Level: Create a Classic 2019 - In the Highlands back home search
Author(s): grinder1
total rating:7.36 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Cbl 7 8 9 7
DJ Full 6 7 8 7
Drakan 8 8 8 8
Jay 7 7 8 8
JesseG 8 8 7 7
Jorge22 7 7 7 7
manarch2 6 7 7 7
MarlenaCrystal 6 7 7 7
Mman 7 8 7 8
Phil 8 8 8 8
Raider99 6 8 7 6
Ryan 7 8 8 8
StormChaser 7 7 9 7
Torry 6 8 8 7
category averages
(14 reviews)
6.86 7.57 7.71 7.29

Reviewer's comments

"While looking huge, this level ended up being quite short. It was enjoyable for the most part until I went the wrong path and collected the second puzzle piece after which I was set on a path that led to the end without having another piece collected. Not sure is there a way back to the main area, but I had to replay it again in order to finish the level, if not, then I'd say this was a bad design choice and having one of the multiple puzzle paths overlap with the main path should not be executed like this. I liked platforming, timed runs and finding secrets (though I haven't found all of them). While in the search for secrets, I also discovered few shortcuts, the builder should be more careful in the future to avoid having such things happen as they can break gameplay easily. While the level had certain, unique feel to it regarding atmosphere, it still looked quite blocky, it was huge, empty and filled with, in some areas, bad texturing, bad sky management (walls to ceiling connection, glitching in the distance) and lots of underwater cracks. Aside from few cameras used for hints there could've been more thrown in along with some music to boost the immersion. Overall, this is one casual level filled with some nice platforming, timed runs and few puzzles enjoyable enough if you're looking to kill some time." - Raider99 (27-Dec-2019)

"It was a hard time for me to finish this at first, cause some of the areas were pretty big and I felt kind of lost in them, I also had to look up a walkthrough for a few things. There were a lot of chances to reach the end of the world, which really broke the immerson and because of the huge and empty looking areas and the non linearity I missed an important puzzle item, so I had to backtrack a big part of the level. It would have been better if the author would have made some areas only accessable after picking up important items or would have created a shorter connection to some key areas. But not everything was bad, the author also created some really beautiful structures of a scottish castle and the assets, like textures, objects etc. were also fitting. Still it was not a thrilling and entertaining gaming experience unfortunately. The game didn't take you by the hand, so you were just there in a big place, where you had to find out by yourself where there is something to do and what there is to do at all. It took me almost an hour and I found 0 of the 4 secrets." - MarlenaCrystal (26-Dec-2019)

"Here we have yet again one of those totally confusing levels that will have you wondering why you even loaded it up so if you are up to it then get out that walk through right at the start. I would never have thought of jumping off the top of the tower without the walk through and this saved me a heap of time and frustration. As in most of these Create a Classic levels there is just too much going on. Too many passages, too many avenues to wander, too many switches to find (some of which you hardly see as the current whisks you by *hint*) and too many doors to open and when you do you have no idea where they are. The only redeeming factor was meeting up with Nessie again. Textures were somewhat faded and the whole atmosphere was clouded in mist. I found the swamp - bog room mean with no way other than trial and error in determining where the tiles in the bog were. Then please don't get me started on all the back tracking." - Torry (23-Dec-2019)

"This entertaining hour and twenty minute adventure has the same appealing look as the TR3:LA Scotland segment, yet it presents a completely fresh adventure. The builder has provided his own walkthrough (which is not completely clear in some places, forcing me to take a look at the posted video walk more than once), and with its help I managed to get all four secrets (all but one of which involve extended exploration in lieu of being carefully hidden). The timed runs are invigorating but fair. But the best part in my estimation is the nostalgic return in a TR4 setting to one of my favorites among the official games. Well into the top half of this year's CaC competition." - Phil (23-Dec-2019)

"This is a Scotland style level. The areas are quite open and have some interesting geometry (it's also nice how the castle parts link quite a bit), but they're also sometimes a bit empty and cubic with flat lighting. There are enough interesting looking areas to balance out the worse looking parts though. Object use is generally good and there's a nice tribute to the big secret of Highland Fling. The gameplay is okay, although it starts with a somewhat aimless open area before things start to get more linear and focused. There are some nice puzzles and platforming challenges, and there's somewhat of a focus on progression like semi-hidden blocks (although there are visual clues) that almost feels like stumbling on secrets. Unfortunately it's a level with it's flow ruined by one big flaw, which is that one item needed at the end is easily missable, and, if you do, you basically have to loop through the whole level again to get it (and the switch for it is itself borderline secret territory), which leaves a very bad taste at the end. That's unfortunate as it's fine outside of that issue. It's also kind of strange how the giant lake area doesn't actually have much gameplay in it. A good map let down by a major flow issue, and it has a strangely unfinished feel to the slightly odd way it comes together." - Mman (09-Dec-2019)

"A revisit of the highlands level from The Lost Artifact. While the level is a bit on the shorter side, it doesn't let you off the hook easily. Several elaborate timed runs, a very tricky boulder dash, a good amount of enemies, and long underwater sequences await you here, and it was overall quite enjoyable. There are a few details that broke immersion slightly, such as some of the water not being translucent, some stretched textures, and some poorly marked death squares. More decorative objects would help the level feel more alive and subtract from the "big and empty" feel some areas have. Overall more polishing is needed, but it still makes for a good raid. 45 minutes." - JesseG (04-Dec-2019)

"In a competition such as this, it may be somewhat hard to tell whether: a) the builder actually tried to create a game with textures and environments that make it look like a true oldie; b) the builder got a little lazy; or c) the builder can't really do better than that. I'd rather go for a) because it would make the game more clever. It's a classic alright and it even shouts out some classc trle's mistakes, such as areas that are too huge and "samey" for their own sake. Lara goes in search of the Hand of Rathmore and, on her quest, she has to face dogs, guards and crows, a few traps (I still think I got lucky at avoiding that boulder close to the end after a few tries), relatively complicated swamp areas and a couple of nice timed runs (she doesn't have to take the first but she definitely needs the second) that aren't exactly a piece of cake. I *think* that if she doesn't get both thistles she won't be able to finish the level - but - wait a minute! - that doesn't make sense. Oh... It was enjoyable but not utterly enjoyable. And, please, consider my 7 in lighting and textures as an 8 or a 9 if the texturising anomalies and too large and repetitive spaces were that way absolutely on purpose..." - Jorge22 (04-Dec-2019)

"Those lovely Scottish textures have been used to good effect in this level. It’s a huge area to explore so inevitably you will do a lot of climbing around the ruins and swimming and it’s easy to miss stuff if you’re not careful. There are some fun timed elements to achieve and, whilst perhaps not as absorbing as some of the other entries in the competition, it is enjoyable. Nice to see Nessie sailing majestically across the water too." - Jay (30-Nov-2019)

"Very large areas of research, especially at the beginning for the search of the key and the crowbar. Not easy to find the right places to jump in the mud area. Then after finding the pushables, it is more easy, with many platforms. 2 submarine labyrinths complicate the task. No secrets found. We often arrive in areas where we should not be able to go and there is even a place where we walk on water lol. Otherwise nice course in the highlands." - Drakan (28-Nov-2019)

"A much simpler and confined raid compared to some in this contest, but the exploration factor here still has its certain something. The Scottish castle setting is nicely constructed and there is enough spice to the gameplay to make this a worthwhile playing experience (I particularly liked all of the timed run sequences). The extended secret areas (a homage to the original Lost Artifact game) were also brilliant touches and well worth going for if you're up for it. Sufficiently enjoyable and a good choice for less experienced raiders." - Ryan (24-Nov-2019)

"A game that tries to be different and that is certainly the best thing to say about it. The map is fairly large and even a bit confusing, with very few things to do in extremely wide open spaces. A few more camera hints might have been helpful, but still the exploration has its certain something, even if it is fairly exhaustive after a while. On the other side there are two fairly nice lengthy timed runs and a decent swamp puzzle where you have to find the clue for the correct tiles. Platforming is high on the list and, in the non-secret path, an interesting take on a boulder trap. What lets this level down somewhat were the numerous shortcuts, some only for secrets, but some where you can skip parts of the gameplay - and indeed you can finish this level in 8 seconds. While the landscape and architecture are quite nice and texturing and lighting are done agreeably, there are a few too many end of the world moments, especially where Lara can bump her head on the invisible ceiling, and the water is sometimes not transparent looking from underwater. A few more audio tracks could've been used as well. The enemies are decently placed as are the secrets, well the last one was fairly nonsense to say the least. Anyway a memorable level that took me 25 minutes to finish." - manarch2 (23-Nov-2019)

"Sometimes boring, sometimes annoying but definitely showing the builder has a vision and a clue - interesting ruined structures invoke the need for curious, beautiful exploration through the nicely distinguishable beginning, build-up, climax and aftermath, and I particularly loved the last secret for the sense of humor included. Can't say more except "why uw maz, delet dis", since the entire thing is majorly unfinished: when I looked for secrets I found skips, when I looked for a skip I found a secret, and I even managed to finish the level instantly after the start which ensures me a 15-second glitchless speedrun is totally possible. In the end it's not a good and not a bad level, but mostly a merciless proof for the importance of proper betatesting - when I finished, my audience was so displeased they demanded another level to redeem this one (review for Sabatu incoming...). Nonetheless, I didn't say the last word, I won't leave it like this and I'm gonna give them another encounter for all the secrets I missed..." - DJ Full (22-Nov-2019)

"It’s no secret that I love castle levels and that Highland Fling is my all time favourite TR level. I’ve also been known to build the odd castle! So with that in mind I was keen to d/l and play this level and I was not disappointed. It starts off with some very impressive architecture and is quite stunning to look at. A slow wander around gets you into the mood of the Highlands as there are some impressive rock formations around. However I found the game quite confusing to play and was lost a lot of the time. The swamp was very difficult and I never found the “hint”. Enemies were not too hard and I used very few medpacks, which is a good sign. As to criticisms, there are several places were you can reach the end of the world, texturing is OK but nothing special and it’s a bit empty of items. Lighting was rather nice and it was always light enough to see where you were going. Some (IMHO) very difficult jumps add a bit of spice to the game play. Overall great level to play and I enjoyed my time spent here." - StormChaser (20-Nov-2019)

"A beautiful and ambitious level with impressive vertical architecture, wide-open sea vistas and some really attractive use of Tomb Editor’s new diagonal architecture. There are some significant flaws in gameplay design that made this difficult to complete, even after the release of an amended version with some hints. These flaws felt more like errors in understanding *how* other players might handle the gameplay rather than a misunderstanding of what makes gameplay fun - I had a great time, but had trouble progressing. These errors include minor issues such as hidden switches without logical placement and underwater mazes without guidance except trial and error, and major issues like a swamp-crossing that has only a vague hint about where to go which forces Lara to die by trial and error or the ability to reach the end of the level without the necessary items requiring a long backtrack. I think all of these could have been fixed easily with just small changes to the level layout and might have been caught with increased beta testing. As I said at the beginning of my review, the basics of the level are really promising. The map is perhaps too ambitious at portraying a realistic seaside castle, in that the wide-open view of crags and ruins on islands, while truly eye-catching, means that Lara has the ability to easily reach obvious edges of the map and walk on solid water at one point. I thought maybe this was simply an oversight, but I also found some shotgun shells in this area, leading me to think the builder wasn’t aware that reaching the end of the world would break the immersion for some players like myself. I appreciated that there were two routes near the end of the level, one suggested and one merely hinted at and requiring careful observation and a leap of faith, leading to a truly satisfying (and surprising!) secret discovery. It was instances like this that made me think the level could have been phenomenal with just a few tweaks. Enemies, including guards, ghost dogs, and crows, were alright but not very hard. Lighting was subtle but attractive, and textures could have used some additional care and rotation or alignment since there were cracks visible in places. About 1 hour to play, but took many hints from other players in order to figure out how to deal with some of the more obscure gameplay. Found 2 secrets." - Cbl (19-Nov-2019)
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