Level: Back to Trial of Natla back home search
Author(s): Pedros
total rating:5.73 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Dimpfelmoser 6 7 8 8
eRIC 5 5 5 5
Gerty 5 7 7 8
Jay 5 6 7 6
Jose 1 5 3 5
Kristina 7 7 7 7
Magnus 2 3 1 3
MichaelP 6 7 6 8
RaiderGirl 6 7 7 8
Ryan 4 5 4 5
Sash 8 8 8 9
Tombaholic 7 7 6 8
Treeble 3 3 3 4
category averages
(13 reviews)
5.00 5.92 5.54 6.46

Reviewer's comments

"This level would have benefited from more tightening up in places in terms of gameplay, plus less monotony and backtracking. Because of those contributing factors, plus the sprawling size of the game map, a level that should ideally have been half an hour long, winded up taking 50 minutes. Progression isn't that exciting, and is mostly shooting tons of guards and dogs, plus retracing your steps countless times and push buttons. The flybys aren't useless as such, but they zoom through walls at nauseating speeds, making them sloppy design more than anything else. The one merit I found was the surprise emergence into Atlantis territory (if you didn't glance at the title beforehand). I'm a bit surprised at the relatively high ratings as this was a bit overrated in my opinion." - Ryan (03-Dec-2017)

"If ever a level required Lara to have some form of transport, this is that level. Unfortunately, no transport is provided so be prepared to run around A LOT. Despite the title, this is mostly a desert/base setting, with just a bit at the end to evoke Atlantean memories. The gameplay mostly just involves a great deal of exploring and backtracking whilst shooting guards and dogs so it does tend to become monotonous rather quickly. It's a shame really because you can occasionally see where this could have been a much more enjoyable experience with the benefit of a 'director's cut'." - Jay (05-Jul-2017)

"Well, this generally was a bit of a bore to play. There are three different settings contained within this level. The external areas suffer from a notable lack of care, with repeated and often misaligned textures and randomly generated geometry so it doesn't look either natural or good. Then, the base interior looks much better, but all too similar so all the time you spend there is running back and forth trying to identify what's the latest door to open. And, finally, the atlantean areas which took me by surprise. These were the highlight of the level, although they represent just a minor part of it. Camera triggers are few and far in between (noticeably lacking in comparison to the amount of lever/doors present) and the few flybys I remember went straight through walls. For the completionists only. 60 minutes. 04/17" - Treeble (29-Apr-2017)

"One of the worst gameplays I've ever suffered. After half an hour running and running around finding dead ends through huge areas and a maze-like base with several floors, I decided to take a look and follow Harry's walkthrough; and even so the backtracking was terrible, running through the same passages up and down a lot of times and all that for what? Only to pull hundreds of switches/buttons and searching carefully for very small disks or cards very hard to see. Even the hole to use the card and activate the dynamite is not visible. Evenmore, once you pull a switch, shoot/use a button or place an item, never got a camera shot or something to see where to go; even the couple of flybys I triggered were completely unuseful 'cause the cameras ran out of the world very fast showing black screens. There are another bugs like in the storage room where the soldiers push me out through a solid wall, missing or bad applied textures, etc. But not all is bad in this large level: there's a good architecture and the lights are well worked. If you want to give it a try, it's your choice, but it was not a good level for me." - Jose (24-May-2016)

"This rather long level that reconciles Nevada caves , a Military base , and Atlantis undergrounds could have been a good adventure , if more care had been put into it. I did not found any big bug but there are many small ones : the flybys go awfully through the whole place , some illegal slopes and compressed or missing textures in the caves ; the Script itself is not exempt of problems. What was annoying here at times (once inside the base) is that the gameplay is a bit obscure to the player , not only because of the lack of camera guidance, but there is a few rooms where you have to do several things or pick up more than one important object, and if you miss that , you can revisit all the places and roam around a long time before knowing what has been missed. For example you can escape the base and return to the hole of water in the caves without the most needed card. The end in Atlantis offers a welcome relief although there is some bugs here too, with lava that does not kill Lara, and the lighting is absent. I quite liked the first rocket room, and the fight with 4 ahmets was fun." - eRIC (30-Nov-2008)

“I knew that this would be a frustrating level already when I got to the second door because I had to flick a switch four or five times before the door finally opened. After that it was just a matter of pressing a button searching for the door the button opened and then do it again and again and again. Until I wasn’t able to make any more progress. No matter how many times I checked the doors or how thoroughly I searched the rooms I couldn’t find a way to progress any further. And by then I was so sick of the level that I couldn’t be bothered to try restarting it in case it was a bug that prevented me from continuing. Up to the point where I gave up it had been a level with zero amount of gameplay a gazillion doors (and no cameras) bad texturing and plenty of bugs (walking through walls for example). This was not my kind of level. It might be more fun if you get to finish it but I doubt it. Not recommended.” – Magnus (29-Jan-2004)

“The level starts and you find Lara in what looks like a canyon in the desert. Obviously there is a SAS base and Lara has to find her way out after collecting hands and cards discs plus open a few hundred rooms. I was so lost most of them time back tracking which I hate to see which door opened at the end I was dizzy. The cameras are very important in this level but unfortunately there are a few of them. The bulls weren’t exactly matching the rest of the level neither the mutants. The level changed completely after placing the hands with lava rooms. It took me a little over an hour to get though the level.” – Kristina (03-Sep-2003)

“Decided to play all of Piotrs level this week and to be honest I asked myself what made me promise that to myself after playing this one. You start in a desert area and that is nice although there are many illegal slopes. I even could climb upon the rocks and had a look. Had two Hands of Sirius already in Lara’s backpack and finding the key was great as well. Dove into the water and ended up in a room with the bull. Found out it was not the way to go as I needed another Hand and I couldn’t get out. So went back before a dive into the water through a saved game and finally found a keyhole. So now I am inside the building. Oh great doors closed now I need a key card so go looking for it. Couldn’t find anything and as I ran around this base suddenly there was a door open. Flicked a switch met a SAS man and got my key card. Sometimes I just ran around and found a door open and sometimes I flicked a switch still don’t understand the logic of the game though... Jeeeeeez how many doors are there and after a while I was completely lost. Don’t know how many miles Miss Croft traveled today but I was on the end of my tether. One word Piotr: cameras! Just a pity though as I really couldn’t enjoy this level as it seemed very big I was annoyed to say the least. 18-01-2003” – Gerty (22-Jan-2003)

“I loved the canyons and caves at the beginning of this level and then at first I really enjoyed the inside of the base but after an hour I was tired of running around trying to figure out what the switch I just pulled did and where the next door was. I almost hated to kill the soldiers because I was feeling so lonely after a while. There really needs to be some camera work added to things like this and the flybys needed quite a bit of work as well. The author did a good job of designing this level but I wish he would have added puzzles other then pulling switches and opening doors. At least he could have put a can of spray paint in Lara's bag so we could mark the doors of the rooms we had already searched. All the doors start to look the same after awhile.” – RaiderGirl (30-Jul-2002)

“This is one level that definitely takes you on quite a cool and unexpected journey. Starting in a desert canyon (make sure you check behind you) you come across a fenced off military compound where of course you must infiltrate and then search behind many newly opened doors to find one specific pick up that you think will lead you after a run in with a bull to the end but instead takes you to a final mystical area similar to the Atlantean look of Justin’s Atlantis 4 with red pulsing walls lava pools and killer ahmets. I enjoyed the look feel and progression of this 75 minutes level very much the only thing that I feel could have been improved on were the uses of the flybys which were unfortunately very badly executed and that there could have been a few helpful camera hints as to which of the many doors had been triggered open I resorted to writing down the doors throughout so that I didn’t get confused in which I had already been through and that way it was just a matter of running around looking for the one I hadn’t been through. Otherwise this was a lot of fun though I didn’t see the Natla connection.” – Sash (21-Jun-2002)

“With 208 rooms this level is huge and therefore indeed there are vast areas to cover with a lot of running around. Initially in caves and canyons then in a base area with many doors to open and a lot of running back and forth without any camera help about what a lever had triggered. Flyby’s are very badly designed too. All in all despite the nice texturing and a generally good idea and a nice twist at the end this level turned out just too tedious for me to really enjoy it.” – Michael (21-Jun-2002)

“A rather strange level this one. It begins with Lara searching a security facility for a key pickup and is designed for the very detail oriented as you'll have to scour the place from top to bottom finding many kinds of keys pass cards disks and switches to open access to different areas. SAS and dogs guard the facility which recalls the Area 51 level of TR3. While there are a couple fairly unhelpful fly-bys (which travel through walls with textures disappearing en masse along the way) there are no cameras to help you know which of the many doors have opened. So there's a deal of running around here. Once the elusive piece is found you progress to another completely different area with wild ‘living wall’ textures and lots of ahmets and a bull to deal with. The level ends when Lara climbs out into an other-worldly red landscape.” - Tombaholic (21-Jun-2002)

“This starts quite promising with a long run through caves and a canyon that eventually leads to a military base. Before you can go inside you have some more exploring to do and once you're in don't we just suspected this all along there are a lot of doors and in every other room waits a heavily armed SAS guard with the occasional German Shepherd for company. Although the cause and effect scenario in opening all those doors is a bit confusing it is good fun for a while cause the means by which you gain access varies a lot and the structure and design of the base is not half bad . Only after an hour things get completely out of hand with a room where you get three switches and one code disk to use with very little information how to proceed and shortly after that you encounter many walkthrough (sometimes one way) walls hit the sky while exploring get trapped in slopes walk into big areas that apparently have no purpose and get stuck when venturing a blind jump. This completely takes the fun out of it so I quit and never made it to the very end.” – Dimpfelmoser (21-Jun-2002)
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