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Level: Tomb Raider: The Wolf 3 back home search
Author(s): JesseG
total rating:8.67 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Diz 9 9 9 8
DJ Full 9 8 9 7
dmdibl 8 9 9 9
EssGee 9 9 8 8
Jay 9 10 8 8
Jorge22 10 10 9 9
manarch2 9 9 8 8
MichaelP 9 9 8 8
Phil 10 9 9 9
Ryan 9 9 9 8
Sarikman 9 9 8 7
Scottie 9 9 8 9
TheStig 9 9 8 7
category averages
(13 reviews)
9.08 9.08 8.46 8.08

Reviewer's comments

"Another game I played a while ago, but my review was lost due to the site being down so my thoughts may be a little vague. Luke has now arrived in a Castle settings where more surprises await. Again, you get to utilise more of his new moves as well as drive a quad bike and accomplish a few timed runs and block puzzles. The setting seems a little functional rather than awesome overall, but still solidly crafted. Then it's onwards to the Strabo Starship for the second part playing as Lara. Enemies really make their presence known in this section, so you'll be glad of all the ammo you've accumulated thus far, and the quad bike journey in this section is trickier than the last." - Ryan (16-Jul-2017)

"The main theme is burnt in my head forever, du- duru duru duu duru- du- duuu... Now for what was once said to be the finale and I'm glad we now heard it isn't. Bad news first, this part should be the strongest of the series so it takes on space, unfortunately a wrong scenery in a wrong engine - the preceding Russia base is smoother with cruder resources just because it uses TR5. Here, with narrow limits of TR3, the planet feels like Scotland, and much of the spaceship feels like kitchen, missing epic constructions, alien flora/fauna and flyby emphasis. The old engine also has saving/loading much slower so with much death chance gameplay dragged a bit to me - but mind I obsessively check every corner, a destructive habit I cannot help, so if you don't do that your progress might be much faster, and don't be afraid to miss some pickups because the bullets are now numerous. Tasking stands strong, mostly casual but also surprising, with little and big challenges, and some runs harder than in the former episodes so a major playing tip would be to clear them in release order to learn the moves in advance - I did, so I had no trouble beating the clock. As always Jesse gives us some unique bits involving new agility and animating objects, however the count feels low compared to the massive dose of creativity showcased in previous parts. I found one permastuck: when you have the Skull Key don't dare revisit the swamp cave. SUMMARY: The weakest in atmosphere but definitely worthy to play and conclude the pre-Pack trilogy." - DJ Full (25-Jan-2017)

"This adventure was anything but the quick raid I expected for some reason - instead it is a very elaborate and at times really rather challenging game that will keep you entertained for quite a while. My time was about 1:15 hours for each of the two levels at the end, the first one being more of a castle setting, the second playing in an Alien starship. There is so much to do here that I cannot even begin to describe it, but all the classic elements are there - block puzzles, timed runs, use of a boat and a quad (quite tricky!), but I found the biggest challenge for me to be the use of the new moves, as I never got quite used to all of them and had to look some of them up repeatedly even till near the end of the game. The animations are well done, but somehow the choice of keys to trigger them did not work out very intuitively for me. Enemies are not too many, but looking pretty cool and the two Boss fights near the end are quite challenging as well. Add to that a nice blend of 8 secrets and you really get a level set to cut your (wolf) teeth into... Play this one if you dare..." - MichaelP (25-Apr-2014)

"Lupana City Ruins (8-9-8-8): The series continues in the TR 3 engine and despite of some boundaries, it all works surprisingly smooth and doesn't really stand behind the TR 4 offerings of this series. The end of the world could be seen on quite a few places, but still, the atmosphere of this level is quite convincing with good usage of the Scotland textures, nice panoramic views (with and without the fixed cameras) and great architecture. In particular, the room connections feel rather cleverly set up making progression fairly interesting, especially at the boat ride through the mud river I never would have imagined. At some parts the game drags on a bit and could've been cut a bit shorter (especially on that long underwater passages and monkeyswings), but overall is pretty fun and much better than in the previous game in this series. I especially liked the runs against the boulders. Performing the new moves also is a decent challenge in this level and adds much to the play experience (that faster swimming animation in particular), and I didn't encounter any serious problems with them. As we got used to from the builder, there are a couple of neat object usages in this level, like lowering the bell to stop a water stream or "pushing" a pillar off with a zipline, and the secrets were really fun to find. 40 minutes.
The Strabo Starship (9-9-8-8): If level one was a bit slow for you at parts, this level will certainly be a welcome change of pace. There are multiple tasks in here, none of them overly long or complex, but put together in a very fast paced way and it doesn't take away the challenge, which even increases a bit in this level with a very challenging quadbike course, some action-packed timed runs and yet again a good dose of new moves. The only two slightly annoying things are the fairly buggy ramp where you have to drive up with the second quadbike and the corridors in front of the boss fight, as you're confronted with a lot of fairly random fire traps. While the futuristic base atmosphere works fairly well (supported by a good choice and clean application of textures) and even the outside area looks quite good, it was let down a bit by the lighting which is often too flat and also by too simplistic room design. The block which has to be dropped in the pool room, the rocket sequence and the finale are more examples of the excellent object design, and I found the secrets to be very well hidden once again, especially the one with an extensive timed run which reminded me on the one from Tinnos. 45 minutes.
Summary: After the rather disappointing Wolf Whiplash, this level is another demonstration of the great skills of the builder. I spent 1:25 hours in this level and found all secrets. All in all, this series is a very special experience you shouldn't miss by no means, as it will give you an alternate playing experience than the one you're usually expecting, especially in unofficial games. With this review, I actually have played and reviewed all of them released until now, and I couldn't have ended my expedition on a much higher note. Highly recommended!" - manarch2 (13-Mar-2014)

"Well, this levelset was quite nice. I liked the sprint jump and surely all the new moves hit a higher score in gameplay. On the other hand, the gameplay in the first level, despite you have all these moves, was a bit boring. You were always going to same places just because a new door just opened. Texturing was good, well sometimes boring, but there were no troubles. I couldn't understand sometimes in the second level, I didn't understand completely the texturing or the architecture. Alhtough, they are great levels. The enemies look very good, but sometimes they appear in front of you from nowhere, for examble, when you are getting in Puna's guy room, it is empty, but suddenly two gun men are appearing behind you. Tony's fight was exciting. You don't have enough space to avoid his fires and sometimes this is annoying, but he can be easily defeated. There were some lighting probles in rooms's connection, but they were not many. The lighting was succesively placed, but it was monotonous. Actually, there were few rooms with really good lighting. The secrets were not hard to find. The quad bike was a good part of the level, but I don't think it fits in a spaceship, I mean what do the alliens need that old bike, if they have advanced technology? I didn't like the falls with the bike. It supposed you are in space and when you fall with the bike, you find water. Well, I think the author did it in order you would die, but it would better if he did it by other way. Surelly it is a very nice game and if you would like to play something different, it is a good choice." - Sarikman (23-Nov-2011)

"The Wolf 3 hasnít picked up many reviews, and while I donít think that's a bad thing, it is indicative of the level of difficulty & complexity that you'll find here. You'll need some time to sit-down and really get into this. Built using the TR3 engine (which drives me to distraction due to it's lack of widescreen support!!!), you start off on an alien planet populated by wolf-man tribes people before hitching a ride to a star-ship to go and rescue Lara. I haven't played parts 1 or 2 of this adventure so I'll admit I'm probably not best placed to judge the story, but I picked up enough from the read-me to understand who Luke was, and his & Lara's current situation. The overall difficulty of this is quite high, and it's definitely a level that you'll probably want to play with the walk-through guide in tandem. Sometimes the resolution to problems are not always obvious, and I had to refer it to it a couple of times to make progress. Luke's move's are also quite different and I forgot on at-least two occasions that he can 'sprint swim'...usually remembering about half an hour or so later!!! I've only awarded a 7 for texturing & lighting, because I think that some sections needed a little bit more care. The architecture can be a bit hit & miss, though the levels themselves are very well structured and laid-out. The horizon seemed to be a bit glitchy on the first level too, occasionally encroaching on the environment when using the look key at higher levels (I managed to reproduce on my ati-graphics desktop & nvidia graphics laptop). Sounds and music fit the game well, though I suspect many will be reaching for the mute button when it comes to jumping in the powered dingy! All in all I got 3 hours 42 minutes gaming time out of The Wolf 3. If you're not sure, download it, and invest the time. Despite a few gremlins it's well worth it and provides some fun with an alternative character in the TR universe. One final note to the author...a few others have commented on being unhappy at Luke's demise and I have to say I agree. I hope they consider 'bringing him back' in the future. Recommended." - TheStig (14-Jun-2011)

"I admit to liking The Wolf's games and this is no exception. Plus, I find it interesting how the author used the TR5, TR4 and TR3 engines - with obvious novelties - for this trio of games. Among the novelties, the new moves are obvious. They may always take some getting used to but they do add to the gameplay. This last episode consists of two parts and both are excellent gameplay wise in my opinion. They're also colourful enough, which is great when so many darkness and cold colours have been added to so many levels lately. The fights with the bosses are also challenging and rewarding. True, there were a few times when I got a little stuck but luckily there was a walkthrough available and, generally speaking, I was to blame for being so distracted or even lazy on occasion. My only complaint could be regarding the textures which could have been more carefully worked out at times, or so I thought. Not that there was anything particularly wrong with them! To cut it short, I know that Luke died in the end but there's always a way to come back when we're dealing with fiction. So, why not? I'm still eagerly expecting new and refreshing games featuring The Wolf." - Jorge22 (27-Nov-2010)

"This final episode of the Wolf series is a good adventure through two levels made for the TR3 engine. One level is set in ancient ruins and the other in an outer space/base setting. The levels are fun especially due to Jesse's trademark custom Lara animations. In a previous Wolf game, the Keys for the Lara moves were a bit unintuitive and at times hindered the gameplay, but in these levels they feel quite natural. It's fun to vault up from a hanging ledge and either be able to grab a higher climb or grab the ceiling. The sprint swim is a really neat innovation, and the sprint jump allowing a longer jump than usual is also effectively incorporated into the gameplay. The first level requires quite a bit of exploration so get your compass out so that you can get well orientated. This level also features some good usage of the rubber boat. The second level is a bit more linear, and features a couple of quadbike sections, one of which is a particularly precarious ride. Both levels feature some unusually different enemy adaptations, and the two final battles will certainly keep you on your toes. Lighting was adequate in both levels. The texturing could have been done with some more care, but nonetheless creates a convincing setting and atmosphere. Long distance views in the opening level, perhaps lessened the overall feel a bit. The levels are definitely fun to play as the gameplay is generally quite interesting and varied, especially with unique elements like the timed underwater swim-sprint runs. All in all a good conclusion to the Wolf series." - EssGee (02-Oct-2010)

"TR3 doesn't turn me on as much as it used to, because I've been spoiled by the lavish surroundings made possible by the TR4 level editor and its more recent enhancements. Still, this two-parter is a fun raid made even more challenging by the new moves documented in the builder's readme. I logged nearly five hours of net gaming time while writing a detailed walkthrough based on the builder's nearly-as-detailed notes, which is a big bang for your buck no matter how you cut it. That timed swim near the beginning completely stumped me, even after using the swimdash for an extra burst of speed, until I discovered that you need to swim around to the right after pulling the lever. Trying to flip turn consumes too much valuable time and gets you stuck in the spiked wall every time. The other sequence of note was in the second level, where you have to guide the Quad Bike around a narrow course while doing your best to keep from driving off the edge into oblivion. There's also a neat timed run for a secret in the second level. Too bad (judging from the low review count to date) more players haven't tried this one yet, as it's well worth it. High recommendations." - Phil (25-Sep-2010)

"Lupana City Ruins: The beam for the oxygen announcement is too small. Thus one can, if one dives, recognise only hard how much air one still has. The noise of the engine of the rubber dinghy is very disagreeable. Finally, there is a harpoon which one can also use if one is under water. This was a very good weapon in TR2, because with it one could defend himself very well against sharks. The time runs are quite scarcely calculated. The key combinations are sometimes bewildering a little bit. However, the level is to be played very well. He has great riddles and apart from the disagreeable noise of the engine of the motorboat a very good sound.
The Strabo Star-hip: The Quadbike makes an awful noise, so I can play only if I switch off tone. Moreover, it is difficult to steer. It makes too many swerves, hence, it is difficult to master a distance with direction changes which only a width of one Square has and, besides, a few more jumps. Luckily one needs the Quadbike seldom. Otherwise the level properly gives pleasure. Good riddles, difficult opponents, more fantastically sound and many very nicely built rooms let arise no boredom.
Result: Now and again I got from the key combinations a knot in the fingers. And if I have gone by the motorboat or the Quadbike, I had to make because of this awful sound my boxes out. But all together it has given a lot of pleasure. Pity is only which we can never again play the Wolf probably. But maybe Jesse has sometime an Understanding with us players." - Scottie (20-Sep-2010)

"Firstly, I donít like TR3 levels as a rule; I find them flat and clunky. This, however, is the exception. Once used to the new moves I found this very enjoyable (loved the swim sprint and the jump from the crawlspace!). Timed swims, timed runs, a bit of agility testing, double boss endings, baddies galore, quad bike riding, outboard inflatable, whatís not to like? Oh, one thing, the most appalling noise of the outboard motor, I ended up turning the sound off for those bits. But, never mind, the rest made up for it. I didnít find all the secrets and I was looking hard so, full marks for that! A very enjoyable romp." - Diz (16-Sep-2010)

"Lupano City Ruins: Once Iíd dealt with the initial swimming and attendant drowning a lot because I hadnít a clue where to go or what to do, I settled down to enjoy this level. Iím fond of the wolf series Ė itís something entirely different Ė and the Scottish castle textures are always good to see again. Admittedly I get confused with the Ďnewí moves from time to time but manage to get there eventually. I donít know if the cool new animation for block pushing is actually faster, but it seems so and it looks wonderful. The gameplay is clever and there are some good boulder and spike combination traps and fun use of a power boat, although from the noises it was making, I kept expecting it to break down at any moment. The Strabo Spaceship: On to very different surroundings Ė a blend of industrial and organic textures that nicely evoke an alien space craft. At first I had a lot of trouble driving the quad bikes in this section, partly because Iím a naturally awful driver, but also because the controls are so different. When I managed to acclimatise a little, I found the vehicles much more manoeuvrable than usual and enjoyed the good use they were put to. There are a couple of real boss baddies aboard this spaceship and you will really have to keep moving to stay alive. The whole game is very enjoyable with well balanced gameplay. Apparently though poor old Luke died at the end of the adventure. Does this mean no more playing as the wolf? I shall miss him." - Jay (13-Sep-2010)

"An anticipated TR3 conclusion to Luke the Wolf's adventures, again using the author's enhanced moves such as a sprint jump, and the ability to leap upward while hanging from a wall crack. Such moves have become commonplace elsewhere in TR4, but the author was among the first to develop a new series of moves, and these current ones are special to TR3. I've always liked Luke, and look forward to replaying these two levels soon, now that I've figured out the little tricks. Here the author introduces a sprint-swim move, something players have probably wished for on many occasions, such as when swimming around a corner into the jaws of a waiting great white shark. The puzzles are clever, mostly working out devious exploration, and the enemies are despicable (i.e. cats). The second level takes place in an alien cat starship. The first level features India textures and landscape, and as soon as Luke steps outside the beginning room there is opportunity to use a new move. After trying to cross sections of sinking mud unsuccessfully, Luke finally boats across what proves a canal. I enjoyed this, but felt frustrated with some of the author's deliberate decisions. Why are there paper thin walls in the end-of-world views in the buildings across from where Luke begins? At one spot Luke swims down through a trapdoor, and has to hastily negotiate a passage past a moving spike wall in order to pull an underwater lever, before rushing back out for air. I really wanted more time to look about. Then I found that players were supposed to look out window bars to see what that lever did. I had to resort to finding the answer on the forum. There should have been a breathing hole for Luke, if players are expected to pause to see what is going on. (Of course many of my complaints won't matter once there is a walk-through.) The new swim-sprint move is introduced in an unfortunate manner. Luke is sucked down in a strong current, a moving spike wall bearing down on him, and he must reach an underwater lever while a camera shows him face-on in the distance. Fighting currents and camera angles is not the time to figure out the sprint-swim move. Only later, with a timed underwater swim near the end of the level, did it become clear that the sprint swim is only good for a couple of fast strokes, but using a double tap on the jump key players can repeat the sprint swim over and over again. I had assumed the sprint swim was more like Luke or Lara's normal sprint, and it isn't. Luke also features a move I have disliked in the past. He can forward roll out of a crawlspace, then bounce off empty air to another column that is in front. This is supposed to work if players hold 'Action,' but for me it seemed to work if I kept tapping the 'down' key. This was especially true in the second level, where Luke has to get under a hanging rocket, and leap to a column that is higher than his crawlspace. This giant rocket room is one of the more frustrating places in these levels, and being uncertain whether a move works or not only adds to the irritation. The 'stand here' tiles were a puzzle. Luke stood on one for a while, then began to tap his foot impatiently. The readme file explains everything, if one can make it to the end. The bug section should have been among the first lines of that file, followed by an explanation of the new moves. That is essential information, and things such as the long back story should have come later in the file. Luke drives the quad bike in this level. One timed run was shaved close, but Luke can drive the bike right through tables to make this easier. He can stand on the tables, so they seem solid, but the quad bike goes through them. Again, I have a difference of opinion with the author on how such details should be handled, and on how important it is to maintain the illusion during play. The starship level has two climaxes, the first a confrontation with the commander in his swivel chair that fires deadly blue bolts. This is difficult, as sections of the floor are electrified, and two cat guards are also firing at Luke. But it would have helped if players knew they were supposed to conserve ammo for tough final battles. I wasted a lot of Uzi ammo because I didn't realize that it would be needed later. At the end Luke confronts (we are told) his evil half and destroys him, then gets the stone artifact to open a teleporter to allow an imprisoned Lara to escape and return to Earth. In an epilogue we read that with Luke's evil half destroyed, his body can't exist, so that Luke dies several minutes later. What sort of crap is that? We have been with Luke a long time, through all sorts of harrowing adventures. He should retire to a country estate next to Lara, and gain a reputation as an eccentric English gentleman. Maybe I expected too much of this conclusion, but I do feel the author shortchanged some of the details. Players who are using a walk-through will escape most frustrations, and be left with an entertaining and unusual adventure, so recommended for all." - dmdibl (13-Sep-2010)
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