Sumer Of (Serious) Sam: Ziggurat

Ziggurat, available in Early Access and gearing up for a full release, is like a fantasy-themed Tower of Guns. As you’ll know if you’ve played Tower of Guns, this is potentially a very good thing indeed. It’s a first-person shooter/smasher, with randomised rooms and floor layouts, and a loot system designed to present a choice of character builds rather than a slow grind toward perfection. Most importantly, while there are crypt-loads of skeletons and other undead, there are also hostile carrots and mushrooms to contend with.

Kamikaze carrots are a good thing, especially when they’re so adorably furious. The screen is as busy as the Houser brothers’ swear box at times, but the controls are tight and the design is solid. The current build seems close to complete – there’ll be new content to throw into the blender but things are running smoothly. Here’s how it all works:

Unlike most Rogue-thingies, on Ziggurat your combat skills will be the most important asset to keep advancing. Leveling up and random generated content is there to increase variety and make each game different, not to make the game a roll dice or an unbearable grind.

Most perks are designed to change the way you have to play or the weapons you’ll want to use. Do you want more speed in exchange for less health, or maybe is better to have mana regeneration? Increase drop rate, or refill ammo here and now? No number game here, simple and direct choices.

We’ve also ensured that, as a proper FPS game, the experience is quick and direct. There’s no inventory to manage or the need to compare two almost equal item drops, just weapon selection, and mana/health are usually the bargaining chip.

What little I’ve played does remind me of Tower of Guns, although with less of a bullet hell vibe and more of a Serious Sam connection.

21 Comments

  1. pepperfez says:

    That’s a cruel headline: I hoped for a split second it was the Android/ios Ziggurat making it to PC somehow.

    e: That said, I do love a (semi-?)procedurally generated fps.

    • Hex says:

      Is Ziggurat on Android now?

      EDIT after research: Sho ain’t.

    • Oozo says:

      I was even more naïve, thinking that it’s maybe the more complex, 3D game the iOS Ziggurat only was a blueprint for… Tim Rogers talked about this once.

      Say what you will about him, but in my book, the guy sure knows his way around a metaphor and a game that feels crunchy. Wouldn’t mind seeing a “bigger” game from Actionbutton one day.

  2. draven says:

    I had a blast playing an early version at Gamelab a few months ago: tight controls, original weapons, nice art and 0-bullshit. Also, there seems to be none of the nerve-wracking high-pitched-sceaming-bomb-headed-men that haunted my nightmares after finishing Serious Sam 3, which is a good thing (curls in a corner shivering)

    • Tekrunner says:

      aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

      That sound never really unnerved me, because kamikazes don’t really sneak up on you and are very squishy. This one however, is a different story:

      clip-clop clip-clop clip-clop clip-clop clip-clop

      You may or may not get it if you haven’t played the first and second encounters. The corresponding enemy was basically neutered in SS2, and wasn’t really fully restored in SS3.

      The Serious Sam games really made a great use of sounds. They were extremely important to know both what enemies you were facing and where they were (such as right behind you), even when you couldn’t actually see them.

  3. Buuurr says:

    Can’t wait. Game is loaded with color which I love in a frenetic shooter like this. Just zone out and go. Looks good.

  4. rusty5pork says:

    Bought this the second it went on early access. The dev updates with new content like twice a week, it’s awesome.

  5. Premium User Badge

    ErraticGamer says:

    CAN YOU CIRCLE STRAFE AND RUN BACKWARDS FASTER THAN THE THINGS KILLING YOU WHILE YOU CIRCLE STRAFE AND RUN BACKWARDS

    …it does look cool, but honestly that’s almost all I ever get from these trailers. “I will view this game while moving backwards and sideways and targeting things with my mouse.”

    Yes I’ll probably buy it anyway because it’s pretty and I love randomized levels. Sigh.

    • rusty5pork says:

      But you can’t always circle strafe, because some enemies lead you!

      Yeah, it’s pretty fun, and some combinations of enemies take a lot of cleverness to get through without taking lots of damage.

    • tangoliber says:

      Really depends on the enemies you are facing. Sometimes you just have to face your enemies head on and dodge their projectiles like its a bullet hell shmup.

  6. BTAxis says:

    This looks like something that could scratch my Heretic itch most successfully.

    • ncnavguy says:

      Absolutely a modern answer to heritic/hexan. This is what I was expecting when I bought battlemage lichdom. This is more in the vien while lichdom turned out to be a slower more convuluted experience. This game is all about the cool staffs and weapon effects, so far so fun!

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        Heretic and Hexen were actually hugely different games though…
        Heretic was basically “doom with wands”, it had dooms style of level design, emphasis on combat, etc, and its weapons were all just fantasy repaints of Doom’s guns.
        Hexen, on the other hand, was a very different experience. Emphasis on puzzle solving, smaller number of enemies, different classes with a lower number of more unique and unusual, situational weapons…
        Despite its many flaws (like the sometimes stupidly arbitrary puzzles), Hexen is the game I’d want to see inspire something like this, far more than Heretic.

    • tangoliber says:

      I love Heretic, and I love this. So, you will probably like it too.

  7. Prolar Bear says:

    Summer of Sam is a nice movie.

    • Hex says:

      That movie was awful and horrifying. The one with John Leguizamo? One of the most traumatizing films I’ve ever subjected myself to. It made me feel bad about being a human being.

      • tangoliber says:

        I enjoyed it, but it has been a very long time since I saw it. I still have the that montage stuck in my head that ends with the guitar crashing.

  8. Hex says:

    Hate — the Star Trek-lookin’ phaser gun things have no clear ammunition-holding magazines or what-have-you.

    Love — the magical tomes held in the left-hand while casting spells.

    That is all.

  9. tangoliber says:

    Out of the decent handful of FPS procedural death games we have now, this one is the best. (Fancy Skulls and Tower of Guns are also good.) And it is probably my second favorite game, behind only Doom.
    It plays like a little bit of Serious Sam, a little bit of Doom, a little bit of Heretic, and a little bit of Painkiller. At times, it plays like a shmup or Robotron in first person.
    It can get so chaotic, that it seems really hard to avoid taking damage….but you still feel like if you practice enough, you can dance around all the projectiles un-touched.
    Also, if you want fast movement speed like me, play the Harlequinn class.

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    JiminyJickers says:

    Looks good but may be a bit to frantic for my taste. If the frantic factor was divided by 2, then it would be perfect for me.

  11. derbefrier says:

    This looks pretty cool and after reading comments I am pretty much sold.