trle.net
Level: Marshlands back home search
Author(s): justin
total rating:9.14 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bene 9 9 10 9
DJ Full 9 10 10 9
dmdibl 9 9 9 9
eRIC 10 10 10 10
eTux 9 9 10 9
Gerty 7 9 9 9
Jack& 7 7 9 9
Jay 9 9 9 9
Jose 9 10 10 10
Juno Jim 10 10 10 10
Lady C 8 8 10 9
MichaelP 8 9 9 9
misho98 8 9 10 9
Mman 8 10 9 9
mugs 9 9 8 9
Phil 9 9 10 9
Raymond 9 10 10 9
Ryan 9 9 9 10
Samu 9 9 10 9
category averages
(19 reviews)
8.68 9.16 9.53 9.21

Reviewer's comments

"Finally something from this builder I managed to thoroughly enjoy: despite of the extensive base prologue this levelset brings you to a full adventure but much more condensed and on topic than Justin's previous games - basically, nothing felt too long to me, and if it did it was only because I revisited stuff for missing secrets, always motivated to do so. The graphics could be better and the gameplay more inspired but the immersion is totally here." - DJ Full (12-Nov-2018)

"This can be quite a complex game at most times, so be prepared to keep your orientation in the more complicated areas. But despite that I really enjoyed myself throughout the time I spent here. The first two levels are quite simple to play through, as despite their complicated layout, the next task to accomplish usually isn't far. These two are more base environment based, with dogs and guards to dispose of, as well as mummies. The third level is also quite simple, but now we're starting to venture into some brilliant looking areas (I particularly liked the view over a balcony, where a dog has just attacked). It really gets hectic in the fourth level as Lara explores some sunken ships that reminded me of the Martinique section in TC14's Quest of Gold (and believe me, that's a big compliment!). I wasn't a fan of the odd camera angle that obscured my vision as I tried to exit amid falling debris, but that's purely a personal thing. Kudos, Justin!" - Ryan (25-May-2017)

"This levelset shows a big variety of settings but not so much in gameplay, nevertheless it's still very entertaining to play. My favorite levels are the first one since there's a lot to explore and the final one - although it's on the borderline of love and hate because some tasks made me quite nervous. The second level doesn't show a lot in gameplay - pull a switch, backtrack to the open door, pull another switch there and go somewhere else to push a button. But it does show a lot in atmosphere and design - that's exactly how a perfect base level should look and feel like. In the third level you're finally out of the base and to the open sea which definitely feels refreshing. I'll remember the final level with the first timed run that made me furious lol but it was actually very clever. You end the game with a level where you are free to look around and I like that, it's beautiful but it gets boring after a while - still a nice ending though. So you basically get all from this level - switches (lots of), pushblocks, exploration, combat, platforming, challenging timed-run and great visuals. All that in about 2-3 hours of net gameplay." - misho98 (03-Jan-2016)

"Marshlands (8/8/9/9, 55 min, 1 secret): A Base setting embedded into a swamp and quite believably so. Lots of exploration and running back and forth if you are not lucky enough to do things kind of in sequence. Crocodiles, devious fish and a few mummies crossing your path and the gameplay highlights are a push block puzzle and a double timed run.
Base at Guantanmo Bay (8/8/9/8, 70 min, 0 of 3 secrets): This is as solid a Base level as they come, with lots of duct crawling, dogs and guards to kill, a timed trapdoor and another double timed run. After a while the place opens up nicely and you really get a good sense of place here. There is an elevator that you get to use a few times and you really need to keep your orientation to not get lost completely. Certainly a level I would recommend playing in one single session and not take any big breaks. Looks like the secrets here are well hidden as I missed them all.
Guantanamo Bay (8/9/9/9, 30 min, 2 secrets): A slightly shorter part, but a very impressive setting as you get to the outside and then into a great cave setting which you explore high and low. Impressive how this has been architected in order to look quite realistic!
Abyssal Treasure (9/10/9/9, 50 min, 0 of 2 secrets): I am not a great fan of starting a level underwater, not knowing where to get some air and here it may well see Lara drown a few times initially while swimming with the sharks. Once you get going though, this is a great and fun level to play. The sunken ship area and then the ship in the cave look great and the gameplay built around them is clever and engaging. Plenty of enemies around (skeletons, dogs, spiders, bats, crocodiles), but never posing a big threat. You get some nice torch action, a few sneaky jumps and a few timed runs - nothing too tight though.
The end was a bit of a surprise, as you end up on this lonely beach with nothing to do and apparently no finish trigger to find, but I am sure there is some deeper meaning here that simply eludes me ;) Overall a long and interesting adventure that continually gets better and therefore keeps you entertained until the very end." - MichaelP (27-Aug-2010)

"This pack offers very varied themes within its five levels; you go from a base in a swamp to a sunken ship in an underwater cove ala The Deck in TR2. I found the pack to get better as it goes along; while it starts good I found the atmosphere and layout of the last few levels more interesting. The architecture and overall design also seemed to step-up as the pack went on (lighting is occasionally a bit flat in the first levels, but it's excellent from the third level onwards). I'd agree with other reviews that the second level is maybe a bit too complex; I didn't find its base layout so hard to work out but there's so many doors, switches and other such objects that it's likely you'll miss something at some point. Other than that the flow was quite good for the most part, although there was one really hidden (and slightly tricky to access) doorway in the fourth level that would fit a secret area far better than standard progression. Speaking of the fourth level I also found a couple of major shortcuts, including one to skip 90% of the main area. The shelves in the first level also require a slight unintuitive positioning to open. But most of these things are minor issues. It would have been nice to get a real end rather than just an area to run around in forever, but it is a very nice looking area (and a cornerbug or two lets you enjoy more of it). Highly recommended overall; but if the first levels don't appeal I suggest you keep going as it keeps getting better." - Mman (27-Aug-2009)

"When I saw the initial flyby title I expected something good and I was not mistaked. An excelent architecture with beautiful landscapes and a great environment with a lot of small details which give a very realistic touch to the levels. The level I less liked was the second 'cause there were hundreds of buttons/switches to pull and I had to return to the same places a lot of times. The best for me was the fourth level with all those sunken ships, pretty scenes and shortcuts so you don't need to do the tasks twice although you have to explore a lot. The timed runs are the hardest tasks you can find, but not impossible. I liked the many cameras showing you where to go along the levels, and the cool musics too. There are no much pickups but enough if you are deft with the enemies. There are two errors in the design of the third level because from the very beginning you can finish the level in two or three minutes without doing the tasks the author builded for you, going behind the final doors across two different routes (without the DOZY cheat), but sure that you don't want to do it so and prefer to enjoy the normal gameplay. Definitively, a pack of levels you can't miss if you like TR." - Jose (22-Jul-2008)

"I think it's all been said - wonderful level, actually a full game. Totally absorbing, beautiful scenery, good puzzles, bad baddies, everything was great !!!" - Juno Jim (11-Jul-2008)

"In my opinion this is the best level from Justin thus far. The settings are quite unique containing many wide and beautiful areas such as Guntanamo bay, a sunken pirate ship and a big cave near the end. Atmosphere is rather similar to the atmosphere of original TR games which I always like and the gameplay offers plenty of great challenges to accomplish. Some timed runs were at times pretty difficult and you might get stuck them for a while but everything is possible and entertaining. A thing which wasn't a good idea in my opinion was the last level which doesn't include a finish trigger. It makes player think whether he/she has completed the level or not and is there still something undiscovered in the level. Nevertheles it doesn't affect reviewing because it's just a little detail and all the other part of the game were quite professional. I'm looking forward to seeing more good levels soon from Justin." - Samu (06-Jul-2008)

"This is hard for me to review. One the one hand it is for sure an adventure, on the other, it was utterly confusing for me, especially the first two levels. The last two made up for all my struggles though. I don't mind a non-linear level but level two was the pits. That was prolonging the gameplay unnecessary and for what? Frustrations ran high and also do remember, when I doubt... shoot as that was not clear one had to do that. There were some shortcuts and if you are brave enough to jump to whatever takes your fancy, you might even skip part of a level, as I found out. I still have a closed door here and there, but I take it that is for secrets, as I haven't been able to find them. I even spotted some un-textured bits in the last level you can play. A pity that the very last level was just for looks and it doesn't have a finishing trigger." - Gerty (26-Jun-2008)

"You would not want to miss Justin's return, would you. this is a fun game in general , on the challenging side. This adventure is certainly a treat and in my opinion is the best adventure of the author so far. Simply put this game is perfect, ... well almost :) - Only in the last level , I was baffled by this triangular flat rock from which you must enter in the ship [this rock could have be more obvious to spot] and the ending was just highly irritating. I finally gave up when Lara has been butchered by the sharks and the falling debris so many times. I don't really mind that , as I did not missed anything for it was the end and I played the title with my own scripts. This is truly a superb adventure in all categories, the gameplay is just terrific at times especially in the second level , to my taste there was also sufficient camera work, although rather subtle sometimes. The use of objects is great and the author has made quite an impressive work to design believable places. Yeah there is no high-resolution textures and the lighting could have been worked even more maybe, but the looks of the levels look sooooooooo authentic, the mix of the base with natural elements in the first level is extremely well done and surely the author has spent a lot of times designing these organic places. The same could be said of the 3rd level, and the view of this ship with masts and shrouds is absolutely stunning. Many realistic details have been put in the different levels and many puzzles are realistic and give satisfaction when solved. Awesome work !" - eRIC (22-Jun-2008)

"This level set is long and intricate with a lot of exploring so get out Lara's Nike's(running shoes) and tune up your memory as you'll need both to enjoy this wonderful adventure. A bit of patience will help, also. From the very creepy swamps around the base to the inside of the Base complex itself and then on to the Bay, swimming and finding a very nicely kept secret to the well-built ships and environs, all is wonderfully immersive and stamped with Justin's unique touch. There is a shortcut (that has been fixed with the new download) but it would be a shame to use it as it cuts off some great gameplay. The one thing that caused a bit of a problem for me was the side view of Lara swimming. It was creative but, for me, disorienting and the sharks and falling rocks didn't make it easier. But that doesn't matter; what does matter is we were treated with a new Justin release that was better than all our expectations. Well done, Justin. Kudos!" - Bene (20-Jun-2008)

"This is one of those level series, which draws me in. And when this happens, I don't care much about some flaws, this series certainly also has. Basically I agree with the review by eTUX. I had a lot of fun playing this series, but I can understand, than others will be overwhelmed by the complexity of base level or by the difficulty of some tasks in the fourth level. Camera work is excellent, but in the complex base level still some more guidance in the gameplay itself would have been good. The end of the series has the potential to ruin the overall good expierence a bit. The long swim at the end of the fourth level was a bit annoying and stumbling around in the nice title level without a nice task for the finish was unsatiesfying! But as already said: In comparison to the positive sides (excellent and creative gameplay in some parts or the views in other parts, which make you speechless) these flaws are minor. So a must play for the more expierenced raider!" - Raymond (19-Jun-2008)

"Justin's style is unmistakable among the builders out there, and with the recent influx of mediocre beginner games, it's good to see him return with another excellent release that you can lose yourself into.
Marshlands - it starts out ambitiously enough in moody marshlands by the base you want to get into, and that sums up your main goal in here. There's a fair amount of footwork involved, but you'll be doing timed sequences, completing pushable box puzzles and fighting off the creepy denizens of the swamp in your quest to turn on the power on the perimeter of the surrounding military bays as well. Overall it's a good introductory level, and if it had any downsides - then the black, hard to see through fog ruined the level's appeal in places.
Base at Guantanamo Bay - to quote the author himself on this level - "it's too complicated for me to remember" - and that sums up the complexity of this base perfectly. It's one of those levels you preferably would want to get through in one session, or least of all not play any other levels in between your sessions in this one, so they wouldn't screw with your head. Though there is no denying of the rather clever set up, jumps and timed runs this offers, I sometimes had a hard time navigating through this level despite having played it before, and still have nightmares from the first time I went through here! It might fool you initially in seeming to be fairly compact, but after all will be said and done you'll have covered most of the areas numerous times already and a good memory is definitely the key to get through, and it's definitely worth it even if only for what the next two levels offer!
Guantanamo Bay - If you know what to do, this can actually be a rather short and merely transitional experience in the big picture within this adventure, but it's one you wouldn't want to miss! Fairly soon it opens up with one of the most amazing fly-by's I've seen in a level in a long time, and the lagoon, seaside and cave areas are expansive and simply awesome to look at! But as said - in comparison there is not all that much to do here - and I didn't like the author's approach of hiding crucial switches, leaving basically the entire level at your disposal to look for them as that is a sure invitation for frustration to creep in. When you do get on the right track, it's a fairly simple affair, but getting started is the hardest thing in here, but at least the picturesque landscapes will stop you from quitting!
Abyssal Treasure - now this brings back memories! Starting out in a similar fashion as TR2's "40 Fathoms" level this might be a pain to get started in, and I think the author could've made the first task a bit more lenient on the players than it was, but again - it's really worth the trouble as you reach the underwater pirate ship graveyard and see all the things it offers to you. Wonderfully atmospheric all the way through, but suffers a bit from the same problem the previous level - you basically have the entire level at your disposal as far as the areas go early on - so it seems a bit daunting to find where the right thread begins, and especially more frustrating later on when it seems you've done everything there is to do, only to learn that there's a door that needed to be opened by a hidden switch long ago for you to progress, and so on. But if finding the way was your only real problem before - then the rather high complexity of the individual tasks adds a whole another dimension here. While I found most of the devilish timed runs and jump sequences to my liking, I can see how it could be a bit much to take for more unexperienced players! I also liked the final swim with the camera purely as an idea, but I thought it somewhat lacked in execution, and there really shouldn't have been any of the falling debris for it to be believable, and it was a bit tough to navigate through!
Isolation - the epilogue to the adventure basically gives you the freedom to roam in the title level's areas as you please. And while it is a nice level to look at, I think it would've been a more professional touch to give this a definite ending rather than let us wonder if either of the boats will leave Lara stranded here or eventually take her home. That's really a relatively minor fault in comparison to all the great moments this level set offers otherwise, though!
Bottomline - this is a nicely exotic mix of the base, tropic beach and underwater cave scenarios, that while not without it's faults, all in all is a memorable ride you don't want to miss! Recommended!" - eTux (18-Jun-2008)

"A thanks to the author for providing this adventure. The opening title shows a beautiful and brightly lit seascape which is the ultimate destination. The game actually opens with Lara in dismal swamp, with fallen trees and moss, pools of stagnant water, everything for a complete experience including the alligators. I enjoy this sort of wide-open game, where Lara has to explore everything just to figure out how to begin. The next level has classic raiding in a huge base where you need to keep the layout clear in your head, or Lara will quickly become lost. The third level reaches a lovely Bay and seemed all too short, more of a pleasant interlude, with Lara finding another half of the treasure map. Get the crossbow secret in order to shoot pesky skeletons later on. Up to this point I had really enjoyed myself. Last comes Abyssal Treasure, which is intended as the high point of the game, with real skill shown in designing derelict pirate ships, but this part was the most frustrating. Lara gets caught in invisible currents and left for shark food, and odd camera angles intrude for no reason. When Lara gets to a dry cavern there is a monkey swing that doesn't work. No matter how Lara tries to cross it, such as shimmying sideways, the lowest section just doesn't let her cross, though the monkey swing textures clearly show this is the way. This monkey swing doesn't work until later in the level, though I don't know how the player is supposed to realize this. A switch by a fire raises a block in the water that serves no purpose. And there was one hidden underwater lever that eluded me for a day--the placement of this switch would have worked better as a secret. So I was in no mood to appreciate Lara's hectic escape through falling debris and a weird camera angle. Lara finally reaches the title area, yet there is nothing to do, not even climbing to the top of the island to light a signal fire. But overall, highly professional levels that aren't to be missed." - dmdibl (12-Jun-2008)

"well i have mixed feelings about this one........ this game is very vell builded with some nice areas and clever game play....... but is unnecessary made tougher that should be by added a bunch off foes and not manny medipacks moustly small ones - especial in the first 2 levels- and powerfull weapons u get only late in the game so untill need to deal with only with standard pistols -wich suxx- and come 2-3 at once moustly combined to be worse ....... SAS + dog for ex a tough combination cos untill u shot the SAS cos Lara aim allways on taller foe.. the dog eat ur health fast down ...... and this situation happen often in the game .....albeit there is alot off nice tough tasks - slope jumps with twists and burners wich i like very much.....also at the final part is another unnecessary artificial bumped up sequence with a very long swim combined with falling rocks and a bunch off sharks + odd camera looking ......... all in all like game design and ideas i would give 10 but is too manny frustrating parts wich ruin albeit a very good game so i cannot give more than 7 at gameplay and enemies........ this builder is a very good one and i wait for his next level cheers ....." - Jack& (08-Jun-2008)

"I had begun to fear Justin had given up level building so it was a treat indeed to see a new level from him so many years after the excellent Dark Skies series. This is an interesting concept and makes for a rattling good raid as you explore the vast and occasionally confusing base areas to reach the gorgeous and extremely atmospheric coastal area and eventually a sunken ship - yay. I had a lot of fun with this one, especially the last part - messing about in pirate ships is definitely my idea of a good time, even if poor Lara did end up stranded on a desert island. Please don't leave it so long before your next level Justin, we've missed you." - Jay (08-Jun-2008)

"This is a very pleasing set of non-linear levels. Although it is easy to get confused, or wonder whether a jump is possible at all or not, there is always the logical solution in the end. I particularly liked the way you enter level 2, having to shoot out a red thing so as to open and keep the door opened to enter Bay X. In my opinion, level 2 is possibly the most difficult of all - you simply may get lost in all those corridors and vents, and it is easily possible to miss a well-hidden lever or switch. However, that does not diminish the overall positive impression. I also appreciate lots of films that clearly show you what the clicking of the switch or pulling a lever has done. I am personally not a fan of indistructible creatures such as skellies, so a grenade gun or a crossbow are very much welcome in the inventory. Looking forward to a new game from Justin." - Lady C (08-Jun-2008)

"It's great to have Justin back ! The venue - Guantanamo Bay - is a perfect setting for this action-packed adventure. If it has any drawback at all, it is the back-and-forth search for keys and switches. It does get tedious after a while. There are also some difficult maneuvers to make in Justin's gameplay that can lead to frustration - I found the ending to be borderline-ridiculous. I can, however, understand how some people love the challenges that odd camera angles can impose. I guess I'm not one of them - and that accounts for the 8 score above. Nevertheless, this is a fun and stimulating game and I think you will enjoy it ! Welcome back, Justin !!" - Mugs (06-Jun-2008)

"I had the privilege of playing these levels in advance of their release for the purpose of writing a walkthrough. I found the first two levels to be typically Justinian (if that's the right word) in their base-like environment and gameplay, but the adventure reaches its full flower in the two concluding segments. As a tune-up for the grand finale in a sunken vessel, you have a fairly short romp through the coastal outpost. The story line progresses logically and compellingly, and to me each level was a little more fun to play, and more pleasing to the eye, than the one before. Justin simply doesn't release any bad levels, and given the spate of short, demo-like releases we've been subjected to lately, you should download and play this four-part set for some instant relief. Highly recommended." - Phil (06-Jun-2008)
back home search