Level: Tomb Raider: Above the Horizon (Demo) back home search
Author(s): Max
total rating:9.66 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Baratheon 10 10 10 10
Ceamonks890 9 9 9 9
Chel 9 9 10 10
Cruzader 10 10 10 10
DJ Full 9 10 10 9
Hedteur 10 9 10 10
Jason L 8 8 9 10
Jay 9 10 10 10
Jorge22 10 10 10 10
Jose 10 10 10 10
LOTRKingluis 10 10 10 10
manarch2 7 10 10 9
McRaider 9 10 10 10
Nina Croft 7 10 10 9
PedroTheGamer 10 10 10 10
Phil 10 9 10 9
PhryneCroft 10 10 10 10
Raina Audron 10 10 10 10
Ryan 9 10 10 10
SeniorBlitz 9 9 10 10
Wolf7 10 9 10 10
xManuelCroft 10 10 10 10
category averages
(22 reviews)
9.32 9.64 9.91 9.77

Reviewer's comments

"This one is definitely a new view into tomb raiding and, may I add, it reminded me a lot of Omikron/Nomad Soul, which is to say one of the most interesting games I played when I still played something other than levels. I loved how immersed one could feel in this atmospheric world and how the light, sounds, interactions, objects, all felt so right. I went on a search for the shrooms as I thought it could be more interesting than killing rats - and indeed it was. There could have been some clue for the crypt puzzle (if there was, I didn't get it). A shame that it was only a demo but I'll be waiting for the full story. Excellent!" - Jorge22 (02-Jul-2019)

"Simply wow! I don´t usually play demos but gave this one a try and this is not what I have expected from a TRLE background at all! So much work must have been incorporated into this - texture work is realistic and atmosphere is chilling! The author even added quest lines for the player to complete. I am not a fan of new animations in general as usually they are not as smooth as the originals, but not here. Everything has been expertly crafted together. Lara can also now squeeze through gaps and climb overhanging poles. Prologue is cinematic but still fun to play. Can´t wait for the full version!" - Raina Audron (17-Jun-2019)

"I am very, very disappointed, I must be honest. This level builder is GREAT, he is AMAZINGLY talented and he has already created some epic levels I immensely enjoyed! But this time, the taste after having played this Demo is BITTER... I really thought that this author has a powerful imagination, but then I decided to play this Demo... I wish I never did! I mean, this builder created a great level in terms of geometry, many great new objects, both static and animated, and this builder knows how to apply lighting and textures... That's not the problem at all... But the problem is: From the first to the last second of this Demo, this is nothing but an attempt to mimic (or should I say: rip off) the Reboot games! That was such a shock for me, I was so angry! Why? This builder is REALLY great and talented! WHY MIMICKING AND RIPPING OFF? Has he gone out of ideas, or what? Uniform color scheme (in this case, blue)? Why? Collecting gold to buy weapons/ammo from a merchant? REALLY? Could it get more obvious? Then, SIDE QUESTS??? OH MY GOODNESS! And also, very poorly executed! You can't finish both quests! You can finish one quest, and then load a save from before accepting the first quest, in order to finish the second! A huge No-No for this! PLS instead of flares is another attempt of mimicking, but at least, this one makes sense and is appreciated, and also useful for the gameplay, and I won't rant about this in particular. But animations... I cannot stress this enough, I repeat this like a broken record: DO NOT add new animations to Lara unless YOU NEED THEM for the gameplay! For instance, if you want to add an animation to Lara which will help her avoid a trap, DO IT, but adding animations just to add "something new", even if useless for the gameplay, is not a good thing, because this can cause glitches and bugs and make Lara move and look quite weird! Of course, there are some really nice and great moments in the game, such as geometry or interaction with other characters, animated fire textures are AMAZING, but all these things should have been executed way better and in a much more original manner (without trying to mimic anything). I am saying this as someone who LOVES new TR games, and let me tell you something: old-school players (like me) only rarely like the new TR games, now imagine THEIR disappointment! I really hope that the full game will rectify these things and be more original than this Demo. I am very sad, because this builder is EXCELLENT and he released some really great levels in the past. This one CAN be equally great, save for the attempts to mimic Reboot games by all means. Therefore, Lighting & Textures rating is slightly lower, due to uniform color schemes (imitation of Reboot games), Gameplay rating is even lower due to other attempts of ripping off the new TR games. Also, the reason for giving a lower rating for Gameplay is the unfair timed run at the beginning... I had to refer to the Stuck Thread and Walkthrough JUST TO KNOW that the run was timed! That was not fair at all! Let us know somehow that a run is timed, especially when you can't go back and start again without dying! The other two categories get the highest rating. Hopefully, when the full version is released, I will be more than happy to give higher ratings for the Gameplay and Lighting/Textures." - Nina Croft (15-Jun-2019)

"This is truly professional stuff, a remarkable achievement and it just demonstrates how far the Level Editor has come in the intervening years. It may be labelled as a work in progress, but what's encountered here is absolutely awe- inspiring. The surroundings are positively teeming with atmosphere (it's gloomy in places, but not annoyingly so and Lara's PLS as a flare replacement works wonders), the textures are masterful and the little touches such as the onscreen dialogues and Lara's notebook and letter entries really help to substantially add to the experience. About halfway through, you have a choice to undertake one of two quests: take care of a rat infestation or loot some much needed mushrooms. I'd highly recommend doing both to ensure you get the most out of it. They're not taxing, but definitely enjoyable. My one niggle is that it ended too soon, or maybe it felt like that as I was having so much fun. A must play even as a demo, and the full version should be a real treat." - Ryan (23-Apr-2019)

"I have no idea how this project gets its name, as nothing here takes place above the horizon. To the contrary, the entire adventure unfolds in a dank and colorless setting within the bowels of the earth. I'm not going to make my usual rant about darkness, however, as the player can clearly discern everything that's going on around him. The unlimited flares certainly helped in this respect, but they were needed only on relatively few occasions. I didn't experience any of the freezing problems noted in the early stuck thread posts, so I edited my own snarky post. But I did have to disable my antivirus temporarily so I could even download the damn thing. Someone needs to figure out a way to avoid this annoyance. As for the game itself, it oozes ambiance. It's not bright and cheery as I like, but it's atmospheric to the core. I didn't realize until I was looking around for mushrooms after eliminating the rats that we have an either-or situation here. I played both options and found that the Rat Plague Quest was a mere tidbit compared to the other one. With a demo as outstanding as this one is, the full release should be quite an event. High recommendations." - Phil (23-Apr-2019)

"Perhaps the game deserves a lower rating in the gameplay section, but I've enjoyed it a lot and this time I'd like to encourage the builder so the definitive version will not be released too late. After several minutes of gameplay I started to remember the old TR games... Yes! I remember several years ago when I played TR Underworld; the engine, the graphics, the movements... Really a very professional work very worth to play with cool animations, cutscenes, realistic environments with all kind of objects, on screen help and much more! Played both options (rats and mushrooms) and missed one secret in both cases. Very impatient to "relish" the final release. Highly recommended!" - Jose (23-Apr-2019)

"Not perfect, but pretty close as far as I'm concerned. While I haven't yet warmed up to reboot-Lara and her chatty personality, this is a project that I'm really looking forward to seeing in its entirety. I'm not a huge fan of quick-time events, but thankfully the segment featured near the end of the intro level doesn't require any annoying button presses. Just requires running like a bat out of hell and not being smashed, burned or falling into deep pits. Cool. Great work on some of Lara's new animations and moves. The pipe climbing looks very natural, along with the overhanded swinging along the pipe. Also, thank you to the builder for not only including the quick roll through the crawlspace, but also enabling the quick exit from them as well! That being said, it was almost culture shock not to be able to perform back flips and side flips. You don't realize how much you rely on them as a part of navigating the environment until you can't do them. The second level was great. A wonderful, dystopian village in the depths of the sewers filled with people, markets, shops, living quarters and a full service neighborhood bar. I liked the name Arkadia - it reminded me of Bioshock, especially when the slow jazz tune could be heard playing on the radio. I saved before I bumped into the lady offering side quests so I could take them both. Got to squeeze as much playtime out of a demo as possible, right? I enjoyed both, with mushrooms being my favorite. Scavenger hunts just appeal to me. The fall into the dusty, creepy catacombs was a welcome surprise. I liked the push button puzzle there and also got a good laugh out of the plight of the greedy ex-explorer. No way was I taking the Ancient Artifact(TM) off the pedestal! That damned thing has always been the source of too much heartache, even when it's the objective of the quest. Finished way too quickly for my liking. Max, keep up the awesome work man. This looks to be your most ambitious project to date, but I have total faith in you. You'll get it done! PS: it was nice to hear the dulcet tones of the lady who voiced Lara in Ancient Artifact II playing a role (Tori) in this entry as well. Jennifer is practically a doppelganger for Judith Gibbons and such a treasure to have on the custom level scene." - Chel (22-Apr-2019)

"This is remarkable stuff provided here, and it's hard to believe this was done with TR editors. Very realistic design coupled with a lot of technical spices and fun side quests. The gameplay is something that will become better immediately once the project will be complete, as like this it is indeed a bit short-winded and has only few outstanding things, but I really do not mind so much because what is presented here is a teaser for something I'm looking forward to eagerly. The only thing I might have disliked slightly was the omnipresent gloominess of the surroundings; while realistic, it was a bit hard to enjoy the surroundings despite the PLA being provided. This 35 minute raid is nevertheless highly recommended." - manarch2 (19-Apr-2019)

"The first 15 minutes made me question the universe because I realized after ages of copying bad ideas from Core Design, custom level builders now also got to mimic the Reboot like they shouldn't. One should never borrow exclusively blue color scheme, hint system all the way, Lara never shutting up, not giving a chance to think on your own for a second... I wasn't fond of the quick time event prologue, broken with the outside zone appearing just for five seconds only to get back to the blue sewers... this all accelerated so rapidly in the direction custom levels should never take I legit started to feel sorry for the project. Fortunately the second level is dystopian heaven which really deserves the name, and makes up for everything with excellent choice involved - if you want you can stay on the classic main route, but you can also do optional RPG-like stuff like sidequests and trading, and of course not being forced to do any of that motivated me to do everything. I even reloaded and completed the alternate quest line to have perfect 100%. Then we also get some classic tomb raiding with the author punning on the previous players and himself, I loved that bit. In the end the game went back to almost perfect and I managed to get totally immersed even though I never got used to some disabled controls. I have high hopes about the full version seeing the light of day. This demo is probably too short (or at least it shouldn't tease with neons at the cut areas), but its brevity gives even more reason for everybody to try it, which I highly recommend." - DJ Full (16-Apr-2019)

"Tomb Raider Level Editor has never stopped surprising me by how the original TR4 engine, though modified, could handle great games, and I mean GREAT. In those years though a computer or a console wasn't yet capable of handling such a complicated levels, but nowadays standards and the overall improvement of the graphics card as well as RAM memory as made this possible. Max's Tomb Raider Above the Horizon is surely not the first TR level to have shown this improvement, I mean Meta2Tr had been already used in the past, what is really awesome about this level is the overall gameplay, the lighting and the texturing, creating an awesome atmosphere that almost, and I mean a lot, gave me vibes of a commercial game. The partly shown story was also a very strong point of the game, I have seen games with stories, and some with not, but it is very rare to find a game with an awesome premise as this one. Still there looking at my review? Haven't ya clicked yet download? No? What are you waiting for? DO IT NOW! (cough) I mean I recommend you to play this game. Wolfy Regards." - Wolf7 (15-Apr-2019)

"Read the TLDR at the end if you don’t want to read this long review. So this game has impressed me a lot from a multitude of angles. Graphically this looks amazing. I can’t believe that this was made by a single person. The environments look realistic, are very detailed and the lighting is perfect. It looks so good that it completely masks the fact that this is still a tile based game. The graphics combined with the tight and good level design makes the underground prison Lara escaped from and then the sewer/hideout level seem believable and immersive. The game design is also very interesting. This isn’t just a simple TRLE game that features a bunch of new Tomb Raider levels filled with puzzles to solve with a couple of enemies strewn in between for variety in gameplay. This game features in-game cutscenes with fully voice acted dialogue, and new mechanics and elements geared towards a more survival type of game (more on this later in the review). Lara’s voice actress, Pai, did a phenomenal job (she actually sounds quite similar to Lara from the last reboot series) and Toris voice actress also performed well. However, I can’t say the same about the voice acting of some of the other characters (their volume is also very low for some reason and should get boosted up). The story intrigues you from the very moment you start the prologue level and by the end of this demo I was completely hooked and curious to see how the plot is going to involve. The plot seems to have been inspired by the new reboot series of Tomb Raider games since Lara is involved in helping an underground organization of rebels to fight an authoritarian oppressing group called NOVA. Rise and Shadow of the Tomb Raider featured a similar storyline but what is not clear in this game is the timeline. Is this happening in the present with the Lara that we all know and love or is this some alternate reality universe as Ceamonks890 suggested in his review. I wished there was another cutscene in the prologue that would clarify this. The prologue of this game serves as a tutorial and an introduction to the story. The level properly teaches you the new moves, with carefully constructed sections and through in-game prompts which is something I haven’t seen in other TRLE’s which feature new moves (usually they just put a section in the notepad in your inventory, explaining them). However it’s the second level of the game which presents us the unique gameplay features which this TRLE has to offer. This demo suggests that this will be a survival-like game in which you will need to be thorough in your exploration in order to find money necessary for purchasing ammunition, weapons and other types of supplies such as your regular health items but also pick locks used to unlock secret areas which contain various items. Lara no longer has her classic dual pistols. She gets a Mauser pistol as her starting weapon which has limited ammunition and I think all weapons that you will acquire in this game will be so. This suggests that in the final game, properly managing your ammunition reserves will probably be an important factor, adding a nice element of decision making in combat. Should you kill certain enemies blocking your way but end up without ammo in a situation where you actually really need to kill an enemy or conserve your ammunition but risk losing some health from the enemies that you spared? This game will also feature various NPC’s to interact with and there will be quests which will reward you with money and probably also other items. Even though there was just one major puzzle in this TRLE it was very well designed. It wasn’t difficult but the solution to it was suggested in a very clever and clear way, also the room of the puzzle looked very interesting and tomb raidery, just the way I think major puzzles in TR games should be and I hope there will be plenty more in the final game. This is just a demo but if the final game will be anything like this demo, then this will be an awesome game that any TRLE’s fan will need to check out. TLDR: The game looks incredible and believable. The story is very intriguing and the level design top notch. The game design revolves around survival by managing your ammo and other supplies, which is something I haven’t seen in any other TRLE. This will probably be a great game and you should definitely check out this demo." - Cruzader (15-Apr-2019)

"What a brilliant demo! I hope there is not much time to complete this work.. The details are remarkable in a perfect atmosphere, lighting, textures effects and movements that fit perfectly. I'm Not friend to play demos but this one is great and I think Max has done a great job!" - McRaider (14-Apr-2019)

"Astonishing. I have no words to describe this masterpiece, and it's just a demo! I am soooooo waiting for the full release!! Regarding gameplay, I loved it, specialy the *SPOILER* ---- ---- Crypt area. Can't say much about enemies, but the rats and bats were very well positioned and triggered, and they looked so real! The cinematics, lightnings, textures, the care for the tiniest of detailing... *gasps* incredible One thing that annoyed me was the lack of back-jump, which I tend to use a lot in Tomb Raider games." - LOTRKingluis (14-Apr-2019)

"Wow! To say I can’t wait for the finished version is putting it mildly. First and foremost, this looks so professional; the graphics are amazing, the special effects are special indeed, Lara’s new moves are put to excellent use and the voiceover work is top notch. The first, short section is mainly a tutorial, although it does culminate in an exciting timed fire run. In the second part, you get to explore the underground city in all its somewhat dystopian glory. As a side quest, you may choose between mushroom gathering and rodent extermination. I opted for the mushroom scenario, but I may just replay it and visit the rats as well. I found the gameplay thoroughly enjoyable and fully expect to be able to give the finished version straight tens. Finally, many thanks to the builder for giving Lara a permanent light source – very useful as the level is undeniably gloomy in tone, albeit atmospheric and very realistic. Wonderful." - Jay (13-Apr-2019)

"Wow, this is wonderful! as always the builder, with graphic design everything becomes easier, beautiful use of Meta2TR, and among others, everything here is perfect, the story is absolutely incredible, I can not wait for the full version, the level works on my pc that is very bad, just witnessed a little lag in the first level fireworks, another, the soundtrack, the interactive voices and the environment, that lighting! seems so real, and the texturing is perfectly with the objects created by it! I was not stuck, just the final puzzle that really is easy and very challenging of your memory. this is a work of art, enjoy your time here, more of it, the whole day, I found 3/5 secret's since the first level has not." - PedroTheGamer (12-Apr-2019)

"Taking place in a steampunk-inspired alternate reality(which has influences from the Metro series, the modern Wolfenstein games and a bit of BioShock in its DNA from what I noticed), we find ourselves playing as a different incarnation of Lara Croft compared to what we're used to, being more akin to a rebel soldier than an archaeologist adventurer. Granted a lot of these gameplay concepts used here have been done to death in official AAA-caliber video games for the worst in recent years, but somehow, Max manages to make it feel refreshing. And to see this all running on an old 90s era game engine is nothing short of extraordinary! And from the get go, the storytelling is ripe with intrigue and the cinematic-styled presentation goes a long way in maximizing the immersive atmosphere, feeling more like a big-budget game of today in its ambitious scope whilst retaining the spirit of classic video gaming, with some excellent vocal performances from Pai, Greenkey2 & Jarekhanzelka as Lara, Tori and the Nova Organization Leader respectively(although the builder's own provided performances as the character Finn and the various NPCs were very faint-sounding and difficult to hear. So I hope Max looks into addressing that and fixes the sound levels for his recordings later on in the final version of the game, when it eventually comes out). Gameplay is incredibly fun, as you mess around with Lara's expanded moveset and do little side missions around the shelter for rewards in order to help you better survive against oncoming threats. The side missions aren't anything too exciting(being either kill X amount of rats or collect X amount of mushrooms), but they do help to give a little bit of replay value to this demo. And the rest of the general presentation is executed just as impressively, going a long way in making this game world feel real and lived-in. A shame the demo ends around the time when things were starting to really get interesting as I wanted to experience more of this unexplored world! But oh well, that's a sign of a quality teaser for ya. Very much looking forward to the eventual full version. Highly recommend this to players of any skill level!" - Ceamonks890 (11-Apr-2019)

"A great showcase of how far TRLE can go... The new gameplay mecanics are so interesting, the atmosphere is amazing and Lara has a lot of new animations (some of them look a little bit weird, but still impressive) Nothing really more to say. My best wishes to the autor with this project!" - Jason L (11-Apr-2019)

"I was very excited when I saw that you released a demo of Above the Horizon. Where should I start: I knew the initial sequence of your gameplay video, yet it has grabbed me a little more. The transition from scene to game fit perfectly, and the speakers are also a good choice. (When I heard Lara speak I had to think directly to Camilla Luddigton). The atmosphere was really good and the lighting was perfect, it had something scary. Lara's new moves were very good, they reminded me of the reboot games, but it fits in exactly with what happened in the game. What I liked most was the scenes and the quest selection. The shelter level was very lovely and lively. (I was scared when I entered the area with the NPCs, otherwise there was something that people did not speak in trle's .... :)) I hope I did not forget anything. I'm looking forward to the full version of your trle's, but only one by one. After all, I want to know what's going on and buy a bit of something in Finn's black market. :D" - PhryneCroft (11-Apr-2019)

"What can I say? This is the pinnacle of Tomb Raider Level Editor right here. From the enhanced visuals, immersive sounds, the incredible scripting and gameplay to the story itself. I was truly immersed and truly thankful for this honestly life-changing experience. I think you might have ruined every TRLE to follow. I don't think it's possible to top this! Well done. 10/10." - Baratheon (10-Apr-2019)

"Nothing much to say, except "Amazing and stunning demo"! The first thing that you'll notice is how well the details and environments are done. It truly immerses the player into the game immediately. I also really appreciated how some objects will react to Lara, a floating bottle moving as she walks near it, to give an exemple. Speaking of Lara, she now has a variety of new equipments and can interact with her environment more than usual, which is really innovative. You can add to that a nicely done lore, with all the journal articles and letters Lara can find during her journey, besides the few lines you can hear in the city on the second level to give a more lively and immersive feeling, as well as the great ambiance sounds and musics. I also really enjoyed the concept of "side quests" and the shop, it encourages the player to explore the area even further than usual to be able to buy some convenient iteams such as ammo or health kits. When it comes to gameplay, I haven't felt bored or annoyed at any point and the few puzzles here are really nice! I will patiently wait for a full game, but right now, I totally recommand this demo to everyone! TLDR; another great job "made in Maax"." - Hedteur (10-Apr-2019)

"Been a while since I played a TRLE and made a review for it, therefore I was surprised to see that this project got a demo, I have memories of seeing some footage around 2016 and being blown away by how ambitious this game is, finally getting a taste of whats to come, simply saying that I'm impressed is an understatement, familiar, but new mechanics were added to the game and they fit well without feeling forced for the sake of being gimmick, no words for the atmospheric presentation, incredibly immersive, the levels are full of detail, I also have to compliment Lara's new animations that are quite sleek and the interesting setting, gameplay while simple, does it job well and keeps you engaged, I enjoyed looking around the shelter for secrets, hearing the locals spout some lines about their current situation, doing sidequests, looking around the shop, the prologue also does a good job of introducing you to the game without being obtrusive. If it wasn't obvious I thoroughly recommend you give this a try!" - SeniorBlitz (10-Apr-2019)

"A really innovating and creative game. This TRLE is so brilliant, I would never expect something like this. This level mixes the new Tomb Raider with the classic Tomb Raider's essence, using the TR4's motor, something incredible. Is noted that Max made this with lots of love and patience. The atmosphere is awesome, the caracters' voices are really good (specially Tori's and Lara's voices), the music, the sounds, the HD textures, the side quests (something which really amazed me) and the scenarios and movies. Also, there're lots of new movements, which are really realistic. Lara has a diary with her too, that you can use in order to learn movements or read the game's story. I really hope that Max will keep working on this magnificent Tomb Raider Level Editor that will mark a turning point in TRLE. For me it deserves 10/10!" - xManuelCroft (10-Apr-2019)
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