Croteam dropped a "Serious" surprise just in time for the holidays. The small Croatian developer launched its second VR title, which is its first full-scale game for VR. The developer went back to its roots and remade its first game for the third time—this time for virtual reality.
Croteam revealed its first VR game, Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope, a stationary wave shooter with classic arcade game elements, in June 2016. The developer spent the summer promoting the game and preparing for its early access release in October.
Croteam is a small independent developer that traditionally launches one title every few years, which reinforced the illusion that the developer was putting all its resources towards completing Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter. Croteam did drop one hint over the summer that it was working on something bigger, though.
On October 11, HTC Vive published a video about Croteam, in which Damjan Mravunac, Croteam’s Chief Marketing Officer, and Composer, hinted that something bigger was in the pipeline.
“While I’m not going to say anything for certain right now,” said Mravunac. “Serious Sam VR is a very good test polygon for Croteam, to see if we can develop something on a much larger scale.”
Mravunac’s comments hinted that Croteam had plans to release a larger scale VR game, but I don’t think anyone would have predicted that game would launch this year--but that’s what happened. Croteam released a remake of the game that started the Serious Sam franchise 15 years ago. Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter is a full length, open world, frantic, first-person shooter for virtual reality.
Croteam rebuilt the entire game from the ground up for VR and with the latest version of the developer’s Serious Engine. The game features two locomotion methods. Croteam included a teleportation system, which it calls “Serious Warp.” The developer also included trackpad movement for people that aren’t susceptible to motion sickness.
Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter features 15 large-scale open-world levels, ten weapons to locate and use to your advantage, and all the enemies you remember from the first game.
Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter also features online multiplayer gameplay. You and up to 15 of your friends can join forces to fend off the Metal’s henchmen and save the galaxy. You can play the entire 15-level campaign in classic co-op, which features customizable settings such as difficulty, the number of enemies, and respawn credits. Or, you could choose coin-op co-op, which limits the number of lives you get.
In Beast Hunt and Team Beast Hunt mode, you compete against other players to see who can achieve the highest score hunting specific enemies. In Survival and Team Survival mode, you must fend off endless waves of enemy attacks. Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch pits you against your friends in a chaotic battle. The Last Man Standing Modes are like deathmatch, but you only get one life, so make it count.
The My Burden mode is like playing keep away. You get points for holding onto an item, while the rest of the group tries to catch you and take it for themselves. The person with the higher score at the end of the round wins. Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter also offers a capture the flag mode, and a mode called Instant Kill, which brings back memories of multiplayer Goldeneye 007 on Nintendo 64 with License To Kill enabled.
Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter is available now through Steam’s Early Access program. Croteam set the price at $39.99, but the developer offered 10% off as an introductory sale. The company is also rewarding loyal fans with deeper discounts. If you own Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope, Croteam will take another 10% off. If you’ve been a Serious Sam fan for a long time and already own Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter, that’s worth another 20%. If you own both games already, you get 40% off the new one. The sale ends on December 27.