Serious Sam hails from 2001 and alleges to be a no-nonsense, to-the-point action shooter that's simply about mowing down hordes of enemies with a full arsenal of machine guns, shotguns, and explosives while frantically running around spacious ancient Egyptian levels collecting armor, health, and ammo drops and searching for hidden secrets for extra powerups. The series is often mentioned on message boards as being one of the best 90s-style arena-shooters ever made, with people absolutely loving it for its frenetic, over-the-top action. I have a fondness for these types of games, with Doom, Painkiller, and Ziggurat ranking among my favorite FPS games. I also remember enjoying Duke Nukem 3D and Shadow Warrior back in the day, though I never finished them and haven't played either one in almost 20 years.
I went into Serious Sam: The First Encounter (as part of the Classics: Revolution version, available on Steam Early Access) fully expecting to enjoy it, based on a combination of its esteemed reputation and my appreciation for this style of game. I started out thinking "this is pretty good," but as I got further into the game it started to annoy me, and after a while I started to actively dislike it. After completing nine of its thirteen levels, I just have no desire to continue playing it any longer. The game is too tedious and repetitive to be fun, for me, and there's nothing inspiring about its weaponry or level design. Despite the promise of bombastic, over-the-top action and all-around whimsical silliness, the game feels bland to me, and it doesn't feel worth the hassle for me to push forward just to finish it.