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Level: The Cradle of Life back home search
Author(s): 911
total rating:7.19 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
alan 8 9 8 7
Bene 8 9 8 5
Chesinios 9 9 8 7
DJ Full 5 8 8 5
Gerty 5 8 8 6
Hedteur 5 7 7 6
Jay 7 7 8 7
Jose 7 8 9 7
manarch2 4 7 6 6
Paulina Haminara 5 6 7 8
Phil 9 9 8 8
Ryan 7 7 8 7
category averages
(12 reviews)
6.58 7.83 7.75 6.58

Reviewer's comments

"This is certainly an ambitious project, but there's possibly a little too much over-ambition here, and maybe a lack of good beta testing too. Without the bugs and the dragged out sections of crawling and backtracking and such, this would have been a much more enjoyable adventure to complete. There are still some good puzzles and action sequences and such, but the flaws are really hard to ignore. Firstly, in the Temple of Luna, I encountered a strange situation (although I don't think it is the same bug others experienced). I came across the closed door barring one of the Stars despite ignoring the spike switch and reloading a couple of times, but when I went and killed the warrior in one of the pits in a corridor, the door opened and I could continue! This leads me to think that it is some sort of obscure double trigger rather than an actual bug, but I wasn't prepared to experiment anymore. In the same level I also had to grab one of the secrets way earlier than I would have liked, due to the possible bug (then again, it may not have been a bug). In Chen Lo's Hideout, if you obtain the Uzis, you spawn a load of guards that can't be killed due to the fact that you can't use weaponry, so I just left them be. And I did have to download the author's savegame as I also encountered the Mati bug in level 9. There's also too much backtracking and lever hunting, as well as a few texture issues and the darkness is also a hindrance due to lack of flares. It's a shame, because there are some good points here like the use of FMVs and Lara's comments to move the storyline along, and the way the secrets are hidden (despite one of them counting twice). I still do think that better beta testing would have tightened this up and eliminated all the bugs, to make this better in the end. Enjoyable in parts, but aggravating in others." - Ryan (24-Jul-2018)

"A pity though that all the hard work on this level set; didn’t pan out. Few basic rules, give flares even if you think it is bright as daylight. Enough pick-ups so people don’t have to reload again and again, saying that… too many pick-ups is almost as bad as too little. Leave the compass and binoculars in the game. Nice to have a lot of camera shots what lever does what, but it is a bit hard to get out of them. There were some rather strange collision problems as well as well as invisible blocks in front of doors. You can totally skip the Great Wall level (#5) I found out, which makes me wonder if this has been tested at all. Missing a few textures and some needed a bit of TLC. There are loads of levers to pull, running back and fro a lot as well. I had to use the savedgame provided by the builder and found out I lost quite a lot of goodies I had collected. It could have been a gem but in my opinion it fell short big time." - Gerty (17-Oct-2017)

"It's a very well built game, with FMVs included and dialogues. The FMVs are always nice to watch in a custom levelset. My favorite levels were Not On Every Road, The Great Wall and Chen Lo's Hideout. I liked riding the bike, especially in the great wall, and also the puzzles. The first 2 levels of the game weren't of my liking, as I found them tedious and too dark. In the second level Lara says that she doesn't have flares, which means the author didn't place them on purpose. But all the levels were well designed and despite some mistakes I congratulate the author for his effort of 2 years. Found 11 secrets." - alan (15-Apr-2017)

"Actually I'm quite disappointed. Some of the rooms were too dark and there was no light at all.. I had problems with the movies and sometimes it looked like I finish some levels too fast. On the other hand the music was great and it made a really good atmosphere." - Paulina Haminara (27-May-2016)

"This is an ambitious collection of levels that occupied my attention for several weeks. Of the 11 levels (including a final bonus level), all but a few present imaginative and extended gameplay that could have been released as standalone levels. On the other hand, there are glaring deficiencies that prevent the work from being considered outstanding. For starters, as others have noted, there are no flare pickups whatsoever, and many of the levels are notably dark, so right off the bat I manufactured unlimited flares for myself. In the second level (The Temple of Luna, which otherwise might have been the best of them all) I encountered a game-stopping bug near the end. Jose documents the problem in his walkthrough and attributes its discovery to Cory. When I pulled a switch to disable the spikes covering a secret pickup, the necessary gate that comes later remained closed for me even when pulling another switch should have opened it. Replaying from an earlier savegame, I refrained from pulling the spike switch this time (thinking that I would go back and do it later). That later necessary gate was now open, but when I tried to go all the way back and pull down the spike switch, another gate I'd opened earlier with two keys was now closed! The situation was remedied by using a savegame posted in the stuck thread, but it left a sour taste in my mouth. And I also experienced the hand receptacle bug in Level 9 (The Cradle of Life) that was so universal that the builder had to provide his own savegame to deal with the problem. Finally, in Level 6 (Chen Lo's Hideout) there appears to be no legal way to acquire the uzis (although by doing so you're committing virtual suicide by releasing a myriad of enemies with no weapons at your disposal). These levels, as excellent as they are, should never have been released with these flaws. Despite the mentioned shortcomings, I had a grand time working my way through this adventure, which could have been Hall of Fame material had more attention been given to pre-release testing." - Phil (21-May-2016)

"Even with all that defects I've found (I'm agree with the other reviewers), I think this adventure is very worth to play, and I really enjoyed it. Except the backtracking in some levels, and the nonexistent flares or binoculars to play the darker levels (bad, bad, bad, bad, always place flares or binoculars!!!); I'm really gratefull with this author, even if there were not good puzzles, the whole game is enjoyable and well playable. I suffered the bug when placing the "Mati" item in the hand so I was forced to download the savegame. All in all, definitively, this levels were never well tested. It's a pain. Even so, after writing the walkthrough for this adventure, I think it will be good for many players. Recommended." - Jose (14-May-2016)

"I am rather surprised this has yet to receive more attention and reviews. Yes, all the flaws previously discussed in other reviews are there and there were times I threw levers with no camera to show what changed and more than a few times I never did figure it out but... and this is a big but, I was engaged from the beginning as difficult as that was in the dark without flares or binoculars. Secrets were hidden well most of the time and most puzzles were well created and enemies varied. A game end for me would have been the difficulty of spotting pickups in the Easy Come Easy Go level and thanks to Jose for helping me spot it as I found the vents the least enjoyable gameplay although to be fair some gameplay I would have rated a 9 but since there is no 8.5 rating, the 8 remains. Give this a go and make up your own minds as I think it's a good, if not perfect Raid. If you remember to change the gamma and brighten screens you will have a much easier time in the first few levels." - Bene (12-May-2016)

"I really enjoy playing this game but without Flares it became a little difficult but still good raiding. Some Secrets where easy some hard & some I still figuring it out. All in All good game" - Chesinios (10-May-2016)

"I like short and simple storylines I don't forget. I like if number of secrets per level is equal so I don't have to check the list at every leveljump. These things show builder's care, and when I saw them here I thought the game will be just fine. But it's so overfilled with basic errors that in the end I was surprised it has a finish trigger, of course if you approve DLC. Collisions and OCBs are wrong, water never animates, audio overlaps, objects float and I normally don't mind but these things go on for entire game, constantly preventing immersion. Even if it appears you are already bored with puzzles, as after a nice beginning with four keys unlocking a hub every next setup is the same. The only creative part, a weapon hunt to deal with soldiers and secrets, is fatally buggy, while the rest is mazes, switches and items to open doors, only in different settings what doesn't mean some settings aren't copied either - for instance vehicle levels are very alike and the manors are just identical. As a bonus we get another manor when I was already frightened by the vision of third run, I happily noticed this hidden level is miles ahead of the bulk, suddenly proving the author CAN build - so first tell me what the heck has happened everywhere else, and then play through the bonus regardless from what I said about the main game. The FMVs also need a word, even though animated with glitches they were visually appealing. But the lines... Jesus Christ and all pagan gods... we have so many great voice actors waiting to help and for free and they were all insulted with a voice synthesizer. Just stop using this ****, this is also addressed to davep, as I always have to reload multiple times in order to understand what our heroine is saying. You need to know speech is less about words and more about intonation these crappy programs totally lack. Same can be said about graphics which are less about texturing and more about lighting, and if we're at this I will never guess 1) why it's so dark in here 2) why the draw distance was reduced to five sectors in the entire game. I remember An Adventure suffer from similar darkness but that one was at least epic so if the last choice in my life was between playing these I would try that other one. SUMMARY: It says two years of work but I feel two months with long breaks inbetween. The game has its moments but is predominantly tiring and will become a wasted effort both for builder and player unless the things I mentioned get fixed. Or the author should take a lesson from this game while building a new one, as sole evasion of these mistakes while preserving hit points should make the next release much, much better. Not that I wouldn't like to play something even more defined." - DJ Full (30-Apr-2016)

""Well, I doesn't have flares, but this unreally sticklight is enough for me to see." [sic] This statement sets the tone for the first two levels, which are fairly dark without any provided flares (you won't find a single package in the entire game). I don't know - should it be an additional challenge, is it because there are so many active wall torches that the flare bug would appear everywhere, anyway, it's just a very annoying feature that nobody needs. Not only because of that I think this level hasn't been properly beta - or even alpha tested because there are so many design errors in here. To list all I encountered - the odd maze in the first level leads to several dead ends where you can't get out because some walls aren't passable even if they should be. In the second level the third secret can't be reached without losing three half medipacks because the spikes always are triggered again if one jumps onto the slope. If you want to find the uzis in the sixth level you have to use a jumpswitch in a secret room (quite enerving already with two tigers in the same room you can't kill and a very buggy ladder) to open a door, but this one blocks off the path further so you can't even finish this level without bugging through the door, and the uzis themselves can't be used at all in this level where several SAS appeared taking away much of your health because you can't protect yourself. The two levers in the seventh level that are supposed to trigger four enemies on ground floor only worked after using them three or four times. And in the ninth level, you are stuck for good if you are too slow during the underwater timed run and are trapped between two unopenable doors. I said it before - it sounds like an accusatory list - but essentially these are the things that MUST be adressed while testing but aren't, and there are several other (thankfully harmless) things too. A couple of missing textures, paper thin walls, floating objects, missing or overdone object collison (especially annoying with the bike), the split-second camera bug, missing crowbar in animation, missing sounds, a severe lack of camera clues... this level would've needed several more weeks of work before releasing it. Sadly so, because if the game had been generally as strong as in its better parts it would've been fairly enjoyable. The concept of the film remake (which I don't recall anymore) is fresh and supported nicely by the original locations and the FMVs, some humorous self conversations of Lara, even a nice bonus level to visit ... really quite an ambitious project that just needed more work. Apart of the mentioned ones the "remaining" secrets are very well hidden, the enemy placement is quite strong overall and the atmosphere often is quite solid. There are a few fun tasks like (easy) timed runs, puzzles and jump sequences, but also some quite nasty backtracks (the seventh level is almost exclusively about finding levers and yo-yo backtracking, and the major backtracks in the eight level - like going back a large path to a door that is just above the receptacle, but can't be reached directly - make me think the builder just wanted to strech the time as much as possible. An advise: Don't. Simply don't. As said, this could've been a decent game but this is released hectically and prematurely, it really pays off to take the time and polish up the level before releasing it in a hurry. Found all 27 secrets in 3:25 hours." - manarch2 (25-Apr-2016)

"Slippery When Wet/Temple of Luna: Here's a tip for all builders - if you really want to alienate players, first try building a level with many, many overly dark areas, then disable the binoculars and fail to provide any flares. At all. That should do the trick every time. These first two parts are similar in feel, with plenty of swimming and some of the action is rather enjoyable, despite an over-reliance on lever throwing. As far as can be ascertained, the scenery is pleasant, but having such low light levels casts a reddish glow over everything so it can be difficult to assess the textures. Croft Manor: OK, after the first two sections, you get to emerge blinking into the daylight and I never thought I'd be so glad to see Croft Manor. You can spend some time sightseeing if you wish, or you can just go to the library, get the information you require and continue with the adventure. No contest really. Not On Every Road/Great Wall/Chen Lo's Hideout: There's a motorbike to ride and run over tigers, which is quite satisfying (although probably not so much for the tigers). The mist hanging over the place means the scenery comes into view rather piecemeal, but it's quite atmospheric. Still rather a lot of button pushing going on, interspersed with some swimming and timed run/traps. I inadvertently took a short cut into the next segment, bypassing much of the Great Wall, so had to go back and redo it, but that mainly entailed more bike riding. In the hideout section, Lara gets imprisoned and has to earn her escape, mainly by (you guessed it) finding switches. Easy Come, Easy Go: We're into VCI territory here so expect plenty of crawling through ducts and dodging lasers. Despite being a bit of a warren, for me this section worked rather well and provided some enjoyable (without being too hard) challenges. Just Desert: Honestly, even the desert looks gloomy, cold and uninviting - you have to pity the poor snakes. There's a Land Rover to drive this time, but you don't get the opportunity to run over the snakes. Plenty of exploring in caves and a few encounters of the spiky variety. Cradle of Life: Still running through caves, with added yeti action. Timed swim/ run adds a bit of spice but it's still rather lever orientated and the crawlspace maze was somewhat tedious. Be warned, if you experience the bug in this section (as I did) and have to use the savegame provided by the builder, there will be no secrets recorded and far fewer medipacks than you would have found by this stage, although still far more than you will require. Return to the Croft Manor: Daylight again, hurrah. You get to do a full tour of the mansion looking for a few switches to get you into the next level. Bonus Level: Bizarrely, parts of Lara's house appear to have pathways through to various old haunts, such as Peru and Atlantis. It's an intriguing concept and actually one of the more enjoyable sections, with some rather well done flip map effects. Also, the lighting is finally something to admire rather than curse. To summarise: this is an ambitious enterprise that would have benefited greatly from being properly beta tested and 'tightened up' in terms of gameplay to eliminate some of the definite longueurs and concentrate on the more enjoyable aspects. Not bad, but could have been so much better." - Jay (24-Apr-2016)

"First, am I the only one having a problem with the main title image ? It is pitch black on the bottom of the image. Anyway. I can't say this map is bad, but I also can't say it's a must play. Some elements really are interesting in this movie adaptation, and graphics honestly aren't bad, but lighting can sometimes be a problem, also, there are some places that are way too linear, not to mention that in one particular timer, you can trap Lara and simply drown if you are not fast enough. Again, it is not horrible, but I think it could have been better..." - Hedteur (15-Apr-2016)
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