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Level: Back to Basics 2008 - Lost Treasure of Primal Breathe back home search
Author(s): Oxy
total rating:7.70 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bene 9 9 9 9
diamond 5 7 7 7
dmdibl 9 9 9 9
eTux 6 7 8 7
Eva 9 8 8 7
Gerty 5 7 8 8
Jay 8 7 9 9
Jose 6 7 8 9
manarch2 5 5 6 5
MichaelP 8 8 9 8
Mman 7 8 8 8
Orbit Dream 5 6 9 9
Phil 9 9 10 9
Ravenwen 6 7 6 7
Raymond 9 9 10 9
Ryan 7 7 8 8
category averages
(16 reviews)
7.06 7.50 8.25 8.00

Reviewer's comments

"I'm rather unsure about this one. There's a surrealistic, eerie, dreamlike ambience to it, first hinted at by the nauseating opening flyby with its shaking qualities. The oddities don't stop there, as well have dizzying mirror rooms, rather unique but odd gameplay sequences and magically appearing and disappearing enemies. The dark and bland textures aid the atmosphere, but made it rather depressing at times, but some of the sceneries look lovely. Play it with the walkthrough to hand; you'll be doubting your raiding abilities if you don't." - Ryan (16-Aug-2017)

"As much as I like creativity in levels and as much as I like Oxy's style which shines through in several occasions in here, this offering didn't click at all with me. The intended psychedelicness of the cutscenes certainly outweighed their bugginess and some textures are used in interesting ways, but often they are used in low resolution, misplaced or messed up. The lighting leaves a lot to be desired, geometry is often chaotic and the object design is not very well done too. Generally the design, at least in the first half, reminds more on those hastily put together debut levels, especially in that brutally annoying chamber where you fight two raptors besides a lot of nasty traps and colliding objects, which reminded me on levels à la Cain et al. Random death tiles, unmarked triggers, a few messed up puzzles (that could've been fun actually), cramped design that only gets worse by some annoying object collision - not really much appeals until late in this level except for the flybys, a few better puzzles and maybe if you like nonsense environments. Later on the design indeed gets a little more coherent and there's a feeling of being in an actual location, although the texturing is still fairly eclectic. But the gameplay does get some clearer here and there are a few solid tasks to solve (like a timed run, a few puzzles and quirky trap sequences), but then there are others... finding the lasersight secret is needed to progress in this level (or maybe not but you lose all your health packs when you cross the fire) and the T-Rex is unkillable with the crossbow too, getting the item with him close by was not quite an enjoyable quest this way. I know that Oxy could've done much better, since usually her levels have much more space and are (generally) free of annoying bugs and mindless design elements, but perhaps the competition restraints are a bit too obvious in here and this thus was the BtB level I enjoyed least, despite the flybys being among the most interesting. In 40 minutes net playtime I found four secrets." - manarch2 (18-Mar-2016)

"My detailed review of this level was lost so I'll do a summary of what I remember. Gives a terrible first impression with cramped areas, annoying gameplay (like fighting Raptors in a postage stamp) and vague tasks. Once you get past the opening it picks up massively and, while some things are still vague, it's generally far more enjoyable. There's some cool geometry and unique visuals, especially in the later parts. It also gets recognition for being the one level to scare me with it's out of nowhere T-Rex encounter. Try to stick with it through the starting parts because the second half is much better." - Mman (12-Nov-2012)

"Lost Treasure Of Primal Breathe, for me it has been a nightmare and without the help of someone else I wouldn´t have been able to finish it. It´s so complex, so difficult and too frustrating. There is nothing funny and in the first part there is a terrible fight against two raptors in a little room that I will never forget. Not only the gameplay does not try to be innovative, and it is just annoying and frustrating, but also I really don´t like some choice in the graphic, with stretched textures and horrible rooms, especially in the first part. The puzzle are without any sense, for example you have to push a block inside a trap and then the icon appears in another place... what does it mean????? So in conclusion, before playing this game, I suggest to read a solution or something like that. I am sorry but I really don´t like it." - diamond (29-Feb-2008)

"I find this one to be the most underrated of the contest. But I fully understand, why this is the case with this crazy level. It´s starts already with the opening flyby and you get a lot more of crazy surprises later on. But I must say alltogether I liked it very much and the author got me with it. So you make your journey through this angled, interwoven level and always ask yourself, what´s the next surprise. The most of the creative tasks I highly enjoyed. Here and there there had been also a bad surprise, for instance the small trap room with the dinos inside. Texturing and lighting has an high standard. So it´s a level for those, who appreciate creativeness and a doze of craziness. It isn´t for the beginner, but I would say, all else should try this one!" - Raymond (22-Feb-2008)

"If you like to play a rather fancy and a bit wacky level, you should try this one. In every respect this game falls out of 'the normal framework' of the contest. The premises are very individually built, I would like to depict the building method partly as wild and maladjusted. Partly very dark, ungeometric areas are very strangely textured, so that I must say that all of this fits in finally nevertheless again. Fair way the levelbuilder set the most malicious and most impractical places concerning the gameplay, quite to the beginning, so that some players will probably stop playing the level at the latest here ;) This place is, where on an area - I believe only 4 x 4 Squares - Lara must run through lightnings, cross a sprocket wheel and is attacked by raptors at the same time. Here is aslo another part of the floor prepared, for further relaxation, that Lara burns on ;) Nevertheless, the players, who will not let themselves be deterred from these adversities, will have fun with a binding and interesting game. Much unusual is inserted here, much is illogical but made nevertheless funny, much gives Lara a hard time, but the tension, which develops the game, requites for all the trouble. In certain way this level is perhaps the most interesting of the contest ;)" - Eva (21-Feb-2008)

"Very long and complex level with some interesting situations. Sometimes it's hard as in the small area with the blue rays where you have to kill two dinos only with your pistols in a three-tiles area, or the T-Rex zone where you have to get a key and escape through a deadly floor. There are many psychedelic details and unreal features; sometimes a real nightmare; a level out of normal anyway. Some long flybies, I liked a lot the use of the lights. It'll cost you a lot to finish. Good luck." - José (14-Feb-2008)

"Glad that this was one of the last BtB levels I played as this is not at all to my taste. It started by the weirdest fly by I have ever seen in this BtB competition that could use some fine-tuning. Then when Lara died I couldn’t hit the reload key fast enough so I saw that fly by way too much. What also stands out is that when Lara walked over stone, I heard footsteps in the snow. There are more small matters where things didn’t work as water surface and although technical this level does has a lot to offer it was very obscure to say the least. Not everything is clear what to do with objects and being in a room and looking around and finally using the “when in doubt shoot method” I found out that I had to shoot a skull on a stick is not my way of fun raiding. There are more instances that the solution is way too obscure and it might be crystal clear in the builders mind; it wasn’t in mine." - Gerty (13-Feb-2008)

"Primal Scream, er, Breath, is probably not for the novice player. If retaining your sanity is an issue you might prefer another level. On the other hand, a walk-through will soon be out, and this may be the perfect level to play with the occasional assist of a walk-through. I only managed to finish with the help of detailed instructions provided on the forum (much thanks!). For instance, Lara has to shoot yellow jugs with explosive ammo; one of these led to a block descending in the T-rex room, and through a window one could see a Happy Face [golden idol] and an inanimate T-rex. When Lara picked up the Happy Face the T-rex was frozen in a running pose, his feet levitating off the ground. I had been frustrated about failing to kill the T-rex, but this was how he turned out. A lot of the architecture is well designed and looks real, but in this level you never know. Lara enters a room with all sorts of rainbow colors in the middle, as if spread out from a prism. What to do? Eventually, just because there is nothing else to do, Lara jumps to a box. This triggers wraiths, who come together in violent explosions while dramatic music plays. A key appears. Lara takes the key to a gate, and enters a total dead end, the gate closing behind her. The walls are solid. But if Lara jumps she jumps up into a bright orange cell. The walls are solid here, too, so jump up into a green cell. And so on, until a glass wall appears letting one look out onto a large room with tables. There seems no exit. Ah, one of the walls can be slid through, and suddenly Lara is in an entirely different room with triangular decorations. This can be disorienting. And there were mirrors that Lara could enter, merging with her image, to follow corridors, and then emerge with her image breaking free and heading in the opposite direction. I think the author's idea is that if you do that long enough you're no longer sure which side of the mirror you're on. Or Lara has to step into a mirror and in pure whiteness pick up a key. Or there was the push crate near the beginning of the level that drove me crazy [crazier]. Lara pushes it onto tiles covering burn pits but they aren't pits, and then they are pits, and to get the crate back out Lara has to jump up through multiple glass floors and place a cookie [medallion]. Mixed up with all the surreal stuff are plenty of well done Tomb Raider moments, but even there you're lucky if half the time you know what is going on. I got the laser sight but it was a dumb fluke: Lara slid down a waterfall and jumped over a spike pit, but somehow later I got suspicious and went back and checked the spike pit and found the way to the laser sight--not something a player can count on finding. Found the crossbow without trouble, but also felt that luck played a part there. Took me about three hours to play. Quite a fun level if you haven't started gibbering to yourself. So if your thing is altered reality, and rainbow colors, and Happy Faces, and yummy munchy cookies...can't remember where I was going with that sentence...short term memory loss. Use a walk-through as a safety net. Highly recommended for adventurous players." - dmdibl (29-Jan-2008)

"I am not sure if I liked this level or not... It has so many interesting and worth-noting as well as innovative and original elements, something that I always appreciate and enjoy in custom levels; yet it is so confusing, that this takes away nearly all the fun that otherwise it would offer. The settings are chaotic on many occasions, making things seem and feel much tougher than what they actually are; and there are situations where you may leave a place without even realizing that you have missed something. I thought I wasn't going to have the patience to complete this level; however I insisted and made it to the end, and it was really rewarding when I did. But I was sorry that I was unable to enjoy all the good elements of the level due to the frustration that its complicated setup was constantly causing, and the repetitiveness of certain situations - ie, the pushable block routine close to the start takes too much time and unavoidably ends up a bit tiring after a while. This indeed could have been a brilliant level if it was better organized and a tad clearer on certain neuralgic points of the action, and also if it was not so overdone in terms of texturing and decoration (especially in the exterior environments), because all this visual exaggeration can easily draw your attention away from the action and unnecessarily distract you from your actual route in the game." - Ravenwen (26-Jan-2008)

"This begins with an opening fly-by that I didn't understand then and with which I am still confused. The level is quirky, imaginative and sometimes perplexing. It starts with a Native following a dino and, unfortunately, the Native disappears but the dino reappears as Lara seems to be on its menu - I guess the Native was the appetizer. If you think all the entries are more or less the same(they are not) because of the shared wad, then this is a must-play. There's disappearing and then appearing blocks; the use of a key with fire that I haven't seen in a long time; an artful use of colors and the lack of same with a black, mysterious room; a surprisingly Alien, sci-fi (ish) touch consisting of odd angles and colors and a two Raptor fight with two death tiles and a swinging beam - all this in a very small room with only three tiles in which to manoeuvre. Saying it was memorable would be an understatement as it's more like an epic moment in TR gameplay-fight-to-the-finish- deathtrap. And then there's the T-Rex stomping around.... Don't let that put you off, it's a must - play in its originality and odd moments and gameplay. If you are looking for something different, perhaps a bit surreal, you will find it here. Not for the inexperienced Raider. Secrets are nicely (!)hidden but what's up with the last secret sound and no pick - up? I had a lot of fun with this....when I wasn't screaming at the computer or poor Lara.*wink*" - Bene (22-Jan-2008)

"I really try to embrace everything out of the ordinary - and this level definitely is on several levels - but after all was said and done I had mixed feelings of my experience here. Through the hour or so it took me to see everything there is to see I felt that the level balanced between originality and obscurity. And not always successfully. While it's a fairly refreshing experience all the way through, time after time it lost its consistency by becoming ridiculously tough or obscure as far as the tasks go, or not so pretty with some questionable texturing and lighting choices as far as the looks go. Which is a shame, because those moments ruin an otherwise innovative level for me. The fly-by's are neat and have a David Lynch quality to them. For example the first one without any foreseeable purpose focuses on the sky, and the next one has a dino and a native absolutely randomly running down a track. There are a number more - but that should suffice to explain the idea behind them. The whole level's structure has a maze like quality to it and it's not always clear where the next step is, or what exactly triggers what (like for example - at some point you slide down a long waterfall slope, but mid way through you have to jump to an adjacent waterfall path to step on a tile (that isn't marked any differently than the rest) that opens a door at the bottom of the slope), so from that perspective - unless you're telepathic this can easily become a player's nightmare. The some unjustifiably tough moments like the dino fight while your surrounded by deadly tiles, lighting and swinging blade traps among others kind of spoil the overall experience too - so altogether it's a mixed bag. Maybe a more linear approach to the gameplay, or more camera hints would've made this a more pleasurable experience, because as innovative as it is - I'm sorry to say it just didn't do it for me." - eTux (11-Jan-2008)

"There’s a very odd and slightly nausea inducing cut scene at the beginning of this level – like lying flat on your back, staring up at the sky in the middle of an earthquake. I’m a bit ambivalent on this one actually. There are parts of it where the gameplay is highly enjoyable, albeit convoluted, and other bits that quite frankly irritated me. It’s definitely a bit dark in places for my tastes and occasionally it becomes rather frantic. I don’t want to put you off however – it is a fascinating looking level and worth persevering for the mainly very good, sometimes quite brilliant and always highly individual gameplay. Just don’t play it if you’re having a bad day, because I reckon it does require a degree of patience. On the plus side, all the running around, revisiting areas that I had to do because I got so confused did at least enable me to find all the secrets. Or at least I assume I did as, despite the level information indicating four secrets, I actually found five. Probably rather appropriate for what is at times a most enigmatic level." - Jay (11-Jan-2008)

"If George Maciver had entered the BtB competition I would be convinced that this was his level. It's something on the order of The Imprisoned Spirits Haunt Peru. I played it in bits and pieces over several evenings, and I was amazed by its technical complexity. Without Yoav's advance walkthrough I probably would have been hopelessly lost, but I found this to be a rewarding gaming experience that surely will wind up in the running for top honors. You get more than a little touch of the alien here, too, which adds a layer of spookiness to the environs. My net gaming time was skewed because I was tweaking the walkthrough while I was playing, but you can expect to spend well over an hour in here. Highly recommended." - Phil (10-Jan-2008)

"If you're looking for a well-made level filled with technical imagination and a degree of surreality,then this is a classic example. If you're looking for a level consisting of gameplay which alternates between 'tough' and 'obscure',this also is a classic example. It's also a classic example of a level which bored me totally.Yes,the imaginative (and technical) flourishes are often startling and rather clever;yes,the adventure is filled with detail and vicious enemies(and you'll not find any techncial errors,no matter how hard you scrutinise)..but that doesn't make it fun. It's not fun to be attacked by two Raptors in a small room while surrounded by swinging blades and nasty floor-squares; it's not particularly fun to wander around a positively labyrinthine area with many blind alleys and passageways,with absolutely no idea of where to go nor what to do when you eventually get to somewhere promising(despite very ponderous - and sometimes downright odd - fly-by's).This is a level where gameplay is either very fast-paced or extremely faltering,but never smooth-flowing. It's a good-looking adventure without a doubt,but a Walkthrough is probably best needed in order to fully appreciate it. I'd wait until one is available,if I were you." - Orbit Dream (05-Jan-2008)

"Definitely a level with a difference this one. While it has all the BtB ingredients it stands out with some unusual flybys, unusual object placement, unusual use of raising and push blocks and a few strongly coloured objects. It is also quite tricky at the beginning with a few devious traps and a fight with two raptors in close quarters and later you need to keep your orientation well to not get lost in your search for cookies, Happy Faces and Death Masks. The flybys are really mystical at times, the heart shape near the end is nicely designed and there are also four secrets which take a bit of work and care to get to, so all in all a well rounded BtB Level." - MichaelP (02-Jan-2008)
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