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Level: Merchant Center back home search
Author(s): Ext
total rating:7.24 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Boris 7 8 9 8
CC 8 8 8 8
Dimpfelmoser 7 6 7 7
eRIC 6 8 7 7
G.Croft 7 8 7 8
Gerty 7 6 8 7
Jay 7 8 8 8
Jose 6 7 9 8
Kristina 5 6 6 6
Magnus 5 4 5 6
MichaelP 7 8 8 9
Orbit Dream 7 6 6 9
Phil 8 8 8 8
RaiderGirl 7 8 8 8
Ryan 7 7 8 8
Sash 6 7 7 7
Torry 6 8 7 8
Treeble 7 8 8 8
category averages
(18 reviews)
6.67 7.17 7.44 7.67

Reviewer's comments

"This actually quite an intriguing little base level. It starts off in recognisable VCI territory crawling with SAS and guard dogs, but once you enter the depths it becomes a more dangerous place with dead guards laying everywhere and demigods that make an unexpected appearance. There's also a rope swing past sentry guns that may take you a few tries (you can't eliminate these ones, but later you can exact your revenge on other ones). This one doesn't outstay its welcome so this is worth a look for the base fans out there." - Ryan (01-Jul-2017)

"This is a lively little raid in a rather attractive VCI base setting -yes, cue the ducts. Actually, there's not an over reliance on crawling through ducts and the action is fast paced and fun. Guards, dogs, sentry guns and even a giant scorpion and demigod spice things up, but overall it's linear and straightforward. If you like VCI levels, at around 40 minutes, this is a good bet." - Jay (09-Aug-2016)

"This VCI-type level is very well builded, and what can you expect? Then all the classic features this kind of levels have: the offices, dogs, SAS, bugs and even a big scorpion, crawling through the ducts, dangerous areas with sentry guns punishing Lara, etc. The best I like was the good atmosphere, with a clever combination of musics, cameras, lights and enemies. Good texturization excep the stretched and deformed textures in small or triangular surfaces. About the gameplay, perhaps too many switches to pull and no puzzles to solve, but the whole adventure will never be boring. Recommended for all the lab levels fans." - Jose (14-Jan-2016)

"Here's another level that I wrote a walkthrough for and didn't bother to review it at the time. It's eerily reminiscent of Justin's early levels, and for that reason alone I found it fun to play. I didn't find any secrets either the first time around or recently upon replay (because I was following my own walkthrough), and none of the reviews indicate that there are any. However, that superfluous wall switch near the end must have done something, probably in the beginning area (since you're cut off by a closed gate from exploring the upper area where the switch is). Maybe one of our secret hunters will see this review and solve the mystery for us. Anyway, you've seen many VCI-base levels like this one before, so there's nothing new to report, just a slam-bang entertaining raid that takes about 40 minutes to complete." - Phil (24-Jun-2015)

"A bit on the shooter side , with a fluent flow and nothing too tricky, despite a few sentry guns, of which only one has to be destroyed. Solidly made level, I like how the nice setting is somehow downgraded as Lara progress and begins to see some chaotic places, maybe caused by this merciless demigod at the end. A good level." - eRIC (15-Nov-2008)

“A nice little level set in a merchant centre. Lara has to kill enemies and open doors (you know the stuff she does in most levels). The texturing is nice and the level is well lit in most rooms. There isn’t anything difficult in this level and it’s too linear for its own good. I found the end rather surprising since Lara had to leave the merchant centre the same way she got in without having accomplished anything (except stealing some keys and kill some security guards (?)). Oh and it takes about 15 minutes to finish.” – Magnus (29-Jan-2004)

“A typical VCI level with the brown textures and everything but the enemies vary; from SAS to big scorpions and flying beetles. There is nothing hard about this pull a switch here and there go through the door deal with sentry guns and get a couple of keys. I had the idea that the level would be a big building with many floors to explore and maybe outside areas as well but it isn’t so. Lara has an interesting green outfit; i would say try it if you like everything that has to do with VCI and base themes.” – Kristina (01-Sep-2003)

”A very fast paced base level with some unusual enemies. Apart from the SAS soldiers, dogs and quite a few sentry guns, you even meet a demigod, an Ahmet, stingy bee and a huge scorpion. Those sentry guns are well placed and the two who seem to guard that rope had me going a few times. Going all the way up in a building and after a long fall you end up where you started. Getting some keys and the so important revolver and sight (even two) and a crossbow for some practice shooting. The revolver and one sight was enough though. There are dead soldiers throughout and I was wondering what happened here. 22-07-2003” – Gerty (05-Aug-2003)

“This is a perfectly decent little adventure; one that will never get into anyone's top 10 lists but nevertheless displays the type of confidence modest skill and imagination that makes Custom Levels such fun to play. Here we have a disconcertingly lime green Lara infiltrating an Office block where horrible experiments have taken place and evidently backfired. There are many really nice little touches throughout this effort (some providing a good chuckle) and one or two interesting moments of 'stealth gameplay' rarely encountered in a Custom Adventure. There are few moments when the player needs to stop and think but of course that means that the game has a fluidity of movement which is appealing. Top marks also for the 'switching on the lights' sequences (so refreshing not to need flares) and the huge plummet back to the unexpected beginning. Good job.” – Orbit Dream (04-Jul-2003)

“We're in a VCI-type building you know brown walls and Lara wears a new mutant green/grey outfit which was hard to look at betimes. But unlike other levels of this kind the rooms and corridors are not huge empty spaces and nicely put together. You get to move shelve units dodge falling debris and the usual shooting of SAS dogs crawlspace grids fuses and sentry guns. I liked the see through crawlspaces. I loved the part where Lara falls through a trapdoor has to crouch immediately to avoid the machine guns and guards; She must crawl along behind the counter and a dog comes towards her; I had to draw weapons while still crouching to shoot the dog and continue through the door; At this stage you can use the lasersight to shoot the machine guns and guards and anything else you feel like all to great music; Brilliant. At one time you use keys to open up a more sinister part of the building partly outside area where you encounter a huge flying bug ahmet demigod a dead soldier on top of a fountain(!) and a giant scorpion. A great little level.” – CC (01-Jun-2003)

“A 30 minute office adventure that will see you looking for switches finding keys and battling some strange office denizens. Now I KNOW every office has it's demons but this is carrying it a bit far LOL. Two highlights were the rope swing passed two gattling guns (very tough) and fighting the demigod in very cramped quarters. (What was that dead SAS bloke doing floating on top of the fountain anyway?). The level ends when you get back to where you started and one wonders what was the point?” – Torry (09-Nov-2002)

“From the name of this level I was really expecting a little village with some shops but it actually reminds me of the 'SAS Base' levels by the same author as for the most part gameplay consists of pulling switches and opening doors to get around a big office building. There are dogs soldiers and machine guns to get by and later some bigger enemies like an ahmet and a giant scorpion. You'll come across various traps and difficult moves during the level - a rope swing past the machine guns deadly floor tiles debris raining down on you dark areas and more machine guns. He's done a great job of building and decorating the office building as it looks very realistic - except maybe for that soldier floating in midair on top of a fountain.” – RaiderGirl (24-Jul-2002)

“Starting at the ground floor of a building you need to make your way up floor by floor to the top of the building and once there you drop back down to the ground floor to finish where you started. Gameplay again is the normal crawling through air ducts and opening doors while picking off SAS but near the end this level becomes more atmospheric with darker lighting and one each of the deadlier more monstrous enemies. When I finally came to the end of this 40 minutes level though I just had one question on my mind ‘Why did I go on this adventure?’ as there seemed to be no obvious aim but for whatever reason it was still quite a fun little level.” – Sash (21-Jun-2002)

“Now we’re talking fun. Definitely the best level by Ext I have played although I like Lara in a red catsuit (in SAS Base) better than here in green. The look and feel of the area is a lot like Recon Labs by Emoo as the same textures are used but progression is rather linear occasionally branching off to pull a lever or find a pickup. I liked the use of fire with the pole and the rope swinging between to machine guns (hold your breath) and a few of the trapdoors are nicely placed. While in the first half you deal with mainly SAS and dogs the end of the 35 minutes adventure has a nice variety of enemies for you: ahmet Seth a wasp and a giant scorpion are between you and the end of the level.” – Michael (21-Jun-2002)

“It is a nice level. Lara goes among the office of a building across air duct and secret passages she finds a key and goes on the roofs of the building and she kills various monsters to find another key and returns in the office at the beginning of the level that is also the end of the level. There isn’t a specific purpose in this level however I have not found any secret or bug. The necessary time to end the level is of about 40 minutes.” - Boris (21-Jun-2002)

“Another nice level from Ext. This time in London Lara enters an office building and will have to pull a lot of levers to get through the building without any prize. Lara now wears a green catsuit it's not as nice as the red one in "SAS Base" but it's fun aswell. There are different enemies through it like dogs SAS scorpions and an ahmet. Time is around 30 minutes.” – Treeble (21-Jun-2002)

“In this level you run around in a big office building that looks really good and Lara wears a cool green and grey outfit. After a lame start the action comes towards the end with some supernatural things. You have to look carefully around you to find your way through. I’m not quite sure what the mission was though and since the readme file is in polish (I think) you can’t get any lead there. Nice level anyway well worth playing.” – G.Croft (21-Jun-2002)

“Despite myself I rather liked this. There is an awful amount of lever pushing-door opening and the giant scorpion at the end seems completely out of place but all in all I had a wonderful time. My favourite moment was the ropeswing past the two sentry guns and it took me some tries until I finally succeeded. Other than that you won't find anything too difficult here and progression is pretty fluent. You get the all too familiar dogs and SAS guards and something more exotic at the end. The sentry guns being by far the most unhealthy opponents. The tasks are a bit too obvious like when you need to shoot out a grate that is high above you get the revolver and laser sight on a plate next to it and when you need to aim at a fuse a few minutes later you get a second laser sight just to make sure you know what to do. The design is kinda jolly with friendly furnished rooms and potted plants in every corner. This doesn't do much to create a gripping atmosphere which you would need to give this kind of adventure a bit of suspense. But as I said above I liked it all the same.” – Dimpfelmoser (21-Jun-2002)
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