Level: The Last Emperor back home search
Author(s): Tr1997
total rating:3.25 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
alan 2 3 3 2
Ceamonks890 1 2 1 1
DJ Full 5 6 7 3
Gerty 2 3 2 2
manarch2 3 3 3 2
MichaelP 4 6 3 1
Phil 8 6 5 5
Ryan 3 3 3 2
Treeble 3 3 3 3
category averages
(9 reviews)
3.44 3.89 3.33 2.33

Reviewer's comments

"Thirteen whole levels and five hours total spent completing this game... and I still can't score this any higher than I have. The reason is simple: each level follows the same strict format - having the player trek across huge, barren, wallpaper textured areas only to pick up an item or use a switch and repeat this pretty much through the entire game, with only the occasional break in the proceedings. Pretty soon, this only engendered tedium and I was close to giving up a couple of times, but I persevered because I'm stubborn. There's also a stingy amount weaponry and medipacks throughout the middle levels and since a couple of them relieve you of your accumulated supplies and pit you against unfavourable enemy odds, I pretty much had to rely on trial and error and numerous reloads. Having said that there are occasional moments that are really well thought out: enjoyable speed boat and snowmobile rides, great action with springboards and breakable tiles, a nice touch of a hub room in Temple of the Monastery that is used to hunt for four prayer wheels and The Temple level had a kind of Fenician temple feel to it that I quite liked. With these, we might see something worth playing from this builder someday, but overall I was rather disappointed with this one." - Ryan (14-Jun-2018)

"Totally unfair to start without any medipacks and then get the first couple of minutes enemies you have to kill. For that nasty ramp you have to take with the boat, use also the Ctrl key with the forward arrow; that will get you over it. I am still amazed in how huge and empty rooms are and this level isn’t even that old, so the question pops-up: why for crying out loud. Look for lever (or key), find lever (or key), go back a long way and find door, look for lever (or key) and so on and so on… booooring! There are some good ideas but that just doesn’t cover it. And that 13 levels long, pity though, all that work and not much to show for." - Gerty (02-Nov-2017)

"From low rating I thought it's missing music so I played to add it - but it appeared the opposite: often 10 for ears and 0 for eyes. Once again tr1997 mixes the best, the most fitting soundtrack with the cheapest graphics to still resemble something - for instance the initial Venice part oversized just beyond any other I have ever seen, lasting for multiple levels, however I must admit the whole game having consistently this style gains a kind of giant world mood you can get immersed into. Another mixture is great combat versus awful passage routing - every level has brilliant enemy combinations yet involves unnecessary kilometers. I swear I have no idea how you can have such ambitus, like total care for one category and utmost whateverness for another... One bad impression is this thing often feels like all bad TR2 levels previously created, but now compiled into a two- day raid with a sleep inbetween: I'm sure I saw those ideas elsewhere, and it really doesn't matter if it was this author or another. There are little highlights which make the game special: remote shatters, wonderful weapon placements, boat riding and even a good crate puzzle... still when a pushblock is a highlight you know the game already: you really need to struggle to reach those worthy moments. SUMMARY: I think such products are the reason why original TR players are afraid to check custom levels. However this one here is a good-bad one so you in fact might be in the mood one day: it requires bravery (or like in my case, cluelessness) to attempt but it pays off when finished. RECOMMENDED, HECK..." - DJ Full (29-Sep-2017)

"This series can be pretty much considered a shooter, for that is the biggest factor in gameplay here. Otherwise the biggest element are, of course, the huge and boxy-like areas you endlessly run through in search for levers or keys to proceed. Generally speaking, however, it's a very straightfoward levelset so you're not likely to find yourself stuck provided you bother to run across all surfaces trying to spot important pickups. You will still find yourself stuck once or twice, but that's due to unmarked climbing walls or fall through floors, both of which are huge no-nos in level design. Should you decide to embark on this journey, the first thing you notice is that you start with a clean inventory, but lucky for you the pistols are within the first 10 seconds. Also within the first few minutes is an encounter with Colt, so consider that a forewarning to upcoming encounters. I was somewhat disappointed to spare ammo and medipacks only to find a wiped clean inventory upon entering the fifth level, so if you decide to take this on, don't be afraid to use what you're given (you'll be wiped clean time and time again). Some of the later levels have areas overloaded with objects so they keep flickering as you move around, which pretty much undermines any atmosphere the level themselves might have tried to build. This was especially aggravating during Prison, which also happened to be absolutely boring with long bits of backtracking just for the sake of it, not to mention a complete lack of inventory and too many jade statues coming too life. Cold War however might be the absolute rock bottom in the set, and, despite being roughly 15 minutes long, it had me questioning all of my life choices. "Terrible" doesn't even cut it, and yeah, ok, you have infinite ammo while riding the snowmobile, but so do all the 30+ snowmobile baddies you have to mow down along a series of boring corridors very reminiscent of Young Driver... As I stated earlier, environments are all huge and very boxy-like, and while texturing is a bit of a decent - if not automated - effort, the level design doesn't do it any favors and more often than not creates the wallpaper effect. The grand finale in Meeting Place has you facing off about eight Colts at once, with nothing but a shotgun, so make sure you collect every ammo and health pickup along the way otherwise you might find yourself in trouble. Ultimately, this is not all bad, but there's hardly anything memorable, plus it's such a huge timesink (took me roughly a week to get through) you definitely could fill with other offerings available on the site. 6 hours, 30 minutes. 06/17" - Treeble (18-Jun-2017)

"Running, jumping and swimming in large and empty rooms with repetitive textures. That's what most of the levels in this game is about. Please, DON'T create such levelsets like this one, they're tedious and boring." - alan (14-Dec-2016)

"This was one of the few remaining releases unrepresented by a walkthrough, so I decided to bite the bullet and give it a try. Thirteen levels and 23 printed pages later, I share the feeling of accomplishment described by Michael in his review. The ending credits reveal that many people other than TR1997 were involved in this project. My report to the building team is that this is a worthwhile, playable effort. The concept of gameplay is firmly grasped throughout most of the levels (with the possible exception of that army of snowmobile baddies). I suggest, however, that for your next effort you ditch the TR2 engine and concentrate on putting out a real level. I feel certain that your efforts will be rewarded with more favorable than what you've thus far received. Hopefully the walkthrough I've prepared will induce more players to play, review and constructively criticize this painstakingly crafted release. Oh, and if it's indeed true that I managed to miss all 24 of the secrets indicated by the closing screen, please confirm in a PM that you found one or more of these." - Phil (16-Feb-2014)

"I finally finished this mega game, and I am really proud of that because it was partly a real overcoming to raid on. Some levels are excessively tedious, running from point A to B and back flipping a lever each, crossing long distances and no fun at all. But I must admit that at least some levels are created with a kind of imagination and there is one level that is fun from start to finish (The Temple), with good usage of bounce pads, breakable tiles and other traps that all turned this level into a nice gauntlet. I'd really like to see more levels of this kind by the builder. The rest is sometimes okay, with occasional adrenalin rushes (mostly coupled with fun vehicle intermezzos), sometimes bearable and sometimes (as mentioned) rather boring. I found a couple of dead ends if you do things in a different order than intended, or - other way round - unintended shortcuts (you don't have to kill the dragon for example), and the health kits were often sparse, but the hugest problem was to keep enough shotgun ammo in the last level for the very end. There is a bit of improvement in the atmosphere, since the rooms aren't all boxy and the builder has tried to build a decent atmosphere at times (this time there are rooftops, and more windows, and the sound is also okay) BUT I also blame the builder to be rather inoriginal because I recognized the style of many other TR 2 levels here. If you're interested here's the list: Return to the Opera, Folklorist Diary, Temple of Alpha Aaris (even the same name!), Tibetan Foothills, Theft of the Dagger of Xian, Seraph Monastery and Hidden Palace. While the lighting is as flat as in all other releases of the builder, the textures showed an ever so slight improvement, but this is relative as everything because then there are always areas built with minimal care. In total, I spent 3:50 hours here and left with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it continues the builder's hardly bearable style, but on the other hand there are some ideas that leave me hoping one day we will get to see a good level from this prolific builder..." - manarch2 (15-Nov-2013)

"I am only the second reviewer and it is fairly obvious why that is the case. This young builder managed to pretty much ruin his reputation with his debut releases and then follows suit with yet another massive multi-level adventure, BUT - as a matter of fact this one is not so bad! Granted, the general problem is still present: almost all the rooms are huge, empty and wallpaper textured and there is a ton of eventless running and massive amount of backtracking. And you really need to demonstrate ultimate patience and make it though the first four levels that are all set in Venice: Return to the Venice, Anicent Venice, Golden Gate and Hidden Opera last about 30 mins each and the only real pleasurable moments they have are repeated use of boats (always fun) and plenty of roof top 'exploration'). As of level 5 (The Temple, 25 mins) it starts to get more interesting. Finally you get to see some non-Venice colours (blue) and you need to dig up your bounce pad skills from TR2 (three times) and get to run breaktiles and moving spike walls. In level 6 (Temple of the Alpha Aris, 25 mins) you battle snow leopards and eagles while you search five gems and then in level 7 (Prison. 40 mins) the action is taken to a next level with the appearance of the Jade sword and spear fighters that are rather tough to kill. The snowy theme continues in level 8 (Tibet Mountains, 25 mins) which offers a surprising need for a trick move to progress and some fun snowmobile riding. And then we get to level 9 (Cold War, 23 mins), which is very aptly titled as it largely consists of driving around on a snowmobile that has a gun equipped and shooting goons of their own snowmobiles. This is actually not so easy to manage (with very limited medipack supplies) and finally provides some fun and past paced gameplay after all the endless running. After that, level 10 (Temple of Monastery, 45 mins) is probably the best and most elaborate level of the set. You get to explore the place through fairly complex paths to collect prayer rolls, battle bad guys, crows and monks along the way, run through a gauntlet of traps a few times and there is even a multilayer push puzzle to be solved (the only real 'puzzle' in the entire series). Level 11 (Talion's Guardian, 36 mins) offers more of the same then with another bounce pad added and plenty of yetis, but the use of the gong and the resulting big bird battle was fun before level 12 (Legend of the Dragon, 15 mins) is then the ultimate multi-boss-fight ending, with a huge amount of jade warriors, knife throwing goons and eventually even a dragon to deal with. At last, you return with your very well earned dagger, with plenty of shotgun action in level 13 (Meeting place, 18 mins) and hence a 5-6 hour journey comes to an end.
So, as I mentioned at the beginning - if you have patience and can get used to the huge emptiness of the environment, you will probably find this adventure quite challenging (many enemies, few medipacks) to get through with some great TR2 highlights that the TR4 engine does not really offer these days. I, for one, was actually rather proud of my accomplishment when I reached the finish line." - MichaelP (04-Nov-2013)

"If you've played any of the builder's previous releases up to this point, then you'll know what to expect with this one. Taking a familiar setting from TR2 and turning it into a tedious, dull experience that is not, in any real way, fun. I'm honestly starting to wonder why Tr1997 continues to release levels in this state, as all it will do is give him a bad reputation among the TRLE community, prompting many players to avoid playing his releases altogether. He either needs to get his act together and spend more time in the editor in order to create a more fun and cohesive levelset or just stop making levels altogether, if this is the kind of quality expected from every one of his future releases. Avoid playing this release at all costs, unless you're a fan of tedium." - Ceamonks890 (30-Sep-2013)
back home search