Level: Return to the Past back home search
Author(s): Marzio
total rating:5.01 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Akcy 2 4 6 5
Blue43 3 4 5 5
Ceamonks890 5 4 5 5
Duncan 5 5 5 5
Gerty 5 7 4 5
Jay 5 7 5 5
Jose 2 3 5 3
Kristina 6 7 5 5
MichaelP 6 8 4 5
Moonpooka 6 5 5 5
Necro 8 6 8 8
Obig 6 7 7 7
Orbit Dream 4 6 5 3
Ryan 4 4 5 5
Sash 4 5 6 5
Scottie 5 5 7 6
Treeble 2 3 2 2
category averages
(17 reviews)
4.59 5.29 5.24 4.94

Reviewer's comments

"After about two very trying weeks away from the TRLE scene, I decided to look for something within the 2002 window that was simple to play and this seemed to fit the bill. I couldn't have predicted just how simple it actually is. There is an ingenious concept for time travelling using a vehicle here (BTTF anyone?), but everything else just falls short of this premise. The side activities in each of the "time jumps" are nearly non existant, as all you do is move around empty spaces and killing anything in your way to the artifact. The concept is good though. 25 minutes. 02/18" - Treeble (11-Feb-2018)

"A very good concept which unfortunately has not realised its full potential. The premise of visiting different yet familiar locations and encountering the relevant enemies isn't without merit, but the majority of the environments are sparse, repetitive and blandly textured and don't add a great deal of appeal. The enemies are mostly the only occupiers of those rooms. Talking of enemies, there are a lot of demigods and some harpies and very little ammunition, so you have to act sensibly to avoid losing so much health. Once you gain each artifact in all of the areas and reach Lara's home, the level ends. The nicely made cutscenes are the main pull factors here." - Ryan (27-Dec-2017)

"While there is a great concept here(involving Lara using her jeep-styled time machine to go back to different eras and obtain more artifacts), its let down by uninteresting level design that never really generates a believable sense of place nor challenges the player in a substantial way, leading to much uneventful traversal(with the standout moment of the entire level, involving our Lara viewing her 1996 incarnation, after she has defeated the Atlantean mutant torso boss & is in the process of escaping the island during the events of TR1). As you head back to the time machine though(upon obtaining the Scion), Natla unexpectedly shows up and to save your past self some misery, you kill her off permanently yourself and somehow don't create a time paradox, out of the dilemma. You'd expect the rest of the eras within time Lara visits, to have similar exciting events happen. But unfortunately(cool time portal effects aside), it never really manages to amp up in quality, preferring to drag out a mediocre experience that ultimately ends in a deflated whimper, as Lara arrives back at her mansion, with prizes in hand & various thugs and creatures slaughtered across time & space. If only the builder could have spent more time focusing on creating a stronger overall experience, to better match the appeal of its intriguing narrative concept in retrospect. But ah well, it was entertaining enough while it lasted." - Ceamonks890 (16-Nov-2017)

"In this short level Lara drives the Jeep through time warp vortexes and ends up in different and sometimes familiar looking areas. Game play is simple and straight forward - no way to get lost in here. Pick up a few things, shoot a few enemies, pull a lever, open a few doors and move on to the next room, then back to the Jeep. No puzzles whatsoever. We encounter a couple of demigods, poisonous harpies, dogs and several human opponents. There were also Natla and the giant Mutant from TR1. The Mutant incubators were all over the place, but nothing ever hatched out of them - almost a disappointment. Everything in this level fairly easy, but one has to be careful with the health loss, as there are no Medipacks to pick up. There are a couple of traps and there were also two boulders, which I was never able to trigger no matter how hard I tired. The textures were a bit repetitive at times and most rooms are empty and plain looking. The lighting was well done for the most part, although I found it a bit too bright for that type of setting. Some darker areas would have helped. The atmosphere was probably as good as it gets for this type of level. It was entertaining and fun to play, which is what matters most." - Blue43 (22-Oct-2010)

"This level reminds me anyhow of the film "Back to the the future". Though the flux compensator in her jeep functions, but he brings Lara constantly to some places where she does not want there. In any case, she has met sometimes in Scotland, sometimes in Egypt and sometimes in Natlas hiding place and. And as we know everybody also from the film "Time cop", such meetings well do not go out. After she has collected then so several artefacts, she creates it, nevertheless, home again. The first time jump is especially irritating. There are many Demigods which appear very much with pleasure suddenly behind Lara. And she can use only her pistols. And there are none Medipacks. Later it becomes better and for the meeting with Natla, she has the grenade launcher in the luggage. The quality of the textures is mixed, sometimes well and sometimes badly. So properly play fun does not want to arise here, however, because one comes in half an hour to 4 places with absolutely different textures." - Scottie (29-Apr-2009)

"Lara returns to the past, to four different events. As each area is very short the author integrated them into a single level. The first part was a nostalgia of TR1 Atlantis. The demigods were a bit out of place but at least they presented a challenge, the rest of the enemies were nicely done. The following parts were fictional, they are smaller and not much gameplay went into them, but all together they provide an adventure of decent length. The downsides are the simplistic gameplay and the lack of puzzles. Empty rooms, there were no objects to decorate the level. Even on the non-Atlantean locations some rooms were copied from the original Atlantis levels, and retextured, that made them somewhat cheap. I liked the atmosphere of the first part, with the auido, Lara seeing her old self running away, Natla and what's left of the big monster. But as we progress the level becomes more and more boring. This idea could have been developed to a much larger scale, a wasted opportunity here." - Akcy (03-Dec-2007)

"I love the idea for this level. Basically, Lara has gotten herself a time machine and she uses this jeep to go back in time (back to the future style) to various points in her life where she got the best artifacts. The best sequence is the first part where you have to recover the scion. The area is designed to perfection, copying the exact atmosphere and environment of the original TR game. I love the part where you have obviously arrived in time just before the event of Lara defaeting the end of game boss as you hear her conversation with Miss Natla and get to the final area just in time see see Lara (the old lara) running off. Its brilliantly done. The other segments of the level are good too but the first part is the part that sticks out for me. Again, this was a fairly short level and not very challenging but who needs a hard challenge with a level as enjoyable as this." - Necro (28-Aug-2006)

"What started with an interesting concept, Lara warping through different times and places in her jeep, the idea didn't really pull itself off. The 4 locations you get to travel to hold very little to do and apart from the first which had at least some threat with one demigod after another in an Atlantean setting the others barely raise a sweat. This will only take you 30 minutes to play so it at least doesn't drag out too long for the kind of game it is. Check it out for the warping effect but if you want a puzzler maybe leave this one alone." - Sash (26-May-2005)

"Teach me to write down a review right away as I couldn't remember much of this level, so I booted it up again. What I did remember was that I couldn't get my hands on a staff of sorts the first time around, neither did I succeed the second time. The idea is a new one and there isn't that much to do than getting killed by lack of medipacks as there are no pick ups. Your goal is pretty simple, drive the car and get thrown through a time loop, leave the car and go in search of ways to open the next door to travel through. The reward is what you pick up in every level. Battling fierce enemies with only Lara's trusted guns is a bit of the thrill but in the end I found it tedious. Don't know what Natla was doing, but I managed to kill her. It is a pretty fast level with only enemies to battle and if you are up for it, you will have fun. 19-05-2005" - Gerty (26-May-2005)

"Geometry and puzzles are very simple, you have to fight with hard enemies from the very beginning only with your pistols. Enemies don't have his appropriate sounds, many times stay quiet with no reason and another times wake up. Some spikeballs don't roll. Where are the flares? Bad applied textures. Places you can go but you can't return to continue playing. Lara can go through solid walls. You can advance through the level without retrieve the relics. At the end trigger, level crashes and go back to Windows. Definitively a level to forget." - Jose (18-May-2005)

"I must say I'd never have thought of using a jeep for time travel. The past initially looks very Atlantean and it's full of fierce demigods and harpies. It was fascinating to see Natla and the boss baddie in the scion room again. Other old enemies turn up in later segments as Lara revisits past haunts. It's a nice idea, somewhat inexpertly handled - bland textures, very simple gameplay etc., but the jeep riding is fun and if you fancy something short, unchallenging and slightly quirky, go ahead." - Jay (01-Apr-2005)

"We have to collect four things on this level, while making a journey through time spirals. The locations are various. In the first part, on a TR1 Atlantis toned level, we take possession of the Portatile di Natla from the exploded Natla. In the second part we get the Scretri di Merline while adventuring in Scottland. After that we go under the ground, through rivers of lava for the Occhio di Anubis. And finally, in a library, we explore the Diario di Lord Croft. Meanwhile demigods, harpies disturb us, then gunmen and jackals. At the beginning we only have the default pistols, while before Natla we already possess the Grenade Gun too. Watch out for the medipacks, because there's no reinforcement anywhere. The textures are various, and the creator added a fantastic music collection either. I propose it to everybody. :) You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version), savegames and pictures here: " - Obig (22-Mar-2005)

"I say, what a frightfully bizarre adventure! This is Alessandro's third level and, considering his previous two contained beautiful architectural design, I was expecting something similar here. Alas, this bears all the hallmarks of a rush-job, with sloppy texturing and empty rooms everywhere. The basic concept is good, however, and the first 'zone' takes a considerable tole on medi-packs. In fact, I was down to a sliver of health when I entered zone two and it's a measure of how simple the remainder of the adventure is that I completed the three other zones without losing any more health whatsoever. Several of the baddies are harmless and very little actually needs to be done. Nonetheless, the level has great pace and the Jeep sequences were fun and exciting. 30 minutes of swift Gameplay is enough to recommend this." - Orbit Dream (21-Mar-2005)

"I think the author is a fan of the old official games which explains this level's setting. There's something from Natla here, in fact there's a flying Natla and that big ugly red monster that has only hands and a head but it was asleep at the time Lara visited it. There are some items to find such as a dagger, Natla's card, a gem and a book. You visit areas with lava, climb long ladders and kill demigods, harpies to find those items. Some areas are a replica of official levels or at least most parts of some areas. I guess the title is appropriate with all these reminders of Lara's previous adventures. Make sure you get the jeep with you every time you change levels. I can't say I liked this much but it's not bad." - Kristina (08-Mar-2005)

"An older level that for whatever reason was only made public in early 2005. The concept of this 30 minute adventure is actually quite neat. Lara starts in the desert, finds her jeep and sort of warps with a great explosion and light effect through a wall into the next 'world', finds a good old artefact, meets up with some old foes and repeats this four times before the level ends back in the desert. Unfortunately what happens in those various areas is very little and the rooms are rather square and the texturing not overly inspired. A really nice idea that could have used a bit more work to turn it into a great adventure." - Michael (07-Mar-2005)

"This level showed up as a new level in March 2005, but it was already in the Level Index with a release date of July 2002. It's a very easy level, with some wacky bits here and there. I don't know if the wackiness is deliberate or accidental. Lara has to drive the jeep into four different areas, which get easier as you go. For me, it wound up back at the start of TR4 with Lara suspended in mid air like she does after a jeep crash." - Duncan (05-Mar-2005)

"This level is easy, but you get no medi packs or weapons except pistols, so conserve health or you won't make it to the end in one piece! You get the jeep at the start and this is how you travel from place to place, so don't forget the keys, which was actually a fuse in this game. There are four destinations to visit and each has its own item to collect. First area is an Atlantean setting, you get to meet a number of demigods, two harpies and eventually meet Natla; though I have no idea what her purpose was, as I grabbed the scion and left her alive and kicking. There were two push blocks at the start which I found no use for, and spike balls which did not drop. A much loved environment though as I do like to see the Atlantean textures used more by builders, so I guess this was my favourite part of the level. We drive on to the next area and I'm not too sure what type of environment this texturing this was meant to create, it reminded me of the ship levels but we get the TR jungle music, the read me states a tomb, unless I translated incorrectly, anyway, a series of passages to get to a lever and open the way to the next area, you easily get the wand item at the start and there are only two dogs to deal with, plus one angry Larsson. On to the next area, we are in an Egyptian tomb setting and the object is to collect The Eye of Anubis from yet another angry Larson, or was it Pierre? I don't know, I lost track, but in all this was a dull level, a spike ball fell and did nothing except sit there, and the easy trek to the Eye left me a little disappointed as this level started off so interesting. Finally, we arrive at the house and grab the book, two more Larsson's await but it's a simple enough thing to open the door and finish the level. This started off promising, but I ended up a tad bored, maybe because it was so simple to play I don't know, but maybe this is only for beginners wanting a slight challenge in conserving health." - Moonpooka (04-Mar-2005)
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