trle.net
Level: BtB2020 - The Forgotten Sealed Masks back home search
Author(s): BtB 2020
total rating:9.44 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Allicya 9 9 10 10
eRIC 8 9 9 9
Jose 10 10 10 10
nad 9 9 9 8
Relic Hunter 9 9 10 10
Ryan 10 10 10 10
Topixtor 9 8 9 10
Treeble 10 10 10 10
category averages
(8 reviews)
9.25 9.25 9.63 9.63

Reviewer's comments

"This is absolutely magnificent! From the very first cutscene with Lara needing to light her campfire by exploring the mountains and caves below, you know that this is going to be something rather different and believe me, you won't be disappointed. It's truly astounding how much gameplay can be packed into a single TR4 file, but this builder manages to accomplish that task brilliantly. I'm no builder, but even I know that's no mean feat. It certainly makes a change having a level's storyline told in five different parts, but the execution is remarkable. Although the gameplay is complicated throughout, it always remains player friendly and enjoyable along the way, and you are presented with subtle hints and tips at intervals when you pick up a necessary artefact or interact with the locals. It would be difficult to choose a gameplay highlight as there are many, but the time puzzle in the village was creative, the trap passages challenging but doable and the way the torch is utilised brilliantly executed. The architecture, texturing and atmosphere is absolutely stunning and awe-inspiring and once you enter the monks building to seek shelter from the storm and see them meditating without a care in the world, you'll appreciate the true magnitude of this offering. This has been an excellent competition so far, and it's a bit disheartening to see that I only have three levels remaining. It's going to be difficult to pick a definite winner with so many great contenders, but this is undoubtedly up there with the best." - Ryan (08-Jul-2020)

"Astonishing. Quite honestly I find myself at a loss for words with this level. The very first room had me sucked in, with Lara needing to light up her basecamp at night on top of a mountain as cold wind blows, and from then on it gets more and more magical. At times it felt a bit contrived and somewhat claustrophobic, but when I remind myself that all that we see here is contained within a single .tr4 file, I can't help but feel dumbfounded. The storyline also plays out nicely with each of the five segments having amazing intros and outros, plenty of fun sidequests and lots of challenges to overcome. You really get the most you possibly could here, and on top of all that there were two rooms which come straight from Catacombs of the Talion and I loved them. When it starts to pour and you walk into a temple where all monks are singing a prayer you can tell just how much care went into crafting this, and as a result I'm sure we're looking at a timeless masterpiece, and with good reason. Hats off to the builder and as soon as I discover who built this one, I'll definitely set up a new raidlist to make sure I play all of their offerings. 120 minutes, 3 secrets. 06/20" - Treeble (06-Jul-2020)

"This adventure is one level divided into five chapters, each presenting a new scenario that plays off every previous scenario played. It's rare in custom levels to have a story portrayed within the gameplay itself and not rely on separate cutscenes or a text file, so the fact that each chapter here is one part of a larger tale had me hooked from the beginning. Part one has Lara searching for fire through ice caves and the catacombs of a buried monastery so she and her yak can survive the night and Tibet's fierce icy winds. Exploration, light puzzle solving, trap evading and taking out the local fauna comprise the gameplay, and it finishes things off with a unique timed component to the lit torch, as the torch can only stay lit so long before the winds blow it out. Part two deviates from part one with a new path opened up on the mountain, and her descent through the mountain catacombs have her contend with platforming through ice pillars in large rooms, evading boulders, and evading spikes. Things cap off here with the ringing of a gong, releasing another mask spirit, shattering an ice floor and even getting pushed into it! This bridges into part three, where Lara loses her guns from the fall and survival elements come into play. A walk through a yeti prison and a creative way of disposing them opens things up, and further light platforming and puzzle solving leads to a ghostly ritual that releases another mask spirit and shatters an ice floor providing passage into the next part. Part four ends Lara's journey through the mountain caverns as she emerges in a Tibetan village. This part was more exploration and puzzle focused. The village itself was visually inviting with its residential areas, a lake temple, and a second temple up the hills. The gameplay in this part has the village inhabitants offering Lara side-quests to do for them in order to open up the village further. The "time" puzzle for one of the puzzle items was a neat idea, and the sequence and placement of puzzle items logically flowed together. Doing these quests takes Lara to the final mask spirit, hidden in a flooded cavern with submerged Tibetan temples, one with traps and another with a statue rotation puzzle. Thankfully the builder was merciful in providing well spaced areas to breathe despite all the water. With the final spirit released and escaping the collapsing temple cavern, the final part takes place in the village at night. Lara plunders a congregation of monks to open the lake temple, where it seems the spirits task Lara with defeating the angry demigod that imprisoned them and his cronies. The battle was short for me as I was armed to the teeth from managing to locate the secrets, but I still thought it is a climactic conclusion to the adventure. In an epilogue sequence, Lara gets a prayer wheel as thanks from the spirits for her trouble, she gets to take a nap in the village, and prepares to leave the next day. The presentation of the story was top-notch along with the graphics and area design, making each chapter feel unique. The misses for me were with the pressure plate puzzle in part one as it wasn't very clear that there were pressure plates to begin with, and the beginning of part four with a scripted event that overall had little impact in the grander scheme of things. Despite that, this entry was a fantastic adventure that gripped me from start to finish. A must play!" - Relic Hunter (28-Jun-2020)

"This story is told in five chapters. And that's how the game is structured. There are five parts which are more or less long. After a camping night, where Lara first has to light the campfire, she sets out to find the path to a hidden Tibetan village, where after an unspectacular boss fight, the game ends with a very nicely done ending sequence. The tasks Lara has to master are partly quite exhausting, but very well done, like the action with the jump plates, or the swimming actions in the flooded village. I did not expect this but I was pleasantly surprised that LB comes up with this idea to flood a village. In the first parts the game is very dark, but this changes in the village. All in all a successful Tibet level with innovative ideas and not too easy tasks. Very recommendable." - nad (26-Jun-2020)

"This level really has a very impressful atmosphere. In the beggining i was already quite impressed that the mountain looked like a real mountain for the level editor standards. The challenges and how the objects were handled felt very next gen and the builder shows attention for detail in the building ( i liked very much the effect in Laras feet when she runs over snow or gravel). The gameplay feels kind of linear and it is very good extructured in this way. Cutscenes and legends are well placed and i felt like i was really in a expedition throughout tibet in this one.I just expected the "final battle" to be more epic after the great adventure (perhaps more magic in the final arena would have been good, or simply more contrast to the rest of the level. Loved it and recommend it to everyone!" - Allicya (26-Jun-2020)

"A long level presenting as a level set , sectionned in 5 chapters more or less short. This concept is rather a good thing here as the sections are different. The first chapter is the one i liked the most , the beginning with Lara standing on the top of a high mountain is quite original and well done. The level is beautiful all along with well made lighting. When progressing through the chapters , i noticed the varied gameplay , and i also noticed that some of the new possibilities of scripting were a bit gratuitous, i mean they are sometimes used for the effect and show only and not for the storyline or gameplay fun (a good example of that is the rocks knocking out Lara and then she stands up again). Also the stalactites used to climb or monkey swing look very unrealistic and Lara could set a rope on fire without having torch or fire, maybe it was a glitch here. These are small details , for the level is well built , play well , is beautiful and has some very good ideas." - eRIC (25-Jun-2020)

"Really a very good adventure builded by a professional author, full of cool features and animations. Very very long, but not complex, the gameplay is very good and addictive, usually with enough hints so the player always have where to go or something to do. Only a couple of "buts": many rooms are too dark, and I was forced to increase the bright and the gamma of my graphics card; and the heavy guns appeared too late (I got only 3 secrets), and I was forced to fight with many enemies only with the pistols. Anyway an excellent adventure you can't miss; it will be on the podium of this contest. Highly recommended." - Jose (18-Jun-2020)

"I want to try to actually play and review all of BtB levels this year, guessing the authors when I can, and I already know I will not make it (at least in time) but whatever; that's the first one I picked and I'm really happy about that, it was a perfect introduction to the whole set and ambience of the competition: first off, textures and the bump mapping effects throught all the level(s) did leave me astonished - of course, that may be 'cause it was the first level and everything was new, but it really was top quality in my opinion. Settings were diverse: horizons, lighting and general ambience changed completely with the level jumps (my favourite was the village under the sunrise) and all of them looked so natural and well-applied. Storytelling and hints for players were top notch too, guiding the player but also leaving the usual Tomb Raider-like mistery around everything that happened, activating the player's imagination. While I did not find all secrets, I had enough ammo for the final battle so that was ok, even too much for my taste; speaking about combat, surely enemies were not many but very well used, like the yetis when Lara loses her weapons. I also liked how it basically changed from classic TR to a more AoD-styled city quest in the latter parts, giving the game a fresh feeling since it was pretty long. As I said, basically evrything about atmosphere, from music to cameras, was top tier, and all of that did enhance the inventive gameplay ofter revolving around bells, unusual ways to untrigger traps, and long underwater sections (I LOVED how, for once, the traps in a flooded place looked NERFED instead of BUFFED from the water, a lot more realistic). The beginning on the mountain was really well constructed and I liked the "Catacombs of the Talion" reference area. The village looks overwhelming at first but after a bit it becomes interconnected and a nice break from the dangerous adventure. So, why not full score? Aside from minor mistakes, well, areas where very nice and big, but sometimes that made them feel too empty with just one or two things to do and little to no pickups hidden around; other rooms looked just a bit off, or "random", expecially some underwater ones in order to give Lara some space to breathe, and sometimes I felt everything was too guided and easy. I would have liked some more enemies here and there, and I found one wrong texture in the raining village but it's not a matter of losing points compared to the brillance and gameplay originality of everything else. Very Good job, keep it up." - Topixtor (18-Jun-2020)
back home search