Player One Reviews: Serious Sam’s Bogus Detour
For fans of the serious this is a fun, gore-covered, romp down memory lane with all the iconic monsters and personality of the previous games.
Publishers: Devolver Digital
Serious Sam is a long running name in the FPS shooter genre beside the likes DOOM. Having not played any of the titles in the series since the early 2000s I only have the vaguest recollection of the game, but hints of nostalgia shown through whilst playing Bogus Detour. All the enemies and worlds from the previous game have been recreated as a top down, twin stick shooter that doesn’t skimp on the blood and guts so beloved in the series. The game has been transformed into a surprisingly beautiful 2D game with some top notch pixel sprite work.
I’ll give it to Croteam that they did a solid job on monster design back in the day, enough that they still hold up in 2D fifteen years after conception. Despite the chaos of multiple enemies attacking you in between piles of their dismembered brethren the game manages to stay readable, which is important with how busy the screen can get. The UI is basic and easy to read although it takes a while to know what’s what as the game doesn’t hold your hand in explaining what things mean.
Bogus Detour isn’t the first Serious Sam game to get a genre makeover. Since Devolver Digital acquiring the series in 2010 they have released a number of “indie” titles but it seems like this foray into the indie world is the most robust. It features many hours of content that was only lengthened by the fact I’m terrible at it and died a lot. This didn’t make me want to stop playing though, it was quite the opposite. I was spurred on by the knowledge that if i tried again I would be able to best that situation and defeat the level, and boy did it feel good when I did. This was all played on the normal difficulty with no special ‘switches’ which can mix up the game by adding different rules like having infinite lives. It can get fairly repetitive with the running and gunning through levels to complete objectives whilst wave after wave of the same ol’ monster runs at you but facing them down remains pretty satisfying, especially as your arsenal of weapons grows.
The frantic nature of the game remains after the transition into the twin stick shooter genre, with enemies attacking en masse from all directions. There is a very special “oh ****” moment that comes from having 50 skeletal goats flying at you and finding you have to reload. The guns themselves vary drastically in style and everyone will find something that suits their playstyle. All the Serious Sam classics are there although slightly reinvented for the change to 2D. Varying from sledgehammers, to pistols, to rocket launchers some weapons do feel less impressive than others but all the heavy hitters do a good job of turning foes into an indiscriminate mass of gore. there was always enough ammo to keep your favourite guns full and ready to face the next wave of monsters. The stakes are raised in boss fights that appear in every few levels featuring an enemy far stronger than any previously faced whilst still sending the familiar wave of minions at you. These require you to use the variety of guns you have in your arsenal to puzzle out the best way to avoid a gruesome death and the defeat this grotesque foe.
Bogus Detour also features multiplayer co-op of up to four players and a 12 player deathmatch modes but I was unable to try them out. From what I experienced in the single-player mode and from playing similar games with friends over the years it seems like it would be a jolly good time with mates.
Serious Sam’s Bogus Detour is available now on PC for your own chaotic, viscera-filled playing experience.
The player one team was provided with a review code for PC.