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Level: Tomb Raider Echoes Of Antarctica (Demo) back home search
Author(s): tombraiderxii
total rating:7.63 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Blue43 7 7 7 8
Christian 7 7 8 8
dmdibl 7 7 8 8
eRIC 7 7 7 8
Gerty 6 7 7 8
Jay 7 7 8 8
JesseG 7 8 9 8
Jose 6 7 7 8
manarch2 6 8 8 9
MichaelP 7 8 9 8
Miriam 7 8 8 9
Orbit Dream 8 7 8 9
Phil 8 8 8 8
Ryan 7 7 8 9
Scottie 8 8 9 8
TheStig 7 7 7 8
category averages
(16 reviews)
7.00 7.38 7.88 8.25

Reviewer's comments

"There's plenty of good old jumping going on in this level (not a demo as such, it lasted around 70 minutes for me) and some other good stuff. If only the backtracking and retracing of steps hadn't been so tedious and maybe if a couple of the jumps were fairer, I could have scored gameplay higher. As it is, it does drag out the gameplay a bit unnecessarily. But it still keeps the interest with a few torch sequences, traps (wasn't a fan of the burner/monkeyswing combination though, as it proved quite buggy) and yes, plenty of platforming. The lighting is quite colourful and calming in places (never too dark), the textures are pleasing and music is well added, but possibly overdone in places. Overall, good fun for the jumping freaks out there." - Ryan (27-Apr-2018)

"This is a full-fledged 80-minute adventure that bears no resemblance to what might be mistaken as the ostensibly "full version" released later by the builder. However, I found it to be a highly entertaining raid that evokes memories of the TR3 Arctic levels. There's a tedious route along floating platforms that must be negotiated three times in the early going, and that put something of a damper on my enthusiasm. However, the concluding segment in a surreal polar floating islands area was quite well done. The lighting was ample throughout, allowing me to see everything I needed to do, and the gameplay is easily accomplished with the help of Harry Laudie's typically excellent walkthrough. Recommended as a refreshing change of pace." - Phil (13-Jan-2014)

"Demo schlemo, oh well, I don't think we will see this finished as a full adventure because for me it felt like one already. It has it moments although it is full of jumping and of course, at the end, floating islands, never a favorite of mine. Glad the binoculars were in here as the three flares are not enough and didn't give that much light anyway. It still has some bugs though as that long monkey swing isn't up to what it should. At least the fixed camera's weren't that annoying this time around." - Gerty (05-Jul-2011)

"TombRaiderxii's Echo's of Antarctica is very well developed for a demo. A cold weather level built using the city of tinnos textures from Tomb Raider three you start outside in a series of temples before reaching a 'floating islands' complex. While I'm not all that keen on the Tomb Raider 3 textures, I have to say that the lighting is nothing short of superb. There are areas of darkness without ever being over-powering, and lovely dark blue shades throughout. The lighting, along with some of the spooky ambience tracks do a great job of building tension as you play. In terms of sound everything is well selected but I did find the last track a little wearing. All in all I got 1 hour 10 minutes of gameplay from the Echo's of Antartica. As an introduction to a larger game this look very promising indeed and I look forward to playing the finished product. Overall 7/10. Recommended. Stiggy" - TheStig (10-Jun-2011)

"Before dealing with the new release of the builder, I planned to play this one first. Overall, I found the level quite well built, and it certainly had some high moments, but I found there were too many situations I got highly enerved with this level. The first was of course the fact that you had to get up the floating platforms at least twice, I did it more often (four times) as I just wanted to get that second secret and had problems later on (a sentence later) The monkeyswing/fire jump area was just frustrating, for me the two fires always changed and I had to get in fire, use that button and do the whole jumping sequence yet once more to finally get through the now better timed fires. The ladders were sometimes to long and the starting puzzle was a bit too repetitive in my opinion. The floating part was a bit more interesting and prevented from even lower gameplay score. There were some good flybys in this level and the Tinnos-like texturing and also the lighting was really good. Some objects (like the statues with the second gem) were well done and the enemies were placed good and the new ones looked good. To sum up, a good debut, but with too many annoying parts." - manarch2 (02-Jun-2011)

"There is plenty of creativity on display in this adventure which,at 70 minutes playing time (for me),is almost too substantial to be classed as a mere Demo. Although linear from first moment to last (aside from some backtracking for a secret)it is never short on challenge,and the builder has thrown a little bit of almost everything that can be classed 'athletic' into the mix - spike gauntlets;rope swings;flame traps;platform jumps;monkey swings.It's all quite challenging,although the platforming is overused (especially toward the end) and there are very few actual thinking puzzles.Enemies are thin on the ground but decently placed;sound is well used;texturing varied and effective;while the lighting is atmospheric and even quite vibrant at times. Those in the mood for plenty (and I can hardly stress enough how much 'plenty' there is!)of jumping from platform to platform in snowy arctic chambers for at least an hour,will find this just their thing." - Orbit Dream (05-Feb-2011)

"One of the few so called Demos out there which actually fits the bill of being 'a promise of more to come'. This is a nice 45 minute Arctic/Tinnos style adventure, which could indeed well be an opening level for a larger series. It starts with a few basic but entertaining torch puzzles, has you deal with swims in deadly freezing water and plenty of ledge hopping around a river and caves before finishing things off in a floating island kind of area. I liked the ambience audio choices a lot as they helped the atmosphere and the tension of the game greatly. Enemies are not a major factor, but work ok where used (bats, wolves, skeletons). On the downside, the author's choice to use FMVs instead of flyby cameras is odd, as he got other flybys to work, so why not these? And the sort of inherent bug with the monkey swinging is rather poor gameplay / architecture design that should be re-worked in a future release (in case that is planned). Also, some of the fixed cameras worked fine and served a good effect, but some were really just plain annoying. But those are all fairly minor issue in an otherwise very pleasant raid." - MichaelP (04-Feb-2011)

"Quite a long demo, but we shall not complain , as there is different stages in it , an atmospheric first part in intricate temple ruins , a long section which is my less favourite with some tedious redoings to get the secrets and pass the fire emitters while monkeyswinging. Then a floating island section with some good platform jumping. The fixed cameras were not annoying, at the difference of some background music. Good settings , and if the level is not completely enjoyable , it has its moments , has a dose of originality , and is technically well built." - eRIC (01-Nov-2010)

"Usually when you see the word "demo" you think of an underwhelming, simple project that barely counts as a level. This demo is far from that, however. A solid 47-minute adventure took me through a sort of TR3 Antarctica style level with Lara teleporting all sorts of places, although some areas are quite surreal, so brace yourself for anything. I do wish to warn the builder from using fmv movies if possible, because they are not as smooth going as in-game cutscenes, and one of the fmv movies refused to load for me until I got there a third time (I would simply see a black screen and could not skip the movie). There is also the thin-ledge bug: if you grab a thin ledge, and a monkeyswing is above you, Lara appears on the monkeyswing instead (probably because the two share the same stateID). Perhaps it is not a well known bug, but the way the author build the large monkeyswing sequence meant that the bug occurred almost anytime I tried to drop from the ceiling to a ledge below. That aside, the rest of the gameplay was decent, although perhaps too much of it was jumping from one transparent platform to the next. Some of these platforms were nearly invisible, and for some reason my flares did not light them up well. At least the binoculars worked pretty well. The areas look very nice and spooky, and those moving skeletons sure added to the effect. The music loops were also well chosen, but I will admit one of the tracks was starting to creep me out (the one that plays as you explore the river inside). It is a solid adventure, especially for a demo, so I recommend it for most players. If the builder can work out some of the kinks, the final result should be amazing." - SSJ6Wolf (12-Sep-2010)

"This is a very nice demo level with interesting visuals, good-looking texturing and lighting. I would have rated the game play higher, if it hadn't been for the monkey bars/ burners area, where there is one jump that is extremely frustrating. I thought about abandoning the game right there. Definitely not for beginners and less experienced players (like me). Other than that it was actually pretty nice. The atmosphere rating took a hit with the sound department, as the constant music can get a bit irritating in some areas but is very nice in others. The colorful lighting is surreal, but that is of course what the builder intended. I ran into the FMV bug too, but my screen came back after a little darkness, so at least I didn't have the problems others reported in the stuck level thread. I'm looking forward to the full release and hope the monkey bar area with the diagonal jump will be made a bit more user friendly and a few smaller bugs get fixed. This demo is definitely worth a look." - Blue43 (01-Sep-2010)

"So I must already say, some level builder would count themselves happy if in her ready level everything functioned so well. Since although this level is "only" a demo, have hardly struck a little bit what I would have to criticise. Some of the doors have no sound. And it is strange a little bit if one jumps back in the ceiling monkey swing route with 4 Burnern over and over again to the ceiling if one drops himself and wants to stick to the edges of the niches. But then this is no mistake, because the level builder wants, that the player jumps from niche to niche. In this respect this place is built very well. Generally the level looks first-class. Above all some of the Fixcams offer great views. Actually, I am not necessarily a friend of such Fixcams because they are very often badly placed. But here it fits very well. A good idea are the Teleporter. Thus one reaches to different areas. Up to the small problems with the doors was the sound brilliant. Particularly well I have liked the music. I am curious already very much on the final result. This becomes certainly a really good level." - Scottie (29-Aug-2010)

"Reviewing a demo always includes giving some hints to the author. First of all: I entered the scenery and I was absolutely convinced by the cold an icy atmosphere. Now, having finished it, I'm still convinced, a great adventure is being built there. The background sound we have to hear especially in the hall where we find the 1st crystal is not my favorite one. But that is not the question here: it creates an outstanding atmosphere in addition to lightning and colors. Gameplay and puzzles are a bit too easy. The hint concerning the crates to be lit in the beginning is unnecessary. Some camera-views, especially when Lara has to do some monkeyswing- tasks, should be changed in the release. Some to and fro concerning gameplay could be avoided. There is still some work to do but it is a good appetizer. I'm looking forward to playing the whole game. Good work so far!" - Christian (28-Aug-2010)

"I enjoyed this demo, was able to play to the ending statistics and find both secrets. From the start I liked the Tinnos antarctic atmosphere and many of the devious ideas, particularly the floating islands puzzle section at the end. This is a good improvement over "Tomb Raider Conspiracy" in just about every aspect. Some places are rather tricky, such as the teleporter gem which is on fire, as this appears to be nothing but a red herring--as is the rope at the beginning. As this is a demo, some details need work. For instance, if Lara drops from a monkey swing to grab a ledge, she bounces right back up to the monkey swing [as explained in Jose's review]. There is a way to avoid this, if Lara swings right into the alcove where the monkey swing dips down, but still this defect unsettles players. When Lara goes for the Magnum secret it would be nice if she could swim back for it. The adverse current made damage too great, as the freezing water is a challenge. So Lara had to do the same floating ledges three times in a row. (I had a splinter embedded in my finger pad, and was sensitive to this repetition.) Overall, this looks promising for the future, as the author says he continues to work on the level set." - dmdibl (28-Aug-2010)

"I couldn't finish the level 'cause the problem I posted in "Stuck in a custom level" section in this website, but it's a demo so I think I've played enough to send some comments to the author so he pehaps take in account the problems I've got. In some areas background musics are not very aproppriate (background must be background, not a song theme). When lighting the first four grates in the first building, there's no way to get the camera returns to Lara, even with the look key so, I had to save a game and reload to restore the camera. The rope in the first building is only for decoration? In many places there are triggers to activate musics, but I think the author forgot to click the "One shot" button in the trigger dialogue box, 'cause every time you step on the tile, the sound tracks sings again and again. There is a way to go around the river and reach the ladder to continue playing without visit the room with the wolves and floating-transparent ledges so at the very end, after doing a lot of tasks you find yourself in a place where you need the teleporter gem and you haven't it. In the first secret (crossbow) the water is not cold; why? (there's enough time to reach the oopening). In the high area with the long monkeyswing and the fire emitters, when you drop to grab the ledges below, Lara magically jump and grab the monkeyswing again (I had this problem in my level too and it can be solved avoiding the pointing ledges below; a click is enough). When you pull the first floor lever behind the crawlspace you need to drop into the river and do again all the same jumps in the room with the floating ledges as you did before; players don't like to repeat the same tasks several times. Usually, I use the combination "Alt + Tab" to change between the game and my navigator, but in this case the game turns black and you need to exit if you want to show another window. In the area where the second teleporter gem is, there is a wolf running/trapped like fool over the raised block in the small room before you lower the block (the wolf could be triggered later). And finally, everybody can see my post in the "Stuck" section to see why for me was impossible to finish this demo. If the following levels are like this I expect a lot of work after releasing the whole adventure." - Jose (27-Aug-2010)

"First impressions of this demo were favourable - an imposing, beautifully lit arctic setting, with some rather haunting background music. This is quite long compared to most demo levels, being the first section of a forthcoming multi-part game. There's torch work to accomplish, a lot of climbing and monkey swinging, wolves, bats and skeletons to deal with and that deadly freezing water that always adds a realistic touch to an Antarctic level. A series of transporters whisk Lara away to ever more interesting areas, my favourite being a Floating Islands-type setting with some rather nice, fluid gameplay. From the stats screen, there are two secrets to be found, both of which I managed to avoid -I've got a real talent that way. As the builder states in the readme, there are issues that require addressing before the final version is released (not least of which is the very strange patchwork looking graphics after two of the transporter jumps, which luckily returned to normal on reloading), but it does an excellent job of whetting the appetite for the finished product. Suitably tweaked, this could be a very good game indeed and I'm certainly looking forward to it." - Jay (27-Aug-2010)

"Here we have a Magic Antartica level. The first room looked breathtaking, the music was correctly adapted and the lighting looked fantastic. The next room, the one with lava and fire, diden't loked very well. That's the first thing I've noticed. There are very dark places, and we don't have enough flares so at the end of the level I had to use the pistols. Moreover, there are rooms where lara looks weird, for example, in a green room, lara looked red. I Think the builder wanted to create a magical atmosphere, but he/she hadn't found the best way to reach this objective. On the other hand, I found some atractive rooms, like the one with the river and the next one where the flouating platforms where. I believe that cameras were sometimes irritating. For example, I felt unconfortable at the monkey which was in the river room. However, most of them looked great. I can't say the same about sound. The switches and the doors dindn't make any sound. The background music sounding all time was tiring, so I turned it off. Textures created such a good enviroment. Transparent textures looked fine, I can say again the world magical. On the other hand, paltforms looked sometimes unrealistic and difficult. We can see this in the part where you have just used the teleporter gem, there are a few floating islands and small dark platforms in a dark horizon. For unrealistic I also mean the two platforms in the last room which where floating. As I said, it might be magic. Finally, Secrets were funny and quite well made, as well as enemies. We can say also that the platforms where a little repetitive, and there weren't challenging and logical puzzles. I also found some bugs, but I don't think they where very important." - Miriam (27-Aug-2010)
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