Ok, one surprise at a time: Serious Sam 4 is going to have plot enough to merit the presence of writers, scribbling down words to be read out by voice actors, recorded and then added as files to play over the finished first-person cartoon.
Second surprise: those writers are going to be Jonas Kyratzes, co-scribe of Croteam’s consciousness-questioning Talos Principle, and wife and collaborator Verena Kyratzes.
“I was a fan of Serious Sam before I got to work with Croteam, so I must admit I was sort of hoping I might be involved with the next one if The Talos Principle went well,” reads Jonas’ statement on the Croteam site. “But more than that, we immediately clicked with the team, were treated like family, and really wanted to keep working with them. Going to Croatia and working in the office just confirmed that.”
Verena, who has worked with Jonas on idiosyncratic adventure games including The Sea Will Claim Everything, echoed the sentiment about their “good friends” at Croteam.
“I didn’t really expect to be doing this,” she said. “At first I was just suggesting some ideas, some bits of dialogue, but eventually I ended up writing an entire draft of the script and working full-time with the team in Croatia. It was a very pleasant surprise.”
For their part, Croteam promise that the screenplay will be worth the wait. Serious Sam 4 was originally expected last year, but Croteam were more recently spotted supplementing its budget with a Serious Sam Humble Weekly Sale.
The Talos Principle was broadly praised for its writing, but our Julian dubbed it “Portal without the jokes”.
It's a po-faced treatise on consciousness and humanity and it doesn't fit the game,” he wrote. “The puzzles you solve feel completely disconnected to this overreaching story and the themes it’s discussing.”
I’m intrigued to see how the story of Sam can be expanded. How precisely were those hands supplanted with bombs? What are the existential implications of becoming headless?