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Level: Tomb Raider Echoes Of Antarctica - The Library back home search
Author(s): tombraiderxii
total rating:7.41 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Christian 7 7 7 8
Diz 7 7 8 7
dmdibl 7 8 9 8
Gerty 7 7 7 7
Jay 7 8 8 8
Jose 7 7 7 7
manarch2 7 7 7 8
MichaelP 8 7 6 7
MpGrill 7 7 7 8
Orbit Dream 6 8 6 9
Phil 8 8 7 8
Ryan 8 7 7 8
Scottie 7 8 7 8
sonnyd83 8 7 6 10
Steven Svorticher 8 7 8 8
TheStig 8 7 6 8
category averages
(16 reviews)
7.31 7.31 7.06 7.94

Reviewer's comments

"An incomplete adventure it is, but all hope is not lost. The missing sounds are rather a turn- off and the atmosphere was sorely lacking, not to mention having to play almost in complete silence was rather annoying. But, let's look at the bright side: it's nicely constructed, contains fairly enjoyable gameplay (although a bit of an overdose on block puzzles for my taste) and contains a couple of nice enemy attacks. It would have been better had the author been able to rectify these problems, but it's worth a look." - Ryan (11-Mar-2017)

"I recall playing this level when it was released in 2011 but have revisited it now because I did not review it at that time. Anyway, this game takes place at a mansion, not sure if it's one of Lara's or not, but it's quite an atmospheric setting, partly because of the rain and partly because it just looks very nice and well lit. It's a shame there are no sound effects other than the main audio, whatsoever, and we're told this can't be changed, but I still had to lower the rating for that reason. Getting to the gameplay, and actually, pushable block puzzles feature quite heavily here. Blocks have to be moved in a certain way so one of them can be pushed into a room below allowing access to a switch. This same puzzle is repeated several times all to access more switches. There are books which come to life, actually that's quite a nice touch, instead of the usual bats. The end goal here is to collect 3 electronic pass cards, thus allowing access to the slightly out of place tram station below the mansion. You need to do a bit of very careful climbing down here to avoid the trains, but after 1 hour of playing time, the finish trigger is reached, well technically there is none, but I know where it should be! Not a bad game despite the repetitive puzzles." - sonnyd83 (20-Aug-2015)

"Bearing strongly in mind that this is an incomplete level,it must be said that there are many problematic moments with the gameplay. Principally,an absolute obsession with protracted pushable object puzzles,which some people might find scintillating but I thought were interminably dull and created a sluggish pace which unfortunately permeated all three sections of this adventure.Climbable walls that were not marked as such,and a lot of back-and-forth retracing of steps did nothing to endear the adventure to me either.Which is a shame,as everything is beautifully constructed and superbly lit and textured.The text sequences were helpful and there were many quirky little ideas (although,if it weren't for the deadly train,the railway station would not have been recognisable as such).Even taking into account the unfinished nature of this release,it must be regarded very much as a work in progress,and players should be fore- warned." - Orbit Dream (22-Oct-2012)

"An interesting adventure here from TombraiderXii. Despite the technical issues that present themselves here (namely the lack of sounds other than the ambient music and a missing 'connected' level), it doesn't detract too heavily from gameplay. It's beautifully crafted with a dark subtle atmosphere. I guess in light of the technical problem with the sound I might have been tempted to do something really different with it, like make it black & white as it would fit the slightly strange absence of sound. I'm never keen on loosing the twin pistols, but the ammo provided here for the revolver here is at-least more than adequate to make solid progress. All in all netted 1 hour and 10 minutes from the Library. I'm glad the author chose to release this and would definitely recommend. Stiggy." - TheStig (06-May-2012)

"Indeed a pity of the lost of sounds but that is all water under the bridge. It does looses a lot of atmosphere and isn't as spooky as intended. However in my book there are two big NO, NO's one is no binoculars and the other is not having Lara's trusted guns. Although there are plenty of flares and even plenty ammo for the Revolver, I still don't like that. For the rest it is a nice adventure with a tad too much back and fro for me. The puzzles, most of them of the pushing kind, are a bit buggy so do safe before doing them." - Gerty (07-Jan-2012)

"It's a pain all that missed sounds; the game could be better with them. Another feature I didn't like was the very dark lighting for many rooms; this doesn't mean that lights are not worked; yes, they are, but I don't like ambiences so dark. Also I think there is an abuse of the pushblocks puzzles; I liked the one in the attic, but during the game players have to move a lot of blocks and this could be tedious. I saw an unnecessary backtracking with slow shimmies in the station going up, down and crossing the track, and also at the end to get the yellow key. Even so it's not a bad level and you can see the effort the builder put in it. Worth to play." - Jose (07-Aug-2011)

"I guess we should be grateful that the author decided to release this work despite its acknowledge technical issues, as we get to play through a rather enjoyable hour long adventure. But it does indeed suffer greatly from the total absence of sound effects, only partially made up for by good choices for the ambience audios. I also found it a bit too dark in places, even though generally lighting is well done and enhances the atmosphere. Gameplay is clever and fun with a few neat push block puzzles. On the other hand, these puzzles make the flow a bit slow and tedious, so that may easily put people off. Moving from the library to the train platform and then to the outside area worked well (although I could have done without the illegal slopes in the last area). I am sure this would have fit in really nicely with an overall larger adventure. Looking forward to more work from this builder in future - hopefully without any of these technical glitches." - MichaelP (24-Jul-2011)

"A good level set globally in 3 different areas: the library, the underground-catacombs and an external area. With these 3 areas a quite good history has been created, where Lara, starting from a library, has to find access to the underground to look for the book of artifacts in the catacombs and finally to find a way out. In the first area (the library) we find the most actions to be done, quite hard actions that require a lot of patience, because the purpose of this first part will be to find 3 pass of different color placed behind closed gates and the access lever downstairs. To open these you have to press several buttons that are situated "a cube higher" than Lara's height: well, we'll need 4 blocks in order to use the 4 buttons scattered around the library. The way to move these blocks has been studied very well by the author: the sequence is quite difficult, it will need also to activate a lever to raise-lower a block and then push it down to the inferior stage; for another of them (located in the attic) you must first deal with not movable blocks and use movable blocks to push a raised one down to the floor and then push it several stages down too: this is certainly the hardest puzzle but intuitable anyway. So the first part of the library just consists of moving blocks for a medium-long duration: I'd say this is a good thing but a bit irritating to the fact that action needs to be done in large spaces and distances. Once you have found a way to go down, Lara arrives in the underground basement: proceeding, Lara falls and has to go only to the sides (because in the center through the subway, Lara would be invested) and find 2 levers to access where the Holy Book is kept; overall this is a part where you have to climb walls several times to get side to side. Once done, after a little imaginable action to do, Lara will drive her motorbike not so useful at all, and find herself in an open area with some scattered down (deformed ground), raised floors and houses. Here the aim will be to find several scattered buttons, solve another puzzle of blocks in a confined space, to find a key and finish the level by driving the motorbike. This last part is nice too although a little annoying for the fact that you have to go on and back several times. So in this level we can find fairly solid puzzles, sometimes annoying, but well studied because they have no alternatives. The gameplay is pretty straightforward, right on the subway and a few more jumps in the open area, but nothing impossible; on other hand it also loses for the fact that you often have to repeat the same sequences several times. I found no secrets. We find a few enemies, some armed man, a dog and some bat- shaped open book (cute idea hehe), while as weapons we've got the magnum that works as a revolver, and the crossbow; there are no guns with unlimited ammo, but lots of magnum ammo which are enough than the few enemies. The sound changes depending on the area where Lara is: however they are incomplete because we only hear the background, but overall quite in harmony with the environment (even if the one in the library gets sickening to me after a while). Very good use of flyby luckyly, because, without them, it would have been much harder to go on. Very good textures, some parts a bit dark but they aren't exagerated. In conclusion: a solid and quite good level of medium or medium-easy difficulty. Strong points are definitely the puzzles, the objects to find and the history itself; the weak ones are the few enemies, partially the repetitive gameplay and the partial absence of sound, even if the author has correctly explained in the readme that he wasn't able to solve the problem. Anyway still a good result. I reccomend it!" - Steven Svorticher (07-Jul-2011)

"I played this level primarily for the purpose of writing a walkthrough for it. The readme and the reviews warned that this was an incomplete project with missing sounds and other possible bugs, but none of this proved much of a distraction for me. As others have noted, the level is divided into three distinct parts, the first of which has the most intensive gameplay and for me was by far the most enjoyable. The other two were rather pedestrian and straightforward, the last one requiring some backtracking that wasn't too annoying because of the relatively short distances that had to be covered. Play it for the library segment." - Phil (02-Jul-2011)

"It's difficult to score and review a level that the author admits is flawed. It must have been heartbreaking to lose all that work and be unable to release the level that the author wanted, not only in quality but in scope. However, I'm glad it was released because of the terrific potential here. OK, no sound, it does feel weird playing without any sound but it didn't detract that much from the enjoyment. Incomplete gameplay, it's obvious that this should have been part of a greater whole and I'm hoping that the author can fix it and give us the full level sometime. I found the idea of only being equipped with the revolver irritating (sorry, but I always have) mainly because I find myself shooting windows, finding there's nothing there and re-loading my last save because I don't know how much ammo I'm going to need. As it turns out there's plenty. I'm also not keen on lots of block pushing and backtracking, which this level has in abundance. On the plus side, the level is visually beautiful with a good solid feel to it, well lit, if a little dark in places, innovative use of objects (loved the flying books) and good, if rather straight-forward gameplay. If you're going to play this please read the 'Read me' and try to see past the authors mishap." - Diz (21-Jun-2011)

"An unorthodox gameconsisting of three parts. A first one takes place in a library, where a lot of (partially confusing) box-pushing has to be absolved. These boxes are needed to reach buttons far away from their origin position - a puzzle, not that easy to solve, a lot of red herings may lead the player into the wrong direction in several sections. So one raisable block-sequence is absolutly not needed to finish the game, but distracts the players mind from proceeding. A second part takes place in a subwaystation with - in my opinion - too much climbing and monkeyswinging to and fro. This to and fro-action continuous in a last section in an attic, where a last (but easy) pushblock-puzzle finally gives access to a key and the exit. Originally planned as a larger project, this segment is released now with some thechnical problems. We are missing some soundeffects, but as the builder announced in the 'readme', it wasn't possible to solve this problem. I'm glad, the author released this game anyway. It's worth playing it at all." - Christian (07-Jun-2011)

"Such a level is ordinarily a case for the virtual recycle bin. It makes only half as much fun, or better said generally no fun, if one plays a level which has absolutely no sound. Though here one can hear the background music and the thunderstorm, but this does not count. But on the other hand is this level too good to sweep him already after a few seconds from the hard disk. The block riddles in the Library look confused at first sight and not well thought-out, but afterwards it is logical and understandable. Indeed, I have not understood for what the Raisingbloecke were good. However, it could be that one needs them to find a Secret. Because I am not a secret hunter, it would be uninteresting for me. The distances for the push blocks could have been a little shorter. It can become quickly irritating if one must push a push block a felt half an hour through a room. The lighting was fine. Though sometimes it was a little bit dark, but Lara had enough Flares in the luggage. All together was it a good idea from the level builder to publish this level in spite of the not available sound, because although one can hear nothing except the background music and the thunderstorm, it has made a lot of fun." - Scottie (06-Jun-2011)

"I can hardly begin to imagine how utterly frustrating it must be to put your heart and soul into building a level, only to lose most of it due to circumstances beyond your control. Thus, I completely understand the decision to release this level in its obviously damaged state, with no sound files and the larger part of the gameplay missing. It's easy to see where this would have been a much better game in its finished state, but there's still enjoyment to be had from what remains, even though it largely revolves around block puzzles. There are no pistols, but you get a revolver and laser sight plus more than sufficient ammo to despatch the baddies and their dogs, not to mention shoot out a window or two. It was also nice to see the flying books in the library - I've not come across those for some time. Possibly my favourite part was playing with the trains in an underground station - Lara gets thoroughly squished if you let her wander on to the tracks. Flawed, but fun." - Jay (05-Jun-2011)

"This 45 minute level was, like the author claimed, only a third of the full level, but it still was playable and quite nice to explore. One could split the level in three parts; the first part was mainly big block puzzles that can get tedious as you have to pull blocks through the whole mansion nearly. The lowering/raising blocks used was good and you again can find the "pull block off ledges"- move, which is always nice. I however found there were too many blocks in the wall that can't be moved but look exactly like the pushables. There were no sounds for some animations, but lighting was pretty good. One thing I have to mention, you can get stuck if you push a block into the trapdoor, which wasn't very good as this is likely to happen. After a nice flipmap elevator use we get to a subway, where we have to climb over the rails to not be killed. I liked the idea but I found that doing the same thing again later in this level was not necessary. After revisiting the mansion we get a little bike ride and then another outside area to explore, which was rather the usual lever-search with long shimmy and crawl parts, except for another little block puzzle. Too much backtracking, I found, even though the area was relative small. Atmosphere was still good here, but I found the darkness while the block puzzle not very good. Lara finally escapes and I had fun with this level, but there also were tedious parts and the lack of some sounds is pretty bad - this kills the atmosphere." - manarch2 (05-Jun-2011)

"I think this level could have been a really big hit, but there are some things that destroyed a bigger success :( First of all...the sound...no sound?...When I started playing it I thought that I made a mistake when instaling it, but then I saw on the forums that there actualy is no sound. A big minus :( This bug destroyed the atmosphere of the level... I read that you lost the files...I know how you must felt after that :-( The second thing i didnt liked so much was the gameplay...I dont know, but it seemed a little bit confusing and I really dont like pushing boxes..thats the worst part of any level for me....There were of course some parts of fun gameplay I liked very much:D The best part is the atmosphere that was destroyed because of the sound, not completely destroyed, but it would be much better if we could hear anything more than just the background music :)...those two things are bond together ! I like dark levels and spooky parts ( flying books were cool ). This was, as I can remember, the first level that I played from trxii..and I was not dissapointed..! Nice work, and next time make backup saves of your project :D" - MpGrill (05-Jun-2011)

"The level wad was nearly corrupted and lost, but the author has salvaged it without sounds from the Samples folder, so players cannot hear such things as Lara's footsteps or gunfire, which does detract. Still, it was a good idea to release this in an unfinished state, as there is much good here, although my experience with the beginning portion was filled with confusion and an awful lot of useless block pushing. An attic puzzle has push boxes, but the combination for the solution is obscure. Push an upper box on top of crates? Finally Lara pushed a box outside and dropped it into a large room. This box was intended to be placed under a high button on the ground floor, but in game Lara had already moved a bookcase section under this button. Since Lara used the wrong puzzle piece, another bookcase section had to be moved twice, dragging it around the upper floor, then pushing it through a gap in a railing. Once this initial confusion and tedious block pushing is over, the level offers good play in a subway terminal. There are echoes of TR3 in the enemies and in the trains that run Lara over if she steps on the tracks. The level is dark, flares are at a premium, and there are no binoculars, but the graphics for the terminal are well done. Lara at last gives a coin to a hungry beggar, and uses a motorcycle sparingly. I thought it a nice touch to have Lara mention, "I'm not really supposed to be going this way," if a wrong turn is made. The quest for the final switch was satisfying. What is here can be played to the end, with players somewhat in the role of early beta testers, making allowances for such things as lack of sound effects. Hard to rate because of unavoidable defects. The concepts and intriguing environment make this well worth playing. I look forward to the release of the functioning series." - dmdibl (04-Jun-2011)
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