Level: 1943: The Black Diamond Part 1 back home search
Author(s): sonnyd83
total rating:8.32 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Gorty 8 4 8 7
Jay 9 9 10 10
Jorge22 10 9 10 9
Jose 9 9 9 9
manarch2 7 8 8 7
Phil 9 10 10 9
Torry 7 4 8 7
category averages
(7 reviews)
8.43 7.57 9.00 8.29

Reviewer's comments

"This is good and solid raiding with some nice additions. The gameplay is diverse, with platforming and exploration in the first level and more puzzles in the second, and is nicely spiced up with the builder-typical quirky object design that sometimes is ingenious, sometimes very nonsensical and odd (like the wood that has to be moved over the river, yet it could've simply been carried on to the other side; and better don't talk about the intelligence of those soldiers...). It's all pretty linear and straightforward (save for some longer backtracking late in the game) and overall quite simple though, even the puzzles are very easy to solve - so a bit more actual challenge might've made things even better. While I see that some objects are indeed wrongly placed/designed (Lara's ponytail is messed up) or half-floating in the air (like the grass and part of the rails) - which might've been easily corrected by simply removing the floating objects and/or evening out the floor at those places -, these mistakes don't really affect the experience much. There's a decent enough attempt in creating believable environments, but the end of the world in the first level could've been avoided in a more clever way and the rocky environments could have been more natural (many straight ledges are still present). One water surface in the first level is placed one click over the texture as well but that's a fairly small issue. What I really liked though were some atmospherical elements like the distant watchtowers, the large scale of the outside areas (even if this leads to some of the above problems) and the nice audios - only some texts are hardly understandable (especially the one with the woman and the generals); the cameras are also good, but not quite perfect - one even went through solid ground. The texturing is sometimes a bit eclectic but still reasonably used and the lighting is only occasionally bland - the village section in the first level maybe being the least convincing part visually, also due to the low borders of the map. Overall, 55 minutes that still don't manage to be on par with the first Black Diamond release but still should be overall enjoyable despite minor gripes. Found all not hard to find secrets." - manarch2 (12-Mar-2018)

"I maybe getting old but I found this level set incongruous. This is really just a young Lara scenario so why not just put her in instead of setting up Lara (Marcia) without her handguns. There were so many fallacies in this. Guards that cannot see Lara 5 foot away from them (or indeed hear her). Guards that are not crushed by rolling boulders. The boulders simply roll through the guards who are unscathed by the experience. Gameplay was generally uninteresting with one or two stand out moments such as carrying the wood on her back and the moving car. The second level was somewhat better with again a few stand out moments but overall I found this level set lacking the base components of what we come to expect in Tomb Raider. This is a unique level set and will appeal to the niche market of raiders who enjoy this sort of thing but for the purist it will leave you wanting I am sorry." - Torry (08-Mar-2018)

"I expected something very different based on the scores the game currently has. Instead of a masterful piece I got to play something rather mediocre. Starting with the title screen that looks very unprofessional and weird. Some could call it artistic, but I was not that opinion. After starting the first level I got shocked right at the beginning with thoughts of restarting the level and doubting the proper download. Lara starts in bunch of floating objects. Yes, floating objects that are improperly placed. The whole first level has a thousand of floating and wrongly placed objects. It’s just unbelievable. Some of them are going through walls and have no collision. Not to mention the fact that the objects don’t fit into the blue light ambient, so they are sticking out heavily. Surely, this is not a level for that high score. A punch in the face for all the level designers who put effort into placing properly the first object the player will encounter. After getting some spontaneous and unpredictable deaths I somehow assumed I’m being shot by a frozen guard facing backwards. Gameplay was not that interesting but is nicely intersected with some very good and innovative ideas ( carrying the wood on the back, running car … ) and triggered events. The overall design of the first level was, let’s say, rough. I never felt I’m being somewhere outside in a realistic environment. The little town was very dull. Texturing was not on a high skilled level as the author shows he doesn’t really care to avoid stretched and properly aligned textures. Seems very rushed. The first level is very monotone in the light category with some shadow bulbs placed occasionally. Definitely the worst part in terms of texturing and design were the underwater parts. The second level was better. It was more atmospheric with more innovative ideas. Even creepy. Too dark at some points and overall has this chaotic feeling. Some gameplay elements were to sneaky hidden, but some ideas are really mind blowing ( piano ), while others were just too confusing ( the theater book ). Overall, I’m leaving this game with mixed feeling and disappointed. Still, recommended due to its innovative approach in some gameplay elements." - Gorty (01-Mar-2018)

"Another period piece from one of our premier builders. It follows the pattern established by its predecessors, providing engaging but offbeat gameplay and thoroughly entertaining from start to finish. At first I took great care to avoid the patrolling guards, but after a few near misses with no disastrous consequences I allowed one to bump into me just to see what might happen. Without even an "excuse me," the bloke kept on marching as if nothing were amiss. A few of the required tasks here are counter-intuitive, to say the least, so I was glad to have Dutchy's walkthrough handy. After spending nearly two hours, the game came abruptly to an end for me during a sequence with a fixed overhead camera, so I hope the sequel is about ready for release. A fine job." - Phil (01-Mar-2018)

"Bravo, sonny! Even when Marcia will never shoot an enemy, there are plenty of enemies in this adventure to avoid, a lot of dialogues and in-game indications to guide the player and several sneaky puzzles to solve; but never boring and never frustrating. The environments and atmosphere are well worked, there are enough flares and medipacks, good use of cameras, musics and flybys... Definitely a couple of levels to enjoy. Recommended." - Jose (20-Feb-2018)

"This is - again - unique and coupled with quite a few really pleasantly unexpected, creative moments, namely the piano and the final radio parts, plus the rebuilding of the ladder or the crows that suddenly appear when Marcia gets a secret from a balcony immediately spring to mind. The music and sounds are well done and fit, the thing to be expected from this series actually. The overall atmosphere is also generally nice although I wouldn't have minded a little more "sharpness" architecture wise (but I guess this is the author's trade mark, so I won't complain). Furthermore, you can actually go up and down all those spiral staircases without always bumping into things, which is a rarity. I had much fun playing this level and I was really glad all the nazi guards were too dumb to catch Marcia while she was just a few steps away. Really looking forward to more." - Jorge22 (20-Feb-2018)

"What a fun level! It's quite heavily puzzle based so it suited me down to the ground. Lara (aka Marcia) has no weaponry at all so has to sneak around in stealth mode, avoiding the guards. It's an atmospheric, quirky, inventive and definitely different level, as we've come to expect from this builder, and I absolutely loved it. There are lots of custom objects to ponder over (especially as I couldn't get my security system to use the exe with the download and had to use another one, thus rendering the inventory language as pure gobbledegook), but I figured it all out eventually. If you've played any previous levels from this talented builder, I can assure you this one won't disappoint." - Jay (16-Feb-2018)
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