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Level: Create a Classic 2019 - Hostile Waters back home search
Author(s): SrDanielPonces
total rating:9.34 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Baratheon 10 10 10 9
Cbl 10 9 10 10
Ceamonks890 8 9 9 9
Chel 10 10 9 9
dinne 9 9 10 9
DJ Full 9 10 10 9
Drakan 9 10 10 9
Jason L 10 8 8 7
Jay 9 10 10 9
JesseG 9 10 10 8
Jorge22 9 9 10 9
Klona 10 10 10 10
Lara_Fox_Croft 10 10 10 10
manarch2 8 9 9 8
MarlenaCrystal 10 10 10 10
Mman 9 10 10 9
Phil 10 9 10 9
Raider99 8 10 10 10
Ryan 9 9 10 9
Talos 10 9 10 9
TheWorldlyGamer 9 9 9 10
Torry 6 7 9 8
Woops 10 10 10 10
category averages
(23 reviews)
9.17 9.39 9.70 9.09

Reviewer's comments

"This level borders on genius or insanity and should be sub titled "Don't try this at home without a walk through". I found this totally confusing with the myriad of paths to follow with insufficient clues on how to proceed so it ended up being a frustrating slog instead of an enjoyable experience. There was just too much to do and the level was just "too busy". It could and should have been simplified immensely to give the player a chance. Some aspects were inspired, such as crawling up the pipe, or breaking the rock to retrieve the key not to mention that enormous killer eel. Other aspects were just boring. I mean nothing happened in the first 20 to 30 minutes until the scuba divers showed up and by that time I was just about ready to trash the thing. I found exactly ZERO secrets but am told there are six? Some aspects were strange whilst some scenarios such as the theater came straight from the Opera House level. Graphics are decent with the ambience feeling just like the original Maria Doria level but it was dark in places. The final timed exit run (swim) was a masochistic exercise that will have you reloading time and time again as you wind your way through the depths of the ship, hopelessly trying to remember the path and the ONLY way I managed it was by finding a video walk through of the level. Without that I would be paying for my room at the insane asylum mumbling "Lara don't do it" for the rest of my days. Sorry but I did not enjoy this one at all. Tomb Raider levels do not need to be this complex." - Torry (17-Dec-2019)

"Excellent Maria Doria level, needless to say a lot more complex than the original. The atmosphere is near perfect and there's a really good balance between exploration (tough, tough), enemies (mean but doable), traps (I'm guessing there must have been a few but I can't recall, perhaps not that many) and puzzles. But the toughest part is actually exploring and I'm certain most of us have ended up doing a lot of backtracking... The run in the second part requires several tries before finally being able to escape the explosion but it's thrilling and perfectly alright once you've died a few times and finally grasped it. Complicated, yes. Rather well done, obviously. I only found one measly secret out of the 6 available." - Jorge22 (13-Dec-2019)

"This is a direct follow-up to the author semi-recent one-room challenge map, and is essentially a more ambitious take on the Maria Dora theme that level had; it's done great with a good mix between ship sections and organic underground caves, and the level (there's two, but this is another where the second is a short climax) also brings back various areas from the original Maria Dora levels, and mixes them together in a way that works. There's also many new interactions and set-pieces like moving through pipes and a crushing machine (which, along with some other things, provides a couple of new deaths too), along with new objects that add to the theme. I did feel the lighting was a bit flat occasionally; it fits the TR2 atmosphere, but I feel there could be a few more light/dark contrast, especially in the larger areas. The gameplay also makes a lot of use of unique objects and interactions, along with nicely modified enemies. There's good exploration and various puzzles mixed in, from dealing with an Eel to one that exploits the fact the ship is the wrong way up. The ending even relies somewhat of your knowledge on the original maps to finish it. The only weakpoint is that there's quite a lot of backtracking at one or two points, especially if you miss something in an area that's semi-detached from the rest of the map. An excellent set, and maybe the most classic feeling despite having some of the most radical gameplay changes." - Mman (12-Dec-2019)

"Such a masterpiece! I loved every second of it! Gameplay contains platforming, innovative puzzles and an interesting story. Also backtracking was so well made, cause you were lead by the game with music and new appearing enemies and perfect camera usage, which made it atmospheric and not boring a single second. The gameplay was indeed classic, but mixed with a lot of new stuff.. Not to mention the fantastic new animations within the cutscenes. It was so thrilling, because some deaths were so jumpscare like - the game really showed what it is able to, which raised the thrilling level and I was so tense all the time. The game itself felt really like a "game". Entertaining, classic and good gameplay, and an easy to follow storyline, which was so well told with all the cutscenes and logical puzzles. I wish there were more games like this. It took me over 2 hours to finish it and I found 3 of 6 secrets. Absolutely recommended!" - MarlenaCrystal (09-Dec-2019)

"Another quite long level, but the gameplay this time is not that complex and relying on backtracking and the like. Instead, the builder focuses on novel usages of objects and puzzles with a twist (that wheel puzzle at the end of the first level was awesome), which works much better at least for the most part. At times progression feels a bit too easy and the new ideas could've been used to create something more challenging and immersive. Anyway fluent and enjoyable throughout so quite well done. There are really dozens of new objects and also interactions with them, most of which are a nice addition. The enemies are well introduced and nicely placed (the very first encounter was a little shock), if there is something to critisize it is that there is a slight lack of variety, there are only frogmen to shoot and one moray killed in a very special way. Very cinematic flybys and great usage of sounds and cameras add a lot to the atmosphere, as well as several allusions to the original TR 2 game, but this level is not a visual masterpiece with always decent and varied but never highly impressive architecture, texturing and lighting. All in all a highly novel and creative hour long game that delivers in all aspects, resulting in it being my personal favourite of the CaC levels I've played until now. Found all six nicely hidden secrets, especially the last one was excellent." - manarch2 (09-Dec-2019)

"Gameplay&puzzles: The game was quite innovative, with some well thought puzzles, nothing impossible, even if some part are quite hards for players like me (noobs). I enjoyed the gameplay, for instance the valve puzzle was very nice. Enemies,Objets&Secrets: The enemies are quite classics, I guess they are SAS from TR4, with frogman meshes, it was nice anyway to see them on the ground. The boss was quite disappointing, because you just have to run around him and shoot like crazy, but its ok, no time for a scripted battle here, because the timer is here to remind you to hurry. Objects were very well used. Secrets were obviously well placed, and some requires a bit of searching, very cool. Atmosphere, sounds&cameras: certainly the best part of the level, it feels like TR2, but quite upgraded, with a lot of new animations, well used, the cutscenes/anims were very professional, way better than what I can do. Maybe I will contact Daniel for him to teach me how to do such good animations. Sounds and cameras were well used, they did add to the drama. Lighting&textures: Well I saw nothing bad there. To sumup, a level very well thought and executed, I'm happy to see that some builders make very good levels even with TR2 textures/objects.I recommand you to give it a try, and enjoy it. Thanks for this nice piece of work you offered us." - Lara_Fox_Croft (02-Dec-2019)

"A new adventure in the maria doria with many new interactions. There is a lot of research to do and remember all the places as it will come back. I must say that I did it twice (it's very rare) to get all the secrets. The last underwater race is quite complicated when you do not know the way, it will be necessary to remember all the places to lose no second. The first time I had to redo the fight against the boss to gain a few extra seconds. Excellent!" - Drakan (28-Nov-2019)

"This was certainly an interesting set of underwater levels. It has it all: exploration, traps, enemies, an elaborate timed run, and unique puzzles to boot. My one gameplay critique is against the large amount of backtracking required at the end of the first level, which could have been prevented with a more player-friendly layout. Decorative objects and audio are used well, and the cutscenes are quite engaging. Texturing and lighting are good. A job well done. 1 hour 53 minutes" - JesseG (23-Nov-2019)

"I love Tomb Raider 2 so I was really excited to see a boat level. The builder has created an absolutely incredible TRLE. The atmosphere was beautiful and I enjoyed swimming around exploring and finding things. I also ran into a giant eel that was a huge jumpscare haha. A very clever jumpscare that caused me terror. There's so much about this level that I have to praise and I think this builder has done a magnificent job. I absolutely loved the revamped theatre section in Living Quarters. These two levels have got brilliant added animations and clever new ways of using items. I loved how at the end of the second level I had to swim back through a flooded 40 Fathoms. Also I should add the conveyor death was just brutal haha. I was full of nostalgia all the way through the game. This level is a must play and this is among one of my favourite games in the CaC competition." - TheWorldlyGamer (20-Nov-2019)

"This was a very creative and challenging two-parter that successfully captures the atmospheric feel of TR2's Maria Doria levels whilst still being very much its own thing (with impressive in-game cutscenes which manage to tell a story without words and serve as effective transitions between sections, puzzles that can be a little too ingeniously devious for their own good and some surprisingly graphic custom death animations if Lara finds herself in a unique perilous situation that you aren't too careful avoiding among other neat little details.) General aesthetics are also very well-handled, with the lighting, texturing and object use managing to tell its own story within the level map itself (such as an opera stage you can explore or coming across schools of harmless fish swimming through the remnants of this mostly abandoned shipwreck, that Lara has to stop and kill random diving mercenaries from further desecrating along the way). Overall, a levelset well-worth playing in spite of some dull backtracking here and there. Keep up the quality work Daniel!" - Ceamonks890 (19-Nov-2019)

"I’m a big fan of ship levels and this is definitely one of the best. The atmosphere is excellent and there are some wonderful animations, especially Lara climbing a pipe early on in the game. That had me stuck for a while as it was not something she normally manages to achieve. Gameplay is varied and enjoyable, if somewhat complex in places, but luckily by the time I played it the walkthrough was available so I was glad to dip in at times. There are plenty of divers out to get Lara, but the weapon pickups are more than sufficient to deal with them. If you like ship levels, you really mustn’t miss this." - Jay (12-Nov-2019)

"This competition kind of snuck up on me, although I'm sure that many TR fans who visit other like-minded sites were eagerly awaiting the event. When I saw that influx of 18 levels I expected something like bite-sized morsels that would occupy 15 or 20 minutes of playing time, but this initial (for me) CaC download took me a whopping two and a half hours to complete, even with the assistance of Dutchy's typically complete and reliable walkthrough. We're given a heavy dose of nostalgia with a return to TR2's Underwater Ship levels. The two parts fit together seamlessly, although I spent four times as long in Part 1 as in Part 2. I was unable even to invoke the game at first, but the builder suggested that I try deleting one of the plug-ins (SAS_fix.dll). I did that, and I found that I could now play normally on my XP machine. You get a generous six secrets, all in the first part, and to complete the game you need to conquer a timed swim (which I did with about a second to spare) so you can enjoy the end credits. I see from the present ratings that this is one of the top offerings in the competition, but I'm looking forward to playing the remaining 17. High recommendations." - Phil (12-Nov-2019)

"This double-level set really succeeds admirably at recreating the atmosphere and nostalgia of the original TR2 underwater sections while presenting us with a sufficient variety of brand new scenarios to keep things fresh, as well as being a worthy sequel to this builder's One Room Challenge entry. Apart from the textures being slightly pixelated, everything surroundings- and atmosphere-wise is pretty much on point, and the addition of the customised cutscenes and animations are a definite plus point. I also nearly jumped out my skin when I saw that the scuba divers had seemingly grown to twice their normal size and were now land enemies as well as underwater enemies. On the gameplay side of things, the entertainment factor remains high throughout thanks to some nifty puzzle sequences which do demand some thought from the player, but are never unfair or frustrating to absolve. The secrets also provide some nice little side quests, although the only thing you really get is those cute dragon statuettes. The only gripe I have (and it is extremely minor) is that one of the timed runs from the main turning wheel might be a bit too difficult for some players, although it was only for a secret, so I'm not complaining too much. A truly enchanting underwater adventure." - Ryan (11-Nov-2019)

"This has to be one of the most creative levels I have played. It nails the classic look. The gameplay is only a taste of what I hope is the future of TRLE." - Klona (11-Nov-2019)

"Simply put: the perfect classic experience, mixed with NG elements: the perfect level. Everything is amazing, from the title screen, up to the last second, is perfect. never a dull moment in this game. The eel jumpscare was so amazing it had me in tears haha! I really loved it. the perfect level." - Woops (09-Nov-2019)

"Two and a half hours of awesome. This sequel level surpasses part one of the adventure and is an absolute blast to play. Those of you who loved the underwater segment of Tomb Raider II will have a great time with this level. Daniel weaves the old into the new seamlessly with just enough familiarity to evoke a strong sense of nostalgia. The new elements are an action-packed, innovative joy. The title screen flyby is worth watching to the end, and the cutscenes are nice. Excellent job on atmosphere and the further deterioration and decline of the once-proud luxury vessel as it is slowly claimed by the ocean. The metal and wood is rotting away and the local aquatic life have moved into each new flooded compartment and made it their home. Some of the new animations and custom sound effects were great, and there was a lot about this level that impressed me. Tomb Raider II textures are what they are, however! Daniel's innovation on staircases (you'll know it when you climb one) is well done. Combat was well-balanced and there are plenty of pickups available. The frogmen are some of my most-hated/most-loved adversaries. There isn't anything quite like a harpoon-laden dogfight in the water with those guys. The puzzles and exploration fall into the sweet spot of pleasantly challenging and thought-provoking without being overly taxing. I hunted out all 6 secrets, 2 of which were just evil. Won't spoil the fun for the rest of you! Happy dragon hunting! The timed swim of the second level was pretty tight, and luckily I remember the layout of those hull compartments very well, so I was able to zip through with 7 seconds on the countdown. There really isn't any time to waste when the clock starts. This open water diver really hope that Lara did her decompression stops on the way back up; that would be a serious case of the bends! I didn't encounter any of the bugs that Daniel mentioned in the Readme. Okay, that being said... when do I get to play part 3?!" - Chel (09-Nov-2019)

"An amazing adventure, with strong Maria Doria's vibes, nostalgic views and great reinterpretations, with many surprises. This level brings a lot of great custom animations and cinematic scenes. The level design is well structured, even though the game progression is pretty linear, but the explorable area is so big and various that the linearity brings literally no boredom and there are chances you don't even notice it. From the start to the end there is a smooth climax of tension, and the ending part is a whole backtracking of the original TR2 40 Fathoms, timed and risky. Enemies/traps are harmonious and progressive, even though I missed some dangerous fishes (except the moray eel). Puzzles are nice and the ones of the water pressure and of the waterskin are interesting to solve. Secrets are relatively easy to find and enjoyable. A beautiful level that is open to a wide audience, from more relaxed gamers to more advanced ones, that miss TR2. Totally recommended." - dinne (06-Nov-2019)

"This level set features a beautiful atmosphere, engaging and dynamic puzzles, surprisingly varied environments within the sunken ship, and extra polish with classic sound effects, ring inventory, and health / breath bars. SrDanielPonces expertly conjures nostalgia through the setting and textures while building entirely new environments and puzzles that make the levels feel fresh. Beginning where Maria Dorias Lost Treasure left off, “Under Siege,” is instantly engaging, with a door-by-door exploration of the ship’s cabins. I am fond of levels which include windows or viewpoints into places further along, a design style used here and reminiscent of Unfinished Business and The Lost Artifact. The caverns visible through portholes or chambers blocked by debris make the gradual opening up of the level feel like an accomplishment. This meant backtracking, but it was genuinely exciting to realize a new object could open something seen earlier. Puzzles often relied on wits and attention to context and detail, a sign of truly intelligent level design. One example is the pressure gauge puzzle, which requires consideration of exactly where Lara is. Enemies appear halfway through the first level, except for the demonic gulping eel lurking in an inconvenient alcove. While combat is never my favorite part of Tomb Raider, I was surprised to never encounter sharks or other threatening sea life while swimming around, especially because of the abundant harpoos. Pickups appeared often, although adding the automatic pistols and uzis to Lara’s arsenal took some extra exploration. Later, it was fun to blast through the frogmen, but I also missed the earlier peace and solitude. Well-placed musical cues, primarily from TR1 and TR2, aided the atmosphere. The music that plays as Lara emerges from a crawlspace into a gigantic cavern with three decks of the ship to explore was especially memorable. Music played an even larger role in the short second level, “Under Pressure,” which consisted of a few puzzles followed by a timed combat and swim to escape the collapsing ship. Here, the background track included new themes that perfectly ramped up the “pressure” of Lara’s escape, and sped up as the timer ticked down. While I enjoyed the level immensely, I think it was at its best when showing off its large environments, careful exploration, and puzzle-solving. In addition to a few more underwater enemies, I would have liked to see other parts of the ship not present in the original TR2. I loved the sections that were upside-down, but what if some of the ship were perpendicular? The various instruction papers could also have been more legible. The only bugs I encountered had to do with the new stair objects and the ascent/descent in a pipe between a dry room and a water room. I occasionally sank into the stair objects, which caused Lara to slide across the floor before being released. In the case of the pipe, Lara got stuck swimming in the wall above it and I had to reload. Apart from these, the new animations and cutscenes were great: I loved Lara’s initial ascent up a pipe to enter the ship. My final critique is of the timed-swim escape. While the music made it exciting, the swim’s environment itself was not especially interesting, consisting of large rusty hallways and many shattered wooden crates. I think it would have been fun to see more variety here, perhaps catching glimpses of the level’s previous locations. A memorable, beautiful level that I’m looking forward to revisiting in order to find all the secrets. The wonderful traversal of the undersea environments and solving the smart puzzles provided a great sense of achievement. 3 hours to complete both levels, found 3/6 secrets." - Cbl (06-Nov-2019)

"A very talented TRLE author here. In this game we explore in more detail the old sunken Maria Doria ship with some interesting gameplay stuff like the fact that you need to break a rock which has incrusted inside a key that later we're going to need, or some cool puzzles like waterskin one. We should also mention some really well done animations with cutscenes like the one at the very beginning when Lara goes inside a rusty pipe! This was a really good level, with great ideas and an actual decent length (I beated it in almost 2h) so... Congrats to SrDanielPoncess for this Create a Classic TRLE, I really enjoyed it and probably going to replay it soon :D" - Jason L (06-Nov-2019)

"I haven't played the prequel to this level, however the builder did show us nicely what it was through the title level as well with intro cutscene. Set directly after the events of Maria Doria's lost treasure, you have to find a way to escape the wreck and return to the surface. The gameplay is filled with some nice innovative ideas, immersive cutscenes and creative puzzles. However, even with all of that, the gameplay did feel a bit straightforward and not engaging enough through the whole playthrough. It lacked some more platforming or a few timed runs thrown here and there to force players to be a bit more responsive and faster and get even more immersed thorough some action. In every other department the level excels, it has nicely implemented enemies (without sound or AI issues, plus a cutscene announcing their appearance!), nicely hidden secrets, nicely put and lit objects. The level as a whole was really immersive and the builder captured the isolation & claustrophobic feel of the level fantastically. I highly recommend this level to any fan of TR2 and as I've heard, there might a continuation within these series of levels and I'm very much looking forward to them as with each release this builder shows more and more promise and keeps getting better!" - Raider99 (06-Nov-2019)

"Since I was a child I wanted to explore the cabins of the Maria Doria (the original Living Quarters are no cabins, the only visible "living" area is the old theater), and finally we can explore other areas and decks of the ship (including some reserved crew only areas), complete with exquisitely new objects in lowpoly and beyond! Lara can interact with different objects collected to make her way, returning to areas of the ship already visited in TR2 (the Ballroom, the Tea Room and the indoor pool Dressing room present in the Wreck of the Maria Doria; the Theatre, part of the decks present in the Living Areas)and visiting new areas looks like the cabins. Unlike the remake levels, this time we really return aboard the mysterious wreck, which is starting to collapse on itself, sinking into the depths. The gameplay is to say the least original, complete with heart-throb racing and some amazing actions. I would have preferred the face of Tomb Raider II's Lara instead of the TRIV face, but it's irrelevant. If you love the Maria Doria' set levels, playing it is a duty." - Talos (06-Nov-2019)

"Hostile Waters is the epitome of classic Tomb Raider. Aesthetically, absolute perfection. THIS is classic through and through. Starting with the fantastic title screen (great logo), to the interactive game-play (advanced and new, but still classic), the stunning cut-scenes (incredible animations and camera work) and attention to the detail (the elevator shaft, the huge chasm) and sound (that eel death noise) make this one of the best levels I have ever played. A gripe? Not enough effort put into the lighting & a few areas through-out. But still, highly HIGHLY recommend." - Baratheon (06-Nov-2019)

"It's a work of art to tweak with everything but still maintain the classic (f)eel, and the ending just blew my mind. Also it's refreshing to not stumble upon secrets without extra attention (not saying easy secrets are bad though). My only gripe is the inaccessible deck cameo, I got so disappointed I will actually include it in my own level (hopefully released in 20 years or so). Possibly the best classic Doria so far - dive in and don't do Daniel a denial..." - DJ Full (05-Nov-2019)
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