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Level: Parisian Catacombs back home search
Author(s): sonnyd83
total rating:8.45 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bene 9 9 8 7
DJ Full 9 10 9 8
Jay 9 9 9 8
Jose 7 9 9 8
manarch2 7 9 8 8
okuhtfesq 8 8 7 7
Phil 9 9 9 9
Rambo 8 9 8 7
Ryan 9 9 9 8
Sakusha 8 8 9 9
SlyRaider 8 9 9 10
category averages
(11 reviews)
8.27 8.91 8.55 8.09

Reviewer's comments

"Another quite offbeat and enjoyable level that displays this builder's creativity. It made a change having Lara begin with no weapons and although there are some armed police around, she does eventually receive help in the form of a sort of guide. The sinister atmosphere of this Parisian town is brilliant and the settings well crafted, with the exception of a few overly dark spaces. The gameplay manages to be creative without being too cryptic, and there are many neat touches here like pushing blocks to stop the flow of a mud pool, or the giant skulls that Lara can use to reach higher ledges. I did encounter a weird (but not fatal) bug where Lara died when I tried to perform a sprint roll, but nothing major and the boss battle worked fine for me. Highly recommended." - Ryan (14-Jul-2018)

"The game has some imperfections originating from highly experimental design like the cat killing targets at any time except from supposed or Lara dying during a sprint roll. Another inconvenience is repetitive design of the catacomb which, even though deriving from real one, makes you check every hole so the level takes much longer than it should. Still I guess this low rating is just a case of "Marcos's Curse" where looks aren't that great so they counter specific usage of new objects and stuff, because while I agree the mood isn't perfect, then some puzzles are like nowhere else and the dialogue-powered interaction with various characters is something you just don't normally experience. Oh and the final room is probably the only catacomb with ceiling crafted better than walls." - DJ Full (29-Jan-2016)

"This builder knows how to use the editor (and more). Icredible objects and a good atmosphere with a creepy environment and many special effects. Sometimes the rooms are too dark, but I found a lot of flares to light my way. I missed some more classic enemies and more action, but the game is interesting with very innovative ideas and puzzles. About the gameplay, as I said, there are good ideas, but sometimes it's "obscure" and difficult to figure out what to do even with the texts on screen, like in the room with four moveable blocks or the water room with many UW switches; also in the final room I found odd to have to combine objects to continue playing. Anyway a good work worth to play. Take a try." - Jose (22-Oct-2015)

"I'm a sucker for good-looking levels, and this is a good- looking level. Actually, two levels, each of which took me about an hour to play. (And I have two more recent releases in the same vein to look forward to.) I had trouble getting that giant skeleton to appear at the end, because that last wraith just didn't seem to want to destroy itself. But it finally did, and I was able to finish. There are some unique touches here (pulling chains and underwater ceiling levers), and without Dutchy's masterful walkthrough I would have been hopelessly lost. This builder has made great strides with his last couple of releases, and I'm sure there's nothing but brightness in his future. High recommendations." - Phil (30-Jul-2015)

"This level was amazing in some ways. I really felt like I was walking through the streets of Paris, the Parisian subway system, and the depths of the Parisian catacombs. The objects and gameplay tasks were different from the norm as well, such as the use of a giant skull as a pushable and climbable block, the mixing of various chemical colors, the concept of giving items to characters for the gameplay to move forward, the use of water to explode a cauldron, pushing blocks to make an area dry, the use of two jewels to activate a griffin, the way Lara had to time her jump differently while grabbing the bars, and the combat against a giant skeleton (I couldn't believe I was only able to shoot at its feet!). However, this level did have a bug where Lara would die if she sprinted and dove. Whenever Lara came across a cryptic statement, sometimes it was easier to figure out the negative part of the message than the key to solving a puzzle. Some of the tasks were challenging as well, such as a timed run involving darts and skeletons jutting from the walls, a showdown with a skull with laser eyes requiring two quick shots with a level of expected accuracy comparable to the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot, and jumping towards a manhole cover, dodging two trains hurtling towards Lara. The lighting had beautiful and mixed blends that suited the area. As far as the music is concerned, the solemn music was appropriate for the catacombs, and the jazz music in the cafe was wonderful. In the streets of Paris, the accordion with mumbling was a bit cacophonic, but I guess it made sense for an urban area that is crowded. I am not sure what to think of the reddish fog, in some ways it was a benefit to the city and the catacombs, but in other ways it felt like too much. Overall, this level made me want to go to Paris, and at least I now know that the Parisian catacombs date back to the end of the 18th century." - Sakusha (12-Jul-2015)

"Gameplay & Puzzles: Again a imaginative level of the builder with many good ideas but I prefer the last game, this one is not as great and complex and the puzzles are easier. Enemies, Objects & Secrets: The enemies are well used even if there are few, the secrets are good. The object design is very important in this game and there are many new ideas that are interesting. Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: Not much difference to what I said about the last game but this time the cameras are more helping, or not needed because the game is very linear. Again a bit simple but effective and modern. Lighting & Textures: The fog is used well but it's repetitive, in general the lighting could be different in the areas. Textures are applied without faults but are a bit boring to look at. Total: 8/10, good fun and innovative but not an improvement." - Rambo (11-Jul-2015)

"Having never played one of dave's levels this took me by surprise. It's the only game I ever had to stop and start over. At first I thought this would be primarily a "Shooter" and ran around looking for Lara's ever-ready pistols. The first note seemed to last for too brief a time and I was momentarily lost. I have always liked the integrated concept of Lara having helpers and clues and I enjoyed the author's "helps" although I found some of them obscure as was probably intended. The result being I found myself in areas where the author never intended such as floating(literally) up the columns in the "as above, so below" room and missing some gameplay in the Giant Skeleton area because I found my way to the bottom before I should have. Once I found that is was a not - intended short-cut I could not find a way back. Not sure if my inability to grab the bars to reach other areas was because of the bug rendering Lara's left arm useless or that I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The emphasis throughout is on innovative puzzles and the use of old ideas, objects made new and refreshing - a challenge the builder met and exceeded. The Giant Skeleton was difficult only in not knowing that the perfect time to fire was when Lara pointed at only the toes. Some areas seemed lackluster and flat but as I said, the attention was on innovation and creative gameplay. Highly recommended!" - Bene (07-Jul-2015)

"A very good TRLE level! However, there is some bugs in the level: for instance, Lara can die after jump (roll) during a sprint, or she can't jump in a room (with cauldron). But in the main, I loved this level. I recommand it!" - SlyRaider (06-Jul-2015)

"Parisian Catacombs is extremely unique and probably like few (if any) other custom levels. The gameplay is heavily based on puzzles, all of which are unique (being either completely original or old puzzles used in new ways). I found the puzzles to be either too easy or too hard, although that is understandable as it is an extremely difficult balance to achieve. Although the puzzles are mostly satisfying, there is not much else to do and what there is feels rather lackluster. Enemies are pretty sparse in this level but used to good effect, like the cops Lara must dodge when she doesn't have any guns or the giant final boss skeleton. Many of the enemies seem to be custom made and there are some custom animated characters which spice up the story (and a hilarious albeit out-of-place Donald Duck). The atmosphere and overall visual aspect of the level is mediocre, though I hate to say it. While there are some nice looking rooms, most of the level feels lacking in this category. The outside city area at the start has rather repetitively textured/structured buildings and little color variety, which combined with the brown fog and flat lighting makes it appear dull and lifeless. Although it is nitpicky, the roads and train tracks look quite jagged - there is no way anyone could even drive on them due to the sharp angles. The level as a whole has very little contrast in the lighting and comes off as extremely bright and flat (some rooms are dark, however). The textures are not varied in most areas and most rooms have simple, plain geometry. The texturing in some rooms is not very smooth looking either. There are some large rooms that do have some pretty cool architecture, but they also feel quite empty, like they are big for the sake of being big. The volume of the sounds is not well balanced, with Lara's groans and grunts being much louder than usual, even louder than her guns! I also experienced some bugs, such as Lara's left arm behaving weirdly and not actually doing anything during the second part of the level, and Lara would randomly die when rolling during a sprint.
I have mixed feelings about Parisian Catacombs overall. Despite the unique and clever puzzles, the many well-used custom objects, and the obvious hard work and originality that was put into making it, it just does not feel satisfying to me. Particularly, the bugs, unbalanced sounds, lackluster visuals, and humdrum non-puzzle gameplay hurt this level. That is not to say that it is bad by any means, and I am certainly impressed with how original it feels. I spent 1 hour and 30 minutes and found 3 of the 5 secrets. 8/8/7/7." - okuhtfesq (03-Jul-2015)

"What an enjoyable, innovative level this is, with its custom objects and clever animations. The atmosphere is excellent, there are some well conceived puzzles (especially a fascinating take on the 'bull breaking barriers' scenario) and the enemies are a good mix, initially normal, entirely un-supernatural gendarmerie and increasingly surreal variations on a skeletal theme, a theme which even extends to the firearms. It's a linear progression and should be within the capabilities of most players. I found I had to play in a darkened room at times, due to the prevalence of foggy areas, but that's not a big drawback. It's the work of a fertile imagination and provided me with a net two hours of very good fun indeed." - Jay (29-Jun-2015)

"Another level designed in the very unique style of the builder, although I didn't find it to be as good as his previous offering. Yet again there are a bunch of innovative puzzles, nice object design, character interaction and a few special effects that all create a rather nice experience, but this time the progression is totally linear without any space for much exploration (while the last release was a bit too open and obscure, this time everything simply felt in place, which is just the other extremum - in comparison, I liked the more complex gameplay from the last level a tad more). Moreover, the puzzles are often very easy to solve, e.g. the beggar requiring a banana just lying a few squares away or the rotating skull puzzle near the end which has the trivial solution - it's even possible to skip this puzzle as you can get down on the lower stage with a drop from the last vertical pole or the sloped ledges in the middle -, and rarely have you put your thinking cap on. Still, there are some fascinating scenes like the police massacre, the golden cat sequence, of course the opening up of the giant room after killing the skull and the almost Cain-reminiscent giant skeleton as final boss. The object usage is rather cool, with a few special effects, and the game ist almost bug-free although there is potential for those; the only issue was that Lara often died while rolling in sprint mode which turned out to be fairly annoying in longer corridors. The looks are generally pleasing - while the texturing and lighting do not have serious technical faults and are well chosen I found them to be a little monotonous and the rooms are a bit cubic; it might not be the best idea to raise the streets at the start but at least the end of the world view is prevented this way. The red fog is also quite omnipresent throughout the whole game which might be a little overwhealming (not at all gameplay-affecting though). Another good offering, if not quite as strong in gameplay and the evolution of a story as the last one, from the builder and I'm already awaiting his next one. Found the five well hidden secrets in 45 minutes." - manarch2 (28-Jun-2015)
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