Level: Middle of Nowhere Xmas (Beta) back home search
Author(s): tombraidermaster1996
total rating:2.06 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Blue43 1 3 3 2
Diz 1 2 1 2
DJ Full 2 4 1 3
dmdibl 2 2 4 2
Gerty 1 2 1 1
Jay 2 3 2 2
Jose 1 2 2 1
manarch2 0 5 2 2
MichaelP 2 5 3 5
Orbit Dream 0 1 1 3
Ryan 1 2 1 2
TheStig 3 2 2 2
category averages
(12 reviews)
1.33 2.75 1.92 2.25

Reviewer's comments

"If you're observant enough, you can end this level in less than a minute. If not, then prepare to endure around 35 minutes of downright tedious raiding. It begins with Lara having some sort of seizure when attempting to pick up around 120 (I'm not exaggerating!) different items for no good reason than just so she can say she picked them up. Everything else is very amateurish indeed, I'm sorry to say. The textures are dismal, lighting is extremely erratic (alternating between extremely colourful and extremely dark), the looping music is irritating and the gameplay, as mentioned, never gets into gear. It's up to you how much you want to play, it won't make the slightest bit of difference." - Ryan (24-Mar-2018)

"In this unfortunately long level of useless/misleading items and broken teleports, an opened door is almost never the one next to a switch, no cameras give clues to clarify which one it is, and even if some hints were here, the graphics would make following them hard - Arctic textures meet Cairo ones, applied in random clusters all similar to each other, resulting in one of the most unpleasant graphic mixtures I have ever seen. In fact the stretched unicolor parts (usually rated with lowest marks) applied in the later location form the best looking fragment of the game scenery - just because many instances of similar flaw occur next to each other, and consistency is still better than inconsistency. But the level also has something I admire: countless objects placed everywhere - despite of their massive repetitivity, it's insane to realize the author actually bothered to sit down and place all these trees and crystals to fill the immense level, instead of just reducing the map size. The pointfulness of such building manner is highly disputable, but the effort is undeniable. SUMMARY: Optional. Some parts are interesting to see but playing the whole thing isn't a pleasure." - DJ Full (06-Sep-2015)

"This starts off hilariously with Lara doing innumerable knee-bends in order to pick up a plethora of items she will never need,all to the accompaniment of a remorselessly chirpy seasonal tune.You can then decide whether to spend time exploring vast multi-coloured snowy areas for absolutely no obvious gain (except for the occasional crash to the desktop);or,instead,run through a walkthrough wall and end the level several seconds later.What a quandary. Well,one thing everyone will agree upon - this is undoubtedly the worst Christmas level yet built." - Orbit Dream (05-Nov-2014)

"This is work of a youngster and my guess would be a boy. Why you ask, well because of the plethora of weapons and ammo you'll find right away and it won't let up. After getting more than 10 pick ups of revolver ammo (my favourite choice of weapons anyway) I stopped picking them all up, just a few of each. My advice to this youngster is: you get the drift of how it works; now get it all together. Textures wise read the pages in the manual again, triggers are working, only wrong animation at the switches. Huge square rooms with different deadly pools, no game play, so work on that. A monkey climb that is not needed at all as you can get everywhere where you need to go. Same goes for the ropes. No idea where the swirls were for. Finding the Vreaus, and Guardian Keys and even two vases, that is all, you can skip a big part of the upper area if you want. So get to it, building is quite difficult at least if you want to be in the top ten. But each time you learn and if you want your level beta tested, this is not really the way in my opinion." - Gerty (22-Aug-2012)

"I don't know what's the interest of a level based only in one room where you can pick up hundreds of items and shoot some enemies; also the necessary item to finish the game is behind a "solid" wall. Texturization is horrible, and the only thing you can save from this beta is the background music. Please think something about the gameplay for the alpha version." - Jose (08-Feb-2012)

"One of those beta releases that you would rather not see extended further, unless it includes a major overhaul. This 30 minute adventure starts rather badly and then gets worse - in the first 10 minutes you are busy picking up weapons, ammo, medipacks and flares. Then you climb up into an area with a series of strongly coloured huge square pool rooms. In there you can open a few doors and pick up a few more items and kill a bunch of Atlantis mutants and Sophia before eventually placing a canopic jar and escaping from this odd level. To be fair, it is really not as bad as the above lines make it sound, but the running around in wide open space is rather tedious and boring. I did mostly like the use of colours and objects though, as they created a few nice visual moments. 2 secrets found." - MichaelP (23-Dec-2011)

"Just as the title says, it is a Beta level and it should have probably not been released, as it appears to be a work in progress. The game play is basically non-existent, the rooms are over sized with random object placed all over the map and the lighting is strange but decent in some areas. There are missing textures, whole areas are blinking in and out, walls are paper-thin and the game crashed multiple times. A few items have to be picked pick up and placed to open doors, which already sums up all the things to so here other than running around. The highlights are the enemies - a bunch of panther mummies and Sophia clones and they are fun to deal with, especially since Lara had to spend 5 minutes picking up ammo earlier. Play it if you have extra time and have already played everything else" - Blue43 (19-Dec-2011)

"Picking up all the guns and ammo at the very start of this level took over two minutes, plus another minute or so to acquire the multiple medipacks. Lara was bobbing up and down so much I was getting motion sickness (and she probably needs replacement knee surgery). This beta version debut level is undeniably embryonic - carelessly applied textures and lighting that varies from the murky to the eye wateringly lurid. I don't know whether the builder was going for a deliberately surreal look, but I regret I didn't find the juxtaposition of textures, lighting and objects at all appealing. Enemies do come at you in mobs, but the over abundance of ammo takes cares of that problem with ease. The game also has a tendency to crash in certain areas and I'm unsure as to whether I actually finished it as it crashed quite emphatically just as Lara was about to access a new area, so I rather had to assume that was the end." - Jay (19-Dec-2011)

"This has some gameplay so I can't give it a '0', however, I can't ever remember wanting a game to finish so badly. The lighting is either not there at all or eye-searingly bright and garish. The textures are endlessly repeating and repeating and get the gist! Massive areas with nothing in them, crashes to the desktop, paper-thin or transparent walls, a monkey-swing that went nowhere, and so on and so forth. Only play this if you really must play every level." - Diz (19-Dec-2011)

"A Christmas release from a new-author, Middle of No Where Xmas is certainly one of the more unusual Christmas levels that you may play this year. As a debut level (and a beta on top of that), it is quite rough round the edges. The author's made quite a few of the classic beginner level design mistakes with massive rooms, stretched textures etc. What's even more unusual is the way they have stacked out-door spaces on-top of other rooms (often in impossible combinations, like a lake that fills the room below it). That said they've clearly made an effort to explore the lighting capabilities of the engine (with psychedelic effect in places!), and it's fair to say that as you progress the texturing and room design does slowly get better. Progression through the level is a bit strange (I missed two push-buttons originally which I think caused me to play the whole map which wasn't in fact necessary?). It's not free of enemies either with a few atlantean guards and Sophia Lee regenerating a few times at different points throughout the level. All in all I netted 42 minutes of gameplay from this. I'd encourage the author to continue to refine their editor skills and look forward to seeing the final product. As it is for now, I'd say this one is for completists only. Stiggy" - TheStig (18-Dec-2011)

"Starts nowhere, goes nowhere. Look, Lara, look! Large pool ringed with trees. Run, Lara, run! Pool and trees are dark, oh, now red/yellow brilliant, now silver/blue, run, Lara run! See next pool and trees. See more pools and trees. Oh, oh, look, look, more pools and trees! Climb up, run, run, passageway leading to strange pillar with crystal. Nothing happens. Run, Lara, run! See pools and trees. Climb bridge, find Golden Vraeus. Place Golden Vraeus. Run, Lara, no way out. Run Lara, back to beginning, retrace route exactly to get out. Twenty minutes in, twenty minutes out. A door opened in starting room! Find more Golden Vraeus, more doors open. Climb up to use Canopic Jar 2, climb back down to use Canopic Jar 1, Lara runs to exit. Fifty-one minutes of an existential essay on the meaninglessness of life, and the essential futility of human existence. (Note the floating triangle Lara can't get.) You'll know if this is for you." - dmdibl (18-Dec-2011)

"This level was probably one of the most boring games I have ever played (even Lara in a Box was not that boring, because not so long). You start this level in a badly textured room overloaded with dozens of weapons and medikits, notice you can finish this level in under a minute. But there is also another path upstairs, where you can explore some pool areas. The most valuable thing in this level were some of the objects used, such as the stone circle, the bridge and the tower objects, but they didn't make this level good at all. Some lighting effects in the pool were interesting too. BUT: Running around huge areas without a destination, grabbing the occasional pickup and processing with or without using it PLUS many bugs in this level (crashes, overlapping rooms, Lara gets hurt when stepping onto some tiles, ...) are absoutely gameplay killers and thus this level doesn't deserve any point in terms of gameplay. Some sound usage, but the music got annoying after a short while, and one small cutscene that was technically - in comparison to the rest of the level - OK, but there absolutely were no camera hints where to go or which door is open now. Luckily, it doesn't really matter. Finishable in either 1 or 15 minutes, it's up to you what is the better choice. If not for some objects, I strongly would recommend the first one." - manarch2 (17-Dec-2011)
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