"I have attempted to get this level working
correctly quite a few times, but each time
I came to a dead stop as I encountered a
few repetitive crash issues, so I laid it
aside. But having came across it on my
trek through the older levels, I decided
to give it one last shot, this time with
the TR2 CD inserted, and it worked (apart
from a very minor desktop crash which
didn't set me too far back)!. Thankfully
so, because this is a wonderful level in
the TR2 style. The environments are so
convincing and beautiful, and the
atmosphere of a dilapidated and ruined
mansion so realistic, it holds up very
well indeed to some of the TR4 levels
listed here. It's classed as a shooter
(which isn't my favourite genre) and the
enemies are overwhelming at times, but
enough medipacks are provided, although I
would have liked more powerful ammo for
the gun wielding thugs. Talking of which,
these thugs clearly had something of an
obsession with filthy magazines, as the
floors are positively strewn with them.
Lara's outfit I found rather tacky, and if
you angled the camera right it was easy to
catch a sight of her, ahem... chest area.
Aside from the onslaught of enemies, some
variation is provided in the form of the
always enjoyable bounce pads, plenty of
traps and a spot of speedboat riding.
There's also three tarot card secrets to
locate if you search carefully. You do
need to be in a "run and gun" mood to
truly enjoy this, but as a whole it's
brilliantly constructed." - Ryan (28-Feb-2019)
"So this is supposedly the best TR2 level in terms of rating (by now) hence I was really curious about this one, especially since it was categorized as shooter (which really suits this level). You'll mostly be seeing custom reources here in terms of textures and enemies (at least I haven't seen those before in any level nor the original games). The level design is overall pretty impressive and around pretty much every corner you'll encounter some enemy. Even for beginners this level won't be that hard since there are quite a few pickups available at your disposal. Gameplay would have been somewhat perfect if there was some puzzle solving involvded. Verdict: Very much recommended towards all players but mostly TR2 lovers." - KingdomHearts (30-Jun-2018)
"What a marvelous TR2 level from the Vagrant. I remember discussing this with Kevin at the Cleveland Tombfest in 2004 as being his best and it deserves it's Hall of Fame listing. Atmosphere is fantastic and the enemies numerous. From the Bad Gals to the giant spiders this gem provides insights in to what can be done with a little imagination. The Pulps lying all over the mansion floor and the Tarot card secrets to name a few. Game play was fast paced with great moving spike traps taken from the Great Wall in Tomb Raider 2. There are alternate routes you can take but take the wrong one and you will miss the secret so explore carefully. Jump pads are back and movable blocks easy to discern. Textures are as good as the original TR2 and as this level was created years before the official editor arrived one can only wonder what Kevin could produce with today's applications. I know that some will disagree with my score but for it's time this was a paramount achievement and hence I give it the perfect score." - Torry (31-Mar-2018)
"This is probably the magnum opus of TR2 custom levels, and with good reason. It oozes atmosphere, and calling it a 'shooter' might be a bit of a disservice, as although it may be combat heavy, there's a lot more to it, plenty of traps to avoid and enough doors to open to keep you occupied as you work your way through this creepy place - good use of the speedboat, too. Most of the objects and textures present in this level are unique, plus coupled with the way the engine handles distances and "fog", it further enhances that desolation feeling. Also, I couldn't help but smile at the little tribute to the original The Great Wall level. 30 minutes, 2 secrets. 05/17" - Treeble (28-May-2017)
"Great TR2-level from year 2003. Atmosphere and architecture are great and I found two seacrets. Gameplaying is very fluent and lighting is good. There are good amount of ammon so it is good beginning to shooting level. Very recommendable for TR2-fans." - vienna (24-Mar-2017)
"As usual from this author, an excellent architecture and texturization; the environments are quite good, with all kind of details and very realistic touches. The level is not difficult to play, but perhaps I found too many enemies and few puzzles; the provided ammo was not enough (not so the medipacks) 'cause in the graveyard I found excessive enemies to shoot; I also missed a lot some flares, and not only the lonely pack I found near the end in the cemetery. There are many cameras helping the player and sometimes several ways to proceed. Definitely a fantastic level I recommend for everybody, except if you don't like shooter levels." - Jose (08-Nov-2016)
"It's Halloween season, so I am looking for something
eerie to escape the gray reality of living in a country
where Halloween doesn't exist. At the beginning I wanted
to download and replay [i]Uncle Silas[/i], as it is one
of my favourite levels. Then I realised that the author
made more levels...! Creepy atmosphere - check. Swamp -
check! Tomb Raider II classic engine - check. So many
things to love.
I quickly realised it has no music background (or perhaps
some of my drivers suicided due to TR II engine being so
old). I quickly filled that hole with help of youtube,
turned on [i]"SWAMP Sounds at Night - Cricket, Owl and
Frog Sounds for Sleeping"[/i]. I highly recommend playing
with this exact soundtrack in the background set to
around 40% volume. Or some vintage radio music from
Fallout III. It makes the swamp atmosphere so much more
We have plenty of green, swamp water to explore and to
collect our strength, as Lara begins with no gun. Croft's
breast size has improved (or is that just a push up bra
magic?) and one can only imagine the abundance of
mosquito bites. Vintage magazines are scattered on the
wooden, rotting floor of some forgotten, old mansion.
There is everything I loved in Uncle Silas - creepy
atmosphere, old mansion, antique elegance with the sweet,
sweet sauce of the good ol' retro Tomb Raider II. We have
some boat action, some nice traps and a lot of shooting,
as on the marsh no one is really your friend. The ancient
windows have texture which makes me feel like I look at
something old, yet very decorative and precious.
Everything is composed well, we see a lot of bog greenery
and bog-connected objects. Gameplay is fluid and I never
There's something nostalgic about levels in this style. I
don't mind old engine - in fact, it's the opposite. Such
level is amazing and refreshing if you play a lot of next
gen. levels and want to take a break and play a game
without all of these inventions, super effects and so on.
It is possible to make amazing level using retro engine.
It doesn't need all of this super new stuff and 3494
items that make my computer laggy. It doesn't need it to
actually give you fun. While new levels are good,
sometimes it's nice to try something older/different.
Perhaps this game is not for everyone - I can see that
there will be people who shall not enjoy it as much
because of old engine. But honestly, sometimes a tiny
level the size of 9 MB is enough to make you happy; 9 MB
of magic, unique/pretty design I know from Uncle Silas,
around one hour of gameplay and 50 saves used. Just right
amount of medipacks and ammo to survive it all. It pains
my heart to see that Kevin made his last level in 2005,
which means that there's small chance there will be more
of his levels." - Alien Autopsy (20-Oct-2016)
"A very interesting dark, swampy level with some puzzles to
solve, rooms and places to discover and of course many
enemies to kill...and a boat with ugly sounds :P" - Nuri (19-Aug-2015)
"For a nice change of pace(in terms of TR2 custom releases), we find ourselves at a mansion secluded away from the local populace in an wild swamp with plenty of gunmen, dogs and local fish/sharks to take down, before you can leave with your prizes in the form of three special tarot cards(which are strangely optional secrets here, instead of being something you can encounter on the main path.)
Regardless, the gameplay offers a good amount of variety(including plenty of traps to avoid, bouncepads to jump on and even a boat for easy traversal around the outside areas of the swamp), texturing and lighting are done to the absolute best of the engine's capabilities(of course leading to a very convincing atmosphere on the whole) and custom objects utilized here, fit their respective environment very convincingly.
Overall, this is simply a classic release that just has to be played through for the sheer amount of creativity on offer alone. And I can recommend this to anyone looking for a quick yet brilliant level to play." - Ceamonks890 (31-Aug-2014)
"It has been a while since I have played this custom level,
but I remember being in love with this custom level,
especially for a shooter type pf level!For a tomb raider 2
level, the atmosphere actually felt real. You actually
picture Lara raiding an abandoned house in the middle of the
swamp. The Vagrant used the right amount of enemies for this
shooter type of level. The author has improved on the
textures and lighting a LOT! The gameplay was amazing! I
played this custom level for a long time and I never got off
my computer! When it comes to puzzles, the author gets very
creative. Overall, this is the best tomb raider 2 custom
level I have ever played! In my opinion, I recommend this
level. Nice job! :)" - MegaGamer (23-Mar-2014)
"This is the first custom Tomb Raider 2 game that I play and I was really expecting to see some TR2 mechanics in play as it's my favourite TR in the series. I was not disappointed. Even if the boat acts more as a cameo that central gameplay thing, it was really nice to see it in these beautiful swamps. Anyway the bouncepads and flamethrowers were very welcome to add to this TR2 feeling. But where the feeling of being in TR2 was the most important was in the choice of textures that seemed really TR2-ish. I kept wondering during all my play were the author found these textures and objects that fitted so nicely together. This big manor really has a Maria Doria mood. Texturing in itself was correct with a few flaws here and there.
The game is not entirely straightforward but lakes some clever and intelligent level design. While it's quite fun to play, it's more of a succession of rooms than a complex environment that pushes you to go further to discover the next tricks the builder had come up with. Here we got some nice traps like the spikes in the cracked floor but a lot are just fillers.
Anyway it's quite impressive to see this environment and what the TR2 engine is able to show. But I suffered a lot of clipping in the cemetery zone (worth to see anyway !) making the enemy disappear. It did not help to kill them. I think that the number of complex statics meshs from TR5 with lots of polygons (on a TR2 point of view) really did not help. Also the disappearing textures made holes appears were other textures were visible and that make me think that the unofficial level editor seems to build rooms in a weird way. To continue with bugs I experienced a sound bug with the boat that was very noisy.
I'd recommand to everyone to install this level and play at least the beginning as The Vagrant demonstrates a lot of technical abilities. In a world ruled by TRLE, it has surely not been easy to make a custom wad and set of textures for this level neither to build with Dxtre3D. Honestly if The Vagrant could come back with a level a bit more elaborated in term of leveldesign, I'd love him.
Found 3 secrets in about one hour. Recommended for every TR2 nostalgic player." - TimJ (17-Mar-2014)
"This is the first custom level I have ever played and I want to give it the honour it deserves, which seems to be neglected lately, but to that later. Gameplay & Puzzles: This level doesn't contain the gameplay that is full of puzzles and great tasks, but it's more exploration, with few riddles that are celebrating TR 2: The boat ride, the springpads and the spike walls. The way to the finish is very well planned. I didn't like to shoot some enemies with the harpoon gun, but soon the normal weapons are findable, and I think that to run around the manor was a bit too much. Enemies, Objects & Secrets: Ahh, those TR 2 enemies are really the best of all, best shot with the Uzis, and there are plenty of those and perfectly placed. They look a bit different in this level which is another good thing. The objects are different too and I still can't imagine how difficult it is to build those objects without the regular object building programs (I even can't do it in TR4 and use given objects instead). The three secrets are great, tarot cards one can collect, and not easy to find. Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: This simply blew me away. The Vagrant has done a marvellous job in creating the creepy atmosphere, it is simply perfect! The swamps, the manor, the graveyard, so many locations and so far above the capabilities of the early official levels, it's unbelievable. I have nothing to say anymore... Lighting & Textures: While the lighting in a handful of rooms could be slightly better, I can forgive that since it's so great in others and the texturing is near perfect. They are all new and absolutely gorgeous. Total: 9,25/10, but: I added two points because I think that rating this level was handled unfair by some of the previous reviews, they are all saying about the same and rated it below 9 right through. Not that I think the rating below 9 is unfair, but to me it nearly seems like that they formed an alliance to let this level look bad! I am really a fan of this level (because it introduced me to TRLE) and thus I want to help it out a bit: Total 9,75/10, a masterpiece." - Rambo (21-Sep-2013)
"These days I felt a kind of nostalgia and I started playing levels from older engines. Some of them are really good. Like this one. Sure the limited engine has many drawbacks. The textures are not beautiful and the lighting is poor. I can't blame the builder for this. That's the engine he used. Thegameplay was good, but sometimes I felt I was not doing many things. Also, few objects didn't work very right. Anyway, for TR2 this is fantastic. I had good time playing it.If the builder would tested more, it could become better." - Rainmaker (22-Jul-2013)
"Cape Fear is a beautifully created level featuring a big old mansion with really believable architecture, surrounded by an eerie swamp. It's a captivating environment enhanced by some clever use of custom objects and dual layer texturing. It features good exploration, very spooky and effective lighting and gameplay that 'makes sense'. Regular use of cameras for clues provides good support. I love the use of the bounce pads, the speed boat and various classic TR2 enemies as well as the custom 'bad girl' enemies. The supply of medipacs is good - leaving you on the edge of your seat as to whether you will have enough, and just in time one is given. The three secrets appear to be the 'objects of desire' that
Lara came here for, so it seemed a little odd to have them as secrets rather than part of the regular gameplay, so be sure to secure them in your backpack before you finish. Cape Fear is a fine example of what really can be done with the good old TR2 engine. Even with the limitations of the older engine, this level has a great feel and always remains interesting. And all the more remarkable that this
was made in late 2003, and still looks good. It was a real pleasure to play this classic." - EssGee (13-Jan-2013)
"ok, so at first the images of the swamp area brought me to
this level but i never thought that most of the level was
inside the big house in the middle, im not sure if this was
only happening to me but some textures were appearing and
disappearing, there was a room where 2 rolling balls were
falling and i jumped back to the previous room and then
returned up where the rolling balls came but there was
nothing, just some bad applied textures showing images of
lara in the middle of the caves, so that is not natural,
this builder could have used better textures but they were
ok considering the engine i cant complain, there were some
buggy traps going through the walls and killing lara so that
wasnt nice either, but i really like this level there were a
lot of enemies to kill and traps , it took me 30 minuts to
complete the level and it's very nice i recommend it , for
some reason i didnt want to leave this adventure and finish.
very well done, i wish this builder would continue building
but it seems that he hasnt done it for 5 or 7 years, anyway
very good work!" - Mary (23-Jul-2012)
"A very nice work. Thank God, there are some builders who make really good works for older TR engines. This is one of them. Good gameplay and adventuring as you have to shoot many enemies, survive through traps and ride a boat. I found some spiky walls which were a little buggy, but that's not a big deal. I think the author could use some better textures in some rooms. They don't seem too good. The majority of the textures are nice, but some of them are too low resolution. I wish the builder would add more and harder puzzles. This level is more a shooting level. I enjoyed the most part of it and it is one of the greatest levels made by DxTre3d. I haven't play any other levels of this author, but I will try to. As a lover of old classic TR games, I recomend this one." - AdamR (22-May-2012)
"This is a great examble of what can be done with TR2. I know that the graphics are bad, but it really worths playing. Even there are no real puzzles in the level, it has nice gmeplay. Personaly, I'd rather solve some puzzles and shoot less of those bothering enemies. The lighting is good. It has some drawbacks, but not many. The textures sometimes don't seem so good. There are lots of textures which are too "ugly". There re wys to use higher definition textures in a TR2 level. Anyway, it is pretty enjoyable and you will have fun playing this one, if you can stand the old type graphics." - Ekrixi (16-May-2012)
"This is a very nice and interesting level. It looks very nice, even if it is for TR2. Although, I found some places which needs fixxing. Textures are well placed, but some of them are a bit "ugly" and strange. TR2 can support higher resolution textures than these ones. The scenery around the lake is awesome. The lighting is mostly well constructed, with just few problems at some insignificant spots. This level could be more interesting if it had some puzzles. Mostly you just kill enemies and avoid traps. The best TR2 level in the site." - DatoDavid (27-Apr-2012)
"This is surely the best TR2 level in the site. It is half an hour of classic TR2 gameplay. Although I think it could be better used at some parts. Traps are well placed, except few spiky walls which are a bit buggy. I enjoyed the giant jump sectors, as I loved them in TR2. Texturing is nice, but some walls seem kinda strange. I found a water room which the textures of the surface were not visible from underwater. As for the lighting... It creates a good atmosphere. By apllying few corrections in lighting in some rooms, the level will be excellent." - Sarikman (09-Dec-2011)
"Well, first of all, I am a big fan of TR2, and I have pretty high standards for TR2 custom levels, especially when in comes to the gameplay. As you can all see, my review marks for this level are very high, meaning that all my high standards are more than satisfied here. This level is labeled as a "Shooter", which is quite appropriate, since you have to kill maybe 50 enemies or so, even if you ignore fishes, which can also be killed. However, since TR2 original game has a lot of action and shooting, this custom level can be labeled as "Normal TR2" (which is a compliment, and not a downside). I immensely enjoyed playing this level. Everything is built extraordinary well, considering that the level is built with unofficial editor and TR2 engine, which has somewhat less to offer compared with TR3, TR4 or TR5 engine. The swamp area is built marvelously, the mansion also, the caves are maybe a bit "blocky" but that is due to TR2 engine, and the graveyard was a master piece, literally a cherry on top of the cake. Lighting is perfect, textures are low-resolution TR2 textures, applied almost perfect, with minor mistakes (cracks or not correctly rotated) but you have to have an eye of an eagle to notice that. Objects, including furniture, pillars and decorations, are placed perfectly, with taste and balance. Atmosphere is fantastic, with nice sounds from TR2, with cameras that show you what you have just opened and with very nice architecture. There are a lot of enemies, starting with fishes, spiders, dogs, baddies with flame-throwers, goons with shotguns, and some bad ladies with uzis, all of them remade and retextured. There are some traps also, some of them resembling the original TR2, some of them much easier than the original traps in TR2, so you will probably have no problems to go through all of them. Puzzles are not too easy, but also, not too hard, so there is something I appreciate most in custom level building: BALANCE. You will have enough of health and ammo supplies to deal with all the hazards and enemies on this level. The builder used bounce pads, the boat and spikes to spice things up, and a lot of custom objects to make things looking so much better. And now, the gameplay: it is absolutely breath taking! You go through this level smoothly, and it is virtually impossible to get stuck somewhere. You will always know where to go and what to do, and sometimes you will have a choice: whether to take a shorter and easier route or a harder and longer one which will reward you with some nice weapon or a secret. The overall impression after playing this game is: I am absolutely amazed at this level, and very sad because I had to finish it... The builder, for some reason, stopped building levels, and I am very sorry because of that. It is obvious that he has a huge talent and excellent ideas, and it would be a huge loss for the whole community, to lose this great potential. So, Vagrant, please, come back from retirement, and make us, hard-core TR2 fans, happy... Great level, recommended to everyone, even to beginners. I have never seen a more player-friendly TR2 level in my life, not even in the original release. A must-play, definitely!" - Nina Croft (17-May-2011)
"I am deeply impressed of the builder's work. Well, if it was a
TR4 level, maybe this wouldn't get that marks, but to build
all these objects, textures and enemies with the unofficial
editor is highly remarkable. Gameplay was first class too with
the unbelievable fun bounce pads, the spike traps (no single
room in the original TR2 was built that nicely with spike
traps) and of couse tons of enemies. Despite of just 40
minutes of gameplay I shot around 50 enemies, and all these
were both nicely placed and rebuilt. The female goons were
top. Yes, of course, many enemies and objects just turned
invisible if you go wide away, but renember that all TR2
levels have this problem and it's not the fault of the author.
I think this will be a classic and should be missed by no-one.
Simply fantastic." - manarch2 (17-Dec-2010)
"Yes, it is hands down the best TR2 level out there, primarily because Kevin simply has the 'touch' to create a believable and authentic atmosphere. You will really feel like being there - in those Louisiana swamps, with the spooky manor set right in the middle of it. It does play like a shooter, as you explore from one great room to the next and each time you get a few more enemies to kill, but they drop plenty of pickups, so it is never really very challenging - at least if you manage to kill those devious flamethrower guys from a safe distance. Further on a few moving spike walls and other traps are added for good measure and a few bouncing pads always add to the fun. Make sure you do not miss out on the last secret, as the cemetary area is great and the slaughter is epic. 45 minutes of a marvellous adventure. Not to be missed!" - MichaelP (19-Sep-2010)
"Weeee!!!! This was my very first unofficial custom level! I am so happy Michael added these levels to TRLE.net so that we could play awesome levels such as this one!! The atmosphere was just perfect, even if the water was unnaturally clean and lovely! The trees, lily pads, cottontails and moss really made Cape Fear look like a Louisiana bayou. The only thing missing were the aligators! But that's ok. The rundown mansion was superb with the broken floorboards and dusty old drapes, I could just smell the oldness. I also thought the old cemetary was perfection. The level's gameplay consisted of lots of baddies to shoot and a superb set of traps reminiscent of the TR2 The Great Wall. I did have a hard time getting past Lara looking like a bimbo, but to each his or her own. The only reason this level does not get a 10 from me on gameplay is that I would have liked to see a few more puzzles thrown in for difficulty, but the author does have it listed as a shooter, and the level definitely excels as that. Can't wait to play another Vagrant level!!" - Shandroid (18-Sep-2010)
"Several technical mistakes were commited, e.g. invisible M16 ammo in the inventory or an invisible object in the library, but it is still the best TR2 custom I've ever seen, with its texturing and lighting applied so brilliantly they would be outstanding even if it was TR4 custom. And creaky sound of door opening fits the swamp gloom perfectly. There is no typical puzzles, but it is finding the best way to kill an enemy what puzzles a player. I liked the way Lara obtains pistols very much. A catapult surprised me in the middle of the fight - for the first time in my life I saw Lara being shot several times in midair. The roof, with its set of traps and enemies, is a fantastic place. The farther I was going, the wider my eyes were opening. Not because I was aware of perfectly placed enemies, but because of feeling the atmosphere, which is simply stunning. I only didn't like spikes coming out of the walls. It's annoying idea! I assume The Vagrant knew what it will look like ingame. NOTE: The author claims it's an easy level, but in fact the main route switches are hidden better than the secret. I was searching for the first of them for at about 20 minutes, and spent another 20 minutes looking for the another one. Either the gloom covering them is too dense, or I have problems with eyes. I don't know, so I don't rate this element. SUMMARY: Once upon a time I played an epic shooter called "BLOOD". And Cape Fear is its Tomb Raider equivalent. It busts a myth claiming there can be no good shooter with Lara Croft. It proves even a level concentrated on killing the enemies can be considered a true raid, full of pressure, awareness and thrill. After the uniqueness this game showed me, I don't understand why it didn't get into the Hall of Fame. IMO it should. Must play for every person who likes well done shooters. Obligatory for "Blood" fans. And I think even some of the players who aren't familiar with shooters may come to like these games after playing "Cape Fear", so I recommend this level to them as well." - DJ Full (15-Sep-2010)
"Normally, I would not touch a 'Shooter' level with a ten-foot pole - but I really wanted to try out a TR2/3 custom level, and I had heard great things about Cape Fear, so I decided to give it a shot. I wasn't disappointed - this level is amazing. The gameplay is mostly very good (except for the hordes of enemies - but what else can you expect from a Shooter?) - lots of exploration as well as fun traps, plus a joyride in a motorboat, which is one of my favourite vehicles from the original games. I also loved the bouncepads (another of my favourite features), even though my poor Lara bounced to her death more often than not. I liked the use of multiple optional areas which include an homage to TR2's The Great Wall and a huge cemetery at the end. Though there are no puzzles, I didn't really miss them.
The enemies do become a little too much at times - I would run out of ammo almost as soon as I found it. I ran across a useful feature though: in some rooms, the pickups dropped by the enemies respawn infinitely if you save and reload! I don't know if this was a bug or an intentional feature. And speaking of enemies dropping pickups: apparently even the dogs in this level have taken to carrying around flares or medipacks for Lara's benefit!
The look of this level is very good, especially considering the limitations of the TR2 engine. The dilapidated old manor is beautiful by any standards, and I could have spent hours just wandering around in it, soaking up the atmosphere. The attention to detail is fantastic, from the leaves floating on the water to the cheesy magazines lying on the manor floor (left there by the thugs, no doubt). The only thing I wondered at was the lack of a horizon. Also, I found Lara's outfit to be in poor taste - I kept expecting her to have a wardrobe malfunction.
Overall: A great level in terms of looks and atmosphere - but make sure you're in a trigger-happy mood before you try out this one." - Mytly (07-Sep-2010)
"I decided to play and review this level as I needed a break from the back to back venice back to basics levels I have been playing over the last few months. Produced using the unofficial editor & the Tomb Raider II engine it was a real breath of fresh air and reminded me just how smooth the old TR2 engine was, and how effective the enimies, objects and sounds from the game were.
When you consider that the texturing here is all low resolution TR2 textures, the standard of what has been produced here is pretty incredible (even more so when you consider when it was produced). In terms of visual appearance this level easily stands up to some of the more advanced productions today, and one could argue that the way the TR2 engine renders distance makes this level arguably more atompsheric and dark.
The gameplay is mostly straight forward however they are number of tricky traps and well hidden levers to play with. It's been so long since I've played a level with a speed-boat in too, so that was a very welcome addition. Pickups and medi-packs are generous so there shouldnt be anything here that will stop the non-advanced player, though I did find some of the spike wall sections tricky and couldnt complete them without taking sigificant damage to Lara's health.
As a level it holds together really well, and at the end of my hour and 30 minutes of gameplay I really was left wanting more. I think that's the highest compliment I can pay of any custom level.
Stiggy." - TheStig (27-Jun-2010)
"Great level to have a go at it, even if it is made with the unofficial editor it oozes atmosphere. Don't expect it to be perfect, as it was made in 2003 but still it can hold its own. There are 3 secrets to be found and try to find them as that adds a little extra to the game-play. Don't think it is a walk in the park as there are nasty enemies to battle, and pick up the goodies they do leave behind, it for sure will help you to stay alive. Nice use of the boat and the jumping pads, I still love those although they are sometimes a bit hard to jump from." - Gerty (25-May-2010)
"A very atmospheric setting and an interesting progression make this level really worthwhile to be experienced. Exploration , use of a boat, bounce pads, handling of the different weapons acquired along the way to deal with the enemies , various gunmen , dogs , sharks , spiders , traps to deal with , plus as some part of the level offers a choice to the player , it has a good replay value , also to find all pickups and secrets. The new textures are really good. Despite a couple of bugs (invisible blocks), a recommended immerging level that flows very well." - eRIC (11-May-2010)
"A special favorite, so don't expect impartiality. Maybe to understand this regard, one had to play this back in the early days, but I think it holds up well to modern levels. I love the way the swamp looks with its luminous TR lighting effects, everything overgrown with trees, vines, hanging moss, and leaf pads floating on water. Lara gets the harpoon gun to battle obnoxious catfish. Then she frees the boat to scoot it up over a ramp. It is a tough battle for Lara to get pistols at the start, and the difficulty adds to the appreciation of the adventure. In the decaying mansion there is a motley crew of tough opponents, including shotgun boss and flamethrower guy. It's a relief when Lara gets a few shotgun shells or a small medipack. The rusted gates open with creaking hinges, good sound effects. The vintage magazines on the floor suggest there isn't any mail service to this antebellum mansion. The three secrets are well done. To get the last secret, the tarot Death card, there is a finale in a swamp cemetery that is personified atmospheric decay and corruption. The graveyard is protected by a horde of baddies and their pet giant spiders. The level is packed near the limits of TR2 so that there are glitches. It sometimes crashes near the beginning, though once Lara has gotten many pickups, to lower the object count, the crashes abate, even when she is back outside in the tangled swamp. And in the cemetery there are so many enemies that they, and the spikes, flash in and out of visibility. Maybe all this should have been split into two separate levels, but I don't find any problem playing it as it is. Remarkable for its design work." - dmdibl (13-Apr-2010)
"Having enjoyed "Uncle Silas" I always wanted to explore more of The Vagrant's pre-TR4 levels. Again I was very impressed. The atmosphere of the level, including the swamps, mansion, cemetery etc. were unlike anything I have seen before in a custom level. The map was laid out really well and it was fun to explore, even though it was quite linear. As you progress, you'll find new areas opening up all the time and reconnecting to places you've been. The level had a nice flow to it. Gameplay consisted mostly of shooting up bad guys, avoiding traps, boating around and opening up doors. I'm not usually a big fan of shooters but this level was fun. At first you're low on supplies but by the end of the level there are plenty of guns and medipacks. There's a variety of baddies, some with flamethrowers, and quite a few dogs running around. I would have liked a boss, or at least an end artifact, a reason for coming to this place and killing all these people. I found one secret, a Tarot card which was clever. Custom objects and textures were very nice and distinctive, as I've come to expect from The Vagrant. It is a very original setting. I didn't have any sound but I may have installed the level incorrectly, not sure about that. Cameras were few but I did enjoy the one TR2 zoom out camera that was used to good effect. Lighting was appropriate but not terribly dynamic, and texturing was always excellent. If you like creepy, atmospheric levels and are okay with fairly straightforward shoot-em-up gameplay, this one is for you. I thoroughly enjoyed my 45 minute adventure here." - Chronicles5 (12-Apr-2010)
"Perhaps I was expecting rather too much,given its esteemed reputation; but I thought this adventure wasn't a patch on Uncle Silas and seemed to consist entirely of running from room to room,shooting every living thing into extinction.Aside from a sneakily hidden underwater lever at the start,it was all very sequential and linear and over far sooner than I expected.Admittedly there was a large(entirely optional) area containing a secret at the end of the level;but once I had found my way in and slaughtered everybody inside,I couldn't get out again without causing the level to crash. Best not to give this a go for the gameplay,then.Instead,wallow in the atmosphere of the old and rotting house in the everglades;and wonder at how the TR2 Engine could possibly be used to build something so visually close to resembling a product of the NGLE!A work of art,no doubt about it;but a great level in its own right? Not really.Ultimately,it's little more than a beautiful looking Shooter." - Orbit Dream (02-Mar-2010)
"No doubt that this level would be the best unofficial custom level ever, but the gameplay is not my cup of tea. Tons of enemies. Well I liked some parts of the level but they were lots of enemies overally. And the boat's sound is horrible. But the visuals are pretty amazing, and this is the TR2 engine only. Hats off." - rtrger (28-Feb-2010)
"Considering the release dates I was apparently wrong about a
detail in my Uncle Silas review, in that that was apparently
the origin of the texture set that was used to make this
visual masterpiece, as opposed to the other way around. The
detailing is way beyond almost all other TR2 custom levels
I've played, and matches up to some of the higher tier TRLE
levels, even with the TR2 limitations like the lack of colored lighting and fog. The level is based around a very
atmospheric swamp and house, including outlying areas (such
as a cemetary). This is very well realised with a nice
structure (that opens up as you go on until it interlinks a
lot) and a variety of different areas. The only visual
problems are a couple of areas with slightly drab lighting.
The boat also sounds quite strange to the point of being
Gameplay doesn't quite hold up to the visuals, it flows well
and makes some good use of traps, but a lot of it is
composed of switches with little in the way of puzzles
(beyond navigation ones). You interestingly start with no
weapons and have to get you first kill with the Harpoon gun,
this leads to the issue that you could get yourself
completely stuck if you're wasteful, but there's enough. I
also thought the enemies were a bit overused; the mood is
lowered a bit when four thugs jump out in almost every room,
however, there are some very nice enemy usages as well that
lead to some jump moments. One thing to note is that quite a
bit of the level is optional, and it might be worth checking
the walkthrough when you're done (especially if you've
missed a secret or two, but one missable area has none) as
there are at least two quite substantial sections (including
one of the best looking parts of the level) that are
possible to miss, and the level is relatively short anyway.
Overall it's a must play." - Mman (20-Feb-2010)
"I don't really review levels but I had to review Cape fear, this has to be one of the best Custom levels I have ever played. Its atmosphere is so rich that it inspired me to do TR4 gold Fading light by just looking at the screencaps! (I had not played this until after completing my own level) If this level does have a downside, it is that I didn't know the story, therefore I never knew why Lara entered this amazing plantation in the first place." - Cowboy (09-Jan-2010)
"Well, 1000 is just a number in the end, but somehow we attach more importance to these big, round milestone numbers, so why not pick a personal favourite for the thousandth review? Kevin somehow manages to conjure up unique (for the TR world anyway), extremely atmospheric settings and shape them into fun games for all of us to play, thus easily making him a master of non-TR4 custom levels. The swamp house and its surroundings are most effective to the last detail (be it Tarot cards for secrets, a graveyard secret area, excellent use of colour and contrast with the gray building and lush greenery, the picturesque view from the roof of this floating manor) and seems almost futile to explain why this all works so well, you just have to see for yourself. You may feel wary starting this unarmed and then having to struggle with only having the harpoon gun for a while, but I'd urge you to dive in those shark and catfish infested waters anyway, as this is one of the most enjoyable TR experiences to be had. Being a TR2 level, it may seem that the gameplay options would be rather limited, and while most of it is of the shooter variety when all is said and done - the author manages to mix things up nicely - so you'll get to put the boat to good use, evade some traps and even use the TR2 trademark springboards for good measure. And of course your shooting strategies will vary too depending on whether you just face sharks and regular thugs, flamethrower wielding baddies or the infamous revolver machos. If I had any gripes - then it would be about a nasty issue in the secret graveyard area where I had enemies and obstacles appearing invisible (possibly due to the high amount of detailed objects like the gravestones, not to mention the enemies themselves) and thus I had to wonder more than once why Lara's life bar was getting shorter, when in fact a dog might have been gnawing at her legs, she might have been standing in spikes, and other similar situations, but I suppose this can be written down to the age of the format itself and some system-specific settings. While I can't close an eye on this completely I can at least squint taking in account that the experience may vary from system to system. But don't let that hold you back from taking up this masterpiece, that until the release of The Cowboy's "Fading Light" 5 years later was an uncontested, one of a kind experience in a setting like this. A must play!" - eTux (08-Jan-2010)