Level: BtB2016 - The Buried City of Susa back home search
Author(s): BtB 2016
total rating:8.66 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Adrian 7 8 9 8
Drakan 10 9 9 9
Jay 8 8 9 10
Jorge22 8 9 8 8
Josey 8 9 9 10
MrJavi94 7 8 9 8
Nina Croft 10 9 8 8
Phil 9 10 10 9
Revenge 8 8 8 8
Ryan 8 8 9 9
Treeble 9 8 10 10
category averages
(11 reviews)
8.36 8.55 8.91 8.82

Reviewer's comments

"Quite an adventure and rather cryptic at times (or so I felt), so I suppose it's a good thing the walkthroughs were already available by the time I got to play it. I liked the settings although they didn't actually look rock solid at all times. And the challenges were ok, even actually fun sometimes. I was glad the demigod at the end was really stupid as I would have had to be really clumsy for him to catch me. In fact, I prefer it that way: lots of emotion without having to die a thousand times. All in all, good game." - Jorge22 (23-May-2017)

"This level has a decidedly strong point: the illumination is very, very good. It has other strong points as well, for it is a beautiful level, pleasing to the eye, and has some fun and challenging sequences. Unfortunately, it has also some boring and frustrating actions. Examples of the former are the quests for 3 scimitars, specially the colored balls and buttons one (I loved it), and the mad run chased by falling blocks to catch the Magnum; one magnificent example of the latter is that boringly difficult series of jumps through a hot ground in order to pick up one scimitar – the safe ledges are terribly hard to spot, and all that sequence was very, very tiring; and I would also add the series of blind back jumps from cracked pillar to cracked pillar, in order to use a jump switch. Puzzles here are not difficult, and the mirror one was smart, but had the serious flaw of the turning valve bug – and the valve had to be used twice, doubling the chances of game crash (see note below). Traps were also easy to manage. As to enemies, they were alright – although I don’t enjoy very much actions that involve bulls, and the boss sequence, at the end, was very stressing for me. But I liked very much the choice of objects in this game – even if I have to confess that a better use of the Quest Items would be desirable. (Only to open a door for a secret?) Some camera hints would be useful, too, specially when Lara uses a temporary button without idea of what it has done; as a matter of fact, an elevator block came down temporarily, and THAT was an ingenious idea. All in all, a very good game, congratulations to the author. NOTE: I play on a Windows 7 system, and had this bug both in the first use of the valve, and in the second, so I don’t agree with what Nina Croft said about Windows 10. In fact, I think that perhaps the bug has to do with the savegame facility. I tried to turn the valve for the first time without saving the game after pulling the underwater levers, and no bug showed up. But when I went back in order to use the valve for the second time, after saving the game, the bug happened." - Josey (21-May-2017)

"Despite the crashes suffered at the beginning of the game, I enjoyed this level, it is not very hard. I was surprised by the bull in such a small place. The passage in the main zone is very nice with 4 places to visit to recover the 4 scimitars to face the boss. Recommended." - Drakan (19-May-2017)

"Another gorgeous, action-packed adventure worthy of top honors in this year's BtB competition. This one wasn't as long as some of the others, clocking in at about an hour and a half, but it's thoroughly enjoyable throughout and boasts some breathtaking environs in the latter stages. There was some whining in the stuck thread about a supposed bug that prevented the secret door from opening, but I played the level according to Hoyle (i.e., Dutchy) and had no problems in this regard. As others have mentioned, this raid is puzzle-oriented, but there are some challenging traps and enemies to deal with as well. Ample weaponry and ammunition are provided, and I liked that touch at the end where you pass by an apparently harmless cobra, only to have it slither up behind you and attack while you're opening the next door. Already in the competition there are more outstanding entries than there are "name" builders, so the future is bright for the raiding community. Highly recommended." - Phil (13-May-2017)

"A quality-standard entry that meets the main guidelines for the BtB contest. I didn't like the first part at all (the one at the caves) but the further parts became much more interesting for me. Once you've made your way into the temple, you'll be in a huge and well crafted area in which you're meant to find a total of four Persian swords to prepare for the final battle. The only secret here requires the player to find and collect 5 previous items that are distributed along the level (not very hard to spot them all) to open the way to the actual secret. Still, this was another enjoyable entry I'll recommend everyone to give it a go!" - MrJavi94 (11-May-2017)

"This is a nicely enjoyable level and a nice one to ease me into the competition. It does start off in rather dark caves, but quickly reaches more beautiful looking areas, not least the pool hub room that serves as the location for most of the gameplay. The tasks branching off that room are fairly entertaining and involve trap combinations, a deadly tile room, torch puzzle and a boss battle. A well done, middle of the road level." - Ryan (29-Apr-2017)

"What a great entry point to BtB-Persia. Despite not being the main focus of the level, I have to say I rather enjoyed the little desert-village type of setting above the surface. As reported by other users in the forums, I experienced a few crashes when messing too much with the flood/drain puzzle in the initial area, but luckily you don't really need to do that as many times - still, it's a strange way to realize you're not doing what the builder intended. The main city interior is gorgeous, really beautiful, and you then on proceed on a fun quest for four scimitar blades. Each is tied to a small challenge room which managed to get me thinking for a good while before finally realizing what I was supposed to do. All in all, great fun, despite the crashes near the beginning. 85 minutes. 04/17" - Treeble (29-Apr-2017)

"A piece of information for all thouse claiming that there is a bug in this game (when the second valve is used for the second time): the bug will appear on Windows 10 systems. Try reducing the resolution in TR4 Setup, that'll help. Sometimes it's also necessary to reload an earlier save after having reduced the resolution. So, please don't blame the builder or the testers, this bug is not due to them. That being said, I can now give my review of the level. OVERALL GEOMETRY: Nice, but nothing spectacular. The big hub area with the gate and the pool and four challenge rooms is well built and decorated, as well as the small oasis with the market above the ground. But there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to geometry. TEXTURES AND LIGHTING: Textures are well applied and create really a beautiful vista. However, the builder should pay more attention as to avoiding cracks between textures, particularly in underwater areas, where the cracks are particularly obvious. Lighting is probably the weakest link in this level. There are some really nicely lit areas, but also some areas with too heavy transitions between shadows and lights (due to cracks!). ENEMIES & TRAPS: The builder obviously used all enemies in the WAD and made a nice balance: there are many enemies around the level, but not too many. We start with the spiders, but we soon must deal with a mounted horseman and the bull, which is a bit too early in the level, in my opinion. But overall impression is good. When it comes to traps, however, I must admit that the traps are excellently thought of and not too hard to get through. The trickiest part was the room with three boulders, but that part was also not too hard to solve. PUZZLES are definitely the best part of this level. The builder created some really nice puzzles here. The main element of this level is puzzling. Almost no platforming, well selected and placed enemies, great traps and MARVELLOUS puzzles! Dryng and flooding the cave, the mirror puzzle, the pushblock puzzle, the torch puzzle (maybe the best I have ever seen), even the bull puzzle, they are all excellently built and thought of. You can solve them with no help at all, they are instinctive, but also, not too easy and obvious. I give the highest review in the category of puzzles. OVERALL IMPRESSION: Very fluent gameplay, a great mix of puzzling, traps and action. You cannot stop playing this level until you finish it. Although some elements could be improved (lighting, geometry and cracks), the level is really great. Other builders can learn from this level as how important good puzzles are. Well done and highly recommendable for those players who don't like too hard levels or too tricky platforming. It can be finished within an hour and with no walkthrough, if you pay attention to details." - Nina Croft (22-Apr-2017)

"The first thing to be said about this level is how ravishingly beautiful it is, especially the opulent pool room from which you access four 'quest' areas. There's a nice series of challenges involved in obtaining the four scimitars and the initial flooding/draining of a huge cavern makes for some interesting raiding also. The only down side is a potential glitch with the flooding/draining switches, but I found that not saving between usage got round this problem. That aside I found this, my first foray into this year's B2B, a very enjoyable start." - Jay (22-Apr-2017)

"Visually pleasing, especially the hub 'room' of the second part. The puzzles were fairly good. The objects - which I guess are common to all the BTB entries are nice - especially liked the new wraith and demi-gods. Not many enemies and the Boss is quite easy to avoid. Lighting ok. Textures applied fairly well onmly occasional wallpapering. Pity about the crashes I & some others had when changing the water levels despite following the readme advice. Overall a pretty good start to my BTB2016 campaign." - Adrian (20-Apr-2017)

"That was really enjoyable :) The first part of the level is not so hard, but when you go past this introduction part, it escalates quickly. The challenges were sometimes quite nasty, but one in particular (the fire room) was even horrible to play I have to admit. But I really like a challenge, so overall I enjoyed the gameplay.(NB : The last enemy's attacks were not hurting Lara, a glitch I guess ?). The architecture was really nice, and quite vast as well, albeit being a bit too much blocky-ish sometimes. The lighting was maybe a bit poor in some places but in general the level was really pretty and with a nice atmosphere :) Found 2 of the pickups necessary for the secret, finished in 1h20." - Revenge (16-Apr-2017)
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