Level: The Dead Empire - Part 1 back home search
Author(s): Channing Chang
total rating:7.08 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Daffy 8 8 8 9
Duncan 6 6 7 6
Dutchy 7 7 8 8
dya1403 6 6 8 9
eRIC 5 5 8 8
eTux 6 7 8 8
Gerty 6 7 8 7
Jay 6 7 8 8
Jerry 5 5 8 8
Jose 7 7 8 8
Kristina 5 5 5 5
MichaelP 6 7 8 8
Moonpooka 7 7 8 7
Nina Croft 6 7 8 8
Orbit Dream 6 7 8 9
Phil 7 8 8 8
QRS 7 7 8 9
Ryan 7 7 8 8
Samu 7 6 7 8
Sash 5 6 7 6
SeniorBlitz 7 8 8 8
Spike 5 7 7 8
Whistle 7 7 6 7
category averages
(23 reviews)
6.26 6.70 7.61 7.74

Reviewer's comments

"Very well done for a debut level with an unfortunately rather short duration (17 minutes). That said, the gameplay is varied and entertaining enough to make the time you'll spend in this level worthwhile. The setting is nicely constructed and pleasing to the eye and the enemy attacks pose quite a challenge (the Shiva and demigod fight was engaging, but I felt the ninjas were overused). Worth a look as a pleasant little time passer." - Ryan (28-Aug-2018)

"It’s quite sad that this level didn’t get a continuation, since it was quite the pleasant ride, the costal setting was incredible, the textures and lighting were very well done overall. The gameplay consists of exploring a temple; there are some challenges and puzzles to perform, and I found them very entertaining, I recommend this level if you’re looking for a short level with some decent puzzle solving." - SeniorBlitz (03-Nov-2017)

"This good-looking, well lighted Catacombs level was fun to play for the 20 minutes that it lasted. Enemies consist for the most part of assassins that appear in droves, but sufficient firepower to deal with them is provided. I found that in the room with the Demigod and the Shiva, the Shiva started carving up the Demigod, which was a big ammo-saving help. The mirror room presented a mild challenge, and there was a nice jumping exercise to activate a jumpswitch. Play it when you have some time to kill." - Phil (09-Oct-2015)

"I really have a bunch of mixed feelings after having finished playing this level. First of all, it is a well built catacomb/coastal level, packed with action, so much that it should be labelled as a "shooter". Your task is to find a way to the outside area and to enter the palace from the other side. Along the way, you have to push some buttons and jump switches, to operate a bunch of burning switches, open a dozen of doors and kill a zillion of ninjas. It would have been much higher rated in the segment of gameplay&puzzles if there weren't some illogical errors, like, pick up this Medipack to open a door, or fight Shiva and a demigod in a small room (with spikes in the middle), the Shiva being placed in a clearly Egyptian level, and of course, notorious burning switches which are really annoying (I had to ignite Lara and run to the nearest pool to save her life, spending a bunch of medipacks along the way). Mirror room resembles the original mirror room in the TR4, but it was nicely built nonetheless. Two secrets are excellently hid and this section would have become much a higher review if the number of enemies was not so high and if there hadn't be a Shiva in Egyptian environment and if the boss fight against Shiva and a demigod had not been placed in a dark, small room with a burner and spikes. Objects used as decoration are very cleverly used, not excessively, but still really nice. I particularly liked the skeleton below the broken pillar at the very beginning - an excellent idea, really! Look, our poor Indiana Jones killed by a pillar, now Lara has to finish what he hadn't. However, this impression is spoiled with a dozen of skeletons of Indiana Jones lying around - that was not a good idea. Normal skeletons would have worked better, but not a dozen of Indiana's skeletons. Overall atmosphere is very nice, the builder created indoor and outdoor areas well, adding some flybys and camera hints wherever necessary and appropriate. Texturing is also well made, although the textures are already known. Lighting is a bit too dark in the indoor area, but it somehow works. Overall impression: this should definitely be labelled as a shooter. Puzzles are mostly easy to solve, there are many ammo and medipacks to be found, but you still have to be very careful when using medipacks, as you need them for operating the burning switches. Highly recommendable for all those who like shooters and action. A very short level, maybe 15-20 minutes of net gameplay. Too bad the builder stopped building after releasing this small shooter. I am sure he would have released at least one legendary level, since this was his debut, and a rather excellent one, I must admit." - Nina Croft (25-Sep-2015)

"The look of this short level and the atmosphere are well done. Unfortunately gameplay-wise it's only pushing some buttons and switches, operating some fire guarded reach-in holes, picking up some weapons, ammo and medipacks, and killing a couple of enemies who are ninjas, demigods and a shiva. The latter I found completely out of place in this Egyptian setting. The last camera looked promising showing a huge temple-like building, but unfortunately it cannot be explored since the level ends after entering. After all the level seems unfinished as if the builder had lost interest in his project." - Jerry (10-Nov-2009)

"This level is intensive, no idle times and of actions in every turn or after every door, the whole in a dark and gloomy decor with a music which freezes you the blood. The building is very well made and I found nothing to repeat. Lara's course ends in a splendid external landscape which the time is taken to admire. Congratulations to this constructor on this great work." - Daffy (31-Aug-2009)

"A short 15 minutes level in a well made Catacomb setting. Many enemies in there , red ninjas, a couple of demigods , and even a Shiva, before emerging outside in an impressive Coastal ruins area. Sadly the level stops just after that. As highlights , there is a good and easy mirror puzzle , and a few burning switches challenges." - eRIC (01-Jun-2008)

"A short 10-minute jaunt through familiar coastal/catacomb settings is what's on offer here. There are a multitude of enemies to deal with, and the odd fire trap to navigate, but in general there isn't a great variety of gameplay here. It did look nice however, and the texturing and lighting were done professionally, with no real bugs, and the atmosphere was also particularly suitable for the setting in question. Despite the low 'Gameplay' score that I gave, if the builder were to add a few more elements to it then I am sure it would be pretty enjoyable, and I would like to see the continuation to 'Part 1' in the future." - Spike (07-Oct-2007)

"Very lively for a dead empire, as it includes zounds of ninjas, 2 demigods and a Shiva, who I thought was a bit out of place in the catacomb and coastal inspired setting. While this does put it in the shooter category, enemies are not the only thing that keep you going - very past faced gameplay, almost astonishing when you think there are a number of burner traps, a mirror puzzle, not to mention the countless battles in this 16 minute game. Maybe it did rely too much on the switches, thus could've been more inventive as far as the tasks go, but the action is more than enough to keep you going, and even if it wouldn't be - the wonderfully crafted setting redeems it and makes this an adventure worth a look! Hope to see more from this builder." - eTux (05-Oct-2007)

"Nicely - buid catacombs and double-burners puzzles anounce a substantial sequence, wich I am looking forward.Although, I must say, I was quite surprised of the sudden ending..just when we were begining riding." - dya1403 (04-Nov-2006)

"I must admit that level designing is pretty good in this level. Rooms look good and they are built with care and the huge outdoor area offers nice variation after you have completed tasks in small chambers. Textures and lighting are very good and I like also the way author uses objects. They are placed well and I liked the idea of placing skeleton and broken pilar on the same square. It feels like the part of pilar had fallen and killed the skeleton who probably was human some time ago. One of the minus sides is that there are too many enemies in this level but fortunately you can find a shotgun, a revolver and uzis and a lot of ammo which makes the battles much easier. This level ends quite unexpectedly and there's no highlight or highlights which would make the gameplay more interesting. This level contains many same kind of easy tasks and I would have enjoyed this level more if there were for example hard jumping sequels, more puzzles or some tasks which would be harder and different than other tasks. After this level ended I thought that this is quite short level and I would have liked to play more. This means that this level managed to keep me interested despite it contains some minus sides." - Samu (20-Aug-2006)

"It lasted fifteen minutes and it's a standard catacomb/coastal level. There is some jumping to do, fires to avoid and ninjas to kill. There is lack of puzzles and I didn't see anything interesting in it. The last flyby looked promising but unfortunately after passing the double doors outside the level ended. Not my kind of level but do try it anyway." - Kristina (15-Apr-2006)

"This is a fast-paced level with few dull moments. Gameplay is not very hard, but there are lots of enemies. Including a DemiGod and Shiva in the same room (hint: back into a corner and crouch and they can't hurt you). It uses the catacomb wads, which, alas, I have seen too many times. But if you're in the mood for pitting Lara against gangs of ninjas, you'll find this one fun. It looks like the author can use the editor well, and now we can look forward to part 2." - Duncan (12-Mar-2006)

"Nice little adventure and I would have love to explore that big building, once Lara adventured outside, but that was not to be. I was also glad that there are small pools nearby as I did caught fire twice, no matter how hard I tried. Luckily there are a lots of medipacks to find also the Shotgun and Revolver (that is a secret) and all the way at the end the Uzi (also a secret). The fly by's could use some tweaking though. Lots of enemies in here as you can see at the numerous skeletons complete with whip and hat, scattered around. I understand the Demigod but what that Shiva was doing there, beats me..." - Gerty (08-Mar-2006)

"A short level but quite enjoyable. A good run round catacombs avoiding Ninja, who hunt in packs, a couple of demigods and a"whirling dervish". Reasonable amount of pickups, but some you have to work extremely hard to get then. Expect to take damage at some of the flame guarded switches, water is always nearby. The graphics and textures were standard for this type of level and the usually background musak. The level ends abruptly as I suppose the next instalment from the author will begin as you enter the Castle area, one I would download and play." - Whistle (25-Feb-2006)

"It's the first time I see fighting hard enemies like the demigod and the shiva each other; I had few ammo and only with my pistols in a room very small could be very hard. The level is short and well builded with small rooms and a lot of enemies to shoot but like I said there's few ammo for so much enemies (if you find the first secret will help you). Could be more flares 'cause the inner rooms are quite dark. Easy gameplay and no very difficult tasks, I had to burn Lara to get one of the secrets." - Jose (23-Feb-2006)

"Wow, ninja city. I hope you enjoy a bit of a shooter. That aside, I thought this was pretty decent for a first time build. It looks good, especially the final outside area, and there's a nice bit of action going on. Apart from all those ninjas, there are fire traps to avoid and a good mirror room. This is the debut level of a series and although short (18 minutes) and relatively simple, it certainly left me interested in seeing the next one." - Jay (14-Feb-2006)

"A very nice level for a first (as I understand), lots of things to do like shooting a whole lot of Ninjas, maybe a bit overdone. Cleverly put together Burner switches you had to use, but water was nearby if you got torched. A nice mirror room with spiketraps and after opening a lot of doors you finally got outside and did that look great. A whole army of Ninjas attacked and then you could round up all the goodies, after shooting another lone Ninja you found the Uzis, seems to be secret#2, but I couldn't pick it up as it was off the ground. Opening the last door out there ended the level, even though there was a still closed gate around...looks promising though..." - Dutchy (09-Feb-2006)

"A very solid debut level, short at 16 minutes and easy with linear, sequential and task oriented progression, but still fun due to some variation, like a mirror room and good use of burners. Not sure whether such a short level really needs more than a dozen ninjas though. The demigod and shiva battle at the same time was a bit of a challenge. Found two secrets (revolver and Uzi) and the outside coastal style area is rendered very effectively and shows a lot of promise for the future of this series." - MichaelP (25-Jan-2006)

"A great but short debut level. It took me 18 minutes to finish but I enjoyed every single minute! I can't help it but I never get tired of these good old catacomb textures. The costal textures at the end are also still great. A lot of things to do in this level actually. Lots of ninjas to shoot and many puzzles to solve. And even if it takes about 20-30 minutes to finish it is not that easy. The best things about this level is how the textures and lighting is placed though..great stuff! I look forward to the sequel and I sense great adventures to come from this author in the future!" - QRS (24-Jan-2006)

"Starting out in a small tightly spaced catacomb you find yourself face to face with a glut of enemies, ninjas, demigods, and a lone Shiva, so make sure you collect the revolver secret, even if in the process you have to singe your butt to get it. I like how the author used the pull in wall switches with fire as it gave the somewhat basic gameplay a needed boost. 15 minutes in you arrive outside to a cool flyby of a large white castle in lovely green rolling hills that begged to be explored but after another mob attack and one jumplever that opens up the castles gates the level ends. So disappointing. For the 20 minutes it lasted this had a lot of potential and I am hoping it really expands in all aspects with the next instalment. I found 2 secrets." - Sash (23-Jan-2006)

"The Dead Empire: What a strange adventure as Lara arrives in a catacomb type setting below ground. It all looks nice with the fires and textures, but man I was kicked senseless by the amount of enemies that showed up; there are loads of Ninjas, and three Demi Gods, and in one room we get a Demi God and a Shiva; which I found a bit out of place here, but the battles were fun. Lara only needs to use buttons and hang levers at first to open the next areas, but then things get really tricky when she has to judge fire/wall hole levers, and one has two flames on it, and with that accomplished, she then has to use mount the block again to jump to a sloped pillar and slide to a hang lever, yikes! Traps are spikes and those fire levers, (one thing with the fires though, there is always a water pool nearby, so if you don't fancy the challenge just burn Lara and extinguish her in the pool because there is plenty of health about) and there's a neat little mirror room to try not to get spiked in. So this is how things go on and eventually after ten or more Ninjas later, (they drop ammo and health by the way so thank your lucky stars for that) Lara arrives outside and we get a lovely flyby of a coastal castle; and guess what? Yes, more Ninjas! And two lonely scorpions show up to see what all the commotion is about. After the shoot out, Lara slides down to the castle door and uses a hang lever nearby to enter the castle, and this is where the level ended for me. What, no more? I've only just got started! Ok, so this is a short shoot out level and the rooms are nicely done, but some areas are rather dark so scout around for the many pickups and grab those flares. I found two secrets; one of which was not hidden and you only had to snuff out a Ninja to get it. But all in all I enjoyed this twenty minute Raid and I think we will see another level going beyond the castle as this is titled part one.. Oh goodie!" - Moonpooka (19-Jan-2006)

"Well,it was short but positively intruiging! A beautifully assembled combination of catacomb and coastal textures(which produces a thoroughly convincing and potent atmosphere) combined with a heavy dose of suspense (mostly through the use of a tense background music score)and effective enemy placement(I have never been scared by scorpions until now!) results in a gripping little level.Even if the enemy attacks came a little too thick and fast at times (a Hammer God and a Shiva in the same small room was a little too over-the-top;but hilarious nevertheless)the fly-by's too wild and the 'setting her on fire' sequences rather vicious for my liking,this was undeniably 22 minutes of constant nail-biting tension...and that's good enough for me to reccommend it highly." - Orbit Dream (19-Jan-2006)
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