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Level: Icy Paradise back home search
Author(s): Adriel
total rating:8.91 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Allicya 10 10 10 9
Christian 9 9 10 10
DJ Full 9 9 8 8
Don007 8 7 8 9
Drakan 9 9 9 10
EssGee 8 8 9 8
Gabriel Croft 10 10 10 10
Gerty 8 8 9 8
Jay 9 9 9 9
Jose 9 9 9 10
Josey 9 10 10 9
Larabiker301 10 9 9 9
manarch2 8 8 9 9
MegaGamer 8 8 8 8
MichaelP 9 9 9 9
okuhtfesq 10 10 9 8
Phil 9 9 10 10
Rambo 8 8 8 8
Ryan 9 9 9 9
totizedger 8 8 9 9
category averages
(20 reviews)
8.85 8.80 9.05 8.95

Reviewer's comments

"As usual, i love the levels from this author. Felt the need to do this review because it was the best experience provided by him so far. Loved the gameplay and how everything was presented. I only saw some problems with texturization details but the rest for me is a real classic. Recommended!" - Allicya (20-Jan-2019)

"Great atmosphere for this level of adriel. We are not bored in this level of exploration and platform. The excellent texturing and a good overall atmosphere give a pleasant effect. Recommanded" - Drakan (09-Nov-2018)

"This is a very pleasant raid through a Nordic setting. As others have mentioned, it can essentially be split into two extensive parts: an exploration oriented section through a chilly outdoor setting filled with wolves and vicious cross to attack, and a more challenging part inside a huge hall and a surrounding Viking village (with a timed run over fire pillars being a highlight). The monochrome Northern Legends may get wearying after a while, but the atmosphere is well done. I experienced only minor lag." - Ryan (04-Oct-2017)

"A bit flat and sometimes textured like if the patterns were glued to each other but still filled with effort, mystery and discovery of hidden civilization. The storyline is nicely divided into prologue, outer exploration cave, inner puzzle-oriented village and the goal temple, though it again lacks a strong conclusion. I noticed the ahmets are immortal, was it intended? SUMMARY: A Northern Legends aftermath well keeping up with the competition levels. I guess it would end up high among the leaders in case of being included. Recommended." - DJ Full (18-Aug-2015)

"Lara is back on a new adventure trying to find a hidden village where the Vikings live. The first half of the level is mostly about exploration through a Cave and involves a lot of climbing and platforming. It's not too linear but somewhere between. The second half of the level is more interesting with a beautiful main area which is a big wow factor. The gameplay is very varied and enjoyable including a nice timed run over pillars to get a key, The spiked ceiling room which require a bit of thinking and the boulder trap. Later on you get to the village and you are treated to fight some vikings which aren't too hard to kill, search for items and a clever use of the torch. Textures are very nice and mostly well applied, music could have been used during the timed run in the big room with the statues to make it more exciting. Overall it's definetly an enjoyable level and i recommend it." - totizedger (21-Jul-2015)

"This level is quite an adventure indeed. A few times you will think you are getting close to the end, only to find out that it opens up again into a new large area to explore and so you will easily spend about 90 minutes in here. It starts with a quick timed swim and quite a bit of sneaky exploration to find your way forward. It keeps you on your toes with traps (boulders, blades, fires, spikes) and it offers a nice side quest with the collection of the seven secrets. For me there was quite a wow moment about half way through as you reach a visually great new area, which is also then the part where a few enemies begin to show up (vikings and valkyres). So all in all, a well rounded raid, based on the Northern Legends BtB package and if this had entered the actual competition at the time, it probably would have ended up in the Top 5. Recommended!" - MichaelP (12-Jun-2015)

"Gameplay & Puzzles: Good exploration and platforming here, the puzzles are okay. There is enough to keep interest although the ideas are not that great. Enemies, Objects & Secrets: The enemies are nicely placed and varied, only a little bug at the end where enemies are frozen. Objects are fitting well, some are even updated. Some objects are misplaced like doors the secrets are tricky to find. Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The architecture is sometimes very detailed and complex, sometimes a bit plain, with flat cave walls or odd structures. Sound and cameras are solid yet there could be a little more work. Lighting & Textures: The looks are in general very good, appearing very nice, but there are a few mistakes in the texturing and the lighting is not perfect, but still I liked how the level is designed. Total: 8/10, solid and correct level." - Rambo (01-Apr-2015)

"Two things that made it very hard for me to have any fun is that the game was lagging big time and to top it off Lara's animation was not smooth at all. That together made it very hard for me to do tricky jumps and timed runs. Also the health and air bars are hard to see with the grey colouring. Good use of the Nordic BtB textures and WAD though. Funny enough I didn't had a good time playing this, even if the overall picture was a good one. Textures could use more attention and I found an invisible block in front of one door, bit sloppy. You'll find enough ammo and hardware to slay enemies but some take a while to kill. Not amusing was the ahmets you couldn't kill." - Gerty (10-Feb-2015)

"Excellent. One of the best levels I've played lately. A half lineal level with a lot of tasks to do and no much backtracking. Natural nice environments with no hard tasks, well placed enemies and musics, good atmosphere and good use of the textures. You can find a copule of invisible blocks in front of their respective doors; also I missed some ingenious puzzles, but I really enjoyed this nordic level. Thank you, Adriel." - Jose (05-Jan-2015)

"Here you get to see the BtB Northern Legends pack used in conjunction with TRNG rather than TRep. The first half of the level is concerned with exploration through icy crags and crevices with lots of climbing and jumps to reach the hidden Icy Paradise that features during the second half. But paradise is not always what it seems, so don't be lulled into a false sense of confidence when you stock up on considerable hauls of ammo and medipacs along the way. There is a tribe of angry Norse people awaiting you when you enter their village. The path is largely linear but can take some orienteering in the barren icy landscape. There is nothing too challenging in the gameplay department so it should be playable by all player skills. Texturing is mostly well applied, although I did spot several little squished ones that could have been easily fixed. There's an unfortunate invisible block on one of the doors, which again should have been picked up in testing. The level is generally brightly lit and I rarely needed to pull a flare. The atmosphere is also well created with the use of fog/mist that adds nicely to the icy feel. The designer could have been a bit more generous with medipacs around the final areas, as I was down to last one and desperately outrunning the final werewolves to get to the finish line. Overall, it's a very solid fast-paced level that you'll enjoy playing." - EssGee (01-Nov-2014)

"Such a incredible and unique level. For me, best launched level by Adriel so far. I did the beta test, and when I played the released final version, I noticed that Adriel was able to fix all the minor errors that this level had, letting it even better. Suspense atmosphere surrounds you while Lara is searching for the secret that these mountains holds, the level gets interesting more and more. Very fluid gameplay that keep you wondering what will happen next, so you keep playing until the end. The traps and challenges were inspired in classic TRs. The level is not hard, but not easy. You'll figure out what to do if you explore carefully to pass through the cold areas and the challenges. Soundtrack is very beautiful and mysterious, just like the level. The lighting here is so beautiful and well used by Adriel, so we don't find any very dark areas, nor very bright ones. Enemies fits the places very well, since you fight wolfs and bats in the cold caves, and later, mysterious creatures inside the mountains... Love it!" - Gabriel Croft (15-Aug-2014)

"I played this adventure while writing a walkthrough (with the builder's valuable assistance, especially in locating the secrets), so I have no real conception of how much time it took me to complete it. However, the action is divided into two roughly equal parts, either of which could justifiably be considered a complete raid. The first part consists of exploring a large cavernous area in search of three keys that allow access to the next section. Part two is itself split into two sections, one where you perform various tasks in and about a large water area, and the other where you battle various enemies in a quaint village. Those ogres at the end couldn't even be targeted, let alone killed, but they were slow enough that they could be easily eluded. It's all quite enjoyable and engrossing, and the tasks are accessible to the player with average skills. Although it resembles the Northern Legends setting used in last year's BtB, I find it hard to believe that the builder used that package in this case, because the lighting is just too good and player friendly ("Icy Paradise" indeed). If he did, it just proves my point that the levels in the competition were uniformly and excessively dark, and that my vocal criticisms of that quality were deserved. Anyway, this builder has demonstrated that he belongs in the top tier, and I hope that he doesn't run out of ideas anytime soon. High recommendations." - Phil (05-Aug-2014)

"this is one of the games you can't stop playing, you don't want it to end. As we could expect from this author we find high quality of gameplay, which still increases towards the end. It is straight forward, there are not so much possibilities to get stuck (but I used them), the ways are mostly clear but the game isn't boringly easy at all. There are so many well created places to explore with a lot of tasks to do for Lara in a well created atmosphere. Also in these concerns there is improvement to be seen towards the end when also more and more enemies show up and we have to realise that ammo for better weapons is quite limited here. Very nice work!" - Christian (21-Jul-2014)

"It's a good level by Adriel, if not, probably his work to date :D Agreeing with another reviewer who said this (I forgot the name) it's a bit hard to explore at times. It's a pretty level, although some parts are a little bland at times :( So, is this a good level? Yes, and I would recommend this to people. Is it Hall of Fame quality? For me, not quite yet, but Adriel is really getting close to making Hall of Fame levels, but this level just missed it. I believe Adriel's next level should make it :)" - MegaGamer (19-Jul-2014)

"A good game... but then there are only two impressive rooms, the other rooms are small and hard to navigate with a few hindering objects and delayed run animation. I expected after every corner to spot the true beauty of this game... but it's only good game, no masterpiece." - Don007 (18-Jul-2014)

"Icy Paradise is an extremely entertaining level with a few irritating aspects. This is one incredibly LONG level (it took me two hours) but it plays more like two levels: the outside portion where Lara must collect three keys, and the inside or village portion. I was not particularly impressed with the first ten or fifteen minutes of the level, but the rest had excellent gameplay, with a variety of fun challenges. Note that this level leans heavily toward the platforming and exploring side, with very few bona fide "puzzles" but lots of traps. Enemies are well placed but rather sparse (at least at the beginning), and there is plenty of ammo, medipaks, and flares. The secrets I actually found (4 of the 7) were rather easy to find but fun nevertheless. Although I was able to find what to do most of the time without much trouble, I would have preferred more camera hints. Icy Paradise is somewhat underwhelming in terms of music; the ambient music used at the beginning of the level became rather grating after a while, and I felt that the level has too little music and that several moments (such as discovering the giant room in which the timed run takes place) would have benefited greatly from some grand music. The visuals are my least favorite aspect of this level. While the texturing is quite well done, the lighting seems rather flat at times. However, the biggest visual problem is the general visibility of the level; the first half in particular is dowsed in annoying white fog, which combined with the occasionally excessive use of spiderwebs, made it very difficult to see and caused me considerable eye strain. Finally, there are a few odd and annoying bugs that, while minor, did cause me some annoyance. Oftentimes after looking around or loading savegames, Lara would momentarily refuse to move, which was rather jarring and caused several deaths. Also, several times stepping on a music trigger caused it to play music a second time, even if I had not died or loaded a savegame since the first time. Despite the visibility and bugs, this is still an exceptional custom level that I quite enjoyed playing." - okuhtfesq (18-Jul-2014)

"A very beautiful game, perhaps Adriel's best, set in a romantic misty environment. Although I missed some camera hints after using levers and similar things, it was not very difficult to discover what their purpose was, and I liked so much the atmosphere and sound that I decided to give full marks to this item. The game flows nicely, without backtracks, and is never boring. Perhaps there should be some more puzzles instead of climbing difficulties and such, but to each one his/her own style. Lovely job!" - Josey (15-Jul-2014)

"This would have made a very credible entry for last year's Nordic Back to Basics competition. The first half of the game relies quite heavily on 'find the route' raiding, which I always enjoy, and the settings are perhaps a little unvaried, consisting largely of cave like areas. In the second part however, things hot up nicely as Lara explores a village and encounters quite a few enemies. There's nothing too onerous to achieve, but the action moves along nicely and I never got bored at all. Great atmosphere." - Jay (14-Jul-2014)

"Despite my rating being equal to Adriel's previous level I think this is his best level until now. I liked how he took the nordic BtB inspired setting and added a new touch to it. Overall the room design and the visuals are of a pretty high standard, and there are a few really outstanding rooms (the giant multi-layer room towards the end being the best example). The presentation isn't quite flawless though with a couple of misplaced textures and sometimes a bit flat lighting, but the effects used in this level and other well-designed area spice it up more than make up for it. The gameplay is not too linear, but never gets really complex as well and even if I think it could've opened up more at times, I found everything being fairly professionally constructed. There are parts where the progression feels a bit tedious and uninspired, but then there are quite imaginatively used traps, intriguing puzzles and unorthodox jumps, spiced up with a nice dose of everything including several challenging timed runs, my favourite being the one across the burning pillars. What a step upwards from the builder's earlier efforts! I only had a strange bug in the village section where some of the enemies reappeared in a frozen mode after some time, but it was more kind of funny than annoying. I found six of the seven secrets, which weren't all too hard to find but the challenge often lies in the way of how to obtain them, which is not too challenging either. All in all the builder has proved to be able to construct quite all-around good levels and I hope that his next projects will be even better. Spent 65 minutes in here." - manarch2 (13-Jul-2014)

"This was definitely a very excellent piece of work we see here. From the beginning, you are thrown into a distant world covered in snow and ice. And from there, you traverse through mountain sides, caves, and a long forgotten (but not abandoned) viking village (for some reason, they're still alive after all these centuries). This games memorable moments are definitely there and I really don't have any real discrepancies. Gameplay was an all around okay; nothing too boring and nothing really too complex. Everything was mostly find this switch and find this key with some platforming in between but the different level designs and rooms that you have to accomplish that are completely on par. Enemies and objects were from the BTB package last year, I believe, and nicely decorated the level with Norse goodness. Secrets were fun to find as it required a little bit of thinking outside the box and some little detours outside of the intended path. The atmosphere was spot on but a little nit pick of mine was that the fog was a little overbearing. My laptop (that I purchased specifically for large games) was lagging and I was a little surprised. Of course, I didn't care since; I was enjoying my stay anyway. Also, camera work was excellent. Texturing was brilliantly executed so I have nothing to say there (I may have found one or two squashed textures). And lighting, of course, was okay as well, although some rooms did come off a little bland. Overall, you definitely shouldn't miss this level especially if you're into cold, atmospheric levels such as this. I didn't have much discrepancies, so if the author is looking for constructive criticism, they'll have to wait for another passerby. Time - 2hrs, Difficulty - Easy_Medium, Secrets (7/7), recommend!" - Larabiker301 (05-Jul-2014)
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