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Level: BtB2007 - Jobmond & Co back home search
Author(s): Skyld
total rating:8.26 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Akcy 10 8 10 10
Andzia9 7 7 7 7
Bene 7 7 10 10
CC 9 7 9 9
eRIC 8 7 9 9
eTux 9 9 8 10
Gerty 6 7 8 8
Jay 8 8 9 9
Jerrod 5 6 4 6
JesseG 8 9 9 9
Jorge22 8 8 9 10
Jose 6 7 8 8
Kristina 7 8 8 8
manarch2 7 5 8 8
MichaelP 9 7 9 8
Mman 8 9 9 10
Orbit Dream 5 8 8 10
Phil 6 8 9 9
Ravenwen 10 10 10 10
Raymond 9 9 9 9
rjb 8 8 8 8
Ryan 7 8 9 9
TimJ 10 9 10 9
Treeble 8 9 10 10
category averages
(24 reviews)
7.71 7.83 8.63 8.88

Reviewer's comments

"Whew, where to start with this one! There is no doubt it is meticulously constructed, with tasteful texturing and lighting and the convincing atmosphere of a rundown area of London, complete with collapsed buildings and sloping ground. The gameplay leaves me with mixed feelings, however. The timed runs and the block puzzle helped spice up the gameplay, but the endless backtracking made me deduct a couple of points because it irritated me. It is a unique entry in the London contest, however." - Ryan (13-Aug-2016)

"A strongly crafted level that I enjoyed chasing the homeless guy through. The architecture really added to the level in several places. The best part was the lighting, I can easily say it has been the best I have seen so far in this series. Gameplay had a few stumbling blocks, it can be hard for the player to understand what is intended. The best example is the corridor where you're supposed to not touch the see-through tiles to avoid igniting a flame. Deadly tiles could have been better marked as well. Still, it was a great level. 54 minutes." - JesseG (16-Jul-2016)

"One of the oddest levels I've ever come across. The whole level is created with very unrealistic and hyper-complex architecture which, together with the unusual texturing, creates a surreal atmosphere that - surprise - works very well. It's maybe at times a bit too strange and incoherent but I rather liked the style. The gameplay is also a matter of taste - at first you often search for one single lever in a very large (and, obviously, confusing) area, without any camera hints for switches - and I'm also not sure I like it totally, but it has its certain something; what can be said is that there are very few tasks and the areas are not used to their potential though. The timed tasks are thoroughly fun at least but often the gameplay feels a bit too ordinary for such a game and not always very creative. Another thing I noticed is that it's not needed to do a certain trapdoor sequence as you can jump directly to the button ledge from the start. There is an almost complete absence of enemies but I liked the scenes of the dude you can kill only at the very end. The rooms are very barren of objects and maybe too much of the atmosphere relies on the texturing and the sometimes psychedelic lighting. By the way, there is not a single room that is dark in any way, some of the reviews are really a mystery to me in that regard. Moreover, the level has a very horror-like and mysterious feeling without being dark at all, which is a seldom effort. A 30 minute effort that is certainly something different and one of the most unique levels of the contest, even if it's not a very good game overall. Found two rather oddly hidden secrets in 30 minutes." - manarch2 (24-Jul-2015)

"This level is a contender for the most unique London-themed level ever. I don't think I've seen a level with more strange geometry, and the textures and lighting also complement the weirdness perfectly and make it believable. The level seems very complex, but it's actually not too bad, the main confusion comes from the level's route splitting in two at one point; if you miss that point it's very easy to have no idea what to do later. The geometry leads to some very non-standard jumps and there's some tricky timed runs and obstacles thrown in as well. It does feel a little empty at times though and it also ends very anti-climatically; it feels like it's winding up to a major climax to all the weirdness but it just ends, in a normal level that could be ignored, but in a level like this, that offers an intriguing mystery, it leaves a lingering feeling of disappointment to an otherwise excellent level." - Mman (03-Nov-2012)

"Quite difficult level. Very lot's of rooms, blocks and ledges, and is very easy to get lost. We are in dark city, but fortunately, we have enough flares. All we have to do is find switches, bateries and receptacles for them. Sometimes we must come back in very beginning. Not many enemies, just few crows and rats and only in the end we meet human enemie." - Andzia9 (29-May-2010)

"The gameplay consist only to research "something" in this level, then some dubious jumps near the end. Textures & light are correct, but for the level design it's hard for me to say I like this triangle-land. The camera give only some useless fixed shots while the clues are welcome and I found only 2 box of flares while the half of the level is in the dark. Sorry but for my part this level is a disaster in term of user-friendliness." - Jerrod (05-May-2010)

"One of the longest levels in the BTB2006 London contest, as you explore many different areas with some backtracking. Many of these places have been designed to give a special and rather strange atmosphere to this city. The architecture , the use of the lone lost guy lurking, all contribute to give a feeling of a post urban setting. As for the gameplay , if there is some backtracking and maybe a lack of guidance , there is some enjoyable and challenging moments especially when it comes to the timed doors and runs. Very well done and absorbing." - eRIC (16-Jun-2008)

"Funny though as I loved and at the same time hated this level. I loved the challenge of the jumping but I really hated the back and fro bit as the lay out of this level was confusing, to say the least. Right by the start you can see that the author of this level used quite a lot diagonals and triangles and although there are a few illegal slopes, I expected much more, so well done I would say. I hated the timed runs with a vengeance but mastered them just when I decided enough was enough and that is cutting it way too close in my book." - Gerty (07-May-2007)

"This is a great example of the diversity of imagination and skill that goes into these back to basic levels. Every builder is given the same wad and tools, and it's up to each one to create their own unique masterpiece. It's always amazing how different they are. If quirky architecture, like we see here in this 'chopped up London', was designed, textured and lighted without due thought the whole thing could turn out to be an awful mess. Not so in this case. It has been very well put together. Very different, and surreal. The player soon gets used to the broken ground and numberous slopes that form different shaped structures. Experienced players will love this, especially the unusual jumping. And it will certainly bring you to a grinding halt every now and then as you try and figure out what to do next, or where to go. The whole level could turn into a backtracking nightmare, so the player will need to remember what they saw and where, i.e. closed doors, as there are very few camera hints. There was a particularly tough jump and hop off a slope to grab a projection of a huge central structure in one tall dark room. Another room has a tough timed run off a track to a tunnel, over a barrier, and through a closing door. But overall this is quite a fun level to play 'if' you know what you're doing. And it certainly is a unique experience negotiating this weird and wonderful landscape. I thought the thugs we see every now and then, but don't actually encounter, was a nice idea. Or is it the same guy we finally catch up with and steal his key? Flooding and draining a room with a propellor, the timed trapdoors, crate pushing exercise, another moveable column part, and the route around that tall structure were all good fun. If we found an unusual artifact... or any artifact for that matter... it would have added greatly to the experience. Definitely the most unusal, original, level in this year's competition." - CC (20-Mar-2007)

"What a level ! It's very strange and I can guess it won't be liked by everyone. But it's a masterpiece in terms of building. When I play it I was sure it would be in the top 3 of BtB07. It was a bit tricky to out the way I had to take because the level is really non-linear. I must admit that I went twice on the forums to find some help. There are a lot of backtracking but it's not a problem for me. There are a lot of tricky jumps and timed runs. The timed run whit the fire to pick up the second portable motor was really frustrating but I forgive this because I made worse things in my levels. ^^ I find only one secret and I never understood when it opens... It was a good secret because the player needs to remember this door before exiting the level but I did not like the seconde one. It should have been better if there was a hint like a transparent ceiling. The atmosphere was astonishing but really amazing. The lighting and texturing was a little bit worse at the end of the level. But it is anyway a masterpiece." - TimJ (06-Mar-2007)

"Judging from the other reviews and the posts in the stuck thread, there's a bittersweet reaction to this level much like a love-hate relationship. Once your frayed nerves have settled down a bit it's impossible not to admire the builder's mastery. This is a marvelously constructed level, but I have the conviction that somewhere along the way the builder lost sight of the cardinal rule that a game is supposed to provide enjoyment and entertainment. Did I appreciate the builder's skill and imagination? Without a doubt. Did I have a fun time playing the level? Not one damn bit. Yoav has provided a walkthrough that's complete and reliable, but the backtracking got so tedious near the end that I finally enabled the flycheat so I could bring the ordeal to a merciful end. Others have managed to get all the way through without a walkthrough, and I applaud them. Unless your gaming skills approach those of an expert, however, I suggest you don't try it. Recommended only because the dutiful raider is expected to play and review all of the BtB London levels that have been entered in the competition." - Phil (29-Jan-2007)

"Interesting level building, meant to be confusing by design, just going through a room is adventurous enough. Unfortunately that left less room for objects, but the setting of each room, and the variety of textures in them, saturated all. Just a few enemies, but somehow I didn't miss them, this level managed to keep the tension without them. Very good timed runs, some required quite a few attempts from my part, I like nasty timed tasks, when we have to master every move to get there in time. An extra point for the second secret, took me a good half hour to find it. It was cleverly hidden, not unfairly though, but one has to know the game to be suspicous about that ladder. I didn't like the ending, expected some answers concerning that corporation. Still, the challenging gameplay and interesting level design made this one of the best B2B '07 levels." - Akcy (23-Jan-2007)

"The complexity of this level got into my nerves. I really don't see the point for so much backtracking and so many items to find. The timed run was very tight and I managed it after a few tries. Even I got upset with this level even though it is known that I am always in for a challenge. Challenge is good but torture is bad. I just got tired running and jumping around and I was glad when it was over. Don't think that this is a bad level but it is just not my cup of tea. I found one secret." - Kristina (18-Jan-2007)

"At the time of writing this game has the largest number of pages on the 'stuck' forum, the unorthodox architecture and the 'broken down' layout of many of the surroundings perhaps making it particularly difficult for players to distinguish one place from another and remember which door they saw in which location. I liked the odd jumps and bounces that were occasionally necessary and certain 'design curves' in some of the areas we visited - I think particularly of the initial main jump in the 2nd yellow fuse area - and I don't dislike unusual design per se (I'm all for variety), though where areas where also dark, to add such complexity of architecture as well seems to be asking a bit much of a player's tolerance. I also liked the small moving block puzzle (more in a moment) after the rolling barrels, the raising of the water to find an otherwise inaccessible 'motor'/fuse, having to work out viable routes for the timed runs and in some places the combination of things we needed to do before we could reach something (eg, the red key). And the main 'hub' room, where we had a number of things to accomplish, was nice and bright (in comparison to many other areas). After the block puzzle, when we opened a door I recognised as being back at the start of the game well before I had 'completed' the main hub room, I began to wonder if the builder intended us to backtrack all the way to the beginning at this point (if that were possible) or should I assume the builder had 'programmed' a return there after I had completed this room? I decided to go back (found that I could do so) and investigated at considerable length (solving the timed run there, finding a conglomeration of further bits and pieces in a road and/or rail building site) only to eventually decide that I would, instead, try and 'finish' the hub room first after all. (I understand that had I stayed there I would have found a closed door eventually, stopping further progress, so I would have had to come all the way back again.) My philosophy at this point, then: to hope that at some point there would be a resolution to this dilemma, so that I wouldn't keep going back and forth, wondering which course of action I was 'intended' to be taking. (The unmarked climb I accidentally found and porous ceiling to a secret didn't fill me with lots of positive thoughts on this score, though.) As I eventually became more familiar with everything - the darkness of many non-hub rooms allied to the unorthodoxy combining to make this a less pleasurable experience than I would have liked - I recognised that the author's plan must have been to do as much as possible in the hub area (including finding that 2nd yellow 'motor') and only then make the trek back to the beginning and what ensued. My mis-timed 'journey' did mean that the final timed run, having tried it several times on my earlier trip, was not too difficult at the end but I'm not sure this was compensation for my several hours of confusion. (Very easy for the builder, so familiar with this complex layout, and where everything is to be found, to overlook how difficult it is for new players to keep it all in their heads - because of the unconventional surroundings.) The last moment of the game is when we use the final key. Unfortunately, this action is subject to the key/keyhole bug, so that if we save at that keyhole (as our final moment) and then reload, we cannot 'finish' the game! A game whose 'unorthodox' style, especially in architecture, allied to the frequent darkness (not as bad as some), succeeded in causing considerable confusion to this player." - rjb (17-Jan-2007)

"So many things to comment on, so little time, lol. First impression upon starting the level: Wow! An upturned city, building segments here and there mingled with mud and ruined parts of train tracks, house roofs at the most impossible spots, rocky overhangs coming out from the most unexpected places... A surreal, futuristic setting, looking like a parallel upturned version of London. A brilliant idea, realised in a very original, particularly inventive and creative way. When I saw that this year's BtB was going to be London-themed, I was very glad because the London levels from TR3 have always been and still are among my top favourites, so it would be very interesting to see what the builders would come up with, having in their hands a specific set of level-building stuff. I have to say that this level surpasses all expectations concerning what may be original or inventive. This subversive and unexpected use of textures is definitely something that you don't often see in a TR game, and it's really amazing to see what impressively original stuff can be produced with using a simple set of familiar city textures. Second impression: gameplay. Oh my goodness! I nearly gave up many times, as several situations seemed impossible, and I had to reload so many times until I was able to successfully make that evil timed run or that weird angled jump on the most inconvenient surfaces. Surely the gameplay is no easy task here; nearly all the situations and puzzles that you are called to deal with are highly challenging and requiring. However it wasn't so bad after moving along a bit - the timed runs seemed more friendly then and although it all seemed too confusing and frustrating at first, as soon as I got the hang of it, 'understood' its surrealistic logic and explored a bit beforehand in every area for recognition, everything seemed smoother - even those evil and unfriendly corners. There is a lot of backtracking to do, and many times you may not know what you are looking for or which path you are supposed to follow; but if you think calmly and sort of form the setting in your mind, you will realise that it's the unexpected texturing that creates all the confusion (when for example you expect to see a smooth road on the next turn, and instead you come across a path made of roofs, uneven steps and hanging rocks); in fact it's not at all that bad. There was a slight problem with a camera close to the start - its use made things worse instead of being helpful, but this really isn't of much importance considering all those quality elements that this level has. There are very few enemies to deal with, as the main focus is placed on the gameplay and atmosphere. I'm happy that I had the patience to continue playing after a necessary small pause, so that I did have the chance in the end to experience the so original and fresh feel of this unusual level. I've played levels that are conventional, levels that are less conventional, levels that are original, levels that are particularly inventive. This one however is like a completely different 'genre' on its own and it definitely stands out from this year's BtB project. If you are up for a big challenge, forget all you knew about conventional Tomb Raider, arm yourself with patience, make sure your brain is clear enough and enjoy this magnificent, genial level." - Ravenwen (15-Jan-2007)

"Such a strange level... The textures/settings are very nicely done, very different from anything else, but the gameplay can get rather confusing - and it does. The best parts of it probably are a couple of tough timed runs for those who like them. Give it a try, naturally, it's a BtB level." - Jorge22 (14-Jan-2007)

"This one is hard for me to rate: is it my own inability that made this so complex and confusing or is it flawed gameplay? Three timed runs in what is supposed to be an hour(or so) level is a bit much and certainly so when the first one is what I can only term, 'a killer' run. I think I have to agree with the 'nutter' who thought Jobmond and Co. "were an invading fragment of alternate reality". Strange angular walls and floors give it an alien, unexpected feel with colors and lighting that can't be faulted, in my opinion. Beautiful and glowing textures that are hard to apreciate while intensely playing. Step away from the monitor to fully see what an awesome work this is. This is a special, different kind of entry for the BtB07 and for some, not to be missed." - Bene (13-Jan-2007)

"This is a rather post-apocalyptic London and it's eerily deserted apart from a few rats and crows. The place could seriously use a good road improvement programme and you'll find yourself tripping and stumbling a lot, making timed runs that much harder (and the first timed run is an absolute beast of a thing). I know it could be argued that I'm easily confused, but I did find this level more than normally confusing and thus occasionally quite frustrating. If you fancy a challenge, this is definitely for you; personally I would have preferred a few more camera hints as to where to go next." - Jay (11-Jan-2007)

"I wouldn't be surprised if this level wouldn't be very popular after the Back to Basics 2007 craze ends off. Not that I wish it anything bad, but I'm not sure how much torture (materializing in the form of utter confusion that inevitably accompanies one playing this level) the mind of a player can take. Ok, that might be pushing it, but I must say I really appreciate Nur's help on the forum with this level, which was the last for me in this year's Back to Basics batch, and without her help, I'm not sure if I had enjoyed it half as much as I did when playing now. "Different" is probably the best word to use when describing this level, because while this is not the London I remember (neither from my real-life visit, nor the ones in the original games), I couldn't help liking the very distinctive style of the architecture, especially in the room where you get your yellow fuse. While the tasks usually are some timed runs or non-standard jumps - sometimes even both combined, they offer a pleasant challenge I found to my liking. What I didn't like so much was the confusion, which resulted in some rather unnecessary backtracking throughout the whole map and a lack of helpful camera hints. I can't say they are totally absent, and while usually their absence would be a blessing when a switch initiates a timed run, it still is a better idea to show where the player should be rushing to even if at the cost of their annoyance over lost seconds. But for anyone playing this - no camera hint and music usually mean a timed run, while a plain lack of camera means that something happened nearby. I found none of the 2 secrets this level has, and was a bit baffled at what exactly did Lara achieve by raiding Jobmond & Co's headquarters when using the key I got from the only enemy in the whole level. While it would've been nice to have some clarification over that, I can easily write that down on the surreality of the whole experience, which I oddly found to my liking. I'd recommend this as it truly is a very unique level worth experiencing, but I wouldn't exactly prepare for an easy raid, so it's up to the you, potential player, whether this sounds intriguing enough to get through despite the shortcomings or not." - eTux (10-Jan-2007)

"A level with good ideas but gameplay was not good for me. Few puzzles and most of the tasks are pull switches and find keys to open doors. Many times you leave areas without the necessary items and when you think you can continue you have to go back again to the same areas and explore a lot. Secrets are difficult to find and there are very few enemies. Although the level is quite dark I've found very few flares. Cameras and textures were the best I liked." - Jose (10-Jan-2007)

"Seven down, three more to go. This is a humongous level and by far the most confusing of the BtB-London levels I've played so far. To start off, every room has intrincate designs, hardly you come across smooth flat sections, and this actually makes the timed runs a tad harder. There are a couple ones here, one for the a second yellow fuse is particularly very tight! I spent a lot of time roaming aimlessly in this level and if it weren't for the help forum, once again, I'd have dropped this one much earlier on. Also another thing that got to me, I had this red key and only later on, thanks for a pointer by laranur, I tried fitting it into a green lock and it fit. That was completely unfair, I'd been hunting a green key for a rather long while back then, but never mind. There are lots of platforming to be done in this level, and that saved it from boredom as you roam up and down the confusing environments. And being perfectly honest, I'm glad it's over. 75 minutes, 1 secret. 01/07" - Treeble (07-Jan-2007)

"This one is definately an aquired taste. Some will find it a masterpiece,due to its stunningly imaginative design and audacious texturing. However,no matter how brilliantly a level is put together,it still succeeds or fails on the strength of its Gameplay;and this is the area which lets it down. I love challenging Gameplay,but it needs to be fair to the player and in this case a highly complex physical area combined with Gameplay (pull a lever;what does it do?)which more often than not is extremely elusive and which usually incorporates a massive degree of backtracking is just not the sort of thing to prove particularly endearing to me.Frustration sets in and spoils what ought to have been another classic level. Taken at face value,this adventure would seem on course to be a masterpice. It looks sensational and is audaciously and superbly crafted with an extremely high level of skill (although some of those angled slopes inevitably caused problems in moving Lara around). The atmosphere is surreal rather than realistic and will impress many people (I was impressed myself,until I'd run past the same areas for at least the tenth time!)and cameras should have been used far more in order to avoid player frustration. Nonetheless,those who adore backtracking aplenty combined with smart visuals will undoubtedly love this.I did my best,but alas it was not to be." - Orbit Dream (06-Jan-2007)

"This one is quite special within the London-BtB-levels. Must be somehow a enchanted part of London. You`ll find nearly no flat spot in this level. All is angled, up and down, but it's very well executed and textured and gives this level it's special charm. It's much about exploring with nice action and puzzles fitted in the right places. Perhaps you have to backtrack one or two times too much. You won't encounter much enemies here, but the ones you`ll encounter are well placed. So definitely a recommendation to play this one." - Raymond (03-Jan-2007)

"Very interesting and quite different level from the others. The architecture has a lot of diagonals and triangles and the texturing is oddly intriguing. Gameplay requires a good memory and solid jumping skills, often looking for the slightly unusual jump, which I enjoyed a lot. The whole atmosphere feels very desolate with only the occasional crow or rat visiting and the spooky character that you meet a few times and get to kill at the end. There are a few timed runs which are quite tough and the overall structure is rather complex, so not a level for the faint of heart, but a nice challenge for the experienced raiders out there." - MichaelP (01-Jan-2007)
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