Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem Review – Seriously Cool

Developed by Croteam and Timelock Studio

Published by Devolver Digital

Available on PC

MSRP $19.99

What a delightful surprise it was that Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem was released seemingly out of nowhere. Like a squad of plasma cannon scorpion kings appearing from the aether, a new standalone DLC arrived to give us some serious Serious Sam. This title may not be the longest, but it does pack some of the best content of the entire series into a comically oversized cannon and fire it right into the player and whoever else may be standing behind them.

The premise of Serious Sam is that you are a member of the Earth Defense Force, no relation to the games, named Sam Stone. An unstoppable army led by a god-king named Mental sends wave after wave after wave of attacks against any species deemed fit for him to conquer and subjugate into his own soldiers. Earth is that planet currently on the chopping block, and there is only one man serious enough to stop Mental. 

Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem is sort of a standalone DLC. Not quite a full-length game, but full enough to be well worth your time. The plot of Siberian Mayhem is about tracking a certain turncoat named General Brand, who I assume is from the previous game. I never got around to playing Serious Sam 4, from which Siberian Mayhem originally was a mod of, but that’s probably fine. The story of these games doesn’t really matter. The game’s true narrative is that there are ten billion guys that need shooting and by golly, I’m gonna shoot them. 

The most important aspect of any Serious Sam game is the guns. All of your favorites from the previous titles have returned for Siberian Mayhem. Double barrel boomstick, minigun, rocket launcher, the old-timey cannon. But what’s really fun is finding the new weapons. The assault rifle now appropriately takes the form of an AK-47, and the energy gun this time around appears to be a microwave beam that cooks enemies to the point of them exploding, damaging nearby foes. Instead of a sniper rifle, there is now a crossbow that in any other game they would have reserved this devastating power for their railgun, rather than a stick on a string. Any and all of these in the face of a horde of ridiculous enemies is a delight. 

The next most important is the horde of ridiculous enemies. Again, Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem brings back the classic kamikaze and angry bovine skeletons. But there are also a few new freaks to add to the roster. There’s a big guy (actually, many) with a pair of incendiary lasers strapped to his arms. Also, he’s got a jet pack. There are these things that are compared to a frog and a dog that attack in swarms. And I feel like the mechanical flying Dune worm is new. This roster of goons is a good mix of old and new, feeling like a fresh coat of paint on a classic game. 

The setting of Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem is, obviously, Siberia. In some areas, you’ll be running through gigantic fields that feel too impossibly huge to fully seek out secrets in. And just as quickly you’ll be fighting against waves of foes in the tight corridors of industrial zones and cities. 

I suppose the only thing that I was hoping for that was not delivered in Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem is setting-appropriate stuff. The landscapes are great, and a Kalashnikov is most certainly the most well-known Slavic weapon. But other than that and a few people who talk about vodka, there’s nothing particularly Siberian that caught my interest. I was hoping for a Baba Yaga Bird Leg House enemy. Maybe a Leshy or two. At the very least a Chernobog. Truthfully, these are not all too important. The novelty of the setting is certainly not what you’re gonna be focused on while facing down one thousand kamikaze guys a-screamin’.

This title is great. Maybe a little more expensive than I would say for a five mission Serious Sam game, but those five hours of content are gold. Five hours on easy mode (extremely hard), I haven’t even gotten around to playing it on normal (extremely extremely hard) and hard (extremely extremely extremely hard) modes. If the price tag is no issue, buy Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem now. If not, buy it as soon as it’s on sale. 

You can find Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem on Steam by clicking here