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Level: Tomb Raider Salvation (Part 3) - Into the Depths back home search
Author(s): Gabriel Croft
total rating:8.17 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Allicya 8 10 10 10
Bene 8 8 9 9
DJ Full 6 8 7 8
Drakan 9 9 9 9
ESCachuli 9 9 9 10
Jay 7 8 8 8
Jose 6 7 7 8
KBoaz 8 6 9 8
manarch2 4 7 7 7
Manymee 7 8 9 10
MichaelP 6 8 8 8
misho98 7 7 9 8
Orbit Dream 7 8 8 9
Phil 8 9 9 9
SlyRaider 9 10 10 10
category averages
(15 reviews)
7.27 8.13 8.53 8.73

Reviewer's comments

"Ahhh... submarine levels! I love them! It is like a mix between the Maria Doria levels (TR2) and the Mediterranean sea. Settings are always so beautiful, and puzzles are better. I love to take my time to find secrets: the hidden places are good too. Thanks for this levels! It was a pleasure! :)" - SlyRaider (16-Nov-2016)

"The easiest of this series so far (I haven't played the 5th one yet though). Even though for most of the game you're underwater, air isn't a concern until you're inside the ship. Usually levels in the bottom of the sea are anxiety-inducing (saying that as someone who took YEARS to gather courage enough to play 40 Fathoms!) for many players, but I must admit this one is quite pleasant. In the open sea, your only concern are the great white sharks, and the creator wasn't so sadistic to add any other dangers. As soon as you kill them all, you have all the time you need to explore the ruins and solve the puzzles that will give you what it takes to enter the Queen Athena. It's a great moment of complete isolation, wonder and exploration until you have to deal with the baddies (regular ones, nothing special about them) that are also after the same artifact as you. There's a great balance between isolation and combat, puzzles and platforming. He also makes great use of sound, texture and lighting, except for the light beams that come out of some windows inside the ship - they're blinding, specially in tiny rooms (which is where the creator uses them the most!). Overall, he succeeds in creating an atmosphere that evokes the classics (the Maria Doria TR2 levels with some TRU in there), but improved. Nothing particularly innovative but he definitely wouldn't be out of place in Core's team. I also love how consistent, intuitive and believable the texturing is, specially regarding climbable surfaces. Everything that looks like could be used as a monkey swing works like that. It's something so basic yet so many creators overlook that. Geometry-wise, this one has some issues with the collision in underwater tunnels. Fortunately, this happens when running out of breath and/or time isn't a concern. The use of underwater current was a good idea in the open sea, but not at all inside the ship. There's one room which I find particularly problematic - a flooded room with some platforms, a monkey swing, timed burners, glass shards AND the underwater current. The creator exaggerated so much in this room that I don't know why he didn't add sharks to the water! The core of the gameplay in this particular room is platforming (you must traverse the room to pull a switch that allows you to progress somewhere else), but the traps were excessive. I mean...if you fall in the water, it should be enough to make all the platforms inacessible except for the first and have the player start all over again, instead of making Lara drown due to a mysterious current out of nowhere that prevents her from reaching the surface. Also, the glass shards. Simple glass shards shouldn't make you bleed to death. In TR games, if you run over then, you're hurt; if you walk, you're not. It makes sense and it's intuitive; also, we TR players are used to this standard. In this levelset, though, that's not what happens. Actually, you'll suffer less harm if you SPRINT over the shards. If you stop and stand still over them, you die in a few seconds. It doesn't make sense, it's not intuitive and it shouldn't even be there. It's also overkill, because in the same platform there are already two timed burners. Add to this the fact you have to pull a switch and then go back the way you came, because the water will kill you. The puzzles are solvable by anyone who doesn't know beforehand what to expect from them. It's just a matter of observing your surroundings and using logic, not guessing wildly or relying on walkthroughs. One thing is a hard puzzle, another one is something that only makes sense for the creator or anyone who had contact with him/her. I notice many creators conflate the former with the latter, but it's not Gabriel's case. The game isn't hard - it's a fun, casual and enjoyable adventure. As someone who isn't a hardcore gamer and whose only favorite games were the classic TRs, I can say it was a thoroughly fun, nostalgic and fulfilling adventure." - KBoaz (08-Nov-2016)

"After months I finally took my time to continue playing the salvation game. -2 in gameplay & puzzles because the first level took me almost 1 hour to figure it out where all the switches were. After that hunt, we find a ship and the gameplay gets better. The rest fits the setting very well. A nice sea/ship level. Well done..." - Allicya (29-Jul-2016)

"G/P: The builder certainly stepped up his game in hiding levers, as I spent nearly half an hour in the open ocean before I could proceed. With air to breathe and a constant soundtrack of dreamy quality, I enjoyed this for the first twenty minutes, but then it simply became tedious. Puzzles as such were not hard, but I did overall not have as much fun in this level as in its predecessor Treasure Island. E/O/S: Enemies were again often bugged and easy to kill, objects were well placed and just as pretty as in T.I. I found 4 secrets which were not too hard to find either. No headache here. A/S/C: At the risk of repeating myself, I do not enjoy constantly looped soundtracks, and although the first in the open water was very nice, the one on the ship was quite annoying. Otherwise, atmosphere and cameras were, again, spot on. L/T: Lovely use of light filtering into the ship, nothing was too dark, textures were overall very nice. My only real complaint is that this was too short. All in all, Tomb Raider: Salvation gets a spot in my heart for being a classic, light-hearted, sunny afternoon raid." - Manymee (17-Jun-2016)

"Having a level take place exclusively underwater is no bad thing (especially when it looks as appealing as it does in the first part of this two-level adventure),but it really needs some more thought put in to how to most effectively utilise this particular concept.Although I liked the builders idea of subtle signposting,having Lara spend around half an hour laboriously searching a vast seabed for small items or crevices was not particularly noteworthy;and her unexplained ability to breath underwater without any artificial assistance was stretching credulity somewhat,when you take into account that the second level (which follows on directly time- wise from the first) has her revert back to having to hold her breath again. Actually,this second level was by far the most enjoyable;as it ditched all pretence of novelty,and just got on with giving the player a fast-moving and enjoyable ship level;replete with numerous thugs,monkey swings,pushable blocks,fire gauntlets,and searches for important keys.The interior decoration (especially the main Atrium) was lovely;as was the choice of music;and good use of lighting (although the builder really should cut down on the use of light beams shining in from all possible directions).The atmosphere was sufficiently waterlogged;while objects and secrets were neatly placed. A very solid and commendable double-level,then;but you'll need a degree of tolerance to get through the first part." - Orbit Dream (08-Jun-2016)

"Lighting & Textures: 10/10. Great work with ambient. The ship hall is stunning. Leaves you willing to explore the whole ship. Textures are sharp and clear. Lara model was better in the last part, the face at least. But overall it's a very good looking game. Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: 9/10. TR2 sounds and music are amongst my favourites, and the Maria Doria part was overwhelming with that drops falling sound, the bare feet sound agaisn't metal... and the "awe" music is fantastic. Also, your own mix betwen AC2 and AoD frankly gave me chills. I can't think of a better way of doing it. On the bad side... Some things are out of place, like the cannons or the suited bad guys, and some algae (the ones "hanging" like boxes) are not specially good looking (maybe if you left one side open... I don't know if I'm explaining correctly xDDD). Also, the whole cave doesn't make really sense. I mean, is it part of the ship? How can a cave have a switch for a ship? Was the whole cave constructed for the ship? And why do you need to find a key to get a crowbar? xDDD anyway, the gameplay was funny enough to balance it out. But as an overall I can't give it a bad mark. Music and Sound are a 10/10, and ambient is an 8/10 just because of those little flaws (the puzzles inconsistencies, the baddies, the algae and the cannons). The rest is flawless. Enemies, Objects & Secrets: 9/10: I found most of the secrets, just 2 left in the last level, and I think 1 in the first. Aside from the design of the baddies, the enemy location and amount is great. Also, you have enough resources without being too many. Gameplay & Puzzles: 9/10. The gameplay it's almost flawless. There are almost no obscure puzzles, they are logical and funny without being easy. Only 2 levers are a little bit to hidden. Despite somethings out of place (and that's more ambient related than real gameplay) the whole thing works. Only thing: a bit too short. I really felt like it needed one more level at least, and I would do it after reaching the "superior rooms"." - ESCachuli (19-Feb-2016)

"I played this one right after Part 2 of the series and despite generally being a fan of ship levels, I have to say this one fell a bit short for me. Mainly, I guess, as the first level suffers from a pet hate of mine in TR games: a significant amount of exploration for a few small keys and levers in a rather huge body of water. Little gets more boring and tedious than that for me and it took me 30 minutes to get through this, when it can probably be done in 5-10 if you know where to go. There are a few sharks to kill along the way, but you can just as easily avoid them. The second part is less annoying but not really more interesting, as progression is fairly simple and uneventful. What saves this is the overall good looks and the solid atmosphere created and maybe the bonus fact that we have too few levels of this genre, but I certainly would prefer playing part 2 over part 3 if I had to choose." - MichaelP (11-Feb-2016)

"If this level had been released 10 or 15 years ago with the textures and trappings then available, it would have been playable but unremarkable. But the visual effects made possible with the latest tools boost its appeal several times over. The opening screen is eye-catching in itself, and when you start underwater with infinite air you find you have a harpoon gun to take care of the attacking sharks. The first (of two) levels can be played in fairly short order if you know where to go and what to do (Josť's walkthrough takes care of that), but I spent a considerable amount of time just swimming around and enjoying the surroundings. The second segment is a fairly mundane ship level, with an assortment of baddies and traps to avoid, but the nostalgic TR1 sounds and the well-lighted appointments make it a fun raid. In all I spent an hour and twenty minutes here, but much of that time was spent gawking. A nice little package. Recommended." - Phil (29-Jan-2016)

"Another nice offer from this builder but in my opinion the other parts of the Salvation game are more entertaining. I find the first level to be very enjoyable even if it's a little confusing at times (although less confusing than the majority of the high-rated exploration levels).It's very fun to play even if all you have to do is pull some switches and keep track on which location you already visited. There's also some sharks to spice things up. The surroundings are beautiful and the atmosphere is at it's best. However, the second level is quite boring and kinda depressing compared to the first. Texturing is dark and monotonous, but there are still some amazing lighting effects here and there and some standout rooms like the one with the stairs and the aquariums(actually that's the only standout room). I noticed that the architecture is quite simple unlike some of his previous levels. I definitely think this level needed more work mostly in adding some variety in the gameplay, but it's still a good level especially if you're not looking for something hard." - misho98 (22-Jan-2016)

"If you like exploration perhaps this levels could be good for you. For me there's an abuse of levers/switches to pull, and in the first level I suffered a lot of backtracking, finding often dead ends and revisiting a lot of times the same areas in an ocean where it's very difficult to get oriented properly. The second level is better in that sense, but I missed a lot some more ammo for the shotgun. Usually the different areas are well ornated and the environments have a good look; correct flybys and cameras, some secrets are well hidden. Worth to play for me but don't wait for interesting puzzles." - Jose (18-Jan-2016)

"Except the ship cave definitely missing the top, hard to ignore especially in underwater scenery allowing movement in all directions, the game begins more atmospheric than the previous one. The prologue is highly confusing and a shot of lowering block still gives no clue where that place is. It would help if crucial spots weren't that far from each other - locating them on the edges of playable zone is artificial trouble, just like the switch in the ship cave and the pits drilled in the deck for sake of challenge. After we're through the intro, the ship exploration is much clearer. Some rooms seem copied from each other and the main hall floor feels like a placeholder, but the most of nterior could be a little brother of Blue Storm, though I wasn't absolutely sure if I visit a steamer from early twenties or a research cruiser from late eighties. Inside, thug batches troubled me all the time but earlier shark killing with rare harpoon was different, so enemy design had a bit of improvement, while hidden pickups helped a lot. The twin aquarium was very nice but one tank contained nothing and made me spend too much time looking for another swimmable wall... it's either impossible to get used to them, or 15 years just weren't enough for me, anyway stop making these already. The ending is a step back in comparison to the prequel - this time not only we cannot grab the final artifact, but it's also found without any traces of build up. SUMMARY: I liked this one the most of the trilogy, though everytime it gets good it returns an anticlimatic point which destroys the impression. I hope the next one receives much more care, they're just released too fast." - DJ Full (18-Jan-2016)

"I seem to have liked this level more than some previous reviewers. Atmosphere and graphics are near perfect and Lara's ability to stay underwater without looking for air holes was a giant plus and the harpooning of the sharks made the opening sequences fun. A good 4 lever puzzle and a red- colored trap adds to the enjoyment. Getting in and out of an inner ship's door was made impossible due to a collision bug so a game restart was necessary. Even a previous savegame did not help but a fresh start, knowing all the steps, made it easy. The 2nd part, deep into the ship was just as atmospheric as the beginning. Lots of enemies who were equipped much better than Lara were easily handled. I sometimes like puzzles that are easily solved as were the ones within the ship but they did lead to a too quick, disappointing end. I came late to this party as this is my first game in the series, now up to 3 but I am looking forward to continuing onto 4 and however many that follow. Secrets were well placed 5/6 were found. Recommended for all. A fairly complex beginning and a good follow through." - Bene (18-Jan-2016)

"Part three of this series sees us in a Maria Doria type setting, which will probably appeal to a lot of people - it's certainly a favourite of mine. The first section deals with making your way into the ship and it's lucky that Lara appears to have developed gills as the exploration is not very linear and hampered by sharks (but you can kill them with your harpoon gun, yay). The second, ship section is far more linear and littered with baddies at every turn. The gameplay is fairly simple and should therefore be fine for most players. It's mainly about finding switches and keys and pushing a few boxes about, but it's a very pleasant environment and, at about an hour for the whole game, it most certainly doesn't overstay its welcome. Recommended." - Jay (16-Jan-2016)

"This is not a very memorable experience, for several reasons. Firstly, I had the feeling that the builder just borrowed some ideas (textures, objects, audios, even a bit of similar room construction) from other custom levels and didn't put enough of his own into this game, adding just a bit of gameplay. The first level is mostly about a very tedious search for over half a dozen of underwater levers in a huge (and atmospheric, but also monotonously looking) underwater setting, with only one single halfway decent puzzle in between; the second level provides a few jumps and two or so okay puzzles but still the progression is largely uninspired. I even liked the gameplay of his home level some more, which is saying much about this level. The fights with the harpoon gun underwater and with pistols on the ship are decent and the six secrets are well hidden mostly; the looks are solid (found a few misplaced and one missing texture and the lighting is not too impressive either) but, if you compare it to some true masterpieces like Wreck of the Blue Storm where most of the "ingredients" of this level originate from, it's clearly falling behind, so I'll recommend you to play the original levels which creates a much better experience than just a toned down version of them. 30 minutes." - manarch2 (16-Jan-2016)

"Pretty adventure in 2 levels rather short. In the first there is a huge room underwater to visit before joining the boat. We visit the ship in the second. Everything is quite simple with a few enemies. Very nice. Found 5/6 secrets." - Drakan (16-Jan-2016)
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