This is getting serious!
This article contains spoilers. Read at your own risk!

"No cover. All man."
Serious Sam 3: BFE tagline.

Serious Sam 3: BFE (abbreviated as SS3) is a first-person shooter arcade-action video game developed by Croteam and published by Devolver Digital. The game is part of the Serious Sam series and serves as the prequel to Serious Sam: The First Encounter. It was released on November 22, 2011.[1] An OS X version of the game was released on April 23, 2012.[2]virtual reality version of the game, Serious Sam 3 VR: BFE, was released on November 9, 2017.[3]

An Android version is currently in development, though there is no known release date.


Serious Sam 3: BFE takes place in 22nd century Egypt, during Mental's invasion on Earth, as implied in The First Encounter

Like previous titles in the series, the main theme of the game involves fighting against small to massive-scale hordes of enemies, often in large, open environments. Compared to previous games, however, Serious Sam 3 has more closed environments than its predecessors, usually in the early levels. There are also more ranged enemies than before. The player can also carry an unlimited amount of weapons. There are 13 weapons in total. 5 of them have a manual reload. The signature close-combat weapons from the first game, the Military Knife and P-LAH Chainsaw, have been replaced with a Sledgehammer that has three modes of attack (vertical strike, 180 turn, and full 360 turn).

There is no regenerating health, instead, there are health and armor power-ups scattered throughout the levels that the player must pick up. Additionally, the levels are full of secrets, where health, armor, ammo and, in some cases, weapons from later levels can be found, following the tradition of the previous games. Some weapons such as the XL2 Lasergun and the RAPTOR Sniper Rifle and their respective ammunition pickups are in fact secret-only, and otherwise are not found in the levels normally. There are no puzzles, however the player must find keys, pull levers and find environmental anomalies in order to progress.

Classic enemies such as the Beheaded Kamikaze, Beheaded Rocketeer and Kleer Skeleton return in the game. New ones include the Khnum and Scrapjack (resembling the Hell Knight and Mancubus from the Doom series), as well as Cloned Soldiers that are reminiscent of the Strogg from the Quake series. The Kamikaze has returned to his original design, rather than the Serious Sam 2 design. The Gnaar's design has radically been changed from the original game. It is now much larger, differently shaped and walks on all fours, unlike its bipedal counterpart in Serious Sam 1.

Many features found in Serious Sam 2, such as vehicles, have been removed. The score system is still in place, and like Serious Sam HD, top scores are uploaded to online leader-boards, letting people around the world compete for the best scores. Secrets are also common, like in previous games.

Several new features have been added in order to spice up gameplay and give the game a more realistic feel. The first of these include the implementation of bullet spread for weapons such as the SOP38 Pistol and M29 Infantry Assault Rifle, which causes the weapons to fire inaccurately unless the iron sights mechanic featured for select weapons are used, which allow for more precise aiming but reduces the player's movement. Most weapons in the game now feature recoil like other first-person shooters, instead of the weapons being perfectly accurate like in the previous games. The player can also sprint, letting them run from one location to another and outrun enemies with ease. Finally, some guns, such as the assault rifle and the pump-action shotgun, feature magazines that must be reloaded manually.

NETRICSA has also changed; rather than having multiple tabs showing data for enemies, areas, weapons and so on, there's now only one list all acquired information is displayed in. Additionally, rather than showing an image of the subject on the left and an info dump on the right, NETRICSA now shows a 3D image of the subject, automatically panning around it and describing individual parts using text boxes. Also, like in Serious Sam 1, she doesn't speak like she does in Serious Sam 2.


Serious Sam 3: BFE features several gamemodes for both online and offline. Offline, the player can play the single-player campaign and survival. Online multiplayer is also back and split-screen from Serious Sam 1 has been re-introduced. This lets one enjoy multiplayer with friends without having to connect online. Other players can play using Xbox 360 or Xbox One controllers, other keyboards, and a mouse.

Online and in split-screen mode, the player can play standard co-op, classic co-op, coin-op co-op, Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Last Man Standing, My Burden, Capture the Flag, and insta-Kill.




  • 12 Gauge Pump-Action Shotgun: One of the classic Serious Sam weapons returns, but this time the shotgun has to be manually reloaded. It retains the same damage, spread and range as it did in the previous installments.
  • AS-24 Devastator: A heavily modified, powerful automatic shotgun that fires explosive rounds. The rounds are fired with such force that they literally pierce through the target. It holds 20 rounds in drum magazines.
  • ASU 7 Automatic Sentry Unit: A stationary sentry weapon that will fire at anything that moves and can tear through multiple targets in seconds.
  • Axe: A wooden melee axe which functions exactly like the sledgehammer. Appears only in Jewel of the Nile DLC.
  • C-4 Demolition Charge: A powerful explosive that can do extreme damage over a wide area. It can be thrown at a target and it will attach to it with the use of universal hooks. It can also be used to destroy enviromental obstacles such as pillars and walls.
  • Double Barrel Coach Gun: A double-barrel shotgun that reappears from the classic games, though it now has heavy recoil.
  • M29 Infantry Assault Rifle: An automatic assault rifle featuring a holographic sight, which can allow the user to fire more accurate shots from a distance.
  • Melee Grab: A unique feature which will always kill the intended target, provided that they are close enough for it to be used. It can only be performed on certain enemies.
  • RAPTOR Sniper Rifle: A powerful semi-automatic sniper rifle. It uses 16 mm armor-piercing Kevlar-coated bullets, which will pass right through most small to medium-sized targets.
  • SBC Cannon: One of the most iconic weapons in the series, this portable cannon is one of the most powerful weapons in the game, and is capable of mowing down opponents in a row.
  • Sirian Mutilator: A strange device of Sirian origin that is worn on the wrist. The bracelet can fire a beam which can lasso onto as many as five targets at once, though this depends on the enemy's size. Once the target has been released from the beam after a specific time, the Mutilator will tear the enemy to pieces.
  • Sledgehammer: An ordinary sledgehammer which deals a powerful blow to enemies up close. It can also be used to break down doors, planks or walls.
  • SOP38 Pistol: A semi-automatic handgun with a 10 round magazine that is useful for elimination of several weak targets, but not very effective against tough opponents.
  • XPML21 Rocket Launcher: Experimental rocket launcher designed to fire a fast barrage of unguided missiles that can penetrate through most known armor types. The loading mechanism is noticeably different from its classic counterpart.
  • XL2 Lasergun: An energy weapon which can fire slowlight energy pulses that have an extremely high rate of fire, which enables the user to take out targets at long range.
  • XM214-A Minigun: An iconic and powerful weapon with roughly the same damage output and rate of fire from the previous games.


Team Alpha in Cairo

Team Alpha in the Black Hawk, on their way to the museum.

During the middle of the 21st century, humans have bled Earth dry of its resources, and mankind is now on the verge of collapse.

One day, a huge discovery is made. During an archaeological expedition, an ancient device known as the Time-Lock is uncovered in the process. The scientific implications of this discovery leads humans far and wide across the universe, colonizing on other planets far away from Earth. For humanity, this opportunity seemed perfect.

Mental, the last of an extraterrestrial species known as the Hum-Tah, is awakened from dormancy, and sends out his hostile alien forces to annihilate mankind. His forces fight against the humans from Alpha Centauri all the way back to Earth, where the planet stands as humanity's last stronghold. This leads to a three-year conquest that has driven humanity almost to the point of extinction. As people begin to struggle to fend off the alien invaders, world leaders turn to the Time-Lock as a last resort. In order to so, however, they have to find a way to turn it on.

The opening cutscene shows an UH-60 Black Hawk piloted by Miller and his co-pilot. On board, members of Team Alpha; Sam Stone, Rodriguez, Jones and another soldier are en route to Cairo, which became abandoned during the invasion. Sam reports that Bravo Team were protecting a scientist in the Egyptian Museum, but they lost contact with HQ. Sam says that the guy they're looking for has important information about the Time-Lock. Not long after the helicopter approaches Cairo, it is shot down by a volley of rockets, sending Sam out of the chopper and far from his squad.

Sam fights through the alien-infested streets and makes it to the museum entrance, where he discovers the remains of his team. He then enters the museum, while HQ informs Sam that Stein has some important information, but will not give it to HQ until he is rescued from the museum. However, after fighting through the museum, Sam finds Stein has been brutally killed by the monsters inside. Despite the outcome, he is able to upload the data to headquarters. After exiting the museum, Sam is called by the helicopter pilot, Garret. He offers to extract Sam from the city, but requests he make his way to the nearby mosque, as it's the only safe place to land. Sam reaches the center of the mosque and clears it out, but before the helicopter can land, a Major Bio-mechanoid shoots the helicopter down.

Apache down

Garret's helicopter is shot down before Sam can be extracted from Cairo.

Later on, Quinn then tells Sam they're going to send another helicopter to pick him up and send him to the Great Pyramid in order explore what professor Stein found. As it's too hot for anyone to land and extract Sam safely without being shot down, Sam refuses the offer, and tells Quinn that he would rather take the "scenic route", by actually walking out of the city on foot. Sam continues his fight through the city, and Quinn tells him that they believe the Great Sphinx has a clue to figuring out what they need to discover and that it's hiding something. Sam says he'll go over there and disconnects.

Sam drives to a slum located near the Great Pyramid, and is contacted by Quinn. She tells him that the researchers at headquarters are trying to figure out a riddle that Stein found that relates to opening up the Sphinx. Sam, disinterested, disconnects and fights through the slum and eventually reaches the ruins near the Great Pyramid. After fighting though the ruins, he finds the Sphinx. Sam calls HQ and sees if they've made any progress as to how to enter the Sphinx. Quinn says they're still working on it, so Sam tells her he's going to use his "Plan B," which turns out to be utilizing the nearby C-4 crates to strap the timeless Grand Sphinx with C-4. After calling HQ to check if they've solved the riddle one more time, which they haven't, he unhesitatingly detonates the C-4, causing the sandstone statue to crumble and reveal a secret passage in the ground, much to the chagrin of Quinn and the rest of HQ.

Sam with detonator

Sam decides to go ahead with his own plan and blow up the Great Sphinx.

After going through the hole and avoiding traps along the way, Sam comes across a room with pillars in it with a metallic hallway at the end. Unfortunately, the hallway has a door that's impossible to open, so he looks around to see if there's a way to open it. Hidden in the pillar room is another room that has a large alien mummy with a strange device on its left wrist. Sam picks up the device on to see what it does. He walks back to the door, and the device opens the door. Past the door is an elevator that leads to a gigantic room with a hologram of Karnak and Luxor on it. Sam contacts HQ about it uploads some pictures of it, along with uploading data in the map. HQ then tells Sam that he should leave the pyramid because there's a helicopter arranged to get him out.

Sam and Hellfire reach the outskirts of Karnak, the first location with a power generator. Sam fights through the outskirts and enters an old ruined building. Later on, Sam appears in Karnak, and continues to more forward while fighting more of Mental's forces. Eventually, he ends up near a dig site that leads to another Sirian metal door. This one is opened by finding four medallions in Karnak. Sam travels forward, where the finds four buildings that each contain a medallion. The Sirian Mutilator is needed for him to access each one.

After more fighting and finding a keycard, Sam manages to get all four Sirian artifacts and uses them to open the door. Past it is an elevator, which leads down to an enormous area filled with blue lights on pillars. The bottom of the elevator leads to another door, behind which is a large pyramid-shaped object. Sam waves the Mutilator near it, which re-activates it. When it's active, Quinn calls back and tells him that the first generator for the Time-Lock is back online. She tells him that the next one is over in Luxor, and that when he's done, he can go back to HQ. Inside Luxor, Sam finds another Sirian metal door in a dig site. As with the other one, it requires that one needs to find four seals scattered throughout Luxor to open it. Once again, Sam finds the emblems, which are scattered around a bit more this time, and returns to the door. He opens it, which reveals another elevator that leads to a power generator. After activating the second power generator, the time-lock is finally online. Quinn contacts Sam to tell him that the Time-Lock is online, that its activation finally gives humanity a chance to defeat Mental.

Wilson later arrives to extract Sam out of Luxor, but on the way, his helicopter is shot down and Sam's transmitter has been damaged in the fall. With no way to contact HQ, he makes it back to what civilization is left. After traveling through a temple, Sam discovers that Charlie Team have been taken out. Sam contacts HQ using the earpiece of a dead soldier nearby. Surprisingly, instead of Quinn, Hellfire picks up and informs him that Mental found the Earth Defense Force's base and they're currently under attack, claiming they won't last much longer. Soon after, a Gnaar pounces on her from the top of the metal building she was taking cover behind and kills her.  After a brief verbal scuffle, the Gnaar responds back by telling him that Mental is going to “moon” him. Perceiving this as literal, Sam tells him that he'll "shoot Mental's ass off and hang it on a wall", and promptly hangs up. Sam then deduces the fact that he is likely the last human left on Earth, and decides to head to the Time-Lock to use it himself.

On his way there, Mental sends a huge amount of his forces in order to stop Sam from reaching the Time-Lock. Against all odds, Sam manages to defeat every enemy that appears, and ends up in a large, sandy area with the Time-Lock on the other side. After entering the area however, one of Mental's highest-ranking disciples, Ugh-Zan IV, rises from the sand as a last-ditch effort by Mental to stop Sam. Despite his incredible size and ability to regenerate, Sam is able to kill him.
Sam sees Moon

Sam about to see his planet being destroyed by the Moon.

With Ugh-Zan IV dead, Sam gets to the Time-Lock. Sam calls Mental to threaten him one last time. However, his daughter, Judy Mental, picks up the line. He asks where her dad is, and she says that he's off destroying ”a pissant planet in the middle of nowhere”. He then told her that he's going to kill Mental, in which she responds to "Are you serious?" and Sam says "Why yes, as a matter of fact, I am". She then tells him that he needs to hurry, because Mental is going to moon Earth at any moment. Sam asks what she means by "mooning", only to look up and discover what they really meant; rather than the slang term for mooning, Mental has literally destabilized the entire Moon out of its orbit and sent it hurdling towards the Earth. This prompts Sam to hang up and make a mad dash to the Time-Lock.

Sam hops into the Time-Lock the moment the Moon crashes into Earth, destroying it. Humanity and Earth are now gone in the present, but there is still hope left thanks to Sam entering the Time-Lock. Sam warps to the Temple of Hatshepsut in the past, and begins his mission to kill Mental.

Downloadable contentEdit

The only DLC released so far has been Jewel of the Nile. It was released on October 16, 2012 for the PC and Mac versions, and October 17, 2012 for the Xbox 360 version. [4][5] It contains three all new single player levels, two new weapons, a new enemy and a new boss for $9.99 USD or 1200 MS Points. There are also new achievements included.

Marketing and releaseEdit

Before the release of Serious Sam 3: BFE, three indie games were announced to be in development. All were released around the release of Serious Sam 3.

Gold EditionEdit

The Gold Edition of Serious Sam 3: BFE has many features compared to the normal version of the game. Some of these features include:

  • The main game
  • Jewel of the Nile DLC
  • Bonus Content, which consists of:
  • The original soundtrack of the game in AAC, FLAC and WMA formats
  • The Brett Sanderson player model
  • A sniper scope for the AS-24 Devastator, but only for the single-player campaign
  • A making-of video of the game (in Croatian, with English subtitles)
  • A digital 42-page colored artwork album
  • A digital copy of the game's box art
  • High-resolution images of the game's posters
  • High-resolution versions of the game's different trailers


If the user pre-ordered Serious Sam 3: BFE, they received Devolver Digital's CFO Fork Parker as a player model in multiplayer. Additionally, if the user decided to pre-preorder the Serious Deluxe Edition, they would receive the Gold Edition, the Fork Parker model, golden skins for the Fork Parker and Serious Sam models and both classic Serious Sam titles, namely The First Encounter and The Second Encounter. On top, all deluxe pre-orderers would also receive a copy of Serious Sam Classics: Revolution, which was released into Steam Early Access in late 2014.

Xbox 360 versionEdit

Serious Sam 3 was released on the Xbox 360 on October 17, 2012. It is available through Xbox Live and on disc in the Serious Sam collection, and is split into two parts on Xbox Live. The single player and co-op game modes are available in a package for 1200 MS Points, while the Versus modes and Jewel of the Nile DLC are available in a package for 1200 MS Points, but require that you buy the single player package first. There is also a demo with a slightly modified version of Broken Wings. The game has two player split screen mode, while up to four players can play online. The Jewel of the Nile is included in the Serious Sam collection.

The Xbox 360 version of the game is the same as the PC version, but has lower graphics and, every time the player is killed, a tip appears that's related to whatever killed the player.

Copyright protectionEdit

Unlike other Serious Sam games in the franchise, BFE features features Steamworks DRM as part of its copy protection system. If the game code detects what it believes to be an unauthorized copy, it alters gameplay to make play exceedingly difficult. An invincible Adult Arachnoid is spawned: it can charge at high speed, melee attack, and attacks from a range with twin chainguns[6]. This makes progress in the game much harder, and ultimately prevents the player from progressing further. This invincible Arachnoid is also known as the DRM Scorpion.

If the invincible Arachnoid protection is bypassed, there is another one: mid-way in the game during a fight with the aliens; the camera permanently locks to the sky, preventing the player from aiming.


Serious Sam 3: BFE received mostly positive reviews. The game scored a 7 out of 10 on Eurogamer, praising it for what Duke Nukem Forever failed to deliver, however, the gameplay was criticized due to its redundancy, as well as how it compared to previous installments in the franchise.[7] However, Game Informer praised the game's graphics and heavy metal score while keeping the original concept, giving it a score of 7.75. Destructoid gave it an 8.5, saying "It's a lot of fun indeed. A lot of backbreaking, grueling, soul-destroying fun."[8] Metacritic gave the game a score of 72 out of 100 based on 53 reviews, while the game scored a similar rating of 75.61% on GameRankings, based on 37 reviews.[9][10]


  • The Super Armor, despite not appearing in the game (except in the Serious Sam Fusion 2017 version), is present with both a model and functioning programming in the game's files.
  • This is the first game since The Second Encounter to forego the inclusion of power-ups and Serious Bombs, the latter being replaced by C-4. This is also the first game to not include the traditional grenade launcher, the weapon instead being replaced by the Devastator.
  • Prototype screenshots for the game show that the game was originally going to use Serious Sam 2 enemies and weapon designs in the realistic desert setting.
  • Many of the one-liners from Serious Sam: The Second Encounter are reused in Serious Sam 3.




External linksEdit



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