Level: BtB2018 - Hope of Meridian back home search
Author(s): BtB 2018
total rating:9.25 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Cbl 10 9 10 10
Jorge22 9 10 10 10
Jose 9 10 9 10
manarch2 8 9 9 10
Mman 9 9 8 9
requiemsoul 8 8 9 10
category averages
(6 reviews)
8.83 9.17 9.17 9.83

Reviewer's comments

"As I used a random number generator for the levels, it is pure coincidence that this level came last, but it's for sure my favourite overall (for those interested, #2 is Renaissance and #3 is Starlantis). It's a really great work overall in any regard. There are several pretty novel puzzles in here and quirky attempts on timed runs, a somewhat different perspective on keypads, the rover is fun to use (though it's the only time we see it in the competition, for some reason) and even the slightly labyrinthine first section is superbly done with another interesting timed run among other things. The storyline is also very nicely incorporated into the game. On the other side, it all feels somehow... a bit empty. The individual tasks are nice, but it feels like they are scattered across the map and the task density could be somewhat higher in my opinion. I was pretty sad when the level ended after just about 30 minutes. Technically, I can't really fault this level much, except the minor thing that DOZY is still enabled (but I think this is not the only BtB level this year that doesn't have it disabled). The enemy usage is extremely non-varied, but it makes sense in the context of the game and actually the timing of the attacks made me jump once or twice. The two secrets are greatly hidden, the second being a very nice exploratory extra task that at least made the large desert area which lacks any other tasks at least a bit of meaningful (except of being beautiful, of course). Yes, the looks of this level are indeed very clean and very professional; while the inside areas are a bit more simple, the other areas are quite stunning. The textures and lighting section is almost faultless and the camera work deserves special praise, especially the one at the "boss fight" is just extraordinary but also several others. Anyway, despite some disappointment about the sudden (but nevertheless cinematic and dramatic) ending, I think this is a worthy top contender and also for me concluding level of this contest." - manarch2 (20-Jun-2018)

"This is mostly set in a base type setting, although it introduces more exotic elements later. The base is well executed, with good use of objects and design to feel convincing, and plenty of parts where you can look into other areas. The architecture of individual areas is relatively simple, but it's convincing, and gets stronger in the second part. The gradual introduction of more alien elements is done well too. Gameplay starts off with relatively straightforward environmental navigation, but starts introducing puzzles soon enough, and the tasks gradually escalate as you go through, although it's not especially difficult. The thing that really brings it all together is the story aspect; the level makes every use it can of item interaction and other elements (even the enemy usage) to tell a story that develops throughout, feeds into a few puzzles and wraps up in the end. The secrets are also nicely done. A good level made great by going the extra mile with usually less focused-on elements." - Mman (19-Jun-2018)

"A considerable amount of this level is very mazy and eventually makes you want to see it through. Still, I thought the design was beautifully crafted, so was the general atmosphere and even the mazy part was very cleverly created. Unfortunately, I only found four of the five small blue statues, so I was left wondering what could have awaited me after discovering what had happened to the crew (abducted and then transformed into aliens, I guess), blowing them into smithereens and leaving. I liked all the teleportings and the way one could use the Rover to open quite a few doors (first, one has to find out that's what one's supposed to do). A really nice entry." - Jorge22 (13-Jun-2018)

"Summary: With the atmosphere and suspense of a sci-fi horror thriller, this was a fun level that had the feeling of a classic Star Trek episode. Alternating between the outdoor, vividly blue planet and the dark, haunted hallways of the base, Lara has to build up clues to a mystery throughout the level, with a satisfying and cinematic conclusion. While I encountered some frustration due to certain game features being invisible if played at a screen resolution height below 720 pixels or so, I very much enjoyed this level, especially the vehicle sequence and the final boss. Details (spoilers): What a story! The various letters from which Lara must piece together the mysterious disappearance (or . . . what appears to be a disappearance!) of the station's crew was riveting, and a twist I didn't actually see coming. Cameras and music, like those in the very first hallway between buildings when Lara gets trapped for a moment, seriously up the suspense of the level. Puzzles were fantastic, particularly the floating water room and the fire hall timed run, and another timed run that really required a sprint-dive in order to succeed. Solving each puzzle was tricky but logical, making it satisfying to complete. I found both secrets, and for each there was a nice reward and a sense of something added to the game, my favorite kind of secret in the style of The Lost Artifact. I was particularly glad I bothered to do the secrets, since the Magnum made the final boss battle a bit easier. The vehicle made the level particularly fun, roving around the planet surface searching for items. So far, a stand-out favorite among this year's BtB levels, with all the elements I look for in any Tomb Raider level." - Cbl (10-Jun-2018)

"A good map with touches of surivival horror. The anti- gravity puzzle is very original and the ending is surprising and very cinematic. The first section is maybe a bit confusing and I like it better when we drive the Rover (impressive item)." - requiemsoul (06-Jun-2018)

"Excellent. The first area is a bit complex, labyrinth with all those keypads so I had to backtrack a lot to see what number to use in each one. The second big outside area seems hard, but not too hard when you dispose of a rover to explore and soon you'll realize that once you get a node and go back outside you don't need to re-explore the building areas again. Not an excessive backtracking. Even the five idols to get the second secret were not too difficult to find. Very good architecture and texturization, some innovative ideas like the water corridors in the ceilings or the pad tiles to use with the vehicle, the timed runs were not too hard and the whole game kept interesting and entertaining all the time; I've enjoyed it a lot. Sure one of the candidates to the podium. Congrats!" - Jose (05-Jun-2018)
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