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Level: Dark Skies 1 - City Streets back home search
Author(s): justin
total rating:7.97 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Akcy 6 8 8 8
Bex 9 9 10 10
Boris 8 8 8 9
CC 7 7 8 7
Cuqui 9 9 10 10
Dimpfelmoser 6 7 9 8
Dougsan 7 7 8 8
eRIC 8 9 9 8
eTux 8 9 9 9
G.Croft 8 7 9 9
Gerty 7 8 8 7
Jason 8 8 8 8
Jay 8 8 8 8
Jose 8 8 8 8
Kristina 7 7 8 8
Lady Lara 8 9 9 8
Leeth 4 6 5 5
LePerk 9 10 10 10
MichaelP 8 8 8 7
Nomad 7 7 9 8
Orbit Dream 8 8 9 8
Phil 9 9 10 10
RaiderGirl 9 8 9 10
Samu 8 7 7 7
Sash 7 7 8 7
Torry 8 8 9 9
Treeble 8 8 9 8
Tune Razor 7 7 8 7
Zhyttya 6 6 5 5
category averages
(29 reviews)
7.59 7.83 8.38 8.07

Reviewer's comments

"It was rather nice to play this level again after all the intervening years and to find it still an enjoyable experience. I generally like city levels and the atmosphere in this one is good. It's not a long game, but does of course represent the start of a series. You get to explore a bit, shoot some guards, dogs and scorpions (?), plus a short car ride which takes you into part two. I look forward to reacquainting myself with the other levels." - Jay (14-Mar-2017)

"I was disappointed with city streets. The author always finds creative puzzles to add to his levels, and there is most of the times a unique feature which is very good among many generic levels. This level is not actually an exception but I was expecting more out of the gameplay as it had some issues in it. I restarted the level a couple of times because I entered a couple areas prematurely and could not return back to the main streets, for me this means bad level design especially if there is no way you could guess. Without the porsche (nicely designed by the way!) you can get stuck permanently in some areas. Especially you need to bring it with you everywhere to the ending area but you get the idea at that point. Gameplay also consists around hopping through the streets without any goal in sight, and some puzzles like blowing up the tv are a bit obscure (thanks to the feelings of frustration, I would never think to shoot the tv). It could be better, but it is still a good level." - Nomad (14-Dec-2016)

"I could blindly say this is a Justin level. Because the way you can solve things is just random. Shooting a random TV in a random room opens a random door. Another lovely detail is that you can go to an area on foot that you should only be able to go with the car,so you go in and explore and get what you need but you can never go out! So you just have an older save if you're lucky or just start from scratch. Another beautiful thing its a jump you have to do in a fire place that is more broken than i can ever imagine a fire hitbox can be. Even if the level is a nice place to stay and the textures are well used. the level design it self spoils it a bit (and the gun sound doesn't help). The car was pretty, the secret was easier to find than the random TV in a room and scorpions "house" were a nice touch. Over all a nice level but there are so much details that failed on the gameplay that I couldn't enjoy the level or have fun on it" - Leeth (13-Jan-2016)

"The last experience i had with a series of justin didn't end well. I'm hoping Dark Skies will change my overall thoughts on the author's levels. I did enjoy a part of this level, i liked how the game play turn out (good puzzle design). There are, of course, things that made the level less enjoyable for me. To start off justin's levels always tend to be dark, but in the bad way...a way that forces you to use a flare almost every time and this level wasn't different. Some triggers were just non logical like shooting a TV will open a garage (previously seen on the Atlantis series as well). To finish off there's a really bad situation that can occur: there's this place where it's mandatory to go with the Porsche, but you can actually walk yourself into that place...it turned out to be impossible to leave without the car. Was forced to load a previous save and repeat a bunch of stuff. So...in general it was good enough but it just doesn't reach that level of enjoyment that i like to taste in games." - Zhyttya (13-Jan-2016)

"The city is not very big, but there are a lot of tasks to do before finish the level. It's by night, with many dark places, and the lonely pack of flares was not enough for me. I found ammo for the uzis but I couldn't find them. There are not camera shots for the secrets, so they're not easy to find. Not a difficult level, but try to shoot some objects if you don't want get stucked. Enemies are only soldiers, scorpions and dogs, but well placed. I liked some fixed cameras in certain places which give a professional touch. An entertainig level." - Jose (18-Nov-2008)

"There's a wide and pretty nice looking city area in the beginning of this level and I think it's a very good starting place for the adventure. Overally the whole level looks much better than the first level of author. The environment looks still pretty simple and unrealistic to my taste but on the other hand it's very unique so I don't no whether it's a minus side or plus side. The gameplay and puzzles are quite good in this level. You have to explore a lot and I think that TV and painting that you have to shoot with your guns are very nice additions. Driving a porche was also really fun and I truly liked this level." - Samu (21-Mar-2007)

Nice lighting and textures, including Lara's, but that already introduced in Tutorial City. Although the building textures were a bit too much at about the last pit. Gameplay isn't that special, finding levers, open doors, shooting soldiers and a few scorpions and dogs, but it's only the first level, so I guess it's still just warming up. The main attraction of the level is undoubtedly the Porsche. At first glance I would have said it's a Beetle convertible, but since Herr Porsche designed that too, it's not much of a difference; I really liked it! Driving on roofs was fun. Let's go on and find those artifacts. - Akcy (20-Jun-2005)

“If you like exploring dark untidy urban streets then this is a rather good level. The playing area is quite compact but a degree of backtracking is necessary although it never becomes an irritant in this case. The level is cluttered with detail (perhaps a little too much) and I was never fully convinced that Lara was in an authentic city (the texturing is rather too enthusiastic for that) but the atmosphere is still quite immersive and some moments manage to be really entertaining (the Porsche sequences; the 'from below' monkeyswing). There was one nasty moment when you could get completely stuck by managing a jump that wasn't supposed to happen at that point (the Porsche was needed for it); but nevertheless the adventure was quite gripping and fast paced with a degree of zestfulness in the construction not normally encountered in dark City adventures of this type. Give it a go.” – Orbit Dream (08-Dec-2004)

“Good puzzles to solve in gloomy London streets and buildings with debris everywhere where dogs SAS and scorpions are roaming. Spooky atmosphere guaranteed new weapons and cool sound for the lasers (pistols). The secret with the manhole in the street was a very good idea. What I did not like is the game crashing in the room where Lara finds the yellow key when trying to escape by the door. I could however continue the level by returning by the crawlspace. A ride with a retextured car (that car works like a 2CV) to end the level.” – eRIC (01-Sep-2003)

“This is a great level a must play. It has a great look it’s a city and you can tell it’s a city. The lighting is fantastic it looks dark but you wont need any flares. The weapons are great the unlimited lasers make more sense then unlimited pistols. The Porsche is fun some complain about the jeep sound but it’s not that bad. I like doing donuts at the intersections. Some levels look good but have bad gameplay others have good gameplay but don’t look very ordinary. This level has both. The puzzles are logical (TV and pendulum shooting aside) you'll search around for what to do next but you always feel your making progress.” – LePerk (02-Jun-2003)

“I just love the Porsche! And near the end of this city-level you get to drive it! Before that you have to search this gloomy city by night to find keys and a keycard to access the buildings around so that you can put your hands on the keys for the Porsche. The buildings are guarded by SAS men and dogs. It isn’t a very hard level but it is fun!” – G.Croft (10-May-2003)

“I have been waiting a long time to get this level and finally was able to play it 24 April 2003. It was worth the wait. The textures of windows and walls of the building are a bit like a patchwork quilt but who cares there are plenty of well placed objects and the layout of the streets is very convincing. Loved the parked limousines and what looks like cameras on try-pods. Somebody important in town? Well whoever they are they are seriously heavy smokers! Lara has lasers now (a.k.a. pistols) and I loved the sound of them. Does this mean I'll be meeting alien lifeforms in the later levels? You need keys that are hard to see usually on desks where you'd expect to find keys not thrown on the floor. It never would have occurred to me to shoot the TVs until I read the walkthrough and it was a little hard to swallow that doing this triggered something else. In a mostly logical level this was illogical. I liked the idea of the open manhole and the very convincing crane with swinging ball makes you feel you are really there. Look down it's scary. Very well done. Gameplay is not difficult it just requires you to keep a sharp lookout for things and in this level the pick-ups are in realistic places. Good fun if short and recommended if you like city levels. Driving off to play City Ruins now in style in my trusty pink Porsche.” – CC (27-Apr-2003)

“Justin has a wonderful eye for detail even if he tends to like to hide too much of his nice work in the darkness! The detail in this city level is quite impressive - though as with most city levels the scale is way off. This tends to bother me but no one else comments about it so I chalk it up to a personal quirk and never subtract points for it. The Porsche is a very nice touch though it should really have had the sound of a Porsche and not that of a tired Jeep (nit picking!). The only major complaint I have about the level is the lack of continuity. I never knew where I was supposed to go. I liked the level and found it to have a challenge or two but the state of confusion turned me off. Still I do recommend the level. Again well done Justin.” – Dougsan (23-Apr-2003)

“A darkish level that Lara has to search the city streets. She will find key cards keys and a plug. The SAS guards scorpions and dogs will try to slow her down but that’s just the usual stuff Lara faces every day. By crawling a little climbing a little and shooting the boxes she will find her way to ammo health and switches that will reveal other areas to explore. Most importantly the key to the Porsche and the car itself. Driving around the deep pits she uses the last key to open the exit for this level and the entrance to the next. Don't forget to take the Porsche with you to the next level it's essential to the game. Forty minutes of fun and one secret found.” – Kristina (12-Mar-2003)

“As I couldn’t get the Tutorial City started (it throws me back to my desktop every time) so the next on my list was City Streets. Nice little city and with some back and forward running luckily this city is not that big so it is kind of easy to follow the gameplay. Getting keys a card and desert eagle and the laser sight is a must. I wondered why Lara could get on a balcony and why apparently there wasn’t anything to do for her. Well look again as there is a reason for everything in this level. I felt sorry for the dog being locked up in the tiny bathroom. For those who want to play this: the saved game must have Lara in the car so after visiting the building go back to the car and drive it into the alley (as I found out a bit too late that this was the solution). 01-01-2003” – Gerty (05-Jan-2003)

“Once more a great job by Justin. Not too hard but it's a level for a good time. Atmosphere is perfect and secrets very well placed. I had a lot of fun driving the Porsche. Let's go to the next...” – Cuqui (29-Dec-2002)

“A great level enjoyed every minute of the 45 I spent in it. Loved the placement of secrets of which I found 3 and the ride with the Porshe was great from the start till the beautiful camera guided end. The level is rather easy to replay so don't worry if you suddenly get stuck and save in an area you can't get out of (for example you can get inside the room you're supposed to access with the Porshe by foot and can't get out or if you fall into the deep pits with the Porshe or the usual way and don't die). A nice city level recommended even for those who don't like city levels so much.” – eTux (01-Sep-2002)

“Incredible! This is a fantastic level and for me far better than anything in the 'Atlantis' series (and that's good as well). I normally really dislike 'City' levels because generally I find them to be too dark and/or boring. Not so here. The gloomy atmosphere is perfect and there are absolutely loads of tasks to complete. Some of these tasks are not particularly obvious (like shooting TV's for example). But I think that this is a good thing - it's nice to see a change from the norm. Secrets are really well-placed and there are just enough enemies to keep Lara on her toes mainly SAS guards and dogs. The highlight for me was driving the Porsche through the windows. All in all the best fun I've had with a custom level in ages. I'm trying very hard to find something not to like about City Streets but I'm sorry to disappoint everyone - I can't think of a single thing. Big thumbs up from me.” – Bex (22-Aug-2002)

“The first in this series you find yourself in a city street with buildings all around that need to be searched so that you can access a Porsche and make your exit. For Justin’s levels this is quite a short one at 35 minutes and not physically as challenging as his others with you just needing to find some keys and a card as well as shoot some not so obvious objects to open doors as well as give entry to the 3 well placed secrets. The atmosphere of the environment was very ominous which I loved and the sound the new laser guns which replace the pistols made was just brilliant and made blowing the SAS to kingdom come a much more enjoyable thing to do. In the end though I would have preferred a little more diverse gameplay in this level but seeing this is only the first I am sure that Justin will progress the series beyond what this one held. Don’t forget to keep a savegame for Dark Skies 2.” – Sash (21-Jun-2002)

“Well the atmosphere of a dark and gloomy City Street intersection is very well captured but it is not really my favorite layout and I guess that's why my rating is a little lower than it could have been. I really liked the small touches in this 45 minutes level: the radar trap the shootable TVs the stretch-limos scorpions crawling out of their shells the rats (especially when you chase them away from the Porsche). Gameplay is a lot of exploring and finding and using keys with an occasional nice twist (make sure you closely inspect all the desks). Enemies are mainly SAS scorpions and a few dogs. Three secrets to find if you do a little backtracking. The Porsche (redesigned Jeep) is kind of cool but you actually only use it to cross over and back to one area and then run into the next level. I hope there is more use for it there - onwards to the City Ruins...” – Michael (21-Jun-2002)

“Another worthwhile installment from Justin but this one had me bamboozled quite a few times. Hint: don't watch TV while you're playing this. The Porsche was a nice idea but it sure had a crappy motor lol. Also liked the idea of Lara with her trademark glasses.” – Torry (21-Jun-2002)

“A good level but not one of the better one’s by Justin. You have to find in a dark city some objects various keys access cards fuses and a Porsche (!) I think and escape across a bright ray of light. There is some novelty as break televisions and pictures to open doors and some targets to strike. Texture and lighting is good and gameplay of middle difficulty. I have ended the level in about 1 hour finding two of the three secrets to disposition.” – Boris (21-Jun-2002)

“Nice one! This level is a must play for those players that like city levels. It is dark but you can see what you are doing on most parts of the level. It took me around 1:15 hours to finish it (being 15 minutes only having fun driving in circles that Porsche!). Lara uses a custom cool outfit and the WAD has good objects - including a drivable Porsche that I have to say is incredible! But gameplay is mostly on take this key open that door take another key... I think Justin is doing another great work!” – Treeble (21-Jun-2002)

“This is probably my favorite level of Justin’s so far - no timed doors! In fact nothing really hard at all but I had a lot of fun running around finding keys figuring out how to open doors and just exploring! The entire level is set in one city block but there are lots of buildings to explore including balconies basements air ducts and rooms such as offices kitchens etc. I love the small touches Justin adds to his levels - the TV's microwaves cigarette packs rats running around in the sewers - just little things that make the level more realistic looking. There were few enemies to get in your way only a few soldiers and a stray dog and I was expecting to find a few raptors and hoping to see the huge T-Rex on the rooftop. If you're ever unable to find a key - just make sure you shoot everything and search on every desktop. I found three secrets and plenty of pickups otherwise your mainly looking for keys including a new yellow one. I don't usually like city levels as they can be too dark but I had no problems getting around here without flares plus the city just looks great and the camera angles are used well to make the level even more exciting. Plus you get to drive a really cool Porsche through a set of glass windows. For a good time download this level!” – RaiderGirl (21-Jun-2002)

“This level follows on from ‘Tutorial city’. No really difficult puzzles to deal with. I did like the little touches like the packet of Marlborough cigarettes. Finally you get to drive a Porsche; well it looks like one but sounds like it has a diesel engine under the hood. You finish the level with the Porsche and take it into the next level.” – Jason (21-Jun-2002)

“This is the second installment of a new series by the imaginative and versatile Justin. This series has the look and feel of the TRIII London levels: Dark and moody but not to the extent that you can't find your way around and see what you're doing. City Streets has a perfect blend of ambiance enemies puzzles and secrets not to mention the delightful touch of a shiny red Porsche that you'll need in order to complete the level. The gameplay is challenging but not frustrating; and while the action is basically confined to a city block with four side streets the player is left with the impression that a lot of territory has been covered before the action comes all too soon to an end. If Justin's third installment shows as much improvement as the second showed over the first we all have a treat in store for us. A thoroughly enjoyable level.” – Phil (21-Jun-2002)

“At first I was simply speechless cause everything is put together with so much care and an eye for detail. You get some wonderful new objects and finally someone was kind enough to leave some cigarettes for Lara. Had been some time. The poor girl was chainsmoking through most of the level. Right you start to explore and it is great fun for a while but from a certain point I had the feeling that this was a matter over mind level. I can't put my finger on it yet somehow the whole decoration seems more important than the plot. There is a certain overload of objects and textures. It seems as if Justin was desperate to cram in as many things as possible and neglected the storyline a bit. In my case the in initial excitement didn't stay for the whole game. But maybe it's just due to the fact that it took me considerably longer than the 30 minutes you're supposed to need to reach the end. I had some problems locating the Desert Eagle and one of the swinging targets. There could have been a bit more variation in the tasks at hand. But the retextured jeep was brilliant the leap over the black void a great thrill and I really liked the last camera move when Lara runs towards the finishing trigger.” – Dimpfelmoser (21-Jun-2002)

”I really enjoyed playing Justin’s magnificent Atlantis levels, but with ‘City Streets’ he seems to have rather over-egged the cake and, visually impressive thought the level is, somehow I completed it feeling somewhat dissatisfied. In part, this must have been due to the textural overload causing my poor old ‘classic’ PC to struggle and render Lara’s animations jerky and making gameplay extremely tiring. There are some great touches - the Marlboro packets, the rats, the scorpions (though I’m still not sure what they’re doing in London). The Porche is a great idea, but not terrifically executed – I’d never have guessed it was supposed to be a Porche if it wasn’t for the keys, and as others have commented, once you spark the thing up, it sounds more like a tractor than a sports car! This level has inherited some of the clever and novel hiding places for objects from Justin’s earlier levels, so those who have played Atlantis II are at something of an advantage, but unlike that level, some of the triggers are not very logical. Why would shooting a TV or a portrait open a doorway? I don’t know, but in this level, it does. Others have commented that this level is too linear, but I didn’t find it so. In fact, I remained stuck in one area and having to resort to flycheat to continue, and on my several plays through the level, I have yet to find a straightforward route through. Technically ‘City Streets’ is a triumph, and visually it is stunning, but somehow it doesn’t quite make it for me. Many will want to check out the level for the Porche alone, but most would be better directed to Justin’s far more satisfying Atlantis II, III and IV levels.” – Tune Razor (21-Jun-2002)

“Wow! I thought this level was great. I especially liked all the new objects - the laser guns the porche... and I loved Lara's glasses. Her outfit was cool though I must admit the modified front looked somewhat improbable - she must have had to use crazy glue to keep her poor strained bosoms in place - LOL! All in all great fun especially for those who like moody London levels. Other pluses: using the laser sight to advance (for some reason I really like doing this) shattering a portrait and a TV and crashing through a barrier with the porche. Could have been some more enemies though. Now I am going to try the tutorial and the other Dark Sky levels.” – Lady Lara (21-Jun-2002)
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