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Level: The Curse of Xian (Demo) - Marco's Mansion back home search
Author(s): Devoid22
total rating:7.75 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Capt. Abbey 6 8 8 10
CC 7 8 9 9
Duncan 8 8 9 9
Gerty 7 8 7 8
Jay 7 8 8 8
Jose 6 7 8 9
Kristina 7 8 8 9
Loupar 7 8 8 9
MichaelP 7 9 9 9
Moonpooka 8 8 9 9
Orbit Dream 6 7 7 7
Phil 7 8 8 8
RaiderGirl 8 8 9 9
Ryan 7 7 7 7
Sash 7 8 7 8
Treeble 4 6 7 7
category averages
(16 reviews)
6.81 7.75 8.00 8.44

Reviewer's comments

"Okay, it's a mansion level, but its not bad, although it still didn't really impress me. The appearance looked good and I liked the textures that were used, there's a dragon in the pool for some unknown reason and the house has been invaded by zombies (thank god for explosive ammo!) but the gameplay hasn't really changed much, reduced to using buttons and items and opening doors. Ah, well, at least it looked nice." - Ryan (02-Nov-2016)

"When you read "demo" you expect a short and linear outing, but what you get here is actually a complete level instead. Although texturing was rather good, it didn't really make for a very convincing mansion. My one problem with this level is that it relies too much on the outdated model of remote buttons to open doors, and in this rather large maze of narrow corridors, it's very easy to lose your bearings. In the end I felt I was lucky whenever I stumbled upon a new area as it was nearly impossible to keep track of what was where, especially when the level had an uniform look throughout. I did like the new enemies (the robed ninjas with the Fiamma Nera logo on them were particularly nice), but other than that I didn't really have any fun here. 45 minutes, 5 secrets. 12/15" - Treeble (30-Dec-2015)

"So many doors and zombies - so few clues as to where to go. Apparently there's a Crossbow near the start,but as I was unable to get hold of it and as there were countless zombies throughout the entire house the gameplay became a little too unintentionally challenging for me.It didn't help that the plethora of passageways looked exactly the same,and so many doors led to so many practically identical rooms. The confusion thus engendered probably explains why I exited the level with several doors left unopened.As if the Mansion itself wasn't busy enough (along with the aforementioned zombies,it also contained numerous bats and dogs,and a Dragon languishing in the Swimming Pool!),the overly detailed texturing made the various corridors and ante- chambers appear pretty cluttered.IF you can keep track of where the 100 or so doors are located,there is some enjoyment to be had;although one of the pushable puzzles is a little obscure.Atmosphere is capable enough;little has been done with the lighting;and camera's are as helpful as can be within such a labyrinthine environment.This is one of those levels which seemed to end a little prematurely (I still needed two keys),but the Finish Trigger nonetheless came as something of a relief." - Orbit Dream (03-Apr-2012)

"Oh my God! How many zombies! There is enough explosive ammo, of course, but excessive zombies in my opinion; the other enemies (ninjas, dogs, bats) were good. This mansion is a real labyrinth; you'll leave a lot of closed doors behind and later, when you got the items or see the camera showing the doors opening you'll always ask yourself: where the hell that door was? The house is well textured and ornated, with all kind of details, even a giant dragon in the pool LOL! but for me was very tedious and bored running around and around upstairs, downstairs, through this corridor, through another corridor, opening dozens of small doors, pressing a lot of buttons and shooting all that nasty zombies in every corner. At the end, when I got the scroll I took a long breath and read the walkthrough to return to the place in the garden where I saw the pedestal time ago. Better play this level with Dutchy's walkthrough in hand." - Jose (30-Mar-2012)

"A house level, one with a pet dragon at that, but it's not a bad one. I would probably have raved about it if I'd played it when it was first released, but there's so much sophistication in today's levels that this one seemed rather tame by comparison. Opening doors and pushing buttons to open other doors got a little old after a while, too. Without Dutchy's walkthrough to help me keep my bearings I probably wouldn't have had the patience to make it all the way through. You could find a worse way to while away an hour or so." - Phil (22-Nov-2011)

"WAY WAY WAYYY too many zombies. Until you get the crossbow you have to deal with encountering another two or three zombies every time you turn a corner. Other than the zombies this level had great textures a big beautiful mansion. Maybe a little too big; it was really easy to get lost and the rooms were all the same. But it's only a demo; it's one heck of a demo I might say." - Capt.Abbey (08-Nov-2003)

"This level takes place in Marco's mansion and I'd love to get my hands on a set of the floorplans. It's so big and confusing I don't see how anyone could actually live there. It is a well built and beautiful house though with a huge foyer and beautiful sitting rooms that contain fireplaces and pianos. I played for over an hour before placing the scroll and still didn't see all the areas I don't think. I only found one outdoor area and there seemed to be some doors I never used. But then maybe I did see those areas and the doors closed behind me when I left them I was a little turned around and confused by the end. Lara's new pet that she keeps in her pool was a huge surprise and I found four secrets along the way." - RaiderGirl (30-Oct-2003)

"Curse of Xian is a quite easy level: the gameplay is only push the switches (or fire the torches) and find the door that's open. Lara has to find some nice objects like the Dagger of Xian the thistle stone a scroll and a silver key. Sometimes you can get stuck because of the similar doors and corridors. The house is beautiful and well built. I missed some more puzzles and jumps although the game was entertaining for me. I finished with 4 secrets and 1 hr 40 min. of net gaming time. I hope the full game will be better than the demo. I'm sure I will play it." - Loupar (15-Oct-2003)

"Demo schlemo not really I think. On the other hand I'm still missing one key to one door never found that one. So if ever this will be a full grown level that door will be open I hope. I have to admit that I ran around a lot. And I mean a lot. At times it was rather confusing as I hardly could remember where a door was still closed or where a wall opened up. In the end placing a scroll I hit the end trigger. Going into the swimming pool scared the beejeez out of me as I stood eyeball to eyeball with the dragon looking serpent and being also chased by a wraith. Luck was with me (as it was through this entire level) so in panic it did the right thing LOL. I found this rather a fast paced level so I hardly kept any notes. I liked the overall picture though and I was glad I found the weapons to get rid of the ghouls that were roaming around as they were a pest (as they should be). Found 5 secrets. 28-08-2003" - Gerty (10-Sep-2003)

"I remember when demos were quick ten minute jobbies that merely served as a taster for things to ome. Nowadays they seem to be levels in their own right. Certainly this one is: Marco's Mansion: This makes Lara's mansion look like a bathing hut - it's huge and heavily infested with zombies. Luckily explosives are plentifully supplied so you can easily get rid of the irritating things. Other enemies are ninjas (really cheerful chaps that laugh as you shoot them) dogs and bats. There is a lot of running around opening doors and throwing switches to do as you would expect from this type of level but also some unexpected twists. I mean who the hell left a great big grown up dragon in the swimming pool? Guaranteed to put you off your morning dip. This is a very confusing level and it's easy to get lost. The one thing I really could have done with was a map. The main objects to find (other than keys) are a thistle (rather oddly named nitrous oxide feeder in my inventory) the dagger of Xian and a scroll. I also found five secrets. 08.09.2003" - Jay (09-Sep-2003)

"As a widely acclaimed hater of mansion levels I have to bow to this very impressive effort. Of course it may have been pure luck but I never got seriously stuck here and did not feel like I wasted a lot of time running around uselessly looking for the next thing to do so the flow of the game supported by a few helpful camera shots is quite ok. Having said that the number of doors you need to open (countless) buttons you need to press (about a dozen) zombies (20+) dogs bats and ninjas you need to kill and not to forget all the pick-up frenzy (mostly after shooting vases) does get a bit tedious after a while. Nice use of the torch twice two short outside areas a nice and eerie atmosphere a thistle two keys and a scroll to find. Stealing the thistle from under the dragon's mouth was kind of cool indeed. Some globe and urn pushing is also added for good measure and I found 4 secrets which were a bit disappointing in terms of reward (3 times shotgun shells and a big medi). The revamped crossbow and some of the custom objects are also worth mentioning. All in all if this is the demo of the start of a level series I really look forward to it - great stuff!" - Michael (06-Sep-2003)

"What an extraordinary looking house/mansion level this is VERY spooky. I like the look dark and brooding - those horrible lacerated dogs and walking zombies. Far too many of them for my liking. Loved Lara's outfit and instead of pistols she has twin 45's uzis are micro uzis and the revolver is a magnum with great sound. Lara says Aha twice each time I fired. She also gets a cool looking crossbow that repeat fires and a ghostly set of pistols. The house is very well done I liked the decor objects and textures. You need to find a silver key a set of keys the dagger of Xian a scroll and my old favourite - the thistle. Lots of doors to open switches and running around lots of corridors. I left it a few times and came back because I got confused. And I got some shocks too - just wait 'til you get to the swimming pool! There's a very well hidden trapdoor in one of the bathrooms that I had to be told of. You get two torches for each torch puzzle. One really annoying thing was Lara wasn't able to pick up certain items easily because there was something in the way like the grenade under the clothes in the wardrobe. It's a very confusing level (gameplay score marked down) and when I heard a full version was coming out I was tempted to leave this until the new release. But I've finished now and I'm glad. However there are still some doors I never got to open so we'll just have to see." - CC (04-Sep-2003)

"I can't see this being a demo as it is a full playable level maybe the author has in mind a series of levels. The name of this level might bring to mind something other than it is when what you really get here is a mansion level though not Lara's but Marco's and just like a mansion level your aim is to open up rooms after rooms which can become a little dull but this one was quite enjoyable as it can turn you around a bit and confuse you with all the hidden doors there are also some nice movable object puzzles beret wearing mummies and a totally unexpected scare when you meet the giant serpent sitting smack dab in the middle of an indoor pool you have just run into with an ice sprite on your tail. You may want to keep some notes on what doors book shelves wall sections you will need to open as you go around because they are easy to overlook and even though cameras are quite helpfully used you may still have a little trouble remembering how to get to where you need to go. I played this for an hour with 5 secrets found and really did have a lot of fun but I thought the ninjas were a little out of place thankfully you don't get many of them you do though get hordes of those French mummies oui oui!" - Sash (02-Sep-2003)

"Well this is a demo so don't expect to visit everywhere but set in a large house there's lots of doors to find remember and of course get into. The rooms are quite beautiful using the red blacks and gold textures they were very lavish and well set out with furniture and wall decorations it was a lovely setting to roam around. Enemies are ninjas bats a few dogs one strangely placed dragon in the pool plus locusts and a million zombies in fact too many for this level I thought but hoping you find the crossbow early which you can coz this makes life so much easier and whilst on this subject the harpoon features on the crossbow were superb with a very fast fire action I didn't use the other weapons so I don't know if they too had been enhanced but what a great addition to the level this was. No traps other than some zombies popping out of wardrobes and plenty of time to kill them. There are a couple of puzzles like globe and push objects to do and I like the globe puzzle set up with the torch to use first that was different and so has to be a bonus. Gameplay was fun but the endless rooms and doors got a bit stale after a while though saying that I did enjoy it thoroughly and look forward to the full version. Find the thistle gem the dagger scroll and keys but two important items in one area is not a good idea. Lots of pick ups and plenty of health and ammo around made this an easy ride. Nice sounds and Lara looked nice. I'd say this was a relatively easy level but you do need a good memory with doors and such. I do recommend this as it does have something special about it it's a nicely prepared level with fun bits plus drama and all in a great setting." - Moonpooka (02-Sep-2003)

"This demo could easily be a whole level or at least it seemed to me. It took me an hour and ten minutes to finish it and I am still dizzy. It has so many doors and passages even though I just finished I can't possibly remember them all if any. The classic mansion we all find boring is a piece of cake in front of this one. There are many libraries or rooms like that two piano areas and several bathrooms. You will find one set of keys and a single key also a thistle a scroll and of course the Dagger of Xian. You can finish the level without doing everything and the single key isn't necessary. As son as you find the scroll and find the way to access a gate outside in the garden which looks nothing like the one we are used to you exit without visiting all the areas. Also the single key leads back to the second part of the garden through the library but since I have visited all the areas there I found it unnecessary. The zombies are annoying because of the noise they do that is until you find the grenade gun and the crossbow. Other enemies are ninjas with different outfits although black and red are still the main colours dogs and a lot of bats. I can't say it's bad but I sure hope the author will include more puzzles instead of just finding keys and open a lot of doors. I also hope that this won't stay just a demo but we will see the full version soon." - Kristina (01-Sep-2003)

"I thought this level got off to a lively start with the gorgeous mansion setting and the excellent use of textures. Big complex setting with lots to do and alas many doors that never seem to work. So the level raised my expectations to a very high level and then kept disappointing me with uneven game play. So if this is a demo and we are its beta testers then I would recommend: 1.) More variety between the rooms too much black and red is unrealistic hard to look at and confusing. To keep texture memory down simple variations could be made in the black marble (make it with other colors such as muted greens and blues) to make rooms easier to remember. That is make the rooms different colors. 2.) Move the wraith/dragon scenario (very exciting!) to the very end before placing the scroll 3.) Don't put so many important pick-ups after the library. Put more keys throughout the level to keep the expectation/fulfillment level up. 4.) More fighters and fewer zombies. (What's with having a zombie in the loo? A grappler in the crapper?) --- I think this could be a first rate level with a bit more work and I hope the author stays with it. Obviously a great deal of time has been invested and I hope the author makes the big pay off. I think this shows a real talent." - Duncan (01-Sep-2003)
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