"Not quite a favourite of mine, but
enjoyable nonetheless. There was a nice
sense of place created by the author with
a lot of enemies. The mines were dark
though. Nice entry." - Ryan (22-Mar-2016)
"I really enjoyed this one :) It's certainly one of the stronger levels from Btb2011 and I didn't find myself ever getting frustrated or unsure where to go. Architecture is beautiful as is the lighting. I did note an old glitch with some of the ladders (but it's so minor that you'll probably not notice!). I'm not sure why the conveyor belt room was there either, but it's a fun addition :) The final centerpiece with the dragon battle is great too and forms a proper challenge! All in all I netted 2 hours 26 minutes from Lost in the Canyons. Thoroughly recommended. Stiggy :)" - TheStig (30-Sep-2012)
"This is the only level of btb I had not done and I regrette.It is a gem for an author who has made significant progress. It is long enough to do and lots of puzzles to solve. We need to find 3 fuse and the last after killing the 4 dragons.We must kill them one by one as the author put them on different squares.
This is a very high level with lots of puzzles to solve.
Highly recommended." - Drakan (01-Dec-2011)
"This time it's in a abbandonned factory, lost somewhere in the canyon we discovered Lara.
The canyons are very well build and I specially love the flyby showing the enter of the mine.
The gameplay is very good and not too hard and playable for the beginners.
I think this level is the most scary of the competition.
The gliss sequence is exellent and funny.
The end with the 4 dragons is exellent, hopefully, I have all secrets so it's easy to kill them.
A very good steampunk level.
Congratulations to the author.
BigFoot" - BigFoot (26-Nov-2011)
"Gameplay: I'll start by saying there is too much backtracking from the third factory key, and a good amount of the gameplay time needed could have been removed if that were adjusted somehow. The sheer amount of triangular floors made it annoying to maneuver Lara at times. I liked the pushblock puzzle as well as the idea of fighting wraiths with wraiths. It just lasted a bit too long.
Objects: The decor is very lush. The secrets are clever. At first I thought fighting four dragons at once was crazy, but the author made sure to make the arena suitable with its waterpits and pickups to help you, so it was actually a fun battle.
Atmosphere: The geometry of the level feels very natural. As much as I didn't like the triangular floors gameplay wise, they certainly help make the atmosphere. The canyon areas (en route to key 3) in particular are nice and are showcased by some nice flybys. The lava rooms actually felt hot to me, and the camera cues were helpful.
Textures: The lighting feels nice and cool. It gets dark in places, and even though you get a torch, it has to be dropped once a raptor sneaks up behind you, so combat was a little more difficult than it should have been.
Overall: Although it was a bit longer than it should have been, this is a very well-rounded adventure that all raiders will appreciate, so give it a go. Finished in 1:43:46." - SSJ6Wolf (15-Nov-2011)
"Nice level which was fun to play.
The title is perfect for this very great level, I'm me a bit lost in this canyon.
The battle with the dragon is beautiful in the end, you must kill them to get the final fuse.
The architecture, the texture and lighting are good .
Excellent level." - cho7 (12-Nov-2011)
"Good level with a real steampunk spirit not difficult to play. There are some 'defects' like Lara can't drop/grab/drop in those ladders to the blue cave; raptors get stucked in a corner or so in the lava caves, and in this cases you can shoot them indefinitely and they never die; in the ghost area, if players trigger the blue ghosts and they have not the torch, players will lose a lot of health in the way to get rid of them; and any other small details, but the level is generally good and very playable, with a good variety of tasks and scenarios. Good work." - Jose (16-Oct-2011)
"After reading the uninspired story for this level, I went into it not expecting much, but it ended up being one of the better Back to Basics levels in this year's Back to Basics competition. It's actually a pretty simple level overall, but it has some clever sections and a great flow, rarely leaving you scratching your head about where to go next. Even when it's not at its best it's still good, and so the end result is a level that is very enjoyable overall. Most of the level is centered around finding three keys, so you'll spend your time going for one key, then the next, then the next. By setting you on one path at a time the author keeps the level from being too complex. The final boss fight is against dragons - again - and it's not a lot of fun - again - though luckily you're allowed to stock up on ammunition and medipacks. Getting the secrets is recommended (even the author warns you that you'll regret it if you don't), as the grenade launcher allows you to kill the dragons really quickly. Otherwise, you're in for a long and boring boss fight. The level looks good overall, even if there's only so much you can do to make caves look interesting. At this point, there's really not much point in saying that the level doesn't feel very steampunk - it's probably more the wad's fault than the author's. It's essentially just a base in a cave, so not the most interesting setting, but it works. In the end, I quite enjoyed this level. It's seventy minutes long, but it felt a lot shorter than some of the shorter levels I've played in this competition." - Magnus (15-Oct-2011)
"For me, again quite a long adventure, but what I liked about this one was that the builder chose a theme and stuck to it without trying to be too many things in a single level. The puzzles showed a good sense of using steam and machinery to make events happen. Basically a cave-like setting with some heavy industrial factory areas branching off from it with lava pits to negotiate and explore. The atmosphere is generally very good, but some of the cliff ledge paths were hard to see against the walls of the caves. The climax of the level is a full-on final boss battle - and it's a doozy! Definitely not for the feint hearted. This is a really solid level, with pretty good texturing and good cave design." - EssGee (14-Oct-2011)
"Well, this level eventually accomplished a lot more than it
seemed to promise at first. It's a rather long level where one
has to jump a lot along the canyon ledges, get drowned a bit,
fight a few raptors and scratch one's head at almost all
times. It's varied alright. I must say the part with the
blades where it's totally dark was a bit overdone. The final
fight against the four-headed dragon was very tough but doable
thanks to the pools and to the little trick that consists in
saving quite often so as to make the locusts (crows here)
disappear for just a very short while. It does take patience.
It's an intriguing level, a bit of a headache, the settings
aren't stunning but they're well done. Enjoyable indeed - only
I wouldn't play it again (and no, it's not cinicism)..." - Jorge22 (14-Oct-2011)
"To begin with I was, quite fittingly in fact, lost in the Canyons. Due to a rather poorly placed Crowbar (a theme for this year's BTB I take it) I was wandering around quite aimlessly early on. Things picked up a bit more though once I did get the Crowbar, and there were at least some interesting environments to traverse, such as some very dark and scary caves with raptors that come out of nowhere. I also liked the puzzle of setting the fire wraiths free by lighting their glass encasement. There is also a really good pushable puzzle in a room, that is probably one of the best brain-stretching pushy puzzles I've ever encountered, without driving the player mad either. However, some of the room geometry is badly sculpted, causing Lara to get stuck on quite a few slopes. This is especially annoying in a small underwater maze, which becomes much more complex than it actually is due to Lara being trapped on jagged slopes a little too long. Killing the four mutants was quite difficult at first - apparently every builder this year thought placing more than one mutant on one square would be a cool idea. The room itself that this boss fight happens in though is quite good, with water pools to dive into incase you end up on fire, and lots of ammo and medipacks all over the place to help you out. Texturing wasn't bad; however the great eye-sore for me personally in this was the author's continuous act of mirroring textures everywhere. This looked rather silly. Also, those strange peacock textures make their appearance again all over the place in rather strange and incoherent places too. Also, the author isn't consistent with his climb-ladder textures - in some of the canyons and caves, certain textures the author uses for climb-walls and monkey swings are strewn about all over the place with no purpose except to confuse one. Definitely not a bad level, however it deteriorates a little bit half-way though, only to pick up ever so slightly at the end. In regard to some of the other entries this year though, it is as other reviewers have said, a solid enough raiding experience." - Sethian (11-Oct-2011)
"This is a well-made and enjoyable level, set in canyons (as the title implies), lava caves, mines and a factory. The various settings are all solidly made, with some particularly impressive geometry in the canyons. The texturing and lighting are good but mostly functional - there is not much that can be considered eye-candy. There are some horribly dark tunnels in the mine area, which are made worse by the fact that you get ambushed by raptors in those very dark and narrow spaces. This was easily the low point of the level for me. Fortunately, the gameplay in the rest of the level is much better. I particularly enjoyed getting two wraiths to fight each other, and the puzzle involving shutting off a lava-fall. The pushable puzzles in the factory can be a bit too long, but at least the one with tables and cages is rather ingenious. The placement of the crowbar is a little annoying, as it is very easy to miss. The boss fight against 4 dragons is more tedious than tough (why so many BtB2011 builders thought that quadrupling the dragons was a good idea is a bit of a mystery). But overall, the balance of exploration, puzzles, traps and combat is at a very happy medium rarely achieved by most builders. As such, there is almost nothing negative to be said about this level - except that there is nothing especially spectacular in it either. It's a good level, mostly enjoyable while it lasts, but doesn't leave much of a lasting impression.
Overall: One of the better levels of BtB2011, despite the lack of spectacle. Recommended." - Mytly (10-Oct-2011)
"I just loved the construction and the look and feel of the caves in this fairly long adventure. The whole environment was simply great to look az and wander around in. And some wandering you will likely be doing in here, as the progression was not always so obvious and often you need to spot those small not so steep ledges you can step on to move forward, which several times had me curse the builder in no uncertain terms. The mines are simply built and yet come across as very convincing with the tracks, some of the swimming action was fun, at other times, I felt it was a bit over the top to squeeze Lara through twisting and turning narrow tunnels. The factory area was fun to work through with its switches and push puzzles as you try to find the three necessary plugs. And well, the four headed dragon boss may have seemed like a clever idea and looks impressive as the heads raise, but it is just way too tedious to battle through this, especially if (like me) you do not check left and right for the revolver first. Thus, the ending was a bit of a downer for me, but fond memories remain of the tracks that took me to that ending and so I hope the rumor holds true that the author is planning to expand this into a bigger series. [2:00, 5/6 secrets]" - MichaelP (09-Oct-2011)
"I really enjoyed this level! It was very nice and I thought it was a lot different than the other btb levels I've played so far. The outdoor areas were magnificent! Absolutly breathtaking! The parts that I didn't really like were maybe the mines. i never do like things like that! The caves were very nice as well. The atmosphere was flawless. The gameplay was good but it was pretty non linear because there was a sort of hub in the middle of everything where you come back quite a lot. The first part of the gameplay was to find the three factory keys so you can enter the factory. After that it's just to make the factory work again by finding three fuses. The end place fighting the dragons was pretty fun but it was hard. I really enjoyed this level and hope that the builder would make more levels. Highly recommended." - afzalmiah (09-Oct-2011)
"Another very good level, takes place mostly underground which gave it a gloomy, but in a good way, atmosphere. The overall colorscheme not very diverse, but effective lighting largely eased that effect. I especially liked the lighting in the start area, probably the builder didn't have the time to similarly fine tune all the later parts. There were dark caves and mineshafts, yet they weren't too dark, thankfully. In the one really dark area we have the torch. Actually the narrow corridors and small rooms created an almost cosy atmosphere that I liked very much. Secrets were very rewarding as they contained the heavier weapons which made all the difference against the dragons later. Apart from a few missing door and lever sounds no errors. An interesting variation for the multilevel pushable puzzle. No timed runs or difficult jumps makes it a suitable level for players of all skill level." - Akcy (05-Oct-2011)
"The level is excellently built when it comes to architecture
and overall geometry. There are some caves with or without
lava, outdoor areas, indoor areas, ducts, and each of the
settings are built marvellously good. Lighting is very good,
and as realistic as it can be. Caves are darker, outdoor
areas have soft and natural light, and inside the rooms of
the factory, we have an impression of an artificial source
of light, which is absolutely logical and expected. Textures
are also applied almost perfectly, with no cracks or
stretched surfaces. Gameplay is nicely imagined, and there
were just too many switches for my taste. But nevertheless,
despite of not so excessive backtracking, the gameplay is
rather fluent, consist of climbing, action, swimming,
searching and everything else a good raiding should include.
Puzzles are also well imagined, but excessed number of
switches lowers the overall rating mark for this segment.
There are some snakes, crows and enemies to kill along the
way, and the final part has a big boss fight against the
dragons accompanied with hordes of locusts. Objects are used
cleverly and reasonably, the ballance between the supplies
and enemies/hazards is achieved, secrets are not too hard to
find. The best element of this level definitely is the
atmosphere, with some very nice flybys and camera hints,
that help the player in the gameplay without getting lost or
disoriented. Sound is superb, as well as lighting, and this
level is obviously built by an experienced builder. This
level is not short, and you'll probably spend some two or
three hours playing it before you reach the end. Highly
recommendable level for players both experienced and novice." - Nina Croft (28-Sep-2011)
"I don't know why, but I felt rather... well, lost, when it came to reviewing Lost in the Canyons, and it's a terrible feeling to have. Add to the fact that it's arguably one of the better levels of this year's competition and the guilt trip was paralyzing. But then I thought that maybe there's actually a compliment for the level hidden in the unfortunate situation? And it turns out to be true - namely, that I have very little to criticize here. It may lack the pizzazz to set it above this year's more daring entries, but on the whole it does very little wrong and is an overall solid raid in all aspects. Besides the titular canyons you will also explore dark mines and some factory settings and they are nicely interconnected in a manner that will make and enable you to revisit familiar areas over the course of the game as you search for the 3 factory keys among other items. Each setting to varying degrees succeeds to have a theme of its own - the canyons are all about exploration, the factories hold the juiciest gameplay bits, and the mines give a bit of a horror-vibe by making Lara stumble through the dark with nothing but a torch and occasionally throwing a raptor in her face. The 6 secrets are not too hard to find and I encourage you to find them before the 'boss-fight'. The author of this level, possibly coming up with it independently from the 2 other builders who employed the same schtick, makes you fight 4 dragons simultaneously as a grand finale, but with the advantage of the 6 secrets (if you get them by then) and lots of space to maneuver around, this was a fairly manageable fight. 'Very little to critize' doesn't mean no criticism at all - and the few gripes I had were with a certain gameplay element and the looks. My main gripe would be that the lighting of the level might be a bit too bland. Well done by all means, just lacking a bit in stronger contrasts and/or more intense saturation. As far as gameplay goes - there was one particular jump-switch that one could seemingly activate only after a certain point in the level, but not before that (while still having access to it before that point, that is). If deliberate, I thought that to be a very, very peculiar element indeed that verged on the unfair. I do remember trying repeatedly and only managing when the walkthrough informed me I should return to it, so it can't be all imagined on my end, but I can concede that there may have been more to it, than I noticed during my play-time. Overall - after 10 levels before this one, I was starting to wish for it try harder to set itself apart, as the levels were starting to blend into one continuous memory for me, but at the same time I could not find many faults with it, and what is put in use in the level, is put in use well." - eTux (27-Sep-2011)
"I suppose this may be a common symptom in these BtB competitions, but I found that all these Steampunk settings are starting to run together in my mind as I play more and more of the levels. I'm approaching the halfway mark now, and I found Lost in the Canyons to be a notch above the average to date. The gameplay is quite complex, and I'm glad I had two separate walkthroughs to consult. There's a good bit of back and forth as you hunt for fuses and raise blocks to get across a lava lake. There's a complicated pushpiece puzzle near the end, and I'm afraid neither Dutchy/Gerty nor Manarch2 got it quite right in their play-by-play descriptions. However, enough of it was correct so that I could get that crate away from the switch in the corner. I spent a bit more than two hours here, so you get quite a bang for your buck. I suggest that for future competitions the one-hour time limit be removed, as few builders seem to observe it anyway. Recommended." - Phil (24-Sep-2011)
"My, what a perfect game! My best regards and thanks to the author! I simply don't know why this game is not, up to now, one of the general favourites. It has clever puzzles, wonderful use of cameras and music, variated environments, and is very enjoyable and pretty. Highly recommended!" - Josey (23-Sep-2011)
"Lost in the Canyons is a good level with interesting puzzles, like a block puzzle using tables, and fun gameplay that took a bit of thought, like the release of fire wraiths. If all this fun weren't mired down by backtracking, I would have had so much more fun. Every area of the level, even to a small extent, the factory, had the dreaded backtracking, but I am forgiving since gameplay was pretty fun. The final boss was a fair fight, given that Lara had previously been able to find the grenade gun, which was a great secret, and water and supplies were readily available. I wasn't too keen on the heartbeat/drum beat background audio during some areas. I don't know what it is about that audio, it just makes me think of Atlantis and so inappropriate for most levels. Plus, it drives me nuts. No points were taken off for this choice, because that is not fair, just thought I would say that. All in all, the level was pretty well done, but perhaps could have used less backtracking." - Shandroid (21-Sep-2011)
"I really liked the story, game play and style of this level. It is very clear what the objectives are and one can see in the various well-done flybys what to do and where to go next. Getting there is a different story. There is lots of exploration to do in order to find a safe passage across deep canyons and through abandoned mineshafts, underwater mazes and lava rooms and some of this is everything else but easy. Lara gets some good agility workout here, as she has to climb, jump and run a lot and none is really hard, except for one ledge jump that had to pixel perfect and took many attempts to accomplish. On the enemy side there are a few raptors, snakes, a group of ninjas and of course the boss at the end, which was a tough one to kill without getting eaten by locusts or constantly being set on fire. I like the way the secrets were hidden and obviously missed two of them. The looks of the level were beautiful in general and I personally love this building style, but it was not necessarily what one would expect from a"Steampunk" themed level. Either way, I found it very nicely designed with great map layout, architecture, choice of textures and all. The lighting looked good in many areas, but quite flat in some of the darker areas and I found myself using the binoculars often and lighting many flares. This level definitely gets my recommendations. (2h 20min, 4 secrets found)" - Blue43 (18-Sep-2011)
"Beautiful cave areas, professional flybys and fluent
gameplay are the strength of this 90-minute level. What I
liked much in this level were the jumps across the cave
tops, the action in the factory and the combines of the fire
and air wraiths that altogether cannot harm Lara anymore.
The architecture was convincing and the texturing was mostly
(with some little tweaks) well applied too. There were not
that many enemies until the fight with four dragons at the
end that was quite annoying as there were so many locusts to
avoid (luckily we have the save/reload option) but the six
secrets are quite helpful in providing enough ammo and
weapons as a preparation. The lava river in the factory
included some good gameplay ideas (stopping a lava
waterfall) and the conveyor belts are always fun to play
with. There could be more things that let the player think a
bit (only few puzzles), but this level was quite fun. Nice
one." - manarch2 (17-Sep-2011)
"Good level but a save editor is recommended for 2 reasons. First, the mines are in the total dark and the player found only a handful, not of red sand, but of flares and next, because like another level from this contest, there are 4 dragoons in same time (unless you like jump & shoot during 30 mns). Otherwise, it's a good level... there is also 2 wraiths terribly annoying, but.. this level can be better of course, but it's a good level all the same. :)" - Jerrod (16-Sep-2011)
"This level mostly takes place in caves and valleys, outside
of the end which takes place in a factory. All the locations
are nicely atmospheric, although the focus on caves harms
the variety a little compared to some of the other levels so
far. There's also an area that makes great use of darkness
(and the torch) for a more dangerous atmosphere. The factory
area also feels slightly lower quality than the rest
visually (although it's still okay).
Outside of an overly hidden crowbar near the start this
level isn't too difficult and flows nicely, along with
providing some non-linearity in the main section. Outside of
the torch section I mentioned earlier, and the use of a lava
waterfall, it feels a little lacking in stuff that
especially sticks out though. The only major irritation I
had is the boss at the end; it seems designed for more
powerful weapons (as ammo is provided), but they are
seemingly hidden in secrets and all I had was the shotgun,
which made it take ages and required many medikits (although
plenty are given). Beyond that though it's an enjoyable
entry." - Mman (07-Sep-2011)
"Nice level which was fun to play - until the evil hydra appeared. The strength of life of the beast was way over the top for our little Lara even if she uses up all her healthpacks supplied during the game as neverending swarms of locusts make it hard for her to survive even with the well known save/load technique which is an inconvenience of the NGLE . It happens now and then that builders use it to make their games harder and thereby calculate Laras defence .This has always been a nuisance to me for I do believe a TRLE game should always remain playable without the use of this dirty little trick . What if the enemies knew about it as well to defy Laras bullets and darts in the same way? As in many other BtB entries the Steampunk theme is barely applied ." - Ruben (07-Sep-2011)
"I didn't get lost in the canyon, but I got well turned around in the pitch black section of the mines every time I put down the torch. Most of the mine sections are quite well lit actually, which is just as well considering you spend as much time underground as exploring the attractive outside areas. Enemies are mainly raptors, which are quite tough but not really a problem. The only really difficult bits were a race to avoid two wraiths and trying to kill that blasted four headed dragon whilst under almost constant bombardment from the locusts. It's just as well medipacks were generously supplied and if you fail to find some serious fire power along the way I doubt you would make it through with just pistols. Good use of sliding conveyor belts and a lovely box puzzle that took some thinking about were fun moments for me." - Jay (06-Sep-2011)
"As the first I must pronounce immediately sometimes a
praise. Actually, I hate it if I must fight, like in
Memories of Steampunk Fashion, at the same time against 4
dragons. And, actually, I hate it if the dragons fire
constantly locusts swarms on Lara. If then I do not have at
disposal the suitable weapons, is the frustration so high
that I could strangle the level builder. But first is this
forbidden and secondly I do not know at all who the level
builder is. Indeed, in this case the level builder has to
fear nothing from me. Because first I am a peaceful person
and secondly I have at disposal the grenade launcher, the
revolver and the shotgun. With these weapons I have made
short work and have sent the dragons into the hell. Should
they annoy the devil and not me. Otherwise I had now and
again the feeling that this level a debut is. Some rooms and
areas looked in such a way, as if they were only filling
material, so that the level gets a longer playing time.
Absolutely convinced was I merely of the big dragon's space.
All other is built pleasingly till well, but has not knocked
me socks off. All together one can say that this level is
ideally for those players who search for an easy to play
level a level, without difficult riddles and without time
runs." - Scottie (06-Sep-2011)
"It offers high production values. Clever exploration, good
architecture (Although I still think that BTB should have
focused about underwater or aerean levels) and some intricate
puzzle with blocks." - requiemsoul (05-Sep-2011)
"Not much Steampunk in this level but a lot of exploring is required. Few baddies but a stonkingly good four headed dragon near the end makes up for it. Personally, I really like bouncing around shooting dragons whilst avoiding their fireballs. Unfortunately, this was completely spoiled for me by the incessant locusts that re-appeared every couple of seconds despite the re-load trick. They were so irritating that, had this been anything other than a Steampunk completion level, I would have junked it. A pity, because the rest of the level was great fun, bouncing about being chased by wraiths, underwater swimming (but not too much - thank you builder), agility and some good secrets (the munitions with the secrets will come in handy for the dragon). The areas were large and well furnished and, for the most part, well lit. a large chunk of the gameplay was down to finding routes and when I had difficulty it was always down to my lack of observation rather than the way the level had been built. I particularly liked the way the player can see areas at the start that can only be accessed later, very frustrating but well done. A very good game - apart from those locusts! Two hours thirty five minutes of gameplay." - Diz (01-Sep-2011)
"Seeing the first location of this level, which I consider average with its flat rocks and all features of a typical canyon, I underestimated this game at first. The repetative crowbar doors made the initial impression even worse, and it lasted until I found out the author wants players to store things in their minds, and hides keys in places that seem to be unrelated. In that moment, I realized: "Hey! I was wrong! Thank God! It's a good level!" And it really was. Uneasy at start, as I didn't know where to go at first (and - as follows - I felt worried I may miss some secrets and need to replay), it gave me no frustration later (because it appeared no matter which route I choose, it's always a good choice - all of them are necessary to explore, and those things the builder wants players to remember help find other elements and put everything together). This is why the more I played, the more immersed I was. And this is also the reason why I found all six secrets at first attempt, even though I know the last one can be challenging to many players. As for a pinnacle in secrets field: all of them are retrievable to the very end of the game. Well... Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap (each clap per one secret). As for main gameplay thread: there was not many puzzles, and I encountered rather classic ones - pushables, switches to agility tests to doors, raising platforms over lava, and finding an alternative way over a pit (because the bridge is broken). However, the mentioned pushable is one of the best I can recall, with its really innovative usage of 2-click and 4-click objects. This deserves an extra point for itself. Music: It's one of those levels where there's not much sound, however those CD triggers that exist are well fitting, with the final mutant fight accompanied the best. But - if we speak about enemies already - it's not the boss what surprised me the most at all, but that particular raptor in the mine. The author warns about an enemy getting stuck in a corner. Actually, almost ALL enemies behave like this. I don't know the reason, as I think boxes don't overlap too much (if at all). Maybe the wraiths cause the problem - as they can attract each other, but they don't die for a very long time (if they do at all). Another curious bug is that if the second raptor gets stuck, it becomes immortal, though still bleeding, until You lure it out of the wall. It's the first time in my life I see such glitch. SUMMARY: Get three keys and enter the (satis)factory. Simple? No. But really, really worth playing." - DJ Full (30-Aug-2011)
"Primarily an exploration level with good design throughout, featuring canyons and mine and little in the way of a steampunk theme. The opening part is deceptively straightforward...as long as Lara finds the crowbar. Often players spot a high jump switch, or tempting upper ledges, places that will not be reached until much later in the level, when the return will be a surprise. I always think this is good, to leave unfinished spots, and gradually bring everything together as a level progresses. This builds in complexity to a canyon area and mine building with two ghosts mentioned in the readme. Players pretty much have to continue with Lara under attack to find out how to destroy the wraiths, then reload from the start of this area for an efficient replay. Lara found all six secrets, and these make a difference when they contain weapons like shotgun, Uzis, or grenade gun. The (dim) lighting isn't bad, and can be colorful as at the start, but I can compare it to a recent ship level, that was also exploration, where lighting was much better, and allowed for dramatic presentations. In this level Lara enters a canyon with a deep gorge which should also be dramatic, but lighting gives a flat two-dimensional feeling to the walls. The upper ledges could have been brighter, with shadows underneath, where the ledges met the wall. For me the main difficulty was the four dragons and their locusts. I know that if one saves the game, then immediately restores it, that then the locusts should be gone. This worked, the locusts were gone, but they regenerated in two seconds and were back again. If Lara concentrated on fighting the dragons, she would suddenly keel over dead, drained of health by the locusts. The level took three hours to play, but the last hour seemed mostly devoted to fighting the dragons, and to locating the third fuse (a small plug). My guess is that most players are going to have a hard time finding that last fuse, but maybe Lara was just tired at the end. In total, a highly interesting and absorbing level to play." - dmdibl (27-Aug-2011)