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Level: Above Hell back home search
Author(s): MpGrill
total rating:7.56 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bene 8 8 9 8
eRIC 6 8 8 7
eTux 6 7 8 7
Gerty 6 8 8 7
guss18 6 8 7 7
Jay 6 8 8 8
Jorge22 7 7 6 7
Jose 7 8 7 9
MichaelP 7 8 9 8
Oxy 9 9 8 9
Phil 8 8 8 7
Ryan 7 8 7 8
Treeble 7 7 9 7
category averages
(13 reviews)
6.92 7.85 7.85 7.62

Reviewer's comments

"From the rather brooding title, you may expect a spooky and gut-wrenching raid, but only the second level of this set, The City Above Hell is extremely scary, the first being resolutely more Egyptian than anything else. This is actually quite a simple game, with only the fearsome enemies and fixed camera angles (which were more annoying than anything else) posing any threat. The traps can be bypassed fairly easily. The audio files were nicely used, particularly in the second level. My score for the third category would have been higher, but those fixed cameras were just a little too annoying. Not bad though and surely worth a look." - Ryan (13-Mar-2017)

"From the title, I expected something dark and spooky. It's dark, all right, but not particularly spooky, and the two parts commbined give you about an hour and a half of entertaining gameplay. There's a certain amount of back and forth that's required, but with Harry Laudie's typically reliable walkthrough you're never in danger of becoming sidetracked. Some of the enemies are quite difficult to kill, and others are encountered in tight corridors, but you're provided with plenty of firepower to deal with all of them. A nice raid that players of all skill levels should enjoy. Recommended." - Phil (17-Feb-2014)

"Hell Keeper's Ruins (55 min, 3 secrets): Starting from a nice wide camera angle the nice textures impress from the start and even though many of the fixed cams initially are a bit annoying you can easily break out from them with the look key. Many, many pickups to collect along the way, jump switches and chains to pull and generally thought that use of audio and flyby cameras was very well done. It could have used a few more camera hints for progression though and with some of those that are there, the author still seems to have trouble setting camera target triggers properly. There is actually a shortcut as you can simply push open a double door that you are supposed to open by placing the first set of Amulet pieces. I think this could allow you to miss out on the boss fight with the hammergod that you can kill, but who would want to not have this fun battle, right? ;)
The City above Hell (25 min, 1 secret): This part is darker and more spooky with many teeth doors to navigate and you get more boss type fights with those Atlantean mutants before you return to level 1 to finish the adventure." - MichaelP (04-Feb-2009)

"A mystery two levelset that for some reason isn't that mysterious in its overall atmosphere. Its main problem is the annoying quantity of third person views for no special reason that makes you have to use the look button to restore the view throughout the entire level. Apart from that, it is definitely playable and only confusing a couple of times, namely in the room of several doors in the second level. It seems to use a lot of old style raiding textures of the Egyptian kind, at least in spirit. Enemies are giant bats, mummy Laras (I liked those), ahmets and more, including bosses such as a hammergod that must be killed. Fortunately, lots and lots of ammo are given, as well as numerous medipacks, which brings the game close to being a shooter somehow. It does deliver, it isn't mediocre and you can safely play it if there aren't any new superior games around." - Jorge22 (02-Nov-2008)

"Two levels that according to the readme are spooky but only the second level delivered on that. Both levels were typically exploration pick up expeditions. Puzzles were not extremely difficult. A lot of switches to activate of different kinds, climbing, jumping and searching. Enemies were few but some were very hard to dispose of and to make the battles more interesting sometimes the area you had to battle them in was restrictive and somewhat dangerous. Once you get your hands on the Knights Cross in the second level you will return to the first level to collect the Hell's Gem and it is a good idea to save before attempting this . Once you collect the gem you will be free to leave through the tunnel and run towards the sun and escape hell. The biggest complaint I have with this level is the unnecessary overuse of the fixed cameras it became tiresome to constantly have to use the look key to restore the view." - guss18 (28-Oct-2008)

"Hell Keepers Ruins (60+5 minutes, 3 secrets): quite a few diverse settings and generally the areas are filled with fixed cameras -- sometimes they help progression, but quite a few times they're there to hide elements. I particularly liked the area with the many little alcoves halfway through the level, I thought those bits were fun. Also be aware that you can't have two broken amulets at the same time (you can actually push open the door to the second one, but you're supposed to use the amulet to open it). The boss at the end is rather intense. There's excellent use of background audio throughout the level and it looks nice, despite a few mistakes. City Above Hell (35 minutes, 2 secrets): much darker than the first part, this level has quite a few scary areas -- such as the one with the mummy nurse (along with a most fitting background audio track). There's some sort of holy area in this place, though, and I believe the crossbow was meant to be accessible, but it was floating in water just like that so it was rendered useless. The final area, leading to the centaur, was dull by default but I really enjoyed it -- and the heartbeat really built up the tension nicely for the somewhat tedious fight. Then we return to the ruins to make our way out of this place. This is quite a nice level and worth playing if only for the camera use or heavy atmosphere of the second part, but be advised there's quite a lot of fighting (fortunately there's an absurd amount of pickups spread throughout the levels). 100 minutes, 5 secrets. 10/08" - Treeble (28-Oct-2008)

"Two level set where the second level seemed to fly by. Fixed cameras were an irritant and at times, I couldn't make out what was being shown as for instance; a door opening when all I saw was the ceiling. It is the only game I can remember starting out with 140 flares so dark places were not a problem. Enemies seemed fierce, especially the giant spiders with a tendency to corner Lara and once that's done, she's a goner. And then there's the hammer god starting his attack before Lara steps foot on his territory and no safe place for Lara on a small island. The one weapon that was most efficient was the revolver and it has become my all - time favorite after this level set. Things get really spooky at the start of The City Above Hell, as the sounds, such as screams and eerie music were used to great effect although some of the music seemed out of place. So, despite the fixed cams, I rated Atmosphere, Sound and Cameras a nine. There are a lot of pick ups and you may find that you will use more than you initially think. A good download and recommended but a walkthrough may be needed because there are times where there is some confusion as to what to do next. The builder has evident talent and I look forward to any future projects." - Bene (28-Oct-2008)

"This is very nice game (Hell Keepers Ruins and The City Above Hell), if you aren't scared of blood and death. I must say that in some areas is too red, sick and bloody. As counterbalance you will see totally green areas which are also too green. The rest of game-play is good textured with realistic atmosphere and lights - nice architecture, pretty fire burners, easy fire traps, good game-play if you like to search and pick up objects (ammo, weapons, medi-packs) - you will need them because enemies aren't very easy to kill. I liked giant spiders, daemon bats, little white ghosts and red hammer demon (with revolver, some save games and a few jumps you can easily kill him). Game-play is very easy (except one jump for which I first thought that is impossible). Unfortunately I can't recommend playing for children - this bloody ill lady walking around, attacking and calling for help, and that chairs, tables, beds and dirty red walls were just little too much ... Also music scared me - some tracks were irritating to my ears and of course (opposite from what I said) some of tracks were very nice. I finished this game with help from walkthrough. I found five secrets, I looked everywhere. :-)" - Oxy (26-Oct-2008)

"I'm always a bit perplexed how this particular author's levels always manage to take a comfortable seat in the wishlist (i.e. are neglected by reviewers). Sure, they're not exactly straightforward, but not any more complex than the next level when you think about it. Whatever the case may be - you can see the author progress here quite clearly. There's still enough ammunition and firearms to support a small country's army, but not as blatantly presented as in the first level, the looks are solid at worst, but present some pretty good looking scenarios when they're good - like some of the ruin complexes in the first level, and the overall feel of the spooky city areas in the second. There isn't really much in the way of gameplay than finding the next switch, shooting some of the creepy denizens of these areas (including 2 a bit tougher boss battles, but with the right approach they are not that bad too), and picking up the generously scattered pick ups, though there was one particularly clever use for a door in the first level. Usually there is a fair amount of camera hints supplied, but unfortunately they're fairly cryptic, giving you an idea where to look for the door that just opened at best, and leaving you to figure out what happened yourself at others, and I have to say that that wasn't my favourite part of this game. It's confusing enough as it is if you don't know what to do, so I thought it to be a bad call to obscure it even more. But with the help of the walkthrough I got through the less obvious bits, and could enjoy the rest all the same, and I'd probably advise you to approach this level like that too. I found the atmosphere to be very absorbing, and if you love creepy levels, you'll love how this eventually evolves into one here through the hour+ you'll spend here, but I felt there's a lack of mission for Lara and the player. So Lara slaughtered a lot of monsters, collected enough ammunition to start selling it for profit, and before leaving it all behind, picked up a Gem very much alike to the ones she did 40 minutes or so earlier in the adventure - and yet I didn't really feel like I had achieved anything, no closure at the end. As I said when depicting the better parts of the game, there certainly is a lot of potential there - but also room for improvement. Player's could do much, much worse than playing this, but I'd keep the walkthrough within reach if I were you!" - eTux (27-Jun-2008)

"This is much better and you can see that the builder evolves. I still saw textures that needed attention and I also have a big question mark about the reach-in hole in the first level, as Lara never could reach-in so I don't know what I missed. Maybe not much, as I could end the level. Again the builders used fixed camera and mostly it didn't add anything but were more pest than anything else. The idea to use the middle room as a sort of hub room was pretty great. The next level is more"dark" indeed with more enemies to slain. The extended TR4 file was mainly to boost up the strength of the enemy, oh well.... You go back to the first level for the last artefact and Lara can finally leave and feels the sun shining on her cheeks again." - Gerty (08-Apr-2008)

"The levels are well builded and textured, with enemies very hard to kill as the big spiders or centaurs, but there's enough ammo and guns. You'll need to explore very well 'cause sometimes there's no cameras and another times cameras wont help you much. Spooky ambience sometimes with very dark areas, secrets are very easy to find. Simple gameplay, only pull switches and find and place objects, not difficult to finish, but remember that you left a closed door in the first level. I couldn't pick up the crossbow floating in the water. Entertaining level but not much interesting." - Jose (07-Mar-2008)

"Hell Keepers Ruins: The initial emphasis of this level was so much inclined towards peaceful exploration that I got a real shock when two giant (and very tough) spiders appeared, followed not long afterwards by a couple of hell's vultures. I started to get really nervous at the amount of guns and ammo I was picking up (you could equip a regiment) and I was quite right - ouch. There is a lot of exploration required and apart from the boss ending this section really isn't heavy on the fighting. There are no difficult tasks to accomplish - it's really just a matter of managing to find everything and remember your way. The City Above Hell: This city isn't very far above hell - about two inches I'd say. The atmosphere is very creepy indeed (excellent choice of sound files here) and the Lara zombie and ahmets lurking in corridors don't lighten the mood at all. The beginning of the section is a major pick up exercise and I was glad to replenish my arsenal. The Atlantean baddies take sixty rounds of revolver ammo to finish off, so since the first one was only carrying a medipack I left him alone and ran away. The second one was carrying a vital artefact so I gritted my teeth, plugged away and sucked down medis. Back to hell keepers ruins for a brief trip to get your final artefact and the game ends. It's not bad - the atmosphere is most effective, the audio files well chosen and it looks well built. For me though the gameplay could have been a bit beefier; there are enjoyable parts but half the time I felt I was just there to pick up ammo and medipacks." - Jay (03-Feb-2008)

"A couple of levels that according to the storyline promised to be spooky. In fact only the 2nd one is, as the first is more classic raiding. Many different audio tracks have been used to give a different touch to the game. The 5 secrets found were just pickups on the ground. Some of the camera views are a bit enigmatic and do not help much the player. HELL KEEPERS RUINS (1 hour 10 minutes) Lara has to find her way in underground places, some with Angkor Wat textures others with Semerkhet texturing. There is nothing complicated here , just finding switches and some artefacts that will lead Lara deeper underground. Straightforward at first, it can become a bit more disorientating later on as you revisit 2 or 3 times a main room from another angle , which was quite smart. The author is very generous in pickups and there is not many enemies in this level , it seems he has used the possibility of the patch to boost the resistance of some of them though, so no pity for the horned boss at the end which does not augur well of what Lara will find next. THE CITY ABOVE HELL (30 minutes) Shorter , darker , spookier , and more straightforward , with more variety in the enemies, this underground 'city' is quite gloomy and you won't be in very good company here. Straightforward exploration in general with a bit of jumping climbing or crawling, the usual job for Lara, but the time passes quickly and you don't risk to get stuck in this no brain-teaser. Lara must find two crosses before being able to return to the ruins. HELL KEEPERS RUINS (3 minutes) Back to the main room of the first level, Lara has to climb it and find the last door opened at the top, pick up a last hell gem (certainly as an archeological proof she has indeed found the city) while escaping a moving spiked wall and return home." - eRIC (19-Jan-2008)
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