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Level: Create a Classic 2019 - The Russian Base back home search
Author(s): dinne
total rating:8.67 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Cbl 9 9 10 8
Ceamonks890 6 6 7 8
Croftyboy 8 9 10 10
DJ Full 9 10 10 9
Jay 8 9 10 9
Jeffrey9946 8 9 9 9
JesseG 6 9 8 8
Jorge22 6 8 10 10
Jose 4 7 8 9
Klona 10 10 10 10
manarch2 6 7 9 8
MarlenaCrystal 9 8 9 10
Mman 7 9 9 9
Phil 8 9 9 8
Raider99 9 10 10 10
Raq 9 8 10 8
Relic Hunter 7 9 9 9
Ryan 8 8 9 10
Teone 10 10 10 10
category averages
(19 reviews)
7.74 8.63 9.26 9.05

Reviewer's comments

"When i first started off the level i found if very difficult, non the less i like a challenge! I was very quickly reminded by Dinne herself that i was playing an old version of the level and that there was an updated one so i quickly jumped into that one! As a TRLE streamer i try to play as many levels i find interesting, and oh my god was this a good one! Not only did it provide with a real challenge (puzzles and where to go) but the atmosphere was soo good! It felt like a legit DLC level for the russian chapter! Enemies are strong but if you play with a strategy then you'll get there in the end! Some things are not as obvious as they seem but that is the fun, you need to explore everything really good like a real Tomb Raider :) I'm very impressed and thankfull for this amazing level and can't wait what more amazing things Dinne will bring in the future <3" - Jeffrey9946 (07-Apr-2020)

"I'll admit I was drawn to this level by the polarizing feedback it garnered upon its release for its sheer scale and complexity. Indeed, this is a very large base with many branching paths that initially force you to keep track of and remember the locations of locked doors that need keys or a crowbar to open. Truth be told that was part of the appeal of this level as it slowly open up over time and allows completion of tasks in a non-linear fashion that mostly keep the flow of the game going. The author really nail the aesthetics of the base here, creating a genuine feel like an expansion on the Tomb Raider Chronicles level it pays homage to. The main cargo room was a visual highlight for me, and I did appreciate how there were sections of the base that would make sense for a real place like the kitchen and mess hall, the offices, locker rooms and the service bays to name a few, and the author's work to make variations on the classic assets absolutely added to the atmosphere. The increased focus on combat was also highly present with many enemies that needed shooting, and with sped up animations and seemingly increased damage values did force me to think more about fighting strategically then engaging in the time-honored techniques of side jumping and head hopping. While at times difficult, the enemy placements never felt overly unfair despite being tougher than usual. I have to praise the sound effect work too. Namely, environmental sounds like the soldiers' often chuckle-worthy reactions to Lara, and Lara's own reactions to environmental stimuli. However, the base's sheer size also started to become a weakness as the level felt like it was beginning to drag on and the numerous fetch quests that make up the bulk of the gameplay began to wear me out. Nevertheless I enjoyed my time in this game and absolutely see the talent of a promising designer on the scene. I think a good way to improve for next time would be to focus on adding some puzzles to solve, physical platforming challenges, and adding traps to overcome. Definitely recommended to those seeking a more challenging raid!" - Relic Hunter (14-Mar-2020)

"The Russian Base by dinne is the perfect balance between combat and exploration. The atmosphere and the sound factor are absolutely amazing, the enemies could give the impression of being too much, but the more you go ahead in the level the less relevant they become. Location of the secrets was perfect, It's very hard to find them all without a walkthrough. I also really liked the small russian audios and the recall to TR2 with the freezer and the TR2 audios. Very good job. I hope to see more by this builder soon." - Raq (14-Mar-2020)

"In this large base there are many guards to shoot, and many keys to use. Unfortunately these two tasks take up a majority of the gameplay time. There are definitely some more interesting moments, such as the way you can electrocute enemies, and the way you craft together an explosion and escape from the burning wreckage. I would have enjoyed this adventure more if it had more focus on those kind of moments and less enemy hordes and hunting for keys. I should note that a lot of the keyholes look the same so quite a bit of time is spent trying to figure out which door you can open next. Despite overstaying its welcome, this submission was still a nice return to the russian base setting in TR5. 3 hours 5 minutes." - JesseG (07-Mar-2020)

"This was my favourite game of the CaC Competition 2019, and now that a revised version is released I found it even better. It's that kind of gameplay I enjoy most: a hub area with many peripheral areas you can access little by little. You must have good memory to find your way around the game map when you find the needed to unlock new passages. Enemies are hard to kill but there's enough ammo and medipack to be safe. I love the design, it's very nice, coherent and realistic. The story is simple (you have to steal the secret plans and destroy the base) but it's developed in an original way, particularly the passage from the first to the second level is surprising and adrenalinic. And when the adrenaline reaches its peak, taking a slow break to find the last secret is the most satisfaction you can have from a game." - Teone (07-Feb-2020)

"This level has a very good design, and here we have a very promising builder. The level is full of good features, well ornated, with a good architecture and with a lot of tasks to do, but the gameplay is terrible, always running through the same places looking for hundreds of switches and keys to go back again and again to the same places looking for more switches and keys. Very boring. I think the author could setup some puzzles and entertaing tasks and reduce the number of switches/keys/enemies to create a level worth to play. Sorry." - Jose (07-Feb-2020)

"This level lasted long, maybe too long, I still enjoyed it nevertheless. I found this level really special with many little innovative things, Easter eggs scattered throughout it (hidden stash of alcohol for example) and some quite clever, genius ideas and one of the most creative takes on a secret I've ever seen in custom levels. Gameplay had a nice flow at the beginning until later on when map started to overlap and it became quite confusing to keep track of the base layout. I loved small changes made to the enemies making them more dangerous and responsive which was good as it really made combat more interesting where you have to carefully place yourself, choose proper weapon and most important, save enough ammo (and explore the place to get more) along with medipacks as they truly were of crucial importance for survival. From the beginning until the I was immersed in the place this author created with atmosphere loyal to TRC Russia and understanding how dangerous it is, I was always on alert for anything potentially lethal. I've nothing more to add, overall I really enjoyed this level despite its length and I was able to overlook that as all the new ideas in the level easily outweighed that. If you like something more challenging, longer and immersive, this level is for you and I highly recommend it in that case!" - Raider99 (01-Jan-2020)

"When Torry posted his recent lament about complex CaC levels, he must have had this one in mind. However, Dutchy's meticulous walkthrough was easy to follow, and once again I marvel at his ability to sort things out and put the necessary moves down on paper. My head swims as I contemplate the planning that necessarily went into the level's production. My main complaint is that for the most part everything is depressingly dark, and even though ample flares are provided I manufactured an unlimited supply for myself early on to be on the safe side. Also, some of the tasks are less than intuitive, such as prying the crowbar off a bathroom wall instead of picking it up off the floor. My playing time was about three hours and fifteen minutes, but I'd still be playing into next year if I were left to figure everything out on my own. Recommended, but I doubt that I'll want to replay this level anytime soon." - Phil (21-Dec-2019)

"This is a Russian base theme, and it's probably the best take on it I've seen; it's full of little details and themed rooms to sell that it's somewhat of a real place. It also does a good job providing interesting geometry and lighting within the limits of the theme, and the feel of it being a place is helped further by various "backroom" areas that are more decrepit than the main sections. There's also new objects to add to the theme and enemies are modified to be a bit more challenging. There's a nice commitment to the realism of the theme, which further sells the believability, such as almost every grated surface being climbable even when it doesn't need to be used.

The readme warns that this is a complex and diffiult map (it's two, but the second is pretty short) that could take up to five hours to finish; it was only about half that for me but it's probably not too far off for a lot of people. This is definitely not an easy level, with amped up combat (although supplies are pretty generous once you get going) and a very complex layout with a lot of things to potentially overlook. In general, the clues are there to work things out (and like the visuals, there's a nice commitment to realism in how certain things work), but there's so much going on it can be easy to overlook something; I actually feel this is a level that would be enhanced by giving Lara a diary or something to give a basic clue of what the next actions were. The only thing I found unfair though was the crowbar placement, which is a bit non-standard and doesn't seem to have any hints that it's intended to be that, especially as there are similar objects near an actual crowbar door. The combat is mostly fine despite the difficulty hike, but there are some situations towards the end that basically don't seem possible without just tanking shots and huffing med-kits, and even a few bits of cover could have made that better (there's also a moment designed to be unwinnable without the Grenade Launcher, but I found a way past without it). The second map has some creative bike riding, but it's made very frustrating by a bunch of weird collision that seemed to make the main threat not getting randomly sucked into a wall or floor or stalled on invisible walls, and made it far more frustrating than it was supposed to be. It has flaws and isn't one for anyone who wants a lighter experience, but this is probably the most ambitious level of this contest so far in how much it has going on, and there are some extremely creative ideas here." - Mman (11-Dec-2019)

"Wow, I never played a level like this before. First of all, the aesthetics and the overall atmosphere were on point and a lot like the original russian section of TRC. The areas are huge and well made, but unfortunately the gameplay is suffering from it. I felt very lost a few times and I had to remember a lot of key holes and doors to proceed every time I found new puzzle items. After a while you know all the main areas, but even then it's easy to miss some things, cause there are too many possibilites to go sometimes. Like if you run a few times through a big corridor with five ways to go, it's easy to oversee one of these ways after you tried out four of them already with also big areas behind them. Also after reflecting the gameplay it was kind of linear, even if you had so many possibilites. Might have been, cause some tasks were meant to be fnished in a specific order to proceed without getting stuck somewhere, which exactly was the frustrating side of the wide-open areas - you've been to three areas and you've done only half of the tasks which are to do there, just to find out that you have to search for another area, where you find the solution to one of the areas you already were. The main gameplay was good, no question, I just wished it wasn't that cryptic sometimes. It might wouldn't have been felt cryptic if the areas were more limited, I guess. I had to look up one or two things to finish this game. For example, after I found the revolver with the lasersight I didn't know what to do with it at first. Then I found out, that I have to shoot small electricity boxes, but something so small to shoot could have been everywhere, so it was not very clear where to start searching for something. At least there was a hint in the pantry. The objects and textures were definitely fitting and all the edits to create more variety were absolutely lovely. The object and texture work was absolutely worth it and the author did a very well job on that! But I still don't understand why there are so many enemies sometimes. They are strong and a real threat in every way, which makes the gameplay more interesting and lets you really care about health and how to face a situation, but sometimes it really broke the immersion, like the room with the 10 or more gunmen. I just don't get why the author tried to force to make the game more difficult with this. Despite all the negative things I said, I really liked this game and I enjoyed the love for details the author put in it. It's definitely one of the best entries of the CaC competition. Looking forward to see more from this author and also TRC style levels in general. It took me almost 3 hours to finish it and I found one of the two secrets." - MarlenaCrystal (09-Dec-2019)

"What a game! The first level alone took more than one and a half hour to finish. My impressions about this level were mixed. At the start, as everything unfolded slowly, I thought this was a cleverly constructed and intriguing non-linear game. As the game moved on, however, it more and more turned into a shooter style level with enemies around every corner and a lot of painfully long backtracks and parts where you had no idea what to do next because it is hard to remember all not completely solved rooms. It went on like this for a while and I started to dislike this level, but thankfully, it turned better after a while and there were several quite inspired tasks like the timed run you have to prepare (or not - I eventually did it using the "long way" :) ), the water/fuel puzzle and basically all traps are used in ways seldom seen before. I also appreciated the usage of shortcuts, which helped to keep interest, and despite a few quite unfair losses of health it is possible to save most of the medipacks (I had about 20 small and five large left at the end), also because of the generous amount of ammo - but why hiding most of it in cabinets and shelves as this really takes a lot of time... The second level also was quite nice, not only how you get into it (a great moment) but also the bike tour (I could've done without the moment where you have to set Lara on fire though and sadly the sound for the bike was missing too). All in all the gameplay had many ups and downs. The enemies are strategically well placed but many, many of them are appearing out of thin air, this really could've been avoided easily. (A few less, say only half of the enemies, wouldn't be a bad idea neither.) The two secrets are well hidden, there are many more pickups that actually could've been secrets like the one in the starting area, perhaps it is a bit annoying to do long backtracks or sequences just to find ammo, but anyway. The atmosphere is really well done, rooms connect very smoothly with each other and a lot of preparation must've been gone into planning this complex architecture. Sounds are well used as well as the few cameras, and it is really nice to see several rooms in a different way in the second level. Texturing and lighting are quite decent, with only minor issues like wallpapered parts and slightly monotonous visuals (a bit more diverse lighting could've helped here) but they are of a good standard overall. All in all a game that is a valid reimagination of the TR 5 Base levels, but rather of all four of them together with its 1:45 hours of net gameplay time." - manarch2 (08-Dec-2019)

"This certainly does a great job of evoking the atmosphere and feel of the original TR5 level and is a very good debut level from a builder with obvious talent. Where it fell a bit short for me was the gameplay. OK, a base level is always going to be a bit of a shooter and that’s not my favourite genre, but this would have been better for some ‘tightening up’. It’s a long level and after a while it began to outstay its welcome, with all the backtracking. That said, there’s a lot to enjoy too, with excellent puzzles and the ending with Lara escaping the destroyed base by motorbike is both exhilarating and strangely compelling visually. I found it challenging at times and was glad to find a video walkthrough, but overall I came away feeling that this builder is going to produce some excellent future levels." - Jay (30-Nov-2019)

"This level does capture the TR5 Russian Base feeling and it does it on steroids - nothing to fault, the design is great, the entire atmosphere (even though it all becomes somewhat repetitive), I really think dinne has mastered the art of creating a truly solid level as far as first impressions go. But some levels are too clever for their own good and that's what I felt happened here. I'm not even complaining about the relative excess of utterly aggressive baddies. But the way one has to go back and forth a million times and still, most of the time, feel totally clueless as to what to do, the way in which some quite complicated steps lead to no more than just a secret (yes, I'm thinking of that banana jump, for instance) or how you expect to find something important and all you get is just some more ammo or a small medipack, the tight timed run leading to nothing special, the headaches one's sure to get from playing this absolutely cryptic level is sure to be frustrating for each and everyone. So, yes, I thought the gameplay was rather clever but simultaneously way too foogy for anyone to fully appreciate what went into crafting it. A great level by all means, I think, but of the most frustrating kind - don't count on knowing what to do because generally you'll just be running around and around and wondering if you should ditch it while, simultaneously, feeling sorry if you do." - Jorge22 (27-Nov-2019)

"Labyrinthine and grueling, but extremely clever and satisfying to play. I loved the Russian levels in TRC, and this riffs on the idea of both the base itself as well as the escape from a doomed structure. This two-part level has highs of epic proportions, including defensive combat, creative and logical puzzle solving, and a grand finale. However, it also has some low points where backtracking through the expansive corridors and crate-filled warehouses proved confusing or repetitive. While I encountered some instances of the level “opening up” as new doors or pathways appeared, I never really felt I got a handle on the layout of the entire base and wished there were more connections to open between areas. As the level continued, switches seemed to open doors further and further from their location, and the repetition of the textures and gray lighting made it difficult for me to remember where anything was. Greater variety of light or a mix of textures could have helped this. There were also times when I didn’t know something was possible, such as pulling Lara up through a railing, being able to grab the claw chain, or Lara-in-flames getting extinguished by completing a motorcycle jump: in all these instances, there was not enough information for me to guess any of these were possible, and I relied on Dogget’s video walkthrough for each of them. These were really was the *only* downsides. The gameplay itself, aside from backtracking, was really fun. As a rule, in this level, if it looks climbable, it is! (Think Assassin’s Creed). At first I was concerned about combat, since enemies cause quite a bit of damage, but the level always has a spare medipack when you need one. Between the two levels I used 29(!) medipacks, and had exactly 100 kills, which included leaving one poor drunken soldier to live. The soldiers here must really need to pass the time, since there were packs of cards and mountains of beer bottles everywhere. I enjoyed spotting the beer bottles in the bunk and Lara’s retching sound in the toilet, which made me laugh. The puzzles were brilliant, particularly the fuel puzzle, and I liked the timed run: tricky but clear what the path and goal would be. Because of the backtracking, the level took me 5 hours and 40 minutes to get through, but I definitely enjoyed it. Found both secrets too!" - Cbl (26-Nov-2019)

"I agree with Klona, finally a proper, authentic feeling Russian base level. I don't know how you did that but the "very reactive" enemies are a very nice challenge. Normally I'd be frusturated with such hard enemies but thankfully you provided enough medipacks. I wish the outside sections were a bit longer but I understand the limitations. The one thing I disliked is the amount of backtracking we needed to do. It would be better if the number was lower. Seeing the same places over and over makes one feel bored rather quickly. Although it was very linear and short, I loved the second part of the game, after the explosion. In both original TR games and TRLE's, I love revisiting the areas we've been to, but this time they are in ruins, but still recognizable. This gives me some sort of nostalgia feeling. To sum up, it really feels like one of the original TRC Russia levels. Which is the point of the competition. Keep up good work. Waiting for your future works." - Croftyboy (23-Nov-2019)

"What an impressively constructed adventure and how very gruelling at the same time. As a debut effort, this possibly was a little too overly ambitious, but what is undeniable is that the builder has put bucketloads of effort into this 135 minute long (net time anyway but it was a hell of a lot longer than that in reality) and complicated level, even if it does tend to get a bit frustrating at times. The surroundings and textures are absolutely brilliantly put together and the atmosphere emulates the respective TR5 section on possibly an even grander scale. What did prove rather annoying were the multiple guard attacks, and although enough (for me anyway) medipacks were provided, trying to preserve Lara's hide did prove to be a bit of a daunting and boring task at times, and the constant backtracking segments were also tedious. Now - negatives aside, as I mentioned previously, this is a great effort for a first, and a few of the gameplay sequences, particularly the pipe puzzle, the lighting of the oil and the resultant destruction of the base and the motorbike sequence, shows that the author has some great ideas in that department. It's probably aimed at more confident and experienced players, but a good show nonetheless." - Ryan (23-Nov-2019)

"Unfortunately, I found this debut release by dinne based off TR5's Russia levels to be incredibly tedious to play (with samey-looking architecture throughout, irritatingly constant backtracking and incredibly unfair enemy encounters that devolved into obnoxious, boring scenarios which I utterly dreaded triggering with each step taken in no time flat, greatly outlasting its welcome by the end). And while there are a few unique situations to spice up the repetitive pattern of scavenging for supplies, running down hallways and gunning down armed soldiers, it comes too little too late to redeem the mundanity you have to suffer through the vast majority of up to then. Lighting and texturing is handled about as well as expected (considering the limited colour scheme TR5's assets provide for this level type), whereas general atmosphere is slightly above average if nothing too interesting with what little enemies and objects are utilized. Overall, wouldn't really recommend unless you have the patience of a god." - Ceamonks890 (18-Nov-2019)

"In Soviet Russia, the level plays you... but despite of noticeable repetitivity and absurdly high difficulty which cost me three days of mixed feelings, I can clearly see we're dealing with a genius - the amount of setups which COULD have failed yet still worked here is outstanding... I'm gonna give dinne a credit and throw another 10 for sound because I believe samples in the final level will get fixed as soon as every bug report is delivered. A bolshoi dinne-r for advanced players - attempt it only when you're ready, and if you play the entire competition batch (which you should), pick this level near the mid-end. Steel-solid recommendations." - DJ Full (16-Nov-2019)

"FINALLY. Someone puts the Russia set from TR5 into good use! This lengthy adventure is probably the most difficult one out of all other levels in this competition That may not appeal to others, but it really does to me. The level's complex layout gives me Aldwych flashbacks! There are no shortage of puzzles here as combat is also a puzzle itself. dinne was able to make combat more than just a rinse&repeat of jumping sideways and shooting. This two-level adventure is loaded with all the action you can imagine. Hopefully we'll see more in the future, dinne?" - Klona (11-Nov-2019)
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