Level: Underwater Mine back home search
Author(s): Lima
total rating:8.14 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Czar 8 7 6 7
dmdibl 8 9 9 8
eTux 9 8 9 9
Gerty 7 8 8 8
Jay 8 8 8 8
Jerry 7 7 8 9
Jorge22 6 7 7 9
Jose 6 9 8 10
MichaelP 8 9 9 9
Nina Croft 8 8 9 9
Phil 9 8 9 9
Ruben 7 9 9 9
Ryan 7 8 8 9
Samu 8 7 9 9
category averages
(14 reviews)
7.57 8.00 8.29 8.71

Reviewer's comments

"This is for the most part a well constructed level with very pleasant scenery and a few neat gameplay sections. However, it is also extremely lengthy and there's a lot of backtracking to perform across vast areas, so I would recommend you to keep the walkthrough handy to alleviate possible frustration. I did dock a couple of points off my gameplay due to the fact that the author slipped up with a couple of irretrievably stuck situations. If you miss the crowbar or one of the later gate keys, you'll have to reload from a previous dave. The latter entailed me having to start from the very beginning, so I was understandably irritated by that. Not on a par with Lima's other efforts (maybe a delayed release of an earlier level?) but it's a worthy effort all the same." - Ryan (20-Mar-2018)

"After playing the newest release from Lima I saw that I skipped this level. Lima for sure can put you on the wrong foot. I liked the idea here (quite original), being in a tomb dig site that is partially underwater. There is quite a lot of back and fro and one really stuck moment. You do find keys and with the last two, be careful with them. First of all they are pretty small and hiding them in a vast underwater area is not what I liked. But the last key fits again in the same lock you already used before so better make a safe before using any lock or receptacle. Don't know what was wrong but I had a strange animation when Lara had to use the crowbar to open a door. I personally don't mind a non-linear level but this one does prolong the gameplay a bit too much for my taste." - Gerty (27-Mar-2011)

"Here's another great level that I somehow missed upon its initial release. One of the great benefits of the review system is that it draws attention to such levels, and a recent review is what led me to download and play this one. I'm glad I did, because it's a wonderfully complex and visually pleasing raid that took me close to two hours to complete. The enemies are old school - SAS, ninjas and assassins, with a few wart hogs thrown in - and the underwater segments where you can peer through the green-tinted glass into the inner works are quite imaginative. Jose has provided a clear and concise walkthrough that covers all the secrets, and there's enough backtracking involved here that I was glad to have its help. The timed run across the delayed spike tiles near the end stands out in my mind as the most difficult part of the level, but other than that it's all within the grasp of the average player. Highly recommended." - Phil (16-Dec-2010)

"This level is built with basic wad and textures from TR4, no new objects or enemies, no new textures and even Lara's outfit here is classic TR4. But, these are very cleverly used, just to prove that you don't need to build new objects or puzzles from scratch in order to have a good level with some new ideas. So, you'll encounter very well known enemies here: ninjas, soldiers, dogs and crocs, well known key and puzzle items, TR4 statics and animated objects, and typical TRLE bugs... and this last element is actually a huge downside of this level. The author made a patched .exe here, but somehow he did not fix the most notorious bugs in TRLE, including ninjas lacking Uzi animation. And, what I hated most, was the lack of Lara's animation for opening the crowbar door. But, despite of these downsides, I must say that the overall impression of mine about this level is highly positive. The level is long and very hard to finish, with a lot of backtracking, enemies, keys and switches, with very tricky swim and jump sequences, with a lot of climbing and trust me, for this level, you are going to need the walkthrough, because more than once you will get stuck somewhere in this huge level. You will have a lot of weapon and ammo, but the medipacks are scarce, so save your health as much as possible here. Textures and objects, though classic and seen hundreds of times so far, are applied extremely well, and although seemingly impossible, the author managed to mix ancient Egyptian ruins, desert and mountains, with high-tech compound and underwater cave. Architecture, lighting, overall ambiance and gameplay are amazing, fixed cameras are used a lot, but not excessively, and flybys are master pieces, really. I must be subjective here a little bit, and say that I enjoyed immensely to hear a famous Serbian song "Mesečina" as a background track in the area with first secrets... Excellent classic Egyptian level, in spite of the flaws and bugs, in spite of backtracking and difficulty, and I recommend it to all hard-core players who like challenge and have nerves of steel. It took me more than two hours to finish, with a walkthrough reference at some particularly tricky areas. Great work, Lima, and keep building!" - Nina Croft (14-Dec-2010)

"Having just recently finished all of the Back to Basics 2009 levels, I couldn't help but see the similarities Lima's latest release has with them. The wad is basically set up from a mix of Core's originally provided ones and the tga is the one from Coastal Ruins with some additions from other sets to further the author's creative vision. This did make me wonder whether this essentially is an older level polished a bit up for a late release or a level built in the spirit of BtB with some additional liberties? Whatever the case may be, I found the setting to be refreshing and original, proving that the old resources have not exhausted themselves just yet whilst in capable hands, and the gameplay providing a handful of memorable moments too, my favourite being the boulder smashing the glass windows of the underwater control room. I did heed the advice of other reviewers and played the level in guidance of Jose's walkthrough, thus the sense of direction was strong all the way through and I rarely strayed from my main objectives here, though I can see how this could've occasionally been frustrating to players when looking for the keys that seemed to be randomly thrown at the bottom of a vast pool or underwater area and similar scenarios. The issues with the lacking animations or meshswap items (i.e. red ninjas holding Lara's thighs instead of swords/uzis in hands) did rob some feeling of professionalism and polish, but didn't affect the gameplay as far as I can remember (Lara would still have been helpless when opening door with a right animation too). While some of these issues still remain a head scratcher for me, the overall quality is still rather high, the setting - one that isn't explored that frequently in the TR universe, and in guidance of the walkthrough, I found this to be immensely enjoyable, though I can appreciate that I might have had a different experience of the level without it, as other players seemingly did. Recommended all the same, though!" - eTux (06-Feb-2010)

"And again a level with the uncertain bonus of fixed cams, were my first thoughts when I started this level. As for me I don't like fixed cams when there is no need for them and when they are used only to confuse the player and let them walk, jump, climb or do whatever more or less blindly and find the right way only at random. Fortunately there were not so many of them in the further game. Looking out for essential items was not much fun. To tell the truth, the gate keys and eye pieces respectively the search for them in such a big underwater area while being attacked by croc after croc was a real pest, even with the help of the walkthrough. Many enemies and compared with this only few ammo and medipacks don't make things easier. In one place Lara has to open a crowbar door and she is attacked by some baddies, dogs and a guard shooting grenades that set her on fire instantly, which was quite unfair. The second/third gate key/keylock thing was a bit confusing. I had found gate key #3 and funny enough it fitted in the same keylock I had already used before with gate key #2. So if you do so by mistake, like I did, be lucky to have a savegame to reload. Level architecture and design are well made, but the rather hard and sometimes tedious gameplay with a lot of backtracking spoiled the fun a bit." - Jerry (29-Jun-2009)

"A mix of elements, some quite good. Starts out enthusiastically enough, with Lara penetrating into a mine complex guarded by ninja, and everything looks professional. Good design layout. But then there is a ninja running around submerged at the bottom of a water pool, firing happily up at Lara while she stands on the mine floor; or Lara getting to a crawlspace and standing up in it, head in rocks, rather than crawling in. Since this sequence is repeated over and over again one can't fail but notice this. A good moment was the extended camera shot of Lara throwing a switch, a boulder falls in the underwater mine, glass breaks, and Lara is now in a flooded compartment, with only the broken window for an escape. But then a bad moment (which I had to replay several times) was Lara opening a crowbar door: somehow Lara ends up scrunched on her back, unable to move--the door opens, ninjas fire away, and dogs attack helpless Lara. But such defects are minor, the real problem here is that the author hasn't taken players into account. There aren't clues to give direction, you have no idea where keys might be, and some of the more tedious actions are repeated four times. Perhaps this is a much better level than the scores indicate, but it's hard not to feel frustration with this potentially exciting level." - dmdibl (11-May-2009)

"This is a level you'd better play with a walkthrough in hand. There are not difficult tasks, but it's too much no-lineal with huge areas to explore and sure that you'll have to return to the same places a lot of times, sometimes a long way doing the same movements again and again (this is not what the manual teaches!). Sometimes there are cameras helping you but another times you'll have to look for keys throwed anywhere or know by intuition where you must go. After several hours of hard work I've got to finish the level (at long last!) so I decided to write the walkthrough so the players can really enjoy this adventure without getting fools running around and around looking for the next step. From the other side, there is a fantastic architecture with a very good design, excelent lightened and textured, well placed enemies and interesting situations which will make you think and giving you satisfaction when you solve them. In the first secret I found the secret chime sings twice, once when you enter and another time when you pick up the items (?). Definitively a level not for beginners and a real challenge for everybody." - Jose (13-Apr-2009)

"It took me a very long time to finally finish this level and I had to backtrack a lot, usually not even knowing what I was doing exactly because the author decided he didn't have to provide any clues. The textures seemed interesting and well done and the atmosphere/sound/cameras part suffered the most from the lack of desperately needed cut scenes. Some things are really annoying, namely finding two tiny underwater keys you don't even know you're looking for, being blown up by grenade guns and being unable to use your own grenade gun unless you wish to blow yourself up, fighting entire hordes of enemies at times, namely when there's an animation problem with the crowbar and Lara just lies there being attacked for a while when she uses it before she can react and more, I guess. I must say the game is so confusing that the forums weren't of much use to me. But I did finish eventually... With only one coin found (and people were saying there were two of them), without ever having opened a certain underwater gate with a lock, without ever having been to places I saw pictures of in the forums. I'm not even sure if I found any secret anymore, but I know I found a couple of things that could well have been considered as such. To cut it short, it's not that I didn't like the game as a whole because I did but I did get a little fed up with the bugs and the loose ends. The author's previous release was definitely more inspired and better tested, but do play this one too... after a walkthrough is published." - Jorge22 (05-Apr-2009)

"Funny how this goes at times - because the player's minds work differently than the builders you end up with a few rather inconvenient moments in this quite challenging game of around 90 minutes. It actually uses a mix of the fairly classic Coastal and Base/City textures and objects but brings them together smoothly in an intriguingly architected environment that I thought was great to look at and raid in. There is a bit of an odd mix of ninjas, guards, warthogs and crocodiles as enemies, and quite many of them at times. Gameplay is clever and sneaky. And while you really can get back to all places at any time if you miss something, it becomes very tedious if you have to do so and will involve a lot of backtracking, which becomes worse when you don't even know what you are backtracking for or to. Be prepared to need the forum and/or a walkthrough a few times. What I hated most was to search a sizable underwater area for a tiny key lying on the ground. Never a good idea! Still, the unusual timed sequence to get your prize artifacts and the placement of several of the secrets (found 6) was very well done and all in all I had a fun evening with Lima's latest release." - MichaelP (04-Apr-2009)

"This level starts in a kind of desert area and from there you have to make your way through some rocky areas until you reach a mine complex where you have to find some artifacts. Gameplay flows fluently from task to another and mainly you have to look for items which you can use to access new areas. In addition there are quite many jumps to perform that can be at times a bit tricky but doable and you also have to fight against plenty of enemies that in my opinion were used too often and made the gameplay slightly tedious to some degree. In terms of graphics this game is really well built including appropriate and careful texturing and atmospheric lighting as well. It contains also some really interesting ideas like a boulder breaking a glass wall which causes a flood in a room where Lara is in. I found also some little glitches in this game which however, don't have a significant effect on this review. One of them is a weird animation which is played when Lara opens a door with a crowbar and inappropriate binocular animation is also played when a grenade hits Lara. In underwater section there's a key which has to be picked up but I missed it and when I came later back to look for it, a door had been closed preventing me to get the key and finish the game so I had to reload earlier save game. One thing which is a bit weird too is that the left hands of red ninjas are for some reason replaced with Lara's legs. These glitches however, don't have a big effect on reviewing which I already mentioned and mostly I really liked this game. Nevertheless it is somehow simpler and not so inventive and especial as"Iron Wolf and Golden Eagle" (Lima's previous game) and like Jay mentioned, I also think that it could be author's older revised level. In any case it's very atmospheric, good looking and fun to play and I truly recommend it." - Samu (01-Apr-2009)

"The gameplay is definetely the "downer" in this game as you are sent to and fro and back again only to find you have missed something important. Now this applies to numberless other TRLE issues but the main one for me was the " No Way Back" if you didn`t pick up the underwater key likewise after gaining the first Piece , what a nuisance ! Furthermore, you better forget about the animation used when the crowbar is applied ! Lots of Grenade Gun ammo , but rather useless for the gun explodes if Lara tries to use it. No Sir , without these inconveniences a much better rating would have been possible . More Beta Testing by our wonderful members who never miss a trouble that might occur in the game is highly recommended even for a good builder like Lima ." - Ruben (01-Apr-2009)

"There is much about this level which is irritating, for the player will find themselves going back and forth a number of times. Along the way there are several buggy aspects to the game and it makes for a trying play. Some of these include minor bugs like Lara standing in a crawlspace, blocks she won't climb normally and long, boring ladders you have to slowly climb down several times because you can't drop-grab (Lara just drops). There is a peculiar secret in this level. This 'special' secret consists of navigating a glass-like maze of several levels whilst being tortured by the maddening repetitiveness of some obscure 'folk' type ditty that makes you want to hammer nails into your ears just so you don't have to listen to yet another round of 'bibba-dibba-deeba-ley-ley metzechina, metzechina, yoiyo-yoiyo', or whatever it was that was being warbled through apparently seventy year old vocal chords. Just when you think this auditory hell is at an end, on the 'singer' goes for another round as you scream with each blow of the hammer. Really, it's a miracle I even bothered to continue at this point. Having got past this little 'treat' it's on to seemingly arbitrary events to get certain doors open and make certain enemies appear so that you can retrieve essential items from them. The most bizarre of which is the first ninja to appear, screaming at you 'Please don't kill me', instantly revealing that he's no Eastern master of stealth dressed in exotic clothing, but is apparently some farmer from Dorset looking to take his dogs for a walk. Dogs who ultimately attack Lara of course, so you have to kill them, all four of them. But then, that's not too difficult because these dogs have only been trained to go down a maximum of about five steps and then prance on the spot, waiting for you to put them out of their misery. Perhaps farmer Bob-san has been playing them 'metzechina yoiyo' on a loop and they want to die too. Maybe it was me, I don't know, but I couldn't see any rhythm or pattern of logic to this game that could even amount to good pace and flow. This game could have been good, because there are aspects to it which are relatively well done. Whilst the lighting could be said to be somewhat garish, I did think it looked rather good and added to the atmosphere, rather than detracting from it. I liked the whole layout of the underwater sections, including the glassed off areas and thought the general architecture of this looked great. Some enemy fights are a little tough, and indeed one such fight can require a number of reloads as Lara is attacked by three enemies whilst she is spastically opening a door with the crowbar and is often set alight by a grenade before the wrong animation has finished. The area beyond the eye-piece door is a very good timed event, though still slightly bewildering when you get to the other side to pick up another eye-piece. Aside from the already mentioned secret, all the others I thought were quite well secreted about the place but not too difficult to find. Texturing over all I thought was reasonable and everything seemed fitting. Other enemies in this level are hogs and crocodiles. So then, reasonable in places, a bit disjointed over all and generally trying. Still worth a look in any event. (Review revised. Thanks Raymond. Seems I didn't try hard enough with the alternate method of getting the crowbar. Circa 20 reloads must make me an amateur! :D)" - Czar (30-Mar-2009)

"I was going to mark this level down on gameplay for letting the player become stuck without the crowbar. Luckily, Raymond (excellent raider that he is) pointed out in the stuck threads that there is an alternative method of obtaining it later on in the game. So I mentally apologised to Lima and began my review again. I'm glad about that actually because I did enjoy this level. The secrets in particular are rather well done, especially the first one (or at least the first one I found), which involves a 3D maze, some really handy pickups and photos of, presumably, the builder himself. I have no idea how many secrets there are, but I found seven so there are probably about 34, who knows? It looks good, especially the underwater areas, and there are some interesting tasks to achieve, albeit nothing too hard. It's a touch buggy in places, especially where Lara sinks into the floor after using the crowbar - not a manoeuvre I've ever seen her perform before, nor particularly care to again. The guards, crocs and piggies seemed quite appropriate as enemies, but I thought the ninjas were somewhat out of place, as was the case with this particular builder's first level. It's not on a par with his last offering, which makes me wonder if it is in fact an older level that has been revised, but it's well worth playing." - Jay (30-Mar-2009)
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