Serious Sam 4 still has the spectacle of hundreds of enemies bearing down on you, but its long stretches of run-and-gun shooting quickly become monotonous.
Mowing down thousands of aliens in Vatican City is worth doing at least once.
Serious Sam is looking seriously tired, with a new sequel that makes only the most perfunctory attempt to doing anything new for the franchise or shooters in general.
Technical issues and tired tropes aside, Serious Sam 4 is a largely successful synthesis of the series' disparate identities.
It's a simple review for a simple game, folks. Serious Sam 4 doesn't wildly reinvent the formula; and really, it doesn't need to. There's plenty of room for old school style FPS games in an ocean of looter shooters and games-as-a-service titles.
Serious Sam 4 returns to the classic FPS genre in this new prequel full of massacre, high-caliber weapons and short jokes. The classic arrives with the same bases as always and a fun multiplayer mode that will delight fans of the saga and can leave new players somewhat cold.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Serious Sam 4 is a natural evolution for the series. There is nothing groundbreaking here but it is just such silly and extravagant fun to play.
Serious Sam 4 is fun to play – and an even bigger joy if you bring co-op into the mix. If you’re a fan of the series, then you’re going to feel right at home. If you’ve never played a Serious Sam game, then just don’t go into it expecting the same level of narrative as story-driven games, because you aren’t going to find it here.
Serious Sam 4 keeps its promises and turns out to be a more than average old-fashioned shooter, but don't expect a great deal of innovation, variety or excellent graphics.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Serious Sam 4 doesn't want to change your life or make a revolution in the genre. Fun and mad co-op with a very repetitive formula.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Serious Sam 4 on consoles is a beautifully fun mess. It's more Serious Sam, which isn't a bad thing, but there are performance problems that cannot be overlooked.
Serious Sam 4 does what Serious Sam has always done: deliver short-lived cathartic thrills that manage to be fun despite its creaky engine and dated mechanics – but you have to wonder how long they can keep flogging the same horse.
When combat is firing on all cylinders, and the Legion System isn't crashing your PC, Serious Sam 4 is a decent slice of old-school shooter goodness. Yet, in sticking to its guns, Serious Sam 4 ends up being an aggressively mediocre experience.
There is some joy in the cheesy story, almost like watching a B-movie that's so bad it's still entertaining. The experience could have worked as a parody to other shooters, but the poor level design and inconsistent quality smack of missed potential overall. At the very least, four-player co-op is available, and playing with a small group of friends might be just what Serious Sam 4 needs to ascend from 'lackluster' to 'janky-but-lovable.' Unfortunately, with a $40 price tag, most players would be better off buying Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter and The Second Encounter if they want to re-live the glory days of the franchise.
Serious Sam 4 has done seriously well for a series that hasn’t seen a mainline game in nearly 10 years. Croteam went all out on this one and has filled it to the brim with rewarding gameplay, hidden goodies, and a great soundtrack to boot. Unfortunately, there are a few kinks in this pipe, such as the sub-par story, weird character models and animations, and other gameplay bugs. But no doubt, you’ll only be interested in carving through hundreds, if not thousands, of enemies with a huge arsenal of skills, weapons, and gadgets, and that’s exactly what Serious Sam 4 has done so well.
Serious Sam 4 marks the return of Sam "Serious" Stone and his alien killing antics and promises the same chaotic arcade-style shooter fans are used to, but does it deliver? Unfortunately, Sam is unable to circle strafe his way around dated gameplay, poor pacing, and an unbelievably bad presentation.
Serious Sam 4 is just fun, and in a time where real life is so very serious its nice to have a game just be fun again.
Playing Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass can be fun. It’s also clear that the franchise is at a crossroads. It wants to steal from other AAA shooters, to have believable characters, NPCs, and a story. At the same time, it goes all-in with a lame-joke cracking juvenile in a man suit and gameplay that is rote, lacks creativity and is repetitive. Long load times and framerate issues don’t help, either. Twenty years on, Sam isn’t edgy, goofy or ironic. Sam’s schtick, and the gameplay that goes with him, are seriously due for a makeover.
While fitfully fun and well designed, Sam 4 disappoints as both a sequel and a next-gen product. While it wasn’t particularly optimised on PC it still represents a low for PS5 performance. A compromised port of a game that’s only slightly above average in the first place. A serious shame.
Serious Sam 4 feels like a game that suffered through development hell. The core gameplay is still tight and satisfying. There are some innovative new ideas that expand on the series' longstanding formula. But there are a lot of elements that just don't fit, feel half-finished, or just distract from the best aspects of the game. I really hope the fans and Croteam can have an ongoing discussion about Serious Sam 4 and bring it up to a higher standard that everyone is happy with.