In 1993, id
software released Doom. During the next seven years, not much happened. Two weeks ago a small group
of Croatian programmers called Croteam unleashed a demo of their
upcoming game Serious Sam. It features cutting-edge technology and
demonstrates Croteam's furious commitment to recapturing the intensity of wild action
shooters such as Smash TV,
but in full, brightly-lit, sewerless 3D. It's an amazing piece of work by a tiny
group living in a country most people thought had been blown up a few years ago.
Quite obviously, it's one of the greatest news stories ever. It has everything: war,
hardship, broken english, and a great, technically accomplished, already playable
game. It's just the kind of uplifting, underdogs-stuggling-against-impossible-odds
success story that could only happen in America or Croatia.
Of course, the
gaming press ignored it. Instead, they rolled over, yawned, scratched their nuts,
and continued to mumble in their sleep about dismal crapola like Sid Meier's turn-based
dinosaur game. Sure a few sites posted a perfunctory link to the demo, but no one
bothered to inform you of just how great this game truly is. Amazingly, we,
of all people, had to break the story and uncharacteristically report some actual facts
about an actual game. Let me repeat that: While the legitimate gaming press
was busy wiping Peter Molyneux's spunk out of its eye, this amazing game skittered right
by it, so that now you have to hear about Serious Sam from Old Man Murray. Quite
frankly, it's an embarrassment to the entire rotten fucking community.
I staged a formal
coming-out for Serious Sam in our news section. Then I sat back and waited for
the big sites to commence their massive coverage. After a few days, I realized that
in the gaming media's rush to publish every Diablo 2 screenshot ever taken by anyone,
Serious Sam was going to go unnoticed. I contacted Roman Ribaric, CEO of Croteam, and asked him if he'd
be willing to let me interview him for my Serious Sam fansite, Old Man Murray. It
was a delicate operation. If he didn't speak English, there could be no interview.
If he spoke English too well and understood the American idiom, he'd be able to
fully comprehend Old Man Murray, and there could be no interview. Luckily, he spoke
English just well enough to be extremely polite to me and answer my hard-hitting and often
unfair questions and badmouth John Carmack. He even sent me three exclusive
screenshots! That's a sentence I'd always hoped you'd never have to read on Old Man
Murray. You can thank Gamefan and CGO and Gamespot and Daily Radar for that. I
asked Roman to send me a picture of himself, but he didn't. Here's a picture of
Roman as I imagine him:
We plan to provide ongoing coverage of Serious Sam and more interviews
with Croteam, the developer that doesn't know the meaning of the word "crate".