Last August, indie developer Mommy’s Best Games (Shoot 1UP, Weapon of Choice) released Serious Sam Double D, its side-scrolling entry to the trigger-happy action series, on PC. On February 20, it’s bringing the gun show to Xbox Live Arcade with Serious Sam Double D XXL, an updated version that adds new levels, weapons, and co-op multiplayer. Joining Sam on his quest to shoot everything in history is Dan “Huff” Huffington, a “squirrel jerky connoisseur” who shares our hero’s love of things that go “boom” and/or “pow.”
You might recognize Huff from the game’s increasingly insane trailers:
I’ve played through the first six levels of XXL in co-op, and while I could write a list of how playing with a buddy is different from going solo, it might be more interesting to listen in on our time-hopping gun nuts as they go through the game.
Sam and Huff have just spent 25 minutes mowing down waves of grotesque monsters in a pyramid in Ancient Egypt. They stop at a checkpoint to save their progress. Checkpoints also let them change their loadouts in the Gunstacker: a feature which allows them to connect up to six different weapons and fire them simultaneously.
SAM: Hey, I really like this shotgun-shotgun-chainsaw configuration we have going on here, but I think I’m going to throw a machine gun on there, too. I really feel like I should be firing more bullets at once.
HUFF: I can’t argue with that. But I’m fine with what I have … the chainsaw’s just more intimate, you know?
SAM: Have it your way, Huff. Also, ew.
Sam adds the new gun and exits the menu. When the next group of enemies appears, Huff discovers that his Gunstack now also includes a machine gun.
HUFF: Wait, we share loadouts? That’s kinda lame.
SAM: I don’t have a problem with it. Mostly because I picked this one.
HUFF: Well, I guess it doesn’t matter. Besides, Evan could only play the first six levels for this preview. Eventually we’ll have so many guns we won’t give a sh**!
SAM: Hey, I make the meta jokes around here, buddy.
A little while later, Sam falls into a pit and dies. His prone body reappears on the ground along with five or six red, cross-shaped icons that float around him.
SAM: Hey, come collect all these floaty things. It’ll give me more health when I get back up.
HUFF: I would, but some of those are dangerously close to that pit you just fell into. It’s like this time that me and my mom’s ex-boyfriend Leon were dynamite-fishing down at the quarry. Never mind whose fault it was, but the boat tipped over, and Leon was like, “Save the whiskey, Huff!” And that’s the day I learned that once you drop a case of whiskey down a quarry, it’s gone.
SAM: Great, I’m up now. With no health. Maybe you should go into this next room first.
Sam and Huff are trying to climb up a narrow tube because they just know that it has a secret ammo stash at the top. They’re using their jump pads (small, trampoline-like items that they can stick to any surface — including the corpses of dispatched enemies, which is kind of cool in a weird way) to bounce between the walls on either side.
SAM: OK, you just need to get a rhythm down: throw, turn, throw, turn, throw, and I’m up on this next platform. Now, you.
HUFF: Alright … throw, turn, turn–oh, crap on a cracker!
SAM: Aw, man. You fell off the screen.
HUFF: Yeah, I’m in this weird bubble now. It’s kinda cozy. I feel like a Star Baby.
SAM: Just come up to where I am and we’ll try again.
HUFF: Well, it doesn’t matter which way I try to go. I always head toward you.
SAM: Great, then you can’t mess up this part, either. This reminds me of this plumber buddy of mine. His friends were always falling behind and getting stuck in crazy bubbles, too. He kept saying he wasn’t going to let ’em out, but he always caved.
HUFF: Aaaaaand, I’m back!
SAM: OK, let’s f*** this up again.
Shenanigans aside, XXL’s multiplayer adds a reasonable amount of crazy-filled fun to the game, and it’s worth finding a buddy to share your couch with. Be sure to check back next month for our full review.