Serious Sam 3: BFE for Linux Review

very good
key review info
  • Game: Serious Sam 3: BFE For Linux
  • Platform: Linux
  • Gamepad support: Yes  
  • Reviewed on:
  • Written by:
  • Show system requirements
Serious Sam 3: BFE gameplay

Serious Sam 3: BFE is probably the only worthy remnant of a golden era of gaming, showing people all over the world how things were done and why today’s games are heading on the wrong path.

Somewhere along the line games ceased to be just pure entertainment, and tried to become much more.

The change was gradual and everyone thought that it’s just natural evolution, but every once in a while, the people who used to play games 15 years ago want to show us that there are other forms of entertainment, featuring unadulterated action and fun, and making no compromises.

Serious Sam 3: BFE is just such a game. It’s developed by Croteam, a studio from Croatia, which was formed all the way back in the nineties.

It developed a few games that went by unnoticed, but in 2001, they launched Serious Sam: The First Encounter, a title that revived a genre that everyone thought was dead.


Just like all the other Steam games we have tested before, it represents a new beginning for Linux. Until now, developers have provided the installation file, in one form or another, specific for each operating system.

Serious Sam 3: BFE is now one of the major games in the Steam for Linux library and it’s one of the launch titles.

The installation was done on Steam, in Ubuntu 12.10 32-bit, with an Nvidia video card. The user doesn’t have to know what dependencies are needed and the entire process runs without a hitch.

Just install the game and play it. There is only one requirement and that is to install the latest Nvidia driver for Linux, marked experimental in the repositories.


The Serious Sam series never had a serious story, but it had one nonetheless. This latest iteration is actually a prequel for Serious Sam: The First Encounter.

It can be played as a stand-alone title, but gamers would benefit from a background explanation. In short, in ancient times, Earth was part of a conflict between Mental, a very powerful being bent on conquering everything, and a race of aliens called the Sirians.

The conflict remained unresolved, but Earth never fell. Fast forward a few thousand years later, Mental is back and this time, he is more powerful than ever.

The only solution for Earth is to send Sam "Serious" Stone back in time, with the help of a device called the Time Lock, and confront Mental the first time he attacked our planet.

The reason why Sam is sent back in time is left unclear, citing only his proficiency of killing the monsters of Mental. Serious Sam 3: BFE tries to explain the events that lead to the decision to send our hero back to the beginning of the conflict.


Serious Sam 3: BFE is a simple shooter, but strangely enough, this is his strength. It makes no excuses for what it is, but it delivers the best FPS experience possible.

There are no skill trees, no RPG mechanics, or any other gimmick that today’s games are trying to implement in order to make themselves attractive for an ever-increasing audience.

The game starts like any other old shooter, with just gun and a few enemies, but the players will soon face a large number of enemies, using better and better weapons.

Sam can carry all the weapons he finds and he doesn’t have to sacrifice any of them in order to get a new one. Moreover, some weapons are only found in secret areas, along with the necessary ammo.

This brings us to one of the most important parts of the game, the secret areas. Some of the more experienced readers will remember that there was a time when most of the games had secret levels, which rewarded the player for his due diligence, usually with money, points or just very powerful weapons.

Serious Sam 3: BFE is teeming with such areas and the game provides adequate rewards for finding those secrets.

The last point I want to make refers to the difficulty level. Even on medium settings, most players, including myself, will find that it's a very hard game. It's incredibly frustrating and you will have to arm yourself with a lot of patience.

From a graphical standpoint, the game looks good, but not as good as on the Windows platform. The gap between the two platforms was painfully obvious.

Croteam has released many patches since the game's launch and Nvidia improved their drivers dramatically. The performance of Serious Sam 3: BFE has been improved gradually and it's now difficult to distinguish the two versions.

The game also comes as multiplayer, but besides the usual modes like Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and Last Team Standing, there's nothing of great interest.

The Good

  • No auto-aim, no crouch, no cover
  • The developer is constantly improving the game
  • Beautiful graphics

The Bad

  • The difficult level is not properly adjusted
  • It needs a high-end PC to show its potential


Serious Sam 3: BFE is a beautiful game and it stands no comparison on the Linux platform. With a powerful enough system, the game shines in the spotlights.

The fact that the difficulty levels are not properly adjusted, even after all this time, takes a little bit from the pleasure of playing it, but even so, few things are more relaxing than decimating the armies of Mental.

story 6
gameplay 8
concept 7
graphics 8
audio 8
multiplayer 7
final rating 8
Editor's review
very good

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