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Level: The Sacred Emerald back home search
Author(s): Seth94
total rating:9.15 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Athukraz 10 10 10 10
Blue43 8 9 10 9
Diz 9 9 8 10
DJ Full 8 10 8 7
dmdibl 9 10 10 9
Drakan 10 10 9 9
Ekrixi 8 8 8 9
Gerty 8 9 8 8
Jay 8 9 9 9
Jose 8 9 8 9
Light a Flare 10 10 10 10
Lokky99 10 9 10 10
MegaGamer 10 10 10 10
Mman 8 9 9 7
Phil 9 10 10 9
Ray Croft 10 10 10 9
Ruben 9 10 10 9
Ryan 9 9 9 9
category averages
(18 reviews)
8.94 9.44 9.22 9.00

Reviewer's comments

"19 hours and 35 minutes net gaming time later, Lara finally managed to return the Sacred Emerald to where it belongs and the adventure ends and what an epic it was. Be prepared to set aside quite a bit of time for this one as it will keep you occupied for quite a few days. Seven locations, 23 incredibly complicated levels, 75 secrets (I would never have found them all without the collaborative walkthrough, which is quite an accomplishment in itself) and a hugely rewarding experience. Each level is packed chock-full of good old Tomb Raider stuff and beautiful locations to explore (although the England section was too greyscale for my taste). Combat sequences are a bit overwhelming at first, particularly in the Egypt section where you just have your pistols and have to fight against mummies and panthers with just your pistols, but it's more balanced as you progress and heavier weaponry becomes available. I found the Underground section the most challenging due to the overall complexity and a hell of a boss battle against a dragon. This one in particular must have been on steroids or something as I found it surprisingly difficult to outwit. Gameplay is great overall, but I could definitely have done without less crawling, long shimmying, ladder climbing and backtracking, which stretched it out a bit. I also ended up using around 80 medipacks. But this is nonetheless a remarkable achievement and a worthwhile raiding experience. Strap yourself in for a wild ride." - Ryan (06-May-2018)

"I went back to this after playing all the currently available Relics of Power parts. And the player will immadietely notice that the environments in this game are a bit bland compared to RoP and the builder improving in general. However, i found this even more enjoyable. Varied Locations, Challenging Gameplay, Beautiful Surroundings.. You can find everything here. My favorite Location was the Underground (Tinnos) Section because of how Challenging it was compared to the other Locations and i've always loved the textures. The Game just resembles TR3 so much, it could be called a Sequel. Waiting for Part 4 and 5 of Relics of Power at the moment. Highly recommended, especially if you love TR3 and Classic Raiding" - Ray Croft (01-Feb-2017)

"A great TR3 feeling levelset. It's very long and it took me an entire day to complete. 24 hours. Lots of secrets to discover, lots of traps, enemies, levels and many more. If you want a great TR3, and if you loved TR3. This is the game you are looking for. Definitely recommended." - Athukraz (02-Aug-2015)

"I really really enjoyed this level set because it reminded me so much of the other tomb raiders and made me want to go back in time and play the old tomb raiders I loved the London section because there where a load of puzzles and to me that is what tomb raider is about puzzles secrets enimies and different locations to explore" - Lokky99 (14-Apr-2015)

"This is chockablock full with the old fashioned way of raiding. 23 levels and my computer says that it took me way over 2 days, but in real life I was at it for about two month. Mind you doing small bits at the time and doing it that way, I did need to take quite some peeks at the walkthrough. First things first, I do love the old raiding style. Love also the change of the surroundings and apart from pulling a lot of levers and pushing about the same amount of switches there are also a few pretty hard tasks to do. What I never like it the back and fro that only prolongs the game play and doesn't add anything to the gameplay. What I started to hate are the numerous crawlspaces, poor Lara, she must have pretty thick calluses on her knees by now. Also the sometimes long, long ladder climbs are getting boring after a while. What really is on the top of my hate list are two earthquakes that felt like they wouldn't let up. But if you have a lot of time on your hands I for sure would try this adventure." - Gerty (08-Mar-2015)

"This was a great tomb raider 3 adventure. I just loved a lot things about this huge custom level. First off, there were a lot of puzzles in this custom level. I remember trying to solve some of these for while, which in my opinion, makes a good custom level. The gameplay was intense! I was on my computer for HOURS playing this. Those things show that this is a level meant for experts. I loved some of the enemies. I enjoyed fighting a bunch of aliens in the Nevada section. I thought the enemies were just right. I also found a LOT of medpacks, and that was without the walkthrough (I like to explore places before moving on) The atmosphere, sound, and cameras made it feel like you were playing a second part of tomb raider 3. The lighting and textures looked so real, even for a tomb raider 3 game! Hopefully this hit the hall of fame. High recommendations if you like exploring. :)" - MegaGamer (23-Mar-2014)

"Some time ago, I made a several-page review on this game. But now I found out I can't understand most of it, so I scrapped it (maybe again better to thank God I did, because it was a rhymed poem o.O - why the heck was I up to THIS!?!?!) So now ad rem without craziness anymore :)
Let's begin with the fact I never really understood the concept of a remake. We played TR1, TR2, TR3 and we got a revision of them all in here. Why to build something that has already been built? This is unexplainable to me. The set is really long, and I have a feeling this quantity was formed with heavy damage of quality. What I mostly mean is lighting. It almost has no contrast, it's flat and dull, almost repulsive, and this lasts for 23 levels. Arrrhhh... Other great issue is repetativity. TR1-3 fans should enjoy possibility to revisit Nevada, Peru, Egypt, Tibet, Castle and Tinnos, however while all those episodes vary, their separate levels often don't differ from each other. I would rather play ONE gameplay-packed level of each scenery than three-four subsequent stages where I mostly throw switches and use keys. Fortunately a wide variety of traps saved the mood, yet sometimes the switch-hole monotony built up so seriously that I wondered if, at the end of next corridor, I'll find anything else than another switch of some sort. This often also implied a necessity of going back the same way that led me in - so I think all backtracking haters shall immediately turn around from this game and run away in panic, until the very, very epilogue passes away, which, to make matters worse, takes place at Lara's home. Tell me who wants a home level based JUST on such kind of design I've complained about a while ago (key, hole, switch, key, hole, switch) and why did the author assume someone would enjoy absolutely NO ACTION in the ending of the game? Yes, ENDING! Because while I can understand manors in beginning, and I can handle such settings in the middle of a game - then except a home invasion scenario, I simply can't stand a home level in the very end, where everything should flow instead of halting.
Does it all mean this levelset has nothing special in it? Nope. It's nicely accompanied by music from TR1-3, so the audio part matches the main assumption and the visuals very efficiently. Cameras don't allow us to get lost - we mostly know where to go. And the game is very challenging, with wide variety of enemies to fight and a whole bunch of killing tools, including M-16 and other weapons, designed in old, good, classic TR 2-3 style, just for us to experience massacring the thugs more efficiently. This, aided with unimaginable baddy count, often makes the game feel like a shooter. I heard the difficulty of it is unbearable. This is not true, as it can be completed without using a single medikit, and if someone currently prefers honourable ordeal, he/she can even do it armed with pistols only. However I'm strictly against a trend often followed throughout the whole adventure: giving enemies instant advantage on Lara. There should be no fight she is unable to survive without a scratch. Avoiding injuries should always depend of a player's skill, not luck. But here, we are often exposed to open fire while Lara is completely defenseless - e.g. pulling up on a ledge or shimmying. Equaling chances should be even more carefully executed here, in a para-old TR levelset filled with early TR-stylized enemies, because we're all used to their original forms of dumb AI, we always had been receiving pure pleasure from wasting them and thus we should now be able to fight their new incarnations without any extraordinary effort. Fortunately, we can collect numerous medipacks on our way, efficiently aiding us in such crises.
SUMMARY: From written above, it might appear I seriously hated the level, but I did not. I fully appreciate the efforts put in building this epic adventure, and possibly I will even replay it someday, all weapons used on the contrary with the first-time pistols only. When I finished the game, I recalled one question that disturbed me during playing: how ancient Egyptians could know about the existence of a medieval castle? But that's not a problem at all, and I'm pointing it out only because it remained from the last year's version of this review and I had to place it somewhere.
CONDENSED SUMMARY: If You have a lot of time and don't mind flat lighting, plus You are after the oldest forms of TR and their modifications, this game is one of the most definitely recommended. See You and Happy Easter (this last phrase has been written during the last-year feast, but it's applicable to the current celebration as well)." - DJ Full (01-Apr-2013)

"This game is definetely a major challenge even for the more experienced and most of all very patient raider. I had parked it up on my hard drive for a month or two and finally finished it a week ago. A TRLE adventure of almost epic dimensions which takes Lara to various locations in search of the Sacred Emerald. The few reviews on this game may be due to its difficulty but certainly not to its quality which is superb. It is a game you always will remember when your memory takes you back to all the places you have been and the things you did and the enemies you fought along the way. This time Lara will have to use all her subtle skills in order to win her price. Here the author presents a 100% Hall Of Fame work but with a big red warning label !" - Ruben (18-Feb-2012)

"After a flurry of initial interest, attention to this epic release appears to have waned in recent weeks. Mugs has arranged an interview with the builder, which to my knowledge has not yet been released, and I for one am greatly interested in the gestation of this remarkable debut effort. One of the earlier reviews called it a "replacement game," and it's every bit of that. There are 23 full levels, most of which took me well over an hour to play, so I can safely say that I've invested at least 30 hours of net gaming time, not counting the additional time it took for me to contribute a few of the individual walkthroughs. There were some rumblings early on about this being a game of unreasonable difficulty. However, I experienced only a few of what we would call game-stopping moments. I was able to get past these with sustained perseverance, although I must admit that I bypassed a few of the more difficult secrets near the end. The game is organized into six distinct categories. EGYPT LEVELS. These three levels (the other categories have four levels each) got the game off to a good start, alerting the player from the very beginning that this wasn't going to be a walk in the park. TIBET LEVELS. These levels were well-conceived and provided a lot of fun without being overly difficult. NEVADA LEVELS. These levels provided a nice change of pace. PERU LEVELS. I wrote at least two of the walkthroughs for these levels, and I believe I enjoyed myself more here than in any of the other sections. ENGLAND LEVELS. I was anticipating something on the order of what we got in the TR3 Gold levels, with spectacular outdoor scenery, but I was disappointed. These could just as easily have been called the Czechoslovakian levels or the Latvian levels, as most of the action took place underground in drab, colorless tunnels. To me, this was the least appealing section of the bunch. UNDERGROUND LEVELS. These were certainly challenging, especially the penultimate level where you have to navigate a tall room policed by a dragon. It certainly helped me here to be playing in god mode, so I could afford to take my time without fear of being burned to death. As others have noted, the final house level seemed a bit anticlimactic in light of what had gone before. Still, this is a fine release that hopefully will make it into the Hall of Fame in due course." - Phil (10-Jan-2012)

"This is one of the latest LE epics, and also sticks out for being a debut release to boot. The whole pack is obviously intended as a TR3 homage, from the general music used and locations visited to not showing corner previews of inventory items when they are collected (which is unfortunate as it has always seemed a weird design reversion in TR3). Structurally many of the levels are great, with some interesting designs and great layouts. However the visuals have a major Achilles heel in the form of the lighting; a lot of it is whitish and flat, the England levels especially stick out as a lot of the areas there seem to be lit with almost pure ambient light (with occasional dark patches), and they would look so much more atmospheric with some properly gloomy lighting. Given the pack is a TR3 homage it especially sticks out as more varied lighting (arguably too varied at times) was one of the biggest changes from the first two games. Beyond that problem though (and some levels do make much better use of lighting) the designs are interesting and appealing.
Like the visuals, the gameplay is mostly great but let down by a couple of major issues, namely pointless backtracking that sometimes makes you go back and forth between areas for no purpose other than to pad playing time. I also thought it lost a little steam somewhere in the last couple of levels, for instance, I would have preferred if things had moved straight to the final boss after solving the main puzzle of the penultimate level, rather than having to go through even more obstacles before that. The final level also felt lacking in purpose and seemed a bit of a pointless addition (to the point I would have probably preferred the pacing of the end if it just cut to the final cutscene). The difficulty is high but does a good job subtly ramping up as you go; it starts off challenging but not too OTT and gets borderline gruelling by the end. Combat at the start is also quite nasty, with TR1 Mummies in confined areas when you still have little equipment, later on you get enough ammo and health (including a Desert Eagle that's just as awesomely overpowered as in TR3) that combat becomes less tricky while the obstacles become much harder. Despite the pack's massive size the levels are decently paced and generally "only" around an hour each (with the occasional massive one), which keeps it feeling like you're always making some progress; something some epics fail at. This is a highly recommended set (if you're ready for a challenge), even if it does have some flaws in certain areas." - Mman (12-Dec-2011)

"So... a pretty interesting level. Sure it woths a try. I agree that the cameras are not very helpful and some tasks are really hard, but with an annoying way. I like challenges, but there were a few that wasn't my type. It is a very big adventure and I have to say that many times I felt bored and thought about leave it. I didn't do it and I have reached the end. The authors have to be more careful when they are trying to make such a big game, because it is easy to loose it interest and the gameplay could be reapeated again and again. In this adventure not every level worths a good rate, but the majority were great enough. maybe a shorter game with advanced gameplay could be better." - Ekrixi (27-Nov-2011)

"I just finished this very long adventure. In this part I have often wondered if I should continue, because it was so difficult, enemies, obstacles, jumps difficult (the passage of the dragon was the most difficult). I almost throw my keyboard out the window several times. Many passages crawlspace (why not put the animation out of crawlspace?). Some passages underwater with the blades were very hard (lots of reloading (100 times lol)). I found that there was a little lack of cameras showing the action of a lever, or when the camera showed a door that had not yet seen. For example, when we take the sacred emerald, there is the opening of a door near the bottom of the dragon but I must say that I had not seen and I had difficulty for find it in avoiding of the monster balls . That said, if the adventure was not well, I would not have done, but I loved especially the Peruvian side, which I found very good.There was an addictive side to that adventure.I found that half of the secrets.The last level is medium (lara's mansion), I thought that it must be the first level that the author built and he wanted to put it in his adventure. There are levels that are not worth a 10, but an adventure is so difficult and as there are very good levels in that adventure I would put a very good note for the big work provided. I regret a little, but it is the choice of the author that this adventure is not for all the gamers because it's really hard. Congratulations Seth and ..... to the next level (a little less difficult lol)" - Drakan (26-Nov-2011)

"Tomb Raider: The Sacred Emerald - definitely a level to add to your classic Tomb Raider collection! To begin with the gameplay, if I may, the story and the style of levels follow the original Tomb Raiders very closely, and is perhaps something we could have expected to see from the late 90s when Core were still in charge. This is one of the aspects that I love most about this series, because I don't think we see enough classic Lara anymore. The variety of locations doesn't disappoint either - Egypt, Tibet, Nevada, Peru and Lara's home land, England. I think they pretty much sum up what Tomb Raider is all about. The gameplay is very varied, with some extremely challenging timed runs (grr), tricky traps, just about every enemy you can think of, and ... the return of the quadbike! The only criticism I do have of the gameplay is that it does have you tearing your hair out at some points - particularly the fact that Lara managed to chew her way through every medipack she could find. Whilst very challenging, the game does also boost your sense of achievement - something that wasn't always there in the classic Tomb Raiders. Great use of objects - especially those in the Technical Mine Station and Area 51 which took me back to the days of TR3! There's a full pack of secrets too - 75 to be precise. Good luck finding all those. Next, moving on to the atmosphere of the game. Well, to be pretty blunt, there was always some form of atmosphere! Whether that be a T-rex thundering through a valley floor in Peru, blizzard like conditions on some glacial deposit in Tibet or roaring flame emitters in an ancient cathedral. One thing that particularly impressed me about all the levels - which certainly gave the game a certain ambiance was the abundance of huge open areas. A good example is the caverns in Frosty Domain. It kind of gave a sense of freedom, and a more 'open-to-explore' environment. Finally, in terms of lighting and textures, all of the textures were placed perfectly, and the lighting - whilst not always the most beautiful of tones, was certainly very realistic and reflected the classic Tomb Raiders very well. All in all, certainly one of the best debut adventures and possibly one of the most epic adventures that we've encountered so far. The result? A full house of 10s - looking forward to the next!" - Light a Flare (25-Nov-2011)

"Well, it took me over 26 hours of net game play to finish this epic adventure and I have to say that it was well worth it in the end, although there were plenty of moments during this game when I wanted to give up, but I guess once I had so many hours invested I just felt I needed to complete it. The game play starts actually quite easy and straightforward and the only challenges in the beginning are the tough enemies, which cause serious health damage since many of them are placed in small rooms where it is really hard to just outrun and dodge them. As the game progresses it does still stay rather straightforward, but gets harder in terms of agility as there are more and more nasty traps, timed burners, more challenging jumps and timed runs. Also, the enemies - mainly Magnum carrying baddies - seemed to be placed more often in rather unfair position positions and Lara gets shot at while climbing ladders or monkey swinging, where is impossible to fight back, a feature I dislike highly in any level. The absolute most challenging part of course is the"boss" level close to the end. The boss, a giant dragon, which cannot be killed as Lara finds out by trying and dying numerous times, has to be outrun. That might sound easy, but unfortunately the dragon resides in a big and high room with many ledge and it takes a while for Lara to finally get to the top, while under constant thread from fireballs that come at her every few seconds. There are a few save spots where Lara doesn't get hit and can rest but overall this room is one stressful experience that can get extremely frustrating at times and one has to save literally every couple seconds in this area. After getting her price Lara has long backtrack and a quad bike ride home to enter the epilogue, a mansion level that consists mainly of tedious switch hunting and I really thought that game had deserved a somewhat better ending. There are a total of 75 secrets and since I had already missed a few during the first levels, I was never looking really hard for them and so I ended up with 41 of them. There were plenty of pickups throughout and after I had read that many players ran into Medipack shortages I played conservatively from the beginning on with lots of saving and sometimes replaying sequences to makes sure I got through them with the least amount of health loss possible - nevertheless I used 88 Medipacks, which pretty much says it all. As far as lighting and texturing goes, while it is not perfect, the builder definitely did an excellent job in creating a level and an atmosphere that is good mixture of all the things we liked (and maybe disliked) when we played the early Tomb Raider games and not once did I miss high rez textures or a modern Lara model during the whole adventure. I can only highly recommend playing this, as it is something no experienced player should miss and I really admire the work, time and effort the author has put into building it. (26.5 hours, 41/75 secrets found)" - Blue43 (21-Nov-2011)

"A monumental achievement, an entire replacement game of 23 levels that uses many objects and enemies from TR1, TR2, and TR3, and does so with solid atmosphere and gameplay. Players may become frustrated occasionally at challenging parts, but it always feels that Lara is firmly anchored in this environment. For 22 levels there is a consistency in the author's vision, creation, and gameplay, which is remarkable (except for Epilogue level #23, Lara's home, which is common and ordinary compared to the rest of the adventure, and besides has a lame quad bike; maybe this is to show us why Lara is always leaving home). After playing about seven levels, it dawned on me that the author was trying to replicate the overall feeling from those early games as players first experienced them. For players now, TR1 isn't difficult at all, as Lara ends the game with about fifty each small and large medipacks. But when it was first released, reviewers often complained of the difficulty, that there were never enough medipacks. Perhaps the author wants us to recapture those initial feelings of wonderment and daring back before players knew all the tricks, so once again play is designed to keep Lara on her toes, and enemies are no longer the pushovers that they often are in TR4. Medipacks have to be jealously guarded. Lara travels in order to Egypt, Tibet, Nevada, Peru, England, and underground, before at last bringing the Sacred Emerald home. These levels often mimic features of early games, so enemy bodies don't vanish, the Look Key doesn't make Lara transparent, there are no jump switches at all, and among Lara's weapons is an MP5. I guess these levels recall TR3 the most, as it was only then that Lara could crawl, and there is a lot of crawling throughout these levels. This is a personal reaction, but I felt the author sometimes uses too many cramped and twisty passageways for long stretches, creating a sense of claustrophobia. There are places in the early levels where Lara can climb up on a block and go forward with her head touching the ceiling, but she can't turn around and go back because of the low ceiling, and if she tries to crawl she can't get back down from that low block. Lara mostly escapes squeezing passageways after the first few levels, but there are similarly cramped spaces in much later levels. I found the whole Nevada section trying because in a security facility and alien research center, Lara is often in ducts or tiny corridors, and I just wanted to escape. I enjoyed levels like the Tibetan Monastery, with scenic rooms, and The Wreck of the RX Explorer, with its huge underwater cavern that Lara explores. In Egypt, The Tomb of Khamun, was a highlight. I loved the Peru levels even though Lara got lost and wandered helplessly around with a gold key. The complexity of the Peru levels has something special about it. There are a lot of gray castle walls in England, but here too the gameplay has a richness and complexity. Every level here is notable, but players may feel that Lara is being asked to do more and more challenging tasks. The difficult play has been mentioned on the forum. Actually, there are only several spots up until now that are really demanding. I found it impossible to have Lara slide down a ramp and flip two switches to escape before overhead spikes impaled her. Try as I might, Lara wasn't fast enough. But checking the forum, I found that Lara needed to do a roll. I reloaded a save at the second switch, had Lara turn and roll, and she escaped, so once I knew the trick Lara was free in a few seconds. In Peru, there are underwater stacked swinging blades, and this gauntlet is extremely frustrating for Lara to swim through but, despite the feeling that it takes forever, Lara probably gets through in twenty minutes or less. One becomes impatient having to replay and replay blade traps, but some impatience is due to the sheer size of this adventure. That said, the last few levels really do have frustrations. Perhaps on replaying this series I might feel that the concluding levels are the best, that the inventive challenges are fun. But it is difficult to force Lara near TR3 rotating blades with ends that look like sharpened claws, when if she gets within three meters of them the water turns red, Lara flails about and dies. I swear that Lara never gets near those blades, yet she dies. The final Sacred Emerald level has a dragon spewing fire every few seconds while Lara tries to accomplish a climb that has to be endlessly repeated because she catches fire. Is this fun, or is it maddening and over the top? I recognize and applaud how much the author has contributed, the work and the ideas that have created a landmark achievement. After playing this, tame offerings seem boring, and make one long to return to this adventure, and that is probably the best recommendation. Maybe not for rank beginners, but otherwise a must play." - dmdibl (20-Nov-2011)

"Well, what an epic! Thirty hours and forty seven minutes of actual gameplay (and what seems like months of gaming), fifty of the seventy five secrets found, Thirty five medipacks used (and I hate using even one!), A hundred and forty seven kms run and about ten thousand baddies disposed of with extreme prejudice (I exaggerate slightly, but not much). If you add that lot to the eyestrain, general stress and fingernails bitten to the quick trying to figure out where to go next, you might think that I'm glad it's all over but, in many ways, I'm not. This level's become somewhat of a friend over the past couple of weeks, a part of my life. An irritating friend, an exasperating friend and certainly a tiring friend (the type that borrows a record and returns it scratched) but a friend none-the-less and I'm a little sad to see it go. The first few parts are straight-forward and not that exiting but persevere with it because it soon gets into its stride and the rest of the twenty two levels make up for it in trumps! I say twenty two levels because the last and twenty third level is a pretty boring mansion level and seems to have been made by a completely different person, luckily it's short but I would have liked a better finale to such a monumental level. The rest of it has everything a raider could desire, great gameplay, lots of puzzles, plenty of agility and some pretty tight timed runs, especially for some of the secrets, collapsing tile runs, fire runs, mazes and crocodile-infested underwater labyrinths galore. There are baddies enough and in such variety that even the most hardened 'shooter' should have their blood lust slaked. The textures and lighting are well used with appropriate 'gloomy' parts without running around in total darkness (a pet hate of mine) but, again, the last part seemed to be not as good and was full of repetitive textures and flat, uninspired lighting. My own opinion is that the builder would have been better leaving out the last level completely and just had Lara driving off into the sunset. But, one poor level out of twenty three does not spoil what is a wonderful experience in raiding. Thoroughly recommended but some parts are only for the more experienced raider." - Diz (20-Nov-2011)

"Stand by for an epic. I mean, 23 levels - you could be playing it for months. It certainly kept me off the streets for a while (32 hours 32 minutes NET gaming time). It starts in a TR1 Egypt style environment, populated by some extremely tough mummified enemies and some more easily dealt with crocodiles and panthers. Next comes Tibet with mines to explore, some fun climbing around in ice caves and rather less fun dealing with hordes of asthmatic, gun-happy thugs. The monastery is full of vicious blade and spike bag traps and even the usually friendly monks turn on poor Lara after a while. There's a sunken vessel section (I always enjoy those) and a base environment, complete with the regulation amount of laser traps and you eventually end up in Area 51 - cue the fierce aliens. I have to say though, despite the aliens, the discovery of an Indian temple in the Nevada desert was more of an X Files moment for me. Next stop is Peru, with some pleasant locations, even if the natives are less than friendly, and quite a lot of highly enjoyable agility tests. In fact, the entire Peru section was somewhat less like a shooter and thus appealed to me much more. There's an England section, consisting mainly of rather brooding, grey castle interiors and some pretty challenging moves to achieve. I especially enjoyed the 'Underwater Complex' section, even though I'm not always the biggest fan of swimming. This game starts off deceptively mildly (as long as you deal appropriately with the enemies) but as it progresses the challenges become more and more difficult and by the half way mark it has definitely gone well beyond the capabilities of an inexperienced player. Personally, I began the whole proceedings with a lack of enthusiasm and was forcing myself to play, but towards the end the gameplay had become far more engrossing and I was enjoying myself. I can't even begin to guess how long this took to build, but it's fascinating to see it becoming more 'grown up' along the way. Granted, it isn't perfect; the sheer volume and length of each level in the various themed locations means that the gameplay can seem a bit repetitive and could probably have used a bit of 'editing'; certainly I could have done with much less crawling through tunnels. Also, the epilogue section was a bit of an anticlimax after all the frenetic action of its predecessors, consisting as it did of a rather boring mansion level before Lara placed the sacred emerald in her trophy room. However, this remains an absolutely remarkable debut that makes me wonder how the builder will ever follow it." - Jay (19-Nov-2011)

"Well, after almost 30 hours of net game (which will have been many more game "gross") I've finally finished this new edition of Tomb Raider. The truth is that I do not know what to say. First, thanks to the author for all the immense work that has endured to give us a great adventure that is actually a new Tomb Raider (more or less a sequel from TR3). Usually, this kind of adventures are often designed and implemented by several authors. The fact that one author has done all this levels has much merit, and we must remove our hats. On the one hand I liked the classic style of the first Tomb Raiders, with many enemies, many traps, lots of stunts, old melodies that evoke the heyday of the past, many dangerous areas, plenty of cameras which are directing you throughout the game, simple but effective architecture, sufficient quantity of arms and ammunition (not so the medikits) and well balanced secrets, some easy, some not so very difficult and the rest (I've lost 28 of 75 secrets) as well as some puzzles, etc.. Furthermore the author is overly abused of certain features: after going through millions of crawlspaces Lara should get with her knees powder made; there are many levels based only on press levers and few more, too many ladders too, too often finding gaps where you have to drop and grab the edge. The difficulty throughout the game is growing, so that as the levels go by Lara must confront more and more difficult tasks, and in the last levels is overly complicated tasks in which to save and reload the game too many times (in my case I had to save the game 3368 times). Sometimes there are no cameras and areas too large to go looking for what you did pulling this or that lever or go back a long way to pick up something and return back to the same place. I think the epilogue in Lara's house to put the emerald in the trophy room left over, it was not fun. In short, was generally entertaining, but not for beginners. A great debut. Congratulations and many thanks to give us so many hours of fun!" - Jose (11-Nov-2011)
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