Top Ten Best Levels in Serious Sam: The First Encounter or The Second EncounterThe levels in Serious Sam's first two games, The First Encounter and The Second Encounter are rather expansive, filled with plenty of enemies coming at you in waves to the point where you'll be slaying tons of enemies as you go along the levels in the game. It's a serious challenge alright. This list covers the best levels in Serious Sam: The First Encounter and Serious Sam: The Second Encounter.
The Top Ten
The Grand Cathedral is the culmination of all the amazing combat you saw throughout The Second Encounter up until this final level. The cathedral music drones throughout everything as you go through the so-called "Corridor of Death", which includes a weird jumping pad segment of sorts. The finale has you fighting enemies as meteors rain down, which is amazingly epic, and the final boss summons enemies into the level to really tighten the time it takes to beat him. There's no denying this is and always has been my favorite level in all of the Serious Sam games thus far.
The end of the Babylon episode of the game involves the fabled Tower of Babel, first starting with a few corridors with very interesting combat throughout, and then you finally get outside. Three key items need to be collected in the courtyards around the tower before you can head inside, and the level also has secrets galore. You can even go for a secret "Round Two" which is a certified challenge. Inside the tower the Exotech Larva boss is fought.
To quote Anakin from Revenge of the Sith "This is where the fun begins". That's true. Although the suburb like area can be problematic, much of the rest of Metropolis is loaded with fun once you reach the roadways. This has the first true large wave of the game with the large amount of Kleer Skeletons running all the way down the road, and the arena fight is also quite memorable due to it's overall length.
The last level of the First Encounter starts out as a glorified arena, with waves of enemies coming from the sides in waves of Kleer Skeletons, Sirian Werebulls, and Bio-mechanoids. This one takes a while and is a doozy, but the premise is quite wonderful. The music, much like Grand Cathedral, stays with you the rest of the way through, but it actually gets faster after each wave, which makes this one unique. And then you fight the true big bad of this game, Ugh-Zan III, or rather run from him first all the way to the pyramid. Eventually, we finally fight the big guy in the large spaceship. The tension in this one is and always will be high, making this final level real worthy.
I wouldn't call this level the culmination of First Encounter levels, since it's obviously not the last level of the game. But Karnak is the largest level in The First Encounter, and by extension, the most atmospheric, since it's the only one that takes place at nighttime (Alley of the Sphinxes also takes place in the nighttime, but only in the HD version). There's a ton of challenges awaiting players as they go along this semi-corridor shooter-style level, with the Ankh Pool being a major highlight as well as the final courtyard.
There are a ton of nasty parts in Courtyards of Gilgamesh, whether on the interior parts or the exterior parts of the level. The beginnings aren't so bad, apart from the swimming exercise. The inside palace has many simple yet devious traps, plus a great hall that crumbles every few seconds. The last few courtyards though will have memorable waves stopping you each and every time in an epic conclusion to a fantastic level.
The name could be more unique (could've called it Xibalba, since that's what it's called! ) but this is a level FULL of traps and weird rooms that'll make everything spin. It's utterly crazy and in some ways actually annoying. It's quite claustrophobic until you reach the outside part, with several bio-mechanoids raining down. The boss here is also not to be taken lightly either, as enemies are outright everywhere and so are the danger levels.
Oh what the heck, this belongs here. It's a fun level even if it starves you of resources at the beginning. It culminates into a roadwalk, then another arena, not to mention the introduction to the cannon here, plus a humongous lava golem to fight. It's something truly intense for a boss at this point in the game.
While it becomes daytime after Karnak, what's seen here is some pretty warlike combat going on throughout Luxor. Having to solve a riddle is as simple as collecting two items, but it's made hard due to who you end up fighting as you go through. The cutscene to call a huge spaceship actually is pretty epic, though the four Ankh scavenger hunt is pretty bad, fighting the enemies here ensures the level isn't that boring.
A level of ice, then fire, then ice. It's a hard level in many ways, the village combat is fine for the most part, and then the fabled "Jingle Bells Brawl" happens, which can be fun. Then the combat taking place in the lava rooms is a real doozy before the ice castle, which is a full open area. The level has so much going for it.