It was only a few years ago when friends would hunch round a console, drinks and snacks on the floor, squinting into a 4 inch square box in a corner of a TV as they jostled and elbowed their way to a bullet filled victory. Each generation had its own split-screen shooter saviour - Goldeneye for the N64, Timesplitters 2 for the PS2 - but recently, split-screen is getting rarer, being rolled out occasionally for co-op, and less for versus. Online gaming has taken its toll on this side of gaming, and there hasn't been a decent split-screen shooter in a very long time. Thankfully for those of you who like to cheat by glancing at your opponents' screens, Serious Sam 3: BFE is bringing it back.
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.
Fork Parker, CEO of Devolver Games“”
While Serious Sam 1 had this ability back in 2001, Serious Sam 2, maybe as a sign of the times, didn't support it. 6 years and some very vocal fans later, and the latest instalment will be fully compatible with up to 4-way split multiplayer, in both its crazy co-op and versus modes. Soon, you and three friends will be able to scrunch together infront of a monitor and blast the daylights out of each other, all the while shouting loud and specific insults that will be so much more effective that Xbox Live banter.
“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,” said Alen Ladavac, Lead Programmer at developer Croteam. “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.”
One small problem - it looks as though the 4-way split will have one Keyboard/Mouse player and three gamepad players - not a problem for co-op, but shooter veterans will tell you that mixing the two control methods in multiplayer is a sure-fire way to unbalance the game - plus, huddling around a monitor on a desk would be much easier if one player didn't have to actively be sitting at the desk to use a mouse. However, this is a welcome addition to a frantic game, and if four gamepads will be an option, might just resurrect the social shooter.