Level: Catacombs of the Guardian NG back home search
Author(s): GMac
total rating:7.92 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
DJ Full 8 8 8 8
manarch2 7 8 8 8
Nomad 7 8 9 8
category averages
(3 reviews)
7.33 8.00 8.33 8.00

Reviewer's comments

"I had fun in these 5 levels, though that is not to say they had no downsides (I have not played the original series so I will be reviewing like they were new levels). The main problem was repeating tasks. For example, I must have pulled more than 40 levers overall, and in some occasions there were not much gameplaying between levers which is why it is a big deal, you pull a lever there go to the other side and pull the lever that is now accesible and it becomes boring eventually. The pool with the creature had this same problem in a small, isolated spot, you just go through lots of doors pull levers and repeat. Though not overly used like pulling levers, lighting torches as triggers became a chore after a while, especially in the last level. The rooms with pyramids in the fourth level slightly had this repeating issue as well. Final problem was the levels at parts felt more like I was sightseeing than I was playing a game. There were a lot of empty areas with impressive architecture, so I just looked around but there were not much to do or really explore. These issues aside, the levels shined in many areas. As I said map design and architectures were very nice. Music fit to the atmosphere of the level and went on while you are exploring so it played for the right duration. Action was fun, there were a lot of ammo given making me shoot the beasts without worrying of running out of ammo. And the unexpected T-rex at the end didn't really fit the theme of the levels but hey, it was fun to take down. Lastly, I enjoyed the first cutscene and Von Croy's familiar speech was wittily used in the conversation. Worth playing overall." - Nomad (04-Jan-2017)

"Before the NG fixture I first played the classic version for reference. It was quite good, occasionally confusing but as soon as you acknowledged the concept of dual action switches you could have no further issues. The game offered nice but a bit repetitive scenery with linear puzzles focusing on star pickups and a pattern of four symbols working both as hint and solution. There was also a bonus level awarded for eternally satisfying gold skulls and in the end I would say 8/7/8/8. After a brief walk with Fiodor I jumped straight to the NG version and if Mytly still wonders why I do such things I explain it's just the greatest timesaver, which also appears to work here - large parts of the modern version are played the same way which is faster now, although puzzles and traps got more of local complexity so you can invest the saved time on dealing with greater challenge, which is harder but also less health-consuming with fairer pitfalls and uzis provided to deal with bats before they manage to scratch you. The progress is also clearer, the greatest example being flames burning at active switches of the hag's riddle, removing all trace of grand confusion existing in the original version. That place can be done without medikits the way I think applies both to classic and updated release - if you hide under the air pocket far from the underwater switch you wanna pull, the hag starts to swim in distant circles so you can haste to the lever before she chases you. The scenery got rebuilt in the same style you can see in the builder's later works, a quite pleasant flaresaver however also a pity the author didn't try something new for that long time, only sticking to what was already good. The musical score used here is way overdramatic compared to the classic version which had it close to perfect. Very often by listening to the updated tunes I thought I should prepare for a boss threat about to occur but what really happened was an introducing flight. Both the visuals and music tend to feel repetitive after some time, and that's possibly what makes both versions of the bulk suffer from not matching the intro and outro - while it's excellent to be welcomed with a pack of flares preceded with an opening dialogue as hilarious as the ending one, then nothing equally climatic resides inbetween so I kept waiting. SUMMARY: A quite good classic raid. The new version is less confusing and offers a bit wider possibilities but the older one has greater atmosphere so I will recommend both for different experience." - DJ Full (13-May-2016)

"With many levels of this builder I feel that quantity is taken over quality every time and if he wouldn't have released so many new (and even multi-level) games and instead sits down, takes his time and create an hour-long level each year he would have much more success. In this level, the most negative effect of this rushing is - as often in levels where not enough time is spent to build - the gameplay. Most rooms aren't used to their potential here and in way too many instances you just search for x switches (x between 1 and 7) to move on to the next area. I'm not saying that this kind of gameplay is totally boring, there are actually fine variations but overall the game feels predictable and not really challenging. There aren't many demanding moves, no real brain-teasing puzzles and only one or two timed runs (which are generously timed, but one of them is nicely introduced - a thing that the builder obviously improved from the classic version), so the game quickly becomes repetitive. There are some good puzzles in between - such as the room where you first have to trigger some yetis to then use platforms to shatter vases - and the whole fourth level, even if the key search is hilarious here, provides some good puzzles mostly concerning a slightly alternating pyramid, but overally those highlightly felt few and far in the whole. The underwater room with the sea hag was heavily annoying thoug since you can't get rid of him. The atmosphere of this level is also not quite solid in any regard. The first level should represent a city level, but only placing some city textures on the walls and floors doesn't create a city atmosphere alone. The architecture is very basic to say the least, the walls are not high enough so there's no 3 D feeling and the end of the world is visible and there are some nastily placed textures, most of them in areas with devastated streets which don't fit either. In the next levels this gets better in their cave/temple nature. The problem here is that all levels lack in looking fairly sameish, with the greyish NG looks the builder will never totally convince me because they make the experience so lifeless and - most of all - indifferent in any of his levels. Again the fourth level is better in that regard, there's more use of colour and overall the atmosphere is quite successful here. The way of only using sounds when entering a certain area is also questionable, even if the respective audios (some of which are from AOD) are quite effective, because the rest of the time the game is nearly silent. I noticed there are several areas copied from classic TR levels, such as in the third level there are many areas inspired from Angkor Wat (and there are other cases), this is not really a problem though, it just says much. The enemies are quite well placed, maybe they're lacking a bit variety. The secrets are also rather well hidden and I liked that finding all of them lets you have access to the master secret. I've chattered quite a lot about this game now, and mentioned quite a few negative things, but only because I think the builder can do much better than this. As my ratings show, this is not a bad level by any means, the moanings just should be taken as constructive critisism. Took me 1:45 hours to finish." - manarch2 (14-Oct-2014)
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