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Level: Castle Malvernia back home search
Author(s): StormChaser
total rating:6.93 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
CC 6 7 7 7
Ceamonks890 5 5 5 6
Dimpfelmoser 7 4 9 7
Engelchen Lara 8 7 8 8
eTux 7 6 6 7
G.Croft 7 7 8 8
Gerty 6 6 8 8
Gill 7 8 9 8
Jay 6 5 7 7
Jose 5 6 6 7
Kristina 8 7 8 8
MichaelP 6 6 8 7
Miguel 8 8 9 9
Momster 7 6 6 6
Moonpooka 9 9 8 8
Obig 7 7 8 7
Orbit Dream 6 7 7 7
Phil 8 8 8 8
RaiderGirl 7 7 9 8
Ryan 6 6 7 7
Sash 4 6 7 6
Tombaholic 6 5 7 7
Torry 7 6 5 8
Treeble 5 6 7 6
category averages
(24 reviews)
6.58 6.46 7.38 7.29

Reviewer's comments

"This castle is built around those lovely Scottish textures, which is good as far as it goes, but there's a definite lack of furniture/objects in the rooms so it all feels a bit sparse. The gameplay mainly involves exploration, finding keys and bumping off a lot of guards and jackals. No puzzles at all and some very easily avoided boulder/spike traps add up to a somewhat uninspiring level, but then it was his first and I'd recommend you try some of his later castle levels for a much more enjoyable experience." - Jay (23-Nov-2018)

"An average debut level(with some cautious albeit mindless gameplay, a fairly run-of-the-mill atmospheric presence, some expected enemy/object choices & relatively flat lighting effects throughout), all wrapped within decently-utilized textures from TR3 Gold's Highland Fling map, irritating fixed camera angles and level design that feels far too empty and bloated for its own good. Overall, I'd recommend to skip this one and play the builder's latter releases instead. Ensure to explore thoroughly if you do decide to tackle this one however, as you can easily miss a horseman's gem required to end the game proper." - Ceamonks890 (04-Apr-2018)

"Ready for another trip to a Scottish castle? If not, this may not be for you. This is very similar to Peter's other castle levels, so be prepared to do a lot of exploration for a few keys, do some swimming and shoot a lot of SAS guards. I don't recall seeing one switch or lever on the entire level, though. This isn't bad for an early release, but the gameplay isn't anything exciting or anything that will have you on the edge of your seat. It's mainly a mostly linear jaunt to reach the end of the level. The surroundings are a bit of a double edged sword, meaning that they are certainly well constructed, but the textures start to look the same after a while, which doesn't make for anything jaw dropping. The fixed camera angles were also annoying, although nothing treacherous would usually occur near them. Not a bad effort, but I agree with an earlier reviewer who mentioned that Peter's later levels are more enjoyable." - Ryan (03-Apr-2018)

"A debut already showing the peculiar style from this author. Nude rooms without objects, a lot of exploration, few switches (in fact I think there are not switches in all the level) and only keys to look for, many boulder traps and spiked traps, many enemies to shoot but also enough medipacks and ammo for the extra guns (I missed a lot the shotgun this time) and many (I think excessive) many fixed cameras. I think there's a big error here 'cause if you take the watery path first and miss the blue gem, perhaps you reach the end of the level and you'll never be able to finish it. A good debut but don't expect great features." - Jose (17-Jul-2016)

"This is a nice pedestrian level that presents no major difficulties as the player winds his way through a deserted shambles of a castle. The enemies are SAS and jackals, and if there are any secrets I didn't find any. As the other reviews have mentioned, it's important to search each area thoroughly before moving on, and to make sure that you check for items dropped by the slain SAS. I missed the laser sight due to sheer carelessness, but having been warned by the reviews to look for a key before dropping down to a wooden platform (with no way back up), I didn't make that mistake. A good level for beginning raiders." - Phil (27-Jul-2005)

"I played this level again to help with the walkthrough. I am glad I did because I never did say how much fun it was way back then. This is a castle level, riddled with spike traps and boulders. Enemies are dogs and guards, who in a few places are packed together so Lara has a tough fight ahead, what great shoot outs! There are some keys to collect, the Laser Sight, Uzi, Revolver and a Gem to finish the level with. Make sure you scout the ground after killing the guards as they not only leave ammo and health but also an important key. It was really nice wandering through this castle with its many tricks and traps. Some parts are quite hard, but it's mostly straight forward. It's a must to play anyway." - Moonpooka (24-Jul-2005)

"Castle levels - I just love them so just recently I decided to play Peter's levels and I must say I haven't been disappointed but why I waited so long to play them who knows. This one Peter's first level. Nothing too hard and tedious here and the game-play is quite easy so you shouldn't get too lost. In this level you will be searching for a lot of keys and a gem which for me was not too hard to find so just explore everything and you will have no problems. Your enemies are many SAS men and dogs which weren't too difficult to take out but in some places these SAS men do come in large groups so make sure you search every nook and cranny for some ammo supplies. I just got a bit confused when I finally came back to the starting point again on that ledge high above this area and this sentry gun suddenly appeared with another load of SAS men all with guns blazing at me but I soon figured out where to go what to do next and was on my way again. There's a few boulders and spikes traps which you need to avoid but this did bring some exciting moments into the game-play as I just tend to run along these corridors then all of a sudden I'd either got squashed by a boulder or fell down a spike trap. At the bit where you dropped down to the 3 locked gates I thought I needed 3 keys which I had none at that point but I soon found 1 key close-by which got me into the next area. But in the area behind those gates I completely lost my camera control for quite sometime and the only way I managed to get it back again was to draw my weapons which in the end was not a bad thing as these dogs and SAS men just suddenly appeared and I had my weapons already drawn and ready to fire. On the whole this is a lovely large and well laid out level and I thoroughly enjoyed playing it nothing too hard here so if you have just found out about the lovely Lara adventures this will be a good level to start with. 27/12/04" - Gill (02-Jan-2005)

"This is not a bad level. There are no difficult timed runs and worked-out jumps but sometimes the numerous soldiers cause a headache. The level has a 'Castle'-atmosphere. You have to find Gate Keys. Don't miss the one next to the Revolver because you will be angry later. And if you are not enough attentive you will miss a Horseman's Gem and you will have to turn back for it in the end of the level. There are no added sounds the texture is great however a bit boring and depressing in the channels. All in all it was a great adventure." - Obig (22-May-2003)

"The strongest memory of this level was searching. Searching for keys searching for doors searching for the gem back and forth back and forth through this very big level until I got really cheesed off. It took me ages to find the key one soldier dropped in a yard because of the textures. The others were easy enough to find. Perhaps that's why I had to backtrack so much and there's probably a much easier way to do it. Ok that's the moan over. This is a Highland castle level with a very well guarded complex of buildings and waterways so you have a lot of guards and a lot of dogs. An awful lot of swimming and an awful lot of dead ends. Did I say the moan was over? Anyway the level is well done with lots to do boulder traps spike traps climbing rope swinging swimming but it needs a very patient player and a good pair of eyes to see the keys. Lara in green combat gear. In this level the Highland castle textures were just too much. The later levels from Stormchaser were much more developed and far more convincing." - CC (02-May-2003)

"Lara starts her adventure in Scotland. She needs to find five gate keys and a gem meeting plenty of SAS and jackals which were well placed. Puzzles are relatively simple no big challenge there. Several underground tunnels to dive through lots of running watch out for the occasional spike pit. Textures are overall cleanly applied. Sound was well selected especially when Lara ran into a few SAS. I liked the atmosphere. All in all a good level." - Engelchen Lara (11-Mar-2003)

"An action level even if the ambience gives a lot of peaceful feeling...Specially positive I found the Cameras - really well made. Also textures and light & shadow well placed. The traps and challenges are not so difficult; enemies normally appeared in groups ;-) One time I had the impression not have more possibilities to go on and I found my way closed with a rolling ball - but then I found it - so take care of that sentrygun and look good. Sounds ok." - Miguel (27-Jan-2003)

"The first level of Strom Chaser and a nice debut I would say. It merges two different level styles (shoot 'em up in a castle setting) successfully. The level is all around finding keys to proceed and a gem to open the door to liberty but don't think it's going to be easy. Lots of SAS and dogs are ready to stop Lara. If you know Lara you can be sure she will get through without much effort. The textures were nice however the lighting was poor with only a few shadows in some corners - and even though the level is mainly bright you get a lot of flares in the level so no problem there." - Treeble (08-Jan-2003)

"What can I say? I do love a good castle level but for me this wasn't a good one. Sure there are some nice boulder traps SAS and dog ambushes and somewhat fairly good path through the castle but that was all there was a path through and a bit of shooting. What happened to adding the occasional puzzle to a level maybe a timed run or a movable block puzzle even a couple of secrets just something to break the tedium of running through darkish corridors and swimming through tunnels. Maybe I am being a little harsh and you may love this 45 minute level but it just didn't grab me at all." - Sash (24-Dec-2002)

"And yet another castle level and a pretty good one by the way. It is easy to get stuck at points of no return like other reviewers mentioned and there were quite a lot of the SAS guards and other hazards maybe even too much of them. I love the Scotland textures but levels like these prove to me that I loved them more in The Lost Artifact since the textures are not applied very nicely. Overall this level is well worth playing you wont regret playing it if you decide to do so." - eTux (21-Dec-2002)

"This level had a very fluent gameplay if and I would stretch it IF you looked around every corner and behind every block. As there are keys to find and without them you can't proceed. So before you drop down to all those SAS men have the third set in your pocket as you already used two. With all the ammo I found I could start a war of my own and did I tell you the uzi is not my favorite weapon. What I didn't like is finding all the goodies the SAS men dropped after being shot. Don't know how you folks shoot but I tend to jump around a lot and then I don't know the spot they died. As you never know it might be of value like keys in this case. Bit tedious in my opinion. What I loved the best is trying to outsmart the sentry gun and I did only once though. The other one I just had to rum past it. There is apart from running a lot some swimming rope jumping evading spikes and boulders. This was also my lucky day as I got only flattened once by the three doors. When you see it you know what I mean. The camera angles not my favorite but they were OK another story is the sound strange sounds emerged whilst the SAS men were shooting. 30-09-2002" - Gerty (02-Oct-2002)

"Somehow I have been playing many Castle levels recently and I sure do like those textures but in this 45 minute adventure they are often applied very repetitively and that spoils the atmosphere a bit (also water textures are missing completely). Lara's 'military' outfit is nice though and your quest will mainly be a relatively linear exploration of the grounds with quite a few spikes and boulders to avoid some 30 soldiers and 15 dogs to kill and five gate keys and a gem required for progression. Make sure you get those as otherwise you may get stuck with no option to return. Remarkable are the many many camera angles used which thankfully you can get rid off if required by pressing the look key." - Michael (21-Jun-2002)

"This level has taken textures out of 'The Lost Artifact' and in fact the whole feel of the level is just like that first game. I liked Lara's new Bushland Camo outfit and the author made good use of camera angles throughout this level whilst the route Lara must take to get out of there was long and treacherous even though I finished this in 40 minutes. My only complaint was that the sfx on many things like the gunshots and Lara's footsteps kept dropping out and I wonder if that is a problem in the conversion somehow? Still a nice little level to play that will not tax the long time raider too much." - Torry (21-Jun-2002)

"Lara Croft disguised as a UPS deliveryman goes on a new Highlands fling in this level. The castle's occupants are less than friendly (maybe UPS has damaged one too many of their parcels) and attack our heroine at every turn. The castle atmosphere is well done and I could have rated a bit higher in this category if not for the fixed cameras that popped up around nearly every corner - probably a record for a custom level and very tiresome after a while. The texturing and lighting are nicely done as well. The gameplay is enjoyable enough with lots of boulder and spike traps but toward the latter part of the level the lack of variety in challenges begins to tell. Also if you miss a key pickup it's impossible to go back for it. Overall though not a bad debut level at all." - Tombaholic (21-Jun-2002)

"Not one lever and not one switch! Four or five keys and one gem stone. Many SAS guards and dogs. A lot of camera work has been done and you can always cut the camera-angle when you want. Good lighting gives good atmosphere. Lara has been trapped inside the ruins of a castle but it is also a training ground for hostile forces and she has to fight her way out......" - G.Croft (21-Jun-2002)

"I love levels that are set in castles so I was eager to see this one especially after seeing the great screen shots. This is no place for tourists though with it's dark creepy passages machine guns spike and boulder traps plus the many soldiers and dogs that often take you by surprise. Although I suppose the locked gates were realistic it would have been nice to see more puzzles than finding the keys to open them. The great use of lighting added a lot to the level though as did the use of various camera angles that switched back and forth. I did get stuck at one point with no key and no way to get back but overall I had a great time playing this level set in a dark and spooky castle." - RaiderGirl (21-Jun-2002)

"This is a case of 'so near and yet so far'. The setting was atmospheric and well textured; and yet there simply was not enough variety in the surroundings. After an initial (most impressive) opening area the Castle turns out to be a pretty standard place of corridors and passages. The gameplay was essentially 'jump over spike pit shoot guard avoid rolling ball; repeat to finish'. The Scottish textures are always a pleasure but too much use was made of lens flare which became an irritation. The mouldering ruins were atmospheric but there was an overabundance of cameras which (although fun to start with) became irritating after a while; especially when the damn camera view wouldn't switch back to Lara! None-the-less this is an enjoyable hours gaming in a decent location." - Orbit Dream (21-Jun-2002)

"I admit it - I love castles and if they have that Scottish texture set it just gets to me what can I say. The whole level is a castle with hallways and cross paths. Now wouldn't it be nice if that great scenery was accompanied with some puzzles because the only puzzles although you can't call it that were some keys found and the gem to finish the level. The lighting is good and I think it would have been perfect to include some secrets in those dark corners and underwater tunnels. SAS guards and dogs are everywhere waiting for you in every corner although a little randomly placed in my opinion except in one case that one of the guards dropped a key that was necessary to proceed in the level the others served no real purpose. I liked very much the traps especially the boulders falling suddenly on you every step of the way I was looking up just in case from a former experience that I wasn't careful and poor Lara got smashed. The cameras are breaking very often kind of irritating from a point forward and in one occasion when you use one key before the last one the camera gets stuck showing you the boulders outside I think it does that when you are close to the walls touching the area with the three doors. I had a hard time getting through because as you manage to walk with the 'look' key pressed guards are waiting for you once again making it more difficult. I had fun in spite of that problem and I do say give it a try." - Kristina (21-Jun-2002)

"Ever since Celtic Folly I'm really into the Scottish Castle setting and this one is quite beautifully textured (if a little repetitive in some places) so I set out in high spirits. There were a few long corridors to run down dogs and guards to kill along the way and a couple of keys to find in order to open the locked gates. You get the occasional jump a ropeswing and some serious swimming so it is fairly entertaining. Then you come to one of the courts of the castle and therein awaits you the first big battle. While you drop down from the higher ledges you get shot at by four SAS guards at once. I was lucky enough cause most of them fired with grenades which -as you know- don't do Lara any harm. So I survived this relatively unscathed but I couldn't wallow in my glory for too long cause shortly after I got stuck for good. I had overlooked a key on the upper floors of the castle and now there was no way back. This can happen again if you don't make the detour to the blue gem before you proceed. Otherwise the gameplay is rather fast paced and linear. I liked the way you revisit the area you started out from there are some nasty traps (best moment for me was when the big boulder dropped down just to my right when I came out of the crawlspace) the camerawork is really original and supports the storyline very well. However in the second half I got a bit tired of all those SAS Guards and dogs and there wasn't that much variation in the tasks at hand or the way the enemies were placed. But the last view you get after Lara has placed the gem and runs down the broad stairs into the wide open space is most spectacular and should make up for the occasional slack in this adventure. If there were any secrets they sure as hell deserve to be called that as I missed them completely." - Dimpfelmoser (21-Jun-2002)

"I like the castle levels and this one was fairly good if somewhat unexciting. Course the usual guards falling boulders etc but no real brainwork involved. Still in all not an unpleasant experience. I did have some difficulty finding that last key on the textures used but all in all worth the approximate 50 minutes it took me in playing time." - Momster (21-Jun-2002)
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