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Level: Setback 4 - Dynamite the Fortress back home search
Author(s): Thierry Stoorne
total rating:8.29 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
CC 10 8 8 8
eRIC 9 9 8 8
eTux 10 9 9 9
Gerty 8 8 9 8
Jay 8 8 9 8
Kristina 7 8 8 8
Magnus 7 7 7 7
MichaelP 8 8 8 9
Phil 9 8 9 8
RaiderGirl 8 8 9 8
Ryan 9 8 8 8
Sakusha 10 9 8 8
Sash 8 8 9 8
Whistle 8 8 9 8
category averages
(14 reviews)
8.50 8.14 8.43 8.07

Reviewer's comments

"This is a real step up from the previous episode (which I also quite enjoyed) and it looks like the rest of the series is entirely unproblematic which is promising. It makes a return to the rather austere appearances of levels one and two, but this time in a more player-friendly format. It looks rather greyish overall, but the atmosphere is worked out very well, and the gameplay is more involving and complex and I particularly enjoyed outwitting the sentry guns and guards, the block puzzle midway through, and the timed run in order to shoot a crawlspace covering. I do wish I had found the crossbow though..." - Ryan (02-Nov-2017)

"The rough edges in this series seem to have been smoothed out for me. After having been obliged to skip level 3 because of issues arising out of a game crash upon the completion of level 1, I started level 4 with a savegame provided in the Hungarian download and have had no problems at all since then. This series is becoming progressively better, and level 4 provides about an hour of exhilerating entertainment. The beginning and ending sequences both involve the initial taking out of a pair of sentry guns, and in between there's rarely a dull moment. Some of the puzzles are a bit tedious, such as the beginning underwater lever sequence that's required to enter the castle. The block puzzle can be accused of this as well, but at least it's the result of some creative genius with its use of two floor levels. The timed runs took me several tries but were both fair to the player. I'm glad I've stumbled across this series. It makes me wonder how many other gems I may have missed out there. Much fun." - Phil (27-Aug-2010)

"It seems that the author is refining more and more his level building skills in each level he conceives. Furthermore, in this level, Thierry Stoorne has perfected his diabolical gameplay, the wad is personalized, the textures and the atmosphere make the level seem more realistic than ever before. In this level, there are well-placed boulders, spikes and pendulums. The sky is yellowish, which probably means that the world of 'Setback' is getting darker and darker, and Lara may confront a satanic enemy in the future. The castle, the bats, the Templars (who can't seem to be able to rest in peace), horsemen (who have shields like the Templars. However, unlike the Templars, they are vulnerable) are fascinating. It also looks like that the fortress is being guarded by people from today's world as well (SAS soldiers), but perhaps it is overprotected (note: there are a few dead soldiers who may have been killed by some of the traps in this level). Nonetheless, some can come back as skeletons. The puzzles are quite logical and help complete the level. I have appreciated the pushable block puzzle. Concerning the timed runs, Lara has to moderate her sprinting in the first one (like the Templars who had to moderate their consumption of wine, for example). The second one is interesting because instead of reaching an area on time, one has to shoot a board quickly. Download it now!" - Sakusha (01-Mar-2005)

“Less boring than the previous levels by the author. Actually this level was quite interesting. Sure it’s still a linear walk through one room after another but there are even more nice ideas here than in the previous three levels. The gameplay is quite slow though. Nothing that will test you’re reflexes but if you want a level that make you think this might just be what you’re looking for. None of the puzzles are too hard and all of them can be solved rather quickly. The texturing is as usual in levels by the author nice. The lighting is as usual in levels by the author too dark. I don’t like dying because I couldn’t see a pit or a trap. Overall once again a nice level by the author even though it’s a little dark. The level ended after thirty-five minutes.” – Magnus (29-Jan-2004)

“Don't know about the others but am loving every episode of ‘Setback’ more as I keep playing - and this was no exception. It starts out simple with Lara returning into the fortress after the brief visit in the Egyptian ruins (makes you wonder what was Lara doing there anyway? Don't know anything about a storyline for the levels) and a very well placed camera makes this level look even more professional. At first you get to the top of a tower and have to get rid of 2 sentry guns (not mentioning the SAS) so you could later enter the room they're guarding. I only managed to take out one from the top and thus entering this room was more challenging but I didn't mind as I could take blow it up later too. After that you spend some time inside the castle/fortress (not a Scottish castle but we have more than enough of those) where you have to avoid some swinging blades complete a movable block puzzle which though clever is rather tedious and 2 tight but brilliant timed runs. The final area is most impressive and I had fun there too (be sure to shoot the boxes in the water as they have some fine goodies!) but you'll see for yourself. The texturing might be a bit boring colour-wise as it is all very grey but the sky and the yellowish sands at some points kinda make this up and artistically this level seemed beautiful to me. Well worth to play as the other Setback levels don't miss it!” – eTux (04-Oct-2003)

“In the fourth episode of this adventure the author has used a non standard wad to build this level. The setting is great the puzzles are good and sometimes very good. There are underwater switches to find movable blocks puzzles to solve fun timed doors (one of them including a shooting puzzle) SAS dogs bats skeletons and a good use of the dead knight. The first puzzle is a bit unfair though because Lara must be exactly at the right place to destroy both sentry guns. So some frustration (and darkness) at the beginning; but after that this level turns to pure fun.” – eRIC (05-Aug-2003)

“This adventure which takes place in and around a stone castle offers many adventures in the forms of timed doors machine guns pushable block puzzles undead knights swinging axes blade and fire traps with spikes well done boulder traps skeletons fun jumps deadly water hidden switches and trapdoors. Gameplay is usually fluent with only a few pauses as you figure out what to do next and the solution usually comes after a little thinking. With it's fun assortment of enemies and well built environment I really enjoyed the hour or so I spent here and hope it continues on as it seemed to end suddenly. I found four secrets and had a great time even though I never got to use all that dynamite.” – RaiderGirl (01-Jul-2003)

“This was very easy as I had played it before but forgot to write a review. The second time around is always easier for me anyway. Enemies are very well placed in this game and I always like blowing up sentry guns. Apart from those you'll encounter SAS soldiers dogs bats knights (always helpful) and re-textured tinmen. The dive into the moat is always a pleasure and finding those levers to lower those cages is the first thing you must do. There are more puzzles as the moving blocks as well as those moving gates and target shooting. Some of them were easy and some pretty hard. For good measure there are also some traps as well. Some of the camera angles that were used are great to look at. Getting gems and finding 4 secrets was a lot of fun. 26-06-2003” – Gerty (26-Jun-2003)

“A castle level but don't expect to see any Scottish texturing it's rather grey. I didn't find anything too impressive just a medium level. The downside is that if you make the mistake and dive into the water without destroying the sentry guns you have no way of approaching the gate anymore or getting back up. The good thing is that this time the author provided a savegame with the download. Pulling a few underwater levers opens the way to enter the castle and begin the exploration. A puzzle with moving blocks was frustrating for me and took me some time to solve. I was also cursing with one timed run Lara had to jump back to a hole run down the stairs and crawl to get to the other side. Terrible the other timed run wasn't that bad but still hard. Skeletons SAS knights were some of the enemies. I liked the previous level better.” – Kristina (26-Jun-2003)

“A little puzzled as to the title lots of boxes presumably containing dynamite but nothing blows up. The hardest bit was getting rid of the two sentry guns at the beginning. The rest just flowed with one or two tricky areas and traps like the swinging knives and blade pits. The ending itself made me feel let down as it seemed to just fizzle out as a level. Bats and SAS formed the enemies along with the sentry guns. Some good jump sequences and a rather easy but tedious block maze. The graphics were fine and the textures and camera angles added to create a good atmosphere. All in all well worth playing” – Whistle (11-Jun-2003)

“Actually this fortress seemed to look a little dull with pretty much the same texturing all over but come to think of it this added a great touch of realism. The architecture is quite clever and your task is typically more to find out the 'How' rather than the 'what and where' so the progression is rather smooth and rewarding. So you start by running up the stairs make sure you eliminate the sentry guns from above and only then jump into the moat (great camera angle when you dive) and then master the sequence of entertaining puzzles: several underwater levers (a bit tedious) movable blocks (again smart but tedious) many trapdoors along the way a short swinging blades/spikes/fire pit passage that looks harder than it is several jump switches and two not so easy timed cog wheel switches/doors. Quite a few enemies around as well (SAS dogs bats tinmen useful knights and scary how the skeletons emerge from the dead SAS). Found three gems and four secrets and ended this adventure after 50 minutes - looking forward to the next part of the series.” – Michael (08-Jun-2003)

“I confess I haven't played any other level by this author but judging by this one I think I definitely should. He has managed to create a truly formidable fortress very grim and forbidding. When you have dispatched two sentry guns and pulled a lot of underwater levers you can finally enter the building and battle guards dogs tin men knights and skeletons. You get a block puzzle timed runs and oh joy more sentry guns and guards. I love outwitting sentry guns and blowing them up. The atmosphere is excellent and the action just keeps going. I found four secrets. 04.06.2003” – Jay (04-Jun-2003)

“Definitely the best of the series so far and a return to the feel of the second. What this level has is great enemy placement SAS skeletons templar knights mummies (retextured tinmen) and this also includes the automatic guns with the first two giving me a lot of grief but again just perfectly placed and a sense of great achievement is achieved as you get rid of them both. You get quite a bit of puzzling too with a movable block puzzle an underwater lever puzzle 4 secrets and two timed lowering gates one with a target shooting aspect but with all those things to do in a wonderful castle scenario the time I found myself the most perplexed was trying to jump to a bridge that I just couldn’t reach until the most obvious of answers hit me in the face after a good 15 minutes of pure frustration. Another level that even after an hour of playing ended too quickly for my liking.” – Sash (29-May-2003)

“Continuing on this great series Dynamite the Fortress has a serious amount of 'serious' boulder traps to negotiate. Not to mention the machine guns SAS and dogs. We've reached what looks like a dismal castle setting with a moat inside an outer curtain wall. In the moat are a lot of underwater switches and it took some time to figure out how to get all of these pulled because there is a lot of toing and froing to be done. If you still have the lasersight you can shoot one of the machine guns from the battlements before diving into the water and that will be a big help later. I brought the lasersight and the crowbar from the previous level and you use it almost immediately. There is an intriguing series of block moving puzzles and trapdoors to open. Then a truely horrible gauntlet of fire blades and spikes. I loved the way skeletons rise from the dead soldiers bodies some dead soldiers can be moved but I got nothing from them. It took a while for me to think about using the dead knights to get gems instead of avoiding them like the plaque. And there were two of those big crank wheel timed runs that gave me some grief. BTW the second crank wheel doesn’t allow you to run through the gate and jump into the water it allows you to target and shoot the brown breakable exit thing that looks like half a trapdoor. And this brings you out to a bridge over another moat type area. This was good fun blowing up guns again and SAS. Very well done I loved it a great action level.” – CC (29-May-2003)
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