Level: The Holy Mission back home search
Author(s): Marcos
total rating:8.04 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Bene 8 8 10 9
Blue43 7 8 10 8
Duncan 8 9 8 6
Gerty 6 8 9 7
Jay 8 9 10 8
Jose 6 9 8 7
Kristina 6 7 6 7
Leeth 7 8 8 7
MichaelP 7 8 10 7
Ryan 8 8 9 8
Sash 7 8 9 7
Veronique 10 10 10 10
Whistle 8 9 10 8
Zhyttya 7 8 8 6
category averages
(14 reviews)
7.36 8.36 8.93 7.50

Reviewer's comments

"I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with this three-level game. First, let's make one thing clear: most of this is very good indeed: the hellish atmosphere supported by the inspired use of audio and cut scenes (the textures are quite bland but I suppose that fits in this sort of environment), the hot red lighting that really aids the setting (maybe a bit too dark in places, though) the gameplay that requires a bit of lateral thanking (but maybe a little too much as I'll explain below), the appearance of the angel and the harpy, the customised enemies and the general exploration elements that the gameplay offers. However, it is dragged down somewhat by a couple of questionable design choices that weren't exactly endearing. Firstly, the numerous forced damage sections. I have never been and never will be a fan of this gameplay device and is just unfair in my book. There's also a severe lack of medipacks in the first part of the adventure so if you're not conservative, you could have a hard time here. Secondly, the darkness was a bit much at times. I know plenty of flares are provided but it really is a bit overdone here for my liking. I do also question having to revisit a particular corridor or step on a certain tile twice to trigger something. And I must have encountered a bug where the final door didn't open for me, despite the walkthrough stating otherwise, so I had to use the tip in a video walkthrough to bug through the wall. Luckily I only missed a cut scene and could otherwise finish legitimately. It does say a lot that despite all my negatives, there was something about it that I enjoyed. You'll be puzzled and maybe frustrated, but definitely not bored." - Ryan (19-Apr-2018)

"This level absolutely creep me out during the whole play through. Every since the beginning to the end that i was always anxious of when the next jump scare would happen...and that's great! That mean that the atmosphere was absolutely well made and all fit together, since the creepy music, to sudden noises or even to the spooky environment, but that was not the only thing these 3 levels were spot on. The amount of creativity and imagination in this game was fantastic! I LOVED the originality that the author brought when making the levels. The miniatures were the first hint of the fantastic creativity from Marcos, followed by the angels, the puzzles which required a special power for Lara not to burn in the lava, by releasing an angel that would help you out, the realistic skeletons everywhere, the invisible Lara... but besides the creativity there's also a lot of challenge from the game play and puzzles. For example there's a boss fight who actually requires skill, other than just kiting and eventually killing the enemy. HOWEVER, there are a few flaws in these levels that didn't quite please me. Although the atmosphere was spooky i think that the level design could have been better, mainly the work on the textures. It felt too heavy in most of the times, and a lot of "out of place" textures, that didn't quite fit in, and some triggers were a bit too random. At the end these flaws can be ignored and the enjoyment of the levels continues to the very end. Oh, and there's also a HUGE shortcut to end the game on the last level." - Zhyttya (01-Dec-2015)

"This was one of the best TRLE games I played until this day, it had everything! It even had a way to get stuck in the game that you can't complete and a glitch to end it sooner! But it was really fun and challenging in a good way. The atmosphere was great, the soundtrack was spot on and it had the right ration of action/puzzles.. There are some interesting mechanics used and there rooms made just for decoration or to give a sensation of open world and i loved that, i really did. The enemies were great, it has almost every kind of mechanic and the custom stuff is just such a nice addition.. I don't have anything to complain in that mater actually The work on enemies was great and the puzzles it self were a bit random like the one you have to go back and forward in a tunnel just to trigger some spikes.. Not that intuitive and can make us roam the map for a while. Something that was lovely was the boss fight after that, its a simple "dragon" but it was the floor that made it one of the best fights on TRLE game. I don't give a higher score on Gameplay because of two simple things: You can get stuck without a key and you can't go back to get it unless you load an old save and the confusion on some puzzles. Besides that, one of the best without a question. Highly recommended!" - Leeth (01-Dec-2015)

"This is another level where the builder made an elaborated mini game and it didn't pan out. There are too many inconsistencies in here, like how would a player know that one have to follow a certain route so one can trigger some trigger tiles without showing that there are trigger tiles. Or doing a route twice to trigger something else. Furthermore these three level set are quite big and because of the above, this means running like a headless chicken and then one HAS to read the walkthrough or else give up. A pity though as Marcos is quite an original builder with some funny quirky stuff thrown in for good measure." - Gerty (22-Sep-2012)

"After having played all other levels from this author, I have become quite a fan of his work so I finally got around to be his debut level. If you like the builder's style you will definitely not be disappointed here as it has a great atmosphere, very effective use of spooky sounds, good use of objects and several nicely made flybys and cut-scenes. Unfortunately the game play in this one is falling a bit behind the good looks and atmosphere as I found the level downright confusing and sometimes even frustrating. There many dead ends, areas with trigger tiles, which have to be visited twice in order to cause a door to open somewhere but no camera hints to tell you about. In one pitch-black room Lara has to pull four floor levers while under attack by an invincible knight who's sword also shoots fire and sets Lara ablaze. I ended up checking with the walkthrough often as I got stuck way too many times. Toward the end I must have triggered a bug in the game somewhere as a door that should have opened on approach stayed closed and no matter how often I replayed the last rooms - even following the walkthrough step by step and ignoring the jewel pickup - the door remained closed, so I missed the final room with the nasty dwarf and probably a nice final cut-scene. I am surprised the level has only 9 reviews at this point, because in general it is a very good and entertaining one with great atmosphere. I read some of the other reviews about it being too dark, but with this later version the lighting is much improved and there are plenty of flares to use. Also some of the textures and the Lara model used look much better than in the screen shots on the info page. If you haven't played this one, you should definitely give it a try. It is worth it! (1h 50min, 3 secrets found)" - Blue43 (29-Sep-2011)

"Prepare for a very unique adventure with this debut level series! You will probably either love it or hate it, or possibly both at the same time, like I did. This is not your usual raid, as many of the actions you need to do are not so clear, even illogical at times and what is the worst not very well marked throughout the game. It takes a while to get accustomed to the builder's style who often sends you through rooms and back and then triggers things all of a sudden when you get back out. This will no doubt confuse you many times and without the walkthrough close by you may well be giving up on this adventure several times along the way. Also the prevailing darkness is a challenge, although not too bad and I had enough flares when I needed them. You get a few tough battles, with a big bird, a demigod and a Roman soldier type guy that cannot be killed, but what is rather unique with this level is that very often the enemies actually fight themselves against each other and also you have a nice blue angel helping you out a few times along the way. Brilliantly set in scene and very original. Progression itself relies unfortunately mainly on running around, hitting these unmarked triggers and finding sneakily hidden jump switches and crawlspaces. But every now and then one of these original moments thrown in revives your energy to play on, like Lara turning into a dog, or becoming invisble and prying off two beetles from a wall. Remerkable is of course also the inclusion of the ant-men and the dwarves, supporting the interesting storyline very well (especially the possessed dwarf at the end was cool). So, bottomline, on the one hand this seemed a bit of an ordeal to play through, but on the other hand has fabulous original moments and is a very spooky experience with great use of audio sound effects for atmosphere, so try it if you dare." - MichaelP (25-Feb-2007)

"What a gloomy level! This is just the real hell! Here we have a very dark level, it's a level with a lot of work behind, but I think it was ruined with too much darkness, you have to use the flares continuously to find hidden switches and crawlspaces and this create a very slow gameplay. Sometimes you have to reload savegames, 'cause you can't go back if you miss something; another times you have to go back a long way 'cause you take the wrong way; another times when you pull a switch there's not a camera to show you what you're doing. There are good new objects and effects like Lara's invisibility, the angel help, the flying skulls as in Doom game... and the levels are well builded, but at the end you can get a bit tired 'cause the entire game does itself too much long to play in the darkness." - Jose (04-Jul-2006)

"A rather tough and depressing level that is saved - literally - by the intercession of angels and the presence of funny dwarves. It seems to me that the author was trying to be adventurous and stretch the TR envelope a bit, and I'm grateful for that. This is the "descent into the underworld" type of level that often is an excuse for being mean-spirited, and this is no exception. There are some bugs, such as the often-noted way to cut the third level short. I didn't like the Ares demon in the second part that Lara couldn't kill, as I never like enemies that are invulnerable. I was ready to toss this one in the trash, when it was saved for me by the appearance of the blue angel giving Lara aid. Then angels show up to dispatch Laras demonic enemies - very nice touch. Like everyone else I don't know how many scrolls Lara was supposed to have. And I also bumbled into ending the level too soon. Even with being too soon, the end was disappointing. Levels like this need a big emotional payoff at the end to make it seem like the level was worth the trouble. The author has real talent, and I hope their next one is better balanced and not so bloody dark." - Duncan (29-May-2006)

"This game is unique because of the unexpected things that happens,nothing is entirely normal, so it becomes interesting to play it. You don't know if a trapdoor is ever going to open or if the door in front of you that opened is supposed to be used. For the first time I can say I liked the uncertainty of a game. It has imaginative components, things that I haven't seen before, therefore it has the best potential to be a good game. You'll never be bored.It was perfectly difficult, if there was a trap, reload(duh). It just made it even better. Yes, it is dark, but it's a descent, what do you expect?I liked it very much." - Veronique (24-May-2006)

"I hated the atmosphere in this one because it's not just a dark game but it is pitch black. Not even the flares can help you most of the time so you can imagine that I was very relieved when I finally finished it. The good qualities of these levels are the interesting gameplay, some funny dwarfs near the end and the third level which was nicely done and has the three secrets I found, three scrolls that were easy to get. On the other side now, there are no cameras to give you hints of what happened when you use a lever, chain or jump switch but only flybys occasionally that help with the level's flow though. The enemies are few with some devilish creatures, other creatures that do not hurt Lara and the Ares boss in the second level, some invisible traps when you come back to one of the earlier rooms in level two and I have no idea why that happened but the way I see it, it's a flaw. I can't say that it isn't worth to take a look at it but even in a dark room at night there is a problem to see where you're going most of the time so that takes away most of the fun as well. It lasted about two hours and forty minutes for me and the best level was the third one because it was brighter and I enjoyed finding the three scrolls through some shooting and climbing. I hope the sequel will have a better atmosphere and none of the stuck points I encountered in this game because in some cases I had to reload due to the fact that I was missing an item and couldn't get back to get it or if I dropped somewhere there was no way to go back up again. Some careful testing is needed." - Kristina (12-May-2006)

"Ye gods, what a start - it took me a while to figure out just what was going on. This is a weird and wonderful level - very dark, both literally and figuratively, enigmatic, occasionally downright obscure and utterly fascinating. The atmosphere is eerie, due in no small measure to some really unsettling audio files. Pickups are rare, especially in the early stages of the game (I was really short of medipacks at one point), but when they do occur they tend to be lavish. The enemies are interesting - yetis that are mainly heard but not seen, mutants that don't attack but really get in the way and demons that are occasionally bumped off by a helpful angel. The place is littered with fire corridors and strange, spooky traps (one where Lara turns into a jackal!) and you need to be constantly on the look out for pressure pads. It's definitely the work of an original mind and whilst you may sometimes get frustrated you certainly won't be bored." - Jay (02-May-2006)

"Holy Moly, this Holy Mission nearly did my head in! It's not just the fact that the three levels are all exceedingly dark, well the third wasn't as bad as the other two, but that some of the gaming was very obscure. The author really leaves the player in the dark about some things that are crucial for progression and this lead me to starting this game about 4 different times and each time I gave up after a couple of minutes and didn't go back to it for weeks. What the author has decided is that he will have trigger tiles throughout to open some gates or whatever but these trigger tiles are not marked in any way so once you are clued into this fact you'll find yourself just running around a room hoping that you might find the tile needed, but you have to know this fact and I only got this relevant news through the forums. The author has also set red herring traps all over to confuse and it did just that to me, the thing is I love the use of red herrings as I think they are quite a witty inclusion but the player needs to be allowed into the joke as well so that they get that it actually is a red herring, but here you can feel like you are leaving something unfinished and start stressing later that you may have overlooked some crucial whatever, this was what happened with the effect of Lara turning into a dog, yeah sounds like a fantastic visual treat for the player but it turned out to be utterly frustrating as it seems like an important moment but nothing ever comes of it, it was all just odd. But you know what, I amazingly had a fairly good time playing this as it had such a unique twist to it, and there are some visual elements that were just stop in your tracks brilliant like these teeny tiny Von Croys that helped Lara proceed, and even the gaming had a certain thinking logic that had me churning over the brain cells. So if you can tolerate the darkness and are willing to overlook some annoying aspects the author has decided to insert, I'm sure you will have a really good time too, you will definitely remember it afterwards that's for sure. 2 hours with no secrets found." - Sash (01-May-2006)

"Chilling and gut wrenching at times, the atmoshere is dark, in more ways than one: demonic laughter, screams and traps that gobble Lara up and then there's Lara, morphing into a dog....not your usual Raid. Lara's mission is to release the children's souls, release the queen of the Ant-men and to find three rolls(scrolls) that contain information to send a particular evil spirit back to hell - presumably in the continuation of the series. Parts of the Raid are accomplished with the aide of an Angel and of course there's the helpful goblin who removes the exit barrier at the end. Unfortunately, there is a shortcut - bypassing two scrolls and arriving at the end without all the information. There is no indication how many scrolls have been picked up - if you pick up one, two or three, it registers as one. Also, no way back to the pick up area to retrieve one of the pupils. There are two to be found right next to each other and if Lara is low on health she dies picking one of them up. I needed a save from a forum member to finish the game at the point where I needed the second pupil. It would have been a game-stopper for me. Gameplay/Puzzles would have been a 9 from me without the shortcut and the game-stopper. This is, I think, a first-time level from Marcos and it's excellent in atmosphere and sounds - haunting(not sure if that's good or bad)with new traps and a few really tricky puzzles with a promise of more to come. Imaginative, creative and spooky. If you like your Raiding with a few chills, this one is a keeper." - Bene (29-Mar-2006)

"A three part level, well two and a hiccup. Unless I drastically missed something the last section was very short. Good things first, there was enough novel experiences (both good and bad for Lara) to keep any one's interest going. Now the downer, IT IS DARK. The author states"In the game prevail darken places, so I suggest that the PC monitor don't receive direct light from the outside. This is perfect for night players." and he is not wrong. Even the flares at time only give a dim light, and you do get tired of peering at the screen. More light would for me have made this a superb level rather than a frustrating one. The graphics and textures dark though they are good and set up an excellent atmosphere which is dark in other ways, as you enter very large areas. Plenty of things to kill and avoid, well a lot of things do kill Lara. The sound is good especially the voiceovers which are very effective. All in all well worth playing particularly if you like dark levels in every sense." - Whistle (23-Mar-2006)
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