Level: Path to Damnation back home search
Author(s): mathew9r
total rating:7.57 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
BHM Productions 7 10 10 9
Ceamonks890 6 7 8 8
DJ Full 8 9 10 8
Dutchy 6 7 8 8
Feder 10 9 10 9
Gerty 5 7 8 7
Gorty 6 8 10 6
Hedteur 7 7 9 9
Jay 8 8 9 8
Jorge22 5 6 7 7
Jose 4 6 8 8
manarch2 5 6 8 7
Minox 8 9 8 7
Phil 7 7 7 7
Ryan 6 7 8 7
category averages
(15 reviews)
6.53 7.53 8.53 7.67

Reviewer's comments

"What a great pity to see so much potential go to waste. This should have been so much more enjoyable than it actually is. The surroundings are atmospheric and mostly well put together, but the gameplay is just made frustrating for no good reason. Having limited ammo for Lara isn't a particularly endearing concept, but it can be made at least tolerable for the players if enough is provided. In this case, you may think that you are provided enough Crossbow ammo (no other weapons are provided) and if you are EXTREMELY conservative, that might be the case, but making enemies artificially harder to kill than is necessary is not player-friendly game design. I also encountered a bug that meant I had to stop there and then: I saved before entering the Hellstar gate (there was a big boss fight after all) and managed to defeat Seth, but then I got crushed by falling debris. I then reloaded and was greeted by an invisible wall. I then either had to play through the harpy fight again, or quit (using the corner bug never worked). The latter is what I did as I had no desire to go through that again. If the aforementioned problems (and the excessive darkness) had been ironed out with more thorough testing, this would have been sufficiently enjoyable, but as it is, it mostly isn't any fun to go through." - Ryan (06-Sep-2018)

"Different. A little bit tiring for player's eyes and lara's legs but camera work alone deserves a huge highlight." - DJ Full (15-Dec-2017)

"What an awesome level set. As a huge horror fan, I enjoy seeing people's different interpretations of Hell (it usually involves seriously cool but unsettling imagery and creativity), and that's what drew me to this. It didn't let me down! When it comes to atmosphere, visuals, and tone, Path to Damnation does it all to near-perfection. The lonely, mysterious vibes of the outdoor snowy areas were excellent, and the "Hell" areas and sequences did an impressive job of evoking a seriously eerie and dread-filled atmosphere. Environments are well designed and carefully thought out, if a bit basic at times. Music choice, cutscenes, journal entries, and demonic enemies really added to the world the author built. Gameplay was the weakest point, but still nowhere near bad. My biggest issue was how simple majority of the gameplay was. While I appreciated the straight-forward and no nonsense progression (as TRLE levels can often be so obtuse), it was too simple. Very often if you came across a locked door or blocked path, the key or solution was sitting a few feet nearby. However, I truly enjoyed the Mountains and Mansion levels as they shook this up. The Mountains level had you go back and forth between exploration in and around the mountains to these awesome small trial sequences in Hell, which I really loved. The Mansion had you understand the layout of the level and remember where specific items and keys needed to go, with interesting challenges along the way. I think the first boss encounter with the big devil guy was a bit much. At first i hated it because it felt impossible to manage avoiding all of the things you had to avoid (harpies, fire floor, fire spouts, projectiles, projectiles that catch you on fire, the devil chasing you), and I died over and over. But I persevered and won, and it was super satisfying, so I appreciated it more. The final boss was way easier, but honestly far more enjoyable. Both encounters were well designed and cool. The final Hell level before the final boss was surprisingly fun given it was just platforming, and the design and atmosphere was incredible, truly evoking that freaky feeling of being in Hell. Overall, Path to Damnation is an amazing level set that, while a bit too straight-forward and needing a tiny bit more polishing, oozes with genuinely creepy and interesting designs and concepts as well as having relatively fun gameplay. It will go down and one of my all time TRLE favorites!" - BHM Productions (13-Dec-2017)

""You cannot hide, fear will be your downfall!", so the song goes near the end. I suppose my downfall has been the fact that the game *may* not have been tested, coupled with the last two levels and a huge bug in the last one. I suppose the game is interesting before it gets to the last parts and I actually enjoyed the manor part. Everybody said it already but there's only the crossbow and not enough ammo - I had one hundred something normal arrows, maybe 15 solid bolts or something like that and 4 explosive arrows plus a lot of medipacks and it was still impossible to kill the harpies in the final Catacombs room as the explosive arrows were useless and I always ended up getting fried in one way or another. So, sorry but I finally had to resort to the GUNS cheat - and make certain the explosive arrows are indeed useless and of course Mathew has to know it. On the flip side, the revolver works pretty well. So, I finally got to the lava lake in hell. I know this isn't the first time levels have become really boring but was it really necessary to have to jump all those tiles just to show it's hell indeed? Yes, hell indeed. Then, before the final match against Seth I made the mistake of saving before entering the gate I'd just opened with my hell stars. As I reloaded, I found a bug I don't think I'd seen since TR3 (only it was excusable in TR3 because the game was so good): an invisible wall. So, there I was: stuck in hell. The only thing left for me to do would be to endure the fight against the harpies while under Seth's attack and jump across all those dreaded tiles again. Normally, I would. But this time, no thanks, I'm done. I've seen it, I understood it, it's nearly impossible on purpose, not my cup of tea." - Jorge22 (23-Oct-2017)

"A series of several levels quite short and quite difficult, especially the final which is painful. Why is there only the bow? All levels are usually too dark (to my taste)." - Minox (21-Oct-2017)

"Despite the levels offering an incredibly convincing atmosphere(with objects/enemies, ambiance, lighting, texturing and subtle little nuances, such as clever use of flyby cameras during cutscenes to simulate first-person viewing of events from Lara's perspective or some decent voice acting for 'Set' presumably by the builder himself, all complimenting towards the overall experience quite nicely), its ultimately sabotaged by unbalanced gameplay and a noticeable lack of polish, making confrontations with the denizens of Hell itself, not exactly as epic as it should be. Boss fights are especially egregious to deal with, thanks to your arsenal being restricted to a mere crossbow that can quickly run out of ammo(not helped at all by the uncomfortably small battlefield space which will lead to many a player's death, until you somehow make it by the skin of your teeth). Level exploration is also pretty limited, not helped at all by Lara's notebook too easily giving away what you need to do. Sure, you don't have to use it. But when the vast majority of story elements are locked behind the blasted paperweight, you'll find yourself left completely in the dark otherwise about what's going on, unless you look through it every once and a while. So I wish the builder could have toned things down a little and let players figure out everything for themselves, keeping merely revelatory story elements either to the notebook itself or have it all summed up briefly through voiceovers in-game. There's also a few spelling & paragraphing errors here and there, but I won't knock the builder down for that personal quibble(as annoying as it was, for the perfectionist in me). In spite of these issues however, there is still a good game hidden underneath it all. But whether you have the patience to confront this release and all of its trappings, really depends on what kind of player you are. But in the end, I would still recommend this to fellow raiders(albeit with a reasonably-sized asterisk), if the narrative sounds right up your alley." - Ceamonks890 (19-Oct-2017)

"Never do this again, giving only restricted ammo, in this game it certainly doesn’t work and re-loading every bloody time to save ammo is not my kind of fun, period! Two big NO NO’s in my book, are limited ammo and save crystals. Didn’t like it that I had to choose the crossbow from inventory every time after a re-load instead of using the space-bar. As others already stated as well as in my opinion this hasn’t been tested. It is a pity though, as the level is quite spooky but with sufficient hardware and ammo it could have been a winner. Reading the diary made my PC freeze up, so I had to rename the PIX file. So please next time put the text also in the readme file. Tedious and boring is also the jumping tiles over the lava lake and not every lava tile is deadly, sloppy work or what? Even with the savedgame provided by Scottie I couldn’t finish the game. As you can tell, I am not amused." - Gerty (18-Oct-2017)

"I'll say at the beginning that this was not a fun game for me to play. Although ample flares are provided, and although they burn longer than usual, everything is so consistently dark that I was constantly floundering about without being able to enjoy the journey. As others have noted, it's next to impossible to get through without resorting to unauthorized aids. The provided weaponry and ammunition would seem at first glance to be sufficient, but the builder has boosted the AI (which I know means artificial intelligence, but I use it here to refer to artificial invulnerability) to an unreasonable extent. Even the bats, which appear in profusion, required five or six explosive arrows before they would explode. Same for the dogs and skeletons, although interestingly enough the dogs would go down with a single revolver bullet. (I know, there's no revolver in the game, so I manufactured one.) Dutchy has provided an excellent walkthrough that helped me navigate the darkness and the traps, but even with his skill he was unable to complete the last level. For the benefit of others, I'll mention that when the boss is defeated (again, in my case with only three or four revolver bullets), all that remains is to go through a short squishy block passage and up a gullet-like ramp to end the game. Each of the five levels took me an average of 15 minutes to play, and although there are some nice atmospheric touches here, I was glad when it was all over." - Phil (18-Oct-2017)

"Despite being a five-parter, this levelset only took me 50 minutes to complete. None of the levels really goes deep in things like exploration or puzzle solving, and if there is a bit of exploration the diary hints are actually too helpful. At least the trap sequences are rather well designed and provide more fun, cameras are also used nicely in that regard (but also in terms of atmosphere). The only really questionable design is indeed the final boss, is it so hard to provide some extra ammo for the crossbow (or, much better, why not pistols)? Respawning also would've been a possible option. I ended up killing the demon with 1 shot left, so if I didn't find all the ammo, also in the three secrets (don't know if there are more), I couldn't finish this level legally. On the other side the other enemies are rather well placed, even the harpies in the penultimate level were fun to fight (running in circles to avoid the demon's bolts of course). The areas are mainly simplistically designed (several rather underdeveloped areas with many parts where you could drop down and the builder just kills Lara as she's not allowed to go there) and the lighting is often very flat, especially in the snowy outside areas, but the levels are still quite atmospheric (the later levels are more elaborate in the above regards and the lighting also improves slightly) and the cutscenes and audios are very well used. Not bad overall, but things like the missing ammo downgrade the fun slightly." - manarch2 (13-Oct-2017)

"I would have enjoyed this game so much more without the frequent darkness, the irritating bats and the impossible boss ending (well, it proved impossible for me and I see I wasn't the only one). It's such a shame really because the good parts, and there were plenty, were very good indeed. The beautiful, snowy exterior scenes were gorgeous and most atmospheric and I especially enjoyed the broken bridge section, where the action involves finding the correct route to the other side. The manor section I also enjoyed (still very gloomy lighting), although the spider in the attic came as a bit of a shock. There were some excellent traps and, up to the final battle, the enemies were well used and manageable. I don't know if it would have helped if there had been more fire power than just the crossbow, but I really hope that this obviously talented builder makes his next level a bit more player-friendly." - Jay (13-Oct-2017)

"That was an interesting level, it had its strenghts but also a bit of flaws. For exemple, the strongest asset here was the atmosphere and the textures; the game is well made, fluid and respects the notion of mystery and fear. The gameplay itself is not bad too, but I think the major flaw here was about the weapon ; except for the dogs, when you used the crossbow on the spider boss, or even the final boss, you have absolutely no idea if you are dealing any damage or not and you shoot endless arrows to them (Since the weapon is not very precise if you dodge their attacks, you have to stand idle) I even ended up using every single 125 arrows on the final boss, and not kill it at one point, forcing me to charge the game. Last one point that was prety boring was at the final level where you have to make a ridiculous amount of running jumps to progress (and by that, I mean, you constantly have to do a running jumps, take a step backwards and make it. That was a bit annoying to do it over and over again) Appart for that, the game was enjoyable when it came to researching and exploration. All of that came gives you a solid 1h30/2h experience, though I have regrets on the end of the story was "too" simple." - Hedteur (12-Oct-2017)

"A very good example how a level set turns out when it’s not beta tested before release. The author actually destroyed his own work with the avoiding of the most important part in level building. Even a savegame was left in the package. The game starts very impressive with a nice curt scene. The first environment looks very promising. I went at the beginning far north and dropped myself down. I started encountering the ˝end of the world˝( EoW ) and some sudden spontaneous death tiles. Soon I realized that I’m in a part of the level I’m not supposed to be. The overall texturing was nice, but errors on the cliffs could be seen easily. When entering the cave the whole texturing and lighting got much worse. After the explosion of the stones I entered a very badly textured cave that was just too dark to properly play through. Close too impossible to play. The secret was easier discoverable than the main path. With a little help from the binoculars I somehow managed my way through. I have to point out that through the level noticed enormous many flying objects on the ground ( meaning not properly placed ). My first note for the author is to place objects on the ceiling and then lower them on the floor to avoid these flying buggy objects. Another very annoying thing are the spontaneous death tiles. I mean, it’s one thing to place them on some hard to get parts of the level, but it’s a completely different thing to place them on some very easy to get places. Dropping down just ONE SQUARE in the cave kills Lara. C’mon, give yourself more effort. I liked really the part with short areas of the hell. Very good scenery. The second level had similar problems like the first one. Again, too dark, too flat, too monotone in light and of course, even more spontaneous combustions or death tiles. One very frustrating moment was to light the torch. I don’t know how I was supposed to notice a flame on the side walk while running away from a rolling stone and mutant and why on earth was the way blocked after passing the flame ? That could be a game killer if I didn’t had a savegame. Nice Idea with the snow melting, but that untextured surface was a pain in the eye. While on the bridge the EoW was clearly visible. The author put again some weird death tiles on easy reachable areas. While swinging on the pole under the bridge I tried to get on the platforms above but they were for some reason not walkable ? Another note to the author – with the placement of death tiles, combustions tiles and fall through platforms the author puts invisible walls around the players, kills the fun of exploring the level and wants the player to go an imagined invisible path ( read the mind of the author ), which is everything but not fun. The cages near the end had no collision. I’m not even sure I did it the right way to pass them. The caves had again very bad lighting. The third level starts with some nice cutscenes that really boost the atmosphere. The manor was incredibly atmospheric, but soon gets very disappointing. The light is again, very bad, but I won’t mention the light anymore. The gameplay suffers heavily. Consists mostly of just collection keys ( 3 times with the same repetitive task, get it from the skeleton ) and finding the appropriate keyhole. The spider fight was nice, but it had too much HP. It’s followed soon with a similar long fight. The catacombs were again too dark and monotone with ˝boring˝ gameplay. It had few nice traps and Ideas. The hell had again a very good cutscene with great atmosphere. It look somehow original. The Setha fight was very very hard, but it required a very good strategy. It takes a long time and much patient to kill it. I can imagine that some players would give up. Overall, this is an incredible work, great imagination, great work with the cutscenes, but unfortunately destroyed by weird gameplay design/choices and with texturing/light. The author is incredibly talented and I’m really sad that the project is getting such low rating. The best would be to make something like a remake, extend it and re-release it with proper gameplay. One thing needs to be cleared for the author as he is moaning in the forums, the game is not getting low rating because of the fact it’s not beta testing, no, it’s getting bad rating because of the consequences of not getting it beta tested. I’m sure many things would be fixed and released totally different. Highly recommended, especially for horror or mystery fanatics !" - Gorty (12-Oct-2017)

"As usual, I can't give a 5 or higher in the gameplay section if I'm not able to finish the game by myself. A pain 'cause the first three levels were, even when they are short, entertaining and the gameplay was fluid; I should give around a 7 for that levels. The catacomb level is not bad too, and I was able to jump to the final level, but the final boss was totally impossible to kill for me. I was looking for another options, even walking on the safe lava tiles (yes, not all the tiles are deadly) and also I saw four or five marked tiles in the ceiling, but they are too far to know the corresponding tiles in the floor so, after I wasted all the ammo fighting Seth I decided to abandone the level." - Jose (11-Oct-2017)

"My review is actually for two parts. First the good part where I had fun and the level played very well even though you only get a Crossbow with arrows, Looks good and a good story. Then the bad part where you get to a Setha... fight a Setha with only arrows? Luckily after shooting some of the abundant Harpies, the level changed…Then you get to the Setha again, this time no harpies, so you probably had to shoot HIM this time… Well, I mastered avoiding his bolts and could survive till I ran out of (normal) arrows, the special ones were already used in the first fight… This is a bad setup and a game killer… So this certainly decimates my overall game play score. Have your next level tested please" - Dutchy (10-Oct-2017)

"This extraordinary adventure is made of 5 short levels that go straight to the point, with minimum backtracking and very fun tasks to accomplish. The story is perfectly implemented into the game, with excellent cutscenes and Lara’s diary to guide you through the way. Gameplay is on the exploring side mostly (a word of advice: always check the skeletons), with just a few challenging battles at the end, but the rest of the game was not really combat-heavy. The atmosphere is very convincing and I see some really nice work on the landscapes, with only some minor defects on the lighting, but luckily you’re provided with enough flares to deal with the darkness of the last levels. Found 3 secrets. Definitely recommended!" - Feder (09-Oct-2017)
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