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Level: The Chronicles of Lara Croft - New York 1999 back home search
Author(s): Lukasz Croft
total rating:7.53 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Andzia9 8 8 8 9
Christian 6 6 7 7
Diz 8 7 8 7
dmdibl 7 8 8 9
Gerty 7 8 8 7
Jay 8 7 8 8
JesseG 7 6 8 7
Jose 7 8 9 9
Leeth 7 6 7 7
MichaelP 8 8 9 8
Pablito_it 7 6 7 7
Phil 8 8 8 8
Ryan 8 7 8 8
Scottie 7 8 9 8
Zhyttya 7 6 7 7
category averages
(15 reviews)
7.33 7.13 7.93 7.73

Reviewer's comments

"This is actually a quite entertaining and action-packed four level journey through a VCI environment. It's generally quite linear, but some segments in the first level do require some thinking out of the box in the form of stealth and figuring out alternative methods to take out guards, as Lara starts weaponless. There are many enemies to take down throughout but that seems to be the modus operandi of these types of levels, and the atmosphere is well crafted. My gripes are mainly with the collision and placement of some of the traps (particularly the irritating laser trap in front of a crowbar door and some of the flame-trapped poles). Otherwise it's a well made and enjoyable level that should give you a nice couple hours of raiding." - Ryan (27-Nov-2017)

"Another set of levels with the same style from this builder, but this time it notices better skills and another features in the building. Now there are not excessive enemies to shoot or excessive pickups, the timed runs are not too tight and the architecture is better. Not great puzzles here, but anyway a well playable and entertaining base/lab set of levels without very hard tasks. Good work," - Jose (28-Aug-2017)

"The last time i played a level from Lukasz i completely enjoyed it. Guess i'm getting a favorite author on the list...as it turned out, i so much enjoyed playing this game that consists on 4 huge levels (well actually, the first two are way bigger than the last one). The levels are in general really big and with a lot of gameplay and puzzles to solve, which is my opinion was actually rather friendly, with no over the top puzzles. Some details could have been better aaaand the fact that i see a lot of ideas from the original TR games also makes me lower a bit the score. I'm doing this review taking in consideration that i played Lukasz last TRLE first than this one, so i've seen a LOT of improvement between the games, mainly the recreation of original levels. Unfortunately that's something that you see a lot here, eventually the levels gain life of their own but at first you'll see a lot of familiar rooms and puzzles. Moving to another topic: the enemies. They seemed to have some awkward reactions towards me, as sometimes they ignore me completely, but the fact that i gave a 6 on that topic was mainly because of the skin for the scorpions (note to the reader that i'm not sure if the author did make this custom skin...). The atmosphere was amazing, i loved the background musics but there were times when the trigger for some of them was just too loud. So to conclude, i had an amazing time playing this game. It's full of innovating game play, including creative ways to kill your enemies, it's full of traps, of fun puzzles and challenges. So go ahead and try this game!" - Zhyttya (13-Dec-2015)

"What a great TR5 DLC! At least it seemed that way. IT was a long and pleasant experience if you love the classic games. The history is a bit random and you kinda have to guess why you lose all your weapons at one point (she was arrested with a switch above her head?). The textures and atmosphere were way to similar to TR5 (not a bad thing but was hopping for a bit more originality) and the secrets were way to easy. The enemies were fun (loved the scorpion detail) and the weapons were just a bit to over powered. The gameplay it self was fun and linear and you can just play and play for hours but it is a bit to easy and the traps on the first level are a bit to repetitive. The mechanics are great, there are some jump (rope jump) and some climbings (the last time you get up a stair) there are just a bit to hard to do, and the camera angle doesn't help some times. The sound track was a bit loud in some parts and the sound she makes when climbing out of the water is just funny. Still, highly recommended if you loved the classics but if you are searching for "something new in level design try another TRLE, but if you want fun puzzle's and a game for hours give it a try! It's worth it" - Leeth (13-Dec-2015)

"Funny enough I don’t like it when a game starts without any weapons. I know it does fit the overall story and stealth is very much needed in this game. There are four levels here and I took my time as I just can take so much of ducking and sneaking to preserve Lara’s hide. You do get a grappling gun and apart from shooting the enemies it is also needed where it was designed for, so don’t go wasting all your ammo. There are some timed runs to do and that me reloading quite a few times. The last level is also without any weapons. If you do indeed like to run around without hordes of enemies, give this one a go." - Gerty (03-Jun-2013)

"At beginning Lara have no weapons and we must find out how to avoid enemies and traps. Later we'll get weapons and thing will get easy, but not for long. The game was very good. Nice room and very good textured. Music is perfect too." - Andzia9 (23-May-2010)

"I normally dislike levels that don’t supply Lara with weapons, something quirky in my psych that likes to fight back and extract revenge I suppose, and I was fully expecting to dislike this level for that reason. Wrong! If you like base levels, and I do, this is a good one. Every room and corridor seemed different whilst, for the most part, maintaining that utilitarian, metallic, base look and feel. Gameplay was mainly straightforward, within the overall ‘find a switch or key to open a door’ type. The lack of weaponry at the start added a certain ‘hurry up before you get killed’ quality to the proceedings and later, when you do get something to shoot with, it’s a grappling gun which you sometimes need as a grappling gun so you’ve constantly got the feeling in the back of your mind when shooting baddies, don’t waste the ammo! When you’ve finally got some decent firepower, the builder cruelly takes it off you for the final stretch and you’ve got to find a weapon all over again. Luckily, by this time, you’ve got used to ducking and diving. The enemies are mostly goons and soldiers with some matrix scorpions thrown in for good measure. Never too much to be dealt with if you’re careful with your ammo! A few sentry guns near the end came as a surprise! Am I alone in finding a broken sentry gun, twitching in the corner, unnerving? Little agility testing here and the few timed runs are fairly easy. An enjoyable 3 hours of gameplay." - Diz (14-Apr-2010)

"1999, New York - Region of Technology (9/9/9/9, 60 min, 2 of 3 secrets): This first level of the series here is really very interesting and enjoyable to play. You infiltrate a building and the author nicely pulls of a variety of stealth gameplay elements that are not often seen in custom levels. I also like the background audio choices a lot, which greatly supported the atmosphere. You deal with the usual moving lasers, some burners and some boulders as you get deeper and deeper into the building and it moves at a nice pace.
NY, Laboratory (8/8/8/8, 60 min, 3 secrets): Not quite as strong as the first part. The setting seems a little more plain und less elaborate and the whole flow is now a bit more boring and obvious, with fewer inspired moments than in part 1. The trick with the very tied monkey timed run that is actually not so tight if you do it right is nice. There is a very long backtrack which was not really fun to do and a timed run across poles with burners that may need a bit of luck to master. At the end you get to deal with two fairly tough Aquamen, but by then you should already have the needed weaponry.
NY, Black Alarm (8/8/9/8, 30 min, 2 of 3 secrets): VCI office style here and much more of a shooter now, but the great audio choices are back. There is one fairly tricky rope jump and nice use of a code key pad to open doors, but also a few obscure actions to trigger doors to open. You should conserve some of your ammo in order to deal with the two bald goons near the end. I had to actually kill them with my grappling gun after all ;)
NY, Bunker (8/8/8/8, 30 min): The finale without weapons again and with a gameplay bug that allows you to avoid a short round trip because the action that a switch at the end of it should trigger is actually already being triggered much earlier. The nice little push barrel puzzle is worth a mention and the ending would probably have been better without the rather unnecessary timed crawl to reach your waiting helicopter.
All in all, this is a rather fast paced and solidly crafted 3 hour adventure that is not too difficult but still entertaining alonig the way, so do give it a try!" - MichaelP (02-Apr-2010)

"This is the first patched level I've ever played. 4 levels that will last 2 and a half hours, though for me it felt like a bit longer than that. Obviously this series is inspired by the TRC levels that are set in New York, so expect laser traps, guards, and androids to get in your way. It felt like some objects were out of place, like the gray boulders that belong more in a tomb sort of setting. As far as looks go it's pretty good, though some rooms may not be able to decide what they're supposed to be. Gameplay, as long as it lasts, can be frustrating at times. It is hard to pick up the game again without feeling lost, because there is much backtracking needed, so I think it could've been better if that aspect was avoided more. There are some interesting puzzles, some involving the baddies which you lure into conveniently placed spikes. Can't say I wasn't happy to finally get that HK gun though! There are some bugs here and there, such as the sounds that play when you insert a disk, and the ladder-to-crawlspace patch that seemed to be activated, but not setup correctly. Also one crowbar (or rather, hammer) door is placed in front of a laser trap that kills you as you open the door - this was very, very unnecessarily hard to time correctly to get past. Most of the secrets aren't too hard to find, but are irritating to get, so it doesn't even feel worth it to grab them. While these things make the game feel less than polished, it should provide a good amount of fun as well. Recommended for stealth or nyc level enthusiasts." - SSJ6Wolf (17-Sep-2009)

"This four-part release meets the standard that this builder has set for himself in his more recent levels. Some reviewers have complained of the monotony here, but I didn't experience any of that. The first two levels are the longest, and the last two are considerably shorter. But the gameplay is engaging and varied throughout, and I never had the feeling of "been there done that" as I made made my way through. My game clock showed about seven hours when I finished, but that was only because I was writing a walkthrough while I was playing and I wanted to be sure that I searched every area thoroughly. Most players should complete the adventure in about half that time. There are some nice twists here, but nothing that you can't figure out with a little persistence. I've enjoyed playing this builder's levels and doing my small part to add to our walkthrough stockpile. Recommended." - Phil (20-Aug-2009)

"I've played a number of this author's levels, and they are generally enjoyable, making players keep eyes open for little clues to make progress. These four levels have Lara in infiltration mode, and the opening seemed to promise something new, but unfortunately, and disappointingly, this is basically the play of "Tomb of Creatures." Too bad Lara couldn't use the hammer to knock out guards. Mostly you get a series of small rooms, with the play localized to that area: spot the switch, notice the odd hook on the ceiling (for the grappling gun), find the ceiling trapdoor. There is a sense of repetition, which leads to a feeling of frustration. Sometimes Lara will need two keys; usually the first key will be a couple of rooms away placed in shelves, or hidden behind something, but the second key will take a further trek through obstacles, before Lara makes a complete backtrack. Once I was baffled how to get a door open and was sure Lara had missed an entire area, but the simple solution was to shoot a sphere. So later, baffled again, I had Lara start shooting things, including a fire extinguisher, and that opened a door on the other side of the room. A sphere and a fire extinguisher are different, but still it comes down to shooting random objects. That isn't to say that the play is bad: the author has a fine sense of how to make puzzles just challenging enough without impeding game progression. But I kept expecting all of these corridors to lead somewhere, and instead as Lara advanced it was always just more of the same. Something that bothered me throughout was that there is no attempt to make the buildings realistic. Many Tomb Raider landscapes are surreal, but surely a building or headquarters would have a layout where guards could actually walk the corridors without having to jump into overhead doors, or go through contortions to leap to a ramp? And it bothered me that the grappling gun produced a floor-to-ceiling pole instead of the normal rope. The design here is the author being creative, so it feels as though one is playing against the author, rather than as though Lara is exploring a real complex. The lighting is generally good, though there were a lot of shelves or other objects crowding rooms for Lara to trip over. One level per day was as much as I could play without becoming too frustrated." - dmdibl (12-Aug-2009)

"Given that most base levels turn out to be shooters, it’s rather nice to have a level where stealth is the watchword, at least initially – it makes a pleasant change from going in with guns blazing. Actually, if Lara had been able to knock people out with the hammer she found I would have been well impressed. Sadly, it turned out to be just the crowbar. Ah well, I did have fun spiking various enemies and as for the one that was killed by a boulder, what can I say? Nice one. There are lots of fire and laser traps to avoid, some of which are a little tricky, and of course the obligatory crawling (or rolling) through air ducts, plus lots of bad guys (some of whom turn out to be good guys) and strange mutant creatures lurking about. The grappling gun is put to good use and is initially also quite useful as a weapon until you find something a little more high powered. In the fourth and final section, you start off without weapons once more so you might as well run amok with your firepower up to that point. This is an enjoyable game for anyone who likes base levels and there are some really nice moments of gameplay, but I personally felt it outstayed its welcome just a little and would have preferred a slightly shorter, ‘tightened up’ game. Still well worth playing however." - Jay (12-Aug-2009)

"I like these laboratory-levels. This one is - as expected - solidly built. As Lara starts without weapons she has to lure her enemies into traps - a welcome diversion in the beginning. A few hard timed runs, that's all. Four long levels and nothing changes anymore. An adventure needs a mission. To get from room to room and finally get out may be nice for a while, but not for several hours. Less would have been more." - Christian (08-Aug-2009)

"If I had to describe this level with few sentences, I would write the following: Out of the helicopter and into the building. Everybody and everything shoot, out of the building, into the helicopter, ready. And there we are already with the problem. There is, actually, no right story. There are basically only a lot of levers, a few time runs, some difficult places and several opponents. The duties hardly change. A lever opens a door, then one must gather everything, send all the persons present in the well-earned retirement and find the next switch for the next door. Such a thing functions quite well when one plays in one to two levels and the playing time lies with one or two hours. But here these are four levels and nearly four hours playing time. At the beginning there is some change by the fact which is Lara on the move without weapons and which must lure the opponents into an ambush. This plays itself still quite interesting, but later everything is only a routine. To let arise no misunderstandings a few more more exact impressions Level construction, sound, textures: The level is well built, as usual, with Lukasz. In this regard one can fully count on him. The rooms feel well and furnished rich in change. To me are, however, also repeats stretched textures noticed Such a thing may happen not really more just to a level builder who has built many and good levels. There the question positions itself to me whether the level was tested and if so, why has no tester noticed this. There are smaller problems also with the sound. There it can already happen that the shot noises of the opponents are faulty. But otherwise the sound was very nice. Gameplay, time runs, degree of difficulty: The Gameplay is here the big problem. At the beginning it is still interesting and diverse. But later it becomes more and more dull because the expiries recur constantly and over and over again. The biggest problem is in my eyes that there is nothing "important" to find. There is anyhow no "big job". The degree of difficulty was not high. There were hardly heavy places and one always had enough Medipacks, weapons and ammunition. Wherebey one could find only two weapons in the whole game with. But they completely reached. The time runs were not difficult and one always had enough time. Summary: Actually, a good level which is to be played quite pleasantly. But he is quite unequivocal too long and thereby becomes monotonous." - Scottie (07-Aug-2009)

"4 levels to enable Lara leave alive from a base where enemies and lasers will do everything for trapped it. Despite the good gameplay, the rooms and the location levels are similar too and what I wanted was the fourth. Enemies are always repeated so as many puzzles that are resolved almost always with levers or shoot something, little fantasy. The nine secrets are too easy." - Pablito_it (07-Aug-2009)
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