It was a bit of a surprise when developer Croteam announced a standalone expansion for Serious Sam called Siberian Mayhem, but I wasn’t complaining. I will never turn down the chance to play some Serious Sam—one of my favorite shooter franchises, and one I cut my teeth on when I was but a wee video gaming lad. Co-developed by Timelock Studio, Siberian Mayhem takes Sam to Russia to fight overwhelming hordes of enemies—seriously.
Serious Sam; Siberian Mayhem is a first person shooter that takes place after Serious Sam 4, and stars one of video game’s last gravelly-voiced holdovers, Sam Stone. Sam, despite his name, doesn’t take too many things seriously—including blasting the invading forces of Mental off of God’s green earth—but in this case, Russia’s frozen Siberia. The setting doesn’t change too much gameplay-wise—Sam doesn’t even put a jacket on over his t-shirt—but Siberian Mayhem features lots of enemies to fight, and guns to fight them with, some of them new.
I’m of two minds when it comes to Siberian Mayhem. On one hand, and as I alluded at above: it’s never bad to have more Serious Sam. On the other hand, Siberian Mayhem is just more of the same. Sure, there are a few new enemy types and a few vehicles to play around with, but it barely breaks any new ground. I was hoping for expanded and improved vehicle sections since a lot of the key art featured Sam on that snowmobile, but as with Serious Sam 4 vehicle sections are mostly linear and serve more as set pieces than they are organically incorporated into the gameplay.
Still, having more Serious Sam is delightful. Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem continues the tradition of fighting large hordes of enemies, and sometimes even hordes of large enemies. But that’s okay, because shooting guns and gibbing groups of Mental’s gruesome forces is extremely satisfying. It irks me a bit that it takes about an hour of gameplay before Sam’s arsenal feels significant, but once you get more guns, it’s shooting bliss.
Also returning is Serious Sam 4’s skill point system. Scattered throughout the levels are skill points you can acquire which will enable Sam to do new tricks—like using melee weapons, or dual wielding ever-larger weaponry.
It’s hard not to recommend Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem. If you’re sick of Sam Stone’s sometimes (seriously) bad jokes, or fighting off hordes of enemies you’ll be disappointed in Siberian Mayhem. But if you want more of the over-the-top gameplay that Serious Sam 4 offered, Siberian Mayhem is exactly what you’re looking for. It doesn’t break much new ground in the Serious Sam series, but it’s a seriously great shooter.
Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem is available now for PC via Steam.
A Steam key was provided to us for the purposes of this review.