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Level: Baptism of Fire 1 - The Buried Temple back home search
Author(s): Ampersand
total rating:7.80 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Akcy 6 8 8 9
Blue43 7 8 8 9
christayc 8 5 10 10
Cory 7 7 9 9
dantheraider 7 8 10 10
DJ Full 7 7 8 9
eRIC 6 7 9 8
Gerty 7 7 9 9
Jay 7 7 9 9
Jorge22 6 7 8 9
Jose 7 7 7 8
Kristina 6 7 8 8
Magnus 6 7 7 7
manarch2 5 7 7 8
MichaelP 7 7 9 9
Mman 6 7 7 8
Neso 7 7 9 10
Obig 7 7 8 8
Orbit Dream 7 9 9 9
Phil 8 8 8 8
Ryan 7 7 8 9
Sethian 8 8 10 10
Staticon 8 7 7 9
Treeble 8 8 8 8
category averages
(24 reviews)
6.88 7.25 8.33 8.75

Reviewer's comments

"Short and straightforward, yet also good- looking and enjoyable. This is a supremely flowing level, with short but fun tasks to perform in order to obtain some Hand artefacts. I liked detonating the entrance to find a way in, as well as the long drop down into the Temple itself. A bit short-changed on playing time, but assume that's what the builder was aiming for. A charming first effort and a good start into the Baptism of Fire 1 series..." - Ryan (30-Jul-2017)

"There a nice integration of a little bit of story at the start, as you begin in some sort of base type area (curiously executed with Maria Dora textures) and open the way down to the temple itself, visuals are pleasant with some nice sights and original texture and object use. The custom enemies and objects are also well-implemented. Unfortunately this level is let down by it's length, tasks are very basic and the level ends just when it seems like things should start warming up; this harms every category as the level simply isn't long enough for it's theme or atmosphere to truly develop, and stuff like long, dramatic looking corridors end up leading to short puzzles. Enjoyable for what it is, but the theme doesn't get the chance to come together." - Mman (13-Jul-2014)

"Just when I got myself into the game, it already ends, IMO way too early after 14 minutes. It's of a rather high visual quality, with lighting and textures being very fine throughout, even if the atmosphere is a bit vague with a tad too differently looking areas, but it is very eye-pleasing and beautiful. While I leisurely enjoyed the smaller quests in this game for three serpent stones, a crystal and a hand, they are really too quickly finished to ever get a feeling of immersion. The sole secret is a bit unfairly placed, but it's not impossible to find it without help; the enemy attacks are rather smartly planned and I really enjoyed the fights here, and objects are well placed to support the atmosphere. Overall, a short but sweet little level and an apt choice to start the Baptism of Fire projects. Unluckily we've never seen more of this apparently talented builder." - manarch2 (26-Mar-2014)

"Puzzles are simplier than in another "BoF1" level - "Assyrian Secrets", but, just like in case of yet another game of the same project - "Scroll of Destiny" - they are set in environment interesting enough to forget about their simplicity. And, unlike in "Scroll of Destiny", they are not so linear. What is more, I feel obliged to mention one place where a trapdoor closes behind Lara and locks her in a small room. In that point of the game, Ampersand has created an original way of obtaining a key item, and I know most of players wouldn't have an idea they are supposed to find it in the same room, if the mentioned trapdoor was still open. I can almost hear Gmac's advice to lock players in a small space, what forces them to think about finding an odd solution somewhere nearby, instead of going back only to find nothing and get stuck. Clap, clap. That thing, in cooperation with the two previously pointed out (nice environment and less linearity) improves the overall gameplay impression to a level giving us the best fun in the whole "BoF1" project. Graphics: did I say about the nice environment? Oh, yes - twice. Now technically, it is made of very nice objects (not many, but very well placed - we can go between rows of Tinnos statues and snakes while descending for one of the Ornate Serpents, we can also feel more comfortable due to presence of some plants (however they grow in places that wouldn't support any green life), pillars support the ceiling where they should, and some flame emitters burning on their heads give the temple some religious mood), flawless texturing and very good lighting. But I can't understand why most of authors place some spotlights and shadows only for them to look nice, not caring about real light sources supposed to cast those effects. I'm waiting forward to play a level where I'll see work of a builder not forgetting about solving this issue. That day I'll give a 10. But not now, even though this level is definitely the best looking one from the whole "BoF1" set. The temple is monumental, we can imagine many ancients building it and feel pressure of surrounding rocks. The only thing I don't understand is a ship-like structure above the main part of the game. I don't have a slightest idea what it is - but never mind, as it looks really good. Actually, everything that reminds me of TR2 is good for me. But the secret is a big "no". It can be found only if one accidentally jumps into one place... Never create anything like that again and I wont count it in the final rating. Sound is good, but a little bit misplaced: in one place it's a danger theme what is played, and it's a "behold the place" sound what should be applied. Also, I can see no use for the final sample, which is probably intended to alarm a player about a coming battle, but it sounds rather like a riddle motive. Also, those dinos seem suspicious to me... I feel like Gmac is watching me playing this level... but in a certain moment they attack Lara in a crawlspace, when she is unable to defend. SUMMARY: 25 mins in stats, 40 in real. Another relaxing break. Recommended, just like the whole "Baptism of Fire 1". Playing this set motivated me to take on "BoF2" even today and see if I can recommend it as well." - DJ Full (30-Jan-2011)

"This is a beautifully designed level, especially since it was a debut. The game play here is pretty straightforward and not challenging or stressful so even an inexperienced player can enjoy it. There is a wonderful general atmosphere in this level with good choice of sounds and very nice use of objects. It actually starts looking a little like a TR2 ship level at first but then quickly turns more into a cave type level. It makes perfect sense as the temple is obviously buried underneath a shipwreck. The rooms are connected well and the architecture is very convincing. Texturing and lighting are well done and look absolutely gorgeous. There is a really nice room with a mirror floor that should be mentioned. The enemies are well placed, but not hard, except it seemed that the lizard mutants were quite bullet resistant. The whole level is unfortunately a little short (less than 30 minutes, if you take your time). Too bad it was the only level the builder ever released, as it has such a great atmosphere, look and feel to it that once it was over I was wishing for more by this builder. Definitely recommended for everyone" - Blue43 (12-Nov-2010)

"A pity that this builder stopped creating more levels, I liked this first attempt quite a lot. It is a sort of straightforward level but that is the way I like them. I found the atmosphere real nice, caves do look like caves and the whole lay out is just my cup of tea. It was over before I knew it but that didnít withhold me to have a good look around in every room I had to travel through." - Gerty (04-Mar-2009)

"This is such a sweet debut level it had me waiting more when I crossed the finish trigger. With the exception of the ship-like area in the very beginning, I thought every caveish area was nicely crafted and carefully textured, so the visual effect is nothing short of impressive. Gameplay does lean towards simplicity, but just traversing these caves made me remember of the early days of Tomb Raider. Pardon the nostalgia, but trust me, it's a good thing. 20 minutes. 01/09" - Treeble (06-Jan-2009)

"A good level,rather short, but that I liked playing in general although there is a lack of puzzles. Also the part where you have to shimmy left around a crevice is buggy, so I got to make some kind of complicated jump to land near the pedestal. Aside from that point this is an easy level but not unplesant, far from it, mainly because of the excellent atmosphere. I really like much the place where Lara is trapped in a small room and a green lizard appears to unstuck the situation. Good first try with the editor." - eRIC (05-Apr-2008)

"I haven't posted reviews for a long time. This time I'm gonna deal with Baptism of fire (=BaptÍme du Feu). I recently played it again and I was once again deeply amazed by this young author. The level that she suggested is so damn atmospheric. Generally, lightings are such a pain for first buildings, while here it is the main point of interest, even better than many experimented builders. Short ? OK, but no moment of boredom. Since both others entries in this Baptism are excellent as well, don't hesitate, just download." - Neso (28-Oct-2007)

"By the look of this level I couldn't tell it is the author's first, good layout and professionally applied textures. Gameplay is on the simplistic side, but it's really a great start." - Akcy (17-Sep-2007)

"Even though the setting is quite nice, the gameplay isn't so rich in this level. Of course we have to bear in mind that the builder is new to level building but I think she did a good job. There are a few items to find like hands and serpent items and switches to use. It is easy and short, pure fun and there is no puzzle too difficult so it's suitable for new raiders as well. I am sure as the builder learns new tricks we will see great levels in the future." - Kristina (18-Jan-2007)

"This level is a little bit short. It's a pity, because the textures are not bad. I think a little more could have been brought out from this level. The enemies are little green dinos, beasts and harpies. I don't think you will be lost or stucked on this level. The rooms are very beautiful, I especially liked the marble floor. There is one secret on the level that was cleverly hidden. Since this is the first level of the author, I'm sure he will create some great adventures for us. :) You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version), savegames and pictures here: http://treditor.hu/16/baptism_of_fire1.htm" - Obig (20-Dec-2006)

"An excellent debut level. It had everything I most enjoy when playing or building - doors that close behind me, glimpses of places to come or places visited earlier, shiny floors - all good stuff. The texturing and lighting was excellent but best of all for me, the room designs are superb. As an eternal beginner, I also appreciated that the puzzles and tasks were not too difficult. I really look forward to further levels from Ampersand. Good work." - Staticon (25-Nov-2006)

"I didn't recognize Ampersand's name, although that stands to reason since this is a debut level by definition. A few of the other reviewers refer to the builder as "she," indicating some degree of familiarity, so maybe I'm just out of the loop. Anyway, I would be proud to have released this as my maiden voyage. It bears some unmistakable signs of George's tutelage, and Ampersand has learned her lessons well. We're treated to a fairly short romp of thirty minutes or so, but the atmosphere (although dark, the way George likes it) throughout is very effective. As others have remarked, it's rather easy, but there are some relatively challenging tasks along the way, such as negotiating some flaming blocks and dealing with various enemies with a minimum of firepower. I wouldn't know a blank texture if it slapped me in the face, so I readily admit that I'm not hard to please. I'm looking forward to lots & lots & lots of more complex levels from this promising builder." - Phil (18-Nov-2006)

"The Baptism of Fire project is an interesting concept, and Iím sure the new builders appreciated working less on their own and more in a team environment, but Iím surprised only three people managed to finish their levels. It makes these three levels all the more special, I guess. One thing I canít help but question, though (and this has nothing to do with this level in particular, itís just that I played it first), is the choice of title flyby. Itís nice and all, but has absolutely nothing to do with this project, and feels more like a way to advertise Jungle Ruins 3 than anything else. Less of that next time, please. Well, enough about the project in general Ė letís see what this level is like. Texture-wise, itís of a high quality, especially compared to a lot of other debut levels Iíve played. Unfortunately, while itís hard to find anything particularly wrong with any of the rooms, none of them are awe-inspiring. The caves look like caves, and there are no stretched textures in the rooms, but it ends up being a bit too forgettable for its own good. The gameplay also suffers from being overly simple, and I easily finished the level in less than fifteen minutes (even playing the last few minutes with one hand while talking on the phone). Items you need to open doors are usually nearby, oftentimes not needing any effort at all to get, and some of them are just lying out in the open, waiting for you to pick them up. Thereís nothing in this level that feels challenging, and while thereís nothing wrong with a level being easy, it would have benefited from being more complex than it currently is. In the end, this is an enjoyable level while it lasts, and hopefully the author has learned enough from building it, so that her next level will be longer and not quite as easy." - Magnus (08-Nov-2006)

"Good debut. Although it's a short level and there's not great puzzles it's not a bad level. Easy and fast gameplay with not difficult tasks, this temple is not very dangerous. Only the shotgun as extra weapon (if you don't find the secret) but ammo enough to deal with no much hard enemies. A simple but credible environment with not very complex rooms; I only found a small bug, trying to shimmy around the pillar to get the first Hand of Orion, Lara got stucked going around the corner if you don't jump to grab the crack at the very limit of the crack. If this builder continue building new levels, I'm sure that they'll be better." - Josť (08-Nov-2006)

"I loved this level, too short. But I enjoyed it. And I'm looking forward to seeing more levels from this author as well." - dantheraider (03-Nov-2006)

"This is short, simple and very easy on the eye. The builder seems to me to have well mastered the basics of the level editor Ė I didnít notice any of the telltale faults of a debut level and it looked really well constructed and attractive. The gameplay was perhaps a little too basic for my tastes, but the pace was good and the enemies (harpies, compys and little green lizard creatures) were well placed. Certainly a most promising start." - Jay (02-Nov-2006)

"A great debut from Ampersand and we can only hope to see more from this talented builder. This is a fairly straightforward level but still there are some good gameplay ideas, like the fire turning into a lizard who then drops an artefact, and the rooms architecture, texturing and lighting is positively stunning. I rather stumbled across the one secret (or fell into it to be precise) and was sad it already ended after just over 20 minutes. More please!" - MichaelP (31-Oct-2006)

"This isn't really Egypt at all... Apart from that, although this must have been the most straightforward level I've played to date, where all Lara has to do is finding objects in order to use them as keys so she can escape wherever she is with a very easy degree of difficulty, I thought the textures were very well done and I'm sure Ampersand could have done much better. We must think of this as an exercise, I guess. I liked the placement of the secret in the pool." - Jorge22 (13-Oct-2006)

"I must say, for the authors first level, this is the best i have ever seen, a nicely compaced level, beautiful atmosphere, lovely scenary, and a good place of objects, pickups and secrets :) this stunning level is puzzly and a you ride through with your author, Well done :) a must to download" - christayc (08-Oct-2006)

"A great first level by ampersand (I know she will do well in the b2b) find 3 serpents and then end the level, i loved the baddies but it could have done with one less bird. there were good puzzles, stepping on the tile to make something explode and killing baddies to make something appear elsewhere. The textures were amazing and would have been perfect if not for a BLANK TEXTURE gasp. But it was still marvellous. Well done ampersand :D" - Cory (07-Oct-2006)

"This is a simply stunning debut.There is not one slack moment in the whole of this adventure,and the enjoyment factor is everywhere very high. From the detonating of the entrance at the start and the resulting plunge into the Temple,to the fun aquisition of the three dragon keys and the various cheeky and amusing enemies,you will have a superb and fun-filled experience.Technically (aside from a missing texture at the very end) this was a superb and extremely polished accomplishment. My only complaint is that I was able to breeze through it in 25 minutes and hardly paused for breath.Although 'quality over quantity' may be ample compensation for most players,some may find the short duration and general ease of completion to be a slight dispointment. Nonetheless,this little adventure is packed with good things (I won't give any more of them away!)and is a superb achievement for a first effort. For what it's worth,this was my favourite of the three (excellent) Baptism of Fire adventures." - Orbit Dream (06-Oct-2006)

"This Baptism of Fire project was made in order for newbie builders to gently ease their way into the level editing world under the guidance of someone proficient with the level editor. It's quite funny to see how when it was first announced it had around 15 members, and now gradually one by one members either dropped out or where banned off for whatever reasons. Ultimatley, the weat was sorted from the chaff, and the project was distilled to a mere set of three levels... yet this certainly doesn't reduce the project's quality - on the contrary in fact. I myself actually question why a builder such as Ampersand even needed to have her breakthrough in a project like this, since her level clearly demonstrates that she would be capable of making quite a massive and impressive set of levels all by herself :) I tend to get quite annoyed with levels whose story is no more then a "get lara out" scenario... yet Ampersand seems to have turned this into a bit of a joke in the readme, which is a nice bit of humour, and from playing the level I can tell that she most likely had more intended for the story and level. I believe it was initially called "The Serpent King" (wether this was meant to be an homage to Lawther's brilliant "Lizard King" I do not know) and one notices the serpent-feel the level has from some of the decorative serpent objects placed around and the serpent puzzle holes. Most likely the level was sealed together and the initial serpent story dropped due to finishing the level for the deadline... yet once again, this does not reduce the level's wonderful nature one tiny bit. The gameplay is very simple, and clearly shows the builder mainly having fun in experimenting with the editor.. and this is as it should be for a first level. Had the Serpent King storyline been carried through more, there probably would have been more of a storyline feeling to it. Yet, instead the main objective is finding puzzle items and unlocking doors with these, yet each puzzle item and the way to it is set up in a very creative way that make playing this level a great experience. There are also some very nice ideas, such as the mine effect, or the blood crystal only appearing on a pedestal after one kills a lizard. There could have been more traps and a thicker story in this level for my taste, yet luckily none of the challenges and traps setup by the creator were of an inane driving-me-into-insanity type nature, which therefore made the gameplay a very enjoyable and relaxing experience. I wasn't to sure about some of the enemies used in this level. One thing i defenetly liked, is how the level wasn't cluttered with human enemies jumping out of every corner. I believe after legend we are all sick of the 5,000 merceneries hatching at a more rapid rate then natla's atlanteans. I also thought the tr3 lizard monsters where great to the serpent-like atmostphere of the level. Some snakes would have been great too. I'm not sure how I felt about the little green dinos running around. i'm not quite certain if dinosaurs fit inwith the terrain. Also the egyptian harpies seemed a little odd and out of place... yet then again its nice to encounter some flying enemies again. The object choice was very good I thought. The golden serpents were a nice addition to the subtle storyline, and I loved the blood crystal and its appropriate puzzle hole from tr3gold. I was a little peeved to see bits like orion hands and guardian keys again.. simply because those items are just overused in custom levels :p The one secret was a very nice and different idea for a secret. At first I thought I had stumbled into a bug when diving into the pool... but then I realized that it was a very nice touch to have Lara go through a wall for a secret... although it was a very easy secret to hit due to her diving so deep. still, a very very nice idea ;) The atmostphere in this level starts off great. Lara is at some sort of dig site, that then leads her deep into the tomb she is exploring. The only thing i disliked is that it isnt quite certain where we are. It's partially jungle, partially greco-roman, and partially egyptian... i'm not normally a fan of these cutsom levels that place us in some sorft of magical world with no coherence, yet I over-looked it this time due to the fact that a form of atmostphere is still there, and the environment we're in looks spectacular... (but what are those little green dinos doing there?). The sound is great, I love the tr1 feeling returning with the caves music, and the use of cameras is also nice and simple, helpful and not at all overdone when it comes to flybys. As to the lighting and textures: is there anything I need to say? Oh yes...: this is probably one of the best lit and textured custom levels I have ever played, and it really is incredible to see this in a so-called newbie project. So few builders (even some of the pros) take their time with excellent texturing.. but Ampersand's work here is just spectacular. Although there is a mix of ireland, jungle, tr4 and a bit of this and that to be found in this level, the texures transition smoothly, and the lighting adds to this and makes Lara and her environment look beautiful wherever she goes. Although there arent really any custom made objects or textures in this level, it still looks like something new and beautiful to explore, and I think Ampersand did a fantastic job in creating this. I look foreward to playing all of the other levels I know she will build someday. well done!!!" - Sethian (05-Oct-2006)
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