Level: Folklorist Diary - The Abyss of the Horizon back home search
Author(s): Leoc1995
total rating:6.47 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Ceamonks890 5 6 6 5
DJ Full 7 6 8 5
dmdibl 7 8 7 6
eRIC 5 7 5 4
Gerty 5 7 6 6
Jay 7 7 7 6
Jose 4 6 6 4
manarch2 5 6 6 5
Mister-B 8 7 10 6
Phil 7 8 7 8
Ryan 7 6 6 6
Taras 7 8 7 7
TheStig 7 7 5 4
Torry 8 8 8 6
Treeble 6 8 8 8
category averages
(15 reviews)
6.33 7.00 6.80 5.73

Reviewer's comments

"This eight level TR2 game took me away from the whiles of the world for a good three and a half hours and whilst it was not a spectacular level set, it was certainly entertaining and stress free. The set was relatively linear with a minimum of backtracking involved and not once did I get lost or so confused that I needed to resort to the walk through, so this is a plus in my opinion. The only level that gave me pause was the Lara's Home variant "Vacant Dream" where I was looking for the four keys for quite some time as they are barely visible on the tiles they reside. Once I found the first one (Over the main entrance door to the mansion) the penny dropped and I had to remember where exactly the other three coloured tiles were, as I had passed them by not noticing the keys. There are the usual paper thin walls in evidence and every now and again the textures would become confused so that you had to reload the game but I had no crashes. Each level is set in a typical TR2 environment and exploring is the main purpose here, with one switch leading you on to the next door and/or key. Secrets were sufficiently sneaky that I did not get them all (whilst a few are actually in plain sight). Still, I enjoyed this nostalgic romp and if you enjoy TR2 then give this one a go." - Torry (12-Jun-2018)

"An ambicious project, but without good features. The architecture is rude and crude, with repetitive use of the "texture floor", "texture walls" or "texture ceiling" commands, giving a flat aspect to all rooms, always very empty of objects or furniture. No puzzles to sove except in one level with some moveable blocks; all the remaining tasks are gymnastics and pull switches, press buttons or looking for items to open doors. Too many enemies to shoot, there are enough guns and ammo but in the first levels there are very few medipacks, so don't waste them. I liked the good use of the cameras when triggering objects, but not so good the use of musics and never a flyby to create atmosphere. Not a bad adventure, but not very interesting for me." - Jose (10-Sep-2017)

"Now here's a nice debut levelset from a fellow countryman (tchĂȘ!), one I've been putting away for quite a while as I was going through TR2 releases and left the "long levelsets" for last. As I type this review, there are another three releases under this same series but it'll still be a while before I get to playing them. Anyway, the very first level in this set, The Tormented, has a dense and heavy atmosphere, which includes hanging hooks, zombie-like enemies and generally dark and oppressive textures; I loved it. I am not entirely sure what's the overarching storyline for these levels as the transition between one level and the other isn't exactly smooth, but I'm going to hazard a guess that this "heavy" atmosphere was the author's goal from the start, as the very last level (Abyss of the Horizon) also makes use of brown textures and plenty of madly scribed walls. At first look, the high quality textures used in Demon Tag are beautiful, but they look somehwat out of place near adjacent rooms where standard textures are used. There is quite a fair bit of shooting involved in these levels, and, as it seems to be pretty standard when it comes down to lenghty custom TR2 levelsets, at the start of level 5 (Hanging Prison) all your weapons are taken away. While this is not the sole cause, it's also the lowest point in an otherwise engaging series as it consists of a humongous all-white chamber with lots of platforming to be done, back and forth, up and down, as you collect a few panel pieces to open doors and proceed. The very next level, Vacant Dream is a throwback to the original TR2 Home Sweet Home, but it plays out very differently and it works as an interlude instead of an epilogue, which was rather unusual. Two levels later and the journey comes to an end. Bottomline: the levels look good and are pretty linear, with some backtracking now and then, and plus are fun to play even if gameplay relies mostly on exploring to locate levers and keys. Eight levels might be too much to play in a single sitting, even if each of them individually last around 30 minutes at most, but I'm pretty sure that's not the intention anyway, so it's in your best interest to spread it over a few days. 160 minutes, 13 secrets. 07/17" - Treeble (16-Jul-2017)

"If you can overlook the repetitive and crude lighting and texturing of each level included in this 8-level TR2 game, then there is some fun to be had here. Okay, so the gameplay is simple and straightforward and there's very rarely much in the way of actual puzzles, but I admit to having found some form of enjoyment here, in the form of enemy attacks, the fairly well-hidden secrets or the different environments provided. No must play, but it's entertaining enough." - Ryan (04-Jul-2017)

"While I did find quite a good amount of satisfyingly mindless entertainment in the gameplay department(as I mowed down any enemy that so much as tried to look at me funny, while looking for that one item or switch needed to progress), this is essentially the sole crux of the overall experience disappointingly, as seemingly every other factor to game design hasn't been given nearly as much focus here. Texturing is repetitive, general lighting is flat, level design is blocky and uninspired and as we find ourselves flung all over the place from one location to another in an increasingly contrived manner to face more opponents from the main TR2 game, it's quite difficult for this series of levels to maintain a consistent tone throughout(even if you never seem to get bored while going through these levels from my point of view anyway.) Despite the lack of an actual story or particularly strong purpose to justify the copious amounts of violence however, you could generally play a lot worse under the TR2 engine than the likes of this. And if you're willing to overlook a considerable amount of potential factors for the purposes of having an innocent bout of mindless gun-happy fun for a couple of hours, than there might be something worth salvaging underneath all the mediocrity and can be easily recommended for players of a similar kind of mindset. But if you're not a fan of constant gunfights in Tomb Raider games and simply prefer to have it balanced out amongst cleverly-designed puzzles and exploration, than you are better off looking elsewhere, as there isn't really enough here for the explorative or brain teaser- type players to really sink their teeth into." - Ceamonks890 (04-Sep-2014)

"Haven't played an"unofficial" level in ages, and I took my time as when I stared this adventure little did I know that it has 8 levels. Took me over 8 hours to end it and if there would have been more medipacks I could say I had fun. Now not so, preserving ones health all the time is not my way of raiding. Had quite some crashes in 2nd level. Also when doing nothing the screen went back to the savedgame mode and the only way out was a reload. Nasty. But all in all the levels are varied enough to keep me occupied and I finished them." - Gerty (23-Jun-2013)

"I'm normally not one for TR2 levels, because of their relatively crude textures, their limited gameplay options, and the fact that they have a tendency to crash on my computer. (I've never been able to get more than a couple of minutes into Cape Fear, so I've finally given up on that level despite its high ratings.) However, despite the unusual length of this production - eight levels requiring 20 to 30 minutes each to play - I never experienced one crash. My main purpose in playing was to round out our walkthrough collection, but I must say that I had an enjoyable time here. Everything is quite linear and nontaxing, and I had not a single occasion to seek outside assistance, which for me is rather astounding. I wouldn't go as far as to recommend putting it on your must-play list, but you'll get a few hours of solid and stress-free entertainment." - Phil (15-Feb-2013)

"By all rights I should of hated this. It breaks so many rules in terms of TRLE levels (lighting, texturing, wafer thin walls, enemies that suddent go *ping* in front of you!) that when I initially walked around the first few hap-hazardly assembled rooms I really did consider leaving this and moving to the next game in my list. However I'm glad I persevered because if you look beyond the visuals for a second there's actually some very good (if not especially complex) gameplay. It's hard to describe really what I like about it, but as you progress through the repetitively textured cavers, chambers and corridors there's something curiously satisfying. The mansion level is perhaps the best textured and put together of the 8 (yes that's correct 8!) levels included here. Hanging Prison is probably the best in terms of gameplay It's quite action heavy throughout, but never feels like a raw shooter. All in all I netted just under 4 hours from Abyss Of the Horizon. Proof that you don't have to have something visually outstanding to be entertaining. Recommended, Stiggy :)" - TheStig (14-Feb-2013)

"Well, this was a surprise. Feeling dutiful, I decided to grit my teeth and play something on the wish list, only to find this eight part TR2 level to be better than I expected. Admittedly, the gameplay is patchy, some of it being far better than other bits, but overall, for fans of TR2 levels, you could do a lot worse than this. It encompasses quite a few familiar TR2 settings and if you feel that initially it relies rather too heavily on henchmen and thugs from the Venice levels, stick with it because the enemies become more varied as the whole thing progresses. It was particularly enlivening to meet up with some Xian warriors, especially given that Lara had no weapons at that point! I think that particular section (Hanging Prison) was the high spot of the game for me, the low point being the mansion segment (never a favourite at the best of times). So, no Hall of Fame moment, but far from the awful chore I was expecting." - Jay (12-Feb-2013)

"When I started playing this adventure, I thought it would end in a level but to my surprise I see that there are eight levels, built with the engine of tr2, united by a thin line of reasoning, not a real story. Even the textures don't reflect the individual levels of the original game but they took a little bit here and a little there and distributed to the various levels. All in all, however, levels are fun to play, especially for those nostalgic of tr2. It feel the lack of some vehicle. Hanging Prison is definitely the best, less obvious than others. Here Lara is unarmed, as in the harcoded levels of tr2 and tr3. The lighting aren't excellent but it is difficult to work with the engine of tr2." - Taras (12-Feb-2013)

"Excellent?? No! Good?? Yes, very good TR2 custom level with 8 parts! The Hanging Prison and the Vacant Dream in the top of the TR2 Custom levels (In my opinion) For fans of Tr2, this is a playable level (recommended)!!!" - Mister-B (09-Jan-2013)

"An unexpected and good addition to custom TR2 levels. There are eight action levels in total, of varying quality as this may include earlier work as well as seasoned efforts. Thus Vacant Dream, which is number six in the series, is a home invasion level where Lara has a limited number of shotgun shells. I thought this might be an early author effort as the keys are placed too low, so that they are barely visible above the floor. Nonetheless, action is good and there are the expected secrets. Lara drops a last thug, dog, and Venice gunman, and ends with zero shotgun shells remaining. I was on edge, waiting for the next attack, but this turned out to be the finish when Lara uses four keys. The first level, The Tormented, is perhaps off-putting to lead off with as it is rather dark and cramped, and play may feel convoluted with all the intertwined corridors. The next several levels after this are more standard play, progress is not difficult, and there are helpful camera shots. I don't remember anywhere near the number of flamethrower guys in the original TR2, so here one enters rooms or turns corners cautiously. At the point where players may begin to feel there is a vague sameness, there is welcome relief with Hanging Prison. Lara, weaponless, escapes a cell hanging in midair, and action becomes more vertical. This also has Xian warriors that come to life, and Lara may need to search for a route or secret, so this is great fun. For the end levels, Lara gets to change into her Tibetan outfit to confront yetis, concluding with the bird monster.
Gameplay and puzzles can be engaging, there are plenty of enemies to spice things up. But are these levels at the quality of original TR2? Well, no. These levels are good, yet it feels as though the author has the talent and ability to do much better. Apparently, the author wasn't aware of, and wasn't expecting much return, and worked on his own. Therefore there isn't outdoor scenery, such as the first level of TR2, as this requires a lot more work to make and texture. There is much else missing, vehicles and enemies that appear in other custom levels: no T-rex, no motorboat, no snowmobile. Original TR2 had plenty of dramatic environments, and that is mostly what is missing here. I suspect the author didn't have the incentive to develop these levels further, but what is here is playable and solid. I enjoyed this, but was left wanting more expansive scenery. On average each of the eight levels lasts about half an hour; some are shorter. Not to be missed by TR2 fans, and better than many TR4 custom levels." - dmdibl (24-Oct-2012)

"This level can call itself lucky that the last TR 2 epic was released after I played the first level (I got very tired of it), as afterwards this felt quite like a satisfying raid compared to the dilemma presented in the other release. There are eight levels in this pack, all with a different location and no logic why Lara came to all those but there isn't much of a story either so I didn't mind. Of course this level contains too much to and fro but here it's more bearable because there are some interesting tasks mixed in like platforming or occasionally even a little puzzle, the enemies are quite well placed and there is a nice creativeness in the atmosphere of most levels, except the first and last ones (especially the latter mainly had the same architectural layout as Theft of the Dagger of Xian I really couldn't enjoy much. The level I liked most though was Hanging Prison as the way to outrun the enemies without any weapons is quite nicely done and the way of progression over the platforms is smooth. All in all the texturing was not quite elaborate as many rooms are wallpapered, the water sometimes doesn't have correct surface textures and there were a few paperthin walls, but the new textures give this levelset a modern feel and I appreciate that. I spent 2:40 hours in this level and was positively surprised as I didn't expect much after having finished the first level. Found 15 secrets." - manarch2 (19-Oct-2012)

"There's a sad story in the background of this review (to skip it, go to the end of italic). I only found it because I was curious which level is currently at the very bottom, and this one popped up with the rating of 0.00. "Well it must be something new" - I thought, and when I got aware about the release date, I just couldn't come up with an idea why a guy who is here for a whole year, with his 4 releases already, has 0 reviews. Edit: 1 rev - thank You eRIC for writing it in the meantime, but even more for the stuck thread, bringing more atttention to this forgotten (or never learnt) builder. Anyway :are we gone so NG nowadays that we already avoid TR2, or was it simply an extraordinary coincidence that no-one noticed this game for so long? How does it happen that some minor, senseless games are reviewed 30-50 times, while this multilevel production (in fact we're dealing with one of the most ambitious TR2 projects ever released) lied down covered in dust for ages, to seem even more rotten, while it's just freshly after the 1st anniversary? I mean its YouTube anniversary, because the author began from a let's play movie there, and - according to the info from his YT account - he didn't even think of uploading the game on before a viewer suggested it. When the author finally submitted it, he got nothing in return instead of likely expected numerous tips to help build skills around his talent - because even though he misses the former, he obviously has the latter. Behold: gameplay is extremely fluent except several wrongly placed portals where we can fall in a gap between two rooms or get stuck in door collision cube. But as long as the game has a kinda shooter climate, You need to save often regardless from mentioned problems - so they stop being problematic, as You would reload anyway. The game is classified as "Oriental", but it is only for a moment - actually, each level covers a diffferent location: a sunken ship with Bartoli's thugs, a haunted manor with zombies + yetis, a time travel with jade warriors, a home level break, a frozen cave and even Indian elements, possibly blended in to indicate it's not quite obvious where the action takes place. These rapid, yet logical changes of environment, filled with often occuring, but never annoying fights and rather easy, yet still requiring some traversing puzzles, work like a relaxing, fast-action paced movie scenario, and community with original TR2 (appearing due to same objects and similar yet modified texturing) bring a climate of playing a shorter, yet living its own life, alteration of a familiar history. SIMPLIER!!: It's like if the soul of TR2 has found a smaller body to dwell in. Or, if You don't like the possesion comparison - like if a big brother had a small one to take care about. But it's not yet the best thing. Remeber how Lara lost her weapons in Offshore rig? Yes. The same happens here, and more than this... For a whole level, we' don't retrieve even standard pistols, anyway we aren't defenseless at all. We must turn on our agility and not start to panic - what becomes hilarious with all those blood-written "RUN" writings on the walls. Highest compliments for the author - as the whole "disarm, escape, hide, prepare, arm, ambush them and return in glory to overwhelm them in furious revenge" mechanism is marvellously balanced, so when I finally got my Uzis back, it felt like nothing better that day, and it actually MADE that day. In this moment, and many other cases that usually would be annoying if applied IMproperly (e.g. thrown into a pit with 4 jade warriors circling around it, OMG what to do), this game awoke courage instead of fear, relax instead of frustration, fun instead of boredom.
What sometimes spoils the impression is a bit flat lighting. Whenever I review a TR1-2 game, I have an inkling builders are less devoted to it than to an official LE project. It might be caused by older, not so capable engine, so let's throw a half of the fault on it. But even using the old engine can't justify everything: some areas in the snowy area are too bright, just so bright we have troubles spotting the ledges we're supposed to grab next. Also many audio triggers activate more than once. It happen often in certain levels, and almost doesn't occur in other, what might indicate the author learnt the one-shot command in the middle of building and maybe decided to leave the missing ones as his own practice memorial. But above all, there's one hidden flaw we can't notice unless we devote some more time to search for secrets - and sometimes it's actually better not to do so, because some of them are inaccessible, and several are just hidden beneath a fall-thru floor, what made me miss them by inches, still unable to spot them. Such lack of caring finally made me stop looking for them, but it was anyway rewarding to pick up that 3/4 I found. So - again - like in all other aspects - overall impression was positive despite of many symptomes of unfinishment, and let us remember: this game wasn't intended to be released here, so it wasn't betatested like it should, but it's still good. It looks like the next part (which I already heard a promising custom dialogue in a demo of) might be even better. SUMMARY: A lot of good work was put over this fulfilling adventure, and If You are calling Yourself a true TR2 fan, You shouldn't pass by it without that nostalgic touch prompting You to take a try, not minding beta flaws in this case. Don't worry fellow reviewers - I didn't ignore them in my rating." - DJ Full (10-Oct-2012)

"A 3 hours game containing 8 different locations , with no defined storyline , gameplay is simple and fluent , not varied enough after a while , maybe some vehicles would have enhanced that , enemies are numerous. Looks are average. The tormented / 25 minutes / 5 7 7 4 / Scary / a compact map with rooms in a dark ambience in both senses of the term , with many burners to give some light and where Lara meets scary dogs, zombies with a bat, and yetis. Good camera work to help you, except one not showing the door opening , you just hear it. I found only one medipack so I tried some tactics to not loose much health so to reach the end. Gameplay is simple but efficient and remaining quite immersive even with some backtracking Demon tag / 20 minutes / 4 7 5 6 / Non classified / Rooms are bigger and more modern textures are used with a lot of grass. Plenty of enemies , including guys with flame-throwers , I never feared I would run out of medipacks from this point and onward , but it is with caution that I entered in each new area. The best looking level of the set with a lighting allowing Lara to appear in 3D. Rooms appear bare and empty though , and gameplay is basic and not quite immersive. The subdoing song / 20 minutes / 4 6 5 4 / Oriental / Textures from Catacombs of Talion, generally small rooms. Gameplay flows well with everything being simple. Another level which could be classified as a shooter. Calamity / 25 minutes / 4 6 5 4 / Ship / A Maria Doria type of level , a bit disappointing with simple gameplay enhanced by a couple of movable blocks puzzle. Many enemies there too. Hanging prison / 30 minutes / 7 7 5 4 / Icy / A much welcome change of gameplay type , as Lara has to raid a huge icy room with plenty of ledges , it was fun, despite a bug where Lara can be trapped in an invisible block at a timed door. Lara has no weapon , she can not shot once at the few enemies , a Xian statue that comes to life , and two or three guys who throw knives at her, she has to ran away from them. That also was a welcome change. The most interesting level of the set. Vacant dream / 21 minutes / 4 6 4 4 / Lara's home / Return to the slaughter in this one that will remind the Home attack level. You only have the shotgun with limited ammo but more ammos will be available as you kill the invaders. Decor is okay , the water in the swimming pool has no transparency and the 4 keys to find are almost invisible , but their placement on always the same kind of patterned tile makes sense. Xian ritual / 17 minutes / 4 8 5 4 / Oriental / Back to normal weaponry and ammunitions. The gameplay is simplistic in the search of artefacts , but it's a fun level , where you can fight 4 knives-throwing assassins in one room , or 3 Xian warriors in another. Abyss of the horizon / 18 minutes / 3 7 5 3 / Non classified / Again an undemanding gameplay in this undefined setting , the fun is to kill many yetis , snow tigers , and the Monster Bird at the end." - eRIC (27-Sep-2012)
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