Serious Sam 3 To Feature 4-Player Splitscreen

By John Walker on August 9th, 2011 at 5:53 pm.

It can do two more too.

The fans, they demanded of Croteam that Serious Sam 3: BFE feature four-player splitscreen play. And so it came to pass. RPS can exclusively reveal that the forthcoming ultro-shooter will allow you to gather around a PC monitor with your chums and FIGHT. Up to three gamepads can be used alongside one mouse and keyboard to have four-player multiplayer and co-op. You can see full-size screens below.

This accompanies the game’s extraordinary offer of 16-player co-op across via internet play, and provides a rather pleasing contrast to some other publishers when it comes to taking care of PC gamers. Croteam lead programmer Alen Ladavac says,

“Serious Sam games are known for frantic campaign coop and multiplayer modes so we wanted to make sure that Serious Sam 3: BFE dials up the chaos even more with local split screen co-op at launch. Serious Sam fans have been very vocal on the Facebook fan page and the forums about split screen modes so we wanted to make sure we exceeded their expectations.”

Then publisher Devolver’s Fork Parker goes on to explain what else this feature offers players, in his own distinctive style:

• Visual identification of opponents allows for more accurate racial and gender slurs during Deathmatch and Capture the Flag games.

• Close proximity allows for unwanted sexual advances towards opponents without fear of reprisal due to their fear of losing the lead in Team Deathmatch.

• Leon’s mom usually walks around the house in these ridiculously short shorts that show the very edge of her butt. Seriously dude, you should see these things.

Parker goes on to point out that this feature means fewer copies will need to be sold.

“These Serious Sam nerds need to get a job and pay for their own copy of Serious Sam 3: BFE. We’re losing a ton of cash on this little split screen feature. By the way, do they make split screen adult films? Watching four at once would save me a lot of time in the shower. Fuck, don’t print that.”

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82 Comments »

  1. Anarki says:

    Four player split screen shooter on PC!? Since this is the first time this has happened for about 15 years, this is day one purchase for me.

    • Gnarf says:

      Serious Sam is 15 years old?

    • Dominic White says:

      Having a PC developer actually advertise split-screen as a FEATURE is a minor miracle. Valve have actually been removing the feature from the PC versions of their recent games – while it’s possible to re-enable splitscreen via ini tweaks and console commands on L4D 1/2 and Portal 2, it’s not a native feature anymore.

      Why, Valve? Why?

      (On a tangent, given the propensity for PC gaming journos to flip out over UbiDRM, why has nobody even questioned developers removing major gameplay features like that from PC games?)

      Hurrah to Croteam for remembering that sometimes PC gamers have friends who don’t own expensive gaming PCs with fast internet connections, and that more than one person can play on a computer at a time.

    • Kaira- says:

      @Dominic

      Didn’t L4D demo actually have “enable split-screen” in in-game options, but it was removed from the full game? Pretty weird decision, especially considering the co-op nature of the game and so.

    • Dominic White says:

      Yep, the first PC builds had native split-screen support.

      People on the official forums complained about it somehow ‘consolizing’ the game, and Valve cut it…

    • Keymonk says:

      l:c Well, great. It’s like ‘consolization’ has become a catch-all for any sorts of problems in games nowadays. For PC players, anyway.

    • Was Neurotic says:

      Last time I played *anything* split-screen was 4-way Quake on the PSX, about forty centuries ago.

    • zeroskill says:

      @ Dominic White “Valve have actually been removing the feature from the PC versions of their recent games”
      This is an outright fabrication.
      Portal 2:
      ss_map mapname
      Load mapname in splitscreen 2-player mode.
      ss_splitmode mode
      Changes the splitscreen mode.
      ss_splitmode 0: Use recommended settings based on width
      ss_splitmode 1: Top-and-bottom split
      ss_splitmode 2: Side-by-side split
      Info taken from the Valve Developer Community. Those are simple console commands. Even if the engine would not support it, which it does, it would be possible to mod it in since all Valve games are mod-able. It even supports dual monitors. Please inform yourself before spreading misinformation.
      If you are unable to open the console and write in a simple command you should stop complaining about how they dont have those features and stop playing PC games, and buy a Xbox.

    • Kaira- says:

      @zeroskill

      Usually if you have to access a feature via console it means it’s experimental and non-stable feature, and the way split-screen was removed from the L4D as compared to its demo would suggest to me, well, not complete removal of a feature, but deciding that it’s not important and stuffing it away which strikes to me as rather odd, when you think about the co-op nature of the games.

    • tikey says:

      @zeroskill
      Yay, elitism.

    • ancienttoaster says:

      @zeroskill: Hardly a fabrication. L4D1 allowed splitscreen online. L4D2 pulled this feature and now only allows local splitscreen. So much for my brother and I playing online with friends. And at any rate, kludgy console hacking does not amount to a robustly implemented feature.

    • zeroskill says:

      @ Kaira : Been using spit screen alot to test custom content and its defiantly stable, unless you doing it wrong of course. Even on dual monitors there arent any conflicts as far as I can see. As to why they removed it, it seems there arent really alot of people using split screen now a days (at least on PCs), in respect to Portal 2, other then modders for testing purposes. Valve is putting focus on internet multi player, this is the only reason I can imagine why they trashed it. however you look at it, split screen is the past, internet is the present and future of multi player.

    • Dominic White says:

      @zeroskill – You do realise that I said this, right?

      “while it’s possible to re-enable splitscreen via ini tweaks and console commands on L4D 1/2 and Portal 2, it’s not a native feature anymore.”

      Read. With your eyes.

    • Magnetude says:

      @ZeroSkill: I tried playing Portal 2 splitscreen after faffing about creating new config files and writing down the commands I needed etc, it was shit. The buttons seemed to have some crossover between gamepads (pressing one of the shoulder buttons moved the other player’s vision) and the game wouldn’t progress through levels – you had to punch in the name of the next level every time you finished one. These both look like incredibly easy problems to fix if they wanted to.

    • steviesteveo says:

      The griefing / gaming potential in gamepads affecting the other player’s aim blows my mind. Remember the bit in Equilibrium where Batman uses his guns to direct the baddies’ guns away from him (aka gun kata) ?

      That. I think I’d play that game.

    • Cryotek says:

      There are more games with split screen or local co-op than you would think. Blur has 4-player split-screen and is totally awesome. Same with Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. Split/Second and Sega Rally Revo have 2-player split-screen. There are a few others, not to mention a ton with local multiplayer in general.
      Just get yourself 4 wired 360 controllers and have at it. Split-screen at 1920×1200 is pretty sweet as even 1/4 of that resolution is pretty crisp!

      (and Blur and Sonic Racing ran fine 4 player on my old HD5750. PCs are certainly more capable of split-screen than consoles, as they have way more system RAM and a lot more (1GB typically) video ram to work with. Much easier to keep track of and push 4 viewports.)

  2. Teddy Leach says:

    Bam. 4-player split screen tit jobs.

  3. Srekel says:

    16 player SS coop sounds absolutely amazing considering how many monsters there already are when you’re playing solo. I want a video of this.

  4. KauhuK says:

    Where can I preorder? I don’t know if I have the monies for this. So many games I’m interested in coming this autumn

  5. Tretiak says:

    Croteam should make Episode 3!

    Or at least that Episode they said another developer (not Valve) would make.

  6. Pemptus says:

    Yes, fantastic, just remember that screen-splittiness drastically reduces performance.

    • Joshua says:

      Does it? I thought there are just 4 floating camera’s to take care of instead of 1…

    • Vague-rant says:

      Nope. Obviously you’re going to get some significant performance effects, even with my limited understanding of this stuff. Presumably, they’ll have the option to auto-scale graphics if split screen is used.

    • PJMendes says:

      The first Serious Sam had an amazingly scalable, technically complex and impressive graphics engine, so I wouldn’t doubt it scales well for 4 players. But this feature has to be taken in account nearly from the beginning of designing the graphics engine, it can’t be an afterthought.

    • Baines says:

      Handling four floating cameras simultaneously takes more effort than handling a single camera. It has to handle drawing four different map views, and can end up drawing the same characters repeatedly from different angles. (Consider that while a four player online match will at most draw three characters, a four player split-screen match can be showing three characters in each screen. While simultaneously handling drawing the map from four completely separate locations.)

      Take a look at the performance hits that some consoles see with split-screen gameplay. Koei’s various Warriors franchises are a good example, as for some games the hardware at times can struggle to handle even single screen gameplay. For two-player split-screen, draw distances are shortened and fog is increased. Each player can see fewer enemies. In some of the latter PS2 games, there were moments where the second player could end up floating in the air (because the game wasn’t even able to draw the animal he was riding) in an environment empty of enemies (because the game wasn’t able to draw all the nearby characters, and it sacrificed enemies before allies). (If the above sounds unplayable, that is mostly the second player’s experience. The first player had limited performance reduction, but the second player lost every else required to keep the game running.) I remember playing split-screen against the final general where I couldn’t combo him simply because my first hit would push the general out of drawing range if you were the second player.

    • LionsPhil says:

      1) Each subscreen is effectively rendering at greatly reduced resolution.
      2) It should have zero effect on normal, non-split-screen play.
      3) This is a PC game. Consider this feature at maximum graphics detail ready for hyper space computers built a year or two after the game’s release. It’s OK—we can overshoot the upper limit a little, as long as we don’t cut people out with the lower one.
      4) Serious Sam 1 did it, and its engine was fast and beautiful doing it. Croteam seem to know what they’re doing with graphics tech.

  7. Saiko Kila says:

    Information for Mr. Parker: There are many more split screen adult movies than split screen PC games for sure. Many, many more.

  8. fiddlesticks says:

    Pasgetti!

  9. fenriz says:

    o lord.

    IF this game sells well, it’s the end.

  10. Inigo says:

    WHY AREN’T THEY USING REVOLVERS SERIOUS SAM ALWAYS USES REVOLVERS OH MY GOD THIS GAME IS RUINED CROTEAM ARE DEAD TO ME THOSE DISGUSTING TRAITOROUS BASTARDS I HATE THEM SO MUCH I SWEAR TO GOD I’LL FLY TO THEIR REVOLTING LITTLE SHIT-FILLED PIGSTY OF A COUNTRY AND PERSONALLY MURDER EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF THEIR DEGENERATE INBRED FAMILIES HOLY MOTHERFUCKING CHRIST ON A CRACKER I’M SO ANGRY I COULD SPIT MAGMA AND EJACULATE PITCH BLACK BILE GOD FUCKING DAMN IT THE VERY MEMORY OF SERIOUS SAM HAS BEEN TAINTED BY THIS BASE ACT OF PURE BLIND CUNTING BLASPHEMY though I do quite like how the cannon is slightly more detailed than the black, featureless, blunted cone of yesteryear.

    • imirk says:

      dont you mean Twunting?

    • Inigo says:

      Yes, well, not all of us have had your posh hoity-toity mail order English language education, Mister “Oh Look At Me Everyone I Can Afford Postage And Packing On A Brand New ‘Raji Fashola Englesh Langwidge™’ Certificate”.
      You and your “money” and your “utility bills” and your “not eating things out of green wheelie bins”.

      Bah.

    • Burning Man says:

      Inigo, I am unabashedly your fan.

  11. stahlwerk says:

    I don’t know why, but Serious Sam 3′s PR to me is leagues ahead of whatever was released for DNF (my personal lowlight being the fart-noised intro for the trailers). Every press release, while not being much more “high-brow” than what Gearbox was aiming for, they just seem so effortlessly deranged, while Gearbox was just trying too hard, I guess.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Croteam Devolver Digital present their “crass” humour with a touch of class, rather than just going “BUM POO FART HAHAHAHAHAHA”. I’m not sure the DNF PR guys could even spell “reprisal”.

    • amishmonster says:

      I don’t even know if Fork Parker is a real person, but you should follow him in Twitter. He is rather hilarious.

  12. Devenger says:

    Oooh good, I need more things to play with these two controllers I bought recently that involve shooting things. (I can, however, say that splitscreen Portal 2 and L4D/2 is delightful… once you’ve got the config tweaks required working.)

  13. iniudan says:

    Too many interesting shooter comming, transforming into headless kamikaze…

    By interesting shooter I mean Space Marine, Serious Sam, Rage and Red Orchestra. (Dead Island seemed nice but seem to reduce each time they post gameplay, hoped it had a bigger survival part to it, so will waiting on review and/or let’s play now).

    • Chibithor says:

      Indeed, which is strange for me considering I haven’t had much interest for any release in 2011, I think. Replacing Space Marine and RAGE with Deus Ex 3 (Not a shooter but whatever) and Hard Reset (Do check it out, supposed to come out September I believe)

  14. Brainz says:

    How about adding support for 2 keyboards and 2 mice?

    • Joshua says:

      You are probably going to have to talk to MS for that.

    • iniudan says:

      Microsoft already support multiple keyboard (mouse not sure, never tested), the trouble is that they work in paralel and not independantly, so bit useless for multiplayer outside of game that can be control with keyboard only or having a secondary wireless keyboard,(which is what I make use from, due to my computer also been my home cinema (my TV is a dinosaur from the 70s, the thing is that I was born in the 80s, so it older then me, only keep it around cause that TV is unbreakable and because it was my TV to play console on when I was a kid)

    • DeathCarrot says:

      Multiple mice is certainly possible, Hammerfight supports local multiplayer with multiple mice.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Multiple USB mice can certainly be addressed separately. I would hazard a weak guess that the same may be possible for keyboards; probably via raw WM_INPUT. For a while, support for this was in SDL, but I don’t know what they’re playing at with that these days.

    • JoelFB says:

      A shameless plug I guess; Trine (Win) supports multiple USB mice and keyboards. I think it’s Raw Input we use indeed. Ragdoll Kung-Fu supported this as well if I remember right, and some other games too.

  15. shoptroll says:

    And they said it couldn’t be done. That it never would be done.

    Gearbox, id, Epic and Valve need to take notice. I won’t settle for anything less than 4 player split screen accessible out of the box now.

    • Askeladd says:

      I would have just implemented a hotseat feature.

    • spindaden says:

      4 player split screen is the new 4 player co-op.

      In other fashion news, pleats, flares and the colour bronze are in this season, apparently.

  16. Keymonk says:

    Fork Parker is wonderful.

  17. noom says:

    I think I’ll have to jiggery-poker this up so that I can include it in my semi-regular Xbox extravaganza nights. I am consistently enraged at the paucity of 4-player split screen games on the console-toy-box, that being their usual home and all. Halo and CoD do lose their joy after a while :(

    • ancienttoaster says:

      Protip for revitalizing CoD splitscreen: Play “CALL TO PRONE” mode. The key difference—players can only fire their weapons while fully prone. Particularly when combined with knives-and-throwing-knives only weapons, this turns every firefight into a bizarre attempt to circle your opponent and time your dive right for a perfect knife to his knees.

  18. PoulWrist says:

    Great stuff :) I don’t know how many times I’ve wanted this feature in recent years. Consolising? Yes, please do that, if if means I can play splitscreen on a TV with my buddies and get all the power of a phat PC.

  19. Conor says:

    Oh my. The co-op in previous chapters of the epic Serious Sam Saga was amazing. 16 times the fun! I think I may have to buy this.

  20. ScubaMonster says:

    Once again Croteam proves how awesome they are. Now give us a release date.

  21. spindaden says:

    The most important question is, can you make up the 16 player co-op by having 4×4 player local co-op?

  22. killerkerara says:

    I feel that it is my duty as a PC gamer to buy at least 3 copies of this game.

  23. snv says:

    Yay, four player split screen, because only having half a screen just doesn’t suck enough

  24. Waltorious says:

    What, no 16-player split-screen? This is total bull****, boycott this game.

    (Note: This comment is a joke, the game looks very fun)

  25. Baconberries says:

    Cro’s sense of humor, as it applies to their marketing, is absolutely everything that can be right in the world.

  26. gwathdring says:

    Whoa. Splitscreen PC gaming. Thank goodness, someone still has sense.

  27. Zanchito says:

    “4-Player Splitscreen”

    OH DAMN YES!!!!!!

  28. skyturnedred says:

    I demand splitscreen for 16 players!

  29. Vague-rant says:

    Anyone know if this is going to be more Serious Sam 1, or 2? I’m probably in the minority of preferring 2, and I seem to remember people thought some of the things introduced in the sequel detracted from the nature of a “pure” shooty bang bang experience.

  30. Binary77 says:

    RESULT!!!!!!! I`ll definitely buy this, if not just to show my appreciation for split screen PC games.

    Take heed devs!!!!!!

  31. BathroomCitizen says:

    I’m so happy.

  32. Tuco says:

    Honestly I can’t really say I care about it.
    I always hated playing multiplayer games with split screen, anyway.

  33. Eukatheude says:

    I don’t like Serious Sam games.
    But this is a day one purchase for me. I just want them to have my money.

  34. Plopsworth says:

    I also truly wonder why splitscreen multiplayer is actually forcefully removed from the PC versions of many games. Borderlands’ slip-on cover had splitscreen mentioned, but not on the actual cover. Resident Evil 5 has no local co-op on the PC either. Whywhywhy?

    • Plopsworth says:

      Ah, also: Kane & Lynch 2. The first one had co-op on PC, so why didn’t the second one have it also? Gnngh.

  35. Stephen Roberts says:

    The last split screen game I played was Return Fire. Last weekend.

    Only went and soiled myself laughing, didn’t I?

  36. Spacewalk says:

    A tonne of cash no shit, it’s going to be a ninety dollar game, needing to pay for the larger crew to lug around the four cameras that split up the view.

  37. manveruppd says:

    ON PC???? :o

  38. phenom_x8 says:

    MOVED!