A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Serious Sam Collection is a first-person shooter for the Google Stadia. This is a remastered collection of the three Serious Sam first-person shooter games and their related downloadable content (DLC). The series are over-the-top action games that are both an homage and parody of big apocalyptic action movies. Violence is constant, with players shooting and bashing swarms of alien creatures in bloody and gory ways. The game's dialogue also makes frequent use of profanity and the occasional reference to drugs or sex. One of the main alien creatures is presented as a winged, harpy-like creature with exposed breasts.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Players can return to the world of the time-hopping, alien blasting, planet saving hero Sam "Serious" Stone with the SERIOUS SAM COLLECTION. The game collects the best of Sam's exploits in one explosive package, including Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter, Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter, and the prequel, Serious Sam: BFE, as well as their previously released expansion packs. Players will take on the evil extraterrestrial warlord, Mental, and his armies of twisted creatures in the single-player Campaign modes, or grab some friends and play four-player split-screen local multiplayer. Need more action? You can hop online and battle it out in Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Capture the Flag, as well as a stand-alone survival mode, with support for up to 16 players.
Is it any good?
It was during the mid to late '90s that the first-person shooter (FPS) genre hit its peak and really cemented itself as a staple of gaming. The Serious Sam series might have been a little late to the party, but it still struck a chord with fans as something unique with its mature, tongue-in-cheek humor and distinct gameplay, and now, twenty years later, the Serious Sam Collection has made its way to Stadia. The collection includes the HD remake of both episodes from the original Serious Sam, as well as Serious Sam 3 and the games' expansion packs. While there's a lot of Sam to for gamers to digest here, the collection isn't complete. Serious Sam 2 is clearly absent, but unfortunately, that's not the only problem facing the collection.
The biggest problem facing the Serious Sam Collection is simply that the franchise has not aged well over the past two decades or so. Although the textures have been bumped up to HD status, it's similar to painting an older house in neon yellow to distract from the fact that the foundation could use some work. From the opening crawl of Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter to the end credits of Serious Sam 3: BFE, everything just feels outdated. The controls and gameplay feel like they're missing something. And by bumping up the resolution, some parts of the user interface and game text winds up being smaller and harder to read. On the upside, there's still a good bit of fun to be had in the multiplayer component of the games. This is especially true for the local split-screen, which offers a great opportunity for friends to get together in the same room, on the same TV, and just have a nostalgic blast.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about mature content in media. How can things like graphic violence, profanity, sexual content, and the like affect younger audiences? What are some ways that parents can discuss mature content and explain it to kids?
What's the appeal of revisiting certain franchises years after their initial release? Is it just a sense of familiarity and nostalgia, or do these franchises still have something to offer to a new generation?
- Platforms: Google Stadia
- Price: $29.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Devolver Digital
- Release date: April 8, 2020
- Genre: First-Person Shooter
- Topics: Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Strong Language
- Last updated: April 23, 2020
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