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Level: Stress Test Level back home search
Author(s): PaoloM
total rating:8.03 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Akcy 10 8 9 8
CC 10 8 8 7
DJ Full 9 7 7 8
eRIC 9 8 8 8
Jay 9 8 8 8
Jez 8 8 9 9
Jose 5 8 6 8
Kristina 7 8 8 8
MichaelP 8 7 7 8
mugs 9 8 8 8
Obig 8 8 8 8
Orbit Dream 8 7 8 8
Phil 8 8 8 8
Relic Hunter 7 8 8 7
Ryan 8 8 8 8
Sash 9 8 9 8
Scottie 9 8 9 9
category averages
(17 reviews)
8.29 7.82 8.00 8.00

Reviewer's comments

"Short, but incredibly deadly. This is an absolute beast of a level, somewhat in the vein of Jedi Master, that involves a lot of difficult manoeuvres and trap sequences, as well as a couple of obscure sections requiring lateral thinking (or more likely the walkthrough). I generally enjoy challenging levels, but I did feel it overstepped its mark slightly and strayed into expert territory with most of the sequences requiring a lot of precision and timing, more than I'd care for. There are moments of genius though with the brilliant sloped lava room shooting sequence and the puzzle with the skeleton(s) needed to break the vases. The three secrets are also a challenge to get with the third one especially requiring perfect timing (I got on the block and monkeyswing first time, missed the crawlspace and could never acquire it legally again, so I used a flare cheat). The surroundings are fine, not that you'll stop and look at them for long, though. This is one for adrenaline junkies." - Ryan (27-Dec-2017)

"Wow, this is what I really like - a really tiny room but with gameplay density deserving an applause though some confusion appeared when managed to break the tile before getting the crossbow, and the pushable "hint" made me understand the level name. I think the border between "hard" and "unfair" is also crossed in case of the first secret, but the other two are particularly creative instead. Still the pickups collected are pretty useless - why not to e.g. substitute normal arrows with some explosives to deal with those skellies I could never get rid of. Or leave the secret uzi bullets but add some tinmen knights for the ammo to play more significant role. SUMMARY: A very pleasant level which can be stressful indeed. Recommended with a walkthru in hand." - DJ Full (16-Aug-2015)

"This is a classic gauntlet level;the kind where you don't want your children to be anywhere in your vicinity while you're playing,lest they overhear some rather ripe language.Despite the fact that most of the devious challenges have been well worked out,it must also be said that it's frightfully cheaty at times.A thoroughly obscure pushable block hint;and a shootable wall that I doubt anyone would have spotted without the aid of the walkthrough.Nonetheless,some of the challenges are absolutely spectacular - especially a sloped pillar jumping challenge which isn't nearly as tough as initial impressions suggest,provided you shoot incessantly while leaping from pillar to pillar.Enemies are well placed and provide decent 'nuisance' value;while lighting and textures have been handled as well as such a level as this requires (you won't be spending too much time standing around to notice any obvious errors).Music and cameras could have been a little more plentiful,but this is really not the sort of level where niceties are especially needed.It's all about digital dexterity and testing your resolve not to use the provided savegames (a challenge which I passed admirably,I'm pleased to say)." - Orbit Dream (30-Jan-2015)

"Stress test, indeed. It's really a rather short level, clocking in at a little more than a half hour, but it's chock full of difficult traps. The worst in my book was a pillar-jumping routine in a lava room where you had to shoot four lion's heads scattered here and there while trying to concentrate on making it to the next sloped pillar, some requiring midair curves to get there. And there's no respite along the way, meaning that you have to do the whole thing in one go. There are also some obscure solutions, such as shooting a panel in the side of a lava pit to gain access to a lever, so I'm glad I had the help of Anurag's walkthrough. Those who know me also know what I resorted to in order to get through this ordeal. Although it's a bit challenging for my taste, as I enjoy levels where I can occasionally stop and smell the roses, this level is a good candidate for those who like to get their blood pumping while playing Tomb Raider." - Phil (09-Dec-2011)

"The level name fits quite well, because in this, with about half an hour playing time to relatively short, level there is to crack some riddle nuts. How do I slide a long slant down without being speared by spikes? How do I pass best of all one scanty two-part time run? Where does a moveable block have to go there? How do I jump in a room about many sloping blocks and shoot simultaneous on lion's heads to destroy them, so that at the end of the jump distance a grid rises? And why does one find though crossbow and lasersight, but no explosive ammunition? And how does one come from completely on top fast to an unknown water hole if one has two fire ghosts at the heels? Questions about questions. And in search of the answers the head begins to smoke. But it makes, nevertheless, a lot of fun. Particularly as the level is well built and textured. This level is not playable for beginners, because the degree of difficulty is partly too high for them." - Scottie (20-May-2009)

"I enjoyed this level from beginning to end, brilliant jumping and timed sequences, good placement of enemies, extra hardship that we can operate with headshots only on those bonies, but don't be too trigger happy, spare one, at least until he serves a role in helping you. The pushy block puzzle was quite devious, there was an ovbious place for it, but turned out it's a wrong one, and though I found the right place easily, I only learned now from other reviews that there actually was a clue, went back to see it, well, it's not a real clue, if you can see it only if you know exactly what to look for, but I just pushed it there by instinct, somehow it felt a good place for it, can't explain. Also the leap of faith moment when made the swan dive to escape the wraiths without checking first, somehow I knew that square opened, there's got to be water in there, and it's got to be in the right distance for a swan dive, so gameplay is difficult, but very logical, at least for me. There were no added sounds, but atmosphere is still fine, I'm sure I felt that mainly because the good gameplay, but these elements are interconnected in their effects on the player. At first I didn't find any secrets, so played it again to find all three, and that wasn't easy too. It wasn't one bit less enjoyable to play twice in a row, and that says something. I wish it lasted longer, and would have really appreciated a few flares, and maybe some more decorative objects. Well done Paolo, more from the same please." - Akcy (24-Jan-2007)

"The title of the level sure does live up to its gameplay, as some of the puzzles you'll encounter may be somewhat stressful. On the other hand, for a small test level, this is some good stuff here! I liked that first slide at the beginning, as instead of simply beginning your slide, you'd have to do a running jump down the slope to be able to jump over those spikes unscathed. I also liked that collapsible floor run over the burne, as you really need to think quickly with your feet here. Crossing that, we move on to a somewhat frustrating double timed run, involving more burners, a switch under a timed set of spikes, and a floor block that stays up for about five seconds before it comes down again, so get on it fast and get to that jumpswitch before you got to run through that again. This level presents some unique elements of raiding, such as the bit where you have to shoot lionheads while sliding on slopes over lava. It was quite fun to do, but it did take a while for me to figure out. I also liked that bit where you got to use those skeletons near the end of the level to smash those two vases for you, as they are placed on burner tiles, and the skellies are immune to the likes of fire. However, there are some situations here that can be considered misleading. It was close to impossible to spot that odd looking ceiling bit where you had to push a block under to retrieve the crossbow, and the silver key to progress. Other than that, this is a pretty solid level, but not recommended for beginners. I look forward to seeing more levels from Paolo." - Relic Hunter (19-Nov-2005)

"Paolo in his readme for this level states that it is his first experience with the Editor and that it is only a test level…well if that was a test level I say he passes that test with flying colours. Not only are the 30 minutes that this level lasts full of brilliant puzzles, the timed lion head targeting mixed with a large sloping block puzzle to name but one, but also the degree of skill to make some moves was raised so that at least for me this held such a great challenge, and this was straight from the word go as you try to manoeuvre yourself past a spike tile as you slide down a slope only to then be confronted with another, between though you can maybe go look for a secret if you want. And speaking of secrets, there are 3 to locate and each of these was placed really well so that if you miss the first two you can’t go back for them and the third is combined with a tight timed run. If I had any complaints it was that there is one pushable block and it’s target resting spot was very hard to discern as the hint supposedly given was so obtuse even knowing what I was looking for from the walkthrough I still couldn’t make out the difference, and that maybe one packet of flares wouldn’t have gone astray though this on the whole is not a dark level but I seemed to have used up my 3 flares along the way. These aren’t major things though and I for one am really looking forward to more from this author if this test was anything to go by as he captured most things I love about raiding: smartness, challenges, and excitement." - Sash (01-Nov-2005)

"There are great puzzles on this level. But I don't advice it for beginners or impatient gamers. :) Most of my hair has fallen when I had to jump from slopes to slopes while also shooting the lionheads in the lava room. Though we won't need any medipacks on the level. I found good ideas too. For example at the end we have to cause the skeletons to break the vases. It is also interesting that I shot their heads while they were lying on the floor, but as they raised the heads grew out again. :) If this was only a demo level, the finished game will be not an easy adventure. It's indispensable to get the crossbow and the lasersight, because at the beginning we have to shoot a wall with these combined. Well, I could hardly figure out what to do here. :) The textures are great, but there are no added sounds. You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version), savegames and pictures here: http://treditor.hu/15/stress_level.htm" - Obig (26-Oct-2005)

"Well, it is not as stressful as the title might imply, but it certainly has its moments. I really enjoyed the more tricky action bits, like the slope rope where you shoot the lionheads, the skeleton/vase smashing puzzle and the nicely designed timed run, but the fun was also a bit spoiled by the very subtle clue for the pushblock and the tedious pushing through the whole room and a few other unnecessary lengthy climb passages. But all in all this is a creative debut that offers 30 minutes of decent fun with a few highlights and makes us hope for more from the author." - MichaelP (11-Aug-2005)

"A level with difficult tasks for expert players. When I began to play I thought myself: 'It'll be a hard level', and so it was: the different ceiling texture to know where to put the block is a bad detail, you could look for about hours to find it (there's a very small difference); the lava room with the slopes and the lions heads was very hard to pass; the running jump from the 2nd to the 3rd tile in the pad tiles room was very hard; the jump from the terrace over the tile with spikes was very hard (I had to jump over the lateral fence directly into the water hole); no weapons to shoot the skeletons; no flares for the dark areas; no camera shots to show you what you're doing... What use can you give to the uzis? Definitively was a bad level for me, I like levels where I have to think, but this level is only to see how good are you moving Lara with your keyboard." - José (09-Aug-2005)

"This is a level that lives up to its title. Not a very big area but well laid out in three dimensions. Nice use of height for an accurate swan dive to escape two fire wraiths. Gameplay flowed well although it was a series of testing puzzles and/or jumps. Some you will enjoy, others will drive you bonkers. Not many enemies but they are well placed. Very atmospheric. If you like a challenge, download and play it now." - Jez (17-Jun-2005)

"This is most definitely NOT a level for beginners. Opening with a spike slide, immediately followed by a collapsing tile/fire emitter run and soon after that a really tight two part timed run, you soon realise that you’re not out for a stroll in the park. Trying to shoot several lions heads whilst negotiating a series of slides was an absolute creature of a manoeuvre - very nearly nervous breakdown time. This is a really excellent level, but not for the faint hearted." - Jay (14-Jun-2005)

"What a brilliant little level. Terrific gameplay, apart from the times I was stuck and frustrated as to what to do next. The ‘hints’ are so subtle that you’d almost need to dozy around just to spot the deviously well hidden clues. The first one is an almost impossible to see texture that is different from others, on the ceiling, so you can push a block under it. It seems that the dark square is the place for the block, but no, that is a trapdoor that will open later. The map of this level is very small, but it’s so compact and filled with things to do that you don’t really notice this. Enemies are very well placed. I really liked the switch that released the fire wraiths while you line up a swan dive into a tiny water hole. At the start, Lara starts sliding, trying to avoid spikes, and she needs to grab a wall on the way down so she can climb to a crawlspace for the uzis. There are tantalising views of keys to collect and a gem to leave the level with. The hardest, and most exciting part of the level was sliding into a lava room with slopes. Lara has to immediately start jumping and sliding around numerous columns. As she goes along she must have weapons ready to shoot gems in lion’s mouths. And this is not easy. The only way I could complete this room was to save a lot. I certainly wouldn’t have done it all in one go. You can’t escape this room unless you shoot all the gems, which raises a gate in the end wall that you jump to grab. The other difficult part was trying to figure out what the camera shot of the fire emitter corridor meant. This was a clever tease. And not to forget either, the great timed switches at the start, to raise a block to a pull-down switch. The title is very appropriate . . . stress. But it’s also an excellent level to play. Highly recommended." - CC (07-Jun-2005)

"The setting of this level, reminds me of Luis’ games which are excellent and I am a big fan of. It feels like a demo though even if it has some good puzzles. The room with the slopes, lava and lions to shoot was challenging and nicely done. The two secrets I found were nicely placed as well and overall I liked this level. I do think that there was something missing but I am not sure what! Maybe it felt that way because you go from one room to another with each of them being so different that feel like a demo, where bits and pieces get ‘glued’ together to give you a taste of what’s to come. I found two secrets and recommend it." - Kristina (31-May-2005)

"A very nice idea to build a level to test our stress! Paolo is known as a very experienced player and now has decided to build a level. It's a very good debut. The level is not very long and the map is small, but it will keep you entertained from beginning to end without a dull moment with challenging puzzles and tasks. In particular, the sloped pillars room where you have to shoot 4 lion heads was tough. Only a few enemies (bats, skeletons, a couple of gladiators and fire wraiths) some of them are smartly used. The setting is well done with the Greek textures of TR1, the lighting quite good and the standard trle Audio tracks well used. If I could find some fault, I would say that the movable block puzzle could be more obvious, the game can not be completed if you shoot the heads of the two lying skellies at the end (so don't do that) and some flares could have been provided. That aside, I really enjoyed this little gem of a level. Hope I will see more from the author. Grazie Paolo, it was fun!" - eRIC (31-May-2005)

"This is a very difficult game to review. It's a tough game and the author has gone to great pains to make it so. I hope I don't have to get in the habit of examining every inch of texture for a miniscule change that will denote the positioning of an object. The fact that I was able to complete the game gave me a huge sense of accomplishment and I believe that this is what most raiders will come away with. If that was the objective of PaoloM, then this author has met with success. Your initial raid includes gaining access to three rooms. You will have to hustle through the timed run, get that cage lowered and then prepare for target practice while negotiating a bunch of slopes. Once you arrive upstairs, you will have to figure out how to beat a hasty retreat as the fire sprites are after you with their typical menace. Your reward will be the coveted scope and ultimately the way out of this nasty lair. I think PaoloM has an awful lot to offer to our gaming world and I can't wait to see what's next....I just hope I can play it." - Mugs (31-May-2005)
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