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Level: Tomb Raider Revelations IV - The Curse of the Sword (Demo) back home search
Author(s): Roli
total rating:9.25 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Baratheon 8 8 9 8
DJ Full 9 8 10 10
dmdibl 8 9 10 9
Ekrixi 7 9 9 10
eRIC 9 9 9 9
Gorty 10 10 10 10
Jay 9 9 10 10
Jorge22 10 10 10 9
Jose 8 9 10 9
manarch2 8 9 9 9
McRaider 9 8 10 10
MegaGamer 10 10 10 10
MichaelP 7 9 10 8
Mman 9 10 10 10
Mytly 9 9 9 10
Orbit Dream 8 8 10 9
Phil 10 10 10 9
requiemsoul 9 8 10 10
Ryan 9 9 10 9
Treeble 9 10 10 10
Xela 9 9 10 10
category averages
(21 reviews)
8.76 9.05 9.76 9.43

Reviewer's comments

"A real masterpiece of TRLE building. Starts in a beautiful cave environment. Some of the best, if not the best, cave design I’ve seen in a game. Incredibly precise texturing, without any errors ( ok, maybe the underwater texturing has some sharp transitions between textures ). Like a big 1800 pixel textures was placed over the whole area. Smooth transition through all corners. Amazing use of textures, fog effects and lighting. With every step in this level I couldn’t stop admiring this design. Makes me want to explore every corner. As I was writing some notes, the camera started spinning around Lara, which is a cool addition. One thing I was thinking while playing: ˝yep, that’s it, that’s the maximum that can be achieved in texturing, light, architecture˝ … not literally probably, but I think it beats some of the famous levels. The inside parts of the temple/ruins looked also perferct. Some things did bothered me. First, I ran out of flares very soon … even before entering the inside parts. I had use light my way with the pistols and some parts of the game were very dark. Another think, I also ran out of medi packs very soon. I got constantly poisoned and had to use medi packs. Many things I would never discover without some help from the walkthrough. Many crawlspaces were hidden like some secrets. Enemy placement was weird sometimes ( crocodile in a crawlspace or crocodile in a very tiny space ). Gameplay was not that easy, but also not too hard. Overall, this is a top level, hall of fame worth, some of the best design, architecture, light, effects and texturing I’ve seen in a TRLE custom level. With every new area the level got better and better. It’s worth playing just to see this amazing design of the environment. A must play, Recommended !" - Gorty (24-Feb-2017)

"This is an exquisite looking demo in a familiar but improved setting. The textures are gorgeously crafted and lighting is nicely balanced with the exception of a few pitch black corners. Music is also used nicely to enhance the atmosphere. Gameplay-wise it's nicely pitched at a medium difficulty level, but there's a couple of timed runs and a shooting sequence thrown in to spice things up a bit. This project has been a work in progress for quite some time and I hope it's not just a figment of the builder's imagination. I'm definitely looking forward to it." - Ryan (19-Feb-2016)

"Visually,this is one of the most impressive levels yet made.Although there are a few too many pitch-black corners,the atmosphere is nevertheless stunning;and the construction and decoration of the various areas is absolutely second to none.There's not too much to do in the first few areas (and the 'bubble indicator' was really too obscure to be classed as any kind of clue);but it really gets itself into gear in the second half,with a decent amount of challenging gameplay in and around the Coliseum itself.Perhaps the jumps to the swing poles were a little too tricky (I kept needing to resort to the Walkthrough in order to reassure myself that I was definitely doing the right thing);but everything else fitted into place,with a satisfying return to the opening area at the levels end.This felt substantially more than just a 'demo',and will provide you with a fascinating hour or so of raiding." - Orbit Dream (14-Sep-2015)

"I had put off playing this demo as I always rather play the full release instead, but given it has been almost 3 years by now, I thought I would give it a go. And it was sure worth it, as you get a nice 45 Minute raid in stunning environments. The coloseum is truly impressive, as are the caves and the attention to detail in trying to create a less blocky world for Lara. Gameplay is quite tame, with one timed run across trapdoors being a highlight. There are a few spikes and poison arrow traps and a few crocs, gorillas, rats and bats to kill. What I did not like so much was the rather prevalent darkness in many places, when other areas were so wonderfully and atmospherically lit - maybe worth some changes in the final release - whenever it may come..." - MichaelP (07-Sep-2015)

"What else can I say? This level was great! The beauty of this level looked sooooo real! The atmosphere and textures were the strongest parts of this level. The enemies were nice and were hidden in creative spots, while the gameplay was great and challenging. Recommended. Still waiting for the full version to come out... :)" - MegaGamer (12-Apr-2014)

"I reach the end of my Roli-thon with his latest offering. Although it's technically a demo, you get the whole shebang here: it's a full blown stand-alone level. Many areas to cover, mostly inspired by leaked footage from the Tomb Raider 10th Anniversary Edition, but piece together in it's own unique way. In a way, it's pretty much like a remix of all TR1 Greece levels, but definitely far more alive. There are subtle touches everywhere, such as fireflies, birds and butterflies, so no area ever feels bland or dull. Gameplay is also fun, revolving around classic key and lever progression but still quite engaging. The only thing that bothered me slightly was what seems to be an all-new set of animations for Lara, it takes a while to get used to and I'm not sure the changes are always for the best (namely, the walking and running animations seem to have a different pacing to them). This could have just been the antiquated player in me, but still, it does take a while to get used to and may end up in a few missed jumps (much like the "reversed" polerope jump at the beginning lol). Roli has made his way to my list of personal favorite builders and this is definitely a level to look forward to. 50 minutes, 1 secret. 03/14" - Treeble (25-Mar-2014)

"I have t say that this level is absolutely beautiful. The textures and the lighting are amazing, but some of the sounds were not so good. I didn't like the sounds of Lara and the gunfires. Also the gorilas barely made any sound. The start of the level was not so enjoyable. You were just opening gates in order to take just one key and nothing more. Also, the puzzle with the numerous levels was a bit obscure. I enjoyed the time challenge and the sphere shooting though. The objects were excellent. The trees, the columns the fog effects, everything. The secret was too simple and I didn't realise that I opened the door for it by shooting the vases. All in all, it is very interesting and beautiful. I hope the final version would have better puzzles and it would be as beautiful as this one." - Ekrixi (05-Nov-2013)

"I was somewhat dumbstruck by the sheer beauty of this level. Every inch of it feels alive and appropriate. I personally love the callback to some of the classic TR1 levels here, along with what the author has added to boost the experience. There was never a dull moment in this 30-45 minute adventure. Everything was near flawless, and I'm usually hard to please with cave-like atmospheres. The use of music was especially effective, bringing on moods of wonder, entrancement, and even some paranoia. This is a solid level, period. Never mind the fact that it is only a demo. If it is an accurate foreshadowing of the final product, than we are in for one magnificent treat when the full version arrives." - Xela (07-Aug-2013)

"When I reached the room with the star in the wall without the crowbar I thought: "well, we start with the backtracking again". But really there is no much backtracking in the game. Environment is excellent, with perfect texturization and great scenes, but many rooms were too dark for my taste even when you can see that the lights are well worked. Also I enjoyed the marvellous objects and some puzzles and curious situations, never too hard for the player. Definitively, waiting impatient for the final release from this good architect." - Jose (02-May-2013)

"If this is a demo, then I'm both the butler and his fridge. I shouldn't say a thing about the awesomeness done here, for the word "speechless" should remain alone or even silent itself. First game ever I gave 10/10 for LT despite of having cracks and stretched textures, because all other graphic details make up for them more than our scoring range allows to show. ANY levelbuilder should play this in order to learn how to build classic atmosphere without denying NG stuff. It's all mixed perfectly, and classic TR1 tracks interleaved with Anniversary ones respond to that visual old-yet-new blend in perfect harmony. Ancient repetativity of pillars, arches, crevices etc. - the only one ever invented to be entertaining - is brought and shows its beauty during the ascent around the colosseum to access, and finding that single crevice/hole/block among dozens of the ordinary on every next floor makes any step of progress extremely satisfying, without an opportunity to get stuck if we look carefully. Yet such possibility occurs in the prologue and inside the colloseum itself - "miss something and repeat" - but it's nonetheless hard to get frustrated here, unless one is really, really tired. A definite must- play, and may the fireflies guide You through." - DJ Full (13-Mar-2013)

"This raid was very enjoyable with a gameplay not hard but not always immediate either , and with a very classic TR touch. This was much appreciated. Architecture is very good, atmosphere looks are quitte pleasant especially when we see the horizon, lighting is pleasant but can be improved a bit with perhaps less big shadows in some corners. A couple more medipacks could be added , the darts emitters cost a few. Anyway when we have a 45 minutes demo of this quality , we can expect a great game to come." - eRIC (24-Feb-2013)

"A modern Tomb Raider level with extra special effects and new moves for Lara, with care taken in design of the architecture and atmosphere. I seemed to have mixed feelings, which will show in this review. Almost everything can be great to look at if there weren't caves in the beginning that have a tangible in-your-face haze, and Lara has to use those irritating newfangled inferior red flares. I enjoyed the fireflies helpfully marking the position of a pickup, or lighting cave interiors, although later the fireflies vanish and there are lots of dark corners or rooms needing flares. The new moves can be a delight to use. Although one strange one is Lara's speed dash while swimming in which she undulates like a fish (oddly, exactly the same as Tarzan in a 1940s movie). The various jumps from cracks allow for quick access. But near the end of the level Lara does a simple block run to grab a pole and swing to reach another block. Lara fell short of grabbing the pole, so I repeatedly edged her forward. She has to be about one-third of the way forward in order for her running jump to reach the pole, well past the point where she normally runs off a block and falls. In the Colosseum there are a couple of timed jump sequences that are well done (they look harder to do than they are, which is the best kind). On the other hand this can be obscure: where to look for clues, which lever to pull to start? In this case I checked the walkthrough, found what to do, and enjoyed the timed runs and acrobatics. But this is not the only place where play might be obscure without a walkthrough. A nice touch is that the author has deliberately echoed various TR1 locals such as the three-tiered building facade that serves as a gateway to the Colosseum. Or near the end of the level it is startling to realize that Lara is up on a roof that recalls a spot in Palace Midas where she picked up a lead bar. In this level there is also an angry gorilla waiting when Lara slides down to the ground. Throughout there are good puzzles. I really did appreciate the professional appearance, except for the dark rooms and caves and having to use those red flares. The architecture is mostly a marvel except when it is jumbled together. And gameplay has fantastic timed runs, jumps, and puzzles, except when everything gets too obscure. As a demo this is exceptional." - dmdibl (17-Feb-2013)

"This is an uncommonly good-looking demo. Indeed, at just under an hour it has the feel of a full-length level, the only clue that it's a demo coming when you gain access to the main building only to hit a finish trigger. Everything here bears the earmarks of a professional release. The surroundings, while dark and somber for the most part, are varied and crafted with painstaking detail, and the puzzles are obscure enough that I'm glad I had OBig's walkthrough close by. Before you embark on the timed run with the five switches, you have to shoot two hanging balls (one of which requires use of one of those switches). I don't recall getting any weapons to supplement the standard pistols, but the enemies are relatively few and far between, and other than crocodiles in crawl spaces they were fairly easy to deal with. If the full release is anywhere near as excellent as this demo teaser, the raiding community is in for a real treat. Highest recommendations." - Phil (07-Feb-2013)

"Undoubtedly, the builder has created stunning areas in this level that oozes the professionalism of the official games, but I rather agree to Baratheon's point that this level had too many of the rather boring ingredients of the original games, especially the playable, but often rather boring and uninspired gameplay, well, at least in the first half of the level, mixing also with a kind of atmosphere I really couldn't enjoy, i.e. rushing rather quickly through (albeit beautiful) areas without much depth, yes, both in a gameplaywise and atmospherical regard. For example, the cave area just before visiting the colliseum has only two short block exercises - I think so much more could have been made to really get immersed in the scenery. I find it kind of hard to explain but I think I'm missing a certain "celebration" of most of the rooms, meaning that they are rather great to look at, but fail to really impress due to the rush the gameplay provides and also a kind of "incoherence", or better too much independence, of the different settings; I think more glimpses through windows or rock formations in previous or later rooms would have helped the level to really ooze atmosphere. Believe me, although I have said much about that, those are rather minor additions I would like to see in the full version and not a complete change of the building style. As I mentioned, the gameplay in the later half, i.e. in the colliseum, is much more gripping and this actually makes this level worth to play. The timed run is very nicely executed with a nice hint and all the actions to progress in here are really smooth and clever; maybe the double-usage of the raising block wasn't such a great idea as you had to search for a near-invisible ball in the dark you have to shoot from here, which might be impossible without help. In general, the lighting throughout the whole level could be a little more brighter than it actually is, not only in the really dark corners, but in all of the interior rooms. Lighting is still very realistic and texturing mostly are high above many levels I've recently played, only some of which weren't fully to my taste (the whitish cave textures, for example, didn't fit so nicely in my opinion). There weren't many enemies but the placement of the few was quite effective, and several of the croc attacks were really a shock. A lot of care has been done for animations, but some rooms felt a little too empty of objects regarding the size of some of the rooms; I liked the placement of the sole secret even if not very realistic. All in all I spent around 45 minutes in this beautiful and well recommended level, despite some gripes I had I think the upcoming full version could be another masterpiece." - manarch2 (06-Feb-2013)

"Looks like gorgeous demos that leave you longing for the full version are the 'in' thing these days, as this demo shows, just a few weeks after Soul's equally tantalizing demo. In Roli's case, this demo came as a welcome surprise to all of us who have been watching the development of TR Revelations IV, his amazing TR1-remake/TRAE-tribute levelset, for years. This demo features a single Greek level, which is less of a 'remake' of any particular TR1 level and more of a series of nostalgia-inducing series of rooms and areas that evoke their TR1 originals (and are inspired by concept art, screenshots and videos of Core Design's cancelled TR Anniversary Edition), coupled with several original areas and mostly original gameplay.
The level begins with Lara in front of a temple in an underground lake (reminiscent of the final temple in Tomb of Tihocan), with several pathways opening off the area, which feels a bit daunting at first. But a little exploration quickly enables you to find the right path, and even when I reached the second star without getting the crowbar first, retracing my steps later with the crowbar in hand didn't feel like a chore. Gameplay involves plenty of traps, puzzles and some very enjoyable timed runs. The puzzle-cum-timed-run in the Colosseum is my favourite part of the level. There's one switch puzzle for which the clue is a little too obscure. I'm not sure if I like the idea of animals dropping important pickups. The crocodiles in crawlspaces are a little annoying, as Lara and the crocodiles would wind up stuck together, and only reloading a savegame would fix the situation.
Lara has a number of new animations, some of which are cute - like the slide she does when sprinting - while others look awkward, like the jump forward animation. The animations tend to mess up Lara's usual capabilities, for example, I found that in one jump, Lara had to start a running jump from nearly the middle of the block rather than the edge in order to grab a pole correctly.
The locations are lovely - the highlight is the stunning Colosseum type area, but there are plenty of beautifully textured and lit places to explore. The lighting can be pitch black in a few narrow spaces, but mostly it's gorgeous. The single floating-block (also mentioned by other reviewers) does adversely affect the otherwise realistic atmosphere, but since this is a demo, it's forgivable.
Overall: A beautiful, charming and enjoyable demo. Really looking forward to the full version!" - Mytly (05-Feb-2013)

"I'm conscious that this game has been enthusiastically anticipated and the series as a whole is a classic in the Level Editor community - but I won't, or well haven't let this influence me during my written review for the"Revelations IV Demo". Collectively, the level doesn't fail to impress. It's hard to express my feelings without it, to all appearances, seem like I'm nit-picking. I'm sure to many this level is visually one of the best levels available (albeit the dark shadows - that I wasn't too keen on) but I found myself being ultimately disenchanted in regards to the gameplay, and the uniqueness. I felt I was playing a rather bad rehash of previous"Tomb Raider" games available (or not) on the market with unscrupulous efforts at new animations and too obvious stabs at"being those games", and so perhaps biasedly I couldn't help but compare the demo to those titles and unfortunately, it falls short in that regard. I understand that the game was majorly inspired by those other titles, but I prefer (personally) games that have more innovation in them. In memoir of them, you did fantastic. I had fun playing the level but can only hope the demo is a"beta" of things to come (like you said in the read-me)." - Baratheon (03-Feb-2013)

"If you thought scorpions in crawlspaces were tricky, try crocodiles! This is not the usual ten minute demo, in fact it took me an hour and twenty minutes. If you have played any of Roli's previous levels, you will be expecting something a bit special - you won't be disappointed. This is ravishingly beautiful (albeit a bit dark in places) and certainly has sufficient varied gameplay to feel like a complete level in itself. Apart from the aforementioned crocodiles, the occasional fast moving gorilla leaps out at Lara, although one did appear to be thoughtful enough to leave a large medipack behind. There are some nice puzzles, a timed run, a spot of swimming, pole swinging, one secret to find and various opportunities to use Lara's new moves. I was really left wanting more and can hardly wait for the finished article." - Jay (01-Feb-2013)

"I didn't see any sword but I may have cursed just a few times. Still, it's the demo and what a demo! Long enough to be a level, way too short when one gets to the end, fierce enemies (perhaps not so much the bats and crocodiles but surely the gorilas), well utilized new moves and most of all a great atmosphere albeit a bit shady quite too often, coupled with irreprocheable textures, settings and varied tasks to perform. Way to go, very much looking forward to the full work." - Jorge22 (30-Jan-2013)

"In this demo of approximately 1 hour the player meets good scenarios and the atmosphere is excellent, textures and lighting perfect for the type of level...his last work was very good and this will be a master piece without a doubt.Great job Roli excellent adventure!" - McRaider (29-Jan-2013)

"Masterful, fun and beautiful demo. Roli is a excellent builder. Definitely, one of the most anticipated levels." - requiemsoul (28-Jan-2013)

"This demo is a sort of hybrid of the later Greek levels in Tomb Raider 1, with inspiration from Core Design's scrapped version of Anniversary. There's beautiful visuals that are matched by few other maps, and constant use of new special effects and objects. In the context of the relatively realistic style I did find one floating block a bit odd (and some pillars could have fixed this pretty easily), but it's not much of an issue. The gameplay is enjoyable throughout with a start focusing on exploration and finding some small crawlspaces (the new animations keep this from being a problem) before moving onto more challenging agility tasks and traps. The animations I mentioned previously also helped to make the gameplay fresh and speed up the gameplay a little. The only issue I had is that a couple of areas feel slightly empty and were big yet only had a few things to do in them, this is mostly avoided though. I also personally didn't like the pick-up sound taken from the newer Tomb Raiders as it's use felt slightly harmful to immersion for me, but that's a nitpick. This demo suggests the full release will be as stunning as the screenshots suggest." - Mman (28-Jan-2013)
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