Released in 2001, Serious Sam is one of the most popular first
person shooters with a powerful 3D engine. Realistic effects and
great game play contributed to this titles success among gamers.
Here are some of the features:
Fast frantic action - Fighting with loads of enemies
at the same time
Serious Sam is filled with loads of enemies. This is possible
with the latest engine technology. It is possible to have 50+
enemies in one scene, with everyone firing, running, jumping and
screaming at the same time. This feature is not extensively used
in any 3D action so far, because technology didn't allow it. But,
with our Serious engine this is now possible. It is used primarily
in open spaces, where it is possible to put hundreds of enemies
in one playground.
Both huge outdoor and indoor environments
All levels in the game are vast. The engine was designed
to support both indoor and outdoor areas in a creative mixture,
with each level spreading on up to 1000 cubic miles. There is
a smooth transition between indoor and outdoor environments. The
indoor levels are done with rendering techniques more powerful
than other present engines. Outdoor sections are new and never
before seen in any other FPS. They are big, long and provide hours
of just walking and days of playing.
Bright and beautiful surroundings
In Serious Sam there are very bright and easy-to-see levels.
This is possible because of newest 3d technology which allows
complex architecture, multi-texturing, sunlight, ...You don't
have to adjust brightness/contrast to properly see the scenes,
and the scenery/architecture provides visual pleasure while playing
This game has been included with the card. My only gripe is to
why wasn't Serious Sam: Second Encounter included instead? Not
that it makes any difference when it comes to graphics (I heard
there are some improvements, but I haven't noticed any, except
for different maps), but it would be nice to see a newer version...and
here is why:
I went through hell trying to upgrade the game with the latest
patch. "Out of the box" version didn't present well.
There were texture / fog corruptions (sometimes missing textures)
and overall bad performance:
Version 1.05 seemed to fix most of the problems.
I only tested the game on the first few maps, so I can't tell
how other levels looked. Okay so now that we have the patched
installed, let's take a look at some benchmarks.
P4: 1.6A @ 2.39GHz / 512MB PC2100 / Stock Gainward
Ti4600 AMD: Athlon XP 1900+ @ 1.6GHz / 512MB PC2100
/ Stock Gainward Ti4200
*Extreme Quality: everything set to high after
executing the addon script.
The Croteam did an awesome job with the 3D engine.
The game runs very smoothly even with highest IQ settings at high
resolution (1280x1024). Appealing effects and rich environments
didn't seem to degrade the performance. Out of all the games we've
tested, I believe this is the only game that doesn't stutter when
4X AA 2X AF and 1280x1024 are applied. Serious Sam has been nicely
optimized for those pimped out (and not so pimped out) AMD systems.
The scores vary but this has to do with the fact that the P4 system
is running a much faster card (Ti4600). Does that mean you will
not be satisfied with Gainward's 650-XP ? Of course not. The card
is a charm for the price.
Some high scores without AA and AF to start you
off. We were getting around 113 FPS (1024x768) and roughly 111
at 1280x768. Not a heck of a difference between those two. In
both cases the game ran like a dream. Okay, let us apply some
Antialiasing. Again not bad, totally smooth animations (no screen
tearing, even without vsync). Now the third benchmark is quite
interesting (2X AA, 2X AF). Notice higher/same scores for 800x600/1024x768.
The last two tests (4X AA 0X AF and 4X AA 2X AF) are almost identical.
Applying Anisotropic filtering didn't produce any major bottleneck
for the card.
You are probably thinking "who cares! it's
an old game". Well it is, but you can't deny the fact that
those guys made a heck of a 3D engine. Now to the last part...the
ultimate settings for Serious Sam: First Encounter are......*suspense*
Resolution 1280x1024 2X AA 2X AF or 1024x768 with 4X AA and 2X
AF. Oh and don't forget to upgrade to the latest version.