Sure, it’s a bit of a bummer that Serious Sam 4 has been delayed until September. We were all looking forward to blowing up headless extra dimensional monsters with a shotgun, just like any red-blooded PC gamer should be. Fortunately, GOG is offering Serious Sam: The First Encounter as a free game giveaway now, and the offer is good for 48 hours.

Serious Sam: The First Encounter is actually the first half of the first Serious Sam FPS game, and it provides an introduction to Sam ‘Serious’ Stone and his time-traveling quest to ventilate as many headless, earth destroying mutants as possible. Honestly? There’s not a whole lot to know: monsters have invaded our universe, Sam is really good at fighting them, and some Earth scientists send him back in time to use a relic called the ‘Time Lock’ to ban them from our version of reality, permanently.

That’s pretext enough to send Sam – that is, you – into a series of absurd faceoffs with gangs of ridiculous beasts, many of whom do not have heads, but all of whom are bent on your personal destruction.

To get your hands on your free copy of Serious Sam: The First Encounter, head over to At the top of the page, you’ll see a big banner for the Harvest Sale, with link text reading “Serious Sam 1 giveaway.” Click that, and it’ll take you further down the page to another banner, which has a button you can click to add a copy to your account for free (naturally, you’ll want to make sure you’re logged into GOG).

Once you’ve got The First Encounter installed, be aware that you’ll need to enable widescreen in order to play the game at 1080p. Once that’s done you should be good to go – everything seemed to work okay when we gave it a test drive earlier today. Note that this is the original release and not the more recent HD edition of Serious Sam 1.

There’s plenty of other old games you can still play on modern PCs today, though. Have a look through that list if you’ve got the nostalgia bug.

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Ian Boudreau
Freelance writer

Updated: Aug 24, 2020

Freelance games writer (and PCGamesN’s weekend scribe), former military public affairs specialist. Writes about wargames, strategy, and how games and the military interact.


World news – GB – Free games: Get Serious Sam: The First Encounter on GOG free until August 26

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