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Level: Back to Basics 2007 - Key to the Mutant's Locker back home search
Author(s): mugs
total rating:7.80 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Akcy 8 9 9 9
Bene 8 8 8 8
Catherin 9 8 9 8
CC 7 8 8 8
eRIC 8 8 8 8
eTux 5 6 7 6
Gerty 6 8 7 8
Jay 9 8 9 9
JesseG 8 9 8 7
Jorge22 8 8 8 10
Jose 8 9 8 9
Kristina 7 7 8 8
manarch2 5 6 6 6
MichaelP 8 8 8 8
Mman 7 7 7 7
Orbit Dream 5 7 8 9
Phil 9 9 9 9
Ravenwen 6 7 8 8
rjb 8 8 9 9
Shandroid 8 7 7 8
suzieq51 7 8 7 8
TimJ 10 8 9 7
Treeble 7 8 9 7
category averages
(23 reviews)
7.43 7.78 8.00 8.00

Reviewer's comments

"Now this was a solid entry. The strongest point to me was all the pickups and secrets that can be found, I enjoyed hunting those down. The combat was a good addition as well. The weakest part was the lighting, which was pretty consistently flat throughout, and the textures which have quite a bit of warping; there were also a number of unmarked death squares and a poorly marked monkeyswing at the start. While the subway may not make a great first impression, things get better though as the player emerges in the city which is nicely constructed, and contains some challenging jump sequences and timed runs, though I would have loved to see more puzzles involved and not the overabundance of jumpswitches. It was a nice adventure in the city. 43 minutes." - JesseG (10-Jul-2016)

"It's really a bit of an oddity that Mugs's BtB levels seem to stand behind most of her other levels and this is no exception. The overall city is rather solidly constructed with rather small scale, but effective architecture, a few attempts to create realistic settings and a quite good large area that you spend most of the time in. But then there are also a lot of, say, uncarefully applied textures, flat lighting, even missing object textures and multiple end of the world views. The church area has too low resolution textures and looks rather bland as a result. The gameplay is at least fluent and overall rather fun, with a mix of everything in here, but on the whole feels rather simple and a bit uninspired. There is an underwater lever I found very hard to spot in the open lake, it blends very well in the textures behind; the unmarked deadly tiles are not a very nice thing too. At least there are a few nifty timed runs and slightly harder tasks. There are plenty of enemies to battle, some are even used in creative situations (like the one that seems to push the barrels down the ramp). The object design is rather basic with only a few highlights (there is an overuse of poles though of which most aren't necessary to use) and the five secrets are mainly quite easy to find with one or two exceptions. A game that is rather enjoyable but doesn't quite keep up to the other games. 20 minutes." - manarch2 (24-Jul-2015)

"Design here is relatively simple but gets the job done; it primarily set outdoors with a couple of detours into a church and subway. The crane area that is the centrepiece of the second half is quite decent looking (although the constant use of fences to block Lara from the end of the world feels a bit sloppy), although the interiors are pretty simple. While I didn't have too many problems outside of an extremely hidden underwater switch and one key the gameplay feels oddly obtuse, with several secrets seemingly part of standard progression, and stuff like important areas hidden behind small crawlspaces. The ending was also very anti-climatic, and you never get to see what's in the locker. A decent enough entry despite it's flaws." - Mman (01-Nov-2012)

"Another good London level with a good balance between action and exploration which is not always straightforward. The map is very good and offers to the player a diversity of options and settings which are convincing by the way. A dynamic level with baddies , timed runs , traps and of course some decent and thorough searching is required." - eRIC (16-Jun-2008)

"I found this one confusing, not so much as in loosing my way as this is a level with some back and fro, but I confusing in why I was send one way to discover yet again that there was a closed door and then running around to find a lever that opened that closed door. The timed runs were not such a problem apart from finally finding that underwater lever as that eluded me big time. Overall the lighting was better as I didnít need flares as much as I did in other levels. But with the gameplay the logic escaped me utterly." - Gerty (07-May-2007)

"The nano-second after you start this level you are attacked by thugs. Bet that woke a lot of people up. Giving the impression that this is going to be a shooter with many enemies at every turn. Although there are more enemies throughout the level, some well placed, all are easily dealt with. This level is in fact a search for keys, which is fine, considering our ultimate goal is the Mutant's Locker key (which we don't actually find.... or do we?!?). The level is fairly straight forward. There are nice timed runs, pole vaulting, breakable tiles, fire floors, rolling barrels and the usual stuff to do in a London level. Starting out underground; then into an old subway station, out into the streets where we have some interesting roof hopping, getting into an odd looking church, and finally out to the river and the great looking bridge area. Although a great effort has been made, and it all looks good, it's not quite there. A couple of things didn't ring true, i.e. a revolver on a shelf beside the altar, a jumpswitch on the wall, and a rope swing... in a church! This building would have worked better if it was a warehouse. The monkeyswing to a high switch was an interesting route. The hardest part is trying to find an underwater lever. Using this, and the timed run from it, was probably the best part of the level. There were some places that seemed impossible to get to, places we shouldn't have been able to get to, and the abrupt ending left me feeling slightly confused.... unopened doors! Having said all that, this is still a great little level, and a worthy competitor in this years competition." - CC (21-Mar-2007)

"I really enjoyed this level ! There is varied gameplay : timed runs; tricky jumps on falling blocks, with poles or ropes; research, some reflect, well placed ennemies, etc. The level is just difficult enough. it's not too easy nor too hard, making the level not boring nor frustrating. You begin in a place which looks like some subway station and quickly you will reach the city. This city is really well built : there is an entire block of houses which seems real. Fine choice in texturing. But for a more realistic city I would have built something behind the different gate that end the level. The level isn't too long (45 min) but you can be stuck easily because some levers are well hidden. The secrets aren't hard to find, maybe less hidden than some switches. In fact I found the majority of them when I was stuck... Texturing isn't bad but could be better, lighting also. But the general atmosphere is very good. I felt really in a poor area of London near industrial buildings next to the Thames. A great level for a great journey in London." - TimJ (06-Mar-2007)

"This level is another great entry in the BtB 2007 competition. It was a pleasure playing it, very nice gameplay, not too difficult but enough challenges to really enjoy this level. Great architecture; the whole construction of the outside area is very well done, especially the bridge, scaffolding, row houses..." - Catherin (01-Feb-2007)

"Phew, this level started with a bit of action .... no sooner do we load but our beloved heroine is attacked by a couple of really ugly thugs ... but she soon sorts them out and goes on to find several keys although she doesn't quite manage to grab THE key. Lots of baddies to kill, including a couple of very angry puppies and of course a few bats, lots of jumping and swimming have to be done and 2 or 3 timed runs before we're through with this adventure. If you keep your wits about you, you shouldn't have too much trouble finding your way. I especially loved the "lighting"! My grateful thanks to the builder for giving us plenty of light - it was a joy not to keep having to light flares every few steps." - suzieq51 (26-Jan-2007)

"Another game that has a dramatic beginning. There are many challenges throughout that keep us on our toes but nothing that is 'impossible'. Above all, with the track record of the other BtB games, it was great to have so much of it entirely bright enough to be able to see what is happening. The dark areas that are there seem to be as contrast and often because they conceal something specific - and we have plenty of flares to cope with those few darker places. I liked a lot of things about this game, right from the very beginning, the way we had to puzzle out how to cross the first gap (I found 3 different ways, so good of the builder to provide easier and trickier ways to do that [and I found this situation repeated a few times during the game, the builder providing a sort of 'fail-safe' on occasion]) all the way to the views from the top of Tower Bridge. There were a few 'oops' moments, as a dog peered through a solid door (amusing though), a 'clubbie' climbed up *through* a brick wall in one place and I was shot at through a solid wall in another (oh, and we could touch the sky in a few places), but I felt that these were quite minor in the overall scheme of things. These were far outweighed by the variety of what we had to do, the innovative use of the horizontal pole, the way we visited each part of the 'map', noting how well it was all carefully fitted together as we did so and the absorbing 'interest' that our surroundings (for me) generated. I thought that every single part of the game was somewhere I *wanted* to see and explore. (I was less keen on the smoke jets I couldn't avoid and the time I had to drop down into the street, to be attacked, *while* dropping, by 2 gunmen intent on mayhem, but those were hazards whose effects I had to try and work out how to 'minimise' - another puzzle. [I actually jumped across the street to a roof - to try and confuse the gunmen - safety dropped there instead, then rolled and tried to run up the adjacent alley or up the main street, and only then, more slowly, come back to deal with them.]) I liked playing this game a great deal and though this was the shortest, it was far from being the least interesting." - rjb (24-Jan-2007)

"I usually don't like the no-lineal levels, but in this case I didn't have to go a long way back as in another levels. Good architecture and very well textured, you'll have to find several keys and do several timed runs but you'll have enough time if you are fast. There are few pickups and if you don't discover the secrets you'll not have extra weapons and ammo, but they are not difficult to find. Don't waste medipacks, you'll need it 'cause although there are not much enemies they are well placed and they will hurt you. The uzis are placed at the end of the level so I couldn't give a use for it. Perhaps it's not the best BtB level but I liked it and for me was one of the most entertaining." - Josť (21-Jan-2007)

"Yes, this is a BtB London level, and yes, I had to boost the gamma on my monitor in order to see what I was doing, but the added light revealed the most eye-pleasing environs I've thus far encountered in the BtB levels. The gameplay was more varied as well, adding up to an hour-long level that's my favorite to this point. You get a generous helping of five secrets, with enough SAS and dogs scattered about to keep you on your toes. There are a few timed runs, the last one of which (triggered by an underwater lever) you have to figure out on your own, there being no cut scene that I recall, unless (like me) you have the benefit of an advance walkthrough. A thoroughly enjoyable level, one that I can recommend highly." - Phil (20-Jan-2007)

"Lots of nice timed tasks, the main challenge here is to be on the lookout for switches, and places we could go next, plus finding all five secrets is really rewarding in this level. That searching caused me to reach the end of the world sometimes. One glance on that lake, and it's evident, that it was designed to hide something in plain sight, but we need a through search to actually find it. So gameplay is fine, but there is a shortage on the puzzle department, I can hardly think of any. The end was a bit disappointing, once we have the key in sight the level ends, I would have liked to go back with it and see what is inside that infamous locker, according to what I expected by reading the story." - Akcy (20-Jan-2007)

"This level I liked, straight forward and pleasant without having to bang my head against the wall. Maybe it is because I played it after the torturing 'Jobmond & Co' level but I found it very relaxing. I had one problem though because Lara couldn't grab the monkey swing to access the opening which leads to a jump switch outside. It took me several tries to make her grab it. The cameras weren't very helpful the way they were placed though. I couldn't tell where two trapdoors were, the timed one and the one which you access after some swimming. Nevertheless it was a fun level and I found four secrets." - Kristina (18-Jan-2007)

"I really liked this level, even though I got confused numerous times. I liked the row houses, but the church could have looked nicer inside. Gameplay was fun but could have used a few puzzles. The end was quite abrupt and at first didn't make sense until I remembered the whole point of the level. All in all, this was a good-looking and fun level." - Shandroid (17-Jan-2007)

"This level was a bit too confusing, despite the very nice texturing and atmosphere in the exterior locations. There are two timed runs early on, which are not particularly challenging (in fact, they are fairly easy) but they sort of put you off, as there is no reason for them to be there at that so non-crucial point of the level. In general I enjoy timed runs, but not when they are practically the one after the other like that. Moving on, I don't know why you just have to look all around the city for a switch that reveals a button and when you backtrack a long way so as to push that button, you open a door and arrive in an office where there's yet one more locked door, for which you need to find a key - so you have to go out again searching all over the place for it; and more than once throughout the level you find yourself in the situation where you arrive in front of a keylock and you have no idea where to begin searching for the key that matches it, because there are slightly any hints concerning what you are looking for and why. You can easily lose track and go exploring the wrong way only to find out after hours of aimless wandering around that there are several things you have missed. The settings are beautiful however - especially around the river & bridge area - and they somehow make up for the frustrating gameplay." - Ravenwen (17-Jan-2007)

"From a fire pit with timed run to a church with a well thought out entry to a hard to find timed UW switch, this is an interesting entry in the BtB07 challenge.It almost seemed to me to have two authors. One for the very beginning and another who took it over for completion. Very nice placement of a jump switch that took a while to realize but nothing took as long as finding the UW lever. Hidden in plain sight but....now that was challenging. Got 4 out of 5 secrets and enjoyed finally getting to the timed run." - Bene (13-Jan-2007)

"Good beginning to this one, with some nice misdirection and a couple of short timed runs. Once you make your way out of the Underground into the city, thereís a lot to explore; you even get a dip in the Thames. Very early on in the proceedings, you realise that you need three keys, but finding them is another matter. I was running around for ages and I found lots of things, but no keys. Having eventually found the first one however, the rest of them followed on naturally. A highly enjoyable entry in the B2B series." - Jay (11-Jan-2007)

"I couldn't help but feel that this is a level coming from a new builder. The hints are all there - the inconsistency (starting with the initial pit already - why do some tiles burn you, while others not? Why are some walls before you reach the city climbable, while not identified so?), bleak lighting and simplistic gameplay. While I can't blame it being based on the key to key, switch to switch, timed run and shooter aspects of gameplay, as most other levels in the competition do the same, but when finding secrets (I found 4 of the 5) is easier than the elements required to progress in the game, then there might be a problem. Of course I don't mean to say that this is a bad level - I quite enjoyed roaming the city with all there was to it, when I finally reached it, and while the surroundings might not be the most picturesque you'll find out there, they certainly are interesting enough to maintain your interest in the level. But every once in a while during the 35 minutes it took me to reach the abrupt ending of the level, without having found the key to the mutant's locker (or did I?) I thought that this could've been so much more if the author took the time to organize the things the player needs to do a bit more - give it a logical flow, instead of just stumbling upon the items you need, or switches you need to activate once in a while. Not my favourite from the back to basics levels this year, but not saying that it's a bad level either - only that it could've been better. 7th of the 10 levels I played." - eTux (10-Jan-2007)

"Quite an interesting level despite its overall simple textures and setting. It starts out in quite a puzzling manner and it may take you a while before you find your way - keys are seemingly hard to find! Some interesting timed runs and baddies spread out all over the place bring a little excitement to the whole. Take heed, though: medipacks are a little scarce except for when you eventually don't need them as much. Try it out, naturally, it's a BtB level." - Jorge22 (09-Jan-2007)

"Despite being rather well put together,this was an unsatisfying adventure.It starts well enough with Lara under immediate attack,but soon turns into a 'hunt for something to do to move the level forward' adventure. After much roaming (and getting to the end-of-the-world in many places) you eventually end up in a rather nice church and the level finally gets itself under way. From that moment on it's a fairly interesting 'one key after another' quest,with numerous well-placed enemy attacks,atmospheric locations and timed challenges to keep it all well spiced up;until you open a door,observe a small fuse which would doubtless fit snugly into that fusebox you passed near the start of the level and....nothing. The Finish Trigger kicks in unexpectedly,leaving many unanswered questions.Was I supposed to have visited that opened hatch on a rooftop? What about the other doors which remained unopened? Did I unwittingly by-pass some of the level? A good try,nonetheless,but not really a contender." - Orbit Dream (08-Jan-2007)

"Sixth of ten. I have mixed thoughts about this particular level, while part of me agrees it's got a nicely crafted design and a well varied gameplay, part of me got annoyed with the key-keylock-key progression (even if there were only three of them, if my memory serves me). Right at the beginning you are thrown in a suspicious pit and you'll only be sure you'll die by stepping onto what would have looked like regular tin by doing so, and you accidentally might as you have a timed switch run down there. Then you arrive in this town area which is nicely crafted and a joy to roam through (later on including the rooftops) and eventually you get to a big lake and a bridge, an area which got me stuck quite a few times because of deviously hidden switches, one underwater and an even tougher jumpswitch which will invole taking angled jumps and mid air twists off slopes to grab a ladder. To be honest, I never liked jumpswitches, and in levels with London textures they simply don't stand out and are quite easy to miss, so pay alot of attention and you should be fine. And if you don't, check the forums! 45 minutes, 3 secrets. 01/07" - Treeble (06-Jan-2007)

"Good looking and very fast paced level, or maybe it just felt like it because it is relatively short and has a few timed runs to master that keep you on your toes. The bridge and the scaffolding are very nicely built and the overall course of jumps, climbs, crawls etc never gets too difficult or tedious. Found the ending a bit sudden, just before you get your hands on that infamous Key - maybe a sequel coming one day?" - MichaelP (01-Jan-2007)
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