"I consider myself a pretty easy grader when it comes to custom levels, but I'm amazed at some of the high scores awarded by previous reviewers. For such a gargantuan download there's really very little to do here. There's no gameplay at all, and your sole task is to kill as many enemies as possible while staying alive during the allotted time. Not really Tomb Raider as we've come to know it. There are chests to open whenever you can catch your breath long enough to do so, but they usually contain something useless such as a skull or some other relic instead of a weapon or ammo. The worst thing is those flameblower guys that appear without warning, usually behind you so that your first awareness of them is being enveloped in flames. Playing in god mode as I do, this didn't present a problem, but I consider it a mean trick. I played three of the five environments provided, got bored in short order and went on to something else." - Phil (08-Feb-2017)
"Wow, this one was a tough one to score. There's
no doubt there's a creative mind and
imagination at work here. There's a brilliant
idea being put into execution here: recreate
well-known sceneries from TR1, TR2, TR3 and TR4
and have Lara battle the odds against hordes
and hordes of enemies, all the while trying to
attain the highest scores and combinations
possible and acquiring brilliantly creative
power ups. I can't quite give it all 10s or
even a 10 in Gameplay and Puzzles as some other
reviewers simply because the enemies were often
present in overwhelming bunches and those
annoying flamethrower guys kept torching Lara
more often than not. Worth a look for something
completely different from your average Tomb
Raider experience. The best weapons were the
Rapid Fire Grenade Launcher and the Sophia's
Sceptre lookalike...*laughs evilly*." - Ryan (16-Jan-2017)
"I'm a big fan of the mercenaries mode in Resident Evil
games and i was following the thread for this game on
tombraiderforums and couldn't wait to see how it turned
out. Unfortunately i got bored after like 4 rounds as
it's just always the same (but what else could you
include in a shooter anyway..). The Tinnos Wasps were
really annoying as they always poison you but still good
use of enemies overall. And to be honest i think the
mercenaries theme from the Resident Evil games would fit
better in this game as the original TR ones annoyed me
after a while but i understand that it wouldn't fit the
classic theme. Architecture was nothing special but that
is not important to me in this kind of game. Texturing
and lighting were okay.
Overall: Very good use of the TRNG Engine and i recommend
to try it out. It's just that i don't like shooting in a
TR Game." - Ray Croft (10-Jan-2017)
"It's a great shooter game. The gameplay
is very similar to the mercenaries mode in
some Resident Evil games: kill as many
enemies as you can before the time ends,
and increase the combo of enemies in a
row to get even higher scores. But that's
the only gameplay. In Tomb Raider,
besides killing enemies there are also
puzzles to solve, some platforming like
difficult jumps... A bug prevented me from
saving scores. After Lara dies or the time
runs out, the screen to save your game (in
this case your score) automatically
opens, but when I pressed enter on some
of the slots it kept reading "empty slot",
sometimes it saved and others not. The
objects are used very well, there is a
variety of them. Every object found in
chests (which open so slowly) has
different powers such as make Lara
invincible, invoke creatures to help you,
get some extra seconds, among other
things. The tracks are great, they are the
essence of the stages to make the
gameplay fluid. I really like that track of
TR Chronicles: "Von Croy Industries", just
cool. Something a little uncomfortable
here is that when Lara is shooting and
jumps backwards, the camera points to
her while it should be behind her. In other
games I don't remember this happened.
And textures look good, the temple stage
has like a green fog all over the place
though. So yes, it's entertaining but some
gameplay elements were missing.
Anyway congratulations to the author for
all the new features he added to this
game. If you've played mercenaries mode
in RE, then you'll already know how it
works. If not, then give it a try ;)" - kabal (03-Jan-2017)
"This is an incredibly original level with so much replay
factor! I will be loading this time and time again to
blow off steam, to remember the classics, and to have
some fun. There were areas of this game that I wish I
could see fixed (perhaps a re-release later on that acts
as an "expansion pack") but overall it is highly
The gameplay is relatively simple - shoot baddies. This
can, at times, require a bit of strategy. If a baddie
with a flamethrower appears, you need to focus on
eliminating him. If an enemy is taking too long to kill,
you better work on eliminating an easier opponent before
your Counter # resets. The gameplay could be improved and
expanded upon to include platforming or puzzles (at least
to maneuver from level to level?) but I am also not sure
of the mechanics of how this game works with regard to
enemy spawning and "game over." The "palettes" were
confusing to me and I think could have been explained a
The enemies are fun and represent a mixture of baddies
from the classic TR games. I feel like, in my experience,
I have seen more of the raptors than I would like to.
Man, those things have bothered me since 1996. I think
there is under-representation of some games (most notably
TR1). The wasp is a very annoying enemy to encounter, as
it is incredibly strong, persistent, and can poison Lara.
It may be meant to act as a "boss," but I found it a
little too aggravating.
The atmosphere is well done. Each level represents an
area reminiscent of a past TR game. I did not have any
issues with the arenas built as far as that goes. The
sound was alright, but I would have liked to see a few
more tracks enter the game. Some of the songs are
annoyingly short and repetitive to be a background track.
The lighting is a tad flat in some places and overall
lacks dynamics like effective sun bulbs and shadows. This
could be enhanced in the future, but for the purposes of
the game, they are inoffensive and blend well. I saw no
glaring issues with textures and all seemed to be well
Thank you to the creator for working so hard with TRNG to
create a very unique game. This perhaps has some of the
most replay-ability of any custom level (just open it up
and go!) and it is great to see something aside from the
ordinary to honor 20 Years of TR." - phms2010 (30-Dec-2016)
"If you only want to play one shooter TR level, I advise you to play this one which really has it all if you are searching for that kind of levels. Enemies en masse where you have to use some strategies to kill them all (especially those nasty enemies on fire), self-choosable arenas and weapon sets, a score you can try to maximize and even a rating system that reflects on how well you've done in the game. If, however, you are searching for a real classic TR feeling or gameplay, you'll certainly be disappointed as only a few textures are reminiscent here and the architecture is very functional and basic. There isn't any actual gameplay here and of course no puzzles either, but it's just a case of definition if you enjoy this level or not for its shooter nature. I didn't really, it's just too much of one thing and for me the concept could've been integrated in a greater whole. Anyway, it's a fantastic achievement and hats off for the builder to construct something like this." - manarch2 (29-Dec-2016)
"Okay, so this is a shooter. No big deal at all. In fact, I
like the idea, except it's not executed that well. Way too
many enemies with no time for breathing, waps with HP of a
tyrant (plus the annoying dizzy effect), it takes too long to
open the chests and also the lack of features to keep the
player interested in the long-term. I got bored in 15
minutes. Its strong point are definetely the well made arenas
and the action music, which keeps the atmosphere vibrating.
The creative use of items, different weapons and costumes
also are a nice touch. Needs a lot more work." - Gian Carlo (21-Dec-2016)
"I played this while it was still a work-in-progress, and
I saw a ton of potential for it. Unfortunately, I'm not
sure if that potential was totally achieved, but it
certainly delivers on some cheap, mindless fun.
I like the variety of options when it comes to playing
the game. The different weapons for each costume allow
for some strategy. I liked the creative use of items. The
music really added to the vibe of a fast-paced shooter.
The arenas were well-made in my opinion and did what they
needed to do. I also like how you could switch the
palettes, that was a neat addition!
I did not like, however, how ridiculously long it takes
Lara to open the chests considering hordes of enemies
bombard you while you do it. Also, the wasps were way too
hard to kill and would poison me NON-STOP, and the
distorting camera as a result made me seriously dizzy and
I still somewhat see the effect even now after exiting
the game. Also, the overall package lacked some genuine
flavor and polish to keep it more engaging.
There needed to be unlockables, different modes, a more
reliable difficulty scale, maybe other playable
characters, and definitely more stages.
Overall, this is a fun, mostly well-made TRLE shooter,
and it's worth playing to kill some time once in a while.
But due to a lack of genuinely engaging content, it may
not hold your attention for long." - BHM Productions (18-Dec-2016)
"This was a tough one to accurately rate. For instance,how
can I give an elevated gameplay score to something which
contains no puzzles whatsoever? It seems to me that all
you do is leap around like a mad thing,shooting
incessantly until you run out of health.You can collect
pick-ups,but the chances are you'll be pounced upon while
you're performing the action and have your health
severely depleted;so it hardly seems advisable.Enemies
are undoubtedly the strongest feature and,regardless of
which scenario you choose,are rich in variety and will
pounce upon you in bewildering number.Objects and
textures were probably placed with care;but to be honest
it was hard to tell,as I never had a single opportunity
to stand still for even one second.Lighting seemed
decent,and the pounding action music certainly helped to
keep the adrenaline racing....but,really,what ultimately
was the point? If you adore pure shooters,you'll
doubtless also adore this;but if continual running and
shooting to the exclusion of absolutely anything else is
not your thing,you will probably give this a quick once-
over and move on to something else. A neat and perfectly
valid idea from the builder,though." - Orbit Dream (16-Dec-2016)
"Iím not really sure what to make of this level set Ė it certainly is unique Ė it pans away from the classic TR gameplay mechanics and employs those of a mercenaries game Ė this would be a perfect add on / extra to a complete level set as a bonus for completing the game. For a standalone game, it still certainly stands out above the rest, I canít say Iíve ever played anything like this on a TRLE game.
It seems like a lot of hard work has gone into this and I congratulate the designer immensely and hopefully this style of levels could evolve into something much bigger one day, with different new enemies and bigger and better challenges.
The atmosphere in each of the areas is fantastic Ė yes it lacks a degree of complex geometry but I donít feel that this needs it. Overall, a good game and I would definitely suggest it, especially if you are wanting to play something different." - smcandrew (13-Dec-2016)
"I donít understand the hype about this level and why
other players are giving 10-10-10-10. I donít think itís
even fair to give so high grades, but thatís just my
opinion. First, I will start with the best aspect. Yes,
this game is very innovative and original. Clearly the
author knows how to use NGLE and all of his
possibilities. We never had before a game like this. In
that part, a good job has been done by the author ! Itís
a shooter. Nothing more or less. I have to say that it
gets boring after just a few minutes. Ok, Iím shooting
and what else ? Picking up the chests was annoying as
many times I was rushed by a horde of enemies. Itís very
repetitive as mostly shooters are. The ˝arenas˝ didnít
look very good. Most of them had a very basic style
created with not much care. The best one was ˝the
catacombs˝ which looked nice. If I did it right, 2 arenas
are even the same ?? Just another starting place ?? And
some levels are exactly the same just with another
texture template. Havenít found no real texture errors (
I couldnít look actually that much around as I was always
shooting at something ), but the lighting shows that the
author has not so advanced building skills. When creating
a shooter like this at least I would expect to make some
new enemies and pickup objects as this seems to be the
main aspect of the game. All enemies are seen before. For
the pickups Iím not sure if they are all old as I donít
remember them all. We have here a set of under average
created little levels ( ˝battle arenas˝) wrapped by a
talented author who made something new with the NGLE, but
sadly, I think that there was more to do ( new enemies,
new pickups ). Maybe connect the arenas with some real
gameplay/puzzle parts. Why not make some epic fights with
a big creature, I donít know Ö anything would be better
than just making these little arenas and shoot, shoot,
shoot. Would be a good Idea to let someone else create
the arenas. someone more skilled in that department. I
donít want to be rude, but in most categories this game
is under average. Itís not an excuse to build levels with
poor design, light etcÖ just because itís supposed to be
something else, a shooter with new features. Waiting for
a battle arena 2, will play it for sure." - Gorty (13-Dec-2016)
"Fantastic and original game! I hope to see many more games
coming out inspired by this." - Cosmos (10-Dec-2016)
"Now this is something really innovative and unique! I can see that TRNG engine was put in good use. It must have been a huge job making all of this work properly, but I must say, it was worth it, I loved it! It offers various arenas in the style of classic games with our dear classic Lara skins. The goal is to... shoot as much enemies as you can! Even though that's the only task in this game, I still enjoyed it a lot! The enemies were done really well, all sounds applied correctly, and their AI was alright. Artifacts were an amazing addition! I don't have anything to say for cameras and sounds, the choice was music was really good. But I didn't really enjoy the arena choices though, atmosphere in them felt kind of flat, could be the fog that softens it too much, I'm sure stronger colors would add to immersion even more. I'm really looking forward to more arenas, this game can be expanded quite a lot to make it even more enjoyable. Highly recommended!" - Raider99 (07-Dec-2016)
"G&P: this game is a shooter, so you don't have any puzzles, I thought that Tomb Raider was an exploration game, with a lot of puzzles...Oh wait this game is not a tomb raider game...This is a mercernaries mode, whatever... I can't say that the builder did not work, 'cause I can see a lot of work behind this "thing" but that's a shame because the skills of the builder were used for THIS THING...
E, O&S: No secrets, this is not a tomb raider, I'm affraid. No objects except weapons, classics enemies and pickups. So that's a bad point too.
A,S&C: No cameras... the atmosphere is quite empty, and musics are action music from the classics.
L&T: maybe the best point, even if we only have cubic rooms, with no real geometry work..
To sum up the builder's skills were used to make a game that is not tomb raider, I can't even say that I enjoyed it, because I didn't. So I decided to say what I think no matter what... This is not a tomb raider, (again) and this is a level for the 20th years of TR...Quite a shame." - Lara_Fox_Croft (07-Dec-2016)
"One of the more original custom levelsets to have come out in the past few years, Battle Arena is where you combine elements and locales from across the Tomb Raider series with the Mercenaries mode made popular in the Resident Evil franchise. And by god does it mix together perfectly!
Sure, the gameplay is nothing but you surviving against set waves of enemies within seemingly overwhelming odds. But it can quickly become addictive as you struggle to improve your personal score and earn the best rankings possible, to satisfy the completionist within us all.
So in that sense, the lack of any puzzles or semblance of a story quickly veers to the back of your mind(as you continue to gun down opponents utilizing familiar weaponry and incredibly creative artifact powerups to succeed, with different outfit setups available for Lara that each give her a unique arsenal which have their own strengths and weaknesses, depending on the map chosen).
Enemies and objects fit their respective environments very appropriately, musical choices are very well-chosen and really help to get you pumped for playing. And finally, the lighting is handled very convincingly.
So in conclusion, a very well-crafted game that should be played by absolutely anyone willing to try something different from the traditional Tomb Raider mold. Highly recommended!" - Ceamonks890 (06-Dec-2016)
"Wow, wow, wow! I never imagined I would see something like
this in a TR fan-made. Builder's inspiration in the
Mercenaries mode by the Resident Evil franchise enabled
him to create a amazingly new, completely different and
unique adventure you're not likely to miss. As the title
say itself, here we can pick one from along eight arenas
(although I prefer to call them 'scenarios'), with the
chance of using a wide variety of outfits as well, each of
which comes with a rich variety of weapons, from single
pistols or uzis to the insane power of Plasma Charge, Book
Spell, King Arthur's legendary sword Exaclibur or a
tremendously powerful Rocket Launcher for one of the
outfits. There's also the possibility of transforming Lara
into a different human-kind person that grants her more
special abilities, such as being able to heal herself over
time, being entirely invulnerable (except for poisonous
attacks) and even carrying out new weapons like the ones I
already mentioned few lines above and a few of them this
time with unlimited ammo. Just like the Mercenaries mode,
the main goal is to kill as many foes as possible in the
least possible amount of time and chaining as many kills
as possible. This can also be done thanks to the special
power-ups that can be obtained in chests along each round.
Timeless sands for example gives an extension of 60
seconds that a player can exploit to earn a much higher
score. Gameplay category deserves a 10 and only a 10 for
the effort the builder paid to build such an innovative
game in the Tomb Raider community. Another fact I really
enjoy was introducing well-known revisited areas from the
classics (TR1 through Chronicles) and preparing the battle
in areas like Offshore Rig from TR2 or The Crash Site from
TR3 probably gave you back quite a few nostalgic dreams.
As a conclusion, this is something very well-crafted with
a great design and a big effort put behind by the author
in giving us such a pleasant level to enjoy during a long
period of time. Highly recommend for everyone as this
might be the start of a new world in the TR community.
Kudos, matrix54, and thanks a lot for delighting all of us
with this unique masterpiece. Looking forward to seeing
more of this!" - MrJavi94 (06-Dec-2016)
"I just can't put anything below 10. This is such amazing game. It's really well made, the gameplay ideas there are so different yet so familiar from what we have seen so far. The design of the game is fantasticly done, it's all so nostalgic, and the amount of work done there is really incredible. Well done Michael this is so much fun..." - Mrshina (05-Dec-2016)
"Lara in Puna mask is one of the most hilarious things I have ever seen in a custom level - how is she able to see anything through these black holes? But I couldn't instantly recognize which beasts are supposed to help me and which were hostiles, so it all makes sense. I had one great problem with this game and it was my secret hunter heart: enemies may come down swarming on me but I still choose to use my weapons to lighten a dark corner instead to defend myself. I'm just not a combat player - after exploring all the arenas, unfortunately very simple, I felt like having finished the game, without any need to run for high scores, so if the luck-based secret system didn't halt me for few hours I would have run through each map and proceeded to a level with real sense of discovery. I thought about ways of introducing it here, but none would really help - even if it was the final enemy dropping an artifact to unlock an escape door, in this case it would only delay the next fight, much undesired here. So I guess it's a game I just cannot fully enjoy no matter of quality, but also one I could very likely enjoy building an arena for - and a Venetian map is definitely missing, especially when the boat theme isn't. I presume the project may attract many builders to contribute multiple memorial topics like Atlantis, Barkhang, Coastal or Karnak, the last one to host default ninjas, not fitting any location they currently occupy. SUMMARY: I'm a bit worried because if Cain made this, people would complain about unfair loads of enemies, here somehow justified. But this is a unique thing, possibly a start of a larger event. Folks, what about a Battle Map Competition?" - DJ Full (05-Dec-2016)
"Battle Arena sets out to create something new and engaging
in regards to game play for the Level Editor community and
well, it does just that Ė and more! I cannot stress enough
how much fun I have had over the last days playing this on
and off returning to fan-favorite locations. Diving back
into that classic atmosphere but playing like an arcade
game is just incredible. If Iím not playing it, Iím
thinking about it Ė or watching other people play it on
YouTube! THIS is how you celebrate Lara, and THIS is how
you make a winning game! Standing ovation all around, and I
look forward to more Battle Arena in the future (custom
levels, anyone?). A clear and deserving 10/10. Well done!" - Baratheon (05-Dec-2016)
"Battle Arena? WHAT? On a 1999 editor?
Oh yes, that's right!! Michael aka matrix54 made
something brilliant and completely original.
This level in particular just made me had fun. These are
the kind of games I'd like to play when I'm bored and
alone somewhere (work, school, waiting for the bus etc).
God, I just love THIS!
The idea is very simple but there are so many features
you can use. There are many outfits and many different
maps. Each map has different kind of enemies while each
outfits has different guns and different 'little helpers'
(as I say :p). Of course, your choice of different
outfits and maps will define the difficulty and damn,
these can be pretty hard sometimes!!
If there are flaws, I don't see them. I just thought the
flamethrower guy was a bit OP but that was before I
noticed I could stop Lara on fire with a medipack lmao.
I'm going to give a 10 to everything. I just don't see
how I can give a 9 or anything like that.
Gameplay is just awesome: 10.
Enemies and 'little helpers' work great, no bugs noticed:
atmosphere, sound and cameras: only sound bug I noticed
is Lara opening the box, but that won't make me put a 9
instead of a ten tbh.
Lighting & textures: lighting is not too complex but it
isn't ugly either. It's enough to make the experience
good enough, so another 10.
IMO this so much deserves to be in hall of fame. It's
just something different and god I CAN'T DESCRIBE THIS.
I'm looking foward to see more of this!!" - SrDanielPonces (02-Dec-2016)
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