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Level: Tomb Raider - Episode 1 back home search
Author(s): God Horus
total rating:8.17 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Casual Raider 7 9 8 8
Ceamonks890 6 7 6 8
DJ Full 7 7 7 9
Drakan 9 9 10 9
eTux 7 8 7 7
Gerty 7 8 7 7
Jay 8 9 9 8
Jorge22 9 9 10 10
Jose 8 8 9 9
manarch2 7 9 8 9
MichaelP 7 7 9 9
Minaru 9 8 10 10
Mman 7 8 8 8
mugs 8 7 8 7
Orbit Dream 8 8 9 9
Phil 9 8 8 9
Ruben 8 8 8 9
Ryan 8 9 9 8
category averages
(18 reviews)
7.72 8.11 8.33 8.50

Reviewer's comments

"Somehow I did not get to play this one 3 years ago and hence was able to enjoy a nice relaxing raid today. The look and feel is ambitious and works quite well in conveying a modern raiding atmosphere, losely tied to the 2013 commercial TR release. Gameplay is fairly simple and obvious, mostly about finding switches and the two pieces of the mechanical beetle, with an occasional push block, one time use of the torch and a few mild traps thrown in for good measure. Killing mummies with explosive arrows is always a plus in my book as well. I thought the narrative and some of the ambience audio was a bit overdone, meaning too dramatic for the rather gentle gameplay, but all in all this was a fun 40 minutes adventure, absolutely worth a look." - MichaelP (09-Feb-2016)

"This level is based around Lara's experiences in TR2013,only this time she is the only one to have survived the island. The author has reimagined the theme remarkably well, from the voice- overs to the weapons used. Looking forward to Part 2." - Ryan (07-Feb-2016)

"This level is based on an alternative version of the reboot storyline where Lara is the only one who survives the island. The theme is Egypt and it's mostly well executed, there's also a strange transition to a "hell" theme later that I assume will be covered in the sequels. The design is generally nice and there's some good use of objects, lighting and effects, however, it feels overly cubic at times; there's a couple of small hub areas that somehow feel too evenly structured. It's quite small-scale too, which almost makes it feel like it was designed for a contest or something; there's not necessarily anything wrong with that, but it does mean there aren't really any big money-shot vistas. Finally the music is a bit overbearing, especially for the route I took first which had a dramatic action theme throughout, the slightly more low-key AOD ambient track in the latter half (at least for the route I took) felt a bit better though.
The gameplay is decent and there's a nice mix of tasks and some creative ideas, there's also some freedom to do in the main part of the level in a different order. I wasn't so keen on the use of teleporters to link back to the start though, as I felt it harmed the feeling of an overall structure to the level. While the level seems to have been patched to fix the early finish the walkthrough and other reviews have mentioned, it still ended up confusing me in the end that you could trigger some boulder traps early and survive; some death tiles or something would have fit better (even if it's a bit inelegant). A good, polished, level, although beyond the reboot premise I can't say it has too much to distinguish it." - Mman (10-Feb-2014)

"What an amazing game, it must be said, I enjoyed it from the beginning until the end. The gameplay was smooth, no hard spots or enemies, simple yet entertaining puzzles. I was having so much fun that it seemed so short. I loved the new Lara model and movements, everything was pretty well crafted, I found no mistakes in this game. Congratulations on this project and I hope you release the next episodes soon." - Minaru (02-Sep-2013)

"I really enjoyed this level though got stuck more than once. Textures are nice and suitable to place, objects are well-done and whole level is logical. I liked puzzles which were of different difficulty and gameplay was rather smooth with some interesting places. All in all medium length level, good looking with new Lara look and nice atmosphere. Recommended." - Casual Raider (02-Sep-2013)

"There are many good things in this level, I like the travelling cameras for the monkeyswings, I like the idea of teleporters to bring lara at the beginning of the level. The rooms may seem a bit square, but everything is organized well. Congratulations to the author!" - Drakan (20-May-2013)

"Here we have a modern level with one of the last engines for TR custom levels. The movements when Lara swim, when climbing a ledge, etc. are "new". I think the author took a big effort to innovate, and this is visible through the game. Texturization is quite good, perhaps the rooms are too dark for my taste, but never black. Also the use of fixed cameras in several places could be annoying (you can't restore the camera with the "look" key), but not very important for the gameplay, half lineal and not difficult in any case. I missed some more enemies and traps, but the level is very enjoyable anyway. Looking forwar for the next levels of this saga from this author. Very good work!!!" - Jose (11-May-2013)

"I missed quite a big portion of gameplay I found out, passing a climbable wall not far from the start. So a replay was in order. Also missing the sounds of the boulders coming back from the teleport area. What I didn’t like is that Lara wouldn’t drop the Torch when pressing the shortcut 1 (pistols), I had to manual choose them from the inventory every time). Also nasty were the fixed camera’s, sometimes not needed at all apart from making things difficult, that is a very cheap way of gameplay. I did like the animation of Lara when she was sliding down. For the rest it was and still is a nice piece of raiding, nothing too strenuous with some back and fro. It was rather dark at my end but there are enough flares and all the ammo you need is in here. Although I rather have unlimited ammo for Lara’s trusted guns anytime." - Gerty (10-Apr-2013)

"I concur with the majority. This is a fully engaging level, one that's fun to play and equally fun trying to figure out what the builder had in mind while mapping out the gameplay. There's some back and forth involved in the process, but the distances travelled are small enough that this doesn't prove annoying. I was perplexed by the player's apparent ability to bypass most of the gameplay by accessing the finish trigger very early on, but I understand from DJ Full's question in the stuck thread that this was not intended. However, since I, a mere average player, was able to do this, I'm sure others can as well. Anyway, a significant portion of the tasks is geared toward obtaining the three secrets, and therefore isn't necessary to finish the level, but I enjoyed all of it and can recommend the level without reservation." - Phil (14-Mar-2013)

"A well-done mini- and maxigame. Mini because we keep exploring fairly small areas around a central point the things are to be solved at, and maxi because it all still lasts longer than we could expect from such design. God Horus shows here what he already taught us in The Croft Curse - his affinity to design wide variety of environments. Sand, lava, air, water and architecture is here, with only snow missing... but what could it do in Egypt? (one might ask, in the same time wondering why it rains there). All these sceneries are executed on a high level - the author puts enough patience in building for us to be almost unable to spot a texture distortion, and I never caught any crack on the screen while playing. Greenkey2 has provided a climatic introduction and inbetween commentary of Lara. Having her talk from time to time brings a very pleasant feeling we help a real person get out. Unfortunately, the game suffers from an error REALLY unnecessary to occur. I mean: NEVER change anything after the final betatest is done. I also had an error due to this reason once, so I know it's hard to restrain from fixing everything in the end :) so we should both learn from it at last. In this case, a whole location can be skipped if one turns back in a certain point. Good thing the door opens there, so the player has rather no doubt where to go next. SUMMARY: In my opinion, the whole series should be released together, just like it happened in case of the previous game of this author - for unity is always good, and it's definitely better to get a full storyline instead of part after part. I am afraid the plot continuity might be lost by many players, whose subconsciousness will treat each episode as a separate, short scene instead of a large drama. Nonetheless, I'll try not to lose anything and am already waiting for the next bite." - DJ Full (13-Mar-2013)

"You know what, I really enjoyed this level: the way it unfolds so smoothly (only once did I feel a bit puzzled and that was I couldn't exactly think what to do with the torch), the textures and settings, how everything interconnects so well while Lara gets teleported from one place to another. A great game that's sure not to annoy or irritate you, an adventure for everyone. Looking forward to part 2." - Jorge22 (06-Mar-2013)

"A perfectly worked out little adventure for everybody to play. Straightforward and not too challenging gameplay without any dead ends guarantee a good raiding time for all. Recommended !" - Ruben (01-Mar-2013)

"Taking place in the TReboot continuity, this first part in a planned trilogy by the builder serves as a what if? continuation of the events established in the 2013 reboot of TR, taking place a few weeks after Lara escaped from the island. Starting the game up, we are given a back story to read through with narration provided by Lara, who is voiced by veteran TRLE voice actor Greenkey2, describing the events that lead to how Lara ended up in the position she is now. After we're brought up to speed, Lara informs us that we need to get out of this tomb that she's inexplicably gotten trapped in, and so our adventure begins. During the numerous amounts of backtracking from one room to another, Lara will point out various things in the level(from how to use her weapons to practically solving a puzzle for you.) Now, this isn't really a bad design choice, but it ultimately feels unnecessary, as it takes away some of the fun of figuring out what to do yourself and makes me assume the builder designed this level with new players in mind. Despite this, gameplay for the most part starts off as pretty simple involving the collection of various items or pulling a switch in order to progress, but it's almost guaranteed that players will get stuck at least a few times due to the camerashots either not telling the player what they just activated or be completely unclear, as to what room the said triggered object is located in, which led to me stop playing the game out of frustration numerous times. Enemies on offer include TR4-style mummies, demonic dogs, crocodiles and even a demigod at one point alongside a few traps(such as traditional spikes or flames), helping to keep players on their toes, not knowing what kind of danger could be around the corner, with well-fitting objects complementing your surroundings. I only managed to find one of the secrets during my first playthrough, which to my surprise were the dual pistols. So imagine my disappointment when I found out that they couldn't be used as weapons whatsoever and serve as nothing more than a trophy for your efforts. Despite Lara being voiced by Greenkey2 in the game, the builder has made the strange decision to use various sounds from other games in the franchise, so you'll hear TR2 sounds when she bumps into a wall or TR Legend sounds when performing a backflip, making Lara's voice sound inconsistent throughout. Now, while the lighting and texturing used is top notch and helps add to the atmosphere greatly, another little nitpick I have with this levelset, is the use of music. While it starts off sounding exciting and adventurous at first, the music choice drastically changes its direction and tone to a more dark and depressive track from AoD, which just feels out of place. The credits track played at the end after collecting the artifact, is also guilty of this drastic change in tone and just takes you out of the experience. After that, we're given a bonus cutscene showing an unknown man(who is voiced by debut voice actor Boobandie) alongside one of his henchmen, claiming that they need to find Lara Croft and steal the artifact back from her, which will be continued when the next part of this storyline is released by the builder. In conclusion, this was a fun levelset to play, despite some irritating difficulty spikes in certain parts and unclear camerashots, but it still seems worse in comparison to the builder's earlier works. However, if you're a recent fan who's become acquainted to the Tomb Raider series through the reboot or are simply just a fan of challenging Egypt levels, this is one levelset that should be played through at least once." - Ceamonks890 (28-Feb-2013)

"Lately it doesn't often happen that I consider a particular new level to be underrated, but here - even if I understand some of the gripes the reviewers had - some ratings seem a bit too harsh for me, since this is a nice-looking 30 minute Egypt adventure with plenty of visually great rooms and many technical features. I also didn't like the background audio very much, but in comparison to other levels where you'll get one looping sound for the whole level, this feels rather bearable. Gameplay is quite entertaining; the steady teleports back to the start were kind of odd though and in general some parts felt a little too easy, being excessively fast-paced in most parts and puzzles having obvious solutions, but at least boredom never came up. Lara's advices for the player are nice and the voiceovers was done very well. The three secrets were nicely even if not too well hidden and all in all I had a good time in this level." - manarch2 (28-Feb-2013)

"With my laptop being sorely underequipped to handle the new official TR game in all likelihood, I imagine I'll remain clueless to the many references about it for quite some time to come. So it beats me who Reyes or the grumpy dude in the final cutscene is, but overall I don't feel it detracted from my enjoyment of this 30+ minute raid. Before covering anything else, I do have to commend the excellent effort of the voice-actors - Lara, especially, was voiced emphatically without being overly dramatic. As a result - while usually in theory I would consider narrating every action of Lara's in certain parts of the game redundant, in practice, I found it worked well, largely thanks to the quality voice-overs. The narration and overall simplicity may betray some intentions of gearing the game more towards novice players just discovering custom levels (which in itself is a good thing), but in that case it might have been worth giving extra hints towards the less intuitive gameplay mechanics the game employs - the use of the clockwork beetle to disarm spike traps, as second nature as it is to most hardened raiders, might seem obscure to someone who remembers TR4 only hazily and is selective of the custom levels he/she plays. The tasks on their own certainly are fun and well constructed, whether it be collapsing the obelisk, destroying a pillar to gain access to movable block, avoiding an abundance of traps, performing jumps over fire and lava and so on. It relies on some sneaky locations of switches a bit too readily for my liking, and I would've been unable to distinguish the monkey-swingable sections in the lava cavern without the help of a voice-over, but that's as far as my gripes go for individual tasks. I have to say though - as good as the gameplay flows, and is accomplished in its details - it feels like lacking an overall structure on the whole. Despite the seeming non-linearity, the rooms are just strung together one after the other, with no particular rhyme and reason - the best evidence for this being the inclusion of teleporters. They're arguably better than incessant back-tracking, but are indicative of lack of planning too. I don't mention this because it's a game- breaker in any shape or form, but because the lack of coherence and structure seems to seep into other areas of the level too. The overall mood seems undecided, the settings change from monochrome tomb interiors, to rainy, lush caverns (a bit too blocky for an outdoors environment, I think, but I digress), to a smoky desert courtyards, to scorching lava caverns (with a hint of Atlantean presence) at will. The textures, while applied competently as such, lack a coherence and common denominator - as evidenced by the use of no less than 3 types of lava textures among other things, and despite having excellent voice-overs and a decent set of default sounds, some low- quality ones from earlier games are included to muddle things up just because. All of this has a feeling of examining an artwork's brushwork up close and being impressed by it, but taking a few steps back to admire it as a whole and being puzzled by the overall composition. None of this makes the game "bad," just slightly less coherent than an otherwise accomplished level like this should be. But - just to shine a more positive light on the experience before I wrap up, for once I was positively impressed by the inclusion of custom content along the lines of customized animations and inventory items. Many I had not seen before in any other level, had a great fluidity and didn't distract you from playing (as they occasionally tend to do in other levels). The 2 secrets I found were well placed." - eTux (28-Feb-2013)

"Episode 1: Lara isn't kidding when she says "I need to get out of here!". The mummies are thick as thieves, but with revolver and bullets (nice touch God Horus) in-hand they present little problem (i.e., shoot 'em!). I really enjoyed this raid. Lara is in search of a special time-controlling artefact and the tomb she is in presents lots of challenges in order to succeed. I had several "I must have missed something" moments, but I like a game that makes you stop and think about what you may have overlooked. I did do some backtracking as a result, but the tomb is not so extensive that you become exhausted and God Horus has made sure that you can revisit areas if you need to. I thought the lighting was a little on the grey side and maybe some ambient lighting would have improved some areas and helped in the very dark places. A little more care with the textures could have been applied. The music was fine. My review would not be complete without a special acknowledgement to the person who does Lara's voice in this game - it is just perfect IMO. The credits list two people who did voiceovers: Green key 2 and Boobandie. Thank you for your contributions! Looking forward to your next game God Horus! Well done!" - Mugs (27-Feb-2013)

"What a smashing game. This is just a single level, as opposed to this builder's last magnum opus, but he's treated us to a really enjoyable raid, with lovely fluid gameplay, a good mix of enemies and some wonderful objects and animations (the dynamite sequence is brilliant and I especially love the way Lara slides down slopes on her bum). Kudos also to the voice over for Lara - most authentic. I found all the secrets too, which put me in a good mood, plus the dear little mechanical beetle put in an appearance and we haven't seen him for ages. Definitely recommended for about an hour's worth of good entertainment of a medium difficulty level. Best news - there is to be a continuation. Yes please." - Jay (27-Feb-2013)

"I'm sorry,did I somehow misread Overaider's review? No gameplay?No atmosphere? No puzzles? Well,I suppose we're all free to interpret something as we see fit,but I thought that this level was loaded with all those aforementioned elements! The opening voice-over and rolling caption was very well realised;the atmosphere (although a little too dark on occasion)was pretty much spot on;the texturing was perfect;sound and cameras were used very ably;and the gameplay was a constantly gripping and thought-provoking affair,with loads of well devised progression,and several interesting puzzles.Enemies were effectively placed,and the whole thing had me absorbed for a full 70 minutes.(Perhaps Overaider was simply playing a different level?)" - Orbit Dream (27-Feb-2013)
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