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Level: Frozen Past back home search
Author(s): Francesco Venco
total rating:9.42 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bigfoot 9 9 10 10
DJ Full 10 10 9 9
Drakan 9 10 9 10
Gerty 8 10 9 9
Jay 10 9 9 9
Jose 9 9 10 10
Josey 9 10 10 9
Killer Gameplayz 8 9 7 9
Lokky99 10 10 10 10
manarch2 9 10 9 9
Mytly 9 9 9 9
Phil 10 10 10 10
Rambo 10 10 10 9
requiemsoul 10 9 9 10
Ryan 10 9 9 9
Samu 10 10 10 10
category averages
(16 reviews)
9.38 9.56 9.31 9.44

Reviewer's comments

"Like in this builder's previous levels, this tends to focus on one set theme and in this case he has opted for a rather pleasing snowy environment. Also again, there's the option to proceed using the save crystals method or to continue saving normally. I went for the latter and always have, always will whenever the case arises. But there's quite a generous amount of crystals dotted around these two levels so reloading shouldn't be too big of an issue. The gameplay I actually found to be quite innovative and to my liking (aside from one rather stupid difficult jump, due to the low ceiling) and I especially enjoyed trying to line up the circular symbols on the statues chest and even the boat ride didn't pose undue trouble. The scenery is less blocky than in other levels due to the geometry that the builder used, making for a more natural and pleasing look. My only negative is really with the enemies. The mutants aren't too much trouble, but the wasps gang up on you and the boss sequence can turn into a bit of a chore if you run out, although the execution was nevertheless inventive. A great level if you want more of a challenge." - Ryan (22-Jan-2018)

"This is just a cool simple TRLE. In Antarctica Lara must take on Alien Predator Enemies. Swim through Freezing water. Find keys and Secrets. Place Oceanic Masks to operate Jewels on a Giant statue and Complete 2 Blood Offerings. Killing Giant Wasps and Spiders and the Finale killing the Final Alien Boss. Great little TRLE! Definitely worth a Play Through !! Killer Gameplayz" - Killer Gameplayz (13-Aug-2016)

"Note: I f you want to save normally DO NOT use the first crystal but save normally. On the other hand Francesco is really generous with his saved crystal, so it is up to you to choose. I had quite a glitchy game, as the puzzle with the cog wheels and rings was pretty buggy, Lara didn't need the pull the wheel... the ring started to rotate when she was standing in front of the wheel (any wheel). Most annoying were the fixed camera's, some I could understand but some were just a pain in the behind. What I don't understand is the working of the Antidote cups, they seem to work as a medipack but give only a quarter of the health of a small medipack? I ran out of Medipacks so using those cups was the only solution to finish the game, barely I have to admit. The boss fight dragged on for quite a while as I had to finish it off with the normal guns, that was a bit boring in my opinion. That aside this is quite an adventure with good plat-forming, nice and sometimes hard traps. Some puzzles are there as well, although to figure out the cog wheel puzzle out had me scratching my head. Couldn't do the target shooting in time, so thanks again Dutchy." - Gerty (15-Jul-2016)

"This two-level game feels like a fresh new take on the Tinnos levels of TR3. The first level, 'Buried in Ice', involves a lot of swims in freezing water and moving around in icy waters on a rubber dinghy, like the 'Antarctica' level of TR3. But the author makes even better use of the boat, and structures almost the entire level around opening up paths for it. There is plenty of good platforming - everything is pleasantly challenging without being too tough, apart from a pointlessly difficult diagonal jump early on in the game. There are some cool puzzles such as one involving raising and lowering counterweights in the first level. The four cog-wheel puzzle in the second level is a little too much on the obscure side, though.
Enemies can be tough, but the builder uses them mostly fairly, so that even dealing with the huge Tinnos mutants is not too overwhelming. The wasps, though, can occasionally get annoying. The method of killing the crawling mutants in the second level is intriguing and very gory, but in keeping with the title of the level, 'Blood Offerings' (blood-powered machinery ... eww!). The boss in that level can be a bit tough to defeat.
I saved in the old-fashioned way - there's no way I would ever consider choosing to save using the save crystals. But I must admit that the builder is quite generous with them; and it's nice seeing the blue crystals floating around, adding a bit more colour to the game.
The first level looks very pretty and colourful, with the blue-green water, the pale blue ice, and the red and brown architecture. The second level, which takes place entirely indoors, starts looking a little repetitive by the end, as there is no variation in textures or colour scheme. The updated Tinnos textures and objects look very nice in themselves, but a little more visual variety in them would have helped. That said, the architecture is marvellous, and makes for a unique and memorable look. The diagonal walls and ledges, as well as the more organic shapes in the outdoor areas, make for a much less blocky than usual setting for a TRLE level. The huge statue that forms the centrepiece of the second level is especially impressive. Fixed camera views sometimes add to the experience, and sometimes are very annoying and make it difficult to see where you're going.
Overall: An enjoyable level with a number of innovative ideas. Recommended." - Mytly (10-Apr-2016)

"I was often amazed by creativity showcased here. Almost all puzzles contain surprise element and some are totally new thing. There aren't many objects but they are mostly customized. There aren't many enemies but when a fight occurs it's close to the best designable. There aren't many ammo pickups but the amount of bullets per such has been wisely increased. Graphics and mood could be better. Few static cameras disturb instead of helping. As a veteran masochist, I chose crystal saving but if I knew it only works when Lara stands still, I would think twice. Not to mention I mostly used these crystals in places of their origin to simulate classic checkpoints. But that was my weird choice and I don't count all the extra frustration I got because of it. SUMMARY: Gameplay is strong in this one." - DJ Full (19-Jan-2016)

"Francesco is one of my favourite builders since "Remnants of the Empire"; I think that's still the best creation from this builder, for me: (10-10-10-10). I loved that style. Along this years, Francesco has got many skills working with the editor and another tools; this set of two levels proves it. The design is excellent, the perfect texturization and lighting, the creative puzzles, the impressive flybies... But something has changed. He is progressively implementing tasks for advanced players: the fights with the bosses (influences from another italian authors like Taras or Psiko???). In the first level the time is not enough for many players; even I had to try the task a dozen of times. In the second level the boss is very hard to kill; I got out of ammo for the uzis and the shotgun, and I was a lot of time jumping and shooting only with the pistols (tedious) to be able to finish the adventure. Even when this is an extraordinary adventure with a lot of work behind, I continue to prefer the "Remnants of the Empire" style." - Jose (07-Mar-2015)

"Almost at the beginning, I was stuck in a freezing water area. As I'm not good at all in managing swims in freezing waters, I decided to play this game only when the walkthrough was released. And now that I finished the game with the invaluable help of the walkthrough (thanks a lot, Phil and Steven!), I see that the swim part is not the hardest at all, and I take my hat to the author for a challenging, beautiful, enjoyable and highly recommended level. It has some flaws, of course: the maze with the skull buttons is somewhat confusing, and there are also some unfathomable sequences of actions(when Lara falls through a trapdoor, for example, who would think that she had to climb again to the previous place, instead of leaving? and what can I say about that sequence of the burning ledges? I almost didn't believe what the walkthrough was saying that I had to do); there are some boringly difficult jumps, that seem pointless to me; the final part (with exception of the final fight, that was pure adrenaline) was frankly boring, with so many rotating blades and repetitive killings. As far as I remember, the flaws finish here. It is certainly true that the wheels' puzzle baffled me completely, and that as a rule I am quite good at solving this kind of puzzle; it is also true that I almost despaired when I saw those blue eyes that Lara had to shoot with an unusual crossbow, but the fault is mine, of course. On the counterpart, I considered a very good idea to put antidote cups as secrets (I saved some medipacks with it), and to give the players the save crystals' option. I must also praise the blocks' puzzle at the beginning, the flybys, the camera hints, the objects, the smooth pole jumps, the variety of actions. The music was also good. As to the lighting, some places were very dark for my amount of flares, but fortunately there were not many of them. In resume, a very nice work. Cheers and many thanks!" - Josey (19-Jan-2015)

"Everything about this double level set was amazing the music was used in the right places the soundtrack was amazing and the best thing for me was is that it reminded me a lot of tr3 and that's a good thing because tomb raider 3 is my favourite tomb raider game of them all I really enjoyed the puzzle in the first room with the weights. To be honest the puzzles were one of the most amazing things in this level set and also the soundtrack was amazing and the enemies were well placed. You meet up with Willard twice in the second level and both times were really challenging as well as being attacked by some tinnos wasps" - Lokky99 (17-Jan-2015)

"I started playing this two-part game with a certain feeling of dread, knowing that there were only a handful of reviews more than two months after its release and fearing that it would be too much for me to handle despite the glowing scores it had thus far received. I was more than pleasantly surprised to discover, with the guidance of Steven Svorticher's posted video (one that displays consummate efficiency with no wasted moments), that Tomb Raider fans had been blessed with a raid of uncommon beauty and excellence. My initial trepidation was increased briefly by the realization that the save function had been disabled, and that you can save your game only by using the save crystals that you collect throughout your journey. However, I found as I went along that it was expedient to save only on rare occasions, and I used up my supply primarily to save my place when shutting down my computer for the night. Indeed, I had more than 20 save crystals in my inventory at the end. The TR3 ambiance is beautifully captured here, the lighting is such that I rarely had to use a flare, and the gameplay is varied and absolutely inspired in places. But I never did figure out what those antidote cups were for, since both large and small medipacks were provided in the game, and I never had the occasion to try and use one. I assumed you'd have to place them somewhere near the end and be rewarded with a bonus level or something, but that didn't happen. Anyway, this is an adventure that no raider should miss, and it richly deserves top scores across the board." - Phil (17-Jan-2015)

"Gameplay & Puzzles: Amazing! This game is a large party I never wanted to finish with extraordinary tasks, great puzzles, smart gameplay, ... unbelievably good fun. From my side there is nothing to fault here. Enemies, Objects & Secrets: The enemies are very great, loved the mutant room and also the wasps, nice how to get rid of the poison. The enemies always are a special task to kill especially the final one which is the best boss fight I encountered. Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The atmosphere is very unique even with the classic textures, the builder has put a very new feel to the whole. Architecture is perfect and the use of sound and cameras as well, very nice flybys here and good use of audio tracks. Lighting & Textures: The only category where I need to reduce a point, the textures are looking very modern and nice but sometimes they aren't perfectly placed with a few mistakes and a few areas where they look very sameish. The lighting is very good everywhere. Total: 9,75/10, undoubted masterpiece that should have more attention by players." - Rambo (07-Jan-2015)

"Frozen PAst, Tibetan Winter and Wreck of the Blue Storm are my favorites maps of 2014. Frozen Past is genious.Gameplay is very fluent and satisfying. The first puzzle was amazing and unique. textures, cameras and ambience is almost perfect. Congratulatiions." - requiemsoul (07-Jan-2015)

"This is a two-level adventure, which has similar kind of atmosphere and visual style as Tinnos levels from TR3. I think that the strongest quality of this custom game is however, the creative gameplay, which includes plenty of extraordinary ideas you won't find in other levels. Author has used NGLE very inventively together with some custom objects to create a number of unique puzzles that require lots of thinking sometimes. Moreover, the game has very nice use of Lara's custom animations, rubber boat, cold water etc., which together create highly varied and entertaining gaming experience. I liked also a lot the environment, which is textured mainly with TR3 Tinnos textures and has some really well made custom objects. Author has also utilized Meta2tr very nicely to create some interesting room geometry, which nicely enhances the visuals of the level. I must also mention that the boss battle in the end of the game is one of the best I've seen in custom levels. That battle requires actually some thinking, which is not a typical feature for boss battles that usually require only shooting and jumping simultaneously. All in all, it's a very enjoyable level, which is full of gameplay that you won't find in other levels." - Samu (30-Dec-2014)

"A level where it will be when even clever enough to outsmart the traps. Some players may drop because of this. I was stuck for a long time in level 1 for 2 reasons. The first, I did not see the lever,color texture in the room of the spider, why not dress these levers to spot better? And the second when the camera shows a door that opens behind the block. I searched a long time before I understood that we had to hang from the ceiling (not easy to see). It would also have been useful to put some more ammo for the final (although it is feasible). I used all the ammunition of the shotgun and I had more. The gameplay is not easy, and I hate ham cutters lol. Apart from these details, it is a very good, well lit and textured with nice textures of water. I loved the part In the boat at first, and the environments are beautiful. This pushes me to play the previous levels of Francesco. Congratulations." - Drakan (05-Dec-2014)

"Another very good adventure by Francesco and this one take place in a very special country "Antarctica". The gameplay is very original and the new NG features give a very personnal look to the adventure. It's maybe sometimes hard to see if we can push a block or not and we need to be very logical for some puzzles (the block and chain is very great). The first level is not very long and it's whis a nice pleasure we discovered the boat of tr3 and the frozen water. The second one is maybe a bit hard than the first one so we need to use correctly our medipacks. The giant man room is awsome and the design perfect. Not maybe really fan of the poison on the bees because we need to use another medipack if we are touch. The gameplay of the boss is great but very hard if we don't have the uzis. We rediscovered a nice NG TR3 Antarctica atmosphere and it's for me the best Antarctica customs level I have played. Nice use of the tr3 audio and objects who remember me the city of Tinos. The level is also not very dark and very well textured. The NG Tinos textures created by Soul are very well used. So to conclude a very nice adventure through ice, snow, ruins and indiscovred mysteries about this continent. Very recommended." - Bigfoot (26-Nov-2014)

"This is a most excellent level duo that I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish. The gameplay almost never becomes dull as it provides us with constantly fresh and innovative ideas throughout, a thing I really miss in other recently released levels. Right at the start the puzzle with two blocks is one of the most unique, even if relatively simple, ones I've ever seen, and the level provides many more of those. It's one of those rare levels where the builder has understood how gameplay immersion works, even if some parts are a bit linear and don't require that much thought while others are a bit obscure and others contain a bit too much classic "lever searching". Any puzzle in this level is somewhat different and this is what I enjoyed most in here. The custom object and enemy design helps a lot to create good gameplay, there is so much here to admire that I can't describe it all, believe me it's amazing, especially in the main puzzle room of the second level you visit several times in different forms. There are also good methods of creating spaces that differ from the usual two-metre squares, quite creative use of them in some tasks. I also loved the very challenging boss fights that really deserve to be called like this, because they're not of the usual "shoot until the enemy drops" method. They somehow remind me on those of TR Legend which IMO had the best boss fights of all TRs. Needless to say, even the secrets were greatly hidden and it was quite hard to find them all. This time the atmosphere of the levels, although quite strong throughout, didn't fully convince me since there's a bit much of those Tinnos textures and there are a few missing sounds (e.g. when pushing those buttons). Texturing is quite strong with those HD textures, yet they are not always cleanly applied and especially in those ice caves at the start they look a bit wallpapered on second glance. There were also a few problems with the use of meta, at some angles you could see through the walls. The lighting was rather good though and overall the visuals have something that I enjoyed very much - a very modern interpretation of a classic set. All in all, this is an 80 minute lasting levelset definately not to be missed by anyone. I can only hope the builder comes back with another game someaday. Highly recommended." - manarch2 (15-Nov-2014)

"Clever stuff this, right from the start with an entirely novel way of getting into the initial building. There are some nasty mutant enemies about, but definitely one of the biggest threats to Lara's health is the freezing water so I hope you're a handy swimmer! There is a boat of course and it's eminently manoeuvrable so there's much fun to be had just zipping about in it (although it took me ages to remember how to get out of the damn thing). Lara's new moves are put to good use and the swing bars are the type that she can move sideways on and adjust the strength of the swing, which always adds a good extra dimension. At first, it doesn't appear very linear, but it joins up most satisfactorily as various return shortcuts are discovered and everything feels very logical, which keeps confusion to a minimum, even for me, although there are one or two moments to tax the brains with some rather clever puzzles. There are plenty of opportunities for Lara to lose health and you'll have to conserve medipacks as best you can. The boss ending is quite a handful too and I only just made it through with a couple of small medis to spare. Phew." - Jay (09-Nov-2014)
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