If you were left feeling saddened by the news of Stalker being pushed back to later this year and are looking for something to starch that post-apocalyptic vibe then Serum might be the one for you.
Do you remember that film Time with Justin Timberlake where time was literally a currency and if you ran out of it you died. Well, this is like that, except time ticks down because you have some kind of toxin in you. The effects of which can be staved off by injecting a serum. There are also no people, but mutated beasts roaming around the wilderness, and they want to eat you, or maybe just kill you. Furthermore, it’s not set in a city it’s more like a huge facility that has been completely overrun by wildlife. If fact, it’s nothing like Time so I don’t even know why you suggested it…
With a demo coming for this Feb’s Next Fest, you can get hands on as you struggle to survive this dangerous place whilst hunting for some answers as to what exactly has happened.
Time Keeps Ticking
You wake up in an unknown place to discover a strange device attached to your arm. Vague memories of some kind of experiments taking place are running through your head. You were part of them…. you think. A timer counts down on the display of this device. You can only assume that if it reaches zero, bad things will happen. As you scramble for any sort of answer as to what is happening you find a radio and on the other side is someone who can help shed some light on this situation you find yourself in.
This person will help guide you to some semblance of safety so it’s worth listening to them. You find what looks like an old base or sorts. With run down equipment lying dormant. Exploring the immediate area, you can find some supplies to help get things fire up. A machine that will allow you to make more serum to hold back this toxin. A bench where you can craft items to help you fight and scavenge. Creatures roam around in your peripherals. Waiting for their chance to pounce.
With fauna-dense environments you will soon be delving deep into the wild following the clues and hints delivered to you by radio. Stock up on serum, weapons and other supplies as you venture out because you’re going to need them. With your health and stamina to manage on top of your ever ticking clock you will need to be smart as you explore. Venturing too far without the right resources could leave you in a tight spot.
I’ve already dipped my toes in the demo. During my time I’ve died to various animals. Died to my not having enough serum. I’ve also fought a fair few creatures, both large and small. The combat is fairly straightforward although there does seem to be a bit of a knack to blocking, so you might want to practice timings on that before fighting anything too big. I have enjoyed what I play of it. It offers a good mixture of survival with some story elements. It’s not particularly easy either – at least in the early stages. I’m sure the more you gear up the better your chances of survival will be. You can also experiment with serums too. Trying new concoctions can provide you will buffs and enhancements to your abilities.
It looks good too. As mentioned, the world is dense with wildlife. The atmosphere is tense as often you can hear things before you see them due to areas being to densely packed with bushes and trees. The performance was a little rough at times, but it wasn’t that bad. I just noticed a few stutters and some of the gameplay wasn’t totally smooth. However, that’s kind of to be expected with demos and early builds of games and is something that can be sorted.
Whilst I’ve far from seen everything the game has to offer the early hours suggest a fun experience. Furthermore, you can play it with friends and we all know that (most) things are better with friends. Up to 3 other players can join you on your adventures – although it wasn’t something I have tried out just yet.
Steam Next Fest is kicking off on the 6th February so why not give Serum a go.