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Level: BtB2008 - Pachacutec Inca's Valley back home search
Author(s): Roli
total rating:8.34 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bene 9 9 9 9
diamond 9 8 8 9
DJ Full 6 8 8 8
dmdibl 9 9 9 8
eRIC 8 8 8 7
eTux 7 7 8 8
Eva 9 9 10 9
Gerty 7 7 8 7
Janny 9 10 10 9
Jay 8 8 9 8
jclark69 8 8 8 7
JoeTheCrazyGamer 10 10 9 10
Jorge22 10 9 10 10
Jose 9 8 9 9
Leeth 6 6 7 8
manarch2 7 7 7 7
MichaelP 7 7 8 7
Minox 10 9 9 10
Mman 9 9 9 9
Mytly 9 8 8 9
Phil 9 8 9 8
Ravenwen 9 8 9 9
Ryan 9 8 9 8
Sethian 9 7 9 8
Treeble 8 8 8 8
Zhyttya 7 7 8 8
category averages
(26 reviews)
8.35 8.08 8.58 8.35

Reviewer's comments

"This level evokes the TR1 (and Anniversary) atmosphere very nicely. In fact I'm sure a couple of the rooms in this level were eerily familiar to the original game, but luckily the level is original enough and the gameplay sufficiently varied enough not to be an issue. There's a couple of neat cage puzzles in this level that require a couple of careful jumps, plus some enjoyable platforming, timed runs and trap avoidance. A few of the indoor corridors and the couple of labyrinths are a bit too dark for my taste, but otherwise the lighting is good. You first have to find three keys to be able to fight the T-Rex which, as is often the case, isn't as fearsome as you'd think. But despite those minor niggles, this is an enjoyable recommended level and one that I enjoyed more, at least gameplay-wise, than the full Revelations 3 levelset later released by this builder." - Ryan (12-Apr-2018)

"2008 edition is one of those I didn't play in single session. Was it a mistake? Possibly no, because I still remember distinctions between particular releases - yellow water of eRIC, floating cage of Nadine, eye portal of TimJ... now I hoped I will remember something of Roli but the only such thing can be the fire room copied from the second part of TR Revelations. The cage puzzle between death triggers is copied from there as well but such things are what I just forget as fast as possible. Of all the puzzles the gong activator made me wonder for a while and was satisfying to spot, but all the rest, however technically good with proper sounds and enemies, is very typical, peaking at the remake of the final room from the original Caves. Seriously, this is not what Back to Basics is about. Equally wrong, the builder returns to his habit of near-pickup ending, and even a critical flare bug struck and made me uneasy for half the game, however it might last shorter if you choose a different order of the three non-linear paths than I did." - DJ Full (27-Jun-2016)

"Roli has done a great job with this BTB level, it is also really difficult with the boulder room, and the main concept of the game is to get 3 keys which can be done in any order, the room with the boulder and poles can be really hard when you first play it. But then we also find 2 secrets with one being the Uzis. THe second room with the shot was a really cool addition has some jumps that all good TRLEs need. Then the third aera is the most difficult and has Dinosours an area that is a reminder of the first tomb raider with added pole and timed run. The TRrex fight had a big build up but it only took 1 bullet and it was down." - JoeTheCrazyGamer (10-May-2016)

"The starting areas has a nice atmosphere, and the quest for the three keys is nothing groundbreaking but still enjoyable. There's a good dose of everything at least, a few traps, timed runs and puzzles and some quirky and enjoyable platforming parts add to the enjoyment although there are less inspired tasks like the jumps around the huts, the unhinted (?) lever puzzle and the maze. Although the architecture is not very complicated, the level still spreads a rather nice charm and is pretty sophisticated in its relative simplicity, texturing and lighting are decent (the lighting being just a bit flat outside) and the object design is good too. Not really a unique offering here, yet everything works together nicely as a whole here, a seldom effort. Found two secrets in 25 minutes." - manarch2 (18-Mar-2016)

"This was a pleasant surprise. Great level, really enjoyable and just a real Tomb Raider experience.. You cant get stuck and its a pleasure to explore.. The cameras were a bit annoying, and some imported IA's were a bit buggy.. oh and the T-Rex died way to fast.. not even a challenged... There was one puzzle completely based on "trial and error" and that's just annoying.. Still, besides that, one of the best level on the "level design" department.. Its not the prettiest or the most challenging but a really great base and really fun to play. Highly recommend" - Leeth (04-Sep-2015)

"Nice small level here. It was very pleasant to play it for about an hour or so. It's consists of a very simple game play, making it pretty easy to pass the level. But the surroundings, sounds, textures, everything used to decorate the level made the experience much better. And although the puzzles were simple, they were enjoyable. I'm going to speak about two of them: there's a part where knowing which lever will open a door consists of trial and error - that was a bad thing and not challenging at all. The other one is on the final part of the level - having to use the millwheel and the animation for it really made me like this level even more. Perfect realistic detail. To conclude: this level is gorgeous, simple mechanics but fun and you'll have a great time playing it." - Zhyttya (04-Sep-2015)

"The main part of this level is an outdoor hub area, with three areas that split off from it, there's also an extended ending section after. It looks high quality throughout outside of a couple of dull looking maze areas, and some excellent looking scenes are created with careful use of fog. Texturing is slightly odd occasionally but not enough for it to be any major issue, unfortunately it also suffers from the flare bug later on. One of the splits interestingly also has an obvious Anniversary influence, with areas quite similar to both Tomb of Qualopec's hub and the final room of Caves, but they manage to have enough gameplay to not be shallow homages. There's a decent variety of tasks and the only areas it falters a bit is in the mazes at a couple of points and the ending room feeling a bit empty. I actually replayed this level only a little ago in Tomb Raider Revelations 3, luckily the level's good enough for that to not be an issue." - Mman (06-Nov-2012)

"This level consists of three key quests, with a coda featuring a puzzle, a boss fight and some platforming at the end. Two of the three key quests are mostly very enjoyable, and both have a good mix of puzzles, traps, jumps and timed runs (except for some rather boring dark mazes in both sections). On the other hand, the third quest is far too short and simple, and especially anticlimactic if you do it last, as I did, with the expectation that it would be as long and eventful as the other two. I especially liked the two pushable puzzles with deadly tiles. I also enjoyed the sequence with the rollingball and swingpoles above the uzi secret. The room inspired by TR Anniversary is very nice, though the timed run in that room is very hard. I'm not sure of the logic behind the puzzle with the switches and trapdoors with colour clues. The final showdown with the T-Rex could have been fun, but for me, it turned out to be weirdly buggy: instead of dying when shot, the T-Rex became immortal and strangely tilted!
The locations are lovely such as the beautiful valley that forms the hub area, as well as most of the underground sections. On occasion, the juxtaposition of snow and lush greenery looks strange, though the texture limitations are probably more to blame for this than the builder. Fog is used particularly well. Some spots are a bit too dark (like the mazes), but otherwise lighting is very good. At times the cameras show off the pretty environment nicely, but they can also be buggy (like one camera which remained 'stuck' even when Lara moved into another room) or misleading (a camera showing a gong in the rafters, which seemed as if it was to be meant to be rung, but turned out to be merely decorative).
Overall: An enjoyable level that has made me eager to try out other levels by this builder. Recommended." - Mytly (06-May-2012)

"I always like to see a builder who knows to mix things up and give the player plenty of both outside and inside areas to run around. Many of us would probably not like to begin a Peru level stuck in a dingy cavern, so this level starts us off wonderfully with a bright, colorful and not to mention dynamic area (the two raptors definitely gave me a nice jump!) I've always considered that the very first moments of gameplay are critical because this is when you decide whether this is a level worth playing. I was looking for the first minutes to feel like Lara was on one of her usual exciting raiding trips in beautiful South America. And that's exactly what I got. The puzzles and gameplay are pretty standard, but that's not a bad thing. This is classic tomb raiding and it works great when you add the gorgeous mood of the greeny outside areas and the creepy and slightly disturbing atmosphere of the caves. Because what really stands out in this level are the builder's personal touches. The skeleton that is slowly being dragged into the shadows while I was fumbling for some matches is possibly the best (and most effective) detail I've ever seen in any custom level. The dark maze with traps that spring when you least expect them is also a delight. But there were a few things that bugged me. Such as some jumps that seemed to have been made deliberately tricky, a few pretentious areas that lacked fun gameplay, and several spots where the textures weren't blending all that well. The place with the boulder falling two seconds behind Lara was also a bit too frustrating for me and almost made me ragequit. But the overall openness was a nice idea and it gave me a sense of playing a sandbox type of level which was a nice plus. In the end it was a very fun (and maybe a tad frustrating) experience with plenty to see and do." - Janny (27-Sep-2011)

"In the first moments when playing this BtB08 Peru level I had mixed feelings about it, as the looks were not particularly beautifully made , and gameplay not very original either as I adventure myself in the less interesting of the 3 quests you have to do here. The timed door was very hard and the camera without a one shot trigger particularly annoying. But after that, it was solid fun with a very enjoyable room with breakable tiles and swinging poles, and the two other quests while shorter were enjoyable and challenging without being annoying. I enjoyed finding the Uzis secret too. A pity that the flares bug kicked in , especially that the use of the binoculars -when more fixed cameras are imposed to the player- was then prohibited. Good atmosphere and use of the audio tracks generally. All in all, a good level that lasts a bit over one hour." - eRIC (02-Mar-2008)

"This level is a wonderful level, the atmosphere is just amazing, the use of the light, the big areas which are not dispersive and all works perfect. The structure of the level is simple but at the same time complicated. You have to find three keys to access the final room with the T-Rex, and all is fluid and pleasant to do. I just was unable to kill the T-Rex and I spend a lot of time against this monster, but it was just the last fight. The textures, the use of the music, and the light is almost perfect for me. Just a little disappointed with the fixed camera in the T-Rex room. The gameplay is always good, very remarkable I found some platform place. I suggest this level to everybody. Everybody who want to play for more than one hour." - diamond (29-Feb-2008)

"The gameplay is pleasant, not so linear at the beggining but one time a way is selected it becomes straighforward. The native in the hut is not an ennemi (he doesn't attack Lara), but it's perhaps a bug because he's do nothing and doesn't seem to be a guide. A little bit disturbing. Also, there is the flare bug. The enemies are well choosen and placed. There is not to much to say about the sounds and cameras, as well as the use of the textures : nice level but not extraordinary, sometimes the colors are a bit 'luxury'." - jclark69 (27-Feb-2008)

"In this level Lara has to exert more than in the previous levels of the contest of this year. We are in very beautiful valley and we can see the entrances to different buildings right from the beginning. Very well hidden in ruins, wall columns and leads one finds the possibility of opening the entrances to the buildings. Plenty of acrobatics are in demand, because Lara has to do extreme jumps. Beside this very good and fastidious gameplay the perfectly arranged areas need to be mentioned and also the ambience music that changes sometimes. Enemies and traps are very fine and assigned in a well balanced way. Altogether the level is very well made, exciting, good to play and very beautiful to look at, but demanding." - Eva (21-Feb-2008)

"This level sets Lara on a quest for three keys before she gets the mask, and these quests involve quite a lot of platforming, which I appreciate. There were a few mazey like areas but nothing too big and there was definitely an overuse of flame emmiters. While most of the level is nicely crafted, such as the initial valley, there are some rooms that could have used more work, such as the T-Rex area which is a little too squarish, but all in all, it works. I particularly liked the nods to Anniversary, I don't know if they were intentional, but there are at least two rooms that reminded me of the Peruvian levels of TRA. 50 minutes, 1 secret. 02/08" - Treeble (14-Feb-2008)

"There's a few mysteries here. Like who moved the skeleton(an invisible someone or something?) and who are those Natives walking around? Not guides and not hostiles, just.... walkers. This, to me is an almost perfect level. Lighting, textures combined with some great death - defying tasks and good puzzles come together in almost perfect harmony. The one jarring note for me was the timed run that was a bit too difficult and once the area was left I could not find a way back and needed a save to get to it. A search for three keys brings the Raider to a not too friendly but eventually generous T-Rex. Glad I went back to finish this one - packed with good Raiding and recommended for almost all." - Bene (27-Jan-2008)

"Personally I did like the way the overall picture of this level looked. What I didn't like was the darkness and to top it off, the flare bug. Here you are in hunt for keys and look everywhere, as levers are hard to spot. The creepiest thing was that skeleton that got pulled away by an invisible person. I am mighty puzzled as in that small place where one finds the Golden Key there still is a door closed. Also when Lara finally left she still had that Golden Key in her backpack, although she used it. Found the two secrets in this level." - Gerty (20-Jan-2008)

"As I'm approaching the point where I have all BTB levels played and reviewed, I'm starting to feel the first symptoms of the BTB fatigue kicking in. I'm not sure if anything would've been different if this was the first level I had played, but it seems to be stand up for itself very well given that it's one of the last I've yet to review. Things that make this an enjoyable raid are the simplicity of the gameplay - despite a couple of sneaky switches - I never got stuck in this 30+ minute adventure and the colourful, lush environments offering a number of scenarios from the main valley, a snowy canyon, plus a few areas reminiscent of those in the original Peru levels (not something I usually support, but it seemed to work fine here). From a more negative aspect - there isn't really much diversity to the gameplay here - you'll mostly spend time looking for switches, activating a switch or maybe avoiding a trap or two while you do any of the above. The some maze like environments seemed uninspired as well and the level could've easily done without them. Also - as nice as the looks are, they could've been more detailed as most of the areas, especially the big ones, seemed rather boxy and that spoiled the otherwise nice settings. All in all - not a bad choice to make, especially recommended right after you've mastered either of the longer levels in the series (that's assuming you're playing all one after the other)." - eTux (18-Jan-2008)

"Right from the beginning, when you enter the green Inca valley and see the beautiful design work and lush environment, you know that this is by a seasoned builder. The game play can be very good: slide down a slope, make a curved jump to hit the center of another slope, at the very end (don't want to slide into the jaws of the raptors) make a jump to a swing pole, hit a platform, leap to a ladder, backflip and set up a run over collapsing platforms. It did have one curious feature--this is a comment not a criticism. Lara pushed a broken idol and released a non-hostile Inca, so there was no need to shoot him. He wandered about the level, going down to the three key blocks at one end, and returning to enter the furthest doorway and wander through those rooms. These Peru levels don't contain the AI for a guide, but Lara left him alone and he left her alone. I was disappointed that this level often went underground into excessively dark areas, and that the creations there were more mundane. Even some Inca huts were enclosed in a dark cave-like structure when it would have been nicer to have them out under open sky. Look at the first Tomb Raider to see that enclosed spaces don't have to be so dark [sorry, I have a thing about dark areas]. There were a couple of dark, dull maze areas; one did have a bunch of fire jets that could trigger a flare bug. In one part underground Lara seems trapped, but if one looks into the reflective floor a switch is visible. We have seen this before, but it is usually in a Venice-type level, a well-lit ballroom with highly reflective floors, where the switch is visible in reflection but not on the wall. It just seemed out of place in a scruffy cave environment. To sum up: great design work (when the author chooses), good solid gaming, and a must play level." - dmdibl (18-Jan-2008)

"A beautiful and most enjoying level, with much action, puzzle-solving, exploring and item-hunting - all that makes a game fascinating and worth-playing. At several instances, it reminds of the original games, but this is not a bad thing; the elements are used in a creative way and exploited further so as to produce a solid advneture with its own special atmosphere and feel. The rooms are impressively built and there's a great variety of settings in them; action is never repeated, as there is almost always something new to do in each new area that you enter. You begin by emerging from water in a sunny and colourful garden and then you are called to open and explore several areas so as to find three keys that will open up the way for the final part of the level. The processes to find those keys are like mini in-game adventures as they include traps, puzzles and a lot of searching. The gameplay is solid, fast and challenging and there are cameras and flyby's to help you through at crucial parts of the game." - Ravenwen (18-Jan-2008)

"Another dark BtB level. Almost makes me miss Journey Through the Andes. That being said, this is another fine entry in this year's competition. You need to explore three different areas to find keys you'll bring back to the first part of the level, where you complete your hour-long adventure. I'm starting to get used to the special touches we're seeing in these Peru levels, including the water wheel Lara lift and the wheel turn timed runs (although this one substituted a nifty timed move using a horizontal swing pole. A little added light would have improved this one a great deal in my book. Nevertheless, I can recommend it highly." - Phil (13-Jan-2008)

"You'll have to get three keys in order to enter the temple where the Pachacutec's golden idol is, but it'll not be easy. The level is long and there are some tricky tasks as a very tight timed run or the descent down the ramp with the rolling ball behind, but there are good puzzles too. I found some bugs as the flare bug or when I put the keys my game crashes, but only one time. Remember to keep some shotgun shells for the final enemie! Good use of the cameras, good architecture and well textured, but too much dark in may places for my taste." - Jose (09-Jan-2008)

"Another very good level, we are spoiled. This is a level where you have to find 3 keys to be able to see the end, but it will be a long job. The textures, colors and objects are very beautiful and riddles are well placed. I really liked that level." - Minox (05-Jan-2008)

"Another very solid entry to the BtB competition even if I do not fully share the enthusiasm about this level that other reviewers have had so far. It certainly starts in a nicely designed valley and has some good ideas in the hour you spend her searching for three keys. I liked how the environment changes from cave to green to snowy and there is also a funny moment when a skeleton moves itself out of the way. The timed run for the cog wheel is quite tight and took me a few tries to master (good), the village with the huts and the trip around its roofs was nicely designed and the TRex is always a suitable enemy near the end, although it is not easy to spot the necessary shotgun in the darkness of one of the huts in the village (despite a camera hint). But there were a number of issues for me with the level that prevent me from scoring it higher. Like the often prevailing darkness, even worse because the falre bug occurs after a while with all the burners being switched on, a couple of rather empty and bland maze like areas, several of the levers were very hard to spot, some of the objects were really oddly placed and seemed to float in mid air and several areas were architecturally very simple big and boxy rooms. However, flyby and camera work is quite well done and the one secret of the two that I found was also good fun to get." - MichaelP (05-Jan-2008)

"The most outstanding thing about this level is its realistic settings, from the organic jungle to the snowy environments and the buildings, even though there may be a little too much darkness in just a few spots. Gameplaywise it seems near perfect, with some challenging actions to perform and a great tight timed run. The mask being left by the T-Rex is also something innovative, I think. Great looking and a great play too, highly recommended." - Jorge22 (04-Jan-2008)

"Great atmosphere with this level and very effective use of textures, giving a good contrast between the steamy looking, jungle style clearings and the stark, snow laden mountain areas and dark temple interiors. I scarcely knew whether to sweat or shiver. There are three areas off the clearing in which to find three keys and I do tend to like that type of 'hub' set up. I really enjoyed the gameplay in this one - it's a medium difficulty level and nicely varied. Also, this may just be the first time that a T-Rex has ever left Lara something - I can't just remember one leaving anything behind before." - Jay (03-Jan-2008)

"This was a really great BtB level. The entire thing is set in a sort of 'Lost Valley', yet it is a mix of TRA's Lost Valley, Caves, Vilcabamba and Tomb of Qualopec as well... at least, it captures the atmosphere of these levels a lot. The gameplay is quite long actually... not something one would expect from a BtB level. By looking around the initial valley section of the game, we can see three keyholes, and three separate temple areas where we will find those specific keys. Now the hunt for those keys is nothing quick and simple. It is nice and challenging, and each key is hidden in its little unique world. After using all three keys, we get into another temple where we are greeted by a long pushable puzzle; however, this one is quite clear and also not so bad as one would at first think. Then we have another classic final T-Rex boss fight, however at least it is a little bit more interesting due to what the T-Rex leaves us at the end. When we kill it we get a puzzle item, which is a nice idea most people never use... and animal leaving a key for us. It probably swallowed it or something ;) This goes into creative object placement. The objects architecturally are placed beautifully, making the temples and the valley come to life. Sadly, half way through this level I encountered the flare bug, which is the result of having too many flame emitters triggered at once... and boy, there are a lot of flame emitters. All the fire looks great in the level, yet it is a shame the builder did not trigger and anti-trigger them depending on when Lara left or entered and area. Not being able to use my flares anymore, I had problems later on finding a shotgun in a dark room, which is of course needed to kill the T-Rex, so I had to backtrack to this. So sadly, some loss of points with object placement due to all the placed flame emitters. The atmosphere in the level is great, and all the changing audio ambience adds to that. I would have liked some more cameras... the ones that I do remember where more annoying then helpful... with an odd camera angel when Lara had a ball rolling behind her and had to jump at a swing pole, and at the end when Lara is high up on a temple. Texturing in this level is great... every area looks beautiful and like a believable Incan temple or a believable natural valley. Lighting could have been a bit better, and it had odd blotches of colours here and there, not to mention being a bit to dark in the village room I think, especially because I could no longer use my flares properly. It is a really pity about the bug, because this really is a great and near perfect level." - Sethian (01-Jan-2008)
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