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Level: Iraq - Sacred Place back home search
Author(s): Nella
total rating:7.09 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bene 7 6 6 7
eRIC 5 7 3 7
Gerty 5 7 5 7
guss18 5 6 5 7
Jay 7 6 7 8
Jerry 8 9 8 9
Jorge22 6 6 6 7
Jose 7 7 6 7
MichaelP 8 7 8 8
Orbit Dream 6 5 7 9
Phil 8 8 8 8
Ryan 7 7 6 8
Scottie 10 9 8 9
sonnyd83 8 9 8 9
category averages
(14 reviews)
6.93 7.07 6.50 7.86

Reviewer's comments

"There are two parts to this shortish game: the first fairly short and the second comprising the bulk of the gameplay. Both are weighed down by positives and negatives which I'll deal with now. There are quite a few sound issues, particularly the monkey sound when Lara hits a wall and the watery noise when an enemy opens fire. The flare bug crops up, although only in an enclosed area in Level 1 and there could be a possible few stuck situations, which I managed to avoid thanks to the walkthrough. There are a couple of nice aspects though, a pushable puzzle in Level 2 that was fun to execute, a fun timed run over raising blocks in Level 1 and some good enemy action. Overall, while I think it could have been better in ways, I did enjoy parts of it." - Ryan (16-Mar-2017)

"The gameplay is fairly basic at the start but gets a little better. Find and place a gem, kill baddies, escape from wraiths, pull switches, easy timed runs, and light a flame. Later on, there's a timed run I enjoyed with rising blocks. The main aim is to collect a star to open a door. The best feature of this level is the architecture which gives a feeling of being in an Arabic temple. It is quite impressive, there are custom objects which blend in nicely with the texturing, there's even a nice edge to the pools of water. I do think it would have been better to have custom sounds and custom Lara object too, they don't really work that well together, and regarding sound, Lara makes a squashed monkey sound when she hits a wall! The sound really kills the atmosphere sometimes. There's a useful but maybe overly long camera sequence for a door opening. Texturing is beautifully done and again gives a good impression of the location. Lighting is not too bad. My favourite room for lighting is the one with shiny floor and boulders - looks very nice. LEVEL 1: 8/10 The second level starts with very basic gameplay such as killing dogs or bees, and avoiding spring spike traps, although the spike traps tend to hinder you if you trigger by mistake. The aim of the first section is to find a revolver and shoot a vase which opens a door. You then get better gameplay, but there's a wraith which doesn't seem to want to disappear easily, there's a lot more swimming in this level. The atmosphere improves, texturing and architecture resembles much more that of a TR4 city level but in the daytime, and has more trees and waterfalls etc. The sound is more suited to this style of level than the first. Fire sprite could be better. LEVEL 1: 8/10" - sonnyd83 (07-May-2012)

"I find it over and over again amusing how creative the level builders can be. There are hardly places where they do not send us. We were in jungles, forgotten temples, on Pacific islands, have dived to ship wrecks and have visited foreign planets. Places which could not be more differently.
This creativity owns luckily also Nella. First she sends us out in the snow, then it is a matter of exploring a bath scenery with various swimming pools, afterwards a pyramid should be explored and now we land in Iraq. In the Read-Me nothing stands more exact, hence, I suppose sometimes which is it a sort of an old sultan's palace. And just he also looks. How from a fairy tale from 1001 night. This detailed joy of Nella is simply breathtaking. No room resembles the other. The windows, the archways, the ornaments. One could see here so many very good things. But of course Lara has to do something, so willy-nilly we must get on the way.
We wander through outside areas and inside areas of the building and also have to go sometimes into the cellar. Textures and lighting are completely fantastic, although in the cellar, unfortunately, the torch bug appears. But because this appears only in the cellar and we remain here only short time, this is not further tragic. Opponents are well measured bats, scorpions and SAS-Soldiers, everything what feels also well, because it would really be a pity if we had to explore here only with permanent shooting on everything. After we have made way to a few swinging chains, we go through a way and...
... land in the second part. And again Lara goes through big areas of the palace. And where in the first part the search and find was a little easier, now it becomes a little more difficult. And a little more complicated. And new opponents appear. This time these are dogs, fire-ghosts and other ghosts as well as quite toxic and big spiders. However, the level architecture also remains here at very high level.
Result: This level is simply fantastic. An absolute must for every player." - Scottie (03-Jun-2010)

"Again a typical Nella's level with a beautiful setting, many colourful rooms to explore and doors to open and again some backtracking, not to mention the missing audio files. But luckily there is some more gameplay here besides opening doors, and compared to the other levels of this author I found it more challenging, really tricky at times, and far more interesting. There are still some weak points though, like e.g. the recurring fire ghosts who went after me over and over again whenever I came near to the fire and hit their trigger (this happens the first time in the first level when you need to get the torch and the second time in level #2, but you can avoid it there); or string switches that raise blocks and can't be reset so that you have to reload when the needed pushable object hasn't yet been pushed onto the block; or a switch blocking trap that is triggered by walking onto certain squares and can't be reset either. And last not least the still missing camera hints. Doing a pushing puzzle or some shooting or whatever and not getting a clue what happened is still annoying. But altogether I found this level the best out of all the so far released levels of this builder as it offers a really interesting and varying gameplay in well designed rooms and a nice atmosphere with only a few enemies." - Jerry (12-Jul-2009)

"It is quite rare that I find a level underrated on average, but this is definitely one of those examples. Personally, I had a lot of fun in this two part adventure and things were flowing smoothly for me. The textures are well chose and applied and save for the annoying flare bug in part 1, lighting was also not too bad at all. What is most remarkable in both levels is the good use of some custom objects.
Part I (7/7/8/7, 30 min): Many levers, a torch puzzle, two gems and a star. A few guards to kill and the highlights towards the end, including a timed run over raising blocks.
Part II (8/7/8/8, 45 min): An odd mix of enemies here with mosquitoes, dogs, spiders and a few wraith chases. Make sure you keep regular saves here as there are stuck situations at times if you do the wrong thing, but you will immediately recognize it when you did. You get to collect two hands through a number of entertaining tasks and eventually will (almost) reach the timeless sands." - MichaelP (22-Mar-2009)

"This is a fine example that, what is in the builders mind and what a player experience are two different things. Using beta testers can solve some problems in this area, but then again, in the end, it is also up to the builder. There are a couple of serious game stoppers, in the first and in the second level, so keep several saves handy. Sloppy is the flare bug as that can be easily solved by anti triggering the torches. Saw some interesting use of textures and also the use of objects. Some sounds were off or not even there and there are paper-thin walls. Hilarious were the spiders that didn’t die but fell on their back and kept on twitching. Overall, although I did like the look, it was rather frustrated, as half the time I kept wondering about and no clue as to where to go." - Gerty (11-Nov-2008)

"This level has a good look nice textured and easy to play, but sometimes you'll have to reload 'cause there's no way to lower some blocks once you raise them or retrace some spikes once you've activate them. A lot of switches to pull, not many enemies and enough guns and ammo. It cost me a lot to kill the white wraith with the white cross. There are some missed sounds and few cameras and musics. Not a jewel of the custom levels but playable to kill the time." - Jose (04-Nov-2008)

"I found this to be an above-average two-parter that should keep you busy for the better part of two hours. Along the way you get some solid gameplay with no flashy frills. It's all fairly standard fare, but it's sufficiently challenging to provide a decent workout. I don't remember any human enemies, but there's a giant spider that insists upon kicking around in its death throes. Like Harry, who wrote the walkthrough, I put it out of its misery by simply blowing it away. The fire wraiths are easily dispatched by jumping back into the nearby pool, but there was an ice wraith that refused to self-destruct upon the totem, so I distracted it by firing at it. It didn't go away, but it didn't bother me any more either. I'll probably forget most of this adventure in a day or so, but it was enjoyable enough while it lasted, and well lit, too. Recommended." - Phil (21-Oct-2008)

"A two level set that is marred with missing or incorrect sounds and somewhat frustrating gameplay. Just a few enemies to deal with. The well hidden switches and levers require a keen eye to spot. I feel that this could have been a much better level had the author taken a little more time before releasing it . For some reason the ice wraith disappeared in a wall never to be seen again…maybe a glitch or just lucky. If you decide to try this level set be forewarned…save often to lower the frustration level or wait for the walkthrough." - guss18 (18-Oct-2008)

"A two level set with nice albeit relatively simple graphics and settings and some atmosphere. I think I noticed some missing sounds and some paper thin textures (my memory, I should take notes) but I won't be picky about it. My impression is that it is mostly simple, with several traps along the way and a few tasks and then it ends abruptly, that's about it. Just a few things... When the ice wraith appears, how on earth does one get to the room with the cross that is shown through walls (and shouldn't)? I never got even close to there, so I had to survive on medipacks until someone told me all I had to do was shoot it with the pistols and it wouldn't come after me anymore. Phew! I thought that was a flaw. But it was neverthless fun to watch it flying around the place during most of the rest of the level. And in the final, I used three levers and what did they do? I know I had to get to an upper platform but didn't find any way of getting there. I confess, I dozyed, since dozy wasn't disabled. And then it all ended very suddenly. Oh, well... :)" - Jorge22 (16-Oct-2008)

"There is some interesting gameplay in this two level set. The timed run over elongated blocks, for instance, but it's marred by too many game stopping moments. The breakable tile room looks hard but it's fairly easy unless you break the one tile that's needed to return to the previous room. No way to know that until you're irretrievably stuck and finally go back to a savegame. There's too many moments where too much time is wasted in missing hard to see levers and objects that are too well concealed, disrupting game flow. Nice designs but there are many rooms that just do not look solid enough. Sounds need improvement - that is (I believe) the monkey sound whenever Lara bumps into something which is a strange sound choice or just a mistake. There's evident potential for building really good levels and some great objects such as the water pipes but I think this one suffers from lack of beta testing. Best played with a walkthrough, perhaps, to alleviate frustration. So, recommended if you have a walkie in hand. Wait for it." - Bene (15-Oct-2008)

"This is so very nearly a really good level,but it's spoilt by those fairly elementary gameplay mistakes:doing things in the wrong order and/or doing something the way it wasn't intended to be done. These problems bedevil both levels in this adventure and can prevent you from completing the game if you don't take the precaution of making multiple saves. Provided you're careful,however,there's a lot to like: the exotic and sumptuous location is interesting,original and well put-together;and the variety of tasks on offer is impressive.The atmosphere would have been superb had the author provided a few appropriate audio cues,but I spent most of the adventure running around in silence. Enemies are rather sparse but are placed well,and a really keen eye is needed to spot a few sadistically (almost unfairly) hidden levers and switches. If caution is appropriately excercised then this almost 2 hour adventure is well-worth playing, but players who suffer from high blood pressure may want to wait for the walkthrough." - Orbit Dream (14-Oct-2008)

"There’s a very nice feel to this level – the textures have been well chosen to reflect Moorish architecture and it looks very pleasant. The gameplay isn’t quite up to the same standards, but it’s entertaining enough. Initially, I didn’t think I was going to enjoy it much as it seemed to be a shooter/lever pulling exercise, but it quickly developed into something far more varied, with a good mix of puzzles, avoiding setting off spike traps, agility tests and exploring with a smattering of enemies to deal with (although as a slight minus point I thought the enemies weren’t particularly appropriate for the setting). It’s a two parter and managed to hold my interest for its entire running time of just over two hours." - Jay (08-Oct-2008)

"A double-level that offers approx 2 hours of net raiding time. I found this time spent not very exciting, the pace is rather slow, the atmosphere is rather dull with many missing or incorrect sounds, and there is more than one place where the player can potentially be stuck for good. And I really hated the fact that you have to struggle your way back after finding the revolver because of the 'skeleton spikes'. The flares bug comes in the way in one of the darkest part of the game , the flyby that show you the cross goes through walls, and I never sensed I was in a solidly made setting, you can feel the thin walls floors and ceiling around, with objects from adjacent room showing up intermittently or rays of light at the intersection of floor and walls. To be fair there are still some good things in the level at times , the main interest being to see the new objects and textures. But it is not sufficient for me to recommend the game without reservation." - eRIC (07-Oct-2008)
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