SS2E: Home Stretch

ss2e-cathedralI’m about halfway through the final level now, having finished the biggest, most elaborate courtyard battle yet, with close to 500 monsters of every kind. At one point Sam says “Never underestimate the power of stupid things in large numbers.” It could be the game’s motto.

There were basically two pauses in this battle where I needed to advance to the next location trigger before more enemies would spawn. (Presumably trying to just run to the end would activate them all at once.) Naturally I saved at these junctures, but in such a long stretch of peril, just two saves wasn’t nearly enough for me. So I wound up using the quicksave key a lot in the middle of dodging fire. Now, I don’t like doing this. Not only does it split up the action and draw away from the flow, it’s just too risky: fairly often, you wind up quicksaving a split-second before something kills you from behind. But Serious Sam has a nice way around that: instead of just one quicksave slot, it has eight, cycling to the next one on every save. The quickload button always loads the most recent quicksave, but you can access all eight from the main menu, so occasional bad timing doesn’t hurt so much. I think this is a sign that the designers had mid-fight quicksaving in mind, that they consider it okay. There’s sort of an implicit bargain there: we get authorial permission to engage in behavior that’s considered borderline cheating by many, and in return the designers get our permission to put us through really long unrelieved action sequences.

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