Level: Area 56 back home search
Author(s): Jeffrey van Oort
total rating:2.79 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
alan 3 3 2 2
CC 2 2 2 1
Ceamonks890 1 1 2 1
Dimpfelmoser 2 6 2 2
eTux 2 2 2 1
Gerty 2 2 2 2
Kristina 4 2 3 3
Magnus 3 3 3 3
MichaelP 4 3 3 4
Orbit Dream 4 3 2 2
RaiderGirl 4 5 5 4
Ryan 2 3 3 2
Sakusha 4 3 1 2
Sash 5 5 4 5
Scottie 1 1 2 1
The Aussie Adventurer 5 5 4 3
Torry 4 4 6 3
Treeble 2 2 2 1
category averages
(18 reviews)
3.00 3.06 2.78 2.33

Reviewer's comments

"This level isn't available on here anymore, so I downloaded from the Hungarian site and I had to build it the old-fashioned way. Even by the somewhat relaxed standards of 2000 levels, this is very bad indeed and not worth it. Meagre gameplay, huge, bland, repetitively textured rooms, too much darkness and an abrupt ending. It doesn't really resemble Area 51 either, so you're likely to be disappointed. Only for those wanting to up their review count, the rest likely shouldn't bother." - Ryan (05-Nov-2017)

"I didn't know these levels could be downloaded from other sites, until I read Ceamonks890's review. Well, this level has nothing interesting, just ride 2 bikes to go over some hills, kill guards; there are weird textures in some places, long corridors and crawlspaces. The only mysterious part being the dead bodies at the end." - alan (30-Jun-2017)

"It mystifies me that there are quite a decent amount of levels no longer available here to download(for whatever reason), and yet they're all still hosted on laraslevelbase completely intact, with no concerns whatsoever for any curious raiders like me desiring to give it a look(which is how I got my hands on the level that I'll be reviewing for you all today.) So, how was this long-forgotten release then? Well, short and to the point, it's bad. Very, very bad(especially since it's meant to be a re-creation of TR3's Area 51 level). And while there are some aspects to the overall game design that I can forgive for the time period(such as the music, object and enemy choices), what I can't forgive is the appalling-looking texturing that makes every room feel the same, with half-hearted attempts at lighting, potential crashes to desktop and linear level design that doesn't resemble its source material whatsoever, not serving to help matters. So in conclusion, a fairly standard debut level that is completely unremarkable in practically every regard(with the use of standard TR4 music at certain points being the only thing worthy of some form of praise.) Not recommended." - Ceamonks890 (10-Jun-2015)

"This is one of that level, where you make afterwards a silly face and ask yourself, what the author wanted to say with it. Wanted he build a Base / Tech-Level? Should it be a dependence on Area51 in Nevada? And is this generally important? I can answer at least the last question with quite an unequivocal NO. Lara runs, drives (by the motorcycle), runs, drives and runs through unsightly built rooms, admires wallpaper textures, frets with some Baddies and is after a quarter hour at the level end. For what does she have now still the carriage siphon and the crank in the luggage? Even the author probably knows this. In addition one more door remains closed, another also rises without Jumpswitch and the player is happy, that this is so fast over." - Scottie (02-May-2009)

"Area 56 is a base type level that had a couple of good points, but also a lot of bad points too. Firstly, the gameplay of this level is quite entertaining and has a good pace to it. There is never a time I got stuck and the direction is pretty easy to follow. The puzzles mainly consisted of swictch pulling, and some nice bike riding. The main enemies are just the soldiers with guns who don't provide that much of a challange but just to really annoy lara. The atmosphere of this level is ok but nothing to write home about and there was no camera work when I was playing this level. The worst thing about this game was the look of the level. This level consisted of stetched textures, poor texturing and not enough variety. Another bad point is the fact that when ever you load a game when you die, your sent back to your desktop so you have to start the level up again and load the game before you go into the level. Also, I was thrown to the desktop when I was near the dead bodies and couldn't get any further. If I had to give this level a grade, I would give it a D, a fail mark." - The Aussie Adventurer (26-Jan-2006)

“Oh I am sure Lara has enjoyed her adventures in Area 51 more than in this one. The level is practically a race level you will get one bike at the start drive through two rooms and then you'll have to leave it behind but don't let your heart break - yet. You will be getting the second one in a couple minutes! And you will be leaving it behind just a little after because you will need to open a trapdoor to crawl to the end. Several SAS guards to shoot (well it's supposed to be a base isn't it?) and two unusual pick ups (the handle and the car jack). Textures are stretched all around there's a terrible selection for them as well (were those dots in the brown background supposed to be a starry sky?!). And to top it all - every time you die you are thrown back to the desktop. Bravo! 10 minutes.” – Treeble (20-Sep-2004)

“This level would've been more enjoyable if tomb4.exe didn't have to crash because of the level's incorrect load screen parameters even though you can't really die in this level. The textures are stretched and the lighting can really vary. It can be either at R 128 G 128 B 128 or the rooms can be very dark. The darkness was a good element because it hid a crawlspace containing a switch which opens the door right in front of you. The lasersight and the crowbar are useless. In case anyone was wondering Dimpfelmoser was referring to a Lara_crowbar_anim object but I haven't found it. He's probably asking himself like me why there is a door that cannot be opened (and yet it looks like one that could be opened with a crowbar). In any case the crowbar serves no purpose whatsoever. The objective is to get a handle and a car-jack and once you reach an area with two corpses and a ladder the level ends abruptly. Lara mainly has to kill SAS soldiers and a few bats and she gets to ride two motorcycles in this level which permit her to go over certain sliding slopes. ” – Sakusha (15-Aug-2004)

“Very deep holes to fall into blocks that raise in front of you to stop you getting what you want and where you want to go bad texturing was that green ceiling supposed to be the sky? Crashing to the desktop continually. Highly recommended level for masochists although it might not be long enough for them to enjoy it.” – CC (27-May-2003)

“Only excuse I can come up with it is Jeffrey’s first level. No loading screen oh I hate that. It ended before I even knew and there is nothing memorable about it sorry. 10-09-2003” – Gerty (11-Jan-2003)

“Awfully stretched textures; no load screen; strange rooms; run-through trapdoors; sudden ending. But wait! This level goes way back to the early days of the LE so I have to take that into account. OK then. Plenty of motorbike opportunities (clearly the designers reason for constructing this level) with a good use of a moving wall; strange flip-effect that works reasonably well; good use of sneaky 'falling-to-death- traps. So I ought to describe it as 15 minutes of simple fun. Well that's what I ought to do. But it isn't really worth even the small download. And Dimpf where exactly was that strange sculpture? Or had you been drinking again?” – Orbit Dream (23-Nov-2002)

“Excuse me folks you are mistaken. There is actually something really memorable in this short level. Near the start where you run into the first two SAS guards there is a weird object a sculpture so to speak a true work of art if you ask me. It's made out of a dozen hands with guns and a crowbar all mingled together. It's hanging in mid air just like that and it looks fantastic. That is definitely worth the download. The more if you are a level designer and are looking for interesting objects to prep up your next adventure. Go there see and believe. You don't have to play it to the end though.” – Dimpfelmoser (01-Oct-2002)

“This is a straightforward simple level with a couple of motorbike jumps and some easy hit and run kills the textures are the normal run of the mill city level textures and I found that I finished it in a very short time the funny thing was it ended when it seemed as though there was something interesting yet to come.” – Sash (21-Jun-2002)

“An uneventful level with a good but very short use of the motorbike. Over in only a few minutes when you actually think it should get started.” – Michael (21-Jun-2002)

“This level except for some escapades on the bike is far from an adventure but more an exercise in futility. Again this is one of those levels that whenever Lara died it would crash back to the desktop and I'm afraid that releasing a level in such a state is simply intolerable. There really is little to recommend this one to anybody and I am sorry but it's just not worth the download.” – Torry (21-Jun-2002)

“In this fifteen minute level Lara has broken into Area 56 to steal the top secret car jack and handle and then must escape past the soldiers occasionally using one of two motorbikes (though only to get over a ramp). There are no puzzles just going from room to room climbing a bit and crawling through a vent with some bats attacking you. I found two secrets (weapons) and plenty of ammo and health packs. Nothing memorable in the looks department either - a few room looked like they should be outside but had a weird ceiling.” – RaiderGirl (21-Jun-2002)

“This is a very boring ugly and generally bad level. There’s nothing good about it; the textures are stretched there’s nothing fun to do in it and the enemies appear out of thin air. Luckily it ended after less than ten minutes.” – Magnus (21-Jun-2002)

“That was pretty annoying. No loading screen in this level so don’t you dare die. Believe me it’s not easy to die but there is a slope you must pass while the ceiling is too low so until you succeed the game must be started again at least five times and I am being generous here. It’s not worth the trouble anyway only a bike to go through a big high slope and many guards to kill with the revolver. The textures are placed really badly and with one single tile all over the room objects are absent and coming to the end there is the grenade gun but what for two steps further the level finishes. Don’t bother.” – Kristina (21-Jun-2002)

“An overrated level a poor attempt to remake the great original Area 51 level very bad use of textures and lights and last but not least - nothing you should look forward to play.” – eTux (21-Jun-2002)
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