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Serious Sam's Bogus Detour [Steam, Official Site] is a new top-down action game from Hammerwatch developer Crackshell. The developer was kind enough to send me a key, so here's some quick notes on it.


First of all, I will get the main issue I had out of the way: the Steam Controller was pretty pants with it. The config for it was all wrong, up was down, aiming didn't work and the list goes on. They have an official configuration for it, but it's utterly broken. I tried a standard gamepad config, which then didn't work at all even in the main menu. I've reported it to the developer, but it seems it's a problem with all gamepads being completely broken on Linux, going by this post on their Steam forum.

Not a good start but if they make good on their patch to fix it, then it will be great. Still, I'm a little annoyed about a brand new release having completely broken gamepad support for us.

Anyway, onto the game itself...

What we have here is an absolutely nuts top-down shooter in the glorious style of Serious Sam. It feels like a proper Sam game down to every aspect of it. The sounds are similar, if not the same, as is the character's voice. This is good, I was hoping it would remain familiar while carving its own path, which it does. What's not to love about a top-down shooter, with some seriously good pixel-art graphics and completely over the top action?

There's multiple difficulty modes to choose from, but who wants to play a game like this on Easy? You don't need to go it alone either, as you can play online with up to four people. Campaign not your thing? There's an online versus mode, a survival mode and full mod support. The "Game Editor" even seems to work on Linux; I tried it and it loaded fine and I was able to paint some things to make up a map. I didn't really know what I was doing, so best leave that side to the more creative people...

The start of the game is a little odd, as it feels like you've started a game someone else walked away from. The way that there's no introductions, you're just told you're running low on health and to get to it. It felt like I just loaded up a saved game during a level—weird.

It certainly lays it on thick straight away, with rooms utterly filled with smaller enemies to annihilate with your pistols and shotgun. It certainly captures the feeling of the manic pace usually found in Serious Sam! This intense action never lets up for long either, it's constant and increasingly difficult. Large parts of my screen has been filled with blood, glorious dead alien blood.

Lots of weapons to choose from that you can collect as you progress, from pistols to a great big cannon that shoots massive balls. Seriously, it's quite amazing. Seeing a cannon ball utterly steamroll over tons of approaching enemies, it feels awesome!

The survival mode seems fine, pretty standard top-down survival gameplay. It's wave-based, with a screen-full of enemies for you to crush. After each wave you're given a bunch of goodies, like new weapons and ammo. Not much to say about that mode because it's pretty simple.

The online versus mode also seems to work fine. It's just as nuts as the rest of the game, with all weapons available. The online is cross-platform, so we can face off against Windows gamers. Here's a little video of me playing online to shoe it off:

In the short time I've had with it I've already killed countless amounts of aliens, died more times than I care to admit and had a fantastic amount of fun. I've also had it crash and then crash again. During a quick ALT+TAB moment, the game refused to actually come back and so on. Lots of little issues right now that need sorting.

It seems to be a little on the unstable side right now. I absolutely love it, but it's hard to outright recommend a game with broken gamepad support that crashes three times in an hour. It's a solid top-down shooter though and it's extremely fun for sure, but it needs a few more days in the oven before I will tell you to go buy it. I would recommend it without a doubt once they fix the lingering crashes and gamepad support.
10 Likes, Who?
g000h 20 June 2017 at 10:11 pm UTC
Any idea how much Croteam gain from sales of the game? Seeing as Crackshell are the primary developers on it.
UltraAltesBrot 21 June 2017 at 12:30 am UTC
g000hAny idea how much Croteam gain from sales of the game? Seeing as Crackshell are the primary developers on it.
I have no numbers, but it must be sufficient to justify licensing their intellectual property, so.. whatever. Now stop talking, buy the game and have fun with it already!
RafiLinux 21 June 2017 at 2:21 am UTC
The control pad thing worries me. This looks like a great game to add to my HTPCs for my ppl to enjoy.
slaapliedje 21 June 2017 at 4:14 am UTC
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Does it support local co-op play?

The thing about gamepad support in general and steam controller support in specific on Linux is starting to worry me. Ther is a standard wat to set up controller input with SDL, yet so many games don't use that and so controller support is broken. 12 out of 6 is one that I couldn't get working right. Hero Siege is one that the developers outright said gamepads would never work in Linux because the engine they licensed doesn't suppirt it... the list goes on.

Ha, of course there are some of those games where they have full gamepad support, but don't have a way to scale the text, so you couldn't actually play them from your couch anyhow (Crea).

Hopefully this gets fixed and they have local co-op. My brother and I loved Hammerwatch and all the Serious Sam games.
STiAT 21 June 2017 at 8:59 am UTC
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UltraAltesBrot
g000hAny idea how much Croteam gain from sales of the game? Seeing as Crackshell are the primary developers on it.
I have no numbers, but it must be sufficient to justify licensing their intellectual property, so.. whatever. Now stop talking, buy the game and have fun with it already!

Croteam is not exactly strict about their IP. Could be that they just thought it fun and gave permission for the small indie game. It's not as if anyone is going to get rich about this game anyway.
g000h 21 June 2017 at 1:22 pm UTC
I've generally had very positive experiences with Linux and gamepads (well Xbox 360 gamepad and Xbox 360 gamepad clones). Launching Rocket League for the first time, and all the buttons and sticks were mapped correctly, without needing to configure anything.

I'd be tempted to blame the games (or the specific distro) if gamepads are working badly.


Last edited by g000h at 21 June 2017 at 1:23 pm UTC
RafiLinux 22 June 2017 at 2:10 am UTC
g000hI've generally had very positive experiences with Linux and gamepads (well Xbox 360 gamepad and Xbox 360 gamepad clones). Launching Rocket League for the first time, and all the buttons and sticks were mapped correctly, without needing to configure anything.

I'd be tempted to blame the games (or the specific distro) if gamepads are working badly.

It's more likely the game. All of my gamepads work without issue on Linux. I have a 16 different types that I use frequently.

I will probably get this and just AntiMicro the gamepad configs til patch.
slaapliedje 23 June 2017 at 1:40 am UTC
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Well it's a mix. A HUGE part of the blame of the Steam Controller is both the benefit and the curse of it! It works as a keyboard/mouse to the operating system. This means most games see it as a keyboard/mouse, there is no kernel support directly for it, you have to have either Steam or the cool SC-Controller app/driver installed.

Some games literally just look to see if you have an Xbox 360 controller, and not much else. While some my use the SDL library to determine the controller, which a lot of times they have an older version in the directory, so again no Steam Controller support unless you put it in '360' mode through the Big Picture Mode.

@Megazell, do you have the Steam Controller to test? I'd be curious what your luck is there. I have a LOT of games, plus my controller lists are Steam Controller, Xbox 360, PS2, PS3, PS4, Genesis, Jaguar, a few DB9 controllers, Saitek X52 Pro, Logitech G27, couple generic bluetooth and wireless ones..

Well most of them work fine in Linux. I don't think I've tested the PS2 ones (lack of adapter), but I have an adapter for DB9 and Atari Jaguar controllers, and they work great in Linux, though I actually haven't really tried that many games with them.

But as I said, Steam Controller is just a little weird.
RafiLinux 23 June 2017 at 1:59 am UTC
slaapliedje@Megazell, do you have the Steam Controller to test? I'd be curious what your luck is there. I have a LOT of games, plus my controller lists are Steam Controller, Xbox 360, PS2, PS3, PS4, Genesis, Jaguar, a few DB9 controllers, Saitek X52 Pro, Logitech G27, couple generic bluetooth and wireless ones..

Yeah I have 6 STEAM controllers. I have ton of controllers but none of them are official console control pads. 90% of them are generic and all of them work without issue. I will test it soon since someone in my LUG bought the game and we are set to meet next week.
stretch611 23 June 2017 at 2:46 am UTC
Serious Sam's Bogus Detour is on sale both at Humble and Steam right now... 10% off on Humble Store, 20% off on steam... about the same price if you also get Humble's 10% off for monthly subscribers.
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