Level: Vic's Valley back home search
Author(s): Vic
total rating:1.83 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
alan 2 1 2 2
Casual Raider 1 1 1 0
Ceamonks890 1 1 1 0
DJ Full 3 5 5 4
dmdibl 2 3 1 1
Ejecta 1 1 2 2
eRIC 3 5 6 3
Gerty 1 4 2 1
Jay 2 2 2 1
Jerry 2 2 3 1
Jose 1 3 5 2
manarch2 1 1 1 0
MichaelP 1 4 2 0
Obig 1 3 1 1
Ryan 1 1 1 0
TheStig 1 1 2 0
category averages
(16 reviews)
1.50 2.38 2.31 1.13

Reviewer's comments

"I'm not disappointing about the dark rooms in a level, but this are not dark rooms but simply totally black rooms; and it's so all the entire level (except the final room, of course). Even more, the nasty ladder very difficult to climb and the invisible ledges even with flare in hand. Not a level for my taste, but thanks to Harry's walkthrough I could finish. Really not a valley, but a sort of temple. This time there are not so many enemies to shoot, but the gameplay is still based about find keys or pull switches to open doors. Also there's a nasty backtracking if you choose the wrong path and find an open door. Finally, the numerous packs of flares were not enough for me, and I needed to use a savegame editor to bring more. A level to forget." - Jose (04-Nov-2017)

"The first time I played this level, I did eventually have to turn to the walkthrough to finish it as it is very difficult if you don't know exactly what you're doing. The second time I played, I did honestly have a bit of fun, since it was quite thrilling moving around in the dark with only flares to guide you. However the invisible platforms were completely unnecessary, I think that was definitely something that the builder shouldn't have done since it is pretty much impossible to see them with or without flares. I also thought it was a bit random that there's a guard in one of the rooms that doesn't attack you if you leave him alone. I would only recommend this to people with a lot of patience." - Ejecta (14-Aug-2017)

"I don't like that it's extremely dark and that you have to light a flare wherever you go. At the end I was relieved to see daylight. It doesn't look like a valley, but like some caves. There were good places to hide secrets but the author didn't place any. 30 minutes." - alan (23-Apr-2017)

"I'm guessing this review will not be published as I couldn't be bothered to trek all the way through. But let this be a warning regardless: don't play this unless you are an extreme masochist. Unbearable darkness, confusing mazelike rooms and nonexistent gameplay. What an utterly dreary experience. I'm sorry, but I couldn't stand this." - Ryan (25-Dec-2016)

"I think this level was supposed to capture realism of a situation where no sunlight shines through and in the end give the player a huge relief when Lara finally steps out of the sun. It was quite a risky attempt. While the level finale feels great as supposed, the preceding bulk is outstandingly and unnecessarily difficult, because even with absolutely enough flares provided they burn for too short, have a very small radius and low intensity, what efficiently reduces a chance to spot pickups and crevices which would normally be really non-problematic to find. To make it worse, the fire bug appears in the second half of the game, forcing Lara to notoriously light and drop the flares on the ground. Under these conditions the walkthru provided by Harry appears the most useful I have ever followed (near the end I found some uzi bullets it doesn't mention and a dino to fight with help of these). SUMMARY: I get the idea but it would work better with a torch, unavailable when this level was built. The author was forced to use the only and not so good solution available, so you can try to reach the sunlight but it will cost you a lot of trouble." - DJ Full (16-Aug-2015)

"Starting up this release, we come across our first major design flaw of the game: everywhere you go is unnecessarily dark! While there have been plenty of flares and supplies generously provided throughout the level map however(as a compromise), it still isn't enough to excuse this extreme oversight and with a lack of helpful landmarks to allow players to regain their bearings, it can be incredibly easy to get lost in this relatively samey-looking environment. Texturing also suffers from lazy repetitive placement(if you can manage to get a good look amongst all the pitch black that is), the exploration factor provided through gameplay gets turned into an absolute chore(thanks in no small part to the atrocious lighting or lack thereof) and overall, left me with a rare experience that I simply couldn't finish properly whatsoever. So in the end, this is just another level that I simply cannot recommend to anybody, due to the generally un-user friendly nature of how it was designed." - Ceamonks890 (24-Sep-2014)

"Couldn't bring myself to finish this level so my judgment might not be fair. But this level is just too DARK and can't see a thing. Well it might add something to atmosphere but spoils any fun I could have. Liked the way how Lara's model was changed though." - Casual Raider (11-Jul-2013)

"I really like levels that have some darker areas. But this level IS pure darkness. You can't see anything more than one metre away from you. Lightning is nearly absent, this made the gameplay even worse than it is, with a little exploration factor. It took me so much time to get to the end trigger (I was happy it's finally over), more than 40 minutes, just because I had heavy problems to know where I am. At some point there was a nasty flare bug for me, as the flares only worked when I throw them away. I absolutely don't see why the builder made such a level. Not recommended at all." - manarch2 (24-Jan-2011)

"Sorry, but I don't liked this level. I've pulled up the gamma level to 10, but it's a totally dark level. And this is the hard part too. Just in this part. Your eyes go wrong when you finish the level. There are flares, but it's extreme dark." - Obig (30-May-2010)

"You almost think that the builder doesnít know how to work with lights as it is pitch black almost all the time. There are a lot of flares to be found, I grand you that but even then you cannot see far. I had serious problem with climbing a ladder, as you have to let go and grab and let Lara climb up by her hands. That took a bit so at the end, my flare went out. It was totally darkness and then you canít see that she has to shimmy to the middle of the ladder again, so she can properly go up. That was a bummer. Another bummer was that at the end, in pitch darkness, the flare bug kicked in so throwing flares down to the floor was the only option I had, to at least see something." - Gerty (19-May-2010)

"If a flare lights up the area around you for 30 seconds then you will need about 60 flares in this 30 minute adventure. Yes, it is essentially pitch black throughout with only a few flames giving a dim glow on occasion. While I managed ok in finding the keys, I really had trouble finding the key holes and the first two doors they open are rather far away from where the key holes are. Very bad gameplay here indeed. On the positive side there is a nice scare moment when the first raptor appears and the red waterfall room looked kind of nice." - MichaelP (13-May-2010)

"Big plain rooms. Nothing to see because the author has solved the problem of poor texturing by making nearly the entire level solid black, with the exception of the last room where Lara comes out into daylight. This is Tomb Raider blackness where flares--which are copious--barely penetrate. Mostly you get to see TR3 Lara holding a flare in her hand. There are a few burning poles for a bit of illumination, but they mostly serve as markers. A rectangular lake had safe water only against one wall, and I'm not sure if that is good or bad. One TR3 level that isn't worth playing." - dmdibl (03-May-2010)

"Because of the pitch black darkness, and to avoid the possible Ďstressí to imperatively find flares without which the level is implayable, I added a hundred of these at the beginning, although that was probably not neccesary (there is enough of them in game). The gameplay is fairly simple , mainly exploration , a bit of climbing (another annoyance is that ladder where Lara is reluctant to climb until the top) , a few keys to find , and a few raptors to deal with. The setting is simple but not bad (when you can see it) and the level becomes more enjoyable farther on where there is fire burners to light up a bit the course. I quite like the fire emitters placed on the poles , and the deadly lake with the safe blue path. An easy level with some atmosphere which can appeal to people who like playing in the dark. [23 minutes]" - eRIC (13-Dec-2009)

"Sorry I didnt enjoy this one. Darkness concept taken way too far. Thankfully the author did provide enough flares to make it through the level, but after 30 minutes of fumbling around in the darkness my nerve and temper were pretty much shot. Stuff like this works well in isolation, but plunging a player into darkness for half an hour isnt great. Played with Maximum gamma, otherwise I\'d of never seen most of the pickups even with flares." - TheStig (16-Nov-2009)

"Woa, Vicís Valley is dark, really, seriously dark. There are plenty of flares to be found, but believe me youíll need them. I canít say it felt much like a valley, more a succession of blocky rooms and commenting on the textures is a little difficult in such ridiculously low light levels. Gameplay is very simplistic, but the level does last longer than most of these little TR3 ones, probably due to having to do so much of it by Braille." - Jay (01-Oct-2009)

"It's simply amazing and out of all reason why a builder offers a level like this to players. It's dark ... very dark ... much too dark. To be precise, you act in pitch-black darkness all the time, there is absolutely no lighting (except for a couple of burning fires later on, being of a little help within one or two meters around you), and you have to use one flare after another Ė on your way for more flares to find. And this is your main business here: Keep on finding flares, push the one or other button to open the one or other door, find some keys, pick up some weapons and medis and shoot the one or other dino. That's it. It is quite obvious that the darkness is meant to be an essential item here, but after about 40 minutes playing time I still wonder why. I give 3 points in the atmosphere category and 1 point for textures, as texturing and architecture of the rooms were vaguely perceptible." - Jerry (24-Sep-2009)
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