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Level: Back to Basics - Dwellers of the Abyss back home search
Author(s): tombrdr
total rating:8.65 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Alarable 10 9 9 10
Bene 10 10 10 10
Bogey 8 8 8 8
CC 9 8 9 9
Deekman 8 8 9 9
Dimpfelmoser 8 7 9 9
Dutchy 9 9 9 10
eRIC 8 8 9 9
EssGee 9 8 9 9
eTux 8 7 8 9
G.Croft 9 8 8 9
Gerty 8 8 9 9
gfd 9 9 10 9
Gill 10 10 10 10
Horus 7 6 7 9
Jay 9 8 9 10
Jenni 8 9 8 8
Jerrod 9 9 10 9
Jorge22 10 10 10 10
Jose 10 9 9 10
Josi 8 8 8 8
Kristina 9 8 9 9
manarch2 6 5 8 8
MichaelP 8 9 8 8
Minox 8 9 9 8
Mman 8 8 8 8
Moonpooka 10 10 9 9
Mrs rjb 9 9 10 9
mugs 9 9 9 9
Obig 9 8 9 9
Pam 9 9 9 9
Phil 8 10 10 10
QRS 8 9 9 10
rjb 9 9 10 9
Ruediger 9 9 8 8
Sash 6 6 9 9
Staticon 9 9 8 9
Sutekh 9 6 8 8
Treeble 8 7 8 8
Whistle 9 8 9 9
Yahiko Li 7 5 8 9
category averages
(41 reviews)
8.56 8.24 8.83 8.98

Reviewer's comments

"As many other levels of the first BtB, this is a game with a good and a rather bad half. The good half is actually the first one – the gameplay feels pretty engaging, navigating around that deep pit and shattering several vases in a rather clever way, the atmosphere is quite unique with lots of glass floors through which you can see in other rooms. But at a certain point the gameplay got fairly tedious with a lot of to and fro, not very inspired tasks and – worst of all – a very unhealthy obsession to enemies you can't get rid of easily. While the skeletons pose a rather minor threat, the amount of wraiths and beetles definately surpassed a tolerance limit for me. At least the room design managed to maintain the same high standard throughout the whole level, and this level is certainly one of the visual highlights of the competition. But for me the thing that sticked out most were the annoying enemies which, together with the unexiting gameplay, destroyed the good first impressions in this game. Found six secrets in 40 minutes spent here." - manarch2 (06-May-2014)

"This level is very good, it is quite difficult, many skeletons. Especially at the end with these jumps rope with a ghost. The puzzles are classics, poussables and breaking vases for advance. It may end without taking the trident." - Minox (01-Apr-2014)

"This level takes the Catacombs theme in a somewhat original direction, with a lot of surreal colours and some odd geometry. Between that and the use of being able to view other areas a lot of the time this level has a distinctiveness to it that many other catacombs levels don't, and it looks good visually as well.
The gameplay is pretty challenging, there are one or two points where I almost wondered whether it was harder than the author intended due to some of the strange geometry in the level, but it's hard to tell. The lasersight is a major gameplay theme of this level, and there are several shootables to blast as you make progress. The other is a lot of the enemy spam, however, the level reveals a method to it as you quickly acquire a grenade launcher after the action picks up and get to go wild. It almost seems a little overdone though as there are one or two points where the engine doesn't seem to be able to keep up with the amount of enemies. A good level that also has a distinct style of it's own." - Mman (25-Oct-2012)

"This level look like a movie from Hollywood. The game begin slowly but when the main hall is invaded by the darkness, Lara goes out of her small bag revolver, shotgun, crossbow, & grenade-gun ! All places have a great look, sometimes a little bit too bright, but nothing bad. Good work with the sounds despite the low choice." - Jerrod (28-Mar-2010)

"The gameplay of this level consisted mainly of pushing something on certain tile, shooting vases and blasting skeletons. Over and over again. Due to the fact that there were so many skeletons, some just kept disappearing or flickering so they normally popped out of nowhere right in front of you. Also I noticed that a lot of skeletons kept running into walls even if I didn't do them any harm. Maybe just frightened of the grenade launcher ;) I sometimes encountered dead ends when jumping somewhere I was not meant to be, and the secrets were so obviousy placed that you could not miss them. The halls were very beautifully lighted, but the smaller tunnels and rooms seemed too bright and sometimes not lighted at all. I also noticed that some objects (for example the lights on the ceiling) were not placed well, as they sticked into the walls - it doesn't look that good if light rays shine through a wall. Recommended to people who like to blast things up =)" - Horus (07-Oct-2005)

This was one nice level but it was a little repetitive. The beginning was pretty straightforward, with three obvious paths to take and, thankfully, the Crowbar at sight. You don't carry more than one star at one time, although you do have to hunt down quite a few of them. I'm not much of a fan of Catacombs levels and I'm sure I've said this countless times, and this level was very Catacomb at it's heart: lots of vases to shoot down, lots of ghosts that need to be taken to a nearby cross, lots of skeletons... lots might not be suitable, as this level sure had one ARMY of skeletons! You are given, though, both Crossbow and Grenade Launcher along with a lot of explosive ammo to blow the undead. This level is pretty bright for the most of the time and it's a nice change, actually, from dark Catacombs. I also thought the vase-shooting in the deadly mud area was rather ingenious with some tricky shots, but pretty manageable. 60 minutes, 6 secrets. 07/05 - Treeble (11-Jul-2005)

"I've said it before and must say it again; it truly is amazing what can be achieved with a basic wad and textures. I was totally captivated by the beautiful architecture and the lighting in this level. The gameplay, too, had a surprise for me - I managed to finish it - and in a reasonable amount of time. There are tons of enemies and armaments to deal with them and I can say, quite literally, I had a blast. Excellent level." - Staticon (13-May-2005)

"A great and hard level. The only downside was that I had to replay it 3 times due to bugs when I had to shot the 5 blue vases... Great textures and a cool map layout. Tons of skeletons to blast with your crossbow and that's cool :) Good job, Debbie! 2005-05-09" - QRS (09-May-2005)

"The Dwellers of the Abyss is a great level. It starts by Lara falling, falling, falling into the abyss from where she will meet several challenges and not an inconsiderable number of the ‘dwellers’. Here is a level that it is obvious why it has been called what it has been. ‘Dwellers’ starts quite simply, and yet is interesting. Throughout the level the game play and puzzles increase in difficulty and ingenuity, the ‘baddies’ increase in ferocity and number, building to a crescendo in the final stages of the game. This increase from the odd skellie and mummy to mini armies of them was no bad thing as there is more than enough fire-power to dispense with them and this with a very satisfying splat…grenade guns and explosive crossbow bolts are truly wonderful! Highlights of the game for me, and there were many, included the vase room puzzles where shooting of vases, used as triggers, enabled progress …( when you had found them all as they were keen to play hide and seek,) interesting and innovative camera shots throughout the game which added to the variety in the game, a marsh room needing care and colourful attractive rooms everywhere in the game. At my stage of development, (in TR terms that’s retarded!), I find the white sprites so very difficult to deal with and I try to avoid disturbing them. Where they reared their ugly heads here, after discovering that not all could be avoided, there was always a convenient bird statuette to dispense the said annoyance with a satisfying bang. Overall, I really enjoyed this game and, of the 20 or so levels I’ve played so far this is my favourite. Thank you!" - Mrs rjb (25-Mar-2005)

"Quite a fast-paced, simple and generally fun adventure in a rather colourful catacomb setting, that doesn't look too catacomb like, and thus is quite refreshing - what I also think is why so many players, including myself liked the level. It mainly revolves around pushable objects or shooting things (both vases and skeletons or mummies). The first I found to be a bit tedious, and nothing particularly different from what we've seen before, but the latter was quite fun actually. I liked the swamp, vase puzzle, though it had me stumbled for quite a while. And what greater way to have fun, than blowing up zounds of the dwellers lying here? I think Debbie overdid on that side, but with it being quite an 'explosive' way to have fun, I certainly enjoyed myself, though wished at times it would be more challenging, than just firing another grenade. Also the secrets were just WAY too easy to find - even for such a bad secret finder as myself (what can I say? I'm not nosy enough for that!). The colourful lighting was quite for my liking (hey, that rhymes!), and added a nice feel to the otherwise dull catacomb settings. Also the infamous Debbie's superwraiths are here too, as seen in Psycho and Rebecca of Lara at the Movies. A fun, nice-looking level - what more can you ask for? Try it!" - eTux (05-Mar-2005)

"All those jars to shoot gave this level a different feel to me. And all the colors! Pretty! At first, I managed to bypass all the skellies by use of some strategic saves, but once I had the grenade gun, I went back and released them just to blow them back to their abyss! Lot ’s of fun, not too hard. Plenty of skellies, but more than enough skelly-bustin’ ammo." - Deekman (03-Mar-2005)

"A really stunning level, not the usual Catacomb setting because of a clever use of textures and a special lighting. There is some kind of beauty down there, very well done! I like the pushable object puzzles, Debbie has used textures not often used in the catacomb.tga and placed them trapped in the glass floor. Good puzzles and many enemies in the last part of the level which is a bit confusing I may say, with tension growing. It was a great crazy mess, but a funny one." - eRIC (01-Mar-2005)

"This is a rather classic level in Debbie's style. Fast paced progression, not too tricky puzzles, so you will hardly think for too long on your next action and actually fairly linear throughout. The swamp area with some very sneaky target shooting was fun, the lights out effect and subsequent adrenalin rush with the beetles and skeletons exciting and the 'dwellers' rising from their tombs very well set in scene. Countless skeletons roam this place but you are well equipped with weaponry. Found 6 secrets and made it out with the trident in Lara's backpack after just over an hour." - Michael (01-Mar-2005)

"My absolute favorite in the whole bunch! The beginning is not very promising but as you play along you can tell this builder knows what he/she is doing. Once you get to the abyss it takes some good thinking and jumping in front of those ropes and buttons before you get across. When you have finally reached the other side you need to find each and every single vase and shoot it, which is a lot harder than it sounds because they are partly hidden in some unexpected places. When I had them all and thought ‘well this is it, now the level ends’ it continues with even better gameplay, more rooms and niches to explore and an endless supply of skeletons and mummies. They are no problem to get rid of because you can find both the grenade gun and the crossbow in this level. The lighting I thought was excellent and I think at one moment it even changed from just regular lighting to an eerie green (is that possible or was my mind playing tricks on me?) with scarabs crawling out everywhere, very well combined with the creepy music. The ending gets also some spectacular music as Lara picks up the trident and leaves these catacombs. I am sure I will play this again sometime, which I cannot say about a lot of catacomb levels. Very well done!" - Pam (01-Mar-2005)

"A level with lots to do and pickups to find, which make the level much easier. Enemies fit the level with plenty of wraiths, skeletons and zombies to keep you occupied. Puzzles tend to be of the move block type, or hunt out a jar to shoot, to activate blocks/doors. If you like jumping around then this is definitely a level for you. In fact there is something for everyone, from swimming to rope swings as well as the jumping. Pick ups are quite frequently gained, but try and get something explosive early on, as it makes the splatting of the skellies and zombies over the walls and furniture easier than avoiding them. The graphics are in keeping with the type of level and coupled with the lighting create a superb atmosphere. Definitely a level worth playing." - Whistle (01-Mar-2005)

"Yes, the abyss is inhabited, and the dwellers are not friendly. There are several mummies, numerous wraiths and uncountable skeletons. You will get plenty of explosive ammo, though. The level does not start very promising. Dull rooms, a gauntlet run and some tedious pushing. The flyby/camera work is OK, though, and when the first star has been placed, things improve considerably. In particular, I liked the puzzling setup for getting the second star. Apart from dealing with enemies, you have to shoot an awful lot of vases and sometimes find a not so obvious passage. There are many secrets, and one of the first is very generous with goodies. The setting is characterized by abundant use of floors and walls of glass, letting you preview what comes ahead, and the level is centered around a deep chasm. It is a good level, but I found it quite long for being a back to basics level." - Bogey (27-Feb-2005)

"A long slide down a ramp starts the level, and with the music, you know it’s going to be action-filled, and it is! Fixed camera angles when trying to flee a wraith and locate a button that’s hidden behind a statue as you don’t have Lara’s point of view is a no no! So is being a sitting duck on a rope with another wraith buzzing around (and through) Lara. Other than that, the level was thoroughly enjoyable. Filled with skeletons, wraiths and mummies galore – this level is about dodging enemies rather than traps, though I had fun doing it, it did seem to be a slight overkill as far as the number of enemies is concerned. The block in sinking mud was a notable high moment of the level, as was shooting all the vases – great fun! A great level that I enjoyed thoroughly :)" - Jenni (22-Feb-2005)

"Loved the glass separated three tiered room where the bulk of this level is played around, liked the pace the level had at times, but have to say got very tired of all the Dwellers, skeletons and insidious wraiths, that were just so overused I almost wanted to tear my hair out and punch myself in the face when each new batch of one or the other had been unleashed. The gaming too seemed a little repeated with either vases or bones to shoot for the most part and the 6 secrets to collect didn’t constitute a very difficult task at all. Now if this author is whom I think it is then I generally really like her levels but this one sadly was more of an aggravation than an enjoyment for me and that was a disappointment. Let me just say though that this isn’t a bad level but it just didn’t gel with me and as you can see by the other reviewers it is well liked otherwise." - Sash (18-Feb-2005)

"This is the most beautiful level of this collection so far. In order to complete it, it's essential to gain the Revolver and the LaserSight. These are needed because there are many vases and bones that open doors by being shot. Many wraiths set us back, but we can find enough statues for getting rid of them. If we explore all six secrets, we'll have enough ammunition for the Shotgun, for the Crossbow and for the Grenade Gun too, and so we won't have any problems with the countless skeletons. Technical parts are also more emphatic than on previous levels, because here we have to get from one rope to the other, and there's a timed run too, but mostly the latter is not so hard. I advice it to everyone, this is a beautiful level. :) You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version), savegames and pictures here: http://www.treditor.hu/15/back_to_basics4_dwellers_of_the_abyss.htm " - Obig (16-Feb-2005)

"A stylish beginning, as we slide down a long way (and I tried to catch hold of something on the way down several times!) and then a slow fly-by, to show us an area we shall soon visit. Nice warm colours, and an attractive 'remote' camera shot from above and behind as we enter the 'fly-by room'. Imaginative that by a bit of thought we can avoid (at least temporarily?!) that particularly virulent sprite - as we have no bird statuette/anti-sprite to hand. Pleasant to have a game where one thing follows straightforwardly from another, more or less, in the early stages, in a mainly bright, colourful, 'warm' setting. Then after these fairly mild puzzles, I liked the 'up-a-gear', 'more-involved' way we needed to traverse the 'loading screen room', with its smoke jets, pressure pads, doors and certain unexpected effects. (And marvellous how, late in the game, you suddenly realise you are near the bottom of that same room. It was interesting to shoot a particular vase and see it disappear from the loading screen picture we are given.) A magnificent view in the hall with the translucent floor. (And, another point that doesn't impinge immediately, you discover that there are two separate floors below you.) Fascinating room, with the 'marshy' effect off to one side, too, and the target shooting to 'create' the stepping stones; imaginative too. I liked the many coloured vases, with the reminder that we shouldn't assume it is wise to shoot every vase! (I noted that one colour was generally good to shoot at and another colour was usually NOT - and if you think it's always red for danger ...) So there was little opposition for some time - and the puzzles, too, were fairly gentle to start - then the 'umph' gear was engaged and .... All this nice explosive ammo for the crossbow, eg, but no crossbow itself, till we really needed it. We were given the grenade gun at an earlier time, when we first really encountered adversaries (and fortunately the one beetles experience - there were hordes of them if you waited too long! - could be fairly quickly dealt with, IF you didn't panic). Re the voracious white sprites, I counted more than in any other game, so far [with 15/18 played], so it was a nice touch that some could be avoided altogether, if we were careful. (There were 2 occasions where we had a super hungry [& intensely white] sprite - made up of 2 sprites together, it would seem.) An interesting ambush when 3 skeletors jump out of a passage at once in one place - but we already have the crossbow and explosive bolts by then, and the grenade gun, so it is entirely 'fair' that this kind of ambush might occur, I thought. Then there was the excellent end section. The whole game had gradually been getting more and more 'intricate', in a steady crescendo, an excellent 'rising action', beautifully 'paced', from those simple puzzles to the more taxing ones, from no enemies to hordes of them (but we had been given entirely adequate ammo, provided we hadn't wasted it). And somehow, it seems that players just love using the explosive crossbow bolts and grenades against certain 'baddies', I've noticed. We are shown a fly-by of ropes and shimmering platforms, with rising skeletors, doors (one hopefully open by then!) and pillars in the room across the chasm. One last sprite to deal with or seek to outrun to the end of the level and then we are finished. This level is now 2nd overall on my own list, after 'Shadow', displacing 'Red & Blue'. (Not played Desert Ruins yet, which the grapevine suggests is pretty good.) If the artistic creativity of the author of this level, though, were to be combined with the puzzle ability shown by the designer of 'Lara in Persia', then perhaps those two could produce a real winner! Managed to find the 6 secrets." - rjb (08-Feb-2005)

"Well what can I say here, other than the fact that this level had some excellent game-play, which kept me my toes and thinking throughout this adventure. During your journey, you will have many things to accomplish, and a lot of exploring is needed, which had me quite confused at times, and if it wasn't for looking at the help thread, I don't think I would have been able to have finished it, but fortunately, I did manage to finish it, and I was very glad that I did not miss out on this wonderful adventure. In the first part of this level, you’re in search of a star, a crowbar, mastering and solving a few pushable object puzzles, and also being chased by some fire wraiths in the process, but this bit was fairly straight forward, and quite easy to solve and accomplish. Then you reach this wonderful and most colourful laid out room with this huge pit in the middle with many doors and areas surrounding it, and you need to do a lot of exploring here, in figuring out how to get into some of these area's, and also finding a way in dropping a few ropes to help you to proceed further into this wonderful adventure. Fortunately you do get your revolver and laser-sight, which you definitely need to help you in accomplishing your mission through the next stages and areas of this game, but keep in mind, your main task here, is shooting objects to help you to progress further. You will also need to figure out a way, in crossing a muddy swamp area, which was rather interesting, and had me running around quite a bit in trying to finally cross it. Your enemies are mummies, fire wraths, skeletons, which do come in large numbers at times, but the grenade gun and crossbow are nearby to assist you in blasting these enemies to smithereens, so make sure your find your weapons as early as possible, as you will need them. Even though I thought this level was rather difficult in certain places, the layouts was fantastically done, it was extremely colourful with some beautiful lighting techniques, all the textures fitted in perfectly, which gave this adventure an excellent but different kind of game-play with a great atmosphere to it. In my opinion, this level is well worth playing, and mustn't be missed, so d/load it now and see for yourself, as I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I am sure you will." - Gill (06-Feb-2005)

"I have a sneaky suspicion that this level is build by one of the few females that entered this competition. It start with a great fly by and you better watch it careful or else it will cost you a major health problems. The gameplay is exciting although there are some repetitive actions, it still captured me to keep going until the end. This is certainly a game played best with eyes wide open as some vases are hard to spot, but the mud room was fun to do. Getting my hands on the grenade gun was a blessing as there are many skeletons out there and they never come alone. The trick to lure them somewhere so I could blast them with one grenade, was fun. Shooting vases and bones is also a part in this level, so finding the revolver and sight is a must. There is one timed run that is hard to do if you saved in the wrong place. Although you can reset it, it seemed like it was tighter than the first time around. Puzzles weren't too hard and better save before shooting those vases as some presents you'll get aren't that friendly. First time around it took me over 2 hours to finish it, second time around (Teflon memory) it took 1 ½ hours. Found 6 secrets. 06-01-2005" - Gerty (05-Feb-2005)

"This is an excellent level. Nice slide into these catacombs at the start and a flyby that shows exactly what to do when you’ve reached the bottom. Immediately you are chased by a wraith and a fixed camera can disorientate you for a moment, so remember the flyby and push that switch, run through the door and find a cross to get rid of it. There are other wraiths in the level but Debbie has given us three crosses to deal with them. I thought the ideas here were simple but intriguing. We have objects to push, things to shoot (one of the most important things to do in this level), timed run, climbs, jumps, face tiles to push, bones and vases to shoot, beetles at one point, and lots and lots of skeletons and mummys which keep you looking over your shoulder. At one time I ran out of ammo to deal with these, running around looking for an escape route. Once I knew what to do I reloaded and headed straight for the next point so I could use just one or two grenades to kill all of them. Like a lot of catacomb levels this is centred around a huge deep pit and how to make your way around and across it. One room I really liked had dangerous mud where you have to raise blocks to stand on. I particularly loved all the ‘glass’ floors, through which you see what you need to do. Your goal is to claim the trident, after an exciting rope swing with yet another wraith in pursuit. The whole look of the level is beautiful, some rooms had me standing and just looking around. Great fun, and even if this wasn’t part of the BtoB series it would still be an excellent stand alone level." - CC (04-Feb-2005)

“Full pace through this level as you are being chased by a number of wraiths and almost countless of skeletons but it suits the game. Start off sliding half way down the abyss where the main thing is to shoot vases. That will result in open doors and raised blocks. The mission here is to find the talisman that raises the dead.” – G.Croft (25-Jan-2005)

“This is at times a visually stunning level and you often forget that you are even in a catacombs environment. From the gaping chasm to the beautiful triple deck glass floored main hall there is plenty of appeal. So once you've finished gazing at the wonderful setting get your mind on the job as there's some clever puzzling and gameplay to sort out here. The push block puzzles are straight forward enough but it’s finding your way to proceed that presents the most problems. And then you get stuck in the mud.... (room). Oh boy you'll need a keen eye to nut this one out. Enemies were reasonably encountered and wraith chases were fair. But there's some intense undead confrontation in the green rock tunnel - standing room only here. Architecture is impressive and there is clever usage of transparent glass texturing to give great depth to the main hall. The environment lighting is cleverly done with action areas well lit yet the chasm remains ominous. Sound was used well to suit the situations. I finished in 1:14 with 5 secrets.” – EssGee (25-Jan-2005)

“The structure of this level is quite beautiful the atmosphere is the one you look for and the puzzles will keep you busy. But that's it. You'll find yourself in the middle of tons of vases skellies and even worse ice wraiths and I mean millions of them from the beginning to the end (and you know how annoying they are). This is one of those levels I was glad that it was finished but still satisfying. Found 6 secrets and a lot of frustration.” – Yahiko Li (20-Jan-2005)

“Now this is a great example for me of what one can do with the original wads. This level is complete in many ways although there was an exaggeration with the enemies too many skeletons and wraiths that were unnecessary and annoying in some parts. I didn’t get bored with this one because in every room there was something different to do. The first part is a warm up of what will follow with jumps you need to negotiate and start getting familiar with the author’s style. The room I liked very much was the one with the burning water and the tiles. Also I liked the way the author played with the colours and gave us a very nice atmosphere. I’d say it’s a fast paced level with enough secrets quest items and even a timed door. The lever for it is ‘misbehaving’ though; if you miss the door the first time make sure you use the lever twice and not wait too long. I am not sure if this bug can be fixed as I’ve seen it before but it can be very confusing for the players. I enjoyed finding secrets I got six and although they weren’t so hidden they weren’t exactly laying in front of Lara’s feet either. I wouldn’t want to miss such a level and I am sure you don’t want to either.” – Kristina (17-Jan-2005)

“Very strong on the gameplay side. Great flyby cameras effective use of music challenging jumps and fights and the colourful shadows rather brightened up the level instead of darkening it. One wraith is all you meet in the first quarter of an hour. Instead you have some exploring to do. I missed cameras sometimes to show what happened especially after I pushed the 5 columns to their places - with these puzzles you're never quite sure that it worked right? A great moment was when the 6 skeletons arose from their 6 coffins (below a glass plate) I ran away and just in time found the bolt thrower for my explosive ammo in a vase. But that wasn't the last time you've seen the bony fellows as they come back in hordes. There are many vases to shoot but alas they didn't contain as much ammo as I would have loved to. Instead more wraiths start chasing you. One helluva run sometimes!” – Rüdiger (17-Jan-2005)

“Another fantastic game! This one has everything. Puzzles. Timed runs. More Lara-eating sprites than I care to name (I hate those things!) skellies everywhere but fortunately plenty of ammo and anti-skellie weapons. It also has a unique and pleasing setting. It's a tough game and I felt like I had accomplished a lot when I finished it. You'll love it! This one has Idealist written all over it so there's my bet.” – Mugs (16-Jan-2005)

“A very good level with good puzzles. Perhaps the secrets could be more hidden but the other characteristics are excellent it's not easy but not much difficult too. A great example of how a level has to be made. Gameplay is quite good but sometimes you have to think the tasks enough time to can continue playing. Enemies are well placed it seems that there are too much enemies but the author give us guns and weapons enough to advance without problems. In the room under the vases room there is a timed door; if you can't go the first time the switch don't go to the original position and you have to activate it two times to try again. In the ‘swamp room’ one of the vases is so much hidden and you only can see a very small piece of it; this is no good for the gameplay. Though all this the level seems great for me and so I gave it an high score.” – José (15-Jan-2005)

“Big Thumbs UP. I really enjoyed playing even though it's hard. Great atmosphere that makes you think catacombs but in a good way. Use of music was very well placed. Good change in mood going from the darker creepy areas to the expansive beautiful rooms. I just shot all the vases and dealt with the consequences. There are brigades of skellies. !@#%* wraiths galore they're unrelenting. Especially when trying to rope swing back to a cross. This builder is just plain mean. But sometimes I like it mean. I found 6 secrets.” – Alarable (15-Jan-2005)

“Another great level in the series. Texturing was great nice buildup to the Abyss with loads of Skellies (Dwellers) to deal with but the equipment for that task was hidden in very strategic places. First run past a bunch of Skellies grab the weapon and roll to shoot the lot. Puzzles not too hard but the game-play made up for that. The 3 story room with the glass floors added to the ghostly atmosphere and then the dark pit with the colored vases which one too shoot life or death. Lighting was excellent there was a grim atmosphere but I didn’t have to use much flares.” – Dutchy (13-Jan-2005)

“Chased by an ice wraith while stuck in a fixed camera. At the beginning of the level at that. Now how sadistic is that Mr/Mrs Author? And what about nasty beetles eating at Lara's health in a very dark passage while bumping into skellies and mummies with no apparent way to get rid of any of them? Those are the kind of things that could have ruined the level's gameplay. Fortunately the solutions to those problems are nearby allowing you to come back with a revenge and a big grin on your face (Take that bandage boy!). Fair and quite satisfying. Cosmetically speaking the use of transparent blocks along with fine lighting gives an eerie and ‘different’ touch to the atmosphere which otherwise would have been just ‘so-so’ except for some great moments of sudden light change served with just the right sound just so you know you're in for BIG troubles. Pretty scary those ones. On the down side secrets (six of them to my knowledge) are just that: yer olde plain standard secret. And the final scene with the ropes and the blocks could have do without the effing medpacks-wasting wraith if I may humbly state so.” – Sutekh (13-Jan-2005)

“Watch the flyby at the start because you'll be running for your life and need to know where to go. If you manage to defeat your enemy you will have some time to breathe and enjoy the game. And just when you relax and start to think there are not many enemies........ well you can see for yourself. By that time you'll have found the grenade gun or crossbow so at least you can defend yourself. Good level! 10-1-2005” – Josi (10-Jan-2005)

“A ‘Back to Basics’ level using the catacomb wad so I won’t go into detail about enemies and objects - you know the score. Phew getting away from the wraith at the start of this level took some doing - half the time I couldn’t see where I was going because of the camera angle so I was running into walls even more than usual. This is quite a complex game and one of the most entertaining of the series. It’s also chock a block full of skellies but mercifully there’s a grenade gun and explosive crossbow ammo to be found and I also found six secrets. Beautiful use of lighting too. Definitely one not to miss.” – Jay (10-Jan-2005)

“I never knew the original Catacombs could be made to look so good. There is just so much moody atmosphere here. This feeling is helped by the use of an army of undead which means lots of good fights. I really liked the 'mud lake puzzle' and all the leaping over the dark chasms. I also liked the fact that I managed to complete this game on my own (hate using the forums to 'cheat'). There was one thing I didn't like quite so much though and that was the rather too frequent use of Ice Demons which can get a little annoying if overused. This was the best level so far! I completed it in just over an hour and had a haul of 6 secrets.” – gfd (09-Jan-2005)

“Well this adventure seems to be very popular with the TR community but I'm afraid it struck me as rather repetitive and contrived. Also I finally realised that no matter how carefully you apply the textures and no matter how much you muck around with the lighting if the setting is not that believable it doesn't do that much for me atmosphere wise. Here with some areas to me it was too obvious that the main purpose of the environment was to provide Lara with a tricky course thus spoiling the illusion of reality for me. Don't get me wrong it's still a fun level with some very beautiful rooms but at one point I got rather bored with shooting vessels and facing just another gang of skeletons that pose no threat anyway cause you have heaps of explosive ammo. Also there were a too many buttons for my liking and I could have done with a couple of ice wraiths less. Every now and then I had the nagging suspicion that the author was a bit desperate to win the BtB competition as sometimes this level seems just too eager to please what with the many rewarding and easy to find secrets or the aforementioned skeleton slaughter. As I hinted before gameplay mainly consists of shooting things pushing pillars and buttons though there are a few fun jumps thrown in for good measure. The rooms are quite spectacular at times but the abyss itself has a certain patchwork feel to it. Still a nice level that kept me entertained for over an hour.” – Dimpfelmoser (06-Jan-2005)

“These BTB levels seem just to get better and better. I know that we've been admonished not to play them alphabetical order lest the ones down the list be played after our enthusiasm has waned but I don't think that's going to be a problem in my case. Granted I'm fairly easy to please but the quality of these levels is astonishingly high. This is the first one I've played where I'm pretty sure I know who the builder is but I'll be the first to admit that I'm probably wrong. Anyway this has the most beautiful surroundings and the most challenging gameplay of all the BTB levels I've played so far. Everything is laid out quite logically so it's difficult to get really stuck at any point. The mud room was quite ingenious and it had me bogged down (I can't believe I made that pun) for a long time. I did encounter a couple of glitches near the end however. The moveable pillar that opens a nearby door didn't work for me and after getting some helpful tips from Val I went back and pushed the piece away and pulled it back again and this time it worked. Also I found it impossible to get down from the second opening in the rope pit room so I was obliged to enable the flycheat to finish the level. These put something of a damper on an otherwise delightful experience so I've deducted a couple of points for gameplay. I can think of nothing else to complain about so try this wonderful level yourself if you haven't already done so. By the way I found five secrets and my net playing time was so dismal that I'm going to keep that information to myself.” – Phil (05-Jan-2005)

“There is so much I can say about this level but I’ll keep it brief. Firstly I’d like to say what a fabulous level this was and I can’t wait to re play to find the secrets I missed. You begin with a rather tricky start in that the camera view hides the switch behind a wall while a wraith sets in for the attack but once you have opened the way to the new areas the fun really begins. You arrive at a deep dark pit and have to make it over to the rooms on the other side some nice jumps and buttons to find in order to make progress. Now into the large area there’s skeletons waiting for you while you find your way to some sneaky pots to shoot and move two objects. There’s also a mud pool where you have to raise some tiles so you can get over and be rewarded with a star this was great game play. Moving on you’ll get into a new area and have a final show down in the underground tunnels skeletons are abundant and the crossbow is a god send. A final swing across a deep pit to collect the trident and escape leaves you rather sad it’s all over. Wonderfully textured rooms with good lighting fun and exciting gameplay and in my opinion a top notch Raiding experience.” – Moonpooka (05-Jan-2005)

“What I should start out by saying about this level is I was sorry when I saw it come to an end. Amazing what you can do with the original catacomb wads and the original level editor! Beautiful and very challenging from the very start to the end. Enemies are a lot of mummies and skeletons but after a while you can blast them all and it's a blast! On top of that there are also many ice wraiths making your life somewhat tougher especially the last one with the ropes but as I said it's a blast. Hard to describe all you have to do throughout the level since it's crowded with intriguing puzzles of all sorts from shooting vases and bones to crossing a mud pond from the occasional timed run to pushing columns using levers finding your not too obvious way around. Found six secrets. Anyway this is a level where tension always runs high one that you shouldn't miss and which well deserves the four tens I'm giving. (January 3 2005)” – Jorge22 (04-Jan-2005)

“You have to love a level in which you get two secrets in the beginning. And yes there are wraiths but the author provides a cross nearby and lots of fire power to manage those pesky skeletons. You get the Grenade gun and Crossbow providing great gameplay. I was so involved I forgot to save and that rarely happens to me. With a generosity of spirit the author has taken what could have been a difficult frustrating environment and made it into a 'must play' adventure and it's also a beautiful eye pleasing setting. If any level can be described with one word it's this one and that word is 'Excellent'. This one is a winner in all respects.” – Bene (04-Jan-2005)
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