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

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

Serious Sam 3: BFE is a first-person shooter 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. A virtual reality version of the game, Serious Sam 3 VR: BFE, was released on November 9, 2017.[1]

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


Team Alpha in Cairo

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

In the near future, humanity have bled Earth dry of its resources, and are on the verge of collapse. During this time, an ancient device known as the 'Time-Lock' is uncovered during a large-scale excavation. This discovery leads humans far and wide across the universe. For humanity, this opportunity seemed perfect.  Mental, an extraterrestrial overlord, is awakened from dormancy by the humans, and sends out his hostile alien armies to annihilate them. This leads to a three-year conquest that has driven humanity almost to the point of extinction. The humans begin to struggle to fend off the alien invaders, so 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. He enters the museum, while Quinn, a member of the EDF who oversees communications, informs Sam that Stein has some important information, but will not give it up easily. However, before Sam can rescue him. he finds that Stein has been brutally killed by the monsters inside. Sam retrieves Stein's cell phone and uploads the data to headquarters. Later, Sam is called by Garret. He offers to extract Sam from the city Sam reaches the LZ and clears it out, but before the helicopter can land, a Major Bio-mechanoid shoots it. Sam kills the cyborg and makes his way towards the crash site.

Before Sam can rescue Garret from the chopper's wreckage, a strange creature falls from the sky and takes control of the helicopter. Sam hasn't got enough firepower to deal with this threat, so he is forced into a cat-and-mouse game through the streets until he comes across a rocket launcher. He uses it to shoot down the pursuing Technopolip and reports this to Quinn. She tells Sam some important information regarding the Great Sphinx, and that it may hold a clue to getting into the Great Pyramid

Later on, Sam fights off heavier resistance before he encounters his biggest threat yet, a warship. Using his rocket launcher, Sam is able to severely damage the ship before it retreats. He reports this to Quinn, and she is shocked to see that they are escalating. She also informs Sam that they managed to decipher Stein's work, telling him more information on how to get into the pyramid, telling him "the Sphinx is the key". Sam tells her that he has own method in mind that involves blowing up the statue. Quinn disagrees with this, but Sam just gets cocky with her and hangs up.

Sam eventually makes it to the Great Pyramid, and is contacted by Quinn again. After fighting though the ruins, he reaches 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 statue to crumble and reveal a secret passage in the ground, much to the chagrin of Quinn and the rest of HQ.

Sam navigates through various traps and puzzles until he comes across a metallic door. He is unable to open it, but in another room, he finds a strange device on an alien mummy, known as "the Oracle". He takes the device and uses it to open the door, leading him to the secret chamber. The chamber shows a holographic map in the center, showing the locations of two plasma generators in Karnak and Luxor. He uploads the data to HQ, and they arrange a helicopter to pick up him. He clears the area and is suprised to see Hellfire, one of his colleagues and a good friend, there to escort him to Karnak. Sam fights through the outskirts and enters an old ruined building. Eventually, he ends up near a dig site that leads to another Sirian metal door. This one is opened by finding four medallions throughout the area. Sam goes to the four buildings that each contain a medallion. The Sirian Mutilator is needed for him to access each one.

After opening the door, Sam takes an elevator down to the generator, and uses the Mutilator device to activate the generator. With one of them turned on, Quinn informs him that the second and last one is in Luxor. He makes it to Luxor, encountering much stronger foes along the way. Just like in Karnak, he finds the four Sirian seals and opens the second door to the Anubis generator. He activates it, powering up the Time-Lock and giving humanity a fighting chance. Quinn relieves Sam of duty and tells him that Charlie team are ready on standby.

With the Time-Lock activated, Sam encounters the same warship from before in Cairo, but this time he is able to destroy for good, thanks to his handy new cannon. 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. He contacts HQ using the earpiece of a dead soldier nearby. Surprisingly, instead of Quinn, Hellfire picks up and informs him that Mental found their 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. He calls Mental on Stein's cell phone to threaten one last time, but his daughter, Judy Mental, answers instead. He tells her that he is going to kill her father, to which she doesn't take literally. She then warns him that her dad is about to 'moon' his planet. Sam doesn't quite understand the concept, but as soon as he sees the Moon heading towards Earth, he makes a mad dash into the Time-Lock just as soon as the Earth is destroyed. 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.




  • 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 worn on the wrist. The bracelet fires a beam that 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 short period of time, the Mutilator will tear the enemy to pieces.
  • Sledgehammer: Melee weapon that deals a powerful blow to enemies up close. It can also be used to break down obstacles such as walls or planks.
  • SOP38 Pistol: Semi-automatic handgun with a 10 round magazine that is useful for elimination of several weak targets, but not very effective against tough opponents.
  • XM214-A Minigun: An iconic and powerful weapon with roughly the same damage output and rate of fire from the previous games.
  • XL2 Lasergun: Energy weapon that fires slowlight energy pulses that have an extremely high rate of fire, which enables the user to take out targets at long range.
  • 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.


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.

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.[2][3] 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 its twin chainguns.[4] 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[5], 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. 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.[6] 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.[7]

Behind the scenesEdit

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Concept art of a gorilla-like creature suggest that it was going to be in the game at one point, but was later scrapped.


  • This is the first game since Serious Sam: 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.
  • Many of the one-liners from The Second Encounter are reused in Serious Sam 3.




External linksEdit



Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.