickly or the scorpion type enemies you couldn’t kite while walking. This gave a definitive priority to what was dangerous or not when assessing the battlefield. Using VR, it was INCREDIBLY helpful to pull up “weapon select” to slow down the action and assess my surroundings (matrix style.)
The level difficulty/game length progressed very naturally to me. I believe the first time I realized the game could be hard was on the third level when you have to kill 300+ of these swamp frog guys while staying alive. It made me respect what the game could offer in terms of difficulty and it didn’t back down any of the levels after. At a certain point I saw less variety in new monsters(although I really didn’t want to learn any new ones) but Serious Sam VR : The First Encounter found some new monsters to throw at me including huge bosses. The end fight, without any spoilers, definitely aggravated me but it was a “fair” situation.
I think my best endorsement would be – this was pure VR perfected fun. It felt natural, it felt like second nature. I actually looked forward to playing a long session and unlike quite a few VR games, it didn’t feel like a chore. I wondered ahead how difficult the next level would be and what unique challenges would be presented. Using “classic motion” really made the game come to live and I recommend it highly. I will likely never play teleport in a game again unless forced. I give this game my highest praise and easily a 10/10. I look forward to playing the future games of Serious Sam VR.
Serious Sam VR : The First Encounter - The Good
- Game Length/Price Ratio
- Weapon Variety
- Weapon Balance
- Projectiles You can Destroy
- Variety of Enemies
- Fair difficulty progression