Croteam VR, the developers behind the popular first person shooter Serious Sam, are bringing their classic original instalment of the franchise to VR platforms next week with a new Early Access release called The First Encounter which promises full choice of locomotion methods.
Given the current accepted knowledge – that first person shooter games are somewhat difficult to pull off comfortably in virtual reality – Croatian developers Croteam and publishers Devolver Digital have shown some courage bringing their frantic FPS franchise Serious Sam to immersive platforms. Their first entry on VR platforms entitled The Last Hope. The title was a toe in the water for the developer, who limited the title’s locomotion methods in order to ensure the title was as comfortable as possible for as many people as possible on release.
Now, the team is planning to release a fan-pleasing hardcore edition of their original Serious Sam title and are planning to open up player movement to accommodate the original’s traditional first person shooter design. “Croteam’s VR division is delighted to present Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter – our first full locomotion campaign game for the VR market, with all the bells and whistles found in regular (a.k.a. non-VR) Serious Sam games, ” reads the Steam Early access page – which notes that Serious Sam: The First Encounter will be released on 20th Dec.
The First Encounter looks to be a boon for fans of the series with VR gear, with the action being presented on Croteam’s brand new “2017” engine, giving the original title (which is now over 15 years old) a welcome lick of visual paint. But perhaps most significantly for those frustrated with the current reliance of developers on teleportation locomotion techniques in VR games, Croteam is opening up movement choices significantly. The First Encounter will ship with the teleportation system seen in The Last Hope, but will also allow people to use standard trackpad (and presumably joystick for Oculus Touch) input to guide Sam around the levels. Here are those features in full:
Serious Locomotion – Explore the levels using trackpad movement (if you are brave enough), go with safer built-in teleportation system and move quickly to avoid charging enemies with the help of Sam’s personal translocator device or tweak and adjust the way you move through the VR space to best suit you playing style with using our own Serious Warp ™ locomotion.
Double the Gun, Double the Fun – Let go of the keyboard and gun down enemies, one weapon in each hand, or dual-wield them, quadrupling your stopping power. Combine different guns or just grab two of the same, but whatever your style, remember: Mental must be stopped!
Old School, New Engine – Hordes of enemies and non-stop action set against the expansive and visually stunning backdrop of ancient Egypt. all powered by the latest Serious Engine 2017 to create one of the most unique VR experiences!
It’s pretty encouraging to see such a well established traditional games developer throwing themselves so willingly into the VR fold by re-releasing older favourites with fully integrated virtual reality support. We’d love to see other developers take some cues from Devolver Digital and Croteam here.
In addition to this new VR title, Croteam have also added a co-op mode to their first VR release The Last Hope along with “two new difficulty settings: tourist and serious”, all free to owners of game on both Oculus Home or Steam. That co-op mode works cross VR headsets too – so Rift and Vive owners can battle it out together.
You’ll be able to buy Serious Sam: The First Encounter via Steam Early Access on December 20th right here.