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Level: Black Phoenix (Demo) back home search
Author(s): Juanse
total rating:3.73 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
BHM Productions 5 5 6 6
Casual Raider 2 3 2 4
Ceamonks890 2 4 2 3
Gerty 4 4 4 3
Jay 3 4 4 4
Jose 4 5 4 5
LOTRKingluis 4 2 2 1
manarch2 2 4 3 4
MichaelP 3 5 4 3
Orbit Dream 4 3 5 6
Phil 5 6 5 6
Rambo 2 3 3 3
Ryan 3 5 3 4
totizedger 3 4 4 3
category averages
(14 reviews)
3.29 4.07 3.64 3.93

Reviewer's comments

"I am a bit shocked to see how low the scores for this level are. It's definitely not great, but it's quite neat for a debut level. I was mostly impressed by the overall design and atmosphere of the level. The creator took Lara's mansion and really made it their own and something new. I was impressed by the plethora of custom/replaced objects, ambient lighting, and beautiful views of the outdoors. I would love to live in THAT mansion! :) Object placement was a bit glitchy and wonky, but still good enough. I loved the different feel each room had, and the aquarium was a nice touch (if underdone). Outside, however, there was a notable downgrade in the visuals and polish. My guess was the builder was worn out from all the effort put into the house (considering this is a debut level) and didn't put as much energy outside. That's a shame. Gameplay was simple, brisk, and I also liked how you could complete most of the tasks in whatever order you pleased. There could have been more complexity, and more interesting platforming. The outside area also was mostly lacking in any real fun. Still, I appreciated the gentle, laid-back vibe to the gampeplay, and the lack of enemies was for the better. Overall, I find this to be an underrated level. It is marred down by early-builder mistakes, simplicity, and awkwardness in some parts, but still manages to be a cut above most debut levels with the lovely indoor visuals, relaxed gameplay, and nice atmosphere." - BHM Productions (07-Mar-2017)

"This is a typical mansion level: searching for keys, placing items and hunting for levers and switches. There were some nice touches here like the quad bike and the shelves in some of the adjoining rooms. However I had some missing sounds for gunfire, using levers and breaking vases and barriers, which was a shame. Not really that entertaining ultimately, but it's not the worst out there." - Ryan (01-Oct-2016)

"This is a nice debut with some beginner mistakes. Textures, missing one, squashed and stretched ones and I even found a paperthin wall. There were some well done flyby's so you knew where to go or what to do. A house level with a little twist. Liked the explosion warnings in the underground area." - Gerty (28-Jan-2015)

"Another Home level. Brrr! At least this one is shorter than others. As usual, pull switches and use keys to open doors. There's a short ride with the bike too but I found nothing to do with it. Textures are not well applied and I even found missed textures. I missed some musics, better worked lights and some enemies or traps too. Good effort, but still a lot of work to release better levels." - Jose (23-Jan-2015)

"This one is another one of those Lara's Home levels. I've played the original Lara's Home many times and the only difference is that some rooms are new. Gameplaywise it's about pulling levers and inserting keys into the right slots, lots of pickups that you don't even need. Some rooms looks fairly good, one of them being the room with the aquarium and the other is the main hall. Textures are often stretched which could have been avoided. There are no enemies which would have spiced things up a bit. It is still a fairly solid debut and as it's a demo maybe the finished version will be better, as it stands now it just isn't recommended to play unless you haven't played Lara's Home before." - totizedger (16-Oct-2014)

"A debut effort of a young builder and a fairly solid one at that, except maybe for the script that has not been properly updated and quite a few squashed and stretched textures. It is however avery basic rendition of a Lara's Home level, so it will test the patience of the seasoned raiders out there who have been playing dozens of these in the past 14 years or so. Find a few pickups and keys, pull a few levers, fully optional quad bike ride - and you are out of here in about 20 minutes..." - MichaelP (21-Sep-2014)

"This was a time-filler of sorts for me so I could write a walkthrough. I neglected to open one of the upstairs doors (even though I was able to finish the level without doing so) and thereby missed several important pickups. It's all pretty crude and simple, but there's plenty of light and the gameplay is logical in a basic kind of way. A beginning raider would likely find this a good level to hone his playing skills. I found no productive use whatever for the quad bike, and could have done just fine without it, so I wonder why it was there. Maybe you drive it through a barrier so you can continue in the final version, or something along those lines." - Phil (09-Sep-2014)

"Gameplay & Puzzles: Almost nothing to score here, much time is spent to run in the mansion, the bike tour is more stressful than pleasant. Enemies, Objects & Secrets: There are some good objects, no real enemies and no secrets. Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The architecture is not too simple but there are many thin walls, it's possible to jump over the balcony which results in a bizarre moment. The sound is not very diverse but the background one is okay, and cameras are nearly missing. Lighting & Textures: Very little lighting, most areas are too bright. The textures are interestingly chosen but the placement is rushed. Total: 2,75/10, a low quality debut." - Rambo (30-Aug-2014)

"Of the two Home levels released almost back to back,this is certainly the weakest.The texturing is quite sloppy at times,while the lighting is fairly uninspired and cameras need a little tweaking.On the other hand,the mansion (although somewhat implausible in design) at least appears different (it resembles a Villa rather more than a traditional old house);and the gameplay,although straightforward and devoid of any puzzles,is actually rather fun and fast moving (especially the Quad Bike sequence).It would have benefited greatly from the addition of numerous enemies;not just for the action quotient,but also because so many firearm pick-ups are collected that the player rightfully expects an epic confrontation at some point,and the sting of disappointment is consequently greater when this never transpires.Nonetheless,I had some fun here;and it certainly provided thirty minutes of reasonable enjoyment." - Orbit Dream (02-Aug-2014)

"Another house level, this time a debut demo. It does bear a lot of the hallmarks of a debut, with missing textures and sound files and some rather inappropriate Egyptian objects scattered around the mansion. I mean, OK Lara would certainly have the odd souvenir from her travels in Egypt, but I doubt she would install catacomb style underwater doors in her swimming pool. The gameplay is fairly minimal, which is probably to be expected in a 15 minute taster. The finished level may well be an improvement and worth looking at, but I'd recommend waiting for that rather than bothering with the demo." - Jay (02-Aug-2014)

"Diverting back to reviewing TR4-based releases for a bit(after spending the past month or so focusing my efforts on levels built in other TR engines), I find myself checking out one of two new releases uploaded today on the first of August(at time of writing) and decided to check this one out, before moving on to Gabriel Croft's latest work. So, how does this debut level hold up then, in regards to scrutiny? Well, in all honesty, not all that great. As there are plenty of problems and beginner mistakes shown off here, including plenty of missing sound effects, repetitive, stretched and missing textures, rather unnecessary weaponry and supplies available to pick up in one room(due to a lack of any opponents to combat whatsoever), lighting is inconsistent and all over the place(in terms of quality) and finally, the gameplay in itself is quite unremarkable, relaying too much on pulling a certain lever or finding a specific object to advance your progression, while traversing back and forth across many empty areas. However, if there's some things I will praise the builder for in this demo though, is that the objects are at the very least well-chosen, fitting their surrounding areas decently enough and the inclusion of a quad bike for getting around the home(once you get access to it), is a nice gesture towards players, even if being unable to actually reverse the thing does drag the overall fun factor down just a tad. So in conclusion, would I still recommend this to any curious player drawn in by the plot description that sounds like badly written fan-fiction from my point of view? Unfortunately, I'm going to have to say 'NO' on this one as the numerous aforementioned problems are just far too noticeable and prevalent to bare for too long(at least in my case). However, if you're still willing to give this one a go, then by all means go for it, as this level is probably among the more harmless releases on this website so far, in terms of taking up your valuable time. BTW, a few small tips for Juanse to take into account, when creating his next level... Firstly, don't use only one ambiance track throughout the whole game! While it may help create a mysterious vibe that will draw in its fair share of players at first, having it repeat ad nauseum will quickly become ear-grating after a while and will simply cause players to turn the in-game music volume down completely for the remainder of their playthrough. And two, try to change your character's expression on the head mesh when they're using their weapons, as every little attention-to-detail will only help add to improving the experience for the game in your favour." - Ceamonks890 (01-Aug-2014)

"Two house levels on the same day... and this one appears to be a fairly simplistic one, with a not very believable architecture, a lot of mistakes in the room geometry and many other mistakes usually to be found in debut levels (missing textures, many wrongly placed textures etc.). Some rooms like the aquarium and the main hall are actually looking decent and at least here and there you can see a solid use of lighting and cameras (although they can be skipped with the look button and Antu can move). There are some changed sounds for the male character, but then there are many missing ones and the single background audio doesn't really help the atmosphere either. Gameplaywise, you get the usual key and lever hunt, spiced up only with a short quadbike intermezzo which was rather welcome, but the missing reverse and lots of dead ends with pits in the underground maze were pretty annoying. Overall this is a not too bad one if this is the builder's first, but he still needs to improve quite a bit to create a really good level. Found no secrets in the 15 minutes I spent in here." - manarch2 (01-Aug-2014)

"A small game with some simple raiding in it. Good imagination on the house but unfortunately not outside. Game was simple, but full of bugs and problems! Missing and scratched textures, lack of sounds and some bugged animations and objects. Also I didn't see the reason for so much guns and bullets on one room to never be used in the entire game because there was absolutely no enemies at all. And the athmosphere sound although peaceful at the start, it rapidly became annoying... As the first level I would say big imagination, but a lot of level editor work to do (even though many good things were found on the game that a "first timer" wouldn't have the pacience to do, like the fish, vehicle and the "man" playing instead of lara croft)" - LOTRKingluis (01-Aug-2014)

"Dunno really what to think about this level. It's too easy and boring. Textures are stretched at times and lots of them don't fit to the others. Some objects seem to be out of place as well. Missing some sounds and that music loop is a little annoying after a while. But this level isn't that bad as it has some nice objects and textures placed as well and new player model is interesting. Gameplay is about finding lever/button and keys. As a demo this level could use a little more work and it can be rather good, but probably still easy like level. But hey that kind of levels are needed too :)" - Casual Raider (01-Aug-2014)
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