Level: Return to the Trench back home search
Author(s): Will Gell
total rating:7.86 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
CC 9 7 8 8
Cuqui 9 8 9 9
Dimpfelmoser 8 8 8 8
Duncan 8 7 8 7
Emeritus 9 9 9 9
Fairy Godfather 9 8 9 8
G.Croft 8 8 7 7
Gerty 8 8 8 8
Jay 8 7 8 7
Jose 7 7 7 7
Kristina 7 8 8 8
MichaelP 9 7 8 7
Orbit Dream 8 7 8 8
Phil 8 9 7 7
RaiderGirl 8 8 9 8
Ryan 8 8 8 7
Sash 7 8 8 8
Sheevah 9 8 9 9
Tombaholic 7 7 7 7
Treeble 6 7 7 7
Whistle 8 8 8 8
category averages
(21 reviews)
8.00 7.71 8.00 7.71

Reviewer's comments

"This is a definite improvement over the original level, in terms of gameplay. The tasks are nicely varied with a nice mixture of timed runs, traps, item quests and puzzles and while there's still a lot of running around dark underground tunnels, it is at least decreased over the original and it might be a tiny bit lighter this time. The demigod battles were enjoyable and not tedious thanks to the large amounts of ammo you find. The brilliant bike ride, running over loads of guards without mercy rounds up this enjoyable level." - Ryan (16-Nov-2017)

"It may be a reworking of the original Trench level by this builder, but, unless my memory is getting even worse, most of the action is new and an improvement on the first one. It's a longer level for one thing and the gameplay is diverse and enjoyable, with some good traps and agility tests. Enemies are quite well used - demigods, mummies etc., and motorbike riding is always acceptable, especially when you get to run over some enemies. Good fun." - Jay (21-Sep-2016)

"Another egyptian level but this time very large, with huge areas and a lot of tasks to do. There are very bright outside areas and very dark cave areas. Some interesting puzzles and a lot of enemies to shoot but nothing special. The best for me was the final ride with the bike killing dozens of enemies in my way :D. Musics are good too. Not much more to say about; not difficult to play but you'll have to explore a lot." - José (12-Jul-2008)

"Even though it's been ages since I last played a level in this series, let alone the original level, I still found a lot of the areas to be rather familiar. The level starts out in a bright outside city environment and then leads into the underground, where most of the action happens. The outside is rather flawed, however, with several untextured spots and a few places from where you can reach the end of the world. Down under, there was a 4-lever switch puzzle that ended up being trial and error, but I managed to get through. Later on when you get to the casket you have four quick quests which will involve a few block pushing, some platforming, and lots of spikes. The usage of the bike is NOT restricted, and I ended up driving over the sandy hills and down into the two openings in the ground, but I could not take it out of there later when I needed it so I had to enable the flycheat to clear the huge gap past the double doors. Even though there's no way to clear the gap on foot, the hallways always offer a slope and huge steps should you be on foot. I liked the cameras though. 60 minutes, 4 secrets. 04/08" - Treeble (05-Apr-2008)

“My first experience with this author was the Skull of Dunelie and it made me want to play his other levels. This one starts in a outside village and descends into a classic tomb environment. The puzzles and traps are clever but not exceedingly difficult so this level is a lot of fun to play. Like some others I had the game freeze during the final bike run and never got to finish.” – Duncan (09-May-2004)

“In the general scheme of things this was very good indeed. But in terms of comparisons with Will's other levels I felt that it left a little to be desired. The first third of the adventure was definitely amusing; however not only could the 'end of the world' be reached all too easily but there was a mass of untextured areas which really spoilt the atmosphere. The second third was spent inside a Temple and this (despite containing some really fine 'thinking' puzzles) ultimately did little more for me than slow up the fast pace. The final third (actually in terms of time taken more of a 'fifth') was a fun getaway on the bike which provided for a cracking finale but also helped to accentuate the slow pace of the middle section. Throughout despite the designers sterling efforts to create a plethora of 'wow' moments I felt that the atmosphere was not quite there (there was none of the awe which his previous level engendered in me); the camera work was occasionally helpful often missing altogether (usually when it was needed most); and the frustration factor cut in a few too many times for me (thus destroying the smooth flow of the gameplay). A great achievement nonetheless by anyone's standards and definitely well worth playing.” – Orbit Dream (11-Oct-2003)

“I really loved this level. Lara has slid out of the temple into the village. Very convincing baked-mud houses that you'd expect to see in a hot country. I had a great time climbing and jumping about the sand piles nothing there but good fun to roam around. The village has jeeps and lots of SAS and you go looking for the keys to that bike. The bike ride itself is very good over the gap through dirt roads and careful at the end or you could crash hard into the trench. Yes we're back where we started and those guys have done a lot more digging. A little into the temple and I was fascinated by that 4 switch puzzle to alter the heights of the blocks outside. I also liked the statue+fire room with the slopes and trigger pads. This took me a while to figure out. And I liked the room with spike floor where you have to shimmy around the walls. Get the bike and drive it through the underground system killing guards as you go. I don't know how the level ended as the screen froze at a particular place each time I tried it.” – CC (19-Aug-2003)

“Will Gell's levels were among the first I played after learning how to navigate my way through the level editor. One big reason I selected them was because he had provided walkthroughs; at the time I had little confidence in my ability to find my way on my own so the added incentive of a security blanket was very helpful. My memory of the first six levels are fuzzy but pleasant and I've just now gotten around to playing the seventh level in the series (prompted by the recent release of number eight which is getting the highest ratings of them all). Return to the Trench is a fairly short straightforward effort that's fun without being overly taxing. I had to get off the bike every now and then in that underground maze near the end just to get my bearings but that was just a minor annoyance. It was fun to be able to run over a bunch of baddies without having to dismount and shoot them. (Must be the latent road rage in me.) All in all a very pleasant diversion and I'm looking forward to playing the eighth installment.” – Phil (27-Jul-2003)

“I don’t know if this level is connected with the first but it has a catacomb setting. Wandering outside at first and finding the key to get the bike we get transferred underground and begin the exploration. Ninjas SAS guards mummies bats and scorpions are our enemies along with some spike traps and quite a few timed runs. It’s gloomy most of the time with cartouches and hands to find in rooms with spikes statues that need to be moved over fires and many other tasks to complete. The bike is used again to escape the underground and go through the outside double doors to end the level. I enjoyed every single level from Will and I recommend them all.” – Kristina (25-Jul-2003)

“This was the last level of Will I had to play and it was a grand finale. It is not however my favorite one. Again most of the level is underground but this time also not so dark and in case there were plenty of flares to find. More enemies as well and a bike to ride even I could manage. Some missing textures and some parts are from The Trench level itself. Finding two cartouche and two Hands so you finally can take the bike and hit the finishing trigger. Of course there are timed runs and timed puzzles and even I could manage those. Found 3 secrets so I must have missed one. 26-05-2003” – Gerty (26-May-2003)

“Although there are some familiar rooms and puzzles if you've already played the first level in this series don't worry about this being just another remake. Most of the level is new and it's nice to go back and see all the work that has been done on the trench in your absence. There's a nice city to explore at the beginning and a motorcycle that will take you back to the excavation site for some further exploration. More timed doors of course as well as mummies soldiers and tricky jumps make getting through that last set of doors a true test of your skills. Is this Lara's last adventure? or will she ever come back?” – RaiderGirl (22-Jan-2003)

“A very good level with excellent gameplay. I enjoyed these timed runs clever puzzles and had much fun riding the motorbike through the underground area. It was a nice experience.” – Cuqui (18-Nov-2002)

“This was one of the very first levels I played and 9 months ago I thought it was underrated. Now that I have more experience I detected a few flaws along the way and the setting doesn't really impress me as much as it used to but overall it's good clean TR fun with a great variety of tasks and a nice storyline that starts and ends over ground while most of the puzzles and timed runs are located deep down under the desert sand. By Will's standard there is an abundance of enemies but if you bother to go for the secrets you have enough ammunition to deal with all of them. I liked the camera angles that you get in the little city as you know I'm a sucker for timed runs and I thought most of the puzzles were rather clever. Irritaningly enough my screen freezes after I opened (what I take to be) the last two double doors which prevents me from riding the motorbike into the sunset. Bummer.” – Dimpfelmoser (22-Sep-2002)

“If you’ve played ‘The Trench’ you are going to see that almost all of the time spent underground is exactly the same besides a few new and very interesting areas but what could you expect from a level that returns you to a pre-existing level. The external areas though are much different and you find yourself in a little town built inside an extended area of the trench where many SAS prowl and you get to ride a motorbike. Taking me an hour to play with 4 secrets found this was a nice return to the trench I just wish a little less of the original had been reproduced here.” – Sash (21-Jun-2002)

“So this completed Will’s series and quite unfortunately also his level building carrer. Quite a highlight with the nice reminiscing factor of giving you the feeling that you have been there before. The ‘prequel’ in the little village with the bike is fun although the ‘end of the world’ problem and actually some missing textures surprised me. The variety of enemies is bigger here with ninjas SAS bats scorpions mummies and demigods but somehow did not work too well for me in adding to the atmosphere and progression. I found only two secrets but the one with the timed run was very satisfying to get. Speaking of which there are quite a few timed sequences here but all well manageable. So if you ask me go and Return to the Trench to find the two cartouches and the two hands and get back out and ride the bike one last time waving good-bye to Will.” – Michael (21-Jun-2002)

“Explore a network of underground tombs and tunnels solving some puzzles and finding 4 secrets.” – Tombaholic (21-Jun-2002)

“I’ll say it again: Will is the master of timed runs but this time not quite as hard as some of the ones he has done before. You start this level in a village where you have to find the motorbike. Then you go down into an underground excavation site where you have to solve a lot of puzzles and manage those timed runs. When you have opened the main doors you return to the bike for a final ride through the village before you end.” – G.Croft (21-Jun-2002)

“A very good level from Will. Half an hour in a village looking for a motorbike to ride round a bottomless pit to the main area of play. Then underground for a series of ingenious puzzles timed runs and demigods finally returning to the surface. I was wondering where I had left the motorcycle before going underground but Will had left me a climb to the top just in case. Finally a motorcycle ride through dark tunnels and back through the village to the end.” – Fairy Godfather (21-Jun-2002)

“Starts as a typical Egyptian level running round adobe type buildings shooting the odd SAS guy. One or two puzzles to solve-point to note it took me two visits to the upper room to splat the SAS guy and get the key-1st time he was not there. Once you get at the motorbike off you go to hunt around and find the entrance to the under ground sections. Things start to hot up and become more interesting jumping swimming and climbing to a variety of traps and switches. Ends with a run through caverns on the bike trying to crush all who get in the way (walls as well). A good level to play with no really difficult areas but plenty to do and make you think. The texture and lighting etc are what you would expect from this type of level.” – Whistle (21-Jun-2002)

“Best level of Will Gell!” – Sheevah (21-Jun-2002)

“Will is one of my favorites and I think he is a little bit underrated” – Emeritus (21-Jun-2002)
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