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Level: Catacombs of Bellona back home search
Author(s): BHM Productions
total rating:3.59 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
alan 4 3 3 5
Angel_K 5 5 7 3
DJ Full 4 3 4 5
Gerty 3 3 4 3
Jay 4 4 5 5
Jose 2 2 3 4
KH_1400 5 4 6 5
LadyCroft 3 1 2 2
Larabiker301 1 2 3 2
LaraSpears 5 5 5 5
manarch2 1 2 2 2
MichaelP 4 3 5 4
Orbit Dream 2 2 3 3
Phil 3 4 4 5
Ryan 2 2 3 2
sonnyd83 6 5 5 7
category averages
(16 reviews)
3.38 3.13 4.00 3.88

Reviewer's comments

"A debut level with several mistakes, especially with the textures and lighting, which are missing and stretched textures and messed up lighting where in some rooms Lara looks completely black even if there's light in a room. Enemies are only mummies and a skeleton, whose HP is infinite unless you blow them up with the grenade launcher. I only found the shotgun and some shells but I never used it. Game crashes after reloading, it also crashed when arriving to the finish trigger. Some rooms are good-looking, decorated with architecture and objects. Gampelay is about avoiding deep pits and fire, also swimming through long tunnels. Music tracks are well placed. At least the author improved his skills with his most recent levels and that is good." - alan (13-Apr-2017)

"Don't know about you but I still like to have a good look around when a new builder is in town. Although this game is sort of straightforward I did look in every nook and cranny and yup, beginner mistakes. Went through the same process myself when I started so a bit of nostalgia was going on at my end. Stretched textures, missing textures, lighting could have been better. Also the throwing to desktop when Lara dies is easy to remedy. There is luckily no flare bug so I could see the bottom of those pits. The enemies are lots of mummies en a skeleton and don't be too hasty or else you will die in one of those pits for sure. As for gameplay well I thought it was a bit underutilise but hey it is a first." - Gerty (24-Aug-2016)

"Well, it's not the worst debut I have seen, but it seemed rather hastily put together. I see the author has improved, so I will keep this review short. Embryonic gameplay, lack of enemies, lacklustre environment. I did like the choice of audio though." - Ryan (28-Jun-2016)

"What I was impressed by most about this level was the architecture, in fact the whole look of the place. It was beautifully designed with only a few flaws, mainly extremely stretched/missing textures - especially in the small pits with fire you jump over. It looks like a real tomb, with random debris lying all over, it's certainly not 'boxy' at all. The goal of this game to collect a gemstone, and many pitfalls await you, literally. There's a number of levers and these are the main focus of your attention. There's a few zombies to hinder your progress, and some underwater diving to spice things up, actually that was one of the best bits, you have to find your way through 3 paths underwater. The aforementioned deep pits with fire is my favourite part. Sound tracks were triggered appropriately, but there were no cameras/flybys, which to be honest didn't matter. I think the average rating here of less than 4/10 in my opinion is a little low. It took me 23 minutes to complete this. I look forward to his next release." - sonnyd83 (01-May-2016)

"Of course, it looks like a debut. From the very beginning you'll notice the usual defects from a novice: missing textures, ilegal slopes, very elongated textures, simple architecture, no covers for the buttons... Advice for this author: look for some betatesters before releasing the next level. Lineal gameplay with no difficult and simple tasks; only some traps, pull some levers, press some buttons and avoid some enemies. What the shotgun is for? I think only to shoot the lonely skeleton I found near the end. Where are the cameras? There's an effort with the lights, but nothing more remarkable for this short level. Still a lot of work to get better and release a level with high ratings." - Jose (27-Apr-2016)

"Somehow it is often the Catacob WAD that builders pick for their debut Releases, as is the case here. The architecture of this 10 Minute raid is rather crude, but a bit of effort went into lighting and I actually liked the choices on when Audio is being triggered. Gameplay is very straightforward and linear with only a few levers and buttons along the way, but the variety of jumps in one stretch was reasonably well designed. A good start - onwards and upwards from here." - MichaelP (22-Apr-2016)

"This level is a good debut, even if we have a lot of problems in this one level, I would recommand the builder to use ngle to avoid these craches (when you die, when you load a game during the game), to take a look to the script, it able the player to play the level without having to pass by "new game, select level". There are a lot of missed textures, or stretched textures. you have to make wall division, and to create more rooms to avoid it. The TR atmosphere was there and the musics from TR4 were nicely placed, it was a nice classic level, lever to use, push block to pull etc. You may have to pay attention to the level design and create a more developed gameplay for any player to be happy. I had a blue screen when I lauched the game the first time.." - Angel_K (18-Apr-2016)

"I personally found this level to be moderately enjoyable. The atmosphere was brooding and creepy and the architecture and overall design was pretty intriguing. The traps, obstacles, and challenges were pretty decent and there were minor puzzles here and there. I will admit the level is incredibly linear and there are some aesthetic issues, but considering this is the creator's first level, I say it's a job well-done. Hope to see more from them." - KH_1400 (11-Apr-2016)

"Well, this was a bit fun, it's a debut level and it's a good/average one, I always love encouraging new builders, because everyone needs time to learn and make great levels, not everyone is born a professional. Good on you for trying and I'm looking forward to trying/playing more levels from you. Cheers and good luck on your next levels." - LaraSpears (09-Apr-2016)

"I guess for a very first exercise it's an okay level, but probably not a level that will stick in your memory for too long. The gameplay is very straightforward and pretty uninspired, just pull some levers, jump over some gaps and solve a very easy pushable puzzle with a lot of long hallways in between. I'd given the first category a 2 too but the game always crashed on a reload so I had to quit the game and open it once more which was not very nice. The few enemies spice the level up a bit, some objects are used in different ways (but some are misplaced like the flames). The builder wanted to add a little diversity to the room design but it still is sometimes unrealistic and weird looking, while there are a few okay areas and nice glimpses into other rooms that differ a bit which is a good thing. Sadly there are no cameras and some missing sounds. There are some pretty streched and squeezed textures here but some efforts in lighting (that still tends to be rather bland). It's nowhere near a bad effort but there's still much work to be done to build a decent level. Found no secrets in 7 minutes." - manarch2 (09-Apr-2016)

"Not much to say that hasn't already been said. It's the author's first attempt at a level and well, it shows. There's not much to do other than pull some levers and traverse through trap filled corridors. The crawlspace was a little mean as I couldn't locate it for about ten minutes before promptly lighting a flare in every dark corner of the level I could find. Hiding things in the dark when it's not necessary probably won't get you nice reviews but is it tempting to throw things in the dark in the hopes to make the gameplay longer. Objects are placed in arbitrary locations. Audio tracks were played nearly every 3 minutes. I would attempt cameras if I were the author; not only do they spice up the game, but they also give your level a professional feeling. I do have to give points for atmosphere since even with the 'flat' lighting, the times where there is lighting, it makes for a dreary and desolate tomb. Lighting needs work as well as texture placement. Overall, not a bad start, there's been worse debut levels and I'm sure with time, you'll be making masterpieces. Keep at it!" - Larabiker301 (08-Apr-2016)

"This is like taking a step back in time to the early days of level making with the basic level editor. It's a debut level and, without wishing to sound unkind, it looks like one, with missing/stretched textures and largely empty rooms. Gameplay is brief and basic, involving throwing levers, a bit of swimming and climbing and mummy/skeleton avoidance. New builders are always to be encouraged (and goodness knows Brandon has accomplished something I never have) but I would urge him to keep honing his skills and take advantage of the pool of talent available in the Level Editing Questions thread." - Jay (08-Apr-2016)

"I've written such a declaration before,but...there have been far worse debut levels than this.I realise that's a backhanded compliment,but in all honesty I'd be struggling to find too much of note within this fifteen minute linear run through a rather slapdash Catacomb environment.The rooms are all simplistic (the first looks to be explorable,but there's nothing to do there);and generally corridor-based with essentially harmless opponents.The texturing is basic (and occasionally missing);cameras are absent (not that any are really needed);lighting is reasonably evocative,while Sound is the standard Catacomb background audio track.Nonetheless,it's default spookiness is enough to engender something approaching 'atmospheric'. The missing Load screen (a classic Beginners error) means that dying will crash the level back to Desktop - something which isn't much of a likelihood until around a minute or so from the end,when the challenge spices itself up somewhat.Ultimately,what this builder needs to do (as a priority) for his next level is not only to come up with somewhat more ambitious gameplay,but secure himself the services of a good beta-tester." - Orbit Dream (08-Apr-2016)

"I like a classic level between epic stories so getting stuck in The Rescue was the right moment to break the rule of "one level at a time". Before I launched The Catacombs of Barracuda... no, wait... Catacombs of Bellona... something fishy anyway, so I expected a lot of water. But since I shouldn't expect anything I also pictured a large sandy room for dry balance. With that clear default image, I scrolled through the readme, and for heck's sake why do you discourage me before I even begin playing? The storyline might even teach something but anytime I read "keep in mind it's a debut", it sounds like if the author himself knew something went wrong, and instead of fixing that he throws the responsibility for not enjoying the game on anyone who dares to play without one eye closed tightly enough. I hate such approach even though I tend to do such things myself... ehm. Indeed from the starting slide we get surrounded with stretched textures put all over huge models and lit with basic bulbs, and this lasts through entire game. But the curving architecture and static decoration of certain rooms may be somewhat entertaining for few seconds, and if graphics are consistently bad you can get used to them in such primitive form anyway. What is really disturbing instead is almost absolute lack of tension handling: we get a trace of climax before the final pickup but intense audio usage highlights every bit of design. I of course prefer too much music than too little, but there should be more effort left between one reward tune and another, while all we do here is pull subsequent switches to breach through linear mummy-infested corridors without a bit of complexity involved - what is both good or bad: if you look for something simple, go for this without hesitating, but if you want something epic just stay away. No effort is put on cameras or secrets whatsoever here again the level is so simple there would be no place for extra stuff nor any need for any lookout hints anyway... an advantage or a flaw? The only useful pickups among numerous ones are flares and one shell which can make things a tad easier by throwing the sole skellie among the spikes. Lack of challenge might be good as well because if the chance of dying was a bit greater, the crash issues would make reloading really frustrating (in current state I died three times, including two out of pure curiosity about what's inside the pit). SUMMARY: Regardless from how much time the author claims to have invested in making a level, what matters is the amount of craft and creativity included - so in the end half of both the level and the readme can be thrown out unless the latter is expanded into something serious - what I really hope will happen with the next attempt, as the author clearly has some imagination worth developing." - DJ Full (08-Apr-2016)

"This looks like something I might put together if I were somehow to be persuaded to give a stab at my first level. It's playable, but that's about it. You progress in linear fashion for five or ten minutes, encountering a few enemies and pausing for a few pickups along the way, and then it's over. There are no cut scenes, but none are needed. This is a level where you literally follow your nose. Everything is well lighted (I'm sure the more sophisticated among us would call it "flat") except in areas where the builder wanted to disguise a crawl space or a trap. If you happen to die, the game crashes. Same when you end the level. And if you're looking for an easy pushpiece puzzle, you've come to the right place. It's probably good for the builder's ego that I'm one of the first to review this level, as I suspect my scores are higher than any of the others I'll see." - Phil (05-Apr-2016)

"I guess it was okay. It's a 15 minute level, actually it depends if you DOZY-ed around or not since the builder didn't turn the FlyCheat off, or even renamed his level.The gameplay was easy, but I was running around while the mummies where chasing me because I didn't find the crawlspace at first. Whether it's too dark or too much of a purple atmosphere. I saw some thin walls and a lot of stretched textures, some of the texturing was fine. Audio was used every 2 or less minutes, my opinion. There was 15 minutes of gameplay, but not so much puzzles expect maybe pushing the objects to get to the lever. I give the Gameplay and Puzzles a 3. There were only enemies that you can't even kill. There weren't so many objects put in the level to spice it up, and there were no secrets (I think). I give it 1. Atmosphere was a lot of 'purpleish' and dark in some rooms. You can hear some audio a lot, but there were no camera's so I give it a 2. As I said, it could be dark in some rooms, really dark. Texturing wasn't so good, as you can see stretched textures, but some rooms were textured fine. I give it a 2. The level in my opinion was a bit boring as I DOZY-ed around to get a revolver so I can shoot the skeletons head so he doesn't chase me around." - LadyCroft (02-Apr-2016)
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