Serious Sam Double D XXL Preview: Guns. Lots of Guns.

The first six levels of Double D XXL take players through ancient Egypt, which mostly meant paying through pyramids and around some Egyptian architecture. The best parts of the group occurred when I finally got inside a pyramid, where Sam would encounter traps like spiked walls and grinders into which one could fall. These bits were at their most clever when requiring the use of enemies to traverse them — you can hop on the heads of most any bad guy, though you’re not guaranteed to survive, and in a few places I was able to use the carcasses of my foes as platforms. A few spots require shooting tons of guns to make a pile across which you can travel.

So far, Serious Sam Double D XXL demonstrates that it has a big commitment to fun and that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Wandering around the pyramids, I was able to do a lot of platforming and find a lot of secrets, including a few extra guns and implements of mass destruction. Once I found the deployable jump pad, my options for fighting and platforming increased quite a bit.

And really, the combat in most cases is solidly compelling, fast-paced and frantic. Throw in a second person and things get pretty insane. Double D XXL encourages you to play together and create strategy for your weapons and attacks, but when it comes right down to it, the situation is much more twitch reaction than careful planning — as it should be. Co-op is fun in that “blast everything oh my god” kind of way, which is right at home with the rest of the game. It’s just as fun alone as it is with a friend.

The first six levels of Serious Sam Double D XXL bode well for the rest of the game, and with a second player, tons of secrets to find and an expanded armory, the game seems like it’ll be well worth checking out on Xbox Live Arcade. It’ll be nice to see just how much more varied the weapons selection gets, as it was pretty confined to conventional shotguns, machine guns and grenade launchers in the opening portions, but it seems as though developer Mom’s Best Games has done nothing but improve the already solid Double D formula here.

Read more of Phil Hornshaw’s work here, and follow him and Game Front on Twitter: @philhornshaw and @gamefrontcom.

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