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Level: Back to Sophias Office back home search
Author(s): Jordan
total rating:2.83 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Ceamonks890 0 3 2 2
DJ Full 2 5 3 3
dmdibl 5 5 3 3
Gerty 0 3 1 1
Jay 5 5 2 3
manarch2 0 3 2 2
MichaelP 5 5 3 2
Rambo 2 4 1 2
sonnyd83 4 4 3 4
category averages
(9 reviews)
2.56 4.11 2.22 2.44

Reviewer's comments

"This level is really the pits. Just to get another notch on my belt is my reason. I hope the builder doesnít think he is funny as he is not. Even with the help from the writer of the walkthrough (how to change it so you can use savedgames) it still is the pits." - Gerty (18-Sep-2016)

"This one must be in top five most frustrating levels I have ever played. Apart from regular beginner errors like misplaced sounds, missing sounds, missing meshes, buggy traps, wrong portals, unmarked spikes and a stuck point, the game doesn't allow saving while being fatally misleading - for instance a death square looks exactly like a heavy trigger of the previous room, or a block the author wanted you to sprint through might squash you because a nearby pushable draws attention away. It seems the row of squares curving through the squishy block room was an attempt to indicate a safe path... but it only almost does. There are places when the buggy design is helpful, for instance the majority of rolling blades just take an interstellar trip never to return, Tony refuses to make any harm and Puna just politely retreats on his wheelchair. But I still cannot count how many times I had to start over, and in the end a 15-minute map took me two hours. When I thought it cannot be worse I paused the level and noticed the line of "Exit to title" substituted with "Take a rest". Let's just believe this is a honest confession about the author's lack of skills, and not just plain laughing at players who wasted countless time here. I take my hat to anybody who managed to finish his level, what somehow includes myself... though without dmdibl's review I wouldn't even know about the existence of the fourth quest item, so I of course returned for it, which gave me another hour of trying... I can grant some points for some nice puzzles which would be much more enjoyable if the game was fair. Also for the usage of objects, at least these ones which weren't buggy. Finally for nice music and relative devotion to produce a mini-replica of various TR3 episodes holding their respective characters. SUMMARY: In my case it generated persistence paradox - the more unfair it went, the more I tried to beat it no matter of what, while having enough and instinctively pursuing a break in the same moment. As a result, the majority of this text has been written between particular deaths in the corresponding game." - DJ Full (29-Jan-2016)

"Be forewarned! Without the use of DOZY, this game is essentially unplayable, with unmarked death traps up the wazoo and a particularly bad instance of clipping out of the map at one point, by merely climbing up a hole in the wall of a room that I apparently wasn't meant to access in the first place. Note to Jordan: If you don't want us climbing up areas we shouldn't be, don't give us such an easy way to do so and don't make the convincing-looking ladder actually climbable! But anyway, this has got to be the worst level I've played thus far from the builder in question, with bad design choices present in every aspect of the level(most of which are the exact same problems as the ones mentioned in my previous reviews for Jordan's levels at time of writing), adding the lack of a proper save function and lack of several in-game sound effects to the list of issues overall. So approach at your own risk, if you really must torment yourself with this poorly-designed monstrosity of a level." - Ceamonks890 (19-May-2015)

"Tried out this one what seems to be a ignored level, now I know why. Gameplay & Puzzles: I can't stand levels where saves are not working, so I behaved as described by other reviewers, otherwise I would get crazy. But I take into account what the builder wanted, not very nice of him. Still (=with possible saves) the tasks are often strange, I hated the death traps, but some tasks in this level were okay, I think it gets better at the end. Enemies, Objects & Secrets: You cannot kill most of the enemies, they just go on your nerves. Only bugs! Some objects aren't triggered, at least some traps were good, as are the secrets. Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: I don't think a certain atmosphere is supposed to exist here, the building is careless and sounds are just annoying. And should this be an office level? Or a base? Jungle? I don't give a 0 because the builder worked on a few things, but it's close. Lighting & Textures: The smaller the rooms, the (a bit) better the textures, and the lighting is existing in a few rooms. They are both still rather bad. Total: 2,25/10, playable with saves, but pretty foul." - Rambo (28-Dec-2013)

"Hmm, Sophia appears to have acquired a twin sister since Lara last encountered her. Two Sophias, just what we needed. Had it not been for the excellent advice in the walkthrough on how to save in this game, I would have refused to play it on medical grounds, i.e. Iím already on medication for hypertension and donít need my blood pressure raising any higher by constantly having to start a level from the beginning every time poor Lara stumbles into an unmarked trap (and there are plenty of them). OK, rant over. Parts of this game actually arenít at all bad. Itís a base style setting (not very well made, with bland and/or stretched textures and not much in the way of set dressing), but some of the gameplay succeeds in holding the attention. I especially liked running the gamut of a roomful of squishy blocks, whilst following a pathway. The basic premise is for Lara to find four crystal artefacts, which involves the occasional puzzle, a lot of block pushing (or at least it seemed like a lot given that Sophia was giggling away every time Lara pushed one) and an excess of barbed wire. Itís certainly an improvement on his first level, but thereís some way to go yet." - Jay (05-Jun-2012)

"This has good points--really, it does--although anyone who tries to play it may wonder at this statement, given the inability to save games. Ever since spending days playing Darkness Castle, I mostly refuse to play levels that won't allowing save games, so I took script.dat and tomb4.exe from a concurrent release Golden Hearts (Demo) and used those to play this game. Since script.dat has the name of the data file, one also has to rename cortyard.dat to tut1.dat. The ability to save is essential; Lara is always dying unexpectedly from pop-up barbwire, or from unmarked fire tiles, or from blocks that fall from the ceiling. I must have reloaded games dozens of times. Lara is searching for four quest items from TR3. I liked having a misleading ankh on a pedestal, so Lara tries to shoot a glass cover, when actually this is a pushable. Or thinking that one computer terminal takes a disk, when really it is another hidden terminal that is needed. Or having Lara extract fuses from a generator, when in most levels she would be placing fuses. There were a lot of places that looked impossible, such as when Lara has to put her toes at the edge of a square and roll in order to avoid being spiked. Gameplay can be clever, but every time I got to thinking that, Lara would get spiked again. It's too bad that the thought and effort that went into game ideas weren't extended to anything else. Both texturing and design are, well, not very good. Atmosphere is often surreal, maybe unintentionally so. I had no sound for Lara's pistols or other weapons. When a gate opens the sound is a strange burp, as if someone is about to be sick. There were a lot of spots where a camera went crazy, or the author chose an odd fixed camera angle. The game crashed when Lara picked up the fourth quest item, but then I wasn't using the right script.dat or tomb4.exe, so maybe there was actually an incredible flyby. Found three secrets in fifty minutes of play. But let's face it, this is not a level for everyone." - dmdibl (28-May-2012)

"Enough is enough. I am sitting here with twenty attempts to finish this level, after the fifth only with the usage of DOZY, and now decided to quit. I really get angry when I cannot save in a level. Checkpoints, bus stop saves, I can get used to everything, but not this. This level is nearly unplayable and I am rather surprised about the gameplay ratings from the previous reviewers who seem to forgive this well intended fun killer. Even if one gets used to this pain, the builder did some odd choices to scare even more players away by unmarked death traps, annoying Sophia clones following you every step in the first part and finally a strange camera bug preventing you from progressing up a shaft and lets Lara being embed in the wall. Apart from gameplay, the looks of this level were also pretty bad in my opinion because of missing, streched, wallpapered textures, walkthrough and paper-thin walls. There was one cutscene which was done OK, the objects in the office were fitting. Found two secrets of which one was actually decently placed. So bottomline - some builders never learn and this is another candidate for the next Cain. Not recommended under any circumstances. Stay away!" - manarch2 (27-May-2012)

"Warning - do not play this under any circumstances without the (yet to be written at time of posting this review) walkthrough close at hand. The author has opted for the Most annoying builder of the year award by providing a level where you cannot save while at the same time placing several unmarked deadly spiketraps. So, unless you are like me and can tweak the script to make saving possible with the pain of having to kill a windows process each time you reload or are quick with using DOZY when dying, this less than 30 minute level may well take you weeks to complete. The second major issue with this release is of course the absolute neglect of spending any decent effort on texturing the rooms (plenty of wallpaper and stretch effects here) and the split second camera glitch also features somewehre along the way. Now - all these (fairly major) gripes aside, there is a decent level hiding behind the rough surface. Lara explores around a lab of sorts for crystals and needs to work through a few odd puzzles until she finally reaches the office. And yes, there is a finish trigger to be found there. I also managed to pick up 2 secrets, but my guess is there is probably at least a third somewhere. Personally, I thought the room with the squish blocks was the highlight of this game. Try this one only at your own rŪsk... or later with a walkthrough to avoid dying along the way." - MichaelP (26-May-2012)

"I thought I'd just see how good/bad this really is! Perhaps I should know better, after all curiosity didn't kill for nothing... The textures are those from TR5 VCI levels, the walls look stretched, but the floor textures and ceiling textures look sort of ok, lighting is the same throughout - well at least you can see how bad some texturing is! There are several bugs to be found here, Lara's head changes colour when she fires, the opening cabinet animations is too far from the cabinet, the flame is too far from that little box on the wall. One thing you'll notice is that you can't save - that never bodes well. Regarding sound, the background track is from TR3 Aldwych, the sound fx seem to be partially missing and some are wrong, e.g. you hear a trapdoor opening when selecting from your inventory. Unmarked barbed wire is also pretty bad gameplay - best to walk slowly everywhere. You begin with Sophia Leigh (complete with dodgy 90s hair-style) following your every move, and then her clone appears, after you walk through a wall, they wack you if you shoot at them - well who wouldn't. Pull a level under water, after the cabinet there's a fairly good flyby, then you just walk straight past a gunman who does no harm, then use a knife to pull out some fuses - pulling animation is a good feature here. Collect and place access cards, push an object which looks like a chess piece, avoid a rolling blade. You'll notice you have to use a key card to get another key card. Collect the element 115 artefact, and place a CD. I notice if you climb up next to the artefact, there's a camera issue here and it got me stuck in the scenery. There's a big change of scenery from hi tech to jungle - this does not work at all, you turn a wheel and monkey swing across a ditch. Anyway, in the 'jungle' area there's a large room with badly stretched textures, and more switches than I've ever seen in a room! You collect a infada stone here, climb up a chain, then through a poisonous room, and back into hi tech zone, place a key then back into jungle/temple zone. Some real challenges lie ahead - several sliding blocks, and rolling blades, then collect the ora dagger. Eventually, you end up in a replica of Miss Leigh's London office. This would have been a half decent level if it wasn't for the sound issues and lack of savegame function - obviously not tested. Got worse and worse every time I got further but had to reload. Net gameplay time 25 minutes (in reality probably 10 times that due to reloading)" - sonnyd83 (26-May-2012)
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