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Old 05-04-12, 12:45   #1
tomekkobialka
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Default A Quick Review

Recently I finished replaying The Lost Artifact, first time I managed to find all secrets in the game. Therefore I thought I might celebrate with a little review.


Highland Fling
- I love how the builders added in a little gameplay 'tutorial' before the main area. I remember still how I spent ages trying to get out of that first area...only after I slept over it did I realise...I can climb OVER the damn gate!

This level is built around one main area...and what an area it is! Even though it is possible to just go over the bridge and through the timed gates, you could potentially spend over half of your time in this level in that area, searching around for items, discovering caves, climbing rock faces...THAT'S what I call exploration. Well, apart from getting the uzis, which was just...weird-loration. They really bugged me...




I think the high point of this level was the atmosphere and environments - misty graveyards, ancient towers, dark and murky tunnels...and a mythical sea-monster! (I'm not going to spoil it for those who have not yet discovered, but when I found the secret...).

9/10


Willard's Lair
- This is really just a trap infested version of Highland Fling. Right from the beginning you're thrown into spiked walls, rolling boulders, spiked floors, spiked ceilings...SPIKED EVERYTHING!

My favourite aspect of the level is the whole claustrophobic and disorientating feel it has to it, especially the "Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here" part. Not that I LIKED it...but the level was best at creating that feeling.

Btw, do you know what that weird guy is doing at the beginning of the level? Because I didn't...UNTIL I FOUND THE SECRET!

Overall, this level was good, but not as good as Highland Fling, probably because I think the developers went a little overboard with the traps...which reminds me...

I NEED TO FINISH REPLAYING TR3!!!

8.5/10


Shakespeare Cliff
- When I saw what this level was going to be, I thought I was going to hate it. I'm really not the kind of player who enjoys modern TR levels. But even though this level is a cross-breed of TR5 Russia and TR3 London, I was surprisingly pulled in by it.

Lara essentially starts off outside between the cliffs of Dover, and then goes on a journey which takes her far down into the depths of the Channel. What I loved about this whole level is the way that you go down deeper and deeper, the walls start changing colour, the terrain starts becoming more rocky, until you come to the big whopper...the immense cavern with the hanging train. I really felt like I WAS exploring some ancient, long-forgotten tomb. Not to mention the last secret, which IS an ancient, long-forgotten cavern, which it and its habitants completely take you by surprise.

And of course, the quadbike is a bonus in itself.

Overall, the theme of this level seems to be 'getting deeper, going back in time', which was beautifully emphasized by the secrets, because if you notice...

[SPOILERS BELOW]

...the first secret is in the present, the second secret is in 1800, and the third secret is 150 million years ago

[SPOILERS ABOVE]

I have to give this level full marks. There's nothing I can improve about it, to be honest.

10/10


Sleeping with the Fishes
- I'll just start with this: the visuals in this level are AMAZING. I would love to take this level to Crystal and tell them: "See? You don't need "new generation graphics" to create stunning visuals! You just need to use decent graphics and use them in the right way!"

The pool with the crane - the visuals were WAY better than in the TRU Mediterranean levels. No repetitive and monotonous colours, no identical jellyfish-infested corridors, no boring puzzles...this level had a stunning secret, crashing submarines, fantastic environments...but gameplay-wise???



I dunno: analysing the level, I can find plenty of places where lots of gameplay was involved, but somehow when playing the level...I didn't find it interesting and fun enough. Tbh I didn't really know what I was meant to be doing in that level (obviously I was looking for the artifact but some parts of the level were just very repetitive).

I would have liked a little more variety, Core!

8/10


It's a Madhouse!
- Well, what have we here? A zoo? Immediately I knew this was going to be a fun level!

And it was as well!

A zoo is somewhere we've all been to and which we can easily relate to. So when we see Lara in a large cage with monkeys twirling around her, stealing medipacks, or her sharing a large aviary with a few unsuspecting vultures, you can't help but smile! It's a fun place to be in, but THEN...

What's that growling noise?
What's that following me?
WHAT'S THAT CHASING ME?!?!
HOW THE HELL DO I GET OUT OF HERE?!?!?!


Time and time again we are reminded that this is no ordinary 'zoo visit'. There are tigers, piranhas, spiked floors - Lara has got to be on the watch constantly!

Therefore I admire this level and how it takes an ordinary, known-to-all location - a mere zoo overlooking the sea - and turns it into something deadly.

9.5/10



Reunion
- As soon as the level starts, a massive boulder (it's the meteorite from TR3, isn't it ) rolls towards Lara. Then we see two 'mutagenic' walkways, and at each end we have grenades and rockets.

There, ladies and gentlemen, we have our blurb. Traps, an ethereal setting, and ammo. Yes, we will be needing a LOT of ammo.

The start of the level involves a few chest-less guys (woah, scary! ), getting past invisible ledges (eurgh, I REALLY have to finish replaying TR3 ) and swinging burners.
Then suddenly, here comes Sophia Leigh!

The rest of the level really just involves you trying to evade her as you both climb up and up (which makes the level that much more intense) until you finally face her with your well-fueled rocket launcher.


Unlike London, you actually HAVE to shoot her down, although you still have to lure her into her weakspot first.

Although this is very much a boss level, it's still built in a very creative and original way. It almost feels like it isn't a boss level, because of so many different distractions.

And the ending. A Montgolfier hot-air balloon? What has that got to do wi-...OH wait, the Montgolfier brothers are French and Core are incredibly stereotypical.

Well done, Core! I'm proud of you!

9/10


Overall: Phew! What a game! I only wish it was longer! Even though some levels were better than others, and I criticized a few levels for lack of certain elements, EACH AND EVERY ONE of these levels is brilliant and unique in its own way. It's a complete thrill ride, and those famous 'big' secrets are just the icing on the cake.

As someone who has been to Loch Ness, I think the Scotland levels captured the atmosphere brilliantly. The Chunnel levels had great visuals and very interesting locations, and Paris was great in luring Lara into danger.

I highly recommend you go get and play this game, if you have not done so already.
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Last edited by tomekkobialka; 18-04-12 at 19:54.
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Old 05-04-12, 13:02   #2
lord gaga
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Thanks for the great review. IMO this game is amazing and since this is an add on to TR3 i consider TR3 to be the best TR game and my third favorite game of all time just behind super mario galaxy and The legend of zelda OOT.
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Old 05-04-12, 22:42   #3
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Enjoyed your review. This is probably the most enjoyable group of levels in all the commercial games. Great to get someone else's unique viewpoint.

I felt the balloon was a quotation from The Wizard of Oz; the Wizard takes leave of the Emerald City in one.
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Old 05-04-12, 23:03   #4
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First of all: WHERE on earth are you getting all of these amazing emoticons?!

Secondly, really excellent job. I read it from top to bottom, you have a way of making it interesting, informative, and funny all at the same time. Ironically, you rated my favorite level lowest, and my least favorite level highest, but I love all of the levels of this game, and I respect your opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomekkobialka View Post
Lara essentially starts off outside between the cliffs of Dover, and then goes on a journey which takes her far down into the depths of the Channel. What I loved about this whole level is the way that you go down deeper and deeper, the walls start changing colour, the terrain starts becoming more rocky, until you come to the big whopper...the immense cavern with the hanging train. I really felt like I WAS exploring some ancient, long-forgotten tomb. Not to mention the last secret, which IS an ancient, long-forgotten cavern, which it and its habitants completely take you by surprise.
This is an extremely good point that I hadn't thought of before, but you're right - you get deeper and deeper as the level goes on. Oh, and your observation about getting further back in time is really good too, I hadn't noticed it before.

I guess my problem with Shakespeare Cliff is that it's so darned short, and even though the pterodactyl cavern is cool, it's really random. I also thought the level didn't get properly interesting until the massive pit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomekkobialka View Post
I dunno: analysing the level, I can find plenty of places where lots of gameplay was involved, but somehow when playing the level...I didn't find it interesting and fun enough. Tbh I didn't really know what I was meant to be doing in that level (obviously I was looking for the artifact but some parts of the level were just very repetitive).

I would have liked a little more variety, Core!
Maybe I just really love all of the swimming (as well as fighting the divers underwater ) involved in this level, but I personally thought the gameplay was fantastic. Exploring all of the underwater caverns and finding things like the dolphins and ship remnants were just so cool. And then, you get into Sophia's laboratory and witness her mutant creations... Speaking of which, the mutant fish were a very nice touch. I also loved the "ghost planes" at the end of the level.
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Old 06-04-12, 20:42   #5
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Thanks for the comments, guys!

Sheepman, looks like me and you need to have a little chat. (j/k)

Re: 'Sleeping with the Fishes', I think it might just be that I'm not a fan of levels which involve a lot of swimming. I don't really like the harpoon gun (I'm not sure if I should just hold down the 'Fire' key or tap it... ) and having to constantly keep a look out at Lara's breath-meter isn't my idea of fun. So maybe the level score is a bit biased...but it's a score nonetheless. I just didn't enjoy the level so much.
Quote:
I just didn't enjoy the level SO much
Honestly, as far as water levels go, Sleeping with the Fishes is a fantastic level. But as it's placed among some of the best levels in the whole series...
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Old 18-04-12, 16:29   #6
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Iím a ps player, so I never really played these levels... They look beautiful...
can you post more screenshots please?
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Old 19-04-12, 13:43   #7
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Here's some old threads, kunoichi. Don't post in them.
http://www.tombraiderforums.com/showthread.php?t=54108
http://www.tombraiderforums.com/showthread.php?t=72927
http://www.tombraiderforums.com/showthread.php?t=126863
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Old 19-04-12, 13:45   #8
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I'd give all 6 a those levels a 10/10.
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Old 19-04-12, 15:14   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peeves View Post
I'd give all 6 a those levels a 10/10.
Yes, because it's perfectly logical to assess levels that you haven't played.
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Old 24-04-12, 14:14   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheepman23 View Post
Yes, because it's perfectly logical to assess levels that you haven't played.
I know it is.
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