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Level: Necro's Domain 7 - Captive in the Ice back home search
Author(s): Necro
total rating:6.86 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
eTux 8 7 7 5
Gerty 7 7 7 5
huif 8 6 7 7
Jay 8 8 7 6
Jose 6 7 6 6
Kristina 7 7 7 6
MichaelP 7 7 7 5
Orbit Dream 8 7 7 5
Phil 8 8 8 7
Ravenwen 9 7 7 6
Ryan 7 7 7 6
category averages
(11 reviews)
7.55 7.09 7.00 5.82

Reviewer's comments

"I quite enjoyed myself here, but it's a shame that the scenery was rather crude and repetitive and doesn't quite keep up with the challenges that this level provides. You start by breaking out of prison and finding the pistols in short order and then you get to avoid spike traps, sword traps and spiked balls, negotiate a couple of devious motorbike rides through icy caverns, get through a neat flipmap sequence and perform a few timed runs, while searching for a few well hidden secrets. As said, the scenery is crude and unattractive, so play this for the gameplay." - Ryan (22-Jun-2017)

"Gameplay is actually pretty good apart that I still don’t like the use of vehicles. Bit strange to find still loads of textures that could use fixing, as this is the 7th level by this author. Pity though. Of course lot of enemies and be careful not so many medipacks." - Gerty (24-Oct-2013)

"You'd think that seven releases 7 years after the release of the editor should offer enough time and experience for a builder to improve in his performance massively. For some reason it's not the case with this builder and while making my way through the series I've been wondering why. I mean - already from level 1 I got the feeling he's grasped the basics and over the course of the levels - and especially in this one - I've seen that he has a lot of interesting ideas that can be put to use very well, but essentially - had I carried no baggage with me when starting this level up - I'd just think this is a neat debut level from a random builder out there. Could it be a very steep learning curve? Or if I'm more optimistic - does the builder enjoy the levels as they are? Nothing really wrong in either scenario, but in case the builder does feel like wanting to achieve a bit more with the next installment, before I begin with the actual review for this level - I can sum up 2 tips that could make a lot of difference:
A) Get your level beta-tested, preferably by a couple of experienced players. Not only for the bugs (like in here - the water hole between the 2 buildings - of which I couldn't get out of anymore if I jumped in before getting the vital key) but also for general tips on how to improve the level they could give, and to get a proper players perspective - as I don't think things like the invisible keyhole would've passed even the most lenient player's critique.
B) "Less is more" + investing more time and effort in the level. Not only here - but throughout the whole series I've felt that the levels could've benefited from more compact, yet detailed settings. It's off-putting in itself to look at that huge cavern you have to texture now, so I figure the author at times just goes 'sod it all!' and textures it with the same texture. Yet most of the areas could've been made more appealing even by giving them a second glance and applying more varied texture patterns alone, never mind making some more complex room geometry and using fitting objects.
But as far as the level goes, I have to say I liked this one the best in the whole series so far. The tasks, while mainly revolving around getting that next key are just plain simple fun - with my favorite areas being the first big ice cavern where you have to get that motorbike up to the top (though the icy blocks floating in mid air was probably stretching it) and getting the 3 cogs more closer to the end - each of the cogs having their fun distinctive tasks to earn them. I fear I can't praise the looks as much though - while they set the scene well, the texturing came across as careless and sloppy for most part, and lighting, which actually so far was a thing the author mastered well was below average here too. The provided exe didn't alter things so much, so this should be playable for Mac players too, as far as I can judge, though you'd miss out on the unarmed mode for the first 5 minutes of this approximately 45 minute game. Found 2 secrets. Overall - the best offering in the series so far, as far as gameplay's concerned. Part 6 takes the prize for looks, if you ask me." - eTux (19-Nov-2007)

"A bit of an odd intro there and I really found the overall architecture and application of textures very poor and carelessly done during the hour spent in this level, but if you can overlook that fact, the gameplay is actually reasonably good and follows a bit of a storyline. After a (fairly easy) escape from her prison Lara needs to find a series of keys and battle dozens of guards, dogs, bats and crocodiles on her way out to the waiting helicopter. There are boulder runs, platform jumps, a tricky spike gauntlet and some fun bike riding involved here. Some of the secrets are also cleverly set in scene and worth going after. So, all in all, a decent continuation of the series, despite the rather sloppy execution of the design of the surroundings." - MichaelP (08-May-2007)

"A playable and long level but with no original puzzles and full of dangers. Simply architecture and some defects in the design as paper thin walls, invisible walls or places from you can't return to continue playing. Not difficult tasks except riding the bike over the snowy ledges near the end. Secrets are not obvious and you'll have to look for them very well. A lot and variety of enemies and few medipacks (and ammo if you can't find the secrets) to deal with them. The only pack of flares I found was insufficient for the dak places I visited. The worse for me were the textures, and the best riding with the bikes." - José (25-Mar-2007)

"Unfortunately I have to start with the problems this level has, since that’s what sticks to memory, and a bad bug that can prevent the player from finishing the level. There are ‘end of the world problems’ around, stretched textures and at some point after the bike ride if you drop into a hole of water you can’t get back up again. Be careful not to drop in before you get the proper key you need to use at the other side. Other than that, I am a bit disappointed because although this isn’t a bad level it has some downsides that take away some of the fun such as an invisible keyhole. The fixed camera at the area with the spike balls was not good for me, especially since there’s darkness there as well. I expected a better setting and a rich surrounding because by now I have Lee for an experienced builder. I am afraid he doesn’t show what he has learned from the editor in this level. The puzzles are not unusual or anything, we have some keys and small wheels to find along with more spike ball traps to avoid. The enemies are SAS and dogs with the occasional crocodile. I sure hope the builder will take more time to apply the textures and make the puzzles when he decides to build again so that the outcome will reflect his experience. I found one secret." - Kristina (23-Mar-2007)

"It took me about an hour and fifteen minutes to complete this level. The gameplay was ok and never boring, because there was a variety of everything and you never get stuck for a long time on the same place. Puzzles aren't difficult, it shouldn't take you long to search for an item (EG cogs) because they were always close to the place you had to use them. Maybe two things, there wasn't a wide variety of enemies and you should be very carefull with medpacks because there weren't much to find, I ended the level with only a small medipack left - The builder did a good job and especially the bike ride was fun." - huif (26-Feb-2007)

"This was a hard one to rate;for,although there are many inspired and intelligent moments,it's the sort of level where the author seemed too intent to release his endeavour,rather than making it suitably polished and presentable. As it stands,there are many golden nuggets of Gameplay which help to propel the adventure along from one set-piece to the next,but several careless errors get in the way of complete enjoyment:a timed-spike platform jumping sequence which can be completely avoided;a bug in the construction of a water hole which prevents the player from climbing out should they jump in before the correct pick-up has been discovered;a pointlessly invisible key-hole,which simply causes the player to go wandering off on a futile search for some alternative but non-existent means of progression. Coupled with this is the quality of texturing and lighting which should,considering this is the authors seventh release,be of a higher standard - textures are frequently stretched and/or compressed,and the limits of the existing scenery in the outdoor areas is obvious and severely handicaps the creation of atmosphere.Against this are the frequent very competant and often imaginative use of flipped-rooms,fly-bys and physical challenges;all of which are absorbing and entertaining. 'Imagination levels' frequently run high,with special mention going to the two large sombre houses(fully explorable)hidden within a giant ice cavern,the two challenging bike rides (the second actually not as hard as appearences suggest,provided you locate the important pushable blocks first)and some nifty rolling boulder traps. The comic signature ending is present-and-correct,ensuring that you leave with a smile upon your face. Nonetheless,if a little more time and effort had been spent on refining the appearance of the adventure (in the out-door areas most especially) this could have been a contender for 'classic' status. Perhaps Necros 8 will be the one..?" - Orbit Dream (15-Feb-2007)

"This is a fairly typical arctic level where Lara has been imprisoned and breaks out in fairly short order, but she has to accomplish a number of tasks outside the prison compound before she can make her escape in the helicopter. I had a good time here, as I always do in Lee's levels. He was kind enough to provide a detailed outline which I've expanded into a walkthrough suitable for posting, and even so I had a little trouble navigating some of the obstacles. There's a devious path through spike tiles that'll have you tearing your hair, as well as a harrowing quad bike ride near the end. Along the way you'll meet a slew of dogs and SAS while you open doors and pull switches until your head starts to swim. The three secrets are cleverly placed and not at all easy to figure out. The visual amenities pale when compared with the Horus releases I'm also playing right now (Neon God and Once Upon A Time), but most players should enjoy playing this level. Recommended." - Phil (10-Feb-2007)

"Ooh, these builders are getting more and more brutal – poor Lara starts off with absolutely nothing in her backpack, not even pistols AND she’s running around in the snow in her shorts with no coat on, so if the dogs and guards don’t get her hypothermia probably will. Luckily, the good old pistols turn up pretty quickly so provided you’re nippy on your toes all should be well. There’s a lot of climbing around in caves avoiding boulders and some easy but fun stuff to achieve in pursuit of three cog wheels. The highlight of the whole thing for me was the bike riding – that was FUN. (Not sure I approved of the invisible keyhole though – bit naughty). Nice level, give it a try." - Jay (10-Feb-2007)

"I haven't played the older levels of Lee's series, but this one I enjoyed a lot, thanks to its flowing and fast gameplay. The beginning is rather challenging, as you start off weaponless and without a single medipack, so you have to quickly locate the armoury and grab your pistols before you get shot down by guards or eaten up by dogs. The sequences of the things that you have to do are very well-organized, and the puzzles, although easy in general and familiar to some extent (there is a puzzle with timed burners, one where you have to jump quickly on platforms to reach a timed door, another one where your goal is to stop the flow of water with a moveable block) are all well-placed and nicely set up. There are also a few nice boulder traps; and two cool bike rides - a feature I always appreciate in custom levels. The first one is longer, but the second one is trickier, as it involves driving on short snowy platforms and challenges you to prove what a good driver you are :D It took me a while to manoeuvre that bike well enough on those platforms, lol. There is a variety of enemies - from human (guards) to animals (bats, dogs, crocodiles) to superhuman (yetis and some little ice demons that I didn't have the time to examine well, as I run them over with my bike) - but apart from the beginning where you are weaponless and the situation is rather tough for Lara, the rest are not a problem to deal with. The lighting effects though not spectacular, are working well, and the horizon looks very matching with the setting; I would have liked the texturing to be a bit smoother though - especially in the exterior settings, the areas look too flat and sharp, almost two-dimensional. I came across several missing textures and there was a spot where Lara could pass through a seemingly solid wall. Lee's 'message' near the end was a nice addition ;)" - Ravenwen (04-Feb-2007)
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