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Level: BtB2020 - The Beheaded Mountain back home search
Author(s): BtB 2020
total rating:9.28 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Adrian 10 10 9 9
Allicya 10 10 7 7
BlackWolfTR 10 10 10 10
carolinux 7 9 10 10
eRIC 8 8 9 9
Feder 9 10 10 10
Jay 10 10 10 10
Jorge22 9 10 10 10
Jose 7 8 8 9
manarch2 8 8 9 9
MigMarado 9 10 10 10
nad 10 10 10 9
Phil 8 9 9 10
Ryan 9 10 10 10
Topixtor 9 9 10 8
Treeble 9 10 10 10
category averages
(16 reviews)
8.88 9.44 9.44 9.38

Reviewer's comments

"I loved this level! BtB2020 starting very well! I would definitely get rid of the statuette search on a fully explored monastery, really unnecessary. There was also a couple of moments where the level was really slow paced, only because the way through was a little too disguised, in my opinion. (Why, oh why should Lara have to "circle back" at the start!?) All of that falls away in face of the sheer beauty and well thought-out storytelling. Congratulations! Truly amazing." - MigMarado (08-Jul-2020)

"What an epic way to open up the BtB-Tibet series. I found myself wandering around aimlessly rather often, but even that didn't bother me as the environments are so gorgeous to look at and my first take is that this is going to be a standard throughout all levels. Anyway, here we set off on quite a few quests but for the most part it's set in a beautiful monastery inhabited by five monks, and I absolutely loved seeing the story progress here (even Lara being invited for dinner) through on-screen text prompts. After she solves the main riddle, five mischievous statues play hide and seek, which felt a bit like padding but, like I said, I wasn't bothered running through all the rooms again, and then we enter the catacombs for the final showdown and finally claiming the artefact. Beautiful, brilliant and fun. 130 minutes, 1 secret. 06/20" - Treeble (06-Jul-2020)

"This level really has a fantastic overall storyline (I can forgive that it's a bit cheesy at times) and the whole atmosphere is exceptionally well done. Only at the start the architecture is a bit weak with strangely flat cave walls and rather functional geometry but latest after entering the garden to the monastery the level becomes really beautiful with excellent texturing and lighting as well as sounds and cameras. The gameplay is not heavily puzzle based, there are several fetch quests like finding the monk with the key or finding five Buddhas that hid themselves (!) in the monastery (a hilarious moment), not all of which are so remarkable. Still the overall progression and how the storyline evolves is something rarely seen in other levels. I also liked the torch puzzle (with at least one avoidable backtrack though) and the pushable puzzle as well as the navigation through the landscape which is ofter harder to figure out rather than actually doing it. The finale is something you have to see and overall I had nice 75 minutes in this level with all seven secrets found." - manarch2 (03-Jul-2020)

"Not the kind of gameplay I like; even when there are not hard tasks, and I liked the torches quest, I suffered enough backtracking to get annoying, between the monastery and the river areas, and exploring again all the monastery looking for the 5 buddhas; I had to rearrange the four blocks puzzle 'cause I did it thinking about the direction of the red needle of the compass and the doors never opened; also there are several situations after doing some tasks where I got totally disoriented not knowing where to go 'cause the absence of cameras and/or hints, forcing me to re-explore the same areas several times. I liked some special efects like in the final battle with the two bosses, but I think the texts on screen were excessive for a single level. Anyway, another good creation from this contest worth to play and with a good history. Enjoyable." - Jose (02-Jul-2020)

"This level, my first in this year's BtB competition, didn't get off to a good start. I became frustrated early on with all those inaccessible slopes, and when I got to the sliding surfaces at the top of the canyon I was tempted to bin the damn thing. But I stuck with it and finally reached the monastery area, where things took a dramatic turn for the better. I still had a couple of hours of gaming time ahead of me, but that was time well spent navigating the colorful environs while savoring the variety of tasks required to complete the level. Dutchy's exhaustive walkthrough was indispensable toward this end, although I could have done without the game-delaying chitchat between Lara and assorted denizens, ostensibly for the purpose of laying down the "story line" in which I have little interest. Just the facts, m'am, or in this case, just the next move is all I really care about. An auspicious debut from my standpoint, and I'm happy to have 15 levels still to play in the competition." - Phil (02-Jul-2020)

"This level consists of some icy parts, some Tibetan catacombs and a multi-storey monastery. I liked exploring the monastery and solving the elaborate torch puzzle. The atmosphere in the monastery is immersive. The pink trees and fireflies were so lovely. There's also some RPG elements where Lara talks to and even eats with the monks. I also enjoyed the last boss battle. I think the level starts off unremarkable in a snowy area, where you have to solve a slope puzzle, which is not my cup of tea, especially right off the bat, but it becomes more interesting later on, even though it contains some backtracking. It also showcases Lara's new ledge related moves nicely." - carolinux (01-Jul-2020)

"I got a little frustrated at the start of this level trying to get the pick-axe, but after I got to the monastery this was turned into an excellent, challenging and very enjoyable level with a good torch problem, good story line and interaction with characters (even lunch was thrown in). Perhaps a tad too much backtracking, but a very well thought out level. Secrets tricky and didn't quite get them all - but definitely worth replaying to try to find the ones I missed." - Adrian (28-Jun-2020)

"For no particular reason, I'm continuing my general practice of playing this year's BtB offerings in numerical order and if the net length of Beheaded Mountain (141 minutes, no less!) is indicative of the length of the other entries, then I'm in for a raiding expedition and then some. The competition gets off to a brilliant start here. The surroundings are evocative, mystical and greatly atmospheric, the storyline is neatly carried through the entire level via the whole business with the pickaxe and the various interactions with the monks. The sequence with the missing Buddha statues was also executed masterfully. Were it not for a tad too much backtracking (although some welcome shortcuts open up to offset the retracing of steps) and a bit of slowdown in the main monastery area (I decided to keep the second category at a 10 due to the striking construction), it would have been a four tenner, hands down. Still, it's highly recommended and a surefire contender for a podium position." - Ryan (28-Jun-2020)

"It did not began very well as the starting place does not look like a real place and the following caves look more real still a bit blocky , but all the rest of the level is beautiful, i especially liked the inside of the monastery. Lighting is quite pleasant through and through. The level is rather peaceful and is mostly based on searching trying to connect the dots for a few easy puzzles, and only a few places with more action. A very competently made level with great scripting and use of the monks, but globally not quite my type of raiding , too many dialogues to endure and too much back and fro for me on the same path with the torch puzzle ; later the search for the buddha statuettes although happily easy and restricted to the monastery area does not add much to the level. To avoid possible confusion with the fine movable object puzzle , just place the object on the red tile in the North using the compass, and then use only the hint for the other objects , not the compass. I largely prefered the sections that you visit faster : the area with the quick/sinking snow (beautiful area here) or the top of the monastery/cave/roofs. There is not many enemies but you get two bosses in a row , not very hard and it's a good thing. A nice level for some type of players." - eRIC (28-Jun-2020)

"This was my entry into the BtB2020 and what can I say, I was thrilled. Although the level starts quite unspectacularly in the mountains. But right at the beginning you have a tricky task to master, namely to get the pickaxe. Here I also realized that we often have to overcome the slopes of the mountains, which I didn't find that bad at all. After the mountain tour, however, the LB shows his true ability. We landed in a very beautiful landscape and Lara had a lot of tasks to do. The torch action alone was a class of its own. But also the other actions were very well thought out and the puzzles were tricky. The music and the lighting are very well used and also otherwise this level leaves nothing to be desired. Very recommendable." - nad (26-Jun-2020)

"I must say the first impression wasn't that good on this one, with some wallpapered and awkward texturing and some end-of-the-world spots paired with a needlessy long backtracking right at the start, but the more I palyed the more it got better, with extra-inventive gameplay using every little place to test something new (like the slippery ice at the start) and huge, awe inspiring areas, with a great variety of settings even when the whole level is set in a single mountain, organically built to be linked and feel like a real place. Still, this was not perfect: light cracks, wallpapered texturing in the bigger areas and some awkward and visual choiches really are forcing me to downgrade the last category to an 8... I missed 3 secrets and I really need to replay because all the ones I found were nice, even if the final battles are totally doable with just the pistols and the little uzi ammo you find in the preceding rooms. Speaking about combat... yeah, you guessed it: there wasn't much of it until the boss fights; however, this time... it actually worked; I didn't feel like I missed a yeti there or a a mercenary here, every enemy was perfect and totally needed where it was and nowhere else; still, some more leopards/spiders and maybe an eagle in the starting area would have been nice but the balance was there. Now, while the storyline is nicely proposed and integrated in the gameplay, the monks "escorting" Lara to the catacombs entrance after you went there at least 3-4 times was a bit jarring, and some forced gameplay detours like the invisible wall in the starting area preventing you from reaching the pickaxe without doing the whole path and an invisible barrier preventing you from grabbing an edge from where you could have jumped up in the monastery were unceonvenient and silly looking; so I also must say there was a fair amount of backtracking, with the bigger problem being the torch puzzle where you have to repeat the same task of tossing the torch in a crawlspace to gather it from the (far) other side for two times, possibly three if you want a secret... that was definitely too much, but all the original gameplay makes up for that, and it even made me asking for more. So, from having lunch with the monks to discovering long forgotten secrets in the catacombs, this is a level that surely has everything, so something for everyone. Definitely a must play, and I hope to see other (maybe more polished) works from the author!" - Topixtor (25-Jun-2020)

"This level does not disappoint as the first entry. It begins in some snowy mountains and Lara take her descent into a big beautiful cave with some monasteries inside. The gameplay is very good, fluid and creative and i don't have any complains in that matter. Objects enemies and secrets are very well used, i loved all the interactions with other characters with some legend dialogues. Sound and cameras are very nice used to compose the atmosphere and mood of the level. I think the only recommendation i would give here is for the author to care a little bit more about differences about atmosphere of colder and warmer areas. I felt that the overall composition didn't help to contrast this kind of areas. The only thing that make the top of the mountain atmosphere from inner caves different were mostly textures and the use of snow falling from the sky. The whole level has this kind of yellow (?) ambience lighting that not always pass the cold top mountain feeling. Textures were well applied but as the atmosphere i think texturing + lighting is not just about applying everything well, but to think about the composition of it too. I think all the level has this yellow kind of illumination which is nice to warmer areas but it feels a little bit off in the mountain in the beginning for example. Texturing composition felt a bit off sometimes. Some textures on ceiling that i think that made me feel they should be applied on the floor and so on... I already began some other levels to be sure it is not some pack limitation but i think the scenery compositions in this one have less appeal to me than some other levels, specially in outside or big cave area. Geometry is well done but sometimes can be too boxy in some areas. I found some wrong rotated textures too (one in the icy mountain near the beginning of the level for example). I think the strongest scenarios of this level are the monasteries and indoor areas (in these places everything was perfect), so for next levels i think the author should pay more attention to natural scenery since indoor and construction were perfectly done. Contrast between environments too. Loved the final battle to get the orb, very creative." - Allicya (22-Jun-2020)

"I must say the BtB competition gets off to a cracking start with this level. The storyline is intelligent and coherent and I loved elements such as Lara losing her pickaxe near the start of the game and eventually being reunited with it towards the end. I also much appreciated the various shortcuts that opened up during the game, so that any backtracking required never became at all annoying. The gameplay is also very well rounded and at a difficulty level that should suit most players. The superb B2B package has been put to very effective use and everything looks wonderful. Above all, I greatly enjoyed Lara’s interaction with the monks. Impossible to fault this one really, so I won’t!" - Jay (20-Jun-2020)

"First level I played in this BTB competition, and a great start already! This is a very atmospheric adventure that evolves from freezing mountain caves, to a beautiful monastery, and finally a small trip to the catacombs. Quite an immersive storyline as well, every detail was thought carefully by the author. Gameplay consists in all sorts of tasks in a very creative way (like eating dinner with the monks), and a couple of puzzles to be solved. Still, some of them require a fare share of backtracking through the same places more than once. Battles are on the easy side, as the level is more focused on exploration and treasure hunts, despite a few boss fights at the end to use the moderate firepower you might have gathered from the secrets. I'm happy to see the BTB competition return with this potential! Been there 2 hours, got 5/7 secrets." - Feder (18-Jun-2020)

"Beautiful sceneries, coupled with a good atmosphere throughout and a storyline. Quite ingenious, puzzle and exploration-based. Almost a peaceful level if you forget the odd little spiders, the occasional snow leopards and the final couple of bosses who aren't so tough after all. The first part is unforgettable in the exploration department - quite puzzling too. I only found one measly secret, but then again I wanted to get on with the adventure. Basically faultless (and player-friendly in ways) except for all the backtracking involved (unless you already know what you're doing) and the final head-shaking earthquake idea - luckily you seem to be given all the time in the world to escape that area. Still, that's where the 9 in gameplay (not puzzles) comes from. Globally speaking, very enjoyable." - Jorge22 (17-Jun-2020)

"What an excellent level! Gameplay was great! There were a lot of puzzles, collecting various items and fighting the boss. The whole story contained in this level is very interesting. Sometimes there were also various talks with monks. The architecture of this level is great! I just fell in love with a monastery. Much was done in it, it was very nicely done. And its atmosphere was wonderful, you could feel real Tibet! I also liked the fact that in the monastery such typical Tibetan music was playing which I love. ! In general, all ambient were nice. The Caves section was also awesome, they have really nice atmosphere! The whole level was very nicely textured and lighted. Level took me 2 hours and 16 minutes. I got 2/7 secrets. I definitely recommend this level! Thanks!" - BlackWolfTR (15-Jun-2020)
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