Level: The Victoria Stone back home search
Author(s): Uzi Master
total rating:7.83 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
DJ Full 8 9 9 9
Fabio 7 4 9 10
Gerty 5 7 8 8
Jay 8 8 9 9
JesseG 7 8 8 7
Jose 3 7 9 10
manarch2 5 5 7 7
Phil 9 9 10 9
Ryan 8 8 9 10
category averages
(9 reviews)
6.67 7.22 8.67 8.78

Reviewer's comments

"Maybe one of the best levels I ever played. Unfortunatly, there were to much ennemies and they were really tough for the limited amount of ammo that Lara has. As you said in the walkthrough:" the 60 rounds in your inventory indicate that you're not blessed with unlimited pistol ammo." The gameplay was fun but I didn't really see any puzzles. I say "didn't really" because I never finished the first level for the same reason as said above: tough ennemies and low ammount of ammo. The camera wasn't at its best. We must press the look button to regain control of Lara's sight, when opening a door using a lever, for example. Maybe all of the things I said seem negative, but look at the bright side. All of the thing I didn't criticize are, by definition, great !" - Fabio (28-Feb-2017)

"Not funny, in other words not enjoyable at all, at least for me. A plethora of enemies that needed way more hits than normal and then you have limited ammo for Lara's trusted guns. I don't mind to reload but this was a reloading hell for me. And last but not least no binoculars? Shame on you! If all the above wouldn't be so fierce I might have enjoyed this game much, much more as there is a lot to explore, sorry. Very cool objects were there, good camerawork, but as I said, way too many enemies. Also didn't like that the camera was following Lara so close." - Gerty (14-Oct-2016)

"I'm surprised that Victoria's Stone did not turn out to be a key, seeing that almost everything else was. I didn't keep a tally while playing, but scanning the walk- through just now I estimate about 25 keys were used in the first level (which serves as the bulk of the adventure). I think I am going to call this syndrome "key overdose". Symptoms: A single level that takes almost 3 hours to complete; A large abundance of similar keys and keyholes; A good amount of back-and forth as the player collects and uses the keys in a specific order throughout the six floors of a house / military base (although because there are so many keys, a few unintended shortcuts can happen). It is a tiring search that prevented me from playing the level in longer sittings and it prevents me from giving a higher score in gameplay. There were still quite a few good moments in the adventure, such as a few challenging timed runs, tricky traps, and some curious but fun "anti-gravity beams". The textures were good overall, which only a little warping, however there were some flaws there: For one thing there were several "fake" textures the player had to pass through, which broke the immersion into the level a bit. Also "grab-able" textures were not used in a consistent manner, sometimes it was a bit of a guess to find them. One of the stronger parts was the combat, which provides a majority of the action in this adventure. It had its rough spots, such as those flying black women who take no less than 30 desert eagle bullets to kill, and have an insane fire rate (you can duck as suggested but you will get hurt while getting in position). There is a good use of decorative objects, and the one secret is interesting, as it is easily among the hardest I have ever encountered. Another strong point is the atmosphere, which is overall rather immersive and tied together with some dialog points and engaging cutscenes. One camera complaint: It seems set to follow Lara rather closely, which made it harder for me to see. Overall while you will probably be looking at the walkthrough time and again, this is still a pretty entertaining adventure. 3 hours 3 minutes." - JesseG (30-Jun-2016)

"From the word Go, the enemies make their presence known. You have to be strategic and use the right guns for different fights. I enjoyed it... for the most part. There were times where I felt the enemies got overwhelming at times (nine or ten enemies at the end), but I got through. I liked the cutscenes and animations though. Take a look and decide for yourself." - Ryan (27-Jun-2016)

"This remarkable effort has received only a scattering of reviews to date, and that from the toughest graders among us (excluding Jay, of course), and I suspect that this is because the lack of a posted walkthrough is keeping many players from tackling such a notoriously complicated adventure. Selene and I are working to remedy that situation now, and for those of you who are indeed holding back until that roadmap becomes available, I can only say that you'll find the wait well worth it. The raid is divided into two sections, but the first one will occupy about 95% of your time. It's about evenly split between the beginning tasks that take place in and around a house, and the more strenuous activities that await in a VCI area. Without the builder's detailed notes I would have been hopelessly lost in no time, because the fairly compact game map has innumerable twists and turns. The enemies come at you in fast and furious fashion, and some of them are quite difficult to kill. Ample firepower is provided, but you have to be on guard at all times due to the suddenness and ferocity of the attacks. There's a neat touch in the VCI section with a green tube that carries you up and down in dreamlike fashion with deft use of the jump key. I didn't discover until much too late that to exit the tube you need to face in the proper direction and initiate your forward jump at the very beginning. The entire game took me over four and a half hours to complete, and I find it incredible that the builder intended this at first as part of a 20x20x20 challenge. The lighting is superb throughout, and I rarely found it necessary to use a flare in order to see what I was doing. At present I feel that these levels are woefully underrated, and hopefully additional reviewers will be persuaded to bring the overall scores to a suitable level. High recommendations." - Phil (20-Apr-2016)

"Be warned, this can be really brutal at times as Lara has to battle several enemies at once, some of whom are really fierce. Plenty of fire power and medipacks are provided as everybody and his dog seem to drop goodies, but you will still need to rely heavily on good strategy to get through. There's much to enjoy - fun exploration in an interesting mix of house and VCI areas, clever animations and cut scenes, with very good quality voice-overs and some lovely music in the second part. It really made for a love/hate relationship for me however as some of the fights became quite wearisome and I honestly would have had more fun if the enemies action had eased off a bit. Overall though, despite needing frequent breaks, it held my interest well enough to keep me going back for more." - Jay (27-Mar-2016)

"Better features in this last level from this experienced author, but still the same comments I wrote for the previous levels. The only problem here were the enemies and the limited ammo; all the remaining features are very good. I liked a lot the fantastic design, the cool objects, the atmosphere, the cutscenes, the animations... and I take my hat ('cause I'm a builder too) so this author can implement such a enormous gameplay in a very reduced area; incredible. Excessive keys and objects to pick up and search, excessive enemies and also excessive hard to kill and, consequently, even with all that ammount of ammo and medipacks, I was forced to use a savegame editor to get extra stuff or I wasn't able to continue playing and finish the level. It's a pain that it's not a level for everybody." - Jose (27-Mar-2016)

"To quote from my review of the builder's Venice Incident: "So - this level could have been quite the hit if the builder didn't make the odd choice to put in myriads of enemies, which ruined the gameplay for me." This stays true for this level as well, although the gameplay is also fairly confusing without all those enemies, with more items (and many of the same kind!) to find and use than you can imagine and not always quite fair progression (like with missing or unhelpful cameras, fake walls, a dizzying maze-like setting that just gets huger and huger the further you progress). I'll advise you to play the first level in one go, as you're probably hopelessly lost when you return there a second time, but even when playing through in one sitting every room, every keyhole, every fight just blurred together in one single piece of pure chaos. This strange kind of gameplay is still not without its moments, as seen before in the builder's other 20 level and on several occasions even here, but the builder crossed a certain border that just makes this a pure ordeal to pass, at least for me, trying to lengthen the gameplay as much as possible (also with the use of a lot of paperthin walls to stay within the borders) and the 130+ enemies in these levels are often just annoying to take out, shooting at you directly after a cutscene or in places where you can't shoot them and you'll die immediately if you don't have full health. There are also some technical glitches, like enemies carrying important items disappeared (probably after a save/reload), some seem to be frozen, and the leveljump to the second level didn't work for me normally (game crashed every time) so I had to use the "help" cheat just before the last cutscene. The cutscenes are okay, all the dialogues nicely convey the storyline but many flybys are a bit wacky as well as the otherwise appreciated animations. The texturing and the lighting are good enough but given that most of the level is just designed in very boxy maze areas they're not too impressive either. Spent a total of 1:50 hours in this game, 1:45 hours in the first and 5 minutes in the second one, and found the one secret... somehow. Overall, a game that might be able to test your patience, but I'm not sure if it's really enjoyable for the time it lasts. It's not always a sign of quality just when a given concept like the 20 challenge is brought to its bounds like here, perhaps larger scale levels with less total confusion - like the second level of Hidden Things - are where the builder's strengths are put to better use than in those often plain shooters." - manarch2 (24-Mar-2016)

"Intense non-linearity is involved and multiple focal points are set in the same moment so careful observation and a lot of memory are required to keep track. New interaction, inventive enemy handling, surprising lines, cutscene design and a rare yet working mixture of sceneries are enough to balance the confusion unnecessary. SUMMARY: Impressive. Possibly more enjoyable at second playthrough." - DJ Full (23-Mar-2016)
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