Level: Return to Vilcabamba back home search
Author(s): The Vagrant
total rating:5.24 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
alan 5 4 6 6
Blue43 4 4 6 6
Casual Raider 5 4 4 5
Ceamonks890 3 4 5 6
dmdibl 5 5 7 6
Ejecta 4 4 5 5
Ekrixi 3 1 0 4
eTux 3 4 5 6
Fabio 3 2 8 7
Gerty 3 4 6 6
Jay 5 5 6 6
Jose 6 7 7 8
manarch2 5 4 6 6
MichaelP 5 4 7 7
Mulf 6 5 6 6
Nuri 7 8 9 8
Obig 5 4 6 6
Orbit Dream 3 3 6 7
Ryan 3 4 6 7
Torry 6 6 7 5
Treeble 3 5 8 8
category averages
(21 reviews)
4.38 4.33 6.00 6.24

Reviewer's comments

"Short TR2 level of around 15 minutes that showcases some of Kevin's early work with the unofficial editor. This is a shooter more than anything else with heaps of enemies but if you explore carefully you will find both the M16 and the grenade launcher which helps. The snow mobile is there but you don't really need it as you can complete the level on foot if you so desire. I had texture fade outs throughout the level but no crashes as some reviewers reported." - Torry (23-May-2018)

"Well, that was fun. It’s a short level specifically built for using the snowmobile (although you can also complete it on foot, if you are so inclined) to run over some Tibet goons, which is a thing that never gets old, especially with the funny noises they make with their dying breath. The course is clear at all times and easy to navigate (merely two deadly pits to avoid, of which only the second one, close to the end, is the slightest bit tricky), but well built all the same. You don’t have to stop and dismount every few feet to get some obstacle out of the way, and all pickups are optional (though the M16 comes in handy in one or two spots). There’s also a spare snowmobile, not strictly necessary, but placed considerately so as to minimise backtracking. Designwise, the level takes its cue from the TR1 Peru levels, but it’s not a remake (the map was built from scratch); there’s more snow here, and all the enemies you flatten are taken from TR2 Tibet, as is of course the snowmobile itself. The level ended arbitrarily when I entered a nondescript water tunnel, but unlike some reviewers I didn’t experience any crash in the final area, which is why I can report that my kill stats read ‘6’. Actually I killed at least three times as many opponents, but apparently those that you run over don’t count. As the level ends as it ends, and doesn’t provide Lara with any reason to return to Vilcabamba, it may seem rather pointless, but then that’s the point: it’s an enjoyable bit of pointless fun; as well as an object lesson in how to properly build a course for a vehicle." - Mulf (24-Jan-2018)

"The visuals in this extremely early level show the talent that Kevin would showcase to a greater extent in later levels like Cape Fear and Uncle Silas. The snowmobile rides were also pretty enjoyable to go through. But if you put those aside this is essentially what the core of the level is about - simply shoot (or run over, whatever takes your fancy) a few thugs and eagles and ride the snowmobile to the final room. About the finish trigger, there is one in this level, despite what other reviewers mention, but you'd have to search pretty well to find it." - Ryan (07-Dec-2017)

"Even in this first level, Kevin was already showing his potential like one of the best unofficial custom levels builders for the future. Here you have a level with an excellent architecture and texturization you can play entirely on foot or entirely driving the snowmobile. In this last case it's not worth you dismount to pick up the items (there are not keys here) 'cause you can kill all enemies with the vehicle (well, perhaps you need some more medipacks). The level is entertaining in both cases, but I missed some puzzles to solve and in the final lake (this room is beautiful, but too huge with many repeated textures) the game crashes and there's not a finish trigger (you can read it in the walkthrough). Anyway a good level to enjoy." - Jose (04-Nov-2017)

"This is a level which heavily features the snowmobile. From the start you can shoot at some eagles(?) that quickly get stuck on the roofs before hopping on the vehicle, running over baby snow leopards and baddies (VERY entertaining), then exploring the area and picking up weapons and other pickups. The last room is quite pretty and there are two exit triggers in the water, but entering the area on the far left freezes the game quite nastily which is annoying. Overall this level was fun, but nothing special." - Ejecta (14-Aug-2017)

"Mostly this feels like a racing track of sorts for the snowmobile, but as a lover of the TR1 Peru levels I can easily admit I loved the ambience. Apart from all the racing you get plenty of baddies along the way (whom you can either drive over or simply drive away from) and there were so many pickups at some point I just stopped caring and pressed on to the very end of the track, where the game crashed for me so I'm going to presume it was meant to be a finish trigger. 10 minutes. 05/17" - Treeble (28-May-2017)

"This level was fun while it lasted. I enjoyed exploring the areas and rolling down the baddies with the snowmobile, besides riding it through high distances and a bridge. The final area with the water caused the game to freeze when swimming to a little stone building. But then I managed to find the end trigger, there is one." - alan (29-Apr-2017)

"A very pretty level with big rooms and many enemies aaaaand a snowmobile. This level is based on the city of Vilcabamba from TR1 and shows Laras second visit there with some unexplored areas." - Nuri (02-Jul-2015)

"A surprisingly brief return to what's apparently supposed to be the City of Vilcabamba from TR1(according to the title of this level anyway), we find ourselves tasked with what I assume to be the slaughter of some more masked goons and local wildlife(which in this case, are vultures and snow leopards), before proceeding on one of two conveniently laid-out snowmobiles to a room surrounded by water and swim through a random hole, only to have the game conclude anticlimactically and left me scratching my head as to what the whole point of going through all that, personally achieved in the grand scheme of things. Nevertheless, what's on offer is certainly presented well at the very least with some not-too-shabby texturing and OK use of lighting combining to create a somewhat passable atmosphere. I'll also admit that I did get a little bit of satisfaction running over any unlucky opponents who managed to get in my way with the snowmobiles while riding about this brief level. But beyond those few pros though, I was disappointed by how hollow and empty the overall level design felt, with an extreme lack of plants or any real objects at all that would have helped improve immersion tremendously. And in the end, all the gameplay boils down to, is shooting/running over enemies and venturing off the beaten path for more supplies and weaponry that you may not even require to beat the level, if you're good enough. And that's pretty much that. While definitely entertaining while it lasts, this is one level that I can't imagine myself going through ever again after uploading the review you're reading through now. So, I can only really recommend this if you're curious and nothing more besides that." - Ceamonks890 (18-Aug-2014)

"My love for vehicles is zero so the snowmobile is no thrill at all. Also dont forget this level is very old so do not expect too much. Lots of enemies and room are huge and empty. A pity I got quite some nasty crashes in the poolroom." - Gerty (20-Feb-2014)

"This is quite good looking for an old TR2 level and, although obviously dated now, still manages to entertain. I mean, one can never under-estimate the fun of running over enemies on a snowmobile. Otherwise, the gameplay is simplistic and mainly involves picking up goodies, which are completely unnecessary. No finishing trigger as such, so just have fun riding around the place until you've had enough." - Jay (08-Jan-2014)

"Level is quite nice giving feeling familiar to TR2 Golden Mask :) I liked it though the rooms could be a slightly less empty and vast. There was fun element with snowmobile and some exploring but seems no ending in this level. Game crashed twice in pool room so guessing it's not finished level. Still quite pleasant one." - Casual Raider (11-Jul-2013)

"I think that must be a test level. Surely, not worth to play. You just drive the snowmobile and you kill everything with it. Many enemies appear from nowhere, many objects that you won't use, and very bad connection from room to room. Many times, there is a wall that will disappear and there is no end trigger in this level. Maybe this is just a test level. I enjoyed killing everyone with the snowmobile. It was kind of fun." - Ekrixi (14-Sep-2011)

"A very fun level. The only gameplay apart from driving is finding the way to the snowmobile, but then you have to drive up a quite difficult path and kill many many enemies. After lots of driving fun you get to a lake, swim a bit and find the end trigger (somehow the builder didn't find one, but me - and as I see, some others too). Texturing was OK, there weren't so many lacks. This level somehow reminded me on the builder's "Journey to Sumeria" as there is also not so much to do actually and you can hit the finish trigger sooner than everything is explored. Way to short - after 7 minutes this level ends." - manarch2 (12-Jul-2011)

"Few must know, but this level was originally made by The Vagrant for test the snowmobille in a 2D version of unofficial level editor, the reason there's no spotlighting effects. For that, I think The Vagrant made an excelent job. Badly, everyone wants a full playable version, and there's not much to do here - no secrets, no ending... Despite that, if you want to explore an amazing TR2 and kill some baddies, you'll enjoy it." - Fabio (02-Jan-2011)

"I have to admit I'm a bit weary when confronted with the TR2 enemies, especially the ones from the later stages of the game, as they usually seem to be very well up to the task to actually show Lara some resistance. That's probably the main reason why this is the last of Vagrant's levels I'm reviewing, and while I still found my above assumption not to be completely off course - I've learnt that custom levels have a way of demystifying certain aspects of the original games. It was no different here after the first encounter with the masked goons - they were tough, but Lara survived, could move on, and the rest of the level turned out to be not as bad. As you would expect from the author - the room geometry is nicely sculpted and the level is all-round pretty to look at, though it was a bit on the darker end of the scale for some reason. While the snowmobiles are readily available - I managed to do the entire game without them as well. That said - there's not really all that much to do in here. Apart from the enemy extermination all you basically do is walk from point A to B, and with that in mind it may not have been a bad idea to put the snowmobile to some more use where it actually advances the gameplay. Alas, you have what you have here - but it is enjoyable while it lasts, even if only for admiring the eye-candy and conquering some irrational beliefs about certain enemies from my side." - eTux (04-Jul-2010)

"The level is based on TR2 "Tibetan Foothills" and the TR1 "City Of Vilcabamba" comparison, but it has Tibet feeling. The level is very short, there are no secrets, just some connected huge rooms, where you can go trough by foot, or by the snowmobile. Enemies are crows, snow tigers, and baddies. There are many weapon, and you can use the snowmobile as weapon too." - Obig (11-Apr-2010)

"A nice level with Peruvian TR1 textures. Good lighting and atmosphere, although a bit dark for my taste. 2 snowmobiles are available but I found that I was able to explore the whole level without them. Plenty of ammo and guns to kill the enemies easily. There is one part in the last room where the game will freeze and I avoided it after reloading and checking the walk-through. The finish trigger still came a little surprising. Easy and uncomplicated game play. No secrets found." - Blue43 (21-Mar-2010)

"The author says this TR2 level may be the second ever custom release for Tomb Raider, back in 2000. The early TRE3DXD editor showed transparent textures on slopes, worse even than TR1, so this is a defect. But it is remarkable how much is well done here, including a design with a multistory cavern and hanging bridge, Lara on snowy Peruvian slopes, mercenaries, and two snowmobiles. The sense of place is quite good. There are a lot of pickups to hunt. Lara can drive the snowmobile everywhere, making jumps as needed, but I found it confusing that Lara could also travel the routes on foot, leaving the snowmobile behind. The same optional use is true with the second snowmobile on the elevated level. Lara battles the mercenaries with shotgun or Uzis, or runs them over with the snowmobile. Then there is a descent to a large flooded room. The author says there is no ending trigger, but Lara dove down into a chamber near the entrance, and the level ended as if an end trigger had been hit. A commendable accomplishment by the author for such an early level." - dmdibl (17-Feb-2010)

"This levels greatest strength is its atmosphere,which isn't too bad for an early attempt and involves a large snow-bound peruvian temple which can be traversed almost entirely by snowmobile (or not,depending on your enthusiasm for such vehicles). The are a plethora of enemies (most of which can be enjoyably mown down)and no puzzles,per se. Lighting and texturing is above par,but this is basically a "run'em down" level and little more. Contrary to the previous review there IS a Finish Trigger,but you have to swim to exactly the right place in order to activate it (which happened for me after 25 minutes)." - Orbit Dream (15-Jan-2010)

"An early TR2 Level with a TR1 theme that is fun to explore for a few minutes, not only because you get to use snowmobiles to travel around the place and run over a few baddies. Not much else to do and no finish trigger, but given its age, this already looks like a pleasant rendition of a level and showed the promise that this author delivered on with his later work." - MichaelP (09-Jan-2010)
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