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Level: Kurtis Trent - Fire and Ice back home search
Author(s): kevindatsun
total rating:5.59 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
A_De 4 6 6 7
Ceamonks890 4 4 5 4
DJ Full 4 6 7 5
Drakan 7 7 7 7
eRIC 4 3 4 3
eTux 4 3 4 3
Gerty 6 6 6 6
Jay 5 6 6 6
Jose 6 7 7 6
manarch2 4 6 6 5
MichaelP 6 7 6 6
Orbit Dream 4 6 6 8
Phil 7 7 7 7
Rainmaker 5 7 6 6
category averages
(14 reviews)
5.00 5.79 5.93 5.64

Reviewer's comments

"I downloaded this levelset a few month ago and decided to play it just now. This is a short levelset which have it's strong and weak sides. Good things were AOD sound tracks and using of coloured lightning. Making Kurtis the main hero is not bad idea either. Okay, now it's time for critique ;) First pointing the obvious story mistakes, because this is the reason why I called this rather levelset than game. European medieval castle in Bolivia is definitely out of place, however I wouldn't notice this if the first level had the name like "Somewhere in Europe". And what did the Egyptian Ba Cartouche do in that castle? It didn't look like easter egg there. I like the motorbike ride in the next snowy level but think that the snowmobile would fit the snowy environment much better. According to the story this ride was an Antarctica so I didn't get why Kurtis used the bike. The technical side sometimes makes me crying. I could forgive those misplaced or stretched textures (there are many of them, unfortunately), missing sounds, lightning cracks or seeing end of world everywhere wouldn't bother me too much, even dogs appearing from thin air and boss ladies making weird sounds could be counted as a "creative touch". However many of the wrong placed doors are REALLY serious issue. Just one example: player pulls timed jump switch to open a door (this is a tight timer by the way), runs forward dodging from spikes and (silent) boulders, the timed door is nearby and then... You can guess it: when time is over door closes and player gets stuck forever in invisible collision block. Summary: I probably shouldn't write this review. Author does not actually need to read all that I wrote above, everything was told before by other reviewers. However one thing the author must ALWAYS do in a future is the thoroughly beta- testing, this allows to get rid of most of issues. There are a few people in TRLE forum who can help with this ;)" - A_De (11-Aug-2014)

"For a nice change of pace, we find ourselves controlling Kurtis Trent(from TR Angel of Darkness), who has decided to head out and hunt down two elemental queens, because they're apparently planning to destroy the world for some reason... OK, so we don't usually play Tomb Raider games for it's riveting storytelling, but I have to admit that this basic premise just hasn't been designed with much thought put into it whatsoever. For example, why isn't Kurtis wearing warmer clothes in response to the colder climate while setting out to kill the ice queen? Or have his Boran-X pistol instead of the dual pistols that are more fitting for Lara? Or have any new tricks at all, to help differentiate himself from Lara's gameplay? Minor nitpicks such as these only set to detract from the overall experience for me, and that's a damn shame. As a whole, the rest of the levelset's presentation doesn't hold up too well either. While the builder has tried his best to move away from the blocky level design demonstrated in his earlier levels, it's still pretty mediocre here with plenty of legitimate attempts available to reach the end of the world throughout this 48-minute escapade. Texturing is still as wallpapered as before, lighting is simply competent as always and the gameplay still revolves around picking up keys and pulling switches and levers to continue forward, with a few timeruns added in to spice things up in the first level. While the environment variety is appreciated, there are some cases where enemies and items just feel out of place and make little sense within the context of the game(such as fancy-looking keys laying out in the open or tigers in Antarctica). With the fights against the elemental queens being so short and easy to beat(even with dual pistols), it boggles my mind as to why the builder couldn't simply have combined the boss levels with that of the levels we did prior. In conclusion, what we have here is an unfinished release that misses out on a lot of golden opportunities to help diversify itself and therefore suffers for it, coming across as nothing but another average levelset by the builder. I hope after this release, that kevindatsun has spent some time delving into the TRLE manual a lot more, as I'd be interested to see what he can do, given a lot more practice and understanding of how the level editor works. But we'll just have to wait and see." - Ceamonks890 (15-Mar-2014)

"I was sooo stuck in this one and convinced that I encountered a serious bug, so threw it in the bin. Reading the walkthrough I see that indeed one gate wouldnít open and to get out one had to climb a wall. Not really what I expected though. So I was on my way again and for the rest of the game I had no problem to find my way. Not many enemies but the one you do encounter are always come in a pack. Two sorts of boss fights and a drive on the bike through a snowy terrain. I saw some paper-thin walls and also could reach the end of the world at some places. Got a back pain picking up all the ammo, but Iím glad I did, as those furies were hard to fight." - Gerty (12-Nov-2013)

"Although they are five short levels with many defects like the paper walls, the missed sounds, bad placed doors and textures, etc. it's an enjoyable adventure. The gameplay is easy except if you leave back something dropped from an enemie or forget to explore any area. I think enemies are well balanced through the levels and there are enough guns and ammo to deal with them (I think there are excessive shotgun shells). The best for me was the good atmosphere with all that cool musics starting in appropriate places and that flybies too; but I've got problems with the cameras when climbing the blocks in the ice castle. Not a jewel of the custom levels but entertaining; you can take an attempt." - Jose (14-May-2013)

"It is sure that with a little more seriously this series of levels could be much better. There are many collision bug, and lack of rooms to avoid losses horizon. A few audio (except the background), the lack of sounds (doors, motorcycle, ...), textures compressed or stretched, some thin walls, doors placed in the middle of the room with the collision in the wrong direction. That said, I enjoyed this short hike, which is not very difficult, it is often sufficient to follow the road. I especially appreciated the level with the bike (this is my favorite level). To the next!" - Drakan (13-May-2013)

"After playing two rather tedious and boring house levels, this was just what I needed. A crisp set of 5 levels that plays through in about 45 minutes, fast paced, with simplistic and a bit blocky but still rather pleasant and atmospheric environment and easy progression with a nice mix of tasks to do. Especially the first level is probably the strongest work of this builder to date. The second has a slightly tedious maze, but not too bad. You get two boss battles with a fire and a snow queen that look great and are not too painful to kill. You get a fun bike ride (almost a trademark of this builder by now) and even the earthquake escape did not annoy me at all. Yes, there are still a few basic mistakes, like a thin wall here or there, an invisible door block, the end of the world being visible, but these are small and do not get in the way of a fun little experience that I thoroughly enjoyed." - MichaelP (23-Apr-2013)

"A set of levels with Kurtis as main character , that lasts only 50 minutes. I donít remember much audios played in the levels except for the background loops. The first level taking place outdoor is the longest , mainly you need to find your straightforward way through rooms that look too square to feel real , killing wolves and making rope swings , with some keys to pick up and switches at the end , some are timed but not much indicated as such. There is some problems in the design , you can reach the end of the world in many places , doors are not placed in portals and at a few places you may see textures disappearing indicating flaws in the design of the portals between rooms. Some of the new textures seem blurred. Then onward to the 2nd level , a castle where you first collect many pickups , before exploring a labyrinth with many zombies before reaching the end with a few traps. The 3rd level is only a short fight with a demigoddess. And the 4th proposes a good journey with a bike , that part was the most well done of the adventure in my opinion , and I liked how Lara has to go down a huge height with the bike without damage. This was followed by a big fight with yetis and tigers. At the end of this level though, things become messy , there are again problems with doors not set in portals which caused strange cameras views in addition to the intended and annoying fixed ones. What was also not welcome is the fact that some of the enemies hold important items , here it was a yeti , (at the end of the first level it was a wolf) ,and I had no clue where these items could be. The last level which serves as conclusion is brief and the setting is strange with useless traps placed naively on the sides of the room and useless pickups. In conclusion, there are a few good things in this short level set which was not unpleasant , but there is still important basics the author should learn so master so that the adventures presented be more solidly built." - eRIC (02-Apr-2013)

"I always look for levels with Kurtis and when I saw this one I was excited. The truth is that when I started playing it, I realised that it was not so exciting as I thought. The gameplay doesn't have various elements. Especially the non bossed levels are a bit poor. Although, they have a pretty good atmosphere, but many times that is ruined by seeing the end of the world and paper sized walls or invisible ceiling. The textures at the first part of this set are not always so beautiful. Sure the mojority of them are nice, but not all. The snow textures are great though. Also, I didn't understand what an egyptian objects was doing in Bolivia. Something that I hated, is the maze. I can't understand why builders keep on building mazes without giving you clues or a map for the exit. It is pretty annoying. The boss fights are very nice, but a bit boring because the queens need a lot of ammo to be beaten. I found also, few mistakes, like no bike sound, no animated textures on water's surface and lavas and few misplaced textures. The author used some very goodlooking objects and successful lighting. He also used nice tracks of music and he places the traps very well. I enjoyed this level, besides its drawbacks, but I think it should be tested more before its release." - Rainmaker (27-Mar-2013)

"My take on this level set is not as unforgiving as what the other reviewers have shown to date. What stands out most in my mind is that the builder has elected to place the strongest levels first. While that may give a more favorable first impression, it results in the inevitable letdown at the end. Perhaps the builder would have been better advised simply to ditch the last two levels and end with the boss fight. That would have provided a solid thirty minutes of gameplay at least. In any event, I found the first level, set in the woods of Bolivia at night, to be by far the most intensive and engaging. I got waylaid in a couple of areas before opening my eyes and figuring out the obvious ways to progress. Boredom began to set in a bit in the Castle level, with large areas offering little for the player to do. The maze section in the back would have been just fine without all those mummies hounding me and with me having no way to fight back (until a grenade gun just happened to materialize out of thin air). And the builder should have turned off those stompers after that particular section had been passed. Manarch2 was kind enough to point out the locations of the five secrets. I may have found the pair in the last level on my own, but I definitely needed help with the first three. Not anything to write home about, but I found myself suitably entertained, and that's all I ask of any custom level." - Phil (27-Mar-2013)

"Never before I've seen so much of wasted potential. The concept of a short yet multi-level game is maintained and the unity of storyline is never abandoned, so this had a great chance to become a nice little gem... but it was apparently neither finished, nor betatested. Once again, if TIME was taken, there would be no wafer-thin portals next to magnificient usage of textures, unintended accessible zones not differing from secrets and nicely flowing main path, thin-air enemies interleaved with properly ambushing ones, nor "Load" keys collected among climatic objects. If those errors didn't ruin the atmosphere, it would be enough for me to rate the game about overall 7, for really not much complicated improvements are needed to give decent numbers. But higher ones would require more devotion. I understand lack of time, but if there's none at the moment right before a planned release, it's worthy to hold a project even for several more months until a timespot comes which is suitable for polishing. If a game is released only AFTER such reprocess, it feels flowing. SUMMARY: I played to find out if this is really THAT bad as the author thinks players see it. Well it's not. It's HEAVILY unfinished, but deep beneath the first impression lies a layer of unfortunately masked talent. If the builder takes time with his next project, he might be surprised with its nice quality even more than we would be." - DJ Full (26-Mar-2013)

"Dark Woods of Bolivia: Not too dark actually, but certainly heaving with wolves and more than its fair share of jump switches and monkey swings. There's also a serious 'end of the world' problem if you try climbing up most places so in the end I just didn't bother searching for secrets and just contented myself with any I managed to stumble across in the normal course of things. Interesting timed run through dropping boulders and spike traps. Castle: Ah, a proper roof at last, even if some of the walls are wafer thin and the damn wolves have invaded the place. Also, gloomy maze area full of mummies and no explosive ammo. Aaargh. At the risk of sounding like Brendan Fraser, I hate mummies, although trying to lure them out of the passages did produce a rather amusing lurching conga line. Running the gauntlet of stampers and pendulums was fun, but I really wish the stampers had switched off as the rest of the segment was accompanied by nausea-inducing shaking. Fire Queen's Chamber: Spectacular looking enemy who takes ages to bump off. Probably would have been quicker to use some of the lavish amounts of ammo already provided, but I found pistols perfectly adequate. Snowy Bike Ride: Nice little bike ride, culminating in a shoot-out with massed ranks of yetis and tigers, which is no real challenge since you can pick them off from a safe vantage point. Then find your way up a tower-like structure to use a key one of the yetis dropped, trying desperately hard not to think about where he might have been carrying it. Final Confront: Another fight with a wonderful looking enemy that takes forever to kill, pick up loads of ammo you don't actually need as you can dodge around during the fight, despite the spike traps, and escape to the waiting helicopter." - Jay (20-Mar-2013)

"Dark Woods of Bolivia (18 minutes): It's definately too dark in here, and although there were a few nice ideas to create atmosphere, there are at least as many let-downs, like the end-of-the-world being taken to a new dimension, invisible walls, floating platforms (e.g. the ones holding the ropes) and highly improvable texturing. Until the end, the gameplay is rather dull and boring. And even at the end one of the timed runs might get you stuck behind a closed door, but the very last timed run was really cleverly designed, especially because of the placement of the lever. Found two secrets here but one didn't register.
Castle (13 minutes): Definately the best level from a visual viewpoint, since the castle setting is well designed with mostly good texturing and even better lighting (despite one paper thin wall), but gameplaywise, this is the worst of them all in my opinion. I hate mazes and I especially hate darkish mazes, this one's even filled with enerving mummies and a too easy to miss key item. Most of the starting area functions only for the atmosphere and as hideout for some pickups - more action would have been good here. The trap room was certainly the highlight here but it's still rather dull in comparison to others. Found one secret.
Fire Queens Chamber (2 minutes): Nothing more than the fight against an overpowered boss enemy, but the narrow space to manoevre made it more interesting.
Snowy Bike Ride (7 minutes): Motorbike rides are always fun, especially after the last level, but this one suffers from too few dangerous situations, which makes it kind of boring after a while. The outdoor settings are solidly designed but not overly realistic and repetetive, with the final area and the high hill being the highlight though. I thought there were a few too many enemies at the end - yetis and tigers (I wonder where they came from). Found two secrets.
Final Confront (5 minutes): Another fight against an even more overpowered demoness, and while putting some spikes in the "arena" was a nice idea it's too easy to miss them. Afterwards you return down the hill and approach the helicopter to finish this level.
Summary: A slight step-up towards the builder's previous levels but still lacking too much polishment, depth, gameplay ideas - and generally effort - to be a decent level. Spent 45 minutes in here." - manarch2 (18-Mar-2013)

"I hadn't played a level of the author's since his earlier zombie escapade, so it was interesting to note how he has progressed. While a noticeable improvement in direct comparison, this ~50 minute five-level game still leaves much to be desired by its own merit. The non-boss levels (was it necessary to make the boss fights separate levels, when they could've been easily serviced within the regular levels?) seem pretty expansive when you regard them in-game, but the fact that none of them individually ever exceed the 30 room count should be indicative of the quality you get in terms of appearance. I could go on about the regular beginner's mistakes in terms of textures (somewhat sloppy), lighting (could use a sun-bulb in every room), end of the world bugs, paper-thin walls, trying to squeeze the setting within the default room size, instead of combining multiple rooms to create the settings - but I'll just direct the author to going through the tutorial level with manual in hand. It may not be sexy, but the truly important steps seldom are. It fares a little better in gameplay - playing with a character other than Lara can be a nice change of pace (though one has to admit that technically Kurtis doesn't really do things any differently than Lara), there actually are some timed runs (at least one memorable one in level 1), creative use of traps (level 2) - with the spike platform lava room being the definite highlight, the bike ride was nice, if a bit tame - and the boss battles with the enchanting queens could've been enjoyable, but the amount of ammo to take them out just made them slightly tedious for me. On the flipside - the ropes and monkey swings in the open air settings seemed a bit artificial (one could argue that all TR levels ever are, are subtly designed assault courses with the illusion of choice present - but the illusion is part of the fun, and the design here doesn't even attempt to reconcile that), the main chunk of level two consists of a maze, sometimes crucial items are easy to miss (though as far as I could tell, one can still backtrack for them) - so be on the lookout - and the author tries to compensate for the lack of real tasks with an overabundance of pickups and enemies. The audio tracks are used well, but can't create the unique feel the author may have been aiming for on their own (settings, and lighting in particular matter a great deal for the atmosphere). All that said - this can be enjoyed in the right mindset, and thankfully there aren't any game-breaking bugs to be found - but most of it feels sluggish and rushed, which is a pity - since there are a few good ideas here, so I urge the author to suffer through building the tutorial level to get some of the basic skills right." - eTux (17-Mar-2013)

"Although the storyline is solid,texturing and lighting are generally fine and occasionally imaginative,and objects are used rather well - this level is not the epic that the builder would undoubtedly like it to be.The two principle reasons for this are 1) the gameplay which,despite generally good placement of traps,relies too much on straightforward linear progression and the occasional sneakily placed key;and 2) the construction of the outside areas,which are all built using one very large room clumsily divided up into various corridors.As a result,locked doors have invisible barriers around them and the end of the world is reachable on almost every occasion. The best of the five levels was the inside of the Gothic castle,which was nicely lit and textured,and contained a good use of objects - but even here,the straightforward progression and multitude of unkillable zombies made it all somewhat tedious;while the two end-of-level bosses were a fine exercise in shooting tedium. Although this potentially ambitious five-level set is undoubtedly the best release from this builder yet,I do encourage him to spend more time devising outdoor areas that consist of more than one very big room; and honing his gameplay-creation skills." - Orbit Dream (17-Mar-2013)
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