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Level: BtB2013 - Hammer of the Gods back home search
Author(s): EssGee
total rating:8.84 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Andzia9 9 9 9 9
Bigfoot 10 10 10 10
Casual Raider 10 8 9 10
Daffy 10 10 10 10
DJ Full 7 7 8 7
Drakan 8 8 8 7
Jay 8 9 9 9
JesseG 8 9 9 9
Jose 10 10 10 9
Josey 10 10 10 10
Magnus 7 7 8 7
manarch2 7 8 9 9
Markus 8 9 8 9
McRaider 10 10 10 10
MichaelP 8 9 8 9
Minaru 10 9 10 10
Mman 9 9 9 8
Mytly 8 9 8 8
OverRaider 6 8 6 9
Phil 9 9 10 9
requiemsoul 8 9 9 9
Ryan 9 9 9 9
Soul 8 8 8 9
The Boo 9 10 8 8
Treeble 10 10 10 10
category averages
(25 reviews)
8.64 8.92 8.88 8.92

Reviewer's comments

"I enjoyed this one. It involves a simple concept, explore the fjords and find your way to Odin's Hall. Simple? No. But fun. A great entry in the contest. Nice adrenaline rush with the boss and a nice flyby to end." - Ryan (28-Jan-2016)

"After the sense of incoherency in the last couple of BTB levels I've played it nice to have a level based around a strong concept; you work your way around two sides of a dam-like structure before entering the inside for the finale. I felt the lighting was slightly drab, but it does generally fit the cold theme, and the textures and objects help with the earthy semi-realistic theme. The biggest issue I had was the ambient music; the upbeat default BTB2013 track doesn't really fit the hostile cold fjord and surrounding areas, and one of the more foreboding or natural themes would fit better, and this ended up being the one thing stopping me being fully sold on the atmosphere. Gameplay is strong and is helped by the thematic focus. One bit with requiring an enemy to break stuff felt a bit long-winded, but outside of that it has a good flow. It's not very hard, but it stays entertaining. Very good, it's just a shame it's lacking one or two things to really bring it's theming together." - Mman (02-Aug-2015)

"A level well designed and relatively easy to do, apart from the jump for the secret. I rather regret the lack of such cameras to retrieve the frozen flame that I had not seen. I also stumbled upon one puzzlecombo posed on a rock. Correct and interesting level!" - Drakan (24-Nov-2014)

"I really like levels that convey the feeling of an open world. The huge areas of this one create excatly this feeling and I just love it. Many creative tasks are waiting for the player and the traps are also a nice part of the game. Sounds are well chosen just like enemies who are placed perfectly. Only textures are a bit consistent and the lightning doesn´t compensate this grievance, because it is also a bit uninspired. All in all a rewarding level but unfortunately it can not reach older publications of the author. (9/10/8/8)" - The Boo (10-Feb-2014)

"Another excellent level created by Essgee, which I loved from beginning to end, with the necessary amount of enemies and puzzles very well created ... A highly recommended level with great gameplay in which the player stay satisfecho.Thanks Essgee!" - McRaider (09-Sep-2013)

"Quite an enjoyable game. I loved the arquitechture and the atmosphere, the smooth gameplay and the varied riddles. I liked the whole pack. The big areas were a really good point, as they gave you freedom to move (so you don't have a tinny place to fight monsters). The slow viking was especially fun for me to deal with. He even destroyed by mistake a pedestal what made the ammo on it to float in the air." - Minaru (29-Aug-2013)

"This is a level that is obviously built with high competence, but for some reason it never quite clicked with me. It does actually flow quite smoothly and logically, but it uses the concept of not given camera clues for everything when the imminent change is relatively nearby. This is perfectly ok to do, but it always left me a bit uneasy and wondering what to do next and indeed once or twice I did miss the obvious and needed the walkthrough to get me back on track. I also found the overall environment rather too grey and was excited each time some color entered the mix and hoping for some more each time it happened. The gameplay elements as such are fairly classic, with moderate timed challenges and plenty of objects to find and use. Highlight for me was rather good use of enemies - in terms of variety and appearance. (87 min, 1 of 3 secrets found)" - MichaelP (27-Jul-2013)

"Lara finds a curious dam and sees if she can find a pretty gold chalice within. I appreciated the cutscene demonstrating how fatal a timed swim was going to be - it prevents the players like me who like to save in odd places from a good amount of frustration. There was even a camera hint for that nasty little receptacle for the apple! Very nice. However I did not understand the odd method of trapping a player in a pool of water, by "teleporting" them back into the center if they tried to break away. But that is a minor qualm. The gameplay contains a few puzzles on the simple side and some nice trap sequences, and everything is structured in a nice, fluid manner. The effects were nice and dramatic, and worked well with the combat. This arthor had a very good idea of what he or she was doing. It doesn't have the extra umph that some other levels have in this competition, but it was a fun, engaging adventure." - SSJ6Wolf (16-Jul-2013)

"I loved this level. The place was built nicely - everything seems to be on the right place, wrapped around that river. It wasn't very challenging but for me it was perfectly balanced. Was annoyed by that knight enemy placed within so long corridors - as someone pointed out waiting for him to get closer was long :)" - Casual Raider (09-Jul-2013)

"Time to explore Nordic fjords to found a new mysterious artifact for Lara: The Chalice of Odin. When you start this level, you are dazzled by the amazing design of the fjord created by the author. Then, it's time to discovered the many faces of this amazing game. With werewolfs, mummys, Trolls and many other enemies of the "Cold" wad, you don't have time to get bored. Te gameplay is not very hard but I think it's a bit pity sometimes when you use switch to open a door with another switch ... but I don't thinks it's really important ... after all, TR1 is heavy of switch to access another switch ^^. But there are very exiting challenges, like the horseman, and the Thor boss in the end. With the nice use of textures and lighting, there are a great cold atmosphere, like a real place in the North. The use of the snow is also a great idea. We are also a perfect choise and use of the "cold" objects. I think my favorite moment of the game is the council of Asgardians 's rooms when you use the 4 chalices to get the famous Chalice of Odin. Epic moment of a epic game. I can just recommanded this level and say "congratulation" to EssGee for it." - BigFoot (13-Jun-2013)

"The best BtB levl I've played till the moment this year. Very entertaining with a big variety of tasks and no excessively challenging. Sometimes you can get stucked if you forget something, but it wont be too far if you explore carefully. Original puzzles with a half lineal gameplay, well placed enemies, some special effects, a well builded environment nice textured. Perhaps there is excessive darkness in many areas forcing you to play continuosly with flare in hand, but this is not a big trammel for a fluid gameplay, 'cause there are not too hidden passages or items. Congratulations." - Jose (31-May-2013)

"Located entirely on the fjord cliffs, this feels much like a Viking Venice. I didn't feel good here - for me it was too cold and overwhelmingly grey. I respect the author's vision, which very likely was to picture wild, unfamiliar, almost primeval landscape filled with raw rocks - one that would exist in far, far north. I can appreciate all of this, but it's just not my type of a game. I think it ain't no fault of the builder nor could he do anything in order to fit my demands as long as our visions simply DIFFER. Thus, let me say one word about something that COULD be fixed... Behold! Before that Viking knight approached his shatter destination, I literally managed to change my clothes... And before he reached the next one, with that regular, slow shhhh... shhhh... shhhh... of his sword getting louder and louder to keep me aware, I had enough time to change them again. Imagine that! I changed clothes TWICE! After the obstacles were crushed, the action instantly accelerated and it flew smoothly till the very end like if it launched some hidden turbo boost, while the plot kept guiding me from one cliff to another... On both sides, I gathered various items, threw various switches and opened various doors. The path was nicely designed, however the order of picked items seemed non-functional at all. I mean: why to sacrifice a heart to open THIS door, why to place a heavy sack to open THAT one, and why to put a snake head to raise THAT gate? Also, the chalices... those were the most main items, and while two of them were guarded by a boss, the other two were placed like so whatever. By saying all of this, I don't mean the puzzles didn't fit what they unlocked (because this is working fine), but I globally mean locating puzzles in the plot didn't allow to feel graduation of their importance. For me it's a flaw this particular level suffers the most from - it's just exactly the same problem as occuring in Save the Dwarves, however in case of Hammer of the Gods the puzzles require much more effort to be obtained, so I rate the latter one higher in this field. Why only seven points for EOS: this is mostly because of secrets, which were all huge medikits, while in fact I kept running out of ammo at almost every fight. Secrets should be primarily useful, there's no point to place them if they make nothing easier. I also withdrew 1 point for sound, because however the intention was good, the main ambience disturbs special tracks, what often creates disharmony, and sometimes even makes the CD triggers almost unnoticeable." - DJ Full (31-May-2013)

"I don’t know a lot about Norse mythology, but the story for the level seems well-researched enough (if a bit wordy). The idea of a dam-like fortress is conveyed well and you revisit the area time and time again as you try to make your way into the inner sanctum. Once you get there, the actual payoff is a bit of a letdown and I would have expected something a bit grander, but the final room fits well with the level’s story, so I liked that. Gameplay-wise, the level is a bit on the simple side. There are a couple of really easy puzzles, and the platforming and action are decent, but not all that exciting for the most part. Exploring the area in and around the fjord is fun, but there’s no real exploration to speak of and you’ll spend most of your time being shuffled from one area to the next. Occasionally you may find yourself stuck because you’ve missed a key item, so that’s a bit annoying, but they’re usually nearby and you can avoid getting stuck too often if you make sure to shoot every sack or box you find, as the author is really fond of hiding keys in them. At forty-five minutes, the level is a decent length, but there is some needless padding, like switches that open doors that lead to nothing but another switch or having to find keys to open doors in areas that you can’t even get to until after you’ve found the key. But what the level lacks in gameplay, it makes up for in atmosphere and doing a pretty good job at telling a story." - Magnus (31-May-2013)

"The fjord that the level is centred around is nicely built – I liked that gameplay involved opening up different sections of it. The lighting could have been a little more colourful – everything is rather grey, except in a few hot rooms, where it is red. There’s a nice use of architectural objects – i.e. the arches, pillars and statues – to create interesting rooms, such as the room where you get the Inner Sanctum Key, or the final ‘council chamber’. There’s a rather odd use of teleportation to keep Lara from reaching the end of the world in the fjord – in fact, I didn’t even realize it was teleportation (I kept thinking I was encountering some strange bug) until I tried to jump in that direction from dry land, and Lara teleported into the water!
The gameplay involves mostly exploration, puzzles and switch/artefact/key hunts. There are a couple of thoroughly obscure puzzles, such as a switch puzzle that I solved completely by accident, or burning the ‘witch’. On the other hand, I did like some ideas such as shooting a box in the water to get a key, or moving a block over spikes to set off a trigger safely. Enemies are used well, such as the boss fight at the end, with the arena changing after your victory. The only enemy usage I disliked was the sword-dragging knight, which I felt was overused – he takes so long to get around, so trying to lure him to break 4 different objects was a long and tedious process. I could have used some more camera clues, as I constantly kept missing necessary items and had to keep backtracking for them. The map is quite small, so this isn’t much of a problem, but it is a little annoying.
Overall: As my last BtB2013 level, this was a nice way to say goodbye to the series. A pleasant but not particularly memorable level." - Mytly (30-May-2013)

"The next level with two of my personal Btb2013 pet-peeves: The first being random teleport effects (In this case sinks would have done a better job!) and the second one is...have a wild guess... ... YES! The god-awful background sound, that should ONLY be used during moments of calm exploration. In this one it's audible the whole time though (even during the fast-paced moments), and just like in Jormungr it also interferes with other pieces of music, that would actually fit nicely on their own, but just sound wrong because of that. I know for some people both of these points might me minor, but to me they can ruin the atmosphere in a level, and so I found it really hard to get drawn into it, despite it being pretty good actually: In order to find 4 "Chalices of the Council", Lara has to fully explore a greatly designed fjord and solve some easier tasks here and there and especialy the former was executed quite well (the tasks were a bit too easy for me taste, but still nice ^^). At the beginning one sees many ledges that are too high or doors that are closed, but the more one plays, the more parts get accessible. Of course this means, that there are tons of switches and pickups, but personally I never felt overwhelmed by them or had any problems finding newly opened gates, which I liked a lot. On her journey Lara also faces some enemies (including a nice boss!) but the focus is definitely set on exploration! In terms of textures and lighting I can't fault too much. Lighting was more on the realistic side and thus less colourful (with one exception) and a few textures were distorted, but all in all, I'd say that the last category is definitely this authors strength. Recommended!" - Soul (24-May-2013)

"I found this to be the most visually appealing of the five BtB levels I've thus far played. I noticed that it's also the smallest download of the bunch, yet the builder has packed a staggering amount of gameplay into this 90-minute adventure. It's complex, far too complex for me to have completed without the workmanlike walkthrough provided by Dutchy, and you get a pleasing balance of tasks performed outdoors and indoors, in wet surroundings and dry. The idea is to find four subordinate chalices that, when placed, enable you to grab the daddy rabbit chalice and complete the level. Much fun along the way, and everything here reveals the touch of a master's hand. High recommendations." - Phil (10-May-2013)

"What an enjoyable thrilling ride! From the beginning at the river all the way to the end, delivering the chalices to the council, there's never a dull moment here. It might have been just luck on my end (I mean, I know I'm not up to my best when it comes to custom levels), but not even once I felt lost here. There were multiple tasks running simultaneously and yet I always knew what went where, I really liked that. It's the first time I come across mummies in the BtB and I have to say they were slighly annoying (mostly because they can run lol), but still, this particular level deserves extra credits for use of enemies simply for the most brilliant boss fight I've seen in a long while. While I still have another 12 levels to go, and top quality has been present in every entry so far, this is my current favorite. 60 minutes, 1 secret. 04/13" - Treeble (05-May-2013)

"Very good custom. Scenery of fjord created mysterious climate and mood. I liked sky very much, the northern light were very beautiful. There aren't any difficult moments here. The model of Thor was quite good. Most of textures and objects are the same as in other BTB Norhtern legends customs, so I won't describe them." - Andzia9 (23-Apr-2013)

"An enjoyable level accessible to all players, good graphics and storyline. The puzzle is rather complex and we need to collect a lot of items, but there is no turning back (or not much) if we play with the eyes opened (secrets 3/3)." - Markus (20-Apr-2013)

"Well I am sorry to say this but I must say that I wasn`t impressed by this level as much as other reviewers. I am not saying that this level is bad but in my opinion gameplay is not so interesting, well too many levers and keys to find, no real puzzles, some illogical moments (preventing to swimm through without real reason), some bug areas (for example: after horseman fight a block open way, but I saved and realoded because of terrible music and then that block was closed!!!), same background sound playing all the time and also I didn`t like the chosen ambient sound, mirror room was too simple, the door to frozen fire was opened "mysteriously", and too easy and boring challenge in my opinion in this level. Also there are some good moments and ideas.In terms of lighting and textures areas looked greatly. 1 hour net playtime found 2/3 secrets. Overall not a bad level but it just didn`t fit my taste. 6/8/6/9" - OverRaider (16-Apr-2013)

"Another high quality entry in the competition, with an interesting storyline, well balanced gameplay and well chosen use of enemies - my first look at the beautifully re-textured horseman. There's an intriguing 'mirrored' effect between the two main areas in the level that bespeaks a creative and slightly unusual outlook and gives the whole thing a distinctive feel. The time really whizzed past whilst I was playing this one." - Jay (15-Apr-2013)

"This level I really liked and I'm clearly a lot of fun. The decor and atmosphere of the game are very successful. The gameplay requires a lot of research and connects perfectly, and it is more important to me, nothing is too easy and nothing is too difficult, the author found an excellent compromise of game that will appeal probably a maximum number of players. Thank you and congratulations for the excellent level!" - Daffy (15-Apr-2013)

"Frst of all, I want to say that it's an impressive level. It notices the very huge work behind in very few time. challenges are interesting, varied and never frustrating with stunning rooms. Good Job!!" - requiemsoul (07-Apr-2013)

"I don’t like sinister, dark, forbidding places; if you also don’t like them, and if at first this game doesn’t arouse your enthusiasm because of this, forget it: this game is a MUST. The sequence of actions is logical, the game becomes better and better as you progress, there is the stimulating fact that the second part of a combining item was never placed very far from the first , there is a great variety of actions and places (superbly constructed), and the end of the game is simply spectacular. One thing alone seemed strange to me: Lara could not swim to every place; when she tried to swim to a supposedly “forbidden” place, she made a kind of somersault and turned back again to the “accessible” place. I don’t know if this is a bug or not; if not, I don’t understand the issue. The author could easily have used an underwater door, a strong current or something like that. As it is, looks clumsy, at least to me. Nevertheless, I considered the game so fine that I decided to give it a string of 10’s, despite of the somersault and the darkness of some places, that could be a little less. In resume, we have here a probable winner; congratulations and thank you!" - Josey (07-Apr-2013)

"Another highly atmospheric level, set in a realistic canyon with several side quests in caves and temple areas. While I did enjoy exploring the map and slowly unfolding it the gameplay itself was rather mediocre, since there are definately too many levers/key items to find and especially at the start I was literally stuck every few minutes since the next step is not often obvious and too many things can be done at once, although I also blame myself to not have explored the area well enough. More puzzles and more action else than the dramatically set up fights also would've suited this level. Another mixed bag for me also was that the builder added a lot of elements that seemingly show "depth" in the level (like the inaccessible water areas or the not explorable hut) but I would also have liked to actually have some real depth in this level, the actual map one explores is relatively small - yes it would be nice to explore a larger part of the canyon, and to actually enter that single building. Still, this one hour long release is a real beauty among the contest levels and also has some nice ideas realised. Recommended." - manarch2 (06-Apr-2013)
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