Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. This is first person shooting distilled to its purest and most action-packed form. Updated graphics, fun co-op, and a budget price tag join together to put this on any shooter fan's wish list.
  2. A dazzling reminder of what FPS as pure entertainment can be. Serious Sam is still relevant, and this remake is a real blast. [Feb 2010, p.62]
  3. If you're looking to revisit the Serious Sam franchise, or looking to add to your collection, or even if you've never played it before in your life, it's hard not to recommend Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter.
  4. 80
    Eight years later, with the modern FPS riddled with faux-military obsessions and regenerating health, the game still feels reassuringly nostalgic. It's just a shame we weren't given a little bit more. With Serious Sam HD, Croteam prove it's possible to remake them just like they used to.
  5. If you're a gamer who finds that modern FPS are too easy and want a challenge pick up Serious Sam HD. Mixing challenging encounters with interesting boss fights you really can't go wrong.
  6. Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter is a great purchase for both fans of the series and newcomers. Those who have grown up on modern shooters may find the primitive design and simplistic objectives a bit jarring, but the purity of the gameplay simply has to be respected.
  7. SSHD is just a touched up portrait of a lesser-known, much-loved ancestor. [Jan 2010, p.80]
  8. 75
    Serious Sam doesn't try to be anything more than a gory, adrenaline-fueled shooting gallery. For many, that is all that is required for a good time. It does get repetitive, though.
  9. 75
    Played it before or not, Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter belongs in every shooter's fan library for its brilliant throwback to older days when killing things was all we needed to do.
  10. This return of Serious Sam has been a pleasant trip back in time. The gameplay remains unchanged, so excellent in its simplicity and immediacy in the high level of challenge proposed. The graphic restyling seems very successful and gives hope as what we could expect with the arrival of the third chapter Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter it's identical to the original one, with better graphics, nothing more and nothing less.
  11. Graphics apart, Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter doesn't have anything that distinguishes it from the original one. If you have played it in the past and don’t want to replay the experience, you’d better leave it. But if you haven’t played it, what are you waiting for? Go buy it!
  12. 75
    This is a bargain-priced re-release of an older title. Did you always want to play the original, but forgot where you put the disc? Grab this puppy off Steam or XBox Live and have yourself a grand ol' time. But if you are into realism, refinement, cohesive plot structure, and/or crates, go blow your hard-earned cash on some pansy, frou frou FPS and quit wasting my time.
  13. Pick up the game if you loved the original or have a thing for retro shooters, otherwise you'll probably want to stick to modern shooters to get the most play time bang for your buck.
  14. An utter hoot and a welcome return - but it's too little, too late. [Feb 2010, p.82]
  15. For me Serious Sam never has been a “serious” game – and it won’t be ever.
  16. As it is, for all the added beauty and inherited class, I don't think there's enough freshness or sophistication here for that to happen.
  17. What needs to be remembered is that this isn't a brand new Serious Sam game, but the original in new clothes. As such it feels a little dated compared with modern releases. It's undoubtedly fun and relentless in its strive for all-out action, but with a recommended retail price of £18, it feels a bit light.
  18. Serious Sam? Stylish shooting & smashing of sh*tloads of supermutants. Story? [Issue#187]
  19. Sam is eager to bring ultimate mayhem over the legions of his enemies. If you do not own the old game and hate lifting your trigger finger take a shot.
  20. It looks and feels like the original game, which is not necessarily a good thing. If you haven't ever played a Serious Sam game before and are looking for some crackbrained and wicked coop-action, you may give it a chance. But if you are more interested in a good story, great level design, lots of variety or at least some gameplay improvements over the original Serious Sam, you should definitely look somewhere else.
  21. 70
    For all its simplicity, there's no denying that Serious Sam HD has enough old-school charm and addictive gameplay to make it a worthwhile purchase for gamers that just want to get some killing done the old fashioned way: with a portable ship cannon, gatling gun and four-barreled rocket launcher in your pocket.
  22. For 20 bucks, I think it’s a bit much to ask to be playing the same game again, this time on steam with achievements.
  23. Looks good...not enough is new. [Feb 2010, p.83]
  24. As long as you aren’t expecting anything revolutionary, Serious Sam HD will deliver its classic action gameplay with a graphic boost. Just for fans of brainless shooters.
  25. Serious Sam HD is a nice multiplayer shooter for the meantime. However, not more.
  26. It's great to have Sam back, but it hasn't whet our appetite for Serious Sam 3. [Issue#28, p.57]
  27. This game goes along, unfortunately.
  28. A shot for shot remake of the original - and therefore one of the most pointless makeovers of the year.
  29. Yes, just like in 2001 this game can be fun and will be remembered for consequently reducing the game until there’s nothing left but shooting things. In a way, that’s simple and honest and worth playing – once. This is a modern version, but graphically not up to date.
  30. At first, Serious Sam HD is a nostalgic experience, complete with familiar locations, low-poly monsters and terrible cinematics. The illusion is short-lived, though, because this 3rd generation Serious Engine remake lost all its original charm – as if it’s not a remake at all, but a poor clone.
  31. I love the deliberate left-field designs of the monsters, and there's a purity to the way it approaches first-person shooting action that I wouldn't want to change, yet the game is so brutally intense that my frayed nerves and trembling hands can only handle it in half-hour chunks at most. Maybe that's Serious Sam's fault, or maybe I'm just not serious enough.
  32. It’s really hard to criticise a game that is actually very good. But the principle stands. It is frankly immoral to demand money for something that has simply been regurgitated. Thus Serious Sam HD is a reprehensible example of commercial greed, and for that deserves our eternal scorn.
  33. Loads of bugs make this remake of the first Serious Sam a serious disappointment.
  34. Is there a form I can fill in to get these hours of my life back? [Feb 2010, p.95]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 174 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 37
  2. Negative: 3 out of 37
  1. Sep 8, 2011
    What a funny game! I've been a great fan of Croteam's Serious Engine and all the Serious Sam sequel since 2001. This HD version rocks!

    been in Egypt many times and the new Serious engine 3 makes me believe like i'm back there (but about 4000 years ago and with lots, lots of new friends) are just amazing! The engine is so lightweight, it supports a vast of actions and enemies simultaneously without problem. The best of all is that it runs on most modern-modest computers.

    The gameplay remains the same kill-a-ton, don't think just shoot and move from place every 3 seconds.
    This game has the best multiplayer coop i've ever played! All players versus thousends of AI enemies.
    It's hard as usual and fun is guaranteed.

    Serious Sam in a word: BUTCHERY.
    Full Review »
  2. Nov 11, 2011
    A horrible "remake". It improved the graphics to 2005 quality but calls it HD...And the core design wasn't improved at all despite the fact that the original had some really annoying features. If this was included free with SS3, then I'd support it. But to charge us so much, for so little...I actually prefer the original for the nostalgia factor. If you're a diehard Serious Sam fan, then you'll enjoy it I'm sure. If you prefer quality FPS games, do not play this. Full Review »
  3. Apr 18, 2012
    One of the most competitive game, the singleplayer is beautiful, the cooperative is fun, and deathmatch is spectacular. So hectic, fast and competitive at the same time, this is the king of the FPS arena! One of my favorite games ever, it's incredibly nice for those who love challenges!
    But if you are a n00b who love camping, and buy **** DLC, I don't recommend this to you.
    Full Review »