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Level: Tomb Raider Salvation (Part 4) - Penglai Shan back home search
Author(s): Gabriel Croft
total rating:8.20 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Allicya 9 10 10 8
DJ Full 6 6 7 8
Drakan 9 9 9 9
Gerty 5 7 7 8
Jay 8 8 9 9
JesseG 8 9 9 7
Jorge22 7 7 7 8
Jose 8 9 8 9
LarangL 9 9 9 9
manarch2 6 7 7 7
Orbit Dream 7 8 8 8
Phil 8 9 9 9
Ryan 8 8 9 9
SlyRaider 10 9 9 10
Tolle87 9 8 7 10
category averages
(15 reviews)
7.80 8.20 8.27 8.53

Reviewer's comments

"Releasing assets from epic levels is menace when they're reused like in hope they'll grant all success, without original care, thus not matching original quality, and it seems to happen every time Gabriel puts his hand on such a package. This time it's Tibetan Winter with missing sounds, flickering trapdoors, fighting followed not preceded with extra ammo, lacking in any next fight anyway - how do you think 30 uzi bullets for two HP-boosted tinmen is enough, it would be better to give pistols only, at least all clear. Un(?)fortunately, almost every enemy runs or flies into the wall, leaving the chance to use pistols to players who like to waste time. The whole game is filled with killer water, be it outside or inside the monastery, and the trapdoor in the sunken corridor could just open to prevent losing half life down there, way very unnecessary. Same for spikes we dive behind: it would feel much better to deactivate them so we don't have to dive again - rethink stuff to make things easier. I also think some weird bug affects the new idle animation, because I had some trouble to start running. The visuals are the least effort possible to call a monastery, for instance the "garden" contains one flower pot - are you serious?? The rest is a set of 1-click wide corridors and pretty rooms, each one rectangular, even the yeti pond is made of two connected cubes and it really takes more than this to hide the room box. Just the monastery entrance meets requirements for convincing scenery - at this moment I really got immersed and wondered what will happen next. The elevated part of the game is somewhat good either, at that moment it can be really called a mountain temple. Though I fail to recognize what the room below the lamp pushable is supposed to be, the prefinal puzzle build-up is fine - the gold to open doors guarded by three yetis feels important, and the following trap challenge adds more tension - but in the end we're slapped with a stat screen while jumping for the final pickup, and think what you want but it always leaves me infuriated. SUMMARY: Appealing and watchable, with tons of errors, but back then Gabriel's release succession was so rapid I didn't even open my mouth and next part was out. With the release interval of the fifth one I fail to believe enough care was put into it, but I'll try anyway, no exception, hoping at least the revised full version was revised enough." - DJ Full (20-Jan-2017)

"It would seem that, whatever the location, Gabriel Croft always succeeds! I continue the Tomb Raider Salvation series and I'm surprise one more time by the beautiful settings of this part - sadly composed of one only level. Puzzles are always here, more difficult even, but I have to note that the solution is often a jump switch - I guess Gabriel love them. :p In any case, thanks for this cold level!" - SlyRaider (17-Nov-2016)

"As we're used to, the builder provides a pretty colourful level here with a good choice of texture and object sets but still this all feels grey and drab for a reason. For once the lighting in most areas is fairly monotonous. Also, much of the action takes place in long, mainly two blocks high passages that link a few larger and more carefully designed areas - the geometry really is too simple even in outside areas, mostly being fairly blocky especially on a closer look to the top of the map with straight edges etc.. While the texturing is a bit better, there are still quite a few misplaced ones that could've been easily avoided IMO, and each time the architecture is more complicated the texturing gets worse sadly. I really liked to say that the builder finally has improved his skills during this series, but sadly I can't because he doesn't really learn from his mistakes. The delayed run is a big no-go especially since some jumps require timing, enemies are also fairly randomly placed across the scenery and their choice also doesn't make much sense. I honestly didn't mind the changing camera while drawing a weapon so much but there are given all the extra effects the builder included (which can be seen positively or negatively), why doesn't he spend some more time on the level itself? Gameplaywise it's a bit better than the previous parts with a few decent puzzles, jump sequences (actually quite liked the spike traps here) and icy water sequences that got a little repetitive towards the end though. The progression is not that dull here thankfully although things like the scroll that when placed activates a rope in a completely different area are still questionable and there should be much more puzzles and platforming parts to create a really fun experience. Spent 35 minutes in here and found two okay secrets." - manarch2 (12-Aug-2016)

"Oops, spoke too soon, this Lara is even worse than the one in part 5 as she also hesitates when taking a step. The same nauseated feeling when drawing guns, yuck!!! And please… next time when you want Lara to have a look at something, give that a “one shot”. Then there is crashing to desktop when Lara dies, tsk… Found also some trees floating in the air. Gameplay as such is not bad, nice bit of jumping and jumping the spikes were doable." - Gerty (10-Aug-2016)

"What an absolutely beautiful level. Atmospheric snowy outside courtyards, imposing Oriental temples and buildings, beautiful lighting and fig effects along with a fitting ambient sound, this level really immersed me. This is actually a fairly relaxing raid, except maybe dangerous swims in icy water (watch your health) and a few jumps across spiked platforms. Aside from those, beginning raiders should have no problems with this level. I am now looking forward to Salvation Part 5, the Shard." - Ryan (02-Aug-2016)

"We continue the adventure going to frozen places. 9 To gameplay and puzzles because we don't see much inovation here, comparing to the previous parts. Anyway, its very nice and linear, so its easy to newcomers in custom levels. 10 to enemies objects and scecrets and atmosphere, sound and cameras because they fit the places. SPOILER The monsters in the end of the level are kinda creepy for a snowy setting, but I assume they came from the tomb you find later END OF SPOILER. 8 To lighting and textures cause I found some textures mistakes. A very beautiful level but it could be a bit better." - Allicya (29-Jul-2016)

"After my upteenth crash to the desktop (everytime Lara died, namely in the spikes or in the icy water), even having to persevere when Lara's moves were too slow to respond to my commands promptly, I got to Mount Penglai. I'll say it was an easy ride in nice looking Oriental spaces and it would have been quite relaxing hadn't it been for those glitches. I'll play the next instalment now and hope it all goes smoothly." - Jorge22 (28-Jul-2016)

"A not difficult level in a very enjoyable asian atmosphere. The only 2 minor things that I didn't like are the too louder music in comparison to the sound effects, and the almost invisible key in the large cold water area. There are also some texture mistakes, but nothing realy noticeable. I really enjoyed playing this level. I also really liked the way you can see places where you have to go through grids for example. Rooms are really well connected and create a solid architecture. Congrats." - LarangL (16-Jul-2016)

"The next level in the Salvation series follows Gabriel's dependable style resolutely.Completely linear,and never too demanding (although the sideways jump to shoot a barrier was rather novel),this provides 75 minutes or so of rather relaxing enjoyment.The gameplay is all about finding ways to leave one room and enter the next;and the various areas are pleasing to the eye without ever being too architecturally ambitious.The spike traps were well placed;as were the enemies - although the opponents chosen for the big Finale were disappointingly mundane.Lighting was creative and occasionally useful in indicating what to do next;while textures were proficiently placed.Overall,it's a thoroughly recommendable level for players of all abilities." - Orbit Dream (15-Jul-2016)

"Pretty trail enough easy for this oriental themed level. Fairly linear, you can not continue without finding the necessary levers or items. Some textures a little crooked or packed, and the end rather abruptly with the crash of end level after stats. The entire level is sufficiently lit and I have not had to use many torches. Nice and recommended." - Drakan (13-Jul-2016)

"This is an uncommonly gorgeous level, and from start to finish it's a feast for the eyes. There's not yet a stuck thread for it, either, which means that most of us got through with little difficulty. I found myself stumped several times along the way, but I kept it at it and eventually found the way to proceed. Everything is quite linear, and the builder has structured things so that you're not allowed to leave an area until you've done everything that's required to be done there. The lighting shows off the environs to good advantage, although there are places where I was obliged to use flares (which are provided in ample quantities). I found the obvious secret and missed the one that's apparently not so obvious. The music got on my nerves after a while, so I played the majority of the level with the sound turned off. Lara's response to commands is also quite sluggish for some reason, which is a distinct disadvantage when preparing for a running jump. But these minor quibbles aside, I'm always happy when I can play a level to its conclusion all by myself with no help whatsoever, and like Temple of the Moon this is an adventure that I would recommend mainly to fledgling raiders. If you like eye candy, this is certainly the level for you. High recommendations." - Phil (12-Jul-2016)

"This was a nice China themed raid. The objects and geometry were the strongest points to me, the combination of which provided some good immersion (the audio certainly helped too). Combat was engaging and the hypothermia bar lends itself to some challenging mini timed runs. There were one or two puzzles, but I would have liked a few more. There are some spiked traps that spice things up, although the game seems to flip a coin as to whether Lara will die while holding onto the ledge below them or not. The lighting was nice, but the textures were the weakest point as there are a few distorted ones outdoors, and some caves have serious wallpapering with just one texture used. Nice work overall. 1 hour." - JesseG (06-Jul-2016)

"I think the best level from this author. The gameplay is usually good, with doable tasks and no much backtracking; I think there was not a good idea to place an important item lying anywhere in a huge underwater area where Lara can't explore with calm 'cause the cold waters, also I didn't understand very well the three dragons hint 'cause sometimes they were safe but another times the same dragons were deadly. The enemies are well placed, but the ammo for the shotgun and the uzis was really insufficient, so I had to shoot many enemies only with the pistols in the final areas. The camera shots were useful and the sounds appropriate, but I missed some flybys to create a better ambience. Even when some textures are deformed here and there, the environments are nice to see and the appearance is always good. Really a level worth to play and very enjoyable. Recommended." - Jose (06-Jul-2016)

"This is a really beautiful looking Oriental level, with its lakes, pavilions and misty air. Although the water may look inviting, it is in fact deadly cold and Lara's health quickly drains. Mostly, it's quite easy to avoid loss of health if you're quick, but there is one underwater jaunt that will inevitably require the gobbling down of a medipack or two (or possibly three if you really hang about). Gameplay is fun and mainly straightforward. You shouldn't really get stuck for any length of time. One or two of the jumps etc., might be a bit too challenging for a new player, but anyone with a bit of experience should be fine. Enemies are varied and some work better than others - yetis seem appropriate, but the tinmen feel a bit out of place. I also love the way the ahmets turn to a sooty stain on the floor, rather than bursting into flames. Definitely my favourite of this series so far." - Jay (06-Jul-2016)

"Fourth part in Salvation series and in my opinion it's the best so far.In short, it keeps all good sides of it's predecessors while it fixed some flaws.You new journey leads you to China where you can find some ancient temples, hidden between mountains and cold lakes.Again we have very nice looks, great usage of beautiful Chinese textures and objects.This time, there is no objects overload, no texturing mistakes (except maybe one of two with water, but really no big deal), everything looks just fine with good mixture of temples and outside areas.Gameplay is also noticeably better with more variety and it doesn't get monotonous at all.There are some elaborate jumping sequences, some non-linear areas, a few puzzles and occasional enemies to fill the gaps. There are a few things that could be better though.There are very few camera hints (not that they are so badly needed, but it would feel better and more atmospheric), there are no flybys, no audio tunes except for ambiental ones that tend to be louder than usual.Another thing that feels a little awkward is a randomness with certain keys and objects usage.For example, you place an ancient scroll on a pedestal to spawn a simple rope in a distant mountain area, than you put key into a keyhole to raise a block and so on.Not a big deal, but..... Overall, Gabriel is definitely getting there and I hope this series continues.Just a few more finesses that will make his levels more "believable" and that will be it. 75 minutes, 1/2 secrets. Recommended" - Tolle87 (05-Jul-2016)
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