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Level: Tomb Raider Salvation (Part 5) - The Shard back home search
Author(s): Gabriel Croft
total rating:8.19 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Allicya 9 10 10 10
DJ Full 6 7 8 7
Gerty 6 8 7 8
Jay 8 8 9 9
JesseG 7 9 8 8
Jorge22 9 8 8 8
Jose 9 10 9 10
KH_1400 7 8 10 9
manarch2 5 7 7 7
Orbit Dream 7 8 7 8
Phil 8 8 8 9
Ryan 9 9 8 9
SlyRaider 8 9 10 8
category averages
(13 reviews)
7.54 8.38 8.38 8.46

Reviewer's comments

"So now it takes 80+ bullets to kill a SAS... I'm tired of TRNG getting abused, though I appreciate real secret count - I was tired of default 70 either. Still, this fifth part has fighting balanced much better - I barely ran low on ammo, the secrets provided more and a major battle chunk is a bike assault so combat is rather fine. The game begins with a nice variety of vent climbing, grate shooting and turbine stopping, btw that rotor unfairly moves forwards to kill Lara if she tries to reach the passage too early. Unbelievably, this little comfy storage is the best part, later we mostly have keys and doors - if you got a creative idea wait for another not follow it with mediocre fillers. Other fine parts are the torch ascent, when a more 3D city chunk brings Parisian vibes with Peter's soundrack; the supermarket where we explore storeys for pickups and unleash the power of gathered ammunition at incoming waves of enemies; disabling the electricity, nice flyby added; the bike jump, better not to fail because the abyss is two squares deep; the ninja boss but retaining steampunk sfx - this error will possibly outlive our children, grandchildren and totally unrelated people because packages are never fixed and used without checking. As we look around, what we see is again the littlest effort to create something varied and convincing, what works well in narrows where few tiles and bulbs suffice, but mercilessly shows in any larger location attempt, so here you go: orange, underlit sewers, a wallpaper slope shaft, a shopping center varied less than Shopping Center, with missing tiles substituted by closed curtains - this is lazier than me! Why not to use Mario's stall tiles but to give him a placeholder heart attack? Down at the ground floor the impression is just of a draft, so the inevitable question must follow: is that floor inaccessible to prevent a closer look? Does it matter if the author says "no, it was intended" if it still feels wrong? Closer to the finale, we find a skippable revolver, so won't a clever player shotgun the grate and enjoy an extra bullet? Not here: the ammo for both weapons is deliberately removed before the final battle, to force pistol shooting and waste any conserving effort you may have taken - what kind of bullshit is that?? Burn my garden, kill my chicken, eat my dog and I will forgive that faster than this! Thankfully this time I expected how the game will end so I unfairly evaded much frustration, but still you should never throw to title on approach to the final pickup - if you wanna know how it feels, imagine playing TR2 Gold and hitting Alt+F4 just before grabbing the Tornarsuk's Mask. It was only a little extra effort to let Lara grab the shard, open the window and jump into the helicopter. SUMMARY: Has its sighs and moments, also it's technically better than the previous bit - I wasn't disturbed by missing sounds and I only saw one flickering trapdoor. Nonetheless I'm very careful with my hopes for Part Six, so it may satisfy me more - but knowing it's embedded in the full version, I wonder what kind of courage I will need to go through all of this again... maybe none at all, maybe it's just a job, maybe I have to do it as much as the builder had to produce his other works, somehow unrelated to and better than this series to me." - DJ Full (21-Jan-2017)

"I'm french and I have to said that I don't really recognize Paris. However, I really loved all the official Tomb Raider references: TR1 with the flooded room and the harp to move, TR2 with the fans duct, TR2 with the final building which looks like to VCI tower, TR6 with the remake of the beginning of the game and soundtracks, TR7 with the moto and the jump between buildings... a nice lot of nods! But I admet to have prefered the previous part." - SlyRaider (18-Nov-2016)

"Lara breaks into a heavily guarded office building to get a powerful shard from a ninja. The use of objects was the strongest point in this level, adding to the different environments in this city level. There are plenty of weapons to gather, and that is good because there are a great many enemies to mow down. The combat played out pretty nicely, but the gameplay felt a bit lopsided in favor of combat/action and barely any puzzles. The textures are wallpapered in quite a few places, but at least the attention to lighting was great. The city was built pretty well, although a little bit too boxy, and the AOD soundtrack was a nice touch and used pretty effectively. 1 hour 12 minutes." - JesseG (17-Aug-2016)

"After an ever so slightly step upwards gameplaywise the builder returns to old weaknesses and provides a level almost free of puzzles or platforming and almost purely based on running around, finding and using items and this time also shooting a lot of enemies. It is rather sophisticated in this simplistic way and there are a few highlights, like the fence that first has to be shattered in order to get into a crawlspace (there is also an expert method to do it) and the (too short) bike ride, but for me this is really far from an thoroughly entertaining level and in general I'm also quite surprised about the ratings. Enemies are fitting to the scenery this time but are still rather randomly placed across the map (liked the boss fight though even without additional weapons), sounds and cameras are solid yet not much more, the architecture is still too boxy and often simplistic, the texture set is rather nice and generally spoken the visual design feels a tiny bit better than before, yet there are so many wallpaper feelings, squeezed textures et al. and especially the hall with the bike is pretty rushed that the better feeling is reduced a bit. For me it's a rather mediocre offering on the whole; three secrets were fairly easy to find, while the fourth was quite a challenge indeed. Spent 40 minutes in here." - manarch2 (13-Aug-2016)

"I’m very sorry to say that playing this level I felt very nauseous every time Laura pulled a (any) weapon. The camera shot backwards and then it took a bit to get my bearings, which is a drag. For the rest the level is quite enjoyable although I didn’t like that it sometimes took quite a bit of firepower to slay the enemies. I got lost a couple of times as there is a bit back and fro. Totally unfair –although I get the idea- is loosing all your extra firepower when meeting the boss lady. Lighting and textures were well done and enemies were well placed." - Gerty (10-Aug-2016)

"Another great level in the Salvation series and quite the scenery change from Part 4. Now we are in a high-tech city environment reminiscent of the TR5 VCI section and the Tokyo level from Legend. Everything looks so sleek and high quality. Gameplay tasks aren't too difficult to achieve, although one secret proved quite a challenge (and I am certain I will not be the only one who had trouble there). The combat sequences kept things spiced up, although plenty of firepower is provided in the form of the Uzis and MP5. Lighting and texturing was well done and overall I had an enjoyable time. Where to next?..." - Ryan (08-Aug-2016)

"I find it a little odd that this level has generally received substantial plaudits;as,although well up to Gabriels standards,it's basically little more than a straightforward linear shooter.The environments are generally architecturally unambitious;the labyrinthine layout is occasionally annoying,and often implausible (luxurious living rooms which can only be accessed by crawling through ventilation ducts);a main street with an invisible barrier through its centre.On the other hand,gameplay is fast-moving and rarely has you pausing for breath.The enemy confrontations are exciting;the motorbike ride (aided by some well chosen music) is very Bond- like;the gauntlets are fun;and it's very hard to get stuck for too long.Textures and lighting are well up to par;the final secret was great fun to acquire;and the adventure provides around 90 minutes of pacy entertainment.It's no better or worse than Gabriels other recent levels,and I consequently look forward to more." - Orbit Dream (30-Jul-2016)

"Easy but not stunningly easy so as to make it seem too short and with batallions of enemies on the way after a while, which also helps in making it seem "more complex". But complexity isn't a blessing per se, it is in fact quite often a way of disguising something otherwise non- interesting and cheat one's way up to top ratings, and Gabriel can't be blamed for actually cheating (much) and that's a bit refreshing. Well, this level's quite like a huge well-built maze and pretty good at that. Personally, I much prefer urban sceneries (even if not visually astonishing, as is the case) over tombs, so it kept me happily rolling all the way to the end. The only thing I didn't like (and who does?) was the earthquake at the end - still, it didn't last long enough to become annoying. Generally speaking, I liked it and didn't become bored. I guess that means The Shard does what it's supposed to, something which so easily eludes so may builders: it keeps the player entertained. Good thing, isn't it?" - Jorge22 (29-Jul-2016)

"My favorite part of the salvation game. The ending is epic. Play it so you can see by yourself. I love the feeling Gabriel bring to us in the latest levels. It's classic.. so I just gave a 9 in gameplay and puzzles section because I think the level could be less linear... more exploration and I miss huge areas... anyway this level is great. Good job!" - Allicya (29-Jul-2016)

"Another enjoyable level in this series and a very speedy return this time. Plenty of diverse action, but nothing too difficult and, as with previous outings, it's all very logical and hard to get stuck at any point, at least for more than a minute or two. The gameplay may not be unduly challenging, but it's never boring and personally I appreciate an uncomplicated raid from time to time, rather than one that has me rushing to the stuck threads every few minutes. There are guards and thugs guarding the building Lara has to infiltrate, but guns and ammo are fairly generously supplied. The boss ending with the fierce lady ninja takes a bit of time to accomplish, but it's fine as long as you don't let her get too close to Lara. There's a fun motorbike sequence towards the end too. I'm really enjoying this series and hope it goes on and on." - Jay (25-Jul-2016)

"A pretty level that clearly a lot of effort went into. It felt a tinsy bit flat or easy in the gameplay department at times. I really enjoyed the scenery and tasks at hand and I can tell the author was really inspired while making this level. I enjoyed almost every minute of it and highly recommend it." - KH_1400 (25-Jul-2016)

"When José is impressed with a level, then it's bound to be an extraordinary raid indeed. I don't know enough about the level editor to appreciate the finer aspects such as textures and the like, but I know a superlative level when I see one. Unfortunately, I don't think that this one is it. To be sure, it provides an entertaining hour or so, but the gameplay is so straightforward that even I could figure it out with little difficulty while I was writing a walkthrough. The human enemies you encounter early in the level provide an abundance of ammunition and medipacks, but as you progress you find that they become increasingly stingy. The first two secrets were almost ridiculously easy, the third required open eyes, and the fourth (I assume it was the fourth) was practically impossible to get, requiring the space bar (to draw pistols), the action key (to shoot pistols), the jump key (to jump), the space bar (to holster the pistols) and the action key (to grab the opening made accessible by shooting the barrier) within the span of maybe two seconds. That left a bad taste in my mouth, even though conquering this sequence was not necessary for completing the level. To summarize, a nice little level, not too easy, not too hard." - Phil (24-Jul-2016)

"Excellent. It seems that this builder have read all the comments from the players and he tried to apply to his new creations. All right. I take my hat. Even when there are not great puzzles, the level is very entertaining with variety of tasks and well balanced enemies. This time I found enough ammo for the uzis and the MP5 gun. I only missed some more musics here and there and some flybys to create a better atmosphere. I found only very small defects in the textures, but they are very near the perfection, so I'm obligated to give a 10 in that section (extraordinary work!). I get only three secrets, but I think I missed one in the slopes after the ride with the bike when sliding to the water (I shooted the wooden barrier but it was very hard for me to holstered pistols and jump in last moment to grab the edge of the opening). I also couldn't understand why all my weapons got out of ammo in the final fight with the ninja (?) but finally I was able to defeat her. Anyway a very good level you can't miss. Thank you very much, Gabriel!" - Jose (23-Jul-2016)
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