Level: The Asylum back home search
Author(s): IvanTRFan
total rating:7.30 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Bonaventura 8 7 9 6
DJ Full 7 8 7 9
Gerty 4 8 8 6
Jay 7 7 8 6
Jose 4 8 8 6
manarch2 7 8 7 5
MichaelP 8 9 9 7
Phil 7 6 7 7
Rambo 8 8 8 6
requiemsoul 8 9 9 7
Ryan 7 7 9 7
category averages
(11 reviews)
6.82 7.73 8.09 6.55

Reviewer's comments

"This is really a unique experience and definitely worth trying out - if you're up for it. It's definitely not for everyone and some of the gameplay and setting mechanics will not appeal to every player (unlimited ammo, an extremely dark and spooky atmosphere that is almost too much at times and a few tasks that are perhaps too tricky or confusing), but provided that you can allow yourself to enjoy it like I did, it actually ends up being pretty enjoyable. The atmosphere is really unsettling and works really well while the various flipmaps/transporter sections are really nicely set in scene, also the part where you lure a persistent hellhound into a trapped room and spike it to obtain a key was absolutely brilliant. I also didn't find the limited ammo feature too much of a handicap as I still ended up with 200 or so rounds after I defeated the final boss (even after the annoying trial and error parts), so you don't have to be ridiculously conservative. Not a level for everyone's taste, but a one of a kind experience and it will be fun if you can grasp the concept of it all." - Ryan (21-May-2019)

"Finally did finish this level and although I do like creepy levels and challenges, especially the ones that make you jump in your chair; this was not it. The darkness just was so overwhelming that I couldn’t see pass one tile and no flares or flashlight. So that is a big NO in my book. Then of course the limited pistol ammo, also a big NO. The story was fine only it was unplayable because of the darkness, what is a pity though. I sure hope more horror levels from this builder, as I love this/his genre." - Gerty (11-Jul-2018)

"Another one mistakes the definitions - pulling switches and evading traps in narrows while being chased by a wraith isn't scary but infuriating. After his first appearance, effective indeed, he should just go, so further traps are also useless, btw it's the kind you need to outwait while helplessly watching the lifebar drain... what level of cruelty does it take to design such thing?! At that point I took a break, sadly aware of how many times I will yet go through the same BS, then I returned for sheer terror of dash button, disabled to extend reloading even beyond. The dog part is much better, we can be smart and lose no life by trapping it in a room - only then it appears a wrong room, how the heck am I supposed to know if the correct one produces a hint only with the dog inside? So I first got stuck because of being smarter than predicted, then I got permastuck in the switch cage which has no antitrigger. Sometimes being stuck is a pleasure but not in few identical cramped dismal rooms which are tiny but still don't tell you what to do, and I also hate getting stuck immediately after getting unstuck... Finally, I got stuck with the raised spikes, only because my subconscience refused to accept the author's will to force me through those rotor blades again... yes I know you can do them without health loss but the point is what's the actual chance to realize it or to keep trying. Wouldn't it be a PERFECT moment to enable sprint, still disabled to ensure repeated fail? Be it intention, be it lack of care, it all has nothing to do with any kind of horror except losing my mind unlike my heart I was warned about - I just felt like wasting my time, so here I have to give that tip I dislike to give the most: take the walkthrough. But then immediately close it, because the other half of level is unexpectedly brilliant and rewarding: getting outnumbered by mummies, Irish demons and hydras but in fact never without tactical advantage, clearing the gaps between hellishly suspended corridor pieces, eventually fighting the boss to even recall some LOTR vibes with a stairway chase concluded with defeat at the top - all these pieces perfectly execute the concept since you don't die too much but feel helpless all the time. Couldn't it be like that from the beginning? SUMMARY: A game with nice ideas, fine atmosphere and several neat jumpscares, with very bad beginning and very good ending." - DJ Full (09-Feb-2017)

"Amazing map with very unique and creative ideas as allways. The enemies are great, the horror scenes are scary and very cinematographic experience. The lighting isn't annaoying for me but There are really too few bullets. Muy bien hecho, Iván." - requiemsoul (17-Oct-2015)

"Not necessarily underrated, but certainly underappreciated level. This is full of originality and creativity, doing things differently to the norm and it is due to some rather player unfriendly choices that this very unique level has not been getting the attention it really deserves. Yes - it is fully dark throughout, but the PLS makes this work out kind of ok. Yes - the limited ammo is a nuisance, but one has to accept it as a gameplay element, a new challenge that we usually do not have. And I even managed to kill all but one of the 16 mummies, so there is no real excuse that this would need either luck or plenty of reloading. The whole design with the many surprising flipmaps, the excellent use of moving blades, the effect moments to give the players a little scare every now and then really makes this a fun experience if you allow it to happen for you. Try it out for something completely different..." - MichaelP (28-May-2015)

"Several months after the release I can understand now how only five players around the world have rated this level. The first to consider is that many players want to see the environment; a thing is a DARK level and a very different thing is a BLACK level like this, forcing you to permanently use the PLS. Many years ago GMac wrote: "Where's the fun in looking at a black screen? I can turn my PC off and do that". About the ghost, I almost got out of medipacks and I don't know what's the reason why he disappeared, but it's another bad detail that players can't look for something to get rid of him. Further I reached the room with many mummies and three card holes; I started to shoot the mummies and when I got out of ammo only one of the cards was in the floor; I had to take a look at the walkthrough and I saw that you need to be lucky to shoot the mummies with cards so, in that moment the level went directly in the recycle bin. Like me, I think that most players are not willing to reload and reload continuosly until the luck appears. In that sense I think the authors always must give to the players enough resources so they can finish the game. Honestly I noticed good features in the level (the quest for the hellhound was a nice touch), and I know that this author have got many skills with the level editor; but he should think about building for many players and not only for very few players, considering all the hard work behind this release." - Jose (05-Mar-2015)

"It's undeniably creepy, but not especially player friendly. I did begin playing it on first release, but soon gave up and waited for the walkthrough. It's a dark level, but Lara is at least provided with the wonderful personal light source that I really wish would become standard issue on all her adventures. The pistol ammo is limited so it's vitally important to find it all throughout the game as there are some tough enemies to deal with and you'll also want as many medipacks as possible as there are a few nasty traps to negotiate too. I have to give the builder credit for some highly inventive moments, with all the unexpected flipmaps, the great way of killing a hellhound and the unusual, if somewhat frustrating, choice to limit some of Lara's moves initially and only allow her to regain them gradually throughout the game. Basically, it's quite an ambitious and well devised level, but in all honesty I can't say I found it an entirely pleasant experience." - Jay (12-Jan-2015)

"Gameplay & Puzzles: Another game that is not well appreciated but I don't know why, the gameplay is excellent with a lot of fun riddles, traps, good platforming parts and a lot else. There is more than enough ammo to find here and I don't know why some are complaining. Enemies, Objects & Secrets: Killing the harder enemies are really great tasks, especially the dog, and I liked the other enemies as well. The mummy room was very confusing... The objects are few but aptly used, no secrets to find. Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The atmosphere is mainly strong because it's a horror level and the enemy attacks are nicely done, but the sound is also very good, cameras are few. The architecture is a bit simple but it works fine at least. Lighting & Textures: The texturing is okay but very repetitive looks and too flat dark lighting are not. Total: 7,5/10, not a game for everyone - but for me :D" - Rambo (07-Jan-2015)

"I wondered why, after nearly two months, there were only two reviews of this level. I downloaded it and found out why. Without a walkthrough, which manarch2 provided with my persistent cajoling, even though it meant he had to play through a second time, it's virtually impossible to figure your way around. You have a built-in flare that allows you to see a step or two in front of you, but since there's really nothing appealing to see it makes little difference how adequate or inadequate the lighting may be. You're also limited in the ammo allotted for your pistol (your only weapon, by the way), and many of the enemies require a great many rounds to kill. Some of the gameplay ideas, however, are quite original, such as trapping an undead (and immortal, if that makes sense) wolf in a room and then getting rid of it by spiking the room. You work out of a hub room of sorts, whereby you find keys to explore new areas and return once again to open new doors. Your moves are restricted at the beginning and are only begrudgingly restored, so that (for example) you're sliding down a slope toward a deadly spike pit before an on-screen alert tells you that you can now jump. It was fairly entertaining and novel for the hour or so that I spent here, but I wouldn't want to relive the experience." - Phil (26-Dec-2014)

"Lara's journey through a creepy asylum not only shakes up the player, but it shakes up the core gameplay Tomb Raider fans have become accustomed to over the years. I was completely shocked that you had to unlock basic commands like jumping and rolling, and I was stressed knowing that Lara had to complete her adventure using limited ammo. I can only imagine the author's decision to do this was to play homage to traditional survival horror. On that note, the PLS light source was a definite plus, shifting the atmosphere to something more akin to Silent Hill or Forbidden Siren. However, I wish the author could have been more creative with the use of colored lighting (like the hub room with the four key holes) instead of masking everything in darkness. The textures also felt a bit wallpapery at times The atmosphere and music selection were impressive, and they created an unsettling environment, making me afraid of what lurked behind every corner. On the downside, very little was done with the camera. In a traditional survival horror game, the camera is one of your biggest assets, so I believe it was a missed opportunity not to include more camera trickery in this game. The enemies were very scary and they always kept me on my toes. From the creepy men in raincoats, to the eerie ghosts, to the seemingly innocent looking mannequins. Once you think you've seen it all- BAM! Something new and frightful comes along. Very fitting for an Asylum! There weren't many puzzles within the asylum but I thought the zombie dog segment was brilliantly executed! The game also offers plenty of traps and strong platforming opportunities, especially during the final confrontation where you'll need to use all your new-found abilities, plus your wit, in order to survive. I didn't find any secrets but this level doesn't need secrets. Ammo and health pickups are a challenge in themselves and you'll need a keen eye to find them all. As a player who's conservative with his pickups, I completed the game with hardly any ammo left! Other players who are more trigger happy will definitely struggle with this level and it may require you to load up an earlier save if you don't plan accordingly. I hope next time the author is more lenient when it comes to limited ammo. Overall, I was very satisfied with The Asylum. It offers everything you could want in a traditional horror game. If you have an hour to spare and you're looking for a good scare, this level does not disappoint." - Bonaventura (05-Dec-2014)

"The second horror themed Halloween level this year appears to be more faithful to its genre, with some really scary moments that are awaiting you here in forms of enemies appearing out of nothing (that hellhound... I nearly fell off the seat)!), dramatic scene changes (there's good use of flipmaps here) and a persuasive darkness that really was more than a bit of too much, yet it never really disturbed the gameplay (the PLS system helped a lot here). I had to get used to the idea of enabling various moves along the way, at the start you can't even jump, but I thought it worked quite nicely in this regard. The gameplay has more on offer than you might initially think, and I enjoyed even most of the utterly hair-twisting moments because they are quite a nice challenge to overcome. What is a big no though is the limited ammo you can run out of easily and then your only two choices is to reload an earlier savegame or use the weapon cheat. I personally had trouble on two occasions, namely the room with the multiple mummies of which only three hold a key each, but it's impossible to tell which one so you just have to shoot and waste your ammo. Eventually this worked though, but at the boss fight I really had to return and search some other areas because in there simply wasn't enough. The "respawn" feature would have helped this level drastically. Anyway, the time I had here was still quite fun. The traps are excellent, there are some nice puzzles (the one including killing the hound for most) and there are some extensive jump sequences that are quite interesting. Another highlight was the rotating hall with a special movement you have to absolve. The horror atmosphere is quite effective, yet mostly benefits from the dark ambience, the scene changes, cutscenees and the well chosen sounds - not really from architecture, which is rather basic, and textures are also rather monotonously applied. So all in all a level that certainly won't be enjoyed by all players, but it might just be a great pick if you dare the challenge. No secrets to find in 40 minutes." - manarch2 (10-Nov-2014)
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