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Level: The Sapphire Hunt back home search
Author(s): jawi
total rating:9.28 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
DJ Full 9 10 10 10
Dutchy 10 9 9 9
Jay 10 9 9 9
JesseG 8 10 8 8
Jorge22 10 10 10 10
McRaider 10 9 10 10
Phil 10 9 9 7
requiemsoul 10 8 8 9
Ryan 10 10 9 9
category averages
(9 reviews)
9.67 9.33 9.11 9.00

Reviewer's comments

"After many fails to take a look at my fellow Rope... no, wait... [wordsheet shuffling] ...at my fellow Pole, I finally am honored to do so, and glad to see the Bt15 map was just a prelude. I must admit I predicted the eventual usage of the main artifact but it was still great to witness, just like forming the elemental combo, ascending through the cave with the torch, through the ship without, or realizing the hidden purpose of the bike. Aside of that we have ordinary puzzles but arranged and set up very well. The jungle is as jungly as a jungle can be, some large background patches of green are flat but still more pleasant this way than if they occupied the middle of the playable zone. All is intensely colorful in general, has huge scope but is filled with detailed objects and light effects: in short the forest feels like something between Jungle Ruins and Neon God, then as we progress into the ship we get the vibes like of eTux or TC14, but the gameplay is yet different, like none of these. The jungle map is enormous as for TR standards and not only well executing the topic but also inspiring on its own. Still, jawi didn't resist building an underwater tunnel maze sic! sic! sic!, fortunately quite simple but still why, why, why. The following Sapphire Tide is just beautiful - a coral waterfall cave, with the only considerable fix to make the harpoon stronger, because underwater aiming is quite hard: in time it takes you would fire numerous bullets on land. I say one hammerhead should take 4 shots not 7. The ending of level is just magical and seamlessly transiting to the ship, through a hole the sinking vessel had pierced in the rocks. The way to reach inside the ship is just crazy - on one hand it's not convenient to be 1 meter from a door but unable to reach, so then traverse around the whole cave just to approach the gate from another side which allows passing. On the other hand it's impossible not to appreciate the care, grace and wit this path was crafted with, and thank you much for the binocular hint. The preceding torch ascent is also remarkable. Then, the ship machinery rooms are a real slower, sometimes bringing unnecessary challenge and trouble, and even covering an extra level, but I liked the unusual pistons and the fitting theme while lighting the chandeliers - in fact all the sound is perfect. There could be definitely less pushing - in fact only the final attic pushable is something really new and inventive, half of other crates could just go. A curious thing is the clock is still ticking despite of the ship having sunk a long time ago, and - though all is standing upwards unlike in Maria Doria - the doors are still upside down. Finally, we get to our final prize, but unfortunately the five hours of solid, epic build-up to the finale is a bit ruined by demigods shooting Lara's legs instead of bubbles, the more damaging the better the whole rest was executed - it just shouldn't happen in a level of such superb quality, and this time I really don't understand why it's here, since the beta team was a bunch of seasoned pros who ran this game a lot. SUMMARY: Absolutely recommended, I hope the second part will match this one and the little issues get fixed, because this is wonderful. Można? Można!" - DJ Full (20-Jan-2017)

"An unforgettable, excellent level! throughout the game, the gameplay is very good, with very entertaining and interesting puzzles... Congratulations jawi!" - McRaider (12-Jan-2017)

"This is one of the most immersive custom levels I've played in a long time. On the other hand, almost from start to finish I had this feeling of stumbling about without feeling comfortable about where my next step might take me. Others may voice contrary opinions (notably Jesse in his earlier review), but when a level is uncomfortably and consistently dark, my playing enjoyment is reduced by as much as half. Admittedly, some parts here weren't as dark as other parts, but I can't recall a single setting in the nearly seven hours I spent all told where things were bright and cheery. To the builder's credit, he provides ample flares - I had nearly 200 in my inventory at the end - but what's the point? I'd much rather be able to enjoy the surroundings that undoubtedly took untold hours to conceive and create, than experiencing only a ghostly glimpse here and there by lighting one flare after another. The only way I can register my disapproval in a tangible fashion is with my score in the lighting category, so once again that's what I've done. But with that major beef aside, I can do no less than award top marks in the gameplay category. Some of the tasks are quite involved, not to say extremely difficult, and I relied heavily upon Dutchy's typically masterful walkthrough to get through. I took the time with his help to go after all of the 12 documented secrets. The enemies are relatively few in number, but they tend to attack in bunches. I felt there was a somewhat strange selection of weapons. You get the uzis and a shotgun, together with a harpoon gun that I never tried to use (even though it works out of the water), but no high-powered weaponry or anything with explosive ammo. But the major draw here is not fighting enemies but evading traps, conquering timed runs and solving some intricate puzzles. It's all done with the touch of a master's hand, and I'm just sorry that the lighting didn't measure up to acceptable standards." - Phil (28-Dec-2016)

"What an enjoyable game! Lara gets to explore a rainy jungle and the interior of a ship, in search for the sapphires that are scattered around. It is rather dark in places, though thankfully a lot of flares are available so this shouldn't pose a big problem. I can't say which section I enjoyed the most, but everyone should find something for them. Definitely recommended." - Ryan (25-Dec-2016)

"Although my net gaming time was over seven hours, in actual fact I started this level on its release, but so much other stuff gets in the way at this time of year that it's been a long, slow raid even by my standards. In some respects it's a shame I haven't had more time to devote to it on a daily basis as it really is an excellent adventure. The gameplay is outstanding - varied, inventive and hugely entertaining; in fact there really is something for everyone. Enemies are sparingly and effectively used and, for the most part, feel appropriate. The settings are gorgeous and feel very realistic, so the fact that I found it rather dark in places has to be accepted and it merely goes towards that very sense of realism. So much to admire that it's hard to pick highlights, but the 'Maria Doria' has always been a favourite of mine so the whole sunken ship section was bliss for me. I'd assess the difficulty level at achievable for most players so I'd really urge you to try this. Wonderful stuff." - Jay (14-Dec-2016)

"Classic raiding, keeps you entertained from the moment where you start The secret quest was also well done, some were real hard to find. In a few words, I loved it" - Dutchy (11-Dec-2016)

"Lara embarks on a long adventure to grab a sapphire sword and escape with it. Gameplay had a good mix of timed runs and exploration, with some explosive bits of combat toward the end. I would have preferred more combat and puzzles, and some of the existing puzzles are a bit convoluted. One strong example is the bizarre way that you can step on specific burners, to not only turn those burners off but to turn off flames in another room (without a camera cue). This strange trial and error exercise is not a good Tomb Raider puzzle. Backtracking can be painful – literally. Because I forgot to check out an opened door one time, I had to backtrack a route that used to have collapsing floors (of course they can only be used once) so the long drop took out a lot of health. On the flip side, there were some unintended shortcuts that helped trim the play time, such as a key I had left over from the giant skull area, which I used at the end of that level to bypass some statues and save time and ammo. All in all, these moments prevent the adventure from feeling as polished as other ones out there. The use of decorative objects is very nice here and the secrets are fun to hunt down. The player can get quite immersed in the atmosphere in these levels, but there is a high need for more camera cues (I think most of those in the last part of Jungle Trail were broken). The textures are nicely applied, but there are unmarked death squares and spike traps that leave the player feeling not very trusting. The lighting is colorful and works atmospherically, but is consistently too dark. I was constantly using flares during the adventure, thankfully that did not detract from my experience very much because there were hundreds of flares provided throughout. If I sound too critical, it is only because there is so much to comment on and I hope this input will improve future adventures. Overall I did enjoy this expansive and varied levelset, nice work. 4 hours 53 minutes." - JesseG (11-Dec-2016)

"Finally... an inspired and inspirational set of levels, of the kind we only get every once in a while. Not too easy, not too hard, never a really-scratch-your-head-in-dismay moment except maybe for the main puzzle part, which means the player manages to keep the pace and remain entertained - and that obviously is a clear sign of a work well done. Heck, there's even a block puzzle that actually makes so much sense one can do it intuitively (is that a premiere in levelworld?)! I loved the overall atmosphere (to which the soundtrack has contributed its share) and I think it's fair to say this is one of the very few levels that actually come more or less close to TR3 in that department. This feels pretty solid indeed in every way and rather player- friendly. Therefore, fully reccomended." - Jorge22 (04-Dec-2016)

"Excellent set of level. Very varied and enjoyable. Not hard, no easy. The final puzzle is one of the best ones than I have solved in this page. ( hints of the readme are not required but...you need the wiki hehe). My favorite level is the second one. I don´t like the selection of soundtracks the ending is a bit anticlimatic. Anyway, Highly Recommended. Very well done." - requiemsoul (26-Nov-2016)
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