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Level: Kabul, Afghanistan - Episode 1 back home search
Author(s): Lukasz Croft
total rating:8.31 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
eTux 8 8 9 9
Gerty 8 7 8 8
Jack& 8 6 10 10
Jay 8 7 9 8
Jose 8 8 9 9
Manymee 9 9 10 9
MichaelP 9 8 9 8
Orbit Dream 8 9 10 9
Phil 8 8 7 7
Ryan 8 8 9 8
Spike 8 9 9 8
TimJ 7 7 8 8
Treeble 7 8 10 8
category averages
(13 reviews)
8.00 7.85 9.00 8.38

Reviewer's comments

"Lara begins this adventure by dropping off via helicopter into a military base in Kabul. From there she has to make her way, through a series of challenging manoeuvres (and being rendered weaponless at the beginning of level two) to ultimately find the level exit. Lukasz's choice of music is always good and this is no exception, which combined with a good (if rather darkish) atmosphere and reasonably challenging gameplay, and yes, lots of shooting, make this a recommended level." - Ryan (19-Jun-2017)

"To me this is the least impressive of the Lukasz Croft releases I've played to date. Even though it provides about two and a half hours of nonstop action, there's not much in the way of puzzle-solving exercises that you find in his later levels. In addition, there was what amounted to a game-stopping (for me) curved jump to a jump switch fairly early in the game. I gave up after 50 or so tries and appealed for a savegame so I could proceed. Toward the end it all got rather pedestrian, with pushing buttons to open doors and shoot multiple enemies on the way to the finish line. Maybe I'll find Episode 2 more appealing. Nevertheless, Episode 1 is fun, and you find ample weaponry to make the carnage easier to accomplish, but I prefer this builder's more recent offerings." - Phil (20-Oct-2009)

"I have played the second level in this set a while back, and today I thought I'd give a go at another level from this author. All the elements you come to expect from him are present, so even though you'll fight plenty of soldiers, don't think you'll be carrying your life long dual pistols all along. Kabul, Afghanistan (10 minutes): opens the game, in a TR3 Nevada desert like environment, you have to proceed until you eventually jump the fences and is captured. Military Prison in Kabul (40 minutes, 1 secret): Lara starts out in a jail and has to work her way out. As you don't have any guns until quite later in the level, most of the level is based on stealth and furtive skills. Collecting the first door key took me a while but I thought it was rather clever. There is, however, quite a frustrating angled jump to reach a jumpswitch in this level. It took me a number of tries and I got close to ditching the level right there. Safeguarded Areas of Laboratories (35 minutes): this was the most bland level in the set I'm afraid. You run back and forth in this level as you push buttons and kill guards. The environments fortunately are well crafted and the atmosphere is great, it's accomplished by all the custom sound effects and audio tracks. Base levels are not usually the favorite among the crowds, and nor are shooter-like levels, but there's something I can't quite describe in the levels from this author that always keep my interest. 85 minutes, 1 secret. 04/09" - Treeble (25-Apr-2009)

"Kabul, Afghanistan (not rated, 10 min): A quick intro level from a helicopter drop off in a desert camp with nice objects and audio choice but little to do except for a few buttons to press.
Military Prison in Kabul (9/8/9/8, 40 min, 1 secret): Lara in prison and initially without weapons. This part is probably the best Lulasz level to date with rather inspired gameplay that focuses a bit more on stealth and is not the usual shooter. Sentry guns need to be outwitted, there are moving lasers, some cleverly used push blocks and it is great fun to find your path through this level.
Safeguarded area of laboratories (8/8/9/8, 40 min): A bit like the previous level in terms of setting, but gameplay unfortunately reverts back to shooting everything that moves, in particular many, many guards. Nonetheless it is well done and carries the storyline along.
All in all, a very interesting and solid adventure that everybody should try out." - MichaelP (24-Oct-2008)

"Those of us who have loyally played all of Lukasz' previous levels will recognise most of the elements here from his earlier adventures:having to retrieve her pistols at the start;weird and wonderful enemies;disabling machine guns;creative lighting. What is different in this case is that he's combined all these familiar elements into a superb,fast-moving,occasionally complex and supremely smooth and entertaining adventure.The gameplay is clever and creative to begin with (the barbed-wire moment is ingenious),although it deteriorates somewhat,with Level 3 being a little too linear to impress as much. Enemies are used creatively and amusingly,and are plentiful without becoming overwhelming.The distribution of pick-ups is well judged.The speed of the adventure cleverly increases as the adventure progresses. Music is used fantastically well,with the Jerry Goldsmith-style tense and continuous soundtrack cleverly shifting key and smoothly changing its musical themes in direct correspondance to whatever you happen to be doing at any particular moment.The lighting effects are first-class and entirely appropriate,and the various objects are used well. Altogether,then,a hugely worthwhile adventure. Although this type of 'open-door,shoot and run' Gameplay may not be to everyones taste,Lukasz has added enough inventive touches of his own to keep it original and proven at last (bless him!)that he is now one of the very best builders of this particular style of adventuring." - Orbit Dream (17-May-2008)

"Playing this in the beginning of February, I still remember being stuck for ages it seems, with a nasty jump to a jump switch I couldn’t reach. Bless you Dutchy for coming over on your annual visit to your homeland and help me out. It was dead easy in hindsight but isn’t that always the case? So in the end we played this level together. Not fond of shoot levels myself, there is a nice plot (so to speak). I always like to figure out how to disable sentry guns and you have ample opportunity in here. Lara does start off with hardly anything in her backpack but going over the grounds to orientate herself, she finds more and more, ammo and guns that is as the latter she does need. There is a nice pace in this level and although sometimes we had to figure out where to go next it wasn’t frustrating at all. Even if this level doesn’t deserve 4 times a 10, Lukasz for sure can make an interesting level where it is fun to go through." - Gerty (11-Apr-2008)

"I'm not really a fan of shooters, but this one grabbed me from the word go. The first level of the trio is not that impressive and merely a prelude of what's yet to come in the other two where the real action begins. Lara is stripped from all her possessions and has to traverse a rather colourful and interestingly done base setting as she finds guns one after the other (yet never the pistols again), thus adding a neat touch of watching how much ammo you consume on the guards that shout profanity at Lara, the boxes and shootable switches (but there's plenty of ammo, so that's not generally a problem). There's also a great moment where you can kill a guard by luring him into a barbed wire trap - and that among other interesting gameplay choices from the author, like focusing a lot on outsmarting sentry guns, avoiding laser traps and searching for keys and switches - one jumpswitch requiring a particularly devilish jump to get to it, make this a really captivating base experience. You'll rarely get stuck, the time flies due to the excellent pacing, and the base setting is lit vividly and generally well done, so all that will sum up into a memorable experience easily. Recommended! Found the only secret the level has." - eTux (14-Mar-2008)

"I was really surprised with the evolution of this author. Yes, the style is the same, shoot, shoot and shoot, but this time there are some interesting puzzles and not impossible timed runs. Nice environment and better architecture and textured, new elements and an effort with the musics. Well done Lukas, I think this is the right way (at least I liked it)." - José (07-Mar-2008)

"Just finished this game (or at least I think I have as it was a bit of an abrupt end right after taking care of some guy), so, a set of three levels and I'm very impressed with how Lukasz has progressed here. It's thoroughly enjoyable to play, fast-paced, the music is used to great effect! All in all I could see/feel/smell a TR2/TR3 influence with a tendency to rather simple puzzles yet nicely laid out.Reminded me of Hi ecurity Compound in a very good way. The sentry guns and laser traps are nasty but not impossible. I liked the texturing which was not confusing but I would have preferred if the moveable objects had been tetured a bit more varied so you wouldn't enter the room, see the box and start moving it. Good lighting throughout and I loved the Lara Model which seems to be modeled on Angelina Jolie? very nice job here. I always like levels where the builder provides you with plenty of ammo, and no difference here. Found several weapons twice (hmm I wonder how it would look if you could shoot two crossbows at once :D) More!" - Manymee (27-Jan-2008)

"Kabul, Afghanistan: You start off with no pistols, two flares and only one small and one large medipack, but, fear not, you’ll soon start picking up goodies. That’s pretty much all this short introductory section is about – stashing a few supplies in your backpack. Military Prison in Kabul: Some of the guys in this part are your enemies and some are your friends. Because you’ve lost your pistols again (they didn’t last long, did they?) you may just have to find more inventive ways of disposing of the bad guys until you find the desert eagle and uzi. There is one jump in this section that you may find rather challenging – trying to curve round to grab a jump switch. It took me about 50 goes to achieve. I did enjoy blowing up the sentry guns though. Safeguarded Areas of Laboratories: You should by this time have oodles of desert eagle ammo so bumping off the guards is easy. There are plenty of laser traps to avoid, some even underwater, but most of them aren’t at all difficult. Actually, the major cause of health loss in this section is caused by mice – no, really – plus the occasional, unavoidable sentry gun damage. This is definitely Lucasz’s best (and most ambitious) level to date, with a good atmosphere much enhanced by well used audio files, and I find myself looking forward to part two." - Jay (25-Jan-2008)

"I was surprised by the first level as it was very short (10 minutes to finish) and wondered if the others would be like this. Fortunately not, and they were quite enjoyable! In the second level, Lara lose her guns and, as usual in Lukasz' levels, there are a lot of enemies. So there was some challenge at the beginning (later we get a lot of weapons and enemies are quickly killed). The idea to kill one of the guard with barbed wire to get a key is really great IMO. There are a lot of machine guns you must avoid and laser traps intelligently set and the balance between traps, pushable puzzles and enemies was good enough not to get bored. Something I liked a lot with the machine guns was that you can always destroy them by shooting their napalm bottle if you can go behind them without they see you. They were not annoying like in other games where you need 50 tries to pass them. If the outdoors area could have been built better, the indoor of the prison was nice, even if it was not really realistic sometimes. Lukasz made a good gloomy atmosphere in his levels with a good use of the lighting, even if some rooms were a bit too dark sometimes, and with the ambiant sounds which mixed together thanks to TREP and the ogg files. However, the audio sounded like midi files from an old game of the nineties and it was a bit strange. The textures were used well and I didn't notice any wallpapered room. I hope that the next levels of Lukasz will be even better! :-)" - TimJ (18-Jan-2008)

"well not bad work . not at my preferance cos this is more a shooter .. but some well designed indoor places .... what i found the moust stupid ideea in this game is to kill the SAS guys using a barbed wire .... lol why just not we hang them lol or poison them lol ... ok was a joke . good game all in all ." - Jack& (14-Jan-2008)

"At first, I started to play this level with the distinct feeling that I'd spend my entire time shooting down enemies as is usually the case in most levels by Lukasz. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that while there were a number of enemies to deal with, there were also enough other gameplay elements in it to make it fun and enjoyable. Most of the time we are called to destroy sentry guns, and time lever-pulls so as not to get hurt by traps, and when we do get to some combat we are usually armed up to the teeth with enough weaponry to take care of them quickly. Another plus point of the level is the visuals, and while the outdoor areas were generally quite boxy, the indoor areas (most of the levels) were designed well and mostly looked very good, apart from a few rooms where texturing looked very cluttered and messy, and random brightly coloured lights were placed around for no reason. The audio was excellent, and the background .ogg files blended together really well to create a spooky or tense atmosphere. The sound files were great as well, with a lot of Lara's and the enemies sounds being changed to something more appropriate (the guards shouting for backup over their radio being a memorable example). Lukasz has done a great job this time, and the level has more depth than his usual 'Shooter' offerings, and I'm looking forward to Episode 2 in the future...well done." - Spike (10-Jan-2008)
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