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Level: BtB2015 - That was Then, This is Now back home search
Author(s): JesseG
total rating:7.90 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Christian 9 8 8 7
DJ Full 9 9 7 7
Drakan 9 9 8 8
janachorider 8 7 7 8
Jay 8 8 8 8
Jose 7 8 7 8
Josey 9 8 8 8
Magnus 6 6 7 6
manarch2 8 7 6 6
MichaelP 10 8 8 8
Mman 8 9 9 8
Mytly 9 8 8 6
Orbit Dream 9 9 8 9
Phil 9 8 8 9
requiemsoul 8 8 7 8
Ryan 10 8 7 7
Tolle87 10 8 7 6
Treeble 8 8 8 8
category averages
(18 reviews)
8.56 8.00 7.56 7.50

Reviewer's comments

"Very original the idea from Jesse. Create two maps in the same TR4 file and change things here and there so one of them looks as an old and ruined zone (present) and the other one with a better aspect where many things that you can't do in the present, there works. Sometimes the gameplay is confusing, usually in the underground areas with all those teleporters, but you will always have a way to go back from past to present or viceversa. I enjoyed a lot the puzzle with movable tables and another minor puzzles, but I'm not agree with the important items lying anywhere or hidden in the grass. Anyway an innovative design for a level worth to play." - Jose (10-Oct-2017)

"This map has a very clever concept, as you move through a modern (ruined) and past (intact) version of a structure. The overall design is relatively simplistic, but it's still decent quality and some unique geometry and texture use make it still stand out, as well as the whole nature of the setting. The time travel premise gives the gameplay an interesting dimension as you explore each area in different states, it especially peaks towards the end as you alternate between a confined series of trap rooms in the past and then the collapsed open ruins in the modern day. It's also structured to make backtracking minimal despite having two separate parts to explore. There are also multiple nice tasks, and a block puzzle that I'm not sure whether I like or dislike, as it's one of the most creative I've seen but also quite long and gets worse if you mess up the order of things. Given all the other creative tasks in the level one puzzle object being pointlessly hidden in grass felt cheap, and I wasn't sure what the logic behind the second half of the waterskin puzzle was beyond trial and error; the great ideas make me want to give this a 9 in gameplay but the those issues unfortunately make me rate it below that. Despite looking simple on the surface, the concept is executed so well that this will likely remain one of my favourites of this set." - Mman (17-Mar-2016)

"The gameplay and concept in this level is truly ingenious and innovative, involving changing the courses of events across time. Great puzzles to solve too. As said by others, gameplay is the primary focus and visuals are a secondary aspect. Nonetheless, do play it and you won't be disappointed!" - Ryan (02-Mar-2016)

"Hats off to the builder for trying something new that worked pretty well.Although the idea that Cronus is complaining about his son's behavior towards him is a little ironic due to a fact that Cronus himself castrated his own father, the concept with constant going back and forth through time is executed pretty well.Basically, you are wandering through the castle and you can find many places where you can go back in time to the same exact spot, so you can change some things that will affect the present.The differences vary from cosmetic to practical ones.Some broken bridges were intact in the past, some levers were not broken, there was water in some places that has gone with the years....There is only one area with the lava that felt a little out of place because it doesn't look at all similar when you go back in time and it requires a big leap of imagination to accept it as a same place.It's also worth mentioning that SSJ6Wolf has set a record for the longest timer on a timed run in TRLE history - this one last several centuries:).Gameplay is usually based around time-warping, but there are also some more concrete puzzles including one with pushable tables which is probably the most elaborate one I've ever seen.People who know my taste for gameplay know how much of a compliment that is.The weakest part of the level are the looks.Texturing is mostly basic and there are few very strangely-shaped hallways with some random textures applied.It's such a shame because the idea with two versions of the castle was a huge opportunity to present more visual differences that would improve the time- warping effect.The castle lacks of atmosphere overall because of that.Enemies are well placed, but I've found myself with too much medipacks and too little ammo.Even though I was sparing it by using pistols whenever I could, I still ended up with a narrow fight against two centaurs without ammo.Apart from the enemies and maybe one or two rooms, there are no real dangers and the level goes smoothly as long as you keep track of where (and when) the items are placed.Overall, this unique and refreshing level is worth playing with it's brilliant and nicely implemented idea that makes every part of it better." - Tolle87 (01-Feb-2016)

"A brilliant execution of time travel topic, though not that immersive because of rough construction where only few rooms stand out. You may wanna wait for the right moment but don't dare skip it." - DJ Full (09-Jan-2016)

"Even if this level had nothing else going for it, I have to say that I really like the title. Itís very poetic. Itís also descriptive Ė if you hadnít already guessed, this is a level about time travel. When I played Back to Basic 2013ís Return to Downton Abbey, I was a bit disappointed that more wasnít done with the concept of time travel: you explored an area in the present, traveled back in time, and that was it. This level seeks to remedy that. Instead of just traveling linearly through time, there are set points where you can jump back and forth through time at will. Itís reminiscent of Prince of Persia: Warrior Within. And like Warrior Within, it can get very confusing at times. The first time it gets confusing is when thereís a timed switch in the past that raises a block in the present. Thereís actually a clear indication that the switch transcends time (and I think itís the only switch in the game that does), but I donít think thereís any indication that itís timed? Other than that, the level actually mostly makes sense at that point. Things get worse later on, as youíll jump through time willy-nilly without any idea of what youíre trying to achieve. One underground area is filled with lava and broken platforms in the present, while itís a hallway and some rooms in the past. You need to constantly jump back and forth through time you make it through the area in both time periods Ė the problem is that everything looks completely different, so youíre never sure where youíre going to end up. Itís really more like youíre randomly teleporting all over the place. Iím sure itís probably clever if you spent two weeks constructing the puzzle, but I had no idea what I was doing. Another problem is that thereís a ton of switches in this level and itís not always clear what they do. This would be a minor annoyance in any other level, but add time travel to the mix and it tends to get really frustrating at times. Also frustrating were the two pieces of the Pitagorean puzzle. I found one just lying around in a fountain, so when I got stuck because I needed the second piece, I knew it could be absolutely anywhere Ė in two time periods. Turns out it was hiding out in some grass, trying to avoid its natural predator the tomb raider. Which is just awful, awful (awful, awful) game design, letís be honest. That was a good forty minutes of my life wasted right there (net gaming time: just over 50 minutes). So I didnít really enjoy my time with this level a huge amount, even if the time travel idea is pretty cool. Itís an okay-looking level, but thereís nothing overly impressive here. I had problems distinguishing between the two time periods, and would often have no idea where I was until I made it back to the central room and could see whether or not the bridge was broken. But maybe thatís just me, and maybe itís a limitation of using the BtB wad and textures. The level ends with a short boss fight and I had an okay-ish time Ė pun very much intended Ė but I think this idea seemed more fun in my head back in 2013." - Magnus (30-Dec-2015)

"One thing is certain: the alternation between past and present was a very interesting and creative idea. Its implementation led to a game that is both very good and somewhat confusing, with its necessary comings and goings from then to now and a multiplicity of transporting points. But the environment, though simplistic, holds enough challenges to satisfy everyone, with a very tough timed run, a very good puzzle (the tablesí one), a very smart and creative sequence, where a hammer smashes a block for the picking up of a cog (with the additional facility of a rope pending from the ceiling to go back to the crowbar lever, if Lara arrives at the mechanism without the cog Ė as happened to me), tough enemies and quite a pair of difficult jumps and traps (as the rotating bladesí one) , not to mention the Medusaís trial. In resume, a brilliant game in many aspects, so try it, and using all the sense of observation that you have." - Josey (26-Nov-2015)

"Concept very interesting for this level, Lara must pass in two areas that are similar but are different. Good puzzles, one with the tables made me work brains. Excellent." - Drakan (21-Nov-2015)

"Again a game whose plenty of unique ideas make it special. The time portal concept is really fantastic and even if there's a bit much of yo-yo-backtracking especially at the start for the portal the tasks are so enjoyable that I didn't really mind. The level features the longest timed run ever (lasting thousands of years), a pushable puzzle that seems like a lot of painful work at first, but actually is quite fluent and sweet and a very nice room where you have to use a lot of portals to finally get the needed cog. To sum that up - the gameplay is really fine in this level, with a few not so interesting parts (the first lava area in particular), but mostly very well done and I only wished the builder had taken the concept even further, as the level ended a bit too early if you ask me. Enemies are very nicely used, the two secrets perhaps not so tricky to find. Some rooms are nicely designed with objects, some feel a bit empty and plain, but that is also due to the very simplistic and boxy geometry. One can easily see the primary aim of the builder was the gameplay and the atmosphere is rather secondary, it isn't quite as accomplished as in most other levels and most rooms have a functional, but at least not amateurish look (textures are mainly cleanly applied, but not in a very beautiful way either; the lighting is also rather grey and flat but not totally and everywhere). Overall a creative and fun level that is worthy to play if you can bear the less inspired looks. 40 minutes." - manarch2 (20-Nov-2015)

"I just had to score this a 10 in gameplay because the whole concept is nothing but ingenious and pulled off in an extremely clever way. You essentially alternate (many times) between two time periods while working your way through the setting, which includes solving a scale puzzle across time, doing a timed run across time and picking up the secrets through actions across time. All really great stuff. There is also a clever table push puzzle which took a moment to figure out and I actually liked the surprise moments later when you time travel and show up in slightly inconvenient spaces - often close to enemies. What I enjoyed less where some of the crawling passages and a few confusing moements and the whole architecture, texting and lighting of the rooms itself is a little more on the basic, functional side, especially when compared with the beauty some of the other levels managed to pull off. Nonethelss, this gets one gets a special recommendation from me to try out, simply because of its original concept. [55 min, 2 secrets]" - MichaelP (18-Nov-2015)

"I love the concept of this level: you have to back and forth in time in order to access new areas, and rebuild Cronusís temple. The level starts off a bit slowly. Having to run back and forth between the same set of rooms while going to and from the past is a bit dull (though a little enlivened by cool ideas like using a switch in the past for a timed run in the present). But once you open up the underground areas, the gameplay moves much more quickly, and jumping back and forth across time happens at an almost breathless pace. I was a little confused at the beginning of the level (until the concept finally clicked for me) and the random placement of one of the sets of ingots had me stuck for a while near the end, but otherwise progression through this level was pretty smooth and intuitive, without being too obvious. I enjoyed the tables pushable puzzle, despite the fact that it seemed to go on forever Ė Iíll always prefer intelligent pushable puzzles like this over ones that involve mere mindless pushing/pulling.
Lookswise, this level is very unimpressive, to say the least. The temple rooms are large, empty and bland; the underground areas are a sea of grey, with practically no colour or pattern whatsoever to break the visual monotony. There are a few decent-looking rooms, such as the one with the table pushable puzzle, the room with the minotaur, and the central garden, but they are rare indeed.
Overall: A really brilliant concept for a level, but unfortunately paired with rather bland visuals. Recommended for the gameplay." - Mytly (17-Nov-2015)

"This is one of those levels that I admired rather more than I actually enjoyed.It takes a barnstormer of a concept (shift back and forth in time,in order to cause numerous things to happen in the past or present) and uses it to its maximum potential.The amount of gameplay is impressive (although the moving block sequence - despite adding variety - was probably a little too long winded);and the logistics of playing within two time zones have been superbly worked out.Despite the pace becoming faster and faster as the level progresses,it undeniably gets a little confusing (and even somewhat exasperating) at times,with some actions (and their results) not always being clear,despite numerous camera clues.Enemies are used to enormous effect,though;and really provide an adrenaline rush.The textures and lighting are adeptly handled,although much of the level is perhaps a little too bright.Overall,though,it's a superb achievement with many stunning moments.If there were a category for 'inventiveness',this would score full marks." - Orbit Dream (07-Nov-2015)

"Good level.Although going back and forth in time was tiring." - janachorider (06-Nov-2015)

"This was a fun and quite inventive level. What it lacks in comparison to its peers as far as embellishment is concerned, it makes up with a mirrored level so essentially you're playing the same level in two different forms simultaneously. There are quite a few "time rifts" and my mind boggles trying to make sense of them, especially in the underground jumping sequences ó I was in awe with the way it fits so nicely together. Progression is fairly easy as well, and I was actually surprised with the time it took me to reach the finish trigger - granted I was stuck for a while, unaware I needed a third pair of ingots to combine them. 95 minutes, 2 secrets. 10/15" - Treeble (04-Nov-2015)

"I liked the idea of taking the same environment in two different times: Lara has to switch between two time- periods and combine items from two eras to solve the puzzle. Nice gameplay, nice puzzles. Especially the table- puzzle took me some time, one puzzle-piece was only to be found by accident under some bushes. Agility is as needed as exploring-experience. It is an unconvenient and intriguing game. Recommended!" - Christian (02-Nov-2015)

"Another solid entry in the BtB competition. This one made use of a time machine of sorts, an interesting concept that allowed different "looks" of the same areas. More effort has gone into gameplay here than into lush scenic backgrounds, but that didn't dull my enjoyment of this 1:22 adventure in the slightest. There's an interesting pushpiece puzzle that needs to be conquered so you can access a reach-in switch, and a timed run between time segments that took me a couple of tries (but it's quite fair to the player). The enemies are varied but relatively few, and the boss fight near the end is over after you pull a couple of wall switches. Weaponry is provided in just the right quantities to deal with the villains you encounter along the way. Lighting is such that a flare is required only on rare occasions. I can't remember a BtB where the levels have been of such a consistently high quality. Recommended." - Phil (26-Oct-2015)

"What a novel idea to set a level is two different eras that Lara can switch between and it certainly makes for some intriguing gameplay. Good puzzles and creatively used enemies spice things up nicely - falling through a time portal into a shark filled pool certainly made my pulse race a bit. I also particularly enjoyed a timed run between the time lines. This may be a bit lacking in the eye candy aspect compared to some of the entries, but it certainly is something different in concept and I personally enjoyed it very much." - Jay (20-Oct-2015)

"Very unique map with interesting challenges. Enviroment is not very nice but effective. The puzle with tables was hard for me and really very though level. Recommended. 70 minutes Difficulty:Medium" - requiemsoul (13-Oct-2015)
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