Author(s) : Josh Jones
Game : Serious Sam : The First Encounter
Type : Single Player
Let me tell you, this map is the best ever! Josh Jones is so awesome that it only takes 3 weeks to produce this masterpiece, whereas other run-of-the-mill mappers would take 3 months or more! This is why he is able to crank out so many of these awesome levels in the time it takes the other mappers to make 1! I tell you, this is THE best map to ever exist in any game, ever. Period!
This level has no plot, and it doesn’t need to! While other maps are perfectly content in pinning Sam to a defined plot, this Seriously Sexy author took it to the next level and gives YOU, the player, the freedom to make up your own plot. Player interaction and involvement in the plot! Stunning, I know! It’s like Quantum Physics, but with stories!
Why, the level looks so good that the author has to darken the level in order to stop players from going into seizures from the overload of visual splendour! It makes the level so much more challenging and fun! You have to fire your gun in order to see! It’s just like in that Doom comic, might makes light! It’s brilliant! You may think that the rooms in this level are nothing more than a collection of boxes, but that’s what he wants you to think! Every time your gun fires, it reveals a flash of brilliance for a brief second! It has a maze too, and it’s massive! It’s a genius departure to the typical corridor shooter of Serious Sam by making you explore for ages before you find your way out! You have to use your brain meats to map out the labyrinth of awesome. You know, like ALL smart shooters like Wolfenstein 3D and Doom! It got me thinking that Serious Sam may have been the predecessor to Call of Duty with its corridor shooter level design!
The gameplay is nothing short of brilliant! While most maps would be content with spawning just 2-5 of the same enemy, this level goes beyond that and spawns 100 of them! Who needs enemy wave variation? It’s just a needless design roadblock and an excuse for other inferior mappers to be lazy! Health and ammunition supply is very scarce and sporadic. While many would say that it is poor map design, I say that it is a stroke of brilliance the likes of which we have yet to see since Einstein’s theory of relativity! As the enemy waves wear you down slowly, the fight becomes much more tense and visceral. You never know if death or salvation lie around each corner of the treacherous labyrinth! The ending of the map is so brilliant that it made me cry tears of joy! It’s a giant ramp that gives you a feel of speed and exhilaration, only to let you down when it fails to launch you into the exit, and instead drops you into an inescapable pit of despair! This, right here, is cutting commentary about life and how it always lets you down no matter how good things seem to be. Deep stuff right there!
There is so much to explore and get lost in the giant maze of doom, and while most may be lead to believe that there are a lot of secrets to be found, Josh Jones, (God bless his soul) decides to throw a curveball at the player and include NO secrets! How innovative! His level is all about tension, and without any background music or noise to get in the way, you will feel extremely immersed in this survival horror experience. Man, such a radical and awesome departure from the typical Serious Sam level!
The readme file is sparse, only giving you the most basic of info and what you need to do to install this marvellous manna from heaven! This is good, why give out detailed info about the level, when it just bogs you down with useless knowledge and gets in the way of you playing it? Why even pack the level conveniently when he can teach you how folder structures work? Heck, this map is listed as in beta! That’s right, this map doesn’t even need to be a final release to be this awesome!
What else can I say about this perfect masterpiece? Go download and play it, in fact, go download every single one of his maps and replace your core campaign levels with them! Your experience will be so much better than Croteam’s generic and paltry offerings! Sure you won’t get the cooperative features that the core campaign has, but who needs friends when you have his levels to play with?
Overall Score : 13% Perfect
Download : [Link] (Why wouldn’t you want to!?)