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Level: TR Anniversary Demo: The Cave back home search
Author(s): Razyel
total rating:6.75 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Blue43 5 7 7 6
Ceamonks890 5 6 6 6
Gerty 5 6 7 7
Jay 6 6 8 8
JesseG 6 8 7 6
Jose 7 7 8 7
Kitkat 6 7 8 8
Kristina 5 7 8 8
MichaelP 6 7 8 6
Moonpooka 7 7 8 9
mugs 7 6 7 6
Orbit Dream 4 5 7 7
Phil 7 7 7 8
Ravenwen 6 6 7 8
Ryan 6 7 7 6
Xela 7 7 8 7
category averages
(16 reviews)
5.94 6.63 7.38 7.06

Reviewer's comments

"An attempt at remaking TR Anniversary's reimagining of TR1's first level, this barely ranks above passable quality for me in 2019(with incredibly mundane yet crude execution throughout, from the barely recognizable level design, unappealing lighting and wall clipping to missing sound effects, boring gameplay and at times thoughtless enemy placement with the amount of bats I had to contend with). Give it a go if you want, but I personally wouldn't recommend this." - Ceamonks890 (28-Apr-2019)

"Yet another remake of a well known TR1 level, this time the Anniversary version. The gameplay hasn't changed much from the original anniversary, bar a few more jumps and levers/buttons. The looping flyby that commences this level luckily could be stopped by the Look key, but the blatant end of the world scenario didn't give a good impression in that beginning area. I also found it too dark and as well as this, everything was bathed in a monotone green light, which made everything look rather plain. If you want some nostalgia, I suppose you could do worse, though." - Ryan (16-Apr-2017)

"This is a pleasant enough nostalgia trip that takes about an hour to play, but it's a bit on the mundane side. Most of the time you're pulling levers to raise or lower blocks so you can pull more levers. What's more, Lara seems at times to glow in the dark, and the persistent unicolor (green) tint detracted from my enjoyment of the surroundings. Finally, there's a completely unnecessary pushpiece exercise near the end (to raise blocks you don't need in order to jump across a gap). Those negatives aside, most of us would probably enjoy this fresh look at the opening level of TR1." - Phil (22-Jul-2016)

"As a standalone level, this piece is only decent; as a remake, however, it is superb. Here's why: the point of a remake is to reinvest the players into the world of something prior. It requires a remarkably careful balance of old and updated. There's no point in having everything be the same, and becoming to divergent invalidates the concept of a remake. This level achieves that balance, placing the player in the world of Vilcabamba, without giving off an air of laziness (i.e. block-for-block duplication). Iconic rooms remain similar enough to spark the memory, but different enough to require a new way to solve them. The level is not without flaws, of course. The lighting can be pretty bad at times, leaving weird shadows and an awkward tint throughout the caves. Some of the AI is wonky, especially the seemingly-pacifist bears. The gameplay can also dip into the realm of boring simplicity here and there, such as levers that just lead to another lever. I do not, however, see the texturing for climbable surfaces to be an issue. The author was consistent when making ladders--it just took a little while to figure out what that texture choice was. All-in-all a fun experience, and one you should definitely check out if you're hankering for some more TR1 Peru." - Xela (11-May-2014)

"This is a level that covers partly familiar territory and is well received for a quick trip down memory lane. The game play and architecture is very different from the original, so it is not a really a remake, but close enough in look and feel to make a TR1 fan comfortable. The level isn't hard or complicated, but there are many climbable walls, which are completely unmarked and that can ruin the fun quite a bit. The enemies are mainly wolves and bats and there are plenty of them lurking and waiting when Lara enters new rooms and areas. The bears were all friendly and didn't show any aggression. The game is pretty straightforward and the player will quickly figure out where to go next (once one knows about the unmarked walls). The atmosphere was pretty nice with a good background track, but there were several other missing sounds. The lighting was interesting und not so much to my liking as almost all the time there was a really green tint and it also looked a little strange when Lara was mostly lit brightly even when in a dark and unlit corner. Once inside, the texturing was pretty nice except of a couple of un-textured areas, but the outside area at the beginning was pretty bad with a big void between the gaming platform and the horizon, which really gave the level a very unfinished look. If you want something with a TR1 caves look and atmosphere, but with modern touch and if you don't mind a couple flaws, this level might be just for you..." - Blue43 (14-Dec-2010)

"Another addition to the Anniversary remakes, though I was glad to see some original level structure added to the mix. The use of objects was splendid (one had bad collision but it was a minor defect) and there were quite a few enemies to face, though sometimes the dogs could not reach Lara because she was on a 2-click slope. The "climbable" textures were not clearly marked and may get players stuck at first.The other textures, if they were not stretched looked nice, but were engulfed in dense shadows accompanied by a light blue light throughout the entire level. This got somewhat painful to the eyes, so I would suggest less shadows (use effect bulbs, not shadow bulbs) and lighting of more varied hues. I was wondering why the beginning flyby seemed to be taking forever until I figured out it was looping; not the most comforting beginning to a level. Fortunately the other (static) cameras were fine. The gameplay could have been rounded out as it was little more than finding a switch, to let you use another switch, etc. until you get a door open." - SSJ6Wolf (10-Mar-2009)

"This is something of a step back for Razyel,I'm afraid.It begins with a contrived opening which seems to exist solely to allow the player to reach the edge of the Peruvian Diaroma. Immediately ater this and Lara is up against 'untextured climabable-wall syndrome',which is completely unfair and shouldn't happen to an experienced builder. To his credit,though,this adventure is not a copy of The Caves level from TR1 (except for the location and use of textures)but tries to incorporate different challenges.Unfortunately these are either too simple or too tedious,and basically involves searching for levers to open nearby doors.After 45 minutes of this I duly arrived at the end without even touching those pushable objects and,regretfully,I have no great urge to go back and find out what they did. I hope for Razyel's sake that this is the first level in an epic series. If it goes no further,then this can't really be looked at as anything other than a slight disapointment." - Orbit Dream (15-Jun-2007)

"Does pretend this level to be an introduction of the new TR official release? I think no, but you can make a small idea. It isn't a remake of TR1 Caves level. Tasks of the level are simply as in the first TR1 game, based in jumps and movements of Lara, and pulling a lot of switches. I don't know the purpose of the moveable pillars in the pit with the bear (?) Enemies are only animals: bears, bats and wolves. Atmosphere was the best of the level for me. You can get stuck at the beginning 'cause there are climbable walls not very obvious (textured) but when you discover the texture of this walls the rest of the game will be a piece of cake. I got fun with this level though it doesn't contain great features, but I like this kind of levels with an old style." - Jose (25-May-2007)

"For a kind of remake this had quite a fresh feel to hit in the just over 30 minutes it lasts, bringing you back to those familiar caves with the wolves, the bats and the bears and many levers to pull and some jumping to do. Did not find any secrets though and a few technical glitches along the way (objects sounds missing, looking behind diagonal walls etc) and the lighting seemed strangely flat throughout. Still, this is some easy and entertaining level - once you figure out what the author considers to be a climbable wall texture." - MichaelP (08-May-2007)

"Here we go again with a demo, not sure why though. Is it because the builder wants some input? You can get that by using beta testers, so... Anyway having to climb surfaces that are not indicated as such is the biggest NO in a book you can get. There is a lever galore going on in here and not much else (apart for the searching in how the hell do I get up there) as well as some shooting of mainly wolves, bats and some bears. Feel sorry for the animals being locked up in this cave system though. Nice to explore is... when saving right at the start, slide down to the right... LOL. Texture wise, well one can see cracks and stretched textures here and there. On my PC it was rather dark and although I did find flares I could do with a bit more. For the rest it is a nice little game, once you figured out which wall or pillar you need to climb" - Gerty (07-May-2007)

"A pleasant level inspired I assume by the soon to be released Tomb Raider Anniversary, and for me this can only be a bonus, in fact it's a pity our builders couldn't take on the official game. Lara arrives in The Caves, (first level from TR1) and things look totally different. The textures are fabulous, Lara looks great and although game play was a tad lacking this was by far a good effort. Enemies are dogs, bears and bats staying true to the original, and a few spike and dart traps lay hidden in certain areas. The rooms are stunning, and the notorious bridge room really did get a good paint job. Lara will travel high in the rooms; making her way around the uppermost areas to make use of the vast space and I particularly liked that. There was an object move but I wasn't sure why that was because I found no use for the two blocks that were raised. The final room was great with the sloped walls which looked just like the original room; only this time everything looked so beautiful with the new textures. I only really have one gripe here and that was the lack of markings for climbable walls, that in my opinion is a no no as it just leaves the player struggling for hours not knowing what to do next. Other than that, this was a fun adventure in a blast from the past, and a well appreciated effort. Thank you Razyel." - Moonpooka (01-May-2007)

"I shall have to voice my usual feelings on the subject of TR1 remakes. On the one hand, it's lovely to see the original textures rendered in a clear, up to date version. On the other hand, the fact that the graphics weren't up to much in the original game meant that gameplay was rudimentary by today's standards, which unfortunately makes for a rather boring raid. Actually, this isn't a slavish copy of the original, it's a real reworking so I don't see why some additional gameplay couldn't be included. Perhaps the final version will be beefed up a bit - if so, it could be pretty good." - Jay (27-Apr-2007)

"This is a very interesting demo that is preparing the grounds for a potentially impressive full levelset. It's not exactly a remake - rather a tribute to TR1, as there are several references to the classic's Caves level but the whole atmosphere and feel go beyond that and the general style partly brings Legend's Bolivia and Ghana to mind. Being a demo, it naturally has several flaws (ie, too many unmarked climbable walls, lack of sounds and cameras etc), but I expect all this is going to be smoothed out in the full version. The atmosphere is imposing and eery thanks to the texturing and the dominant green lighting effect, and there are samples of some interesting gameplay moments - however the gameplay overall is a bit predictable so far as it's basically switch-pulling and door-opening stuff. I'm looking forward to playing the full version, as judging from this demo, it looks promising enough. A very good effort from Razyel." - Ravenwen (26-Apr-2007)

"This is not just a remake of the original TR1 Caves level it is a complete overhaul. The caves seem grander and more imposing. The only real puzzle is figuring out what the climbable textures look like! The rest of the gameplay is rope swinging and lever pulling. The only difficult enemies are the packs of wolves, the bats and bears can be picked off from a distance and don't really cause a problem. I didn't find any secrets. The cameras are used to good effect; however there is a problem with the opening flyby looping eternally but it is mentioned in the readme file. There was also a problem with doors misbehaving - at least on my PC. But this was not enough to detract from the atmosphere. I think my favourite thing about this level is the way it is textured. It just makes you want to keep exploring to see what you will find next. This is a lovely level visually. It is just lacking in gameplay. I sincerely hope Rayzel does turn his Caves Demo into a finished level." - Kitkat (24-Apr-2007)

"The Legend scenery in the introduction made me anticipate a cool romp through jungle-cave environs, but I think the builder missed some opportunities. What strikes me most about this game is the lack of color. The builder's choice of palette (or lack thereof) made this raid a very difficult one for me (and my aging eyes). It is very dark in most locations and insufficiently staged with flares. The pains that the builder must have gone to in creating this vast cave venue are almost lost on the sameness that the grey color casts on everything. That's a pity ! The gameplay was a little bland and one needs to be alerted to the fact that climbable walls are not necessarily textured as such. The new bats are super - the wolves are many ! I think this builder has great potential and I look forward to playing more." - Mugs (24-Apr-2007)

"The textures and atmosphere in this demo are very good but the gameplay is poor. I guess we will start seeing more of these levels, influenced from the latest official game (TRL). The caves seem more appealing now and it's a pleasure playing in these surroundings but we have to have some puzzles to keep our interest. There are unmarked climbable walls everywhere which is a no-no in my book and a few switches which open doors. The dogs and bats are easy to kill of course but we get no challenge at all in this demo. I hope the full game, if we ever see one, will have a good gameplay to go with the great setting." - Kristina (22-Apr-2007)
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