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Level: Create a Classic 2019 - Vacation of the Tomb Raider back home search
Author(s): AgentXP
total rating:9.61 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Cbl 10 9 9 9
Ceamonks890 9 9 9 9
Chel 9 10 9 9
DJ Full 10 10 10 10
Drakan 9 10 10 10
Feder 10 10 10 10
Jay 9 9 10 10
JesseG 9 10 10 10
Jorge22 9 10 10 10
manarch2 8 8 9 10
MarlenaCrystal 9 10 9 10
Mman 10 10 10 10
Phil 9 10 9 10
Raider99 9 10 10 10
Ryan 10 10 10 10
ShadowZia 10 10 10 10
The Snarky Lesbian 10 9 10 10
Tolle87 10 9 10 10
Torry 9 9 10 10
Wiseajak89 10 10 10 10
Woops 9 9 10 10
Zuxuna 9 9 9 10
category averages
(22 reviews)
9.36 9.55 9.68 9.86

Reviewer's comments

"This level has one of the uniquest Egyptian settings I've seen so far. As much as Egyptian theme is loved by the fans and builders as well, in this case it turned out to be something quite different highlighting one of the greatest things in TR, the isolation you feel while exploring. The gameplay had a really nice flow from the beginning until the end and while it felt a bit linear at some parts having to find one path to open another, it was built quite creatively I wasn't even bothered by it that much. The whole level progressed nicely, you start with something easier, calm and it gets a bit more challenging as you're getting near the end. I have no complaints other than not liking all Lara sounds mixed because of the consistency and few small texture issues which are forgivable when compared to the whole scale of the level and how much effort was put into building this place. It really did feel like a vacation where you can put guns aside except when using for puzzles proving they have much more use as that other than just shooting enemies which wasn't a major part of this level at all. Highly recommended!" - Raider99 (01-Jan-2020)

"Some vacation. Lara starts off in a beautiful resort setting reminiscent of the Greece BtB competition, but then she starts exploring tombs and the like before winding up at a dismal area that reminded me of Staticon's early levels. In between there are many things to do and many hurdles to clear. And finally we have a stationary compass where E is E and W is W (although this is also true of Rome Streets Mystery, but I forgot to mention it in my earlier review). We've come to expect nothing but excellence from AgentXP, and that's certainly true of this level. I spent about an hour and a half here, which is just about right when you apply the 2 x manarch2 rule. Dutchy has provided his typically thorough walkthrough, and the gameplay isn't that difficult once you know what to do and when to do it. The interplay with the professor near the end was amusing, but I have to say that I would also be concerned if someone came into my study shooting out windows, burning things, tossing grenades and opening doors without permission. The ambiance, particularly in the early going, is nothing short of superb. High recommendations." - Phil (19-Dec-2019)

"I quite enjoyed this level. It had a story line (so often missing in custom levels), a beginning and a plausible ending. The raiding was not overly difficult and there are sufficient in game hints to allow the player to proceed without getting hopelessly lost. The course you follow bordered on the "too busy" level design but not quite so it maintained the mystique of a genuine raid. I did get stuck a couple of times but with some careful thought and a good reconnoiter I generally was on my way again without too much time being lost (only needed the walk through on one or two occasions). My only issue really was the overuse of those swinging baskets you needed to shoot but this is a minor issue. I loved the interaction between Lara and the Professor and Lara's voice over was well done (thank you AgentXP). I would have loved to see a little more platforming to genuinely call this a classic raid. Graphics were grand." - Torry (18-Dec-2019)

"I am one that is difficult to amaze & intrigue, But I must say that this is one of the most intriguing level of CAC I've played. The atmosphere, sounds, colors & designs were fantastic. Puzzles gave a Tomb Raider feel for me, which is something really important as a player for the love of The Tomb Raider game itself. The level was well balanced , meaning not to hard not too easy. A good length of gaming. The structure & details just led me to explore & enjoy the level longer then just jumping into game-play. Surroundings were breath-taken. I look forward on future levels." - ShadowZia (13-Dec-2019)

"There are really a couple of exquisite levels in this competitions which are a feast for the eyes and also good fun to play. This level in particular surprises with a completely new look and feel to it although textures and most (?) objects are taken from the original games. Everything concerning the visual side of things is really great, with professional lighting and texturing (I only spot one single texturing error in the pool), believable architecture and a great atmosphere overall. The twist in the story adds to the experience, and in general gameplay is quite good, being nicely varied between traps, exploration and puzzles. I found that this level was a bit too much of a vacation, in that sense that many parts of the level are quite easy and when there is a moment where more careful exploration had been needed, there is too often a clue like Lara looking in the right direction and the like. Enemies play a minor role in this level and there is an overdose of ammo for them, but their placement was quite fitting and made sense every time. The seven secrets are rewarding (too rewarding actually given all that ammo you never need) but fairly easy to find, only one or two are not that hard to miss. All in all this 45 minute game is highly recommended for the outstanding scenery and also some good raiding." - manarch2 (13-Dec-2019)

"This mainly uses the Cairo/Citadel textures, but in a completely different way to create a lush resort setting; Cordoba from Reign of Chaos is the closest equivalent I can think of, and this is up there with that in quality (although on a smaller scale) despite having harsher limits. The resort, underground ruins and darker elements are all great looking and create something very original with classic materials. There's also a nice integration of a storyline and progression with a major twist just when it seems like it's ending. Gameplay isn't too difficult, but it offers multiple fun challenges and some creative object use. It also progresses well with a serene start giving way to more dangerous combat and puzzles in the second half, and manages to explore interesting ideas without lingering on them too long. This has a decent chance of being my favourite entry, and it has very few issues while also being creative with it's theme (if not necessarily very "classic" visually)." - Mman (11-Dec-2019)

"Definitely one of the better entries of the Create A Classic Competition 2019. Levels of this author always contain stunning texture work, a good choice of objects, and you can clearly see, that there has been put a lot of effort in the atmosphere and ambience. Everything always seems so polished and coherent and it is the same with this level. Gameplay could have been a little bit more various, cause it felt monotonous sometimes, but there were some really cool gameplay ideas though and there was also a little storytelling, which lead to kind of a "twist" in the middle of the game and then the scenery was suddenly changing within the level. That was pretty stunning and thrilling. It took me over an hour to finish it and I found 6 of 7 secrets. Recommended!" - MarlenaCrystal (09-Dec-2019)

"Huge alert: if you get to the coastal ruins part and decide to swim to your right, the level will come to an end, full stop with stats and all, and you'll be left wondering "Is this it?" even though not necessarily having a stroke. So, just don't go there. Unless you're curious about it. Anyway, very enjoyable level and truly in what the Create a Classic mood is, maybe, supposed to be. I think I was kind of reminiscing the Cordoba levels in the first part, before reaching the cathedral. Then, you have lots to do there before heading for Cairo (my favourite part, not too demanding, not even the usually dreaded automatic machine gun) and its funny dialogues and comments from the professor and get back to the now basically destroyed underground cathedral to solve the mess you created. Good, fitting atmosphere and rather player-friendly (Lara even thinks a lot of useful out loud thoughts for everyone to hear), a delight to play." - Jorge22 (29-Nov-2019)

"Flawless tightrope between "just enough details" and "OMG my eyes". She sees colors like a bee sees flowers, knows them all but still manages them for tasty honey. And this is both a visual gem and full smooth story like only a few. I'm brief cause migraine, I may elaborate but she knows what I mean better than I word. Play this good stuff and owaaa my head, let me think don't break yet.." - DJ Full (28-Nov-2019)

"Pretty Difficult level with a lot of decorative objects. The puzzles are not always simple and you have to think of looking everywhere for targets. The level is well built, well textured and illuminated, it is beautiful aesthetically. Unfortunately, I do not understand enough English and voiceovers are not very useful to me. Not my favorite of agentxp but recommended for beauty." - Drakan (28-Nov-2019)

"When I picked up the rose, a little sadness came to me as I thought the game would end. But to my surprise, it was just getting started! The beautiful and relaxing coastal complex turned into dark haunted streets, with much more action, giving the player a chance to use all the fire power adquired along the way. There are very few Cairo custom levels, but this one was able to capture the real City of the Dead essence. It's amazing how many scenarios fit into this fulfilling adventure, a real jewel of classic raiding that brings back the best parts of Tomb Raider 4. Found all the secrets, and they were nicely hidden." - Feder (27-Nov-2019)

"With a plot that echoes The Last Revelation in miniature, this level uses nothing but classic textures but manages to evoke a completely new kind of environment. The textures are a mix of Lost Artifact, Last Revelation, and Chronicles Rome (and likely other levels), adding up to a far cheerier seaside Middle Eastern atmosphere than anything that appeared in the official games. The level’s nicely designed puzzles usually come with sets of four: four fountains, four flames to light, and four switches to throw by matching up the right symbolic sequence (I understood where to find the symbols, but the location of the translation was much more difficult to see). While I appreciated the textures, and the dramatic change in lighting that occurs midway through the level, there were also times when the mix of textures and colored lights looked busy or overwhelming with the many different patterns and styles. However, I did like the vivid blue water and the striking golden spikes in the otherwise dark tomb. Architecture was a standout, with both beautiful and functional buildings, and logically placed switches and keyholes that helped the level flow well. Excellent puzzles, especially the timed shooting in the tomb. Cutscenes move the plot along, and I thought Lara’s dialogue with the player, and the funny statements from Lara’s companion, really helped make the game feel polished. Sounds did not always play at the right pitch, with Lara’s voice going too low or too high, and I wasn’t fond of the dampened pistol shorts or Lara’s grunts or shriek which sounded as if they came from later Tomb Raider games. Combat was not the focus here, but when it was present, enemies could be easily dispatched with the loads of revolver ammo and grenades, maybe too easily for the combat to be enjoyable. I especially liked that sometimes enemies appeared suddenly: one instance made me jump! I spent about an hour and a half playing, found 5/7 secrets." - Cbl (27-Nov-2019)

"A fantastic level that mixes "coastal ruins" vibes with "city of the dead". Gameplay is a good balance of exploration, traps, combat, and a couple of puzzles, mostly with the torch. There is a little backtracking required but it is small enough to not be detrimental to the experience. The cutscenes are used well, and camera shots help show off the beauty of the level. I appreciate the extra attention to detail shown by the professor reacting to Lara's rather destructive antics. The texturing and lighting are wonderful. I found it compelling how much the change in lighting conveyed the shift of the atmosphere after the rose was picked up. This raid plays quite smoothly and is recommended for all raiders. 1 hour 29 minutes." - JesseG (25-Nov-2019)

"This was a delightfully entertaining experience from beginning to end that utilizes a variety of assets to craft an incredibly immersive level with beautiful use of lighting, texturing and objects throughout which serve to create an effective sense of atmosphere alongside the creative liberties taken with the brain-taxing gameplay on offer. Having several outfit variants available to select at the start to choose from, was also a nice touch. The voiceovers for Lara and the Professor (portrayed by AgentXP and DJ Full accordingly) were also very believable sounding, providing commentary that can be both appreciatively insightful and charmingly chuckleworthy as Lara continues to stubbornly stick to her usual principles, in spite of the Professor fearing the world will fall to Armageddon yet again on account of her reckless actions. But in saying that though, I felt as if the level events of the second half were wrapped up a little too quickly and could have gone on a little longer to emphasize the impact of Lara's actions. However, I understand there's only so much which can be done in a short timeframe for a contest. And if my biggest complaint is that the level simply ends, that ultimately says a lot about the overall quality AgentXP has been able to achieve here. So in conclusion, I highly recommend this release to anyone looking for a more laid-back, enjoyable raid." - Ceamonks890 (18-Nov-2019)

"Another lovely adventure by Agent . Great lighting and textures , beautiful scenery and a story with a twist . The texture pack used is one of the least popular ones so that's a big plus in my books . Voice acting was great and with great humor here and there . Great job , here's to the next one :)" - Zuxuna (15-Nov-2019)

"What a wonderful experience this was. There's a wonderful, smooth flow to the whole thing and despite the fact that there's a lot of ground to cover and tasks to accomplish at one given time, I never felt like I was unnecessarily confused or left in the dark about what the builder wanted me to do first. Yes, there may be a bit of backtracking to do, but nothing at all annoying and you are always kept entertained throughout. At least for me, the gameplay never ran out of steam. The neat touches here are too numerous to explain so I'll just mention that Lara's text hints were useful to avoid being stuck in the proverbial mud, the cutscenes with the Professor were funny (and you even elicit annoyed comments from him if you hang around too long or destroy his property) and the sudden change to a darker atmosphere when Lara took the Golden Rose and unleashed mayhem upon the city was brilliantly done. Unlike others, I didn't mind too much that there seemed to be an awful lot of supplies lying around. Better safe than sorry, I say. The surroundings were also sumptuous and a joy to look at. I really didn't want this one to end, which is probably the highest compliment I can give." - Ryan (13-Nov-2019)

"This is my first venture into the Create a Classic levels as I just fancied a nice relaxing trip to the seaside. Yeah, right! So, fair enough, you’re not going to get any R&R, but you are going to be treated to a cracking adventure. It’s beautifully made with a great mix of ‘It’s a Madhouse’ and ‘City of the Dead’ vibes. It’s enemy free until very near the end, when suddenly you get quite a lot thrown at you, but by then you should have amassed quite a handy arsenal. The gameplay is terrific – traps, puzzles, agility tests, some nifty torchwork etc., plus some humorous conversation when Lara meets up with the professor. I also have to say that not only is Agent XP an excellent builder, she also does a very credible Lara voiceover. Highly recommended." - Jay (12-Nov-2019)

"Oh man I really loved this level. I pushed it away for quite a bit because I wanted to do all the other colorful levels first, but then pushed it in anyway. And man what a tasty little treat it was. Everything in this level flowed nicely. The riddles not expecting a huge amount of moon logic to complete, no custom objects that had me running around like a headless chicken for 20 minutes and beautiful stunning vistas, even a good story flow and extra elements such as voice acting.
At no point in this level did I get too stuck, or felt like I wasn't being challenged enough, which to me is great balance to hit, and I'm absolutely euphoric to report that, since it is so damn rare to see. This level neatly puts in story elements as well, that are started in the level, where they have an impact on the level itself, and are then subsequently resolved to a satisfying resolution. There was never a time when I did not enjoy myself and it's ingenuity.
The only area where I did not award the full score was in the pickup and enemy department. Oh don't get me wrong, there is a bucketload of pickups and an ample amount of fitting and working enemies (so still a high score). But the pickup to enemy ratio is still very skewed. In the first half of the level I was very surprised what I was getting all those medkits and ammo for, as I had not seen a single enemy. And once enemies actually showed up I was so overgeared that they did not create even ounce of a challenge. The only inkling of an action challenge I had at the very end, where I had really low HP cause I was too proud to use a single med kit this level. Whether or not that is an issue for someone is probably down to subjective perspectives though. What is more weird, is the use of a very special gun at the end, that Lara comments on being usable to get rid of the wooden barriers. However the wooden barriers were also destroyable with the shotgun I found, so having that other weapon as a Metroidvania-esque element of gated progression did not work out as much. However since the shotgun was acquired fairly late as well and the idea is so great to gate off earlier parts of the level I cannot but be in awe at the idea and usage. To have a key in the form of a weapon is great and creative. So all in all I would consider this level close to a must-play just for how damn well it flows, plays and looks. And that you wander out as rich mogule of pickups? Ahh that is okay. Also special thanks for the extra voice line warning around that tree. That could have been a giant element of frustration, but you kept it from being one with a simple voice line!" - The Snarky Lesbian (09-Nov-2019)

"Yet another perfect level in this competition. I did not expect to be disappointed and I sure am not. Agent did an amazing job. definitely my go-to classic level from now on! Thank you for making this awesome level! :D" - Woops (09-Nov-2019)

"Great fun. AgentXP gives us a Mediterranean romp filled with all manner of puzzles and exploring. The pace of this raid is nice and leisurely, and the atmosphere is a lovely coastal location with patios, pools, seaside caves and a subterranean citadel. Combat is very light, and munitions are plentiful if time is taken to find all 7 secrets. There's target shooting a-plenty, a clever switch puzzle and enough platforming to keep things interesting. For me the difficulty was moderate. Didn't become stuck or frustrated at any point. The puzzles and flow of the gameplay hit the sweet spot of not easy but not a level that can be played carelessly. Eyes open! Loved the locations of some of the keys and the tasks required to reach them. Cosmetically, the level looks great from start to finish. Textures, lighting and scenery are all on point. The added cutscenes and voiceovers were a very nice touch, and done well. There is a bit of backtracking near the end, but XP switches things up so it isn't a hum-drum slog. I spent a solid two hours with this one and enjoyed every moment of it. Definitely worth your time, especially if you're dealing with the cold weather blues and want a nice beachy diversion." - Chel (08-Nov-2019)

"Well what can i say, Agent never ceases to amaze me with her levels. Another build to perfection level. Very well lit and textured. Level difficulty was not hard but not simple. Voice acting was brilliant and had a tint of humour! Play this level guys you will not be dissapointed!" - Wiseajak89 (07-Nov-2019)

"After playing this beauty, I have no doubt that nobody can recreate and retell classic TR stories better than AgentXP (just wait for her next Greece level). There are many areas where I just had to stop and admire the surroundings. We have three separate areas, each with its own TR4 vibes. Lovely coastal environment with nearby palace, followed by classic tomb raiding inside the crypt with some booby traps and lever puzzles (the only obscure moment in the game, just like it was obscure in the game it's based on). After you pick up the rose and release some ancient evil, then just like in TR4 you seek help from an old friend. The difference is that instead of boring Jean Yves, here we have professor DJ Full with his hilarious reactions to your optional destruction of his office (No, you can't shoot him :( ). Enemies are logically placed in the areas they belong to, so you can really feel the difference between chilled and dangerous areas of the game. My only real complaint is that Agent has been too generous with ammo and medipacks. I completed the game both during beta testing and post-release without using a single medipack and with lots and lots of ammo. Atmosphere, sound, cameras.....Well, if you played some of Agent's levels before, you know what you can expect in that area, just sit back and enjoy all these lovely flybys. All in all, this level really has everything. Great storyline, great feel of going through an old familiar adventure in the new suit, lovely looks, great tasks and last but not the least the privilege and honor to visit Dj Full's bathroom. Wonderfull work, definitely a must-play." - Tolle87 (06-Nov-2019)
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