Serious Sam: Tormental, or just Tormental, is a 3D roguelike top-down shooter developed by Croteam and Gungrounds and published by Croteam. It was released on April 2, 2019 and is part of the Serious Sam indie series. The game was made by fans of other roguelike shooters, such as Geometry Wars, Nuclear Throne, Binding of Isaac, and Enter the Gungeon.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Deep in an abandoned temple of Egypt lies a cursed artifact; an ancient device called the Mentaloptican, which is capable of the unthinkable. With this item in hand, Serious Sam could ultimately use it against Mental to defeat him once and for all. This may also be his only chance to dive deep into the twisted world of its mind, the Mentalspace, where Sam's quest will lead him against reckless hordes of monsters that are the product of Mental’s wicked imagination.

Characters[edit | edit source]

Enemies[edit | edit source]

Weapons[edit | edit source]

  • Bomber: A weapon that fires bombs in a similar fashion to a grenade launcher. Useful for clearing out rooms of enemies and obstacles.
  • Boomerang: A throwable weapon that can pierce through several enemies at once. It will return back to the player once thrown, but it is vulnerable to enemy fire and explosions.
  • Bouncer: A weapon that fires a big projectile which explodes into a cluster of smaller projectiles that ricochet off walls.
  • Discs: Weapon that fires large blades that can travel at fast speeds and bounce from walls, but disperse relatively quickly.
  • Electric Shotgun: Electric weapon that can temporarily stun enemies, but has a very short range.
  • Flamethrower: A weapon that sets enemies on fire for a short period of time that also damages them. It has a short cooldown before it can be used again.
  • Freezegun: This weapon has a chance to slow down or freeze enemies upon contact. It has a slightly low damage output and ammo capacity, but useful in some situations.
  • Harpoongun: A ranged weapon that uses harpoons. The harpoons impale enemies which can get them stuck in walls.
  • Machinegun: A submachine gun with a rapid fire rate, but has terrible accuracy and high spread.
  • Mini Cannon: A portable artillery weapon that fires cannonballs that can pierce through enemies.
  • Multi-crossbow: A weapon that fires 8 arrows in quick succession. The arrows can be collected after they have been fired, but not if they hit an enemy.
  • Pistol: A highly customisable handgun and the first weapon acquired in the game. Weak damage output and somewhat low rate of fire but has infinite ammo.
  • Rocket: Rocket launcher that fires unguided missiles. The missiles have a wide blast radius and deal high damage to enemies.
  • Shotgun: Pump-action shotgun with a tight spread and high damage output.
  • Sledgehammer: Melee weapon that can whack enemies at close range to deal a lot of damage and to keep them away from the player.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

The Vault.

Tormental is a 3D roguelike shooter. While most games in the series are set in real-world locations, Tormental is set inside of Mental's mind. The main aim of the game is to eliminate all enemies in a dungeon while at the same time trying to survive and making progress throughout the game. The game has similar aspects to that of I Hate Running Backwards and Serious Sam's Bogus Detour, with destructive environments and the ability to dash as well as jump. Several enemies make a return in Tormental, such as the Gnaar. Another enemy, the Bombhead, is the game's equivalent to the Beheaded Kamikaze. Most enemies in the game appear as cube-shaped creatures with large eyes and horns protruding from their heads.

There are two main features in Tormental: the Vault and the Mindmap. The Vault is the final area that contains many secrets and links to revealing Mental’s true identity, giving the player more goals than just “defeat the final boss”. Here, they will need to beat many challenges, which often rewards the player with Vault keys; items that are required for unlocking the vault. In the Mindmap, the player can discover hidden ideas inside of Mental's mind, as well as the enemies, weapons, and items he is imagining to use in the real world.

There are four playable characters to choose from, each with their own unique ability. For example, Sam has a jump boost that can assist the player while navigating through obstacles, while Bomb has the ability to remotely detonate bombs from a distance. These abilities can either be helpful or have consequences, depending on the player's actions. To be able to play as another character, the player has to rescue them from inside the dungeons. Once they have been rescued, the player can switch to play as them anytime back in the starting area (the Frontal Lobe).

When enemies are killed, they drop coins, which are the game's main form of currency. The player can use coins to purchase power-ups that aid in the player's survival or increase their weapon's usefulness. Keys also randomly appear throughout dungeons or when the player completes challenges. Keys are needed for various things, such as unlocking chests or rescuing playable characters.

In the first few levels, it starts simple, where the player can learn the basics. Overtime, as the player unlocks more content, the game becomes more complex, with new enemies, bosses, dungeon modifiers, weapons, upgrades, and characters.[1] In each run, the player can gather & combine random gun parts to construct unique powerful weapons.

A unique feature to the game is that the player can perform 'brutal' kills by dashing into the enemy when its health becomes low. This is indicated by a flashing yellow color that surrounds the enemy. Performing a brutal kill will grant the player with a bonus of coins, ammo or keys.

Like other roguelike games, the dungeons are randomised, so the map layout and enemy spawns don’t always remain the same. This is to give the player more of a challenge as they progress through the game. Unlike other games, there is no quicksave or autosave feature, so if the player dies, they restart at the beginning of the dungeon with the default weapons they started with. Any weapon mods or new weapons they picked up at the time, along with any keys will also be lost.

Like I Hate Running Backwards, Tormental features loops, which in-game are called Iterations. If the player manages to survive a run, they are sent to the Vault. Once they have left the Vault, Mental will create a new, harder iteration of Mentalspace to make things more challenging. If the player dies and goes back to the Frontal Lobe, Mental will figure he's beaten the player and make things easier again. Changes in Iterations include enemies having more health, firing projectiles faster, dealing more damage, and a chance of a special 'elite' variant of an enemy being spawned.

In the second Iteration, it becomes even harder, with multiple waves, which spawn after a certain amount of time. This  will force the player to kill enemies as quickly as possible, and avoid being overwhelmed. In the second wave, enemies can spawn anywhere, making it harder to find 'safe spots' , as the arena is constantly changing. Altogether this creates a completely different gameplay experience with lots of action and surprising events.

After the third Iteration, there is a chance that any enemy spawns in any area, but the chance is low enough so that the current area still feels original. The stages still remain the same,  but with added randomness of various enemies from other areas.

Modes[edit | edit source]

There are two game modes to choose, which is single-player and local co-op. In co-op, players can work together to fight stronger bosses, compete or share XP gained from defeating enemies, and revive each other with ankh pickups scattered throughout the levels.

Development[edit | edit source]

Serious Sam: Tormental has been in Steam's Early Access Program for several months. This is to give Croteam enough time to add what it has planned, though this is likely to change in the future.[2]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • You can hear various enemy sounds from Serious Sam 1 when entering the next part of a dungeon.

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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