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Level: Subterranean Base back home search
Author(s): Vinci
total rating:6.70 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
dmdibl 7 8 8 7
eTux 5 6 7 6
Jerry 5 6 8 7
Jose 2 7 8 8
manarch2 7 7 6 5
MichaelP 7 7 7 6
Obig 6 6 7 7
Phil 8 8 7 8
Ryan 7 7 7 7
sonnyd83 7 6 6 7
category averages
(10 reviews)
6.10 6.80 7.10 6.80

Reviewer's comments

"This is probably one of the most infamously complex single TR3 levels in existence, especially for being released in 2001. I thought I wasn't going to enjoy because of the extremely tedious backtracking in the base and often unclear paths to take. However, I have to admit to liking the experience overall. There are a few tricky jumps to overcome (not the pixel precise ones you'd associate with this builder but one into a trapdoor alcove took me a lot of tries, until I figured out the exact method), some neat little touches like the launching of the rocket and the switch puzzle, plus a few enjoyable enemy encounters and item hunts and it gets finished off with an enjoyable timed run. While the backtracking definitely could have been trimmed down, I still felt a sense of achievement upon finishing, so it's definitely worth playing if you can withstand that." - Ryan (16-Nov-2017)

"The info screen says this level was released in 2001, but the first review was not until 2009, and there have been only eight of those before this one. It's a worthy TR3 level that took me an hour and forty-five minutes to complete, even with the help of Harry Laudie's thoroughly documented walkthrough. The problem, however, is that much of that hour and forty-five minutes was consumed going back and forth through previously explored territory, and at times it's difficult to remember just how to "go back to where you found the blue disk" or "return to Bay C." Notwithstanding all that, plotting out this complex raid is an achievement in itself for which the builder should be commended, and the level deserves to be played and reviewed more than it has been. The beginning is particularly agonizing, where you have to make your way painstakingly through various nooks and crannies to get to the bottom of a deep gorge. I must admit that I thought about binning the level during this process. Once you reach the base area down below, however, things start to open up a bit, although this is where all the backtracking starts in earnest. If you don't mind a bit of frustration you should find this to be a rewarding gaming experience." - Phil (07-Oct-2016)

"Really a very long and complex level with a lot of tasks to do. Classic base level with deadly tracks, a lot of soldiers to shoot and control rooms. I enjoyed the first part in the canyon, looking for a way to get down to the base, with all kind of jumps and tricky movements; also the five switches puzzle is good too, even when I had to go against the window each time I pulled a switch to know what it did. Secrets are very hard to find, and I liked the old TR3 tracks and the cameras showing what the switches triggered too. The gameplay was bad for my taste: excessive ladders to climb, excessive switches to pull and excessive backtracking from place to place running always very long distances and repeating always the same movements only to pull a switch or find a key; all this ruined the gameplay. Even if you are a TR3 player, I can't recommend this level 'cause the continuous backtracking in the base." - Jose (27-Jan-2016)

"This is not quite the usual TR 3 raid. Of course, it has all the ingredients that most of those levels also have included, such as a good bunch of items to find, many levers to pull and a considerable amount of backtracking, but the builder has managed to create something of his own here, with a few rather neat puzzle ideas (I loved the fire puzzle and very nice shortcuts throughout. Even if I'm not very keen on maze-like settings, there were only one or two points where I was seriously stuck because of missing camera hints, as the textures are often good hints and the progression is quite smooth. Towards the end, I thought the back and fro got a little too much and the level could have ended earlier though, and in general there were a few too many crawlspaces or ladders; if the builder had worked more on those shortcuts like the one preventing you from doing the laser session again, I would have considered giving the first category an 8 or even a 9, but in general I found the game to be very entertaining, it's hard to believe this level was built in 2001. The atmosphere of this level was solid, with a few effective sounds and cameras used, but I didn't overly like the dull and mostly grey setting. The placement of the textures did not quite work well and the grey lighting was not very good too; the only thing I liked was the animated lava in the caves at the start. Enemies, though rather sparsely used, were fun to fight and the two secrets I found were very well hidden. I had to abandon the one at the start though because the game kept crashing at a certain point, and it seems there are a few other, yet unfound, secrets in this level. Overall, I'd recommend this level, but better with a walkthrough close by to avoid possible confusion in the base section. Spent one hour in this level." - manarch2 (29-Jul-2013)

"You begin in a large open area with a lava pit in the centre. crawl through gap in wall and do a few jumps. textures are almost all the same in this area, but lava is nice. After a few more awkward jumps you finally reach the base. texturing and lighting here is a little more interesting after killing a few baddies, you enter a maze of air ducts, from here on, the gameplay involves a LOT of coming and going to kill baddies, collect key cards and place them in their slots. There's a laser in between which has to be passed several times. This part of the level has textures from area 51 and channel tunnel but the latter seems inappropriate since there's a rocket, the lighting is the same almost throughout the entire area other than in one particular room. The ultimate goal here is to set off a rocket and get hold of the Saturnian key Be prepared to spend several hours at this." - sonnyd83 (06-May-2012)

"A level way ahead of its time, considering it is approaching 10 years of age. I really enjoyed the initial trip underground, figuring out a series of cleverly constructed jumps, which were really not very hard to do, but not always obvious to see - especially if you go on the two extra rounds for the secrets. From there it turns into a fairly classic Base level and while again the whole construction and connection is quite clever, this one quickly drags out quite a bit, as you begin repeating rather long trips several times in your quest for the usual discs, key cards and plugs. Only a few gaurds around to kill and while there are helpful cameras, I did really miss 1 or 2 more that would have avoided running around like a headless chicken on some occasion when you were not clear on which door may now have opened. The rocket launch scene is nice and the five switch puzzle nicely designed and then Vinci finishes it off in style with a time run - but again, not a very tight one. Nice level, with a bit of tedium in the middle. Took me 90 minutes with 3 secrets found." - MichaelP (09-Nov-2010)

"We start the level from a cave, then on a base. Sometimes you have to run from A point to B point, and to be honest this is pesky a bit. See the closed doors, and the adventure will be easier. Different types of keys, discs, code cards are the pickables, while you have to activate swithes, buttons. Secrets are not counted, but I'm sure there are many secrets. Enemies are baddies, guards and dogs. Don't miss this great adventure. Nice textures, and good atmosphere." - Obig (25-May-2010)

"This is a very competent game from Vinci for such an early release, and quite an involved one too with it taking me a little over an hour of net gaming to reach the end of the level. The texturing may be a bit repetitive and lighting not all that sophisticated, but I actually enjoyed the idea of Lara descending into the unknown to uncover whatever mysteries lay ahead. The base itself is somewhat lackluster with employing the user-unfriendly maze settings one so frequently encounters in these ventures, but it has its moments with the launch of a rocket taking place, a clever, if tedious switch puzzle, nice use of lasers and audio tracks. What I didn't care that much about (among other things) was the use of the movable block, which seemed to be put in place merely to add more backtracking time on the players part, and it didn't make sense why the author put cameras in so arbitrarily, at times not adding them when it very well would've made sense for them to be there. This is an annoyance, but if you resort to the use of walkthrough, won't be that much of an issue. The 2 secrets I found were rather well placed. Overall, I would've prefered if the base section of the game would've been more intuitive, but despite the grievances, this level has a fair share of shining moments as well." - eTux (04-May-2010)

"Vinci sometimes produces levels with difficult timed runs, so it's a relief to encounter one with normal game play. Here the main obstacle is that the base becomes like a giant maze, with confusion over which door opened in all-too-similar corridors. A walkthrough keeps things from becoming tedious, but still the player has to go to the opposite end of the level to push a button, and then retrace the route back to enter a door. Parts are interesting, such as Lara climbing in the giant chamber where the rocket has launched, or looking out from control room windows over two stealth aircraft. I missed some secrets, and thus failed to get the MP 5 (found shotgun and Uzis), but the medipacks are generous, so Lara might be able to play this with only pistols. But too many areas have wallpaper texturing, including the initial rock areas and tunnel, the corridors, and the huge pool room. Comes near the mark, but one longs for more variety." - dmdibl (05-Nov-2009)

"I have nothing against exploring areas, but in this level it is far too much backtracking to really like it. There are so many closed doors and ladders and keylocks on your way where you have to go back after pulling a switch or picking up a keycard or plug or disc somewhere else, and all those corridors make it so confusing to find your way. On the other hand there is an interesting switch puzzle to solve and a nice rocket-off cutscene to watch, the overall setting of the base is made well, and so is the use of audios. I only found the shotgun and the uzis in my defence, but enemies are not too many, so along with the mainly used pistols those two weapons were enough. I needed about 3 hours to finish." - Jerry (23-Oct-2009)
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