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Level: Tomb Raider 3 - Crystal of Life back home search
Author(s): Sabatu
total rating:7.35 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Ceamonks890 6 6 7 7
Dempsey 8 6 8 7
DJ Full 8 9 9 7
eRIC 7 6 7 6
Jay 7 7 8 8
Jorge22 8 7 7 7
Jose 6 6 7 6
kabal 8 8 9 9
manarch2 6 6 7 7
misho98 8 7 9 8
Phil 8 8 9 9
Ryan 7 7 8 7
category averages
(12 reviews)
7.25 6.92 7.92 7.33

Reviewer's comments

"This is a huge game consisting of 19 levels (plus one bonus level) that encompasses a variety of familiar Tomb Raider settings, including Egypt, Greece, sunken ship (my overall favourite), China/Floating Islands and Antarctica. They're actually quite easy to follow, although the occasional challenge does creep up in the form of a block puzzle and tense enemy encounters. The most common enemy you'll find here is tigers, appearing in every section apart from the ship one, which was a relief. Guards crop up in the ship section although they are easy to dispose of with Lara's eventual formidable arsenal. I did find the gameplay a tad repetitive with the"switch opens door" type gameplay used too much and there a few too many empty rooms to run through, but I had my fair share of fun here. The walkthrough also states how to access the bonus level without finding all secrets." - Ryan (25-Jul-2017)

"Damn, I played this a week ago and I already don't remember what it was about... not a good sign. It surely has a record boulder count, numerous keys and switches, and when I saw crocodiles in Titanic level, my heart sank and went on. Certainly one stuck point is left with overlapped keys in the Egypt part, and a huge shortcut can be taken via remnant door trigger to the Chinese temple. But this game tells a story and often drips with atmosphere because Vaclav's locations are almost masterful. Really, I think this guy needs no further advice except gameplay uniqueness and issue removal because his CRAFT (a word not often used by me) deserves much more recognition - a bit more of extra care and we could have another levelbuilding machine like Kevin. Curious thing is the first level has bits almost identical to Recovering the Scion so I wonder who copied who, however both instances have a separate touch, good on its own." - DJ Full (27-Feb-2017)

"A very long game which consists of 19 levels, and a bonus one. It's a TR3 game, but it felt more like a TR1, TR2 and Golden Mask ones, by the textures and sounds. There are many rooms in almost every level that are huge, but well structured, so maybe you would like to explore every place, like I did (well not every place but the majority of them). In this game you have to do a lot of swimming, most of the underwater rooms are huge as well, you have to be careful not to drown. Also, the amount of boulders is high, you never know when you'll encounter one. They appear, almost always, in long corridors. Usually, the only enemies you'll be killing will be tigers. But different enemies appear in the 'ship' section (I don't remember its name) like crocodiles, guards, frogmen... And the sheevas (or sheevahs) at the end of the game. But I expected a tougher monster because they were easy to defeat. Some bugs will allow you to complete the level in less time, because sometimes a door opened using only 2 keys when you need 3. And near the end of the last level of the Egypt section, you don't need to raise the pillars to reach the room with the 'Crystal Of Life', because you can only jump to grab the edge and pull up. But despite these bugs, I still went to look for the keys and all that to complete the levels 'legally'. I found 37 secrets, and I don't know if there were exactly 59. Some of them are very easy by the way, and the hardest ones were the ones I didn't find ;) Some levels are long and consist of different tasks, climbing, etc. and take like 35 minutes. Some others are short and consist of jumping or a maze, and take like 5 minutes. The bonus level is the only one that looked 'TR3-ish' in my opinion, and I really wanted to play it even after completing the 19 default levels, and I enjoyed it as well. This author likes to include new Lara's homes, which are dark and save misterious rooms to explore. The levels are not so hard, so perhaps you'll be able to complete them all. 8 hours and 4 minutes (I'm slow, I know), great work! Recommended if you feel like to complete a long game like this one." - kabal (17-Nov-2016)

"While it is commendable to see a massive levelset like this built under the TR3 engine(comprising over 20 levels in total if you count the secret one), I feel like this is a case where there's honestly a lot more content included here than is truly necessary, as unlike equally as long(if not moreso) releases like the King Arthur Project or Psiko's HyperSquare to name a few, there isn't a whole lot on offer here in terms of gameplay variety to keep the experience fresh throughout, leaving the average player completely worn-out by the end of it all. This problem is only made even more prevalent as time goes on, when you start to clearly notice that the builder quickly began to run out of ideas in many levels and instead of coming up with a clever way to conclude the levels in question, decided to pad it out for much longer with tried-and-true lever and key searching required to progress onwards(which can become incredibly tedious rather quickly.) Don't get me wrong though. There were some aspects to this project that I liked(such as the texturing, lighting, atmosphere and custom music/sound effects), but that all ultimately suffered in my case, when things started to feel far too long and bloated for its own good. So in conclusion, while this does serve as a nice tribute to several of the locales from the first three classic Tomb Raider games(despite questionable design choices including out-of-place enemies like tigers in Egypt or little to no objects), this is one levelset that I'd highly recommend any potential player go through at least once(but preferably over the course of several sessions, in order to avoid potential burn-out so soon into your initial playthrough.)" - Ceamonks890 (02-Oct-2014)

"Very entertaining game with big variety of levels. My favorite were the Titanic levels, even if I hated the underwater ones in TR2. None of the levels were really hard, the tasks are easy and fun, the rooms are well textured and lightened for a TR3 game and the construction is amazing. Some of the massive rooms were very impressive. I also loved the action in the last level, I finally had the opportunity to use all the ammo from the previous levels. A final boss in the end of each section would've been nice. Anyway, it took me about 6 hours, it was a very fun levelset, it reminded me a lot of the clssics. I haven't played something so good in a long time. Can't wait for more work from this builder. The bonus level was good too, but for me not as good as the others. Recommended!" - misho98 (04-May-2014)

"This huge TR3 replacement game evoked fond memories of The Sacred Emerald, a similarly mammoth TR4 compilation. While not quite as big - or as difficult - I had a grand time playing Crystal of Life, which should be a hit among those who enjoy the TR3 platform. You get five groupings of levels that more resemble TR2 than TR3, but they offer a generous mix of playing environments that would satisfy the most voracious of raiders. There are 59 secrets sprinkled throughout the 19 levels, but judging from some of the posts and comments in the walkthroughs it may not be possible to have them all register in your secret count even should you find them all (and the walkthrough writers missed a substantial number of them). A reward for finding all the secrets is a bonus level that may have the most rewarding gameplay of them all. Check the walkthrough for instructions on how to play this level without finding all the secrets. My scores are higher for the collection than they would be for any one of the component levels, but I feel that the builder is due some extra recognition for putting together such a lengthy and satisfying raid. Recommended." - Phil (12-May-2013)

"First of all give thanks to the author for all the effort and lots of hours used to build a complete TR game with the old TR3 engine. The taste is about TR1-TR2 games, many times with similar rooms but not the same gameplay, of course. About the gameplay, it's fluid with some backtracking sometimes, but not very difficult, except a slide with spiked walls at the end in the egyptian levels and a tricky jump in the chinese levels. Very few puzzles in all game, I liked a lot the moveable crates puzzle in the Atlantic level. Only say that there are excessive switches to pull and excessive rolling ball traps. About the enemies, again excessive tigers in all levels; it doesn't matter if you're in the North Pole, in Egypt or another locations: always tigers and tigers everywhere; another enemies are from TR2 and TR3 games. Very generous with the guns and the ammo, the last level consists only about fight more and more Sheevahs as final bosses. Another features: the rooms are always very empty, too empty; where are the objects, the furniture, the plants, etc.??? Some secrets are too obvious, but there are a lot of secrets impossible to find. I missed more cameras, specially when the object triggered was far; I liked the old TR themes once in a while, but the texturization is poor and the low resolution textures are often stretched and bad applied. If you're a TR2 fan, it's your game." - Jose (08-May-2013)

"A 20 levels TR3 game that will remind more the TR1 TR2 and TR2 gold worlds than TR3, not only because of the settings (Egyptian , Greece , Sunken ship, Tibet , China) but also strangely for the gameplay, which I found quite fluent and largely based upon exploration in a straightforward kind of way with a lot of climbing swimming etc.. Some good puzzles also mostly with pushable blocks and even with rolling balls which have the particularity to be triggered on flat ground , some use of these were simple and conventional , in a few places though you must take your thinking cap to solve a multi-storage pushable block puzzle or to outsmart a number of rolling balls places strategically by the author. Some good ideas here and there , but most of time you don’t need to think or observe much to progress. Some secrets are well hidden , others are just lying somewhere. Most of the levels have tigers for enemies , except for the sunken ship world (frogmen , gunmen , crocs), and for the final one with Shivas. The author could have varied this aspect of the game , were there not rats in TR3 that could be placed in the Old Watergave level ? also some more objects and traps from TR3 could have been used to vary things , when the author did just that it was all good, like the hammer and swinging traps in the sunken ship level. Good use of Audios , there is a couple of custom ones by the way. No complaining about lighting and provide of pickups which are plenty, the setting are okay , texturing is sometimes faulty but nothing too serious even if with a few missing textures. Some bugs I noticed : near the end of Sanctuary Serapeum , there is no need to have the 2 keys as the door opens by using only one. The same glitch happened at the end of the Old Watergrave level , as the door opened when using only 2 of the 3 keys. At the end of Eset Tomb godess I noticed an unintended way as there is no need to raise the blocks to get to the crystal chamber. Of course these little things did not prevented much of the enjoyment you can have if you are a TR3 fan. I think that my favourite level of the set is Egyptian Mastabas caves because the setting was made to guarantee a very fun exploration of the whole place. [ 7 h 30 ]" - eRIC (02-May-2013)

"I know it must've taken ages for the builder to construct all those levels but - honestly - my ratings should have been even lower than I decided to give them. This game has - in a double meaning - a "large" problem, i.e. it's way too long for its own good, as in some levels one could see the builder ran out of ideas and as a result they are extremely boring, with the only task being the usual lever and key search. I liked some of the block puzzles that were added and in general the exploration of the various settings was decent enough to have at least a bit of fun, but please - don't create such long levels with such a low amount of action. Even the amount of enemies is low compared to the ammo you find and most of them didn't fit a bit to the setting (tigers everywhere, some London guards scattered across various levels). Atmosphere is certainly the best aspect of this level since the different settings are mostly done with care except for a couple of areas, texturing and lighting are decent even if still highly improvable at times (like in the large cave in Old Wattergrave), but it suffers from very little usage of objects and partially wrongly placed cameras. Though, sound was rather nicely applied as well as some of the fixed cameras, and the steady change of location, some levels seem to be directly inspired from TR 1 and 2 maps (and TR 3, as a bonus level) which made up for some nice déjàvu effects. If I had to pick my favourite out of all levels, it would be the secret level which is the most entertaining and visually decent one. All in all I spent a bit more than six hours here and I think it was more than just a bit of too much - all ideas would form a rather nice two- or three-parter - but not a 20 level game." - manarch2 (01-May-2013)

"This took me a while to finish, not exactly because it's too tough but mostly because it's rather long - well, up to a certain point, the author mkes it harder and then, maybe willing to finally put an end to it, he makes the levels shorter and easier, that be said in the name of honesty. It's basically a TR3 game (with choices of places to go around the world on a globe and all) but most things actually go back to TR2. The secrets were easy to find and a pleasure too since I'm not really a secret hunter, plus there was plenty of guns, ammo and medipacks to help you survive the last level with the entire army of Sheevas (those, yes, taken from TR3). It's interesting and varied (as much as those old games can be, that is finding keys and switches, pushing and pulling boxes, etc.), perhaps a bit too dark at times. Now: crocodiles in the depthe sof the ocean? Tigers everywhere around the world? In fact, this could be called something like "Tiger Hunt" instead since they were a go-go. But let' say that was funnny. All in all, a nice, very complete (despite the lack of timed runs throughout) game, unfortunately with a weird mix of languages but that's just a detail. Great for anytime you feel somewhat revivalist and have spare time on your hands." - Jorge22 (13-Apr-2013)

"If there is a common link in this TR3 epic ranging across several countries, it surely must be tigers! I mean, I've not been to Egypt, but I'm fairly sure you can wander around the pyramids without bumping into tigers. I've been to many of the large Greek islands and some of the smaller, out of the way ones and I can honestly say they all seemed remarkably tiger-free (possibly because Lara had been there before me and slaughtered them all). The game also encompasses a ship section which I really enjoyed (not just because of the reassuring lack of tigers, although I bet if they could have found some scuba gear they would have been waiting for Lara instead of the crocodiles), a Tibet section (tiger repellent on standby) and a visit to China (guess what enemies were lurking in wait for Lara - I'll give you a hint - orange, stripy and inclined to growl a bit). I have to say the masses of Shivas at the end came as a welcome change and it was great fun blowing them all up with grenades. Lots of boulders to avoid, plenty of swimming, general exploration and quite a bit of pushing boxes about were the other main distractions from tiger spotting. All the different sections did have a very similar look and feel and it certainly would have benefited from more variety of tasks, but overall not a bad set of levels by any means, especially for TR3 fans." - Jay (10-Mar-2013)

"This set of levels was really good for the creator's first levels. I loved the different part of the levels and Lara's goal. I think the author could have put more different enemies, Lara only had to face hoards of tigers, some guards and in the end the giant statues. The textures were well chosen, they matched the atmosphere of levels. This adventure was fun to play. I really recommend it." - Dempsey (02-Mar-2013)
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