Level: The Gen back home search
Author(s): David Rukawa
total rating:5.90 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Ceamonks890 4 6 5 5
dmdibl 6 6 7 8
Gerty 6 7 7 6
Jose 4 6 5 6
manarch2 4 7 6 5
MichaelP 6 7 6 6
Mman 4 5 5 4
Obig 5 6 6 7
Orbit Dream 7 8 8 8
Ryan 5 6 5 6
category averages
(10 reviews)
5.10 6.40 6.00 6.10

Reviewer's comments

"This snappy and short series of nine levels take you through a variety of settings including a sunken ship, Venice, Peru (TR1 style) and a VCI section. None of them are incredibly difficult to get through and most of them are over before they have finished (Gen Offices and Jacques' Lair), which means you get short- changed for playing time somewhat, at just under two hours. Although the settings are well enough put together, the gameplay is extremely simplistic and quite buggy in places as I experienced an invisible wall in the penultimate level, and the menu items are also messed up. The persistent alarms were also irritating in places. The boat ride and a few tense enemy attacks compensated somewhat, but I was still happy when I finished this one (or almost finished it anyway)." - Ryan (08-Dec-2017)

"Not difficult to play this 2/3-hours adventure, made with several small levels. There were some things I didn't like; the unmarked climbable walls, the phantom walls and the crashes I suffered in the penultimate level. The gameplay is quite simple. only pull switches/buttons and look for keys to open doors; there are also some blocks to move and some laser traps, easy secrets, well balanced enemies (in the last levels I didn't need to kill many of them) and enough guns, ammo and medipacks. Decent texturization but few cameras and musics. Playable, but not very enjoyable for me." - Jose (26-Jun-2017)

"While mercifully not as long and drawn-out as the builder's latter 'Ghost Island' series of levels, this debut release still managed to infuriate me for a number of different reasons, which were mainly in the way a lot of the locations have been designed. For one thing, there are plenty of unmarked surfaces throughout, leading to a concerning amount of guesswork on the player's part, if they want to have any chance of proceeding onwards, with the odd case of levers triggering a door opening on the other side of the map without informing the player about it whatsoever, only helping to compound the list of general design flaws even further. And secondly, none of the locales utilized feel ultimately consistent with one another, as we find ourselves seemingly flung across the world for no real logical reason, with some levels such as 'Jacques Lair' or 'Gen Offices' feeling like rather pointless additions, in a cheap attempt to pad out the game's length ever so slightly. In conclusion, this was another release from the respective builder in question that I simply didn't have an enjoyable time going through and while some things such as slightly better object utilization help to make the rooms somewhat more lively, the lever and key-focused gameplay only set to bring the experience down for me, in much the same ways as 'Ghost Island' did for me beforehand. So overall, only really worth recommending towards those with a walkthrough on hand and who are willing to tolerate the constant gameplay repetition and facepalm-worthy design flaws, for the purposes of having fun. Otherwise, steer clear." - Ceamonks890 (26-Oct-2014)

"You might think, nine levels, wow, but all the levels aren’t that long, some of them are even very short. And in my download I even couldn’t finish it, as my machine froze over and over again halfway through level eight. Didn’t like it one bit as that level did look also very promising. Be aware that in level three (I think) is a nasty crawl through wall you will not be aware off. Overall it is a nice set of levels that will give you some great time to keep you busy for a bit and I got the “old” TR feeling playing them." - Gerty (23-Dec-2013)

"Laras New Home (not rated): Not much to do or see here.
Ruins of Nore (6/8/6/7, 15 min, 1 secret): Always a pleasure to play one of those rare Maria Doria levels, although the persistent alarm sound stifles the fun here. Plenty of buttons and a few boxes to push, keys to collect and guards to kill. A bit odd that the card slots act as key holes and surprising to then run into a TR1 style temple to collect the Infada Stone.
Nights on Venice / Jacques Lair (4/6/5/5, 20+3 min): A bit of a let down after the previous level, as this is a rather uninspired Venice setting. Essentially a switch hunt and a crawlthrough wall that is impossible to find without the walkthru.
Davids Valley (6/7/7/6, 20 min): Now we turn into a TR1 Peru setting which is straightforward but entertaining nonetheless. Many keys to find, a few raptors and bad guys to kill. Towards the end it features a rather unnecessary small maze and an unmarked climbable wall though.
Aquatic Airport (not rated, 5 min): Merely a transition level in a Marine Base with a nicely constructed plane.
Gen Offices / The Gen Tower / The End-Hard Escape (6/7/7/6, 1+30+10 min, 0+3+2 secrets): This VCI level set is essentially the heart of the series. The Gen Tower is quite a decent level on its own, with a new outfit for Lara, solid architecture, including the classic elevator shaft, guards, mutants, cards, plugs etc. There is even a boat, but it is not really required. It is ket down by a few unfair features, like unmarked climbs and a walkthrough shelf, as well as odd triggers and the ever present alarm sound. There are a few battles with Pierre/Larson and the Hard Escape really is not that hard after all.
Overall, this set will give you some good diversity of locations, almost 2 hours of net gaming time and not much trouble to get through if you keep the walkthrough nearby." - MichaelP (17-Oct-2010)

"This was a huge levelpack but there were many little levels; in one you could reach the end in 30 seconds easily. The pack has textures from TR1 (David's Valley), TR2 (Home, Ruins of Nore, Nights on Venice, Jaques Lair, Aquatic Airport), TR5 (Gen office and tower) and actually not many from the TR3 engine (only a part in Ruins of Nore and David's Valley) which was surprising. The gameplay consisted only on searching the next key or lever and was never challenging and there were very, very few puzzles. Textures in most levels were okay (some are absent) but the lighting is often missing. If the author had used more creativity in gameplay it could have been rated higher For an overview of the Tomb Raider history, though, this is recommendable." - manarch2 (28-Aug-2010)

"There are 9 levels. Many levels are short, but locations are different. I just can suggest for everyone." - Obig (25-May-2010)

"I enjoyed this author's "Mysteries of Australia," but this hardly seems by the same person. The settings look good, with well-lit pleasing textures, but the game play is tepid. Particularly in the first four short levels, play consists of finding a switch, and going to the door that it opened. Odd things are thrown in to disturb the illusion of reality. In a regular room, Lara has to crawl through what looks like a normal wall; in other spots she falls through a floor, or climbs window panes. There is a nice waterfall, but only part of the unmarked stone wall can be climbed. There are nine levels here, and some take less than twenty minutes to play (level seven took about two minutes). Level eight is the most complicated, but also the most frustrating. The statistics screen gets scrambled, so there is no longer a way to tell how much ammo is available for a weapon. The weapons all morph into something else: the Uzis become automatic pistols; the MP5 becomes a squat machine gun; and, my favorite, the Desert Eagle becomes a machine pistol with a giant silencer, though this does nothing to muffle its shots. One is curious to see Lara holster this, but it turns into a regular Desert Eagle in the holster. Game play becomes impossible without a walkthrough. Lara had to step on a normal floor tile beside a ramp to get a door to open. There are opaque shelves with bottles, and Lara has to run through them (??) to reach the next room. Lara got stuck in one room with no way to open a door. I read the walkthrough: Lara has to draw her pistols, then stand in front of a cola machine by the windows. Only this works. (Just what I would normally try.) There is an incessant alarm; I had hoped it had been permanently left behind in level one. All this means is that I mute the sound completely, losing all sound effects and music. At one point a button causes an earthquake, and rubble clogs a corridor. Lara needs to exit, so push the button again, the room flips, and now the rubble is gone. Right. And polished steel ductwork has one side climbable. Anyway the levels are short so you can't stay frustrated for too long, and most of this is attractively done. This is the author's first level set, so one should be generous." - dmdibl (27-Feb-2010)

"This is a nine level pack that goes through a variety of themes and settings, unfortunately it has a lot of tell-tale signs of being a beginner work, and one of the later levels could have done with some more testing too.
The gameplay is quite straightforward, with it mostly being based on following the route, pressing switches and using keys. There are very few puzzles, but the biggest problem is that most attempts to add "flavor" tend to involve cheap tricks like unmarked climbing spaces, and, in one case, an absurdly hidden invisible crawlspace that pretty much requires a walkthrough to find. Most of the levels are quite short, but, somewhat ironically, my biggest issue in that regard is that the penultimate level felt too long; it seemed to go on and on without actually going anywhere. This leads onto the issue of the level layouts, which, with a couple of exceptions have gameplay that almost always takes place on one plane and little in the way of interlinking or foreshadowing of later areas, which closes it in and gives little feeling of being part of a wider world.
Lighting was nonexistent in many areas, with only flat ambient lighting used, there did seem to be attempts to use lighting highlights at certain parts, but nowhere near enough. Texturing was generally coherent in terms of theme, but the first level in particular mixed texture schemes in a way that made it some odd mix of an ancient-ship-cum-high- tech-base and ruins area with no real flow between those areas (if were was a flow it could have been a very interesting concept).
The penultimate level had a couple of bugs; the menus were scrambled throughout, and I had a savegame corrupt (which could have been a major issue if I didn't luckily have a working savegame from a few minutes before). The author did some experimenting with models, it mostly works, but at one point Lara's costume and all her weapons have a model change despite the level flowing directly from another where her costumes and weapons were the default. There were also some alarms in the first level that got irritating fast.
Overall the pack is enjoyable enough, but not exactly a must-play. This is the authors first pack, so maybe some of these things have been worked on in later packs, but in particular it seems the author could do with some more work on planning level structures so they feel like locations rather than a series of rooms and corridors." - Mman (19-Feb-2010)

"For a nine-level series,this was surprisingly snappy and quick to play.The average length of a level was around 20 minutes,and none outstayed their welcome. 1) Lara's new Home. A simple and basic Home level with no gameplay to speak of;but sweet and useful as a prologue. 2) Ruins of Nore: This was one of my favourites;an (apparently) rusting ship level which transformed itself surprisingly (and rather effectively) into a TR1 Temple adventure.Straightforward,but the change of scene helped maintain the interest. 3) Nights on Venice.A lovely change of scenery,but easy to manage after this years BtoB Venice levels! The biggest let-down was the unspeakably unfair 'crawlthrough wall',which I would never had found without the aid of Treeble's walkthrough. Well constructed on the whole;although the venetian scenery tends toward the simplistic. 4) Jaque's lair. Extremely short,with only the eponymous baddy providing any action. 5) David's valley. Although simplistically constructed,this was an entertaining little explore;with a couple of very well-placed (and genuinely scary) raptor attacks. 6) Aquatic Airport. Forgettable,aside from the rather crudely built Airplane. 7) Gen Offices. Almost non-existent and over before it starts. 8) The gen Tower. This level was the undoubted highlight; a highly entertaining adventure involving one large puzzle involving finding your way to the bottom of a hugely impressive Lift Shaft.Lots of enemies and fun jumping makes this an action-packded blast. 9) A Hard Escape. A bit of a mis-nomer,really;as (aside from a Boss at the very start) nothing actually happens aside from a lot of button activation.It does have a logical end,though;which compensates. Throughout these levels,enemy placement has been well considered;while texturing is competant (aside from a few annoying unmarked climbable walls)and occasionally striking (the awe-inspiring Lift Shaft),and lighting is used effectively throughout.Secrets tend to be obviously signposted,but object placement is wholly apt in whichever themed environment is chosen.Nowhere is the gameplay complex and head scratching.There's a degree of backtracking,but never too much; while the puzzles are generally all about aquiring key cards in order to progress.It's the use of music and background audio which is this adventures strongest suit;the construction is generally competant although rarely inspired (the outdoor areas are generally simplistic),but the TR2 music cues are incorporated with taste and do a great deal to build up much needed atmosphere. In summary,then;2 1/2 to 3 hours of action-packed but generally undemanding fun.Give it a go!" - Orbit Dream (18-Jan-2010)
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