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Level: Research Center 2 back home search
Author(s): Tijay
total rating:8.23 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
CC 9 7 9 9
Dimpfelmoser 7 7 8 9
eRIC 7 7 9 8
Gerty 6 7 8 8
Jay 7 7 8 9
John 10 8 8 9
Jose 5 7 7 9
Kristina 7 7 9 9
Magnus 7 8 7 8
MichaelP 7 8 9 10
Miguel 9 8 10 9
Navi 9 9 10 10
Orbit Dream 7 7 8 9
Phil 8 8 9 9
RaiderGirl 8 9 10 10
Ryan 7 7 9 9
Sash 7 6 8 8
Tombaholic 6 8 9 8
TombRaiderFan 8 9 10 10
Torry 7 9 10 10
Treeble 8 8 9 8
Xxenofex 7 8 10 10
category averages
(22 reviews)
7.41 7.68 8.82 9.00

Reviewer's comments

"I don’t recall playing this level when it was first released, which is rather a pity since I feel I would have been impressed with it. It still stands up well and has much to recommend it. Reasonably straightforward and linear, I was still glad of the walkthrough when I got stuck very early on because I just hadn’t thought to shoot a crate. Silly me! Definitely worth a look." - Jay (14-May-2019)

"This is quite good for an older level and I found it to be much more fair and enjoyable than the previous Research Centre level. The looks side of things are still fresh, clean and attractive even when played today, the atmosphere is quite realistic and sounds are very well placed. The gameplay isn't too difficult for the average player and it's actually quite linear and straightforward once you get the hang of things, but never gets too boring or dragged out. The custom weaponry was brilliant and I was thankful for it when I was faced with all those soldiers. I was a bit confused about a particular movable block, an invisible column and the fact that the lasers behind a door seemed to be glitched, but I was able to get past with a couple of medipacks. An undemanding but enjoyable level." - Ryan (03-Jun-2018)

"I've not been overly impressed so far with Tijay's work.Perhaps I'm coming to his levels somewhat too late to appreciate the technical skill with which they were undoubtedly made at the time (back in the early days of the LE);but this one is quite undoubtedly his most enjoyable,and displays a fine visual grasp which makes it appear impressive even by today's hi-res standards.The various rooms,although somewhat rectangular,appear interesting due to the attention to detail in their surroundings,and the beautifully crafted lighting. Gameplay is linear throughout,but always involving (although the invisible column room seemed somewhat contrived for an otherwise 'real-world' level);fast-moving,thanks to the good placement of opponents;and atmospherical and immersive,helped in no small part by the mysterious ambient soundtrack.It's not particularly demanding for the average player,but nonetheless provides a 'safe bet' for a thoroughly enjoyable 40 minute experience." - Orbit Dream (23-Mar-2013)

"The levels in this three-part set were released within a couple of months of each other back in 2002. Now that I've played the first two, it's my feeling for a couple of reasons that they should have been released as one bundled download. First, this installment is short, at 35 minutes much shorter than the first segment. Second, both segments look very much alike and have the "feel" of one extended adventure. But on the other hand, bundled levels were probably still in the future back in 2002. Anyway, this one doesn't present any unfair challenges, unlike the first one, although there's a nice breaktile run near the very end. As noted by other reviewers, the weapons do have a nice sound that hints of enhanced power, which is nice as a confidence booster when you're facing all those nasty SAS. Recommended, but plan on playing all three levels in continuous sequence." - Phil (14-Aug-2011)

"In the line from the previous level, but this time it seems more elaborated with some new features, water and outside areas and some interesting tasks. Environment is good too, with nice texturing, cool musics and well placed cameras. This time there are sharks too, and the AK 47 was marvellous. In the other side, gameplay was really bad, 'cause several times I missed something and there was not human way to get back to see what was missed, so sometimes I had to reload (fortunately I kept savegames) and replay the same areas again. Example: in the big storage room with many burners I never went to the other side behind the fence, and when I reached the corridor with the offices, the last door was closed and I had to reload and play again several areas. However, in the walkthrough I couldn't see anything important in that area, allegedly it was only to get a secret. And the same with the secret in the small alcove behind the long ladder; if you miss it you'll never be able to go back. Good design, good ideas, but silly gameplay." - Jose (20-Apr-2010)

"A second episode that proposes various places and tasks , easy timed doors, a run on breakable tiles, an original mirror room with jumps on pillars, a bit of quadbike ride at the end which ended too early for my taste, all this and more in a straightforward way, accompanied by some different audio tracks, and of course spiced up with some shooting. I would have liked to get weapons earlier, I wonder what the movable box was for in the store room or was it a bad joke ? and there is the possible irremediable stuck situation if the player has not found the last disk card. But aside from this a well made level, dynamic but not difficult. [30 minutes]" - eRIC (08-Aug-2009)

"Better than the previous level but there are still some things that could be better (yes I'm talking about bugs! A nice way to start a review isn't it?). The bugs from the previous level are still here; the lasersight still sticks to the wrong end of the Desert Eagle the flares still turn blue when Lara throws them away and you still have to stand on a tile long enough after switching a switch for the door to open. The way I understand it the author doesn't know how to fix these bugs but they're still bugs. At one point (if you don't find a secret) you can get helplessly stuck and have to either restart the level or load an earlier savegame (if you have one). That's very annoying and I don't find it excusable. There is also a room with a mirror. What I found strange was that you could go to the other side of it and then jump straight through it. Also the enemies walk through the furniture (which can get very annoying when one of them is shooting at you standing in a desk making it impossible for you to kill it). This can easily be fixed by making it impossible for the enemies to walk on the tiles beneath the desks and such. Other than that the level is quite good. The new sounds fit the level even if some of them get rather repetitive after a while. The first outside area looks very good even if some of the textures are very stretched (this is also the case in other places in the level). Many of the textures are from Half-Life and the outside areas seem to be inspired by that game too (I think). The level isn't very hard and I finished it after less than 20 minutes. Besides the bugs and the short time this level takes to finish it's still quite fun and worth playing if you like levels set in bases (or research centres)." - Magnus (29-Jan-2004)

"This was a much darker level than his previous one and the enemies here are also SAS men and dogs and some very hungry sharks. The beginning had me baffled for a while as I did notice some crates were not what they appeared to be and although I shot everything in site nothing happened. I was about to give up but decided to do it all over and voila the box shattered. The pool was eerie indeed with a dead raptor hanging in a crane. For the rest the gameplay was also a bit confusing as I had the same bug encounters as the one Kristina is talking about. A shame really because that did spoil my fun big time 03-04-2003" - Gerty (04-May-2003)

"Absolutely brilliant from the great background music to the puzzles with blocks switches jumps monkey swing the great textures and objects to Lara's great outfit and hair. Shades of Offshore Rig through a lot of the level especially the moveable blocks to the timed run and the shark pool. After killing the first two I had to dive in and get the laser sight to kill the third. I was stuck for a while with a bug in the room with the ladder and two underwater switches the bug didn't drain the ladder room first two/three times I tried. Just keep going and it will work eventually. You are in what looks like a dam you work you're way through the structure and emerge at the end outside again and a bike ride. It did take a while to figure out which switch did what but it wasn't tedious or too hard. For me it was just a case of reloading a savegame. So I suppose that would be the big hint for this level - keep as many savegames as you can. And don't forget to look behind you as you're climbing ladders! The mirror room was the most realistic I've seen and I liked that run over the breakable tiles and the dangerous monkey swing past the steam emitters. Hope there's more to come in this series." - CC (21-Apr-2003)

"Another great level. The environment the sound the ambience and the enemies all suited well. It was a fantastic atmosphere. I found all three secrets. One was nicely hidden. There is one critique though: If Lara does not find all the switches in the beginning she will get stuck later on as she cannot advance but also cannot get back. Other than that a must play." - Navi (08-Feb-2003)

"From the beginning there is a interesting ambience in the air which is supported by light/shadows and textures. I loved that cool outfit of Lara and it let's us hope that more will come... And of course it comes. Somehow I got to a deadend - or did not find my way back in that room where a crane is moving - if you go down to the floor - maybe you cannot go on... But I had a savegame and with a bit of patience I got the hot-steam-monkey-swing challenge. Impressing rooms and a lot of good objects nice camera perspectives and good sound. The new contact with old friends (desert eagle and HK in red outfit) reminds us of the good old days of TR. A mirror room - and other tense-making situation makes it real enjoyable. But after 40 minutes you come to an end - even if you can use a little bit the Quad." - Miguel (05-Feb-2003)

"I just wonder why I didn't play this before! I've played a long time ago the first part and even started this one but ended giving up right in the beginning because I didn't know what to do. I admit the level is quite confusing and you will be often 'stuck' however before asking for help check everywhere you're allowed to and you'll see you're not really stuck. The outside areas were simply great and the inside were the usual labs style we're used to see in Tijay's levels. There was one secret though which you shall get because it contains the Restrict Access Area Disc and you'll need that one few rooms later and no there's no way to go back and get it. Quite good and I am looking for the third part as Lara simply drove the quad into the darkness..." - Treeble (09-Jan-2003)

"Like a couple of others I found that just as I really got into this 40 minute level set around a beautifully designed dam it all suddenly ended with the quick slightly uneventful quadbike ride and jump. There are definitely some really fun puzzles though a lot of the time involving moving or blasting crates and some very unkind but nicely placed traps were you just have to grit your teeth and take some punishment to your health. On the other hand I came across the bug Krissy did where the room you should drain actually stays flooded but I worked out it was a reload bug so I just made sure I got through that section without having to use any of my saves and it was fine. So all up this was quite a good level but it lacked just that little indefinable something that makes a good level a great one. Oh and just to answer a couple of Dimpf's questions I used the laser sight to get the first secret rose take care of the third shark and to blast the hanging crate and that jump switch after the monkey swing opened the exit door at the end of the hallway with lasers and second secret but for why we were even there who knows maybe if there's a Research Center 3 we'll all find out that answer." - Sash (24-Dec-2002)

"It's not a big level but it took me longer than it should have due to a bug. First let's start with the atmosphere it's dark but not very much and with not many enemies just a few guards and dogs plus a couple of sharks with one of them trapped in the area with the lightning it was chasing Lara only if it wanted to. The whole level looks a little unfinished as it requires a couple of card keys and switches to pull. I had a problem with one room that should be drained after a certain action and didn't I had to drop several times until finally it was dry. When Lara was approaching that room she was swimming because it had water in it still but she was walking in the hallway before that. I guess it is a bug I am talking about the room with the ladder half in water. Anyway I did like the design of this level and right about the time I was getting excited and thinking good there is the quad bike after a jump with it the level ended. It has to have a sequel otherwise I don't understand the story line. Do try it it is not difficult but it will make you stand and think for a while in some situations." - Kristina (10-Nov-2002)

"Tijay what have you done to Lara's hair? Also is that a tattoo on her butt? Geez mate. OK this level was a relatively easy 40 minutes THE SECOND TIME THROUGH!! As I missed a vital underwater switch early in the level that halts proceedings some 20 minutes later I was not a happy camper. These essential switches are fine but you must not let the player proceed without having found them. Like that disc in the secret. Pretty bloody silly secret if there was an essential item in there. The player HAD to find it sheesh. Those issues aside it was a great level with pushable boxes and boxes that you shot to smithereens and barbed wire enclosures and I loved the AK47. Nice firepower. Medpacks were a bit light on so you will need to conserve health but the atmosphere was fantastic." - Torry (12-Oct-2002)

"This is a nice looking level with good atmosphere. But at 45 minutes it's rather short and gameplay proceeds pretty much in a straight line. More problematic are a couple of opportunities for the player to get stuck and have to resort to a savegame (and hopefully have one available prior to the point of no return). I guess I was supposed to shove that crate across a couple dozen squares but I luckily discovered the invisible block that was to give the illusion of a solid moveable crate before going to the trouble. Just as I was sinking my teeth into this level there was a short (and ultimately pointless) ride on the quad bike and it comes to an abrupt end." - Tombaholic (08-Oct-2002)

"Fortunately I didn't miss a switch so I never got stuck. But there was one underwater lever that didn't work the first time around so I had to reload an earlier savegame. When I reached the end after 55 minutes I felt that something was missing here. Although I liked the slides the room with the collapsible tiles swimming with the sharks and the short quadbike ride at the end this second foray into the Research Centre left me somewhat unsatisfied. What was it all about? What was I there for? What's the story? What was the laser sight for? What did the jumpswitch after the unhealthy monkeysswing do? Maybe it's because this is very linear for a base level and it seems that you get just a quick succession of different rooms that entertain you with various traps and tasks but they don't interact or are part of a plot. The mirror room is nice though and I can't remember any other level where a pushable block turned solid once it reached its destination. As for the setting and atmosphere; I thought it was ok but nothing out of the ordinary; but then I just came back from TWH 8/9 and everything is bound to pale beside that." - Dimpfelmoser (21-Sep-2002)

"This is the amazing sequel to the original Research Centre and this time the setting is a cross between The Offshore Rig levels of TR 2 and the Nevada levels of TR 3. The author has done a wonderful job building and texturing the rooms especially the outdoor areas and has given this level a truly memorable atmosphere. There are a few traps and some tough obstacles to get through but most of the level is fairly linear and has you exploring for cards disks and switches - I was glad to see this wasn't as tough as the first one. I did notice two places you can get stuck in - if you finish the room that you drain to get to the ladder before you pull the outside underwater switch you can't go back to do it later and the ladder before the slide/jump/shimmy has a place to back flip to and if you miss it you can't go back to it later. I missed this the first time and had to start the level over again but it's so good I really didn't mind. The custom music adds a lot to the level and everything else is very well done - the cameras lighting placement of enemies traps etc. I found three secrets and spent 40 minutes here." - RaiderGirl (14-Sep-2002)

"The first thing I noticed about the level was the new gun sound effects and the superb costume and it just got better from there there is lots of puzzles and traps to solve like timed doors bolder spike and fire traps fan dragging you underwater invisible platforms laser beams steam and the deadly moving pillars. I had a blast playing this level and everything was textured brilliantly. There is a few new features like the workable quad bike at the end outside and the ability to actually search shelves like in TR5! Also there was a great mirror room puzzle a bit like the one I did in my level. The music and the atmosphere was great some of the sound waves were really something and I loved the horizon that you saw in the outside bits. There is quite a lot of area to cover and you really use a lot of Lara's moves with all the crawling sprinting swimming monkey and normal climbing this level really keeps you busy and there is a lot of objects and textures that I have never seen before which are great and really give the level a fresh effect. As for the enemies there isn't many as most of the level is based around puzzle solving and avoiding traps but there was a few sharks and a few SAS men as well as a machine gun at the start of the level. Of course there is lots more of fun things to do and see but if I tried to tell you all of it I would still be typing for a long time to come lol you have to download and experience it for yourself. This is a great level which I know I will replay again! Get it!" - John (10-Sep-2002)

"Ok I love the good old trademarks of Tijay which you get here as well: my most preferred Lara outfit the desert eagle and AK-47 (twice) with enhanced sounds and an impeccably textured and lighted environment. Great addition this time is a fine selection of ambience sounds. I also appreciated the good use of boxes which sometimes need to be shot and sometimes moved to different places and had a big grin at Big Tony's Pizza ad. But there are two issues with gameplay which are major in my eyes and should be amended as you can get stuck for good and need a previous savegame to continue. One is the lever which can be missed near the dam at the beginning which actually opens a door closer to the end. The other is the code disc right before a slide (actually comes with the third of three golden rose secrets). Other than that in the rather linear 50 minutes of net gaming there are three cards to find several traps to master and a mirror room where you for once can get to the other side and back just for the fun of it. Enemies are a dozen or so soldiers a few dogs and sharks which you will hardly notice - the raptor hanging on the crane was cool though. At the end you are treated into a short quad bike ride and I sure hope we will get a Research Center 3 to play in which we can use this a little more." - Michael (13-Aug-2002)

"The 2nd part of Tijay's Research series is much easier than part 1 as far as puzzles are concerned. I found the atmosphere brilliant including music lighting and textures. Particularly worth mentioning is the phenomenal sound of weapons for that only I have played the level twice. There was again an amount of opponents to kill even if not so many as with the 1st part. This is not completely to my liking particularly in a room it made me quite nervous. I missed the jump combinations and difficulty of the rooms to be managed from the 1st part very much." - Xxenofex (13-Aug-2002)

"This LAB Level reminded me of Off Shore Rig from Tomb Raider 2 it had great textures in all though some of them were rather stretched! Some great puzzles and great objects made this level stick out. The outside area reminded me of Recon Labs 3 and was very superbly done. A great Job on making the outside area because I would of thought it would have took a long time to make! A great effect with waterfalls Dinosaurs hanging on ropes (very cool). Some great music and breath taking moments made this level stand out the most!" - TombRaiderFan (26-Jul-2002)
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