trle.net
Level: Reign of Chaos - Natla's Hideout back home search
Author(s): Horus
total rating:9.78 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Akcy 10 10 10 10
CC 10 9 10 10
eTux 10 8 10 10
Gerty 9 10 10 10
Jay 10 10 10 10
Jose 9 10 10 10
Kristina 10 9 9 10
Loupar 10 10 10 10
manarch2 9 9 10 10
MichaelP 10 9 10 10
Mman 9 10 10 10
Moonliteshadow 10 10 10 10
mugs 10 10 10 10
Mytly 10 10 10 10
Necro 10 8 9 9
Obig 10 9 9 10
OverRaider 10 10 10 10
Phil 10 10 10 9
QRS 10 10 10 10
Ruben 10 10 10 10
Selene 9 10 10 10
Sutekh 9 10 10 10
TombRaiderFan 10 10 10 10
category averages
(23 reviews)
9.74 9.61 9.87 9.91

Reviewer's comments

"The fifth (final) level Natla`s Hideout in Reign of Chaos project was the only masterpiece!!! Excelent level with superb moments, chalange, atmosphere, music, secrets, ideas, everything... thank you Nadine!... And now in my final review of this amazing project i must mention that Reign of Chaos is an excelent adventure you can`t miss, took me more than 11 hrs of net gameplay to finish it and i enjoyed it so much. Played twice. Definitely recommended for all! (Natla`s Hideout - 10/10/10/10)" - OverRaider (11-Feb-2013)

"Hellforge (10-10-9-10): In one word: Stunning! This is one of the most beautiful levels I’ve ever encountered (together with most of the other levels in this part); the lighting effects in this level are unsurpassed with the orange light beams shining through beautiful windows, this is just like a kind of paradise even while being in hell. The gameplay in this level is just about right with great and tough jumping parts of which one or two are really, really difficult, but the rest is just about achievable for everyone and still highly enjoyable for everyone; there are lots of traps to avoid, breakable tiles and (finally) a bunch of enemies (though not much, but that’s just fine). I loved the great puzzle at the end (the brilliant melting sequence) and the yet again fantastic torch usage that is implemented in this puzzle perfectly. While the setting starts more “bright” than most of the others with a peaceful garden area it soon changes into a real hell, with lava everywhere and the mentioned lighting effects that are just too good to be true. This level might explain pretty well why I could not give a 10 to texturing and lighting in Córdoba - in here two two elements are not only good by themselves, but they were formed to a unit, perfectly fitting together. So despite being quite short, this level is “to the point” and just highly entertaining. 25 minutes.
Garden of Stone I (10-9-10-10): There are two GoS levels and just as I did with China Garden, I will review them separately, as each of them is quite huge on its own. If possible, this first part is even more atmospheric than the first level (the cutscene to show the large outdoor area is utterly perfect and a highlight without yet having played through this area) and the gameplay is yet again very, very enjoyable, certainly even a little more than in Hellforge, as the stunning outdoor area I mentioned has a lot of good gameplay, mostly being about clever platforming where the player has to figure out how to progress – I certainly could’ve gone on with this kind of gameplay for a whole while. Although the setting is very simile to Hellforge, the magic of the area still didn’t stop as it’s just overly beautiful to get tired of it. There are a few nice additions like the “ghost table” and after the return from GoS II you get another tough timed run in this level, which was good fun, but soon after the level changes again. 20+5 minutes.
Garden of Stone II (8-9-10-9): Now for a change this level is built in a library setting with ship and underwater elements; I think the textures did not feel that great in this level as before but that’s a very personal issue (and the two levels before this one are just too great to compare). There are reasonably more enemies in this level and the action moment is a little higher because of this; I didn’t like that you cannot kill the shark as this one might really get annoying. In general gameplay is more mundane than the two levels before, it’s very solid and entertaining, mostly in the high room where you have to get up all the way, do timed runs and nice jump sessions, but it lacks the specialness of the first two levels. The Harry Potter inspired library is an atmospherical highlight of this level but the maze-like map offers rather mediocre gameplay; I felt like there also were too many enemies in here. After all my complaints about too few enemies in earlier levels of RoC, this might sound more than strange, but there actually are only very few levels who got the enemy amount right in this game. 30 minutes.
Cathedral (9-9-10-10): Again a level with great texturing and excessively good lighting effects; this time the mix bluish lighting combined with the “usual” orange is yet again wonderful. I had to get used to the implementation of some base textures but those are actually quite nice when the setting turns more and more to industrial, the highlight being a rotating machine and Lara having to get down on the floor through it. As well as the hellish parts, the garden area also had a great atmosphere although it was sometimes hard to spot climbable ledges (no problem with the excellent walkthrough) and the dog attack will probably make you jump – nicely done. When both angels in the two sections (hell/garden) are found and placed you can enter the next and final level… 20 minutes.
Death and Resurrection (8-8-10-10): This level is pretty short and mostly about the boss fight against Natla, but also features a few tasks before you can finally battle her. I think the gameplay is rather standard in comparison to the earlier levels , as you get to push a lot of levers, do a timed run and a lot of climbing up and down the large area (it’s pointless to say that it looks as superb as before) and finally insert the chaos gems to resurrect her, to be able to kill her. Sounds a bit stupid but makes sense if you have a little imagination, how can we be sure Natla couldn’t be resurrected by anyone else if Lara doesn’t do the job? Let’s only hope Natla is now death for good… well, what about some more wasted ammo? A few revolver shots and Lara’s enemy is dead, without having posed a real danger for our heroine. That would be my main wish for this level, as a boss level doesn’t need to have good gameplay, but at least a reasonable boss fight! That was kind of a let-down after so many hours for me. 10 minutes.
Summary: This must have been one of the most memorable levels I have ever played; the whole atmosphere with all its particulars is not of this world and there are elements like the very strong lighting that I’ve never seen before in any custom level. The objects, the textures, the architecture – all make this game special and I would love to give this a 9,75 or even 10 overall score (as it would deserve it only for the last two categories), but the main reason for me not to award this score is the rather uneven usage of enemies – sometimes too much, sometimes too few or none at all, but certainly the factor that most influenced me was the rather boring final level that was way too easy for me. Secondly, gameplay in the later levels is not as great as in the first levels, with getting too ordinary, whilst the first levels are highly imaginative in that regard. Nonetheless the whole RoC game is recommended for this masterpiece alone. Outstanding levels and among my favourites now. 110 minutes." - manarch2 (30-Dec-2012)

"Hellforge: About 5 minutes into the level, you are already doing tricky curved jumps, and trying to rope swing with a fire wraith on your tail … sounds like the 'hell' part of the name is justified. Now for the 'forge'. You get to it soon enough, but you are unfortunately far above it. Cue one of the best block jumping sequences I have ever experienced – and that too, set in a massive and beautiful cathedral-type hall with eerie orange light streaming in through the stained glass windows. Then comes an encounter of the arachnid kind, then lots of traps, jumps, more traps … and finally, with your head spinning at the pace of the gameplay, you arrive at the forge floor. Now you are treated to a lovely puzzle involving forging two ashen stones using bowls full of lava and flame emitters on a lower level. There’s also eye candy, in the shape of two huge and beautiful golden bowls. (These kind of gorgeous shiny golden objects become more numerous in the later levels, and are enough in themselves to earn a solid 10 from me in the objects category.) With the ashen stones, you can open the level exit, and thus end a long, beautiful and devilishly tricky level – my favourite in the game.
Garden of Stone, Parts 1 & 2: Another level that’s split in two parts (i.e. two levels named the same). The goal of the level is to find two keys, one in each part. The first part is similar in looks to the previous one – i.e., a gorgeous castle/cathedral type structure, with the addition of a huge outdoor lava-filled area, which is lots of fun for players like me who get their rush from making Lara do complex and death-defying leaps. After getting one key, it’s off to the second part for another. It’s a bit of a mystery why the second part isn’t simply named something different, since it’s set in a huge flooded library, so the name “Garden of Stone” is completely meaningless here. The visual style of this level is also very different to that of the other levels in this section – instead of cathedral-like stone buildings, you get wooden halls, with the flooded areas looking rather like a sunken ship. The atmosphere is suitably creepy, especially with the rather large number of enemies: skeleton harpies, wraiths, dogs and even a sea hag. But by the end of the level, they do start getting to be too much, and I was quite relieved to be done with this part and to return to the first part for a tough timed-run to get to the level exit.
Cathedral: The level’s name is a pretty good idea of the kind of scenery you can expect here – along with a jaw-dropingly beautiful garden. There’s also a lot of mechanical devices – including golden wheels and traps, and rather cool animated textures that look like machinery in motion. It’s a very good level, but a somewhat short one, and not as exciting as the previous two.
Death and Resurrection: And now comes the finale – the final showdown with Natla. First, you have to break into the heart of her Hideout, yet another vast cathedral-like hall, the biggest and most beautiful one so far. After exploring every nook and corner of this hall, including climbing on the chandeliers, you finally find a use for the Chaos gems you’ve been collecting throughout the game. That of course doesn’t suit Natla, and she drops by to express her displeasure. Getting rid of her is easy – a little too easy, if you have a few revolver bullets left. But then you get the immense satisfaction of sticking her head on a spike. This somehow opens up a way to a little garden, where you can collect “the source of all good”, watch Natla’s work get blown up, and finally escape the Hideout altogether into a meadow under a starry sky. And so this vast and amazing game ends.
What more can I say about this area? It was simply perfect – well, no, not completely perfect. I have two minor grouses. One: the final showdown with Natla could have been more challenging. And two: Lara’s outfit. Why do so many builders insist on dressing poor Lara in a miniskirt? It just looks icky, especially when she’s crawling or climbing.
But apart from these minor complaints, I can only sing the praises of Natla’s Hideout. It’s a fantastic finale to Reign of Chaos, and one of the best custom levels I have had the privilege to play. :)" - Mytly (02-Oct-2009)

"Hellforge: Why Natla set up in some random English castle is anyone's guess, but she did a good job redecorating it; the map uses several custom textures and the lighting to pull the hellish atmosphere off very well. The challenge continues to be very high, but this level is actually quite short and linear, so you only have to worry about surviving what's in your way. There's also an interesting puzzle involving the torch and pushblocks. Enemies are rare beyond a remodelled Harpy, wraiths and a last encounter with the Giant Spiders (with a new fiery skin) on their web. A good introduction to the finale.
Garden of Stone 1+2: They're not labelled (I kind of wonder why the second level has the same name as it's completely different), but this is two levels, the first is set in the “garden” itself, along with a massive broken-down outdoor bridge that involves a very intensive platform challenge. The second is set in a sort of flooded, buried library that makes unique use of a combination of Maria Dora and Venice textures. As I hinted at, the first level is mostly a platform challenge, although there's a timed run and one jumpswitch to open the second part I thought was too blended (I was looking for a jumpswitch and still missed it without a look in the walkthrough). The second level has multiple timed runs and some traps and exploration, there's also a trip into a certain part of the library with some Harry Potter references, although I don't recall Harry dodging spike traps in the restricted library :) . There's also Wraiths interestingly remodelled as ghostly swords. This is the longest level of this set and provides the climax as far as exploration goes.
Cathedral: The last level was the exploration climax; this is the challenge climax, there are several traps and other such obstacles in the way. I thought one or two were a little unfair (like the spike trap in front of a crushing block that requires you to move at exactly the right time to not die), but they were mostly just difficult. This is another quite short level in the style of Hellforge. One or two areas felt slightly underused to me considering how economic all of Horus' other levels for ROC are , for instance, there's a large room with some objects in it, yet all you have to do is monkey swing across the roof. It's a good final “full” level though.
Death and Resurrection: The final boss level. To start with (after a couple of timed runs) you have to explore a very large room for various things until you reach the receptacle for the chaos gems. Which revives Natla for the boss fight. I wonder why Lara would bring Natla back to kill her again but I guess it is Natla, and Lara certainly makes sure she isn't coming back again :) . After that it's a short climb (along with a nice sequence with a plant) to take a final item and leave, the credits were cool but I do wonder if there could have been a little more to them in terms of the storyline.
This serves as a perfect climax to what ROC has been building up to, with the difficulty high throughout and the hellish theme consistent, but varied enough to not get repetitive. The only issue I had object wise is that I wasn't too keen on Lara's new panty-shot fodder outfit, but it's more of a nitpick. The visuals continue to be as incredible as they have been since China, in fact, this might just be the best looking location of all, but it's a close contest. I also thought the use of a more melodic ambient track for most of this section fit well, and added to the climatic feeling, although I thought the ambient track used in Garden of Stone 2 and the Cathedral could have been a little longer. An excellent climax to one of the best packs in TRLE history." - Mman (02-Sep-2009)

"It`s Nadine again putting forth all her subtle skills in creating TRLE masterpieces ! I believe I`m knocking on the reviewers doors a little bit late but not too late to rate this fantastic piece of art a 10 for all . Thank You so much Nadine for your work and another marvelleous adventure !" - Ruben (17-Feb-2008)

"Just like in Cordoba, I was absolutely stunned by the look of these levels. Some areas looked as if were came from Ian Watson novels. Gothic, gloomy textures and atmosphere, spectacular statues and other objects, and all beautiful. Cool outfit for Lara, sexy but still classy. Fantastic music throughout the levels, the music of one of the fly-bys suggested that Horus picked the song of the menu too, excellent choice, it captivated me the moment I started the adventure. The enemies were also great, the evil mermaid, the sword wraith and the firebugs were new to me, I liked them. Maybe a few more enemies would have been better, especially on the last level. Great timed tasks, overall very good gameplay. A nice conlusion to an amazing series, well done." - Akcy (11-May-2007)

"These final levels for the Reign of Chaos series, I felt, were the perfect setting for the final confrontation. The dark and gothic castle style set the scene and the atmosphere ready for the finale. Some areas were quite difficult including a dodgy jump from a platform to an area off to the right (running-jump, the hard over to the right), it took a few tries and I started wondering if this was the right way to go until I finally made the jump and progressed furthur. I loved the baddies (which has been an aspect missing from earlier levels but with this being the final batch, it seems fitting to include them here). The final battle with Natla was cool, and it was nice to see some textures from TR1 being used. Loved the head-on-a-stick ploy too. Loved the end credits section too, something I may try to incorporare at the end of my series (obiously not exactly the same but simillar technique). All in all, I have throughly enjoyed this series. There have been a wide range of settings and puzzles. I think its a great idea having different designers doing a section of a series as it adds to the variety of gameplay. Hopefully, there are other series' that have been created in this way. If so, I eagerly anticipate playing them. This series has blown me away and these final levesl have been outstanding." - Necro (28-Apr-2006)

"Hellforge (10/8/10/10, 30 min., 1 secret): Lara in another new and nice outfit and spooky music and an impressive Castle await you. Gameplay is fast paced and intense with a timed run, a few rather tricky jumps, several traps like squishing walls and collapsible tiles and a nice torch/pushable object puzzle to get the ashen stones. There are all sorts of great effects in this series, like the much better looking fire and the shiny object surfaces. Enemies are few (wraith, skeleton harpy, skeleton and spiders). Garden of Stone (10/10/10/10, 70 min., 3 secrets): This part was an absolute masterpiece for me and I think only the third custom level that gets a full four tens. Starting with a great flyby, you get so much to do that there is never a dull moment. Pushing objects, using a torch, avoiding blade and boulder traps and wraiths of various kinds, several timed runs, all a bit different and fun to master, excellent choice of enemies (Sea Hag, bats, dogs, skeleton harpies) and more. This part is basically a quest for two keys. One in a kind of submerged area with quite a bit of swimming, which almost felt like playing a sunken ship level including an impressive library area and the other about exploring a great lava room with broken bridges and arches by jumping around almost every nook and cranny in it. Very spooky atmosphere throughout. Cathedral (9/8/10/10, 25 min., 1 secret): The tough part is done and this gets a little easier as the finale approaches. Lots of fun though to roam around the huge and impressive Cathedral rooms with wonderful lighting and the high room with the spinning blades was a challenge. The combination of the blade and the squish block was a bit annoying as it seemed pure luck for me to get through and there are a few tedious climbs and monkey swings, but those are minor gripes as you collect the two angels that finally open up the way to Natla's Hideout. Death and Resurrection (8/8/10/10, 20 min.): The grande finale and grand it is, set in yet another huge Cathedral type room that you reach after yet another nice timed run/climb. A few jumps and switches take you to the top where the Chaos Gems you worked so hard for can be placed to first resurrect Natla only to then kill her right away (and a fairly easy kill it is at that). Nice eek moment as she gets what she deserves ;) So eventually Lara finds and leaves with the 'Source of all Good' and finishes the Reign of Chaos. The nice outro has Lara waving at you and reminds you of this great team that presented this great series of Custom Levels to the Community! A job superbly well done!" - MichaelP (16-Apr-2006)

"This is a fantastic finale to the whole Reign of Chaos. I always enjoy raiding when there are lots of high places to get to with challenging jumps. The textures, sound and gameplay are great. I found the eeriness of the castle quite “scary” – the atmosphere is brilliant. I was a bit confused at the end because, after killing the enemy, the part that had to be placed on the spear had disappeared into the statue! Lara did however find it eventually. I just loved this level and the whole Reign of Chaos. A great piece of work" - Moonliteshadow (08-Feb-2006)

"It was a while since I played it and I was planning to give it a once more for the review but couldn’t get myself to it as although I love what Nadine comes up with, I am in no mood to play it again. The atmosphere is great, spooky, mysterious, gloomy and hard. If I am not mistaken Nadine made a reference to Harry Potter, great. The enemies are nasty but add to the spooky atmosphere. This level also has lots of interesting puzzles in it. In the last level you meet the so called boss and it is a shame that the LE makes it too easy to kill. Overall I can only say that (setting aside my frustrations) it couldn’t get any better." - Gerty (06-Feb-2006)

"Now this young lady never stops to surprise me... After playing the "Cordoba" levels I thought it should be hard to make anything better.. but man was I wrong. These levels are close to perfect in every aspect. The gameplay and puzzles are very challenging and ranges from normal to very hard. The atmosphere and music hmmm it can't be any better! What struck me most though, is that everything combined is so good in these levels. Everything works so good together. The sound on its own is extremly good but together with all the other aspects it is perfect. The secrets are also very well hidden. I found them all but I was very lucky to spot (and reach!) the one hidden behind the huge water wheel. Naidine has quickly become one of the best builders in the scene and It seems that everything she touches turns to gold! Amazing work, Nadine. All tens from me. - 2005-10-08" - QRS (08-Oct-2005)

"I confess to experiencing some grumpiness while working my way through this finale to the marvelous Reign of Chaos collection. I was already piecing together this review in my mind, thinking of saying something like: "See my review of 'The Imprisoned Spirits,' as I have no wish to re-invent the wheel." Indeed, near the end of Garden of Stone I was thinking in terms of "how much longer until we're through"? Although the darkness here wasn't as pervasive as it is in George's otherwise masterful creation, it was oppressive enough to dampen the giddy sense of wonder that had carried me through the second part of Cordoba, notwithstanding the crisp gameplay that included some of the most challenging moves of the entire series. Forsooth, it was only because of Sutekh's painstakingly precise walkthrough that I was able to get through at all. But all was forgiven when I finally reached Natla's Hideout and was treated to an ending that beats all endings. I've been playing a lot of the older levels of late, trying to patch up the holes in our walkthrough collection. Folks, let me tell you that these Reign of Chaos levels make almost all the others look like Amateur Hour by comparison. I would gladly buy it off the shelf, if that were the only way to get it, and beg for more. I took my sweet time from the opening segment in The Airport, and my final statistics clocked in at just over 20 hours. That might sound like a lot to some of you speed demons, but I've always viewed an exceptional level (or set of levels) as something to be savored and not rushed through. This is one to be captured on disc and played again and again. Thanks to Horus and all the others for a splendid work of art." - Phil (30-Sep-2005)

"Natla's Hideout(or Alnwick as it's also called) is the conclusion to Reign of Chaos and what a perfect conclusion it is. As much as I loved the Córdoba levels I'm tempted to say that this is even better. The last search for Natla's sanctum and Natla herself is definetely the most breathtaking and the most adventurous part of the entire game. Natla's Hideout is split into 4 different levels; two long ones and two shorter. Hellforge: here Lara must find a way to locate the forge in order to create two stones that will open the final doors of this level. I must say I was particularly impressed by the forging puzzle at the end, what a brilliant and imaginative touch!!! The whole setting is as usual with Nadine's levels spectacular and the fabulous lightning and music only increases the intense atmosphere. There aren't so many enemies in this level, but what they lack in number they make up for in the threat they pose to Lara. Here you'll mainly risk running into various wraiths, venomous spiders and an occasional skeleton, with and without wings. The challenges are many and you can prepare yourself for an abundancy of traps(though not ridiculously many) and tricky jump sequences, some which at times became so frustrating that I was nearly tempted to give up. I sure am glad I didn't though, I wouldn't want to have missed the rest for anything. I found 1 secret in this level. Garden Of Stone: the longest and by far also the hardest of these levels. It is split into two parts and also here you can prepare to be stunned by the gorgeous settings and the perfectionism this levels sports. It's an adventure that even the original games have a hard time competing with in my eyes. What particularly impressed me was the way the library was made up and the partially flooded rooms with the chandeliers and the windows that had to be shattered gave me a nostalgic feeling of the Maria Doria level from TR2. The enemies, mainly consisting of wraiths, bats, stray dogs and skeleton harpies(and also one surprise aquatic enemy), are more abundant here and the traps come close after one another. There are also quite a few timed runs here, but none too difficult to get through. One thing that bothered me a bit was the fact that I felt the jumps around the lava pool with the bridges to eventually find the Silver Key became a bit tedious in the long run. The rest of the level though was a shining star and as much as I hated timed runs before, the perfectionism of Nadine's work has made me enjoy them thoroughly. In this level there are 3 secrets in total to find and I must admit that some of them are brilliantly well hidden. Cathedral: very short, but nonetheless enjoyable. I particularly liked the idea about finding the two angels, one in a place riddled with traps of all forms and the other one in a tranquil garden. The traps here were pure genius and the slope jumping after finding the first one unlike anything I've seen before(but oh so much fun). Enemies were few in this level, for most parts skeleton harpies and some stray dogs. The lightning flooding through the windows at the main part of the cathedral was superb and made up a stunning atmosphere. Lots of traps and some tricky challenges. Found the last secret of the game here. Death & Resurrection: my oh my what a top-class conclusion!!! From I first started this level I was a bit impatient with trying to find Lara's arch enemy and it was a bit much back and forth before it came to that grand final. But when it did, it was well worth having played the entire thing. Natla was a bit on the easy side to kill, but nonetheless I can only give this level two thumbs up. In my opinion it was the best of the Alnwick levels, despite it being also the shortest. Everything from the final battle to the credits rolling across the screen was a show of star style and definetely worth tkaing a note of. Those brilliant ideas and imagination shown in this level makes me wonder why Nadine hasn't been offered a job by CD yet. Well done....a big round of applause for these magnificent creations!!!!" - Selene (12-Sep-2005)

"A really great end of series. I must say that the end of Reign of Chaos has been one of the perfect levels for me. The settings are beautiful and dark, with an original melt of textures. Lara arrives to Alnwick with the five gems of chaos. The castle has very dark places and even a library that reminded me the Harry Potter's books (Potions, Dark Arts, Occlumancy....). Puzzles are not difficult and the game is very nice to play. Perfect in all the ratings. I've finished the game with all the secrets but in 15 hours of net game. I'm really impressed, is the best Horus level I've played." - Loupar (11-Sep-2005)

"This set of levels is longer than the others and more satisfying. It has everything, challenge, timed runs and beautiful areas. There is some mystery around which makes the gameplay exciting. It begins with Lara inside what looks like a castle but not quite, trying to find the star she needs and avoiding those flying skeletons that have a creepy scream. Obstacles are scattered around with deadly ground below so be careful where you step/jump to. The room with the slopes is well done but big spiders are lurking somewhere, further on. The next levels are gloomy with again a timed run, more jumps above lava and a torch. The items you need to find here are keys and a guardian key as well. There are two Garden of Stone levels with a nasty sea hag in the first part so don’t search endlessly for that second key to place after the timed run, it’s in the next level. The ‘Cathedral’ has the meanest trap in the game, in my opinion. That side room in the area with the first Angel item, where you have to pass a blade and immediately avoid a spiked block is ‘evil’. Not too hard if you get the timing right but if you don’t, good luck. Again we visit gardens with dogs and a long monkey swing, not to mention those screaming flying skeletons. The last level is the closure and you will finally meet the boss. The creepiest task is in this last part, I didn’t know Lara could be so mean as to place a body part of an enemy on a stick. I found five secrets with some help for a couple of them. I liked Lara’s outfits and the great music. They are all really enjoyable and a great project altogether." - Kristina (25-Aug-2005)

"Though I've find some problems with any cameras and didn't find bullets when I had to shoot something with revolver+sight it was a good set of levels for me. We all can see Nadine's style: great scenes, magnificent textures, huge areas, well hidden secrets, well implemented details,... You'll find hard tasks (tricky jumps, timed runs,...) but not impossible. There are some special effects too and new features. I thought that the final boss would be more strong, but it's easy to kill. An excelent culmination for the 'Reign of Chaos' game." - José (22-Aug-2005)

"And here we almost have perfection. Perfect atmosphere from beginning to end. Perfect settings, beautiful and eerie. Perfect gameplay, albeit very difficult at times. Perfect placement of enemies. Perfect music. Perfect everything. I only regret the lack of puzzles and the fact that at one point - in the Stone of Garden - we have to do the same (tough) jumping sequence twice. But apart from that, those levels ooze intelligence, imagination, creativity and that care for details that often tells a good level from an excellent one. Granted, they are difficult, essentially in the agility department. Here, Lara does maybe all the possible moves available - even some you wouldn't have thought of. But there is a reward: each time discovering something new and different. ‘Natla's Hideout’ concludes the Reign of Chaos series beautifully. A feast for the eyes, the mind and the fingers. One that shouldn't be missed and which will probably become a classic." - Sutekh (07-Aug-2005)

"Wow. I thought Nadine had excelled herself with the Cordoba section of this series, but this is even more spectacular. The textures and animations are just superb and of course it goes without saying that the gameplay is masterly, the challenge and variety guaranteed to appeal to everyone. I especially liked the nod to Harry Potter in the library signage, given that this level is accessed via Alnwick – a nice touch indeed. Each area just seemed to get more and more impressive and the final battle with Natla, which involved sticking her head on a pole, was just inspired. This will give you hours of hugely entertaining raiding." - Jay (03-Aug-2005)

"Here we are, back at the airport, for the last time. Something has happened, Lara's outfit shows she's dressed for unusual business. The airport is deserted, lights are flickering, and it seems all departure gates are closed. A short search and we find the Alnwick gate is now open. So this is it! Alnwick is a real place in Northumberland, England. A most impressive castle that dates back to around the 11th century, surrounded by magnificent gardens. Alnwick was one of the locations for the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, and I love the way Nadine has included a library here with signs like 'potions' and the 'dark arts'. So what we see here in these final levels is an enormous and eerily beautiful and atmospheric castle setting. Nadine has a terrific imagination and just keeps delighting us with her building skills. Visually stunning and packed with every kind of task and trap for Lara to work her way through. Unforgettable are the brilliant shafts of light through all the high stained glass windows and the animated textures. Also the 'glass' floor in the spider room, which I presume is supposed to be Lara running along the cobwebs; either way it's brilliant. Again, as with this entire game, the player must look in every nook and cranny for almost impossible to see receptables, switches, shimmys, etc. Hellforge. Almost straight away Lara is attacked by a winged skeleton, and these show up through the levels, along with other skeletons and giant spiders. This level seems to be the bowels of the castle, and Lara makes her way through some difficult (but do-able) traps and actions, and again some very interesting timed runs. These include a timed run/raising block to jump across lava, climb to a rope, swing to a high ledge, and find somewhere to get rid of the wraith. Then we have monkey swinging, good jumps across a transparent ledge with a chain swinging above it, terrific jumps to floating blocks high up in a beautiful stained glass room, a run across breakable tiles above lava, avoiding those sharp spikey boulders, outrunning fast sliding spike blocks, chain climbing, and forward/backward jumps over lava, followed by slides and jumps to the end. The last area is, in my opinion the best, puzzle-wise. Here is a room, on two levels with a see-through floor between them. On top are movable bowls which have to be positioned over the candle holders. Below we can pick up one of the smaller candle sticks (torch) and light the holders. Now up above something has happened, and that is all I'll say about that. Brilliant level that had me intrigued as to what is to come in the next part. Stone Garden. At the start, although the 'garden' seems to start indoors, running around a bit, there is a magnificent sunset in a small outdoor part, with fountains, some greenery and an unusual looking waterfall. Here again are more great timed runs. I love timed runs, especially if the author makes them interesting, as here, but I realise they are not everyone's cup of tea. Here again are more candlesticks to light and use, another chain to climb, and a wraith to get rid of. This then brings us out to a truly awesome outside setting, of a broken bridge and the ruins of the castle windows on top a grassy slope where lava rivers are running down the slope to create a lava lake. Lara has to hop across all the broken parts of the bridge and make her way along that grassy slope, jumping the lava rivers to find a pyramid key, and then try to find the almost impossible to see receptacle. I loved the jumping around on top of these broken bridges and the walls of the castle. Take note of where you see the 'sword in the stone', because another wraith shows up when you claim the silver key. And later on there is another sword underwater in the library building. I loved this library building. More interesting torch actions, climbing, jumping, shimmying, chandelier hopping, window shooting, timed runs, swimming - and a hag has made her home in the water here and does her best to thwart Lara. Enemies here are numerous wolves, a few bats and flying skeletons. Lara is looking for switches, keys, and a library book. There are some more of those sharp spikey boulders, and it looks like it's impossible to deal with them. But a little thinking is all that's needed. For example, the very short timed gate to the slope where two boulders come thundering down immediately. I ran a tiny bit onto the slope and hopped back before the gate closed. The boulders went thundering past, and next time I pushed the timed switch I ran through the gate and had an easy time of it. The next lot can be triggered by jumping sideways and back quickly. And finally using the keys we get into the . . . Cathedral. What struck me immediately in this part were the animated textures, like the turning fans and little wheel textures. They made this part seem even more alive and real. Then it was the super shiny doors, huge water wheels, and snapping jaw doors. More chains to climb here, levers, slamming spike blocks, and I always love those pull-up, backflip, forward grabs, up and up in tall rooms. The cathedral itself is awsome. I love the way Nadine has carried that idea of the shafts of light through the cathedral windows from inside in Hellforge, outside in Stone Garden, and inside again here in the cathedral, very beautiful. The floor of this cathedral has collapsed into the lava lake, and it was great finding a way down there and shimmying around the broken floor. As Lara moves along her attention is caught by something high above. A quick look through the binoculars shows a star. What to do? Shoot it. I tried to get around a fantastic room of huge rotating blades and collapsible platforms to an angel statue and found another star to shoot. When done I found I had snookered myself and couldn't get back because the collapsible platforms were gone. So, unless there is another way to do this, I'd recommend people shoot the star from the entrance. The next part has more of a garden look with lots of greenery, where we can climb up the ivy, and monkey swing through it. Lara is looking for two angel statues to place in the main cathedral room. And this opens the door to the final level. Death and Resurrection. What is this first room, with the machine, and the big crate on the floor? Well, whatever it is Lara finds a way to crawl into the centre of this enormous impressive cathedral space with the gargoyles and balconies high up in the darkness. I liked the idea of the centre of the floor having a circular mound with something trying to materialise on it. Of course that's where Natla herself comes to life later on. Although this is mainly making your way up to the top of this room I really loved all the jumping and climbing involved, which gave tremendous views down from those dizzy heights. Up here there are chandeliers to hop across, switches, a receptacle for all five Chaos gems and a zip ride down to a pillar on the floor of the cathedral to face Natla. Natla's looking every bit of her previous resurrections from the dead that has left her an emaciated skeleton with a pretty gruesome looking face. So it's an act of mercy to finally finish her off here. I actually shot her from the pillar and didn't jump down to the floor at all. I loved the idea of what seems to be a 'spirit' in a red plant rising up, and when we get up there ourselves, we can take that spirit with us. Is that the machine room that explodes at the end? The final flyby of Lara waving goodbye from all the countries she has visited is a brilliant idea. It's a long time since I've felt really sad about finishing up a level or a series, and that's how I felt when I saw the final flyby. I loved it all, and I will be back again to play it. A big part of the fun was finding my way around myself without looking for help. There is nothing so hard that it won't hit you eventually what needs to be done. The one important thing is to look everywhere for hidden objects and switches that blend well with the environment, and particularly in Nadine's levels to look 'up'. The entire game statistics first time through show almost 14 hours. I'd like to thank the originators and builders of this excellent game. It proves, yet again, that TR is still alive and kicking, and with the enthusiasm, imagination, skill, and creativity of builders like Nadine, Christoph, Agnes and Oliver, we need have no fear of TR going anywhere other than from strength to strength. Well done and many thanks to you all." - CC (01-Aug-2005)

Alnwick-Hellforge: We are adventuring in a dark castle on this level. There are not much enemies, only a harpy, some spiders, a mortal skeleton and a wraith. But the tasks are very hard here. This level is also very challenging. We have to pass through lava rooms, jump over slopes, run across moving walls. I liked the task at the end, when we light the fire with a candle and smelt the vessels in order to get the two Ashen Stone we need. Of course, at the beginning of the level, it is important to pick up the already gathered 5 stones from our suitcase. The textures are beautiful and various. This was a great adventure. :) Garden of Stone- Lavafluss & Garden of Stone (Bibliothek): Wonderful are these two connected and permeable levels too. But not easy. By using the walkthrough it will be easier for you. There are hard puzzles, tricky jumps and timed runs. At the beginning we visit the first level only for a short time. Only a jump switch has to be noticed on the wall at the closed door. On the second level you arrive to a multi-leveled, huge room. You'll meet a water-witch, harpies, bats and dogs. In the library you have to find the breakable balls, and you'll get a get and return to the first level. There you have to get to the next key in a huge room with lava. You have to be precise and search for another key at the burners. Another timed run remains for the end, and you can swim to the next level. The hardest tasks are nerve-racking sometimes, but consider them as a challenge. :) Cathedral: We continue adventuring. Now on a base at first, then in a giant volcanic cathedral. Our enemies are dogs and skeleton-harpies. We have to find two small, golden Angel statues in order to leave this level. The breakable stars have also an important role. We have to pass through swinging, moving blades and walls, jump over sloped platforms until solve our task. The textures are beautiful here as well, and maybe puzzles are a tiny bit easier, but reloads are required at some places. But this is nothing compared to the previous levels. :) It was a good adventure. Death and Resurrection: This level is a great finale. A little chanelling also, since we don't have so much hard challenges, and our single enemy is Natla at the end, but she isn't so serious. We behead her and stick it on a lance. With this probably we finished her off now for once and forever. Unless if somebody will revive her again. :) There's only one timed run at the beginning. The textures are wonderful. On this level there are no secrets yet. I'd like to say a big thank you for the authors for these great levels, I can only congratulate them. And of course I suggest this wonderful adventure for everybody. You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version), savegames and pictures here: http://treditor.hu/15/reign_of_chaos.htm - Obig (18-Jul-2005)

The undisputed highlight of the ‘Reign of Chaos’ series comes only at its end in form of the Alnwick levels here. While it may be a strange place to choose for one of the ruler's of Atlantis to be resurrected, it doesn't seem so after having played the levels even for a minute. The tone automatically is given by the unusual background audio tracks and the overshadowing atmosphere of this Scottish castle where everything seems to have gone wrong as well as in the previous missions due to the chaos gems. The settings in this castle are morbidly creative, spooky and captivating, especially both parts of Garden of Stone surpass all expectations. Both, the submerged castle/library area and the destroyed lava bridge areas are simply leaking atmosphere and showing off great craftsmanship in the texturing / lighting area, and the latter mentioned area, I believe is simply one of the most beautiful I've ever laid my eyes on in a custom level ever. The shining objects are always a treat for the eye, though using logic it would've been dangerous to touch one of the shiny metallic pots filled with molten lava, but luckily real-life's logic rarely is compatible with TR-logic. Loved the new looks of the torch, and though I believe the timed runs were overdone here and there the gameplay as can be expected is simply top-notch from start to end. Just like the Cordoba levels, I think Alnwick would've benefited so much from a dozen more enemies here, especially human enemies (wasn't there a talk of a cult trying to resurrect Natla?) - cause even though I'm not a great fan of them, I think the vast spaces Alnwick offers here were not used up to their potential in that field. Especially the final hall in ‘Death and Resurrection’ could've possibly used a massacre to deplete the great supplies of ammo and medipacks I had before facing Natla, who was easy by the way. And I mean it in the simple to kill way... not the other one... nevermind, heh. Also, the 'eew' part after defeating her again was quite correctly worded by the author herself already, so no more comment on that, lol. Anyway - while it has pretty much everything else, I believe the completeness of the level relies on balance - and I just would've preferred more foes here, especially with this being the finale of the series, but that just might be me, and it pretty much is my only gripe - cause otherwise this is simply fabulous, and definitely among Nadine's best works up to date. The whole ‘Reign of Chaos’ game took me 8 and a half hours to complete, and as the other great projects, this is not to be missed! Download now! - eTux (17-Jul-2005)

In my opinion, this is Nadine's shining hour! Alnwick, Garden of Stone, the Cathedral, and Death and Resurrection are superb. First, I want to mention all the new wizardry that Nadine introduces us to: flying swords, forging ‘ashen stone’ from molten lava, the most extraordinary animated wall textures, i.e., the moving cog wheels and fans, impaling heads on stakes, magnificent light streaming through stained glass windows....WOW! Blew me away! Each one of these levels is wonderful - full of interesting places to investigate, challenging gameplay (of course!), a sample of almost every stunt that Lara is capable of. Trust me, you will love Reign of Chaos and these levels in particular. Well done, Nadine! - Mugs (09-Jul-2005)

Now this is Nadine at her best. These set of levels were just absolutely magnificent. The textures, objects, design, sound were top notch. The design of the whole levels was really well built. Great outside court kind of areas were introduced and the textures suited well to the environment. I loved the music, including the background music. It was a little scary and spooky I must say. The gameplay was flawless and I didn't get bored one bit. It's really rare I give 10 out of 10 to any level. But this certainly did, it had everything to it. The lighting was really well created as well. I liked the patches of different colours, it felt really atmospheric. The end sequence with the fight with Natla is extraordinary. Then collecting the end item to take away with you. It took me a total time of 13 hours and 03 minutes to complete this project. Overall, absolutely magnificent. - TombRaiderFan (05-Jul-2005)
Tag Cloud from Reviews:
back home search