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Level: TR Forge Advent Calendar 2015 - The Train to Nowhere back home search
Author(s): DJ Full LarasBoyfriend
total rating:8.68 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Amethyste 10 10 10 9
Jay 8 9 9 9
Jose 2 8 10 9
Josey 8 10 10 8
LarangL 7 9 10 9
manarch2 8 9 9 7
MichaelP 9 10 10 9
Phil 9 10 9 9
Rambo 8 9 9 8
Ryan 8 9 9 9
TheStig 7 9 8 7
category averages
(11 reviews)
7.64 9.27 9.36 8.45

Reviewer's comments

"I've been putting this one off for quite a while now, as I found it confusing and far from straightforward at times. This time, I gave it another go, with the walkthrough not too far away. Even now, I did find it difficult to get started and there's a few huge areas to explore with no real indication of where to go next and you may end up having to backtrack once or twice if you've missed a couple of necessary items. Having said that, the creativity on display here is sky-high. The environments are wonderful to look at (if a bit laggy at times due to their sheer size), the flybys majestic, the little on-screen comments were a nice little touch, and the little Easter Eggs and the secrets are well worth searching out. The whole sequence with the torch being sucked through the water and then being stolen by a wolf was a masterstroke. This level was quite obscure at times, but other times it was brilliantly done, and it was quite an experience and well worth trying out." - Ryan (15-Jul-2018)

"What an impressive level ! There are so many interesting ideas in this level that you never stop saying "amazing !". DJ Full is really full of creativity. Larasboyfriend too of course, but that was for the play on word. Speaking in detail, I would just complain about 4 things : 1- so many illegal slopes or bad triangles that stop Lara all the time on the hights of the level. 2- One secret room with no texture. A fixed camera would have prevent the player from seeing texture and architecture bugs in other rooms from there. 3- All the walls became ladders later on in the level. Hopefully, it doesn't mess up the gameplay at this moment, but IMO it's a bug that should have been fixed. 4- Too much lag at the begining, due to very large rooms with many objects to display. Even on a high end PC, it isn't smooth. Despite from these 4 negative points, all the rest is so entertaining, you never get bored. It's sometimes difficult to figure out what to do next, but you're never lost for long time. In conclusion, a very nice and entertaining level that I strongly recommend." - LarangL (17-Jun-2016)

"Gameplay & Puzzles: There are unique tasks, a lot of puzzles and harder things and good jumps to do as well. There's sometimes a lack of clues what to do next but I still liked it. Enemies, Objects & Secrets: Amazing use of enemies and objects that are still mostly from the steampunk wad (full points only when mostly new), very good ideas here, some secrets are a bit easy. Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The atmosphere is quite good, large areas are well designed. The sounds are good too and the cameras are extremely great. Lighting & Textures: The lighting is okay and the thextures are clean, I found them to be a little less strong though. Total: 8,5/10, very different and fun." - Rambo (12-Mar-2016)

"I began this when it was first released and got so confused that I ended up waiting for the walkthrough. I'm glad I did because even then I found it far from straightforward at times (although this probably says more about me than the walkthrough). It's well worth persevering with however - beautifully made and delightfully different, with marvellous cut scenes and occasionally quite quirky gameplay. Difficulty rating is a strange mix of comparatively gentle and rather more challenging with one pixel perfect beast of a jump than could floor a lot of players. Do try it - it's worth it just for the sight of the dog(?) stealing the torch (told you it was different)." - Jay (15-Jan-2016)

"A funny, talented and very interesting level, one of the best Steampunks I have tried. Only for the floating torch and the fox series, it already deserved a 10 in the second and third items, not to mention those printed observations at some places, like "you put a box on the ground, so what?" and "I told you there's nothing in the gardens" (I'm using my memory, perhaps the words are not exactly those) - only to give Lara a prize after exploring all the gardens, and a secret for moving the box. (I really appreciate sense of humor.) I admit that Jose has some reason as to gameplay, for sometimes the expected actions are indeed difficult to manage and devise, any wrong turn involving eventually a lot of boring backtracks and difficult repetitions (I remember, for example, that it was very irritating for me to arrive at an island after a tricky jump, only to find out that I had not turned one of the necessary wheels elsewhere, and, after repeating the whole damned sequence, jump included, to discover that all the work was only for a secret!), and I also didn't enjoy that promenade by slippery mountains. I would also mention that it was not fair that outdoor sequence where, torch in hand, Lara jumps from one chandelier to another and, at the last one, has the impression to have arrived really nowhere - for it was very difficult to see that Lara could jump through a window apparently tightly shut; but, in my opinion, the creativity displayed, the variety of actions, and the beauty of the game compensated for all that. Good job!" - Josey (12-Jan-2016)

"I do not often plays custom levels, and if I play to the end, it means that the level is nice and not irritating. I loved this one, especialy the environment and gameplay that amazed me. Bravo ! Recommended to all." - Amethyste (11-Jan-2016)

"Epic, brilliant, hilarious and full of genius. If you allow it to be, this will be one of your most unique raiding experiences ever, but that may be a big 'IF' for many. The whole setting is huge and the player is not really being guided, so indeed without use of the walkthrough most players, even the more seasoned ones, will probably be giving up not very long into the adventure - but I can only say it is worth persisting for so many reasons: to see the mysterious ways a torch can travel, to watch all the epic flybys, to hear the heartbeat of the heart you just picked up and last but not least to see ninjas in action like you have never seen before (I am still laughing about that scene as I type this). As you will likely be using the walkthrough anyway, I strongly suggest going for all the 20 secrets, as this really adds to the overall "feel" of this adventure. I guess, I can perfectly understand how many players would score this Level low in a few categories, but for me, I really had a Grand time in it! Thanks for that!" - MichaelP (06-Jan-2016)

"We've had relatively few steampunk levels since the package with that name was released following the BtB competition of several years ago. This one has only peripheral Christmas elements, to shoehorn it into what is billed as a seasonal Advent level, but that doesn't diminish the creative force that is displayed here. I admire Jose and have great respect for his opinions, but I disagree with his earlier review. A full explanation requires a somewhat elaborate discussion of my gaming preferences. I have been derided here for not playing most levels until a walkthrough has been made available for them. I have been further derided for my practice of making use of those walkthroughs from start to finish, even before I find myself in a stuck situation. My reason for doing this is that I don't play Tomb Raider for the thrill of making my way through a level on my own. I play for the enjoyment of the visual experience provided through the artistic talents with which many of our builders are blessed. To me it's much like building a model airplane. I wouldn't dream of trying to affix the various pieces in their proper places without using the instructions that are provided along with the kit. If I try to do it on my own I'm likely to make crucial errors that can only be rectified by tearing the whole project apart and starting all over again. I don't believe in time-wasting activities, so I do my best to minimize them. Many custom levels are easy to figure out, some less so. When a skilled player is unable to progress with his accustomed speed, he can become quite naturally frustrated and may be tempted to attribute his lack of success to flaws in the builder's gameplay decisions. (This comment is not directed toward Jose. As he said in his review, he played using the walkthrough, just as I did. The difference is that my gaming experience was pleasant, and his wasn't. That's one reason why we have reviews, so that potential players can have the benefit of multiple viewpoints.) But when I'm playing with a walkthrough by my side, any failure on my part to proceed can only be blamed on my lack of skill, since I know exactly what I'm supposed to do at any given time. Yes, Train to Nowhere has many obscure elements to it. But assisted by DJ's generally clear written instructions I was never at a loss to figure out what I was expected to do next. As a result I had a satisfying raid that lasted about two and a half hours and enabled me to milk every nuance from this remarkable production, including the whopping 20 secrets that are scattered along the way. Others may disagree with the playing philosophy I've just outlined, and that's fine, but it works for me. And believe me, even with the walkthrough's assistance I experienced my share of frustration during this adventure. But it was well worth it, and I believe that Train to Nowhere is one of the best levels of 2015." - Phil (03-Jan-2016)

"Even when I followed the walkthrough instructions I'm very disappointed with this level. I'm very sorry by writing this, 'cause DJ Full had helped me a lot in the recent past (and I hope he will continue helping me in the future, please) and I think he's a very good person, trying always providing good contributions for this Community, but even with the walkthrough in hand I was boring when playing. The architecture is excellent, and I also like the texturization; the atmosphere was really great! with a clever combination of flybys, cameras, sounds and special effects, form this very experienced builders, I think they are between the most talented active builders today. About my rating for the gameplay? Everybody knows I'm always sincere; if I don't like a level, I don't like it and even I abandone it before finishing. It doesn't matter the builder (see my reviews for some Michael Prager's levels LOL!). In the train station, the ninja with the keys got stucked inside the locomotive, and I never could get the keys even if I killed her, running around for ages trying to find something which didn't exist (at this point I decided to check and follow the walkthrough). In the valley below, I decided to escape from the dinos, so I missed a very important item to continue playing; etc. etc. etc. I think one of the errors in this level was to think the players always want to kill all the enemies and look for the pickups they drop, when they are not forced to do the tasks the builders thought (they are the builders who need to force the players to do the tasks we want they do). In my modest opinion, another error was to build very very huge areas to explore and force the players to re-explore again the same huge areas to look for something they forgot or missed. In my modest opinion (again), I think builders (I'm a builder too) when building, need to take in mind the most very important advice from the official manual: page 70, antepenultimate paragraph: "In the tutorial you learned how to set it up so the player could not leave the area until the puzzle piece was found. Try not to create a situation where the player can get to the end of the level and not be able to finish a puzzle (therefore not finish the level) without having to retrace steps....especially if it is a long distance. BORING!". And this is what happens in this amazing level, so I'm not wonder how, more than two weeks after the releasing, only two members have rated and reviewed it. Sorry, but I can't recommend it. :(" - Jose (31-Dec-2015)

"It's almost boring if I repeat myself again but even if this level is not perfect anywhere the imagination and creativity that has obviously been put into this level makes up more than enough for that. Not only because of the yet again very original use of (actually mostly classic) objects and hilarious scenes, but also with great-looking large open areas that nicely creates a feeling of an epic-sized world and a lot of unique ideas in terms of gameplay. Perhaps not all ideas are perfectly refined and some parts are not very challenging, but there are many cinematic sequences that tell a story like seldom before and a few quite nice puzzles in between so boredom is certainly not an issue in this level, although two or three items are easy to miss and there's a bit of backtracking and exploration if you did so. The looks are solid most of the time, with only a few textures being squeezed on non-squaric tiles and a few places where the end of the world is more than obvious; some parts from time to time look a bit dull and less inspired. Audio design is very good and as said before the cameras are truly ingenious. The 20 secrets (I missed three the first time but checked their locations later) and the easter eggs are really worth all the extra trouble, some are easy to find but for some you really need to put all your attention into finding them. All in all a level worth play because it really manages to express something unlike many levels lately." - manarch2 (27-Dec-2015)

"A mixture of fun and bafflement here in places. I somehow managed to end the level without making use of most of what I picked up by placing the cog in the train, but I seemed to have allot of un-used items (a torch I'd not lit, something obtained from a pool of golden water, and a book of some sort). In terms of game play it's quite dispersed and open. There's allot of scale in terms of height too, especially once you find yourself on the roof of the station. Lighting and texturing at generally to a good standard. I did become a little annoyed with the number of illegal slopes in places which makes traversing some of the upper parks of the canyon a little frustrating. I did like the idea of seeing the torch progress first being carried by the water and then picked up by the coyote :) All in all I netted 1h 45 minutes from The Train to Nowhere. I get the feeling I possibly missed a considerable chunk of it. I know some bug fixes have since gone in (the version I played I downloaded from TRLE on 17/12/2015). I may replay at a later date. Stiggy" - TheStig (18-Dec-2015)
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