Serious Sam Siberian Mayhem is a standalone expansion for Serious Sam 4 that came out last month. Powered by Serious Engine 4, it’s time now to benchmark it and see how it performs on the PC platform.
For this PC Performance Analysis, we used an Intel i9 9900K with 16GB of DDR4 at 3800Mhz, AMD’s Radeon RX580, RX Vega 64, RX 6900XT, NVIDIA’s GTX980Ti, RTX 2080Ti and RTX 3080. We also used Windows 10 64-bit, the GeForce 511.65 and the Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 22.2.1 drivers.
Timelock has implemented a lot of graphics settings to tweak. PC gamers can adjust the quality of Textures, Anti-Aliasing, Shadows, Ambient Occlusion and more. Seriously, the game features A LOT of graphics settings. It’s worth noting that Serious Sam Siberian Mayhem supports DirectX 11 and Vulkan. However, we suggest using DX11 as we encountered major stuttering issues with the Vulkan API. The game also features a FOV slider, as well as some HUD/Menu settings.
In order to find out how the game scales on multiple CPU threads, we simulated a dual-core, a quad-core and a hexa-core CPU. And unfortunately, the game relies heavily on one CPU core/thread. It’s not purely single-threaded but as with Far Cry 6, one CPU core/thread will immediately max out (and will bottleneck your overall performance). The only way you can overcome this issue is by using CPUs that have great IPC (or CPUs that excel at single-thread performance).
It’s also interesting witnessing how Hyper-Threading can affect the performance of various CPU configs. For instance, our simulated quad-core ran better with Hyper-Threading. On the other hand, the average framerate on our simulated hexa-core system remained the same (though we did witness better minimum framerates). And lastly, when we enabled Hyper-Threading on our octa-core system, we saw a noticeable performance degradation.
Due to the game’s CPU optimization issues, we were CPU bottlenecked at 1080p/Ultra (and at 1440p/Ultra on most of our GPUs). It’s also worth noting that AMD’s GPUs performed worse than NVIDIA’s GPUs due to the DX11 API. As for 4K/Ultra, our three most powerful GPUs were able to provide a smooth gaming experience.
Before continuing, we should mention some issues we’ve experienced with this latest Serious Sam game. Unfortunately, there are MAJOR stuttering issues (even when using the DX11 API). My guess is that these stutters occur due to the game loading new enemies and areas. Nevertheless, the game never felt smooth (we even had stutters even during battles). The game was stuttering even when we dropped our CPU preset to High. This is a major issue for a fast-paced action FPS. Additionally, there were a lot of texture streaming issues during cut-scenes. And, speaking of cut-scenes, most of them ran poorly. Seriously, take a look at the following screenshot and tell me why it is running so poorly. Serious Engine 4 needs a major tech overhaul because things are not looking particularly great right now.
Now the biggest feature of Serious Sam Siberian Mayhem is the huge amount of enemies it can display on screen. I’m being serious here (no pun intended); there isn’t any other FPS that can push as many enemies on screen as this game. You will be fighting hordes of enemies (I’m not exaggerating, sometimes it will be you against over 100 enemies). Thanks to this incredible number of enemies, Serious Sam Siberian Mayhem can offer some truly memorable battle experiences.
All in all, Serious Sam Siberian Mayhem suffers from a number of optimization issues. While the game can display a lot of enemies on screen, it suffers from major stuttering and CPU optimization issues. Croteam will have to overhaul its engine if, and when, it releases the next part in the Serious Sam series.