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Level: Tomb Raider: North Pole Adventure - The Arctic back home search
Author(s): levyhgb
total rating:7.20 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
JesseG 6 7 7 6
Jorge22 8 8 9 9
manarch2 3 6 7 6
Phil 5 7 8 8
Ryan 8 8 9 9
category averages
(5 reviews)
6.00 7.20 8.00 7.60

Reviewer's comments

"What the hell was the builder thinking when he designed that backtrack... following the same 5+ minute path three times almost in a row cannot be serious gameplay design, it is more like trolling the players, especially since a shortcut would've been so easily possible (the trapdoors in the sea could be placed so that you can climb them from the water). This really destroyed any positive feelings I had with this level, e.g. the exploration in and around the ship or a few decent traps or timed challenges (which you have to repeat as well). I still must say that the rest of the game is not too inspired either. This is essentially a hunt for dozens of levers in a very monotonous fashion. Puzzles are completely absent and the game largely resembles a shooter with more than 50 enemies to shoot in 55 minutes. The freezing water swims are way too long and cannot be done without the save and reload glitch. Another annoying feature were those flamethrower guys, while actually friendly, you have to shoot some of those to find important items. If you miss these you can backtrack again. The visuals are not very clean with a lot of cracks in texturing and lighting and a very eclectic architecture. The area with the ship is surely the best, while other parts are quite cramped and not so realistic. Musics and cameras are used decently, but a few more camera hints on some levers and perhaps also the flamethrower guys would've been helpful. All in all this was a potentially okay but eventually just tedious level that could've done well without its time prolongers." - manarch2 (08-Nov-2019)

"The amount of backtracking in this level is excessive - and not just if you forget to do something in one area. It is actually required to loop through the same long route (which contains multiple timed switches) at least three times in order to complete the level. This is the bulk of the gameplay. There are some traps to dodge as well, but nothing that I would label as a puzzle. There is a large amount of combat, which I normally enjoy but the placement of enemies in tight corridors made it more of a health-draining exercise than it should have been. Textures are sometimes stretched and wallpapered, and the lighting is too dark. There is potential for a good arctic raid here, but the poor layout and consistent darkness prevent me from recommending to others. 1 hour 45 minutes." - JesseG (02-Nov-2019)

"I'll start with a disclaimer that this can be quite a difficult adventure at times. Not only in the sense of which direction to take and when, but also because the enemies often attack in quite overwhelming bunches (the flamethrowers were particularly hard to overcome). It's perfectly possible to get through without too much hassle if you have some sort of reliable strategy to avoid losing too much health, but while medipacks are plentiful, ammo isn't unless you find the secrets, and you may end up having virtual existential fears so I do think the builder could have been more forgiving in that sense. The freezing water sequences have also never been a favourite of mine either and this is no exception. Luckily I remembered the good old save/reload tactic and I was able to grin and bear it. I don't consider it cheating, but it just levels the playing field for me. Negatives aside, the builder has done an admirable job wringing a lot out of the TR3 engine. The surroundings are nicely evocative of the original Antarctica levels and the new music files were a great touch and used well. Progression also remains engaging throughout, despite a slight overdose of backtracking and the timed runs were very enjoyable. I can give this a recommendation, with the above reservations." - Ryan (11-Oct-2019)

"Before launching into this review I wish to emphasize the deep debt I owe DoggettTV for his efficient, no-nonsense video guides, which enable me to avoid much frustration and lost time as I prepare written walks for the raiding public. And while I'm thinking about it, isn't adrielvicio a handsome dude? His pic accompanies his frequent comments on the DoggettTV posts, and he reminds me a lot of Steve Reeves in the old Hercules movies from back before most of you were born. Anyway, the review... I don't begrudge the comparative listlessness of the TR3 textures and lighting, but one thing that makes my blood boil in any level is forced, repeated backtracking, and that's what we have here in spades. The game itself is well constructed in other respects and fun to play, but I wanted to scream by the time I pulled the timed lever and pushed the timed button for a fourth time. Once a player has made his way through a portion of the game map, it's common courtesy for the builder to provide short cuts to get back and forth quickly through these areas should the need arise, but no efforts have been made along those lines. The result is a level that takes roughly twice as long to play as it should. I wasn't aware of the "save and thaw" trick while in icy water, so at least I have some positive information I can take away from the playing experience. And exploring the ship was a nice diversion. But now that it's said and done, what I remember most was having to go back through that hut time and time again, and that's not how you really want a level to stand out in your mind. Recommended, but with the noted reservations." - Phil (10-Oct-2019)

"Right, then... I don't want to spoil anybody's party but this game is extremely complicated regarding orientation and one may easily get almost stuck (or at least feel very stuck) if one doesn't follow the script as one's supposed to. For instance, jumping to the ship at a certain point... But I can't remember anything pointing me in that direction! So, why isn't one actually stuck? Because it's possible to swim to a certain place in the freezing water and save and reload in between (something I, like many, I assume, din't remember anymore and kind of a simultaneously interesting and twisted gameplay tactic). Or... simply go back to a previous save and take the corret path (after perhaps being told - or watching - the right path). Another downside here - even though not as much because not in the head scratching department - how careful one must be health wise (and flare wise too as the game gets really dark in places) as a result of so many attacks on every front, namely by fast rabid dogs (there are also the regular baddies and the flame throwing ones). Now that I explained all that, I rather enjoyed the game, especially after I finally understood it. Good TR3 atmosphere, well placed baddies (albeit too many and frequently too surprising), rather well imagined (in spite of the guessing game which is the trade mark of most of the level), perhaps one of the best TR3 levels I ever played with an "if only" haunting it. Do play it and you won't be sorry. Just remember to carefully measure your steps so as not to follow the wrong path." - Jorge22 (30-Sep-2019)
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