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Level: The Ancient Stone Saga - City of Marostica (Demo v2.0) back home search
Author(s): Trey
total rating:7.15 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
CC 5 5 7 6
Elsa 8 8 8 9
Gerty 5 6 8 8
Gill 7 8 8 9
Jay 6 7 8 8
Jose 5 7 7 9
Kristina 6 6 8 8
MichaelP 7 7 8 8
Orbit Dream 6 7 9 9
Phil 7 8 8 8
Ryan 6 6 8 8
Sash 5 6 6 6
category averages
(12 reviews)
6.08 6.75 7.75 8.00

Reviewer's comments

"I haven't played the original version of this level, but judging by the reviews, the differences are minor, so I may not bother playing it. This little town is indeed a relaxing and plausible setting with a cinema, warehouse and a tank area reminiscent of Thames Wharf. The gameplay doesn't keep up to the visuals, though. Key collecting is the order of the day, as well as many buttons to locate, and there are no "puzzles" as such. I see this never made it into a full series. Shame." - Ryan (16-Oct-2016)

"I'm the first one in years to play and review this level. Since I've never played the earlier release (and wouldn't have remembered it if I had), I don't have that sense of "no, not again" expressed by a number of the reviewers who had played both levels only a couple of years apart. It starts promisingly, with an attractive Venice look, but it quickly deteriorates into an exercise of opening doors to push buttons that open more doors, etc. There's quite a bit of going back and forth, so I'm glad I had Harry Laudie's walkthrough for guidance. Even so I spent a little more than an hour here, so you get quite a bit of gameplay for the download. It was all a bit too bland for my tastes, but the pleasant scenery covers a multitude of sins." - Phil (28-Jun-2015)

"Not having played the original,I was pleasently surprised by this. Although the Gameplay is rather tedious and extremely non-linear to begin with (in fact,the use of the Walkthrough is almost essential in order to get your bearings)the construction is very impressive (the Cinema;the fully explorable buildings;the complex cellar areas) and the atmosphere (particularly the use of music and ambient sounds) is extremely potent and absorbing. Enemies are fairly few,but placed well;and there's a sense of the adventure building toward a good Finale - all the more disapointing,then,that such an event does not occur (this being the ostensible first part of a longer adventure). Despite these misgivings,I actually found this to be a massively underrated adventure;the technical and creative skill of the Builder is most impressive and the level has a highly polished feel which should have placed it into a somewhat more elevated position. But,then again,perhaps that's the price you pay for taking two years to release a remake of an earlier Demo." - Orbit Dream (05-Jul-2008)

"The first impression is that it could be a good level, but once you play about half an hour you notice that it's not what you've suppose. Scenes are good, and all the level is well decorated and textured, good architecture and a lot of details, but the game was bored for me 'cause I was all the time looking for keys, pressing buttons and pulling switches; I couldn't find puzzles, only near the end move a box over a marked tile. I couldn't find extra weapons too, although I picked up ammo for the uzis. Sometimes there are not cameras to show you what you're doing when ussing a button or a switch. Best of the level are textures and lights, but I didn't find an interesting gameplay." - Jose (26-Jul-2006)

"First time playing this level, I enjoyed it. The tall buildings,chattering birds, and updated "Legend Lara", when left standing Lara gently moves her head side to side. Interesting cinema, nice colors and texture walls in the bathrooms complete with -toothbrushes? There was plenty of light in the sewers, the rooms and staircases look good, and outside had a nice atmoshere. Gameplay flowed very well, sometimes a little confusing trying to find what all the switches did. The room with burners was difficult to figure how to open the end door, resorted to the walkthrough to find how simple it was. Just the right amount of health packs, but more uzis ammo was needed. So over all a good level." - Elsa (07-Jul-2006)

"The first demo of this level would not start for me, on the mac, no matter what I did. This time it loaded fine, and I could play and interact with a lot of things... up to a certain point. I've read all the threads and the walkthrough and no matter how often I started this the gunman in the cinema toilets did not appear, resulting in my not taking his key to open the next door. So that is where it all ended for me. There are certain things the author needs to look at in this demo. One being the textures. Some are invading their neighbours space, and the player can 'look over' textures if Lara run/jumps through this city. I do like the layout and design, although I thought the numerous side rooms with nothing to do in them a waste. They are crying out for a little adventure. The cinema is fab. My consolation is that this is to be part of a bigger level/series. So perhaps, when finished, and properly tested, I will finally get to play this right to the end." - CC (05-Jul-2006)

"I didn't play the first version of this demo, so I found this one quite entertaining and an enjoyable adventure to play. It all revolves around finding many keys, which were scattered and hidden around this city of Marostica. Your enemies are mainly dogs and guards, which were very well placed, but some were quite hard to take out and took a lot of Lara's health away. During your quest, you will encounter a maze type environment, whereby you need to push many buttons to open up some doors and trap-doors. You will also be flooding and de-flooding another area and bypassing traps of fire burners and fire tiles. I'm not sure if this was a flaw or not or if it was intended this way, but the door behind the fire burners did not open, after pulling that jump-switch (I assume that's what it was for), so I decided to sprint past the burners to see if it would open on approaching, well yes I got burnt to a cinder in the process, but the door did open, so I reloaded a save and I was able to continue again. In general, I thought the layouts of each room was superbly done by this author, and I just loved that little computer sitting on the table, it looked so realistic, with XP written on the screen, so I had a little giggle to myself. The architecture, lighting, textures and placement of objects was excellently chosen, to give you exactly the right kind of atmosphere for this type of level environment. I enjoyed playing this level very much and I am now looking forward to playing the full version from this author." - Gill (17-Jun-2006)

"I really can't see the logic behind a second version of a demo. There may well have been some differences between this and the first version; actually given my Teflon memory there could have been loads, but it's largely academic considering this is still a demo version. Really, I can only echo my original comments - it looks and sounds great and basically I think it has great potential if expanded into a proper, finished game." - Jay (13-Jun-2006)

"This is a remake and apart from lesser enemies it is indeed a bit harder to find all the Keys you need, as the guards that carried them in the first version are not there anymore. Just my luck that I downloaded this level with a faulty TR4 file as the Key for the gate wouldn't fit, so downloading again at least I had the right TR4 file and what do you know.... The game ended about 4 paces later. I wished that Trey either made a new level or released this one instead of the previous one. This is a bit hard for me to review as most of the building was already done in the previous level" - Gerty (10-Jun-2006)

"I really wish authors would focus their energy on new stuff and not a only ever so slightly change revision of levels that we already had the pleasure to play almost two years ago. Yes, this seems a bit more 'mature' and yes there are a few slight changes to gameplay, but all in all it is much the same as the initial release. So, let's hope the Saga actually turns out to be a Saga in the not to distant future and not only a Demo v3.0." - MichaelP (09-Jun-2006)

"I could not point out the differences in this version from the first as everything at least to my eyes was the same. By my old review though there was rain in the city where here it is dry and also near the end of the level it seems a steam vent area has been removed and a staircase inserted instead which would seem to be a negative instead of a positive as this level needs some more thrills. I also collected the last key but it did not work in the lock of the gate so knowing this was the end I just exited out. Frankly I would wait for this to be part of the bigger game the readme states it will be as you will have to replay it again then anyway, which for me will be my third time playing through. God forbid there's a demo v3.0 in-between." - Sash (07-Jun-2006)

"The ones that played the first version of this demo know what it is all about, for the others that might play it for the first time it's a kind of Roman style level with the appropriate setting. In most areas the tasks are the same like the basement areas with the pools, the monkey swing and the pushable box etc. Unfortunately it's as tiring as the first version because of the many keys we have to collect and the underwater maze wasn't an enjoyable part for me. Some things have changed but I am not sure what exactly, I think the way we get a key or a few of the enemies. The demo ends when we use the gate key and another gate down the corridor opens automatically. There was a third gate though on the left that I had no key for, maybe I missed it somewhere. My advice to the builder is to make this less confusing and cut some keys because they really serve no purpose. Instead he can make a few puzzles to make this more interesting. " - Kristina (03-Jun-2006)
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