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Level: Calm before the Storm back home search
Author(s): OverRaider
total rating:9.25 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
DJ Full 9 10 10 9
Drakan 9 10 10 9
EssGee 8 9 9 9
izzynoodles 9 8 10 10
Jay 9 9 9 9
Jorge22 9 9 10 9
Jose 8 10 10 10
manarch2 9 9 9 9
Phil 9 10 10 9
Rambo 10 9 9 8
requiemsoul 9 10 10 9
Ryan 9 9 10 9
The Boo 8 10 10 9
category averages
(13 reviews)
8.85 9.38 9.69 9.08

Reviewer's comments

"I think I must have played it, failed to review it and couldn't really remember it anymore - which is a good thing because I was able to play it as if it were the first time (my brain tends to use the very same technique with films). Tough one. Cryptic. Jumpy (as in jumps, a few complicated ones). Creepy (somewhat). Entertaining. Solid-looking. Containing appropriate music and sounds. Occasionally surprising. But all I can think of right now is the final part... There is an excellent timed run. Excellent. And needing some preparation beforehand. Then, finally, Lara gets a black rose and the battle begins... My pulse is still aching. Two huge, fire bolt throwing serpents and a threatening floating skull in the middle (it self-destroys when the serpents are killed, thank God). The revolver is useless and the revolver ammo isn't much. So, the only gun I could really use were my pistols and they did the trick. But it took so very long, like the serpents had ninety lives! Mission accomplished though and I sent my tired Lara on her way home. Great adventure." - Jorge22 (08-Oct-2019)

"What a beast of a debut level! You can easily see the builder's skills, particularly in atmosphere are evident and this theme continued in his "Stairway to Hell" Btb entry. The gameplay IS extremely challenging, no doubt about it, but also inventive, like enticing a spider away from an important item, torch lighting sequences, timed runs, a wind tunnel and a boss battle with hydras and a beam-firing skull based upon the statue from TR5. The textures are dark and spooky, but they sure do fit. Took me 1 hour 30 minutes." - Ryan (28-Mar-2017)

"A superb and amazing debut. Hard, rewarding and creative. Very well done. 120 minutes. Note: 9,5." - requiemsoul (21-Sep-2016)

"A fantastic debut level, incredibly well made and thought out. The creepy atmosphere is wonderful and I'd live to see more great TRLEs with this spooky kind of tone. It's very surprising not to have any enemies at all in the game (except the final boss) but this does not deter from the gameplay - puzzles are very tricky along with intricate jump sequences, it is very much a challenge throughout, and certainly gives the sense that it's made for the puzzle solving. A definite must play. Took around 3 and a half hours to play." - izzynoodles (30-Aug-2016)

"I don't think of myself as of an "expert raider". In fact I've been better in classic times and this game made me realize how much my skills in pathfinding and jumping have decreased since that period, so I wanna improve again - and since these days builders just don't provide games which would allow such improvement, I'm grateful this one has been made. "With patience and persistence", in fact required very little in the original game the quote comes from, you can make it through this game. The final rooms were harder for me but very likely because I took the whole game within a single longplay night and I was quite exhausted near the very end. If I had any real problem it wasn't mastering a certain jump but believing I'm supposed to make it - but fortunately there was often no other choice except from intended so the mind stood focused on particular sectors despite of open world. It was definitely less focused whenever outbox thinking was required for solving puzzles - and these parts are so creative I sometimes tried everything except the actual solution. Until I calmed down, what the scenery and music helped a lot in. In the end beating the game was really rewarding and the secrets boosted it even more. I only found a single inconsistency with one pushable behaving differently from another in the same room (might be misleading). All the rest is pure creativity with a harmless dose of confusion. SUMMARY: It's unbelievable the same guy has made Stairway to Hell, likely an author which is not only extraordinarily talented but also universal. I bet he would be able to make a submarine level with curved ledge jumps which would still make sense. SUMMARY: Underraided." - DJ Full (03-Jan-2016)

"Very well constructed level - escpecially for a debut! I really like the dark, horrific atmosphere in combination with clever and challenging gameplay. Unfortunately it get a bit dull after a while, if you are searching to long for a way to get through. But this doesn't matter that much. This level contains much fun and is best to play at helloween, I guess. A mustplay, if you like spooky environment! ;)" - The Boo (26-Sep-2015)

"Extraordinary level. A very good design from a very clever builder. The bad news: only for expert players. The tasks are not excessively hard; from the very beginning you notice that you need a torch and a gem to continue playing, but the problem is how you're going to get those items you need in a very huge outside area. This is a hard gameplay only for expert explorers. Later, when you reach the inner areas with the shootable spheres, the game turns more interesting, and the final rooms where you must get the Hands are fantastic too, but difficult. I didn't like the tricky curved jump to get one of the hands. I thought the long timed run in the final outside areas should be very hard, but I did it at first attempt. The last fight with the hydras and the nasty head was a good ending, but I expected more bullets in my revolver to deal with the hydras. Very interesting work from an excellent builder, but I think OverRaider could build another kind of levels more accessible for everybody, everyone. Anyway I take my hat. Congratulations." - Jose (22-Feb-2015)

"Scary, hard, moody, barren, different. These are the elements that make this a pretty darn good level. Definitely a horror style level but has some very challenging gameplay. The opening area is a barren wasteland that has a very realistic atmosphere. It's cleverly constructed, in order for Lara to make her way around the cliffs to gain access to the inner realm. The path is fairly marked, generally with grey path textures, but it is sometimes hard to make out in the subdued and ominous light. Once you start exploring down into the evil catacombs, it's a meat-fest of disturbing scenes, with corpses galore and an ever-present demonic feel. Some interesting effects with spiders, moving jump switches, pushable roll balls and a wind room, and a very tough final timed run. The final boss battle is appropriately tough and will certainly get you hopping to avoid being toasted. But why did Lara come to this godforsaken place? She gets a nice bouquet of coloured roses and a dark heart if she collects all secrets, but nothing to take home in the way of artefacts from the regular game. Surely, it wasn't for the meat tray prize - the local butcher could have supplied some fresher cuts than the rotting flesh that was on offer here as spider-bait. Apart from a first-timer error setup with a vine used with a climb pole which meant that you can slide all the way down to the ground leaving Lara grabbing at thin air, this is a very well made level and an excellent debut. It's definitely more suited for expert players, so may not appeal to all players. But you should give it a go as it's something quite different with it's ominous horror theme." - EssGee (18-Oct-2014)

"This is a great time to be a Tomb Raider fan. We've just been treated to one of the best BtB competitions ever, and new builders are simultaneously stepping forward with some outstanding releases. Calm Before the Storm is one of the best debut levels we've yet seen, and it kept me occupied for about two and a half hours of net gaming time. It didn't get off to a very good start, however, with all those hills and valleys and no clear picture of where to go or what to do. Even Dutchy's usually crystal-clear walkthrough prose didn't help me much, so I had to resort to an online video just to get out of the gate. But once you leave that rather drab and featureless outdoor area, gameplay begins to pick up immediately and dramatically. The five secrets are elaborately hidden and fun to pursue, so I did the necessary hard work to get them all with Dutchy's help. The environs in the later going were a bit too macabre for my taste, but they sure did enhance the overall spooky mood of the level. That complex timed run at the end was remarkably well conceived and fairly timed, provided you save at crucial spots along the way, and with the assistance of the posted video I managed it in short order. The concluding boss fight with the two hydras and Green Lantern was particularly grueling because of the limited vulnerability of the hydras, but it served as a nice exclamation point to a thoroughly invigorating raid. Well done." - Phil (07-Oct-2014)

"Considering I had beta tested this one I don't have much to say for the builder, only that I think especially his creative gameplay is just what any level should be like, and not just another boring demo (all those who rated Anniversary II with 9's and 10's, eat this!) ;). From his reviews you know what to expect when he releases a level, and you're not mistaken. There are dozens of great challenges, there are many excellent puzzles, often with innovative usage of enemies and objects and jumps that will challenge each and every player, even a very long and inspired timed run close to the end. I can't really tell what this game misses to get a 10 in the first category, it just didn't uttermost persuade me to do so but nevertheless it comes pretty close and definately is the best category of them all, the ratings just can't express that well enough. Aside of that, everything in this game just fits in perfectly - may it be the choice of textures, sounds (which are very aptly chosen) or few, yet strategically placed enemies - and a very exciting final boss fight. The lighting is a lot better in the final version yet still has room for improvement for future levels, but there are many instances where the use of colours is highly effective. There are not that many helpful cameras, yet the areas to explore are never too large so that it rather adds to the diffculty (of the pleasing kind). Overall this is a debut level with a striking quality that one shouldn't miss out on, I hope that the review count will increase in the near future. The only thing left to do is to highly recommend this more than one hour of an all-around great game. Found all five most challenging secrets." - manarch2 (07-Oct-2014)

"This is a most assured work for a debut level and has a wonderful atmosphere, with its slightly washed out colours, interesting textures and brooding sky. Pay close attention to some of those textures as they will aid your pathfinding skills. There are some excellent effects and animations and clever puzzles to ponder over. Some of the obstacles Lara has to overcome will of necessity deplete her health, but sufficient medipacks are to be found if you explore carefully. The gameplay can be a bit tricky in places, so not really one for inexperienced players, but the sliding walkways challenge is great fun and the timed run towards the end isn't too tight to achieve and a very nicely thought out sequence. I can't wait to see this obviously talented builder's next work." - Jay (19-Sep-2014)

"Gameplay & Puzzles: First time a level is so great in gameplay that I decided to give it full marks, the tasks are very challenging but very, very creative, wonderful ideas and a good dose of everything here! Congrats! Enemies, Objects & Secrets: There are very good objects used in here but mostly for gameplay, the rest is good too but not outstanding, as well as the enemies, but the final fight was great. The secrets are excellent just as the gameplay. Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The architecture is very well created and the use of sounds is great. There are a bit few cameras here, but atmosphere is quite good still. Lighting & Textures: The textures are very well done and there are a few mistakes that pose no problem, but the lighting - it's not bad but I guess it could be better, some areas are a bit flat and some colours don't hide that. It's excellent on occasion but then not so much. Total: 9/10, excellent gameplay with not so excellent looks, one that should be played." - Rambo (15-Sep-2014)

"For its first level, the author has built a very beautiful work. The beginning of the level in exterior is made of many slopes where to find the way up. To guide, the author has put different textures, which facilitates understanding. I'm not a hunter secrets but here I felt I had to discover them. Some are visible but inaccessible, it will find the puzzle to get them all. The hardest part is that in the lava. I found few textures gone wrong or placed, the atmosphere is pleasant and very good, there were some flares but I've never used. I loved the timed run at the end with the counter in the corner of the screen. Excellent. Well done!" - Drakan (04-Sep-2014)
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