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Highland Adventure by StormChaser

DJ Full 9 9 9 9
eRIC 7 8 9 7
Feder 7 7 6 6
Jay 7 7 8 8
JesseG 7 7 7 7
Jorge22 8 8 7 8
Jose 7 8 8 9
manarch2 5 6 6 6
Phil 8 7 7 8
Ryan 7 7 8 7
The Snarky Lesbian 7 6 9 7
Treeble 7 8 10 9
release date: 31-Jan-2019
# of downloads: 1252

average rating: 7.48
review count: 12
review this level

file size: 171.00 MB
file type: TR3
class: Castle

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"StormChaser is a respected builder known for his intricate castle designs and this is no exception. The Scottish textures from the The Lost Artifact make this a very familiar looking place, and yet, brand new. The castle itself is pretty impressive in its size and also how wide open it is: you can easily get yourself lost here with so many possible paths to take upon every turn. You need a few key items to proceed and I'm not sure whether I was lucky or not, but on the first half I managed to stumble onto said items before even knowing where they where needed. With the second half I wasn't as lucky as I missed a crowbar and had to backtrack quite a little, but it wasn't so bad. Gameplay boils down to exploration for the most part, with one simple three-tiered pushblock puzzle towards the end and a few combat encounters throughout the level. 80 minutes, 5 secrets. 01/20" - Treeble (12-Jan-2020)
"One more cup of coffee for the road... An impressive map filled with activity and plenty of cool secrets too (some of them, I found but didn't bother to go back if I happened to have died in the meantime). It's the atmosphere that can almost never quite match the original... I mean, yes, that's the whole thing about most TR3 levels, what can I say? Other than that, it isn't faultless but it's rather well done. A Highland adventure for all." - Jorge22 (06-Jul-2019)
"A long TR3 level mostly based on exploration that reveals itself to be in fact rather straightforward. It seems not that eventful in the first half but i found it quite relaxing with not many enemies and the welcome sound of the sea waves. In fact i enjoyed myself much here. Then more gameplay situations in the second half with also more enemies that appear often in groups. Good use of some of the TR3 objects , you need to collect a few keys , 2 hammers and 2 crowbars along the way. I missed the 2nd crowbar and had to backtrack a bit but aside from that the level has a very fluent flow. Definitively pleasant. play time : 1h40 - secrets found : 4/6" - eRIC (10-May-2019)
"Once you start to play and after half an hour you'll immediately recognize the peculiar and old Peter's style. This castle-complex is very huge, and except for a couple of movable crates puzzle you'll need to explore a lot of areas trying to find items and pull some switches to advance through the game. Try to not miss the second crowbar, or the backtracking could be terrible. The old enemies to shoot from the TR3 game: guards, crows, dogs and rats; enough guns and ammo (the grenade gun appears a bit late) and secrets easy to find. Good use of the cameras and the musics; even with the old textures the areas have a good look and the lights are very well worked. If you enjoy TR3 levels, downlad this one; it will not disappoint you." - Jose (04-Apr-2019)
"This is a decent TR3 adventure that clocked in for me at a bit more than an hour and a half, so you get quite a lot of playing time for your download. The six secrets are well documented in José's walkthrough, but all you get for your trouble is a collection of nonfunctional pickups. There's a nice balance of indoor and outdoor settings, but like the builder's other TR3 level it suffers somewhat from the sameness factor. Still, it's a fun raid, and now that I've found out how to make these levels display right side up, I can recommend both to players who enjoy the TR3 environs." - Phil (03-Apr-2019)
"A solid but for me rather repetitive level. I liked the overall structure with many windows where you can see previously or later visited areas and the Scottish atmosphere works in a way, but the rooms feel far too similar to each other and there was not much of variety to speak of. Textures are mostly okay, a few mistakes are visible, and the lighting is also a bit uneven at times; the end of the world was also accessible a few times. Gameplaywise, there is a lot lot of running around finding keys and crossing long hallways on foot, swimming or climbing, so overall a little tedious, and I missed some more elaborate tasks or puzzles else than a few block puzzles. Even the traps are not really requiring more thought. The enemies are nicely placed, but several rooms are quite empty of objects and I also think some secrets were too easy to find. Overall 50 minutes of raiding that were not without their moments but also not an improvement over the builder's last release." - manarch2 (09-Mar-2019)
"This little masterpiece is probably the most rating-whacked work I've played this year. I knew games built in older engines are prone to unfair downrating, but this is bias and prejudice on a devastating level I have never encountered before. Why to rate an entirely gripping, creative, challenging, architecturally complex game which has all elements of a proper raid to SEVEN out of ten is beyond my head. I just think some reviewers should either quit or at least stop pretending they know their job, and before I'm told everyone has the right to their opinion, I will tell you to move on, because there's a line of reason and you have done enough damage." - DJ Full (07-Mar-2019)
"This is a fairly interesting level from an up and coming creator with some issues here and there and in the overall process, but is definitely beautiful. It is supposedly playing in a couple of ruins in the Scottish highlands, a goal well reached. The little ruins with their knightly attire can definitely give you the feeling that you are exploring former knights barracks or some royal castles in the highlands. It definitely has a nice atmosphere in that. The author even allowed the atmosphere to seep into the puzzle design, as beautiful red vines textures that perfectly grow over the white stone textures usually signify ladders. A very natural and realistic way of providing the area with ladders, and I appreciate that. In general, the texture work is very well done with a good amount of change here and there. This level has plenty of little clearings with nice lighting coming in and even textures for gardens with flowers. Some places really made me smile brightly for how pretty they were.
The overall level design starts in the highland ruins, then goes through tunnels, through the highlands themselves and then back to ruins. The design itself is not super consistens, where it the beginning the area will look very big and open ended with lots of paths to take, in the second half it becomes very linear. However that might be a good thing, as in the earlier section about half of the pathways lead to dead ends. Sometimes with goodies, but usually not. They also don't contain any enemies or traps. So you scroll around randomly not sure if you will need that area later (you don`t) and whether or not those gates will every open (they won't). Even if these dead ends show you places will visit later. Maybe you could have allowed for these gates to be opened from the other side, just so the areas loop around on themselves a bit more. But I will admit that would have further confused the player in finding a way to move on.
Problematic is the design of objects and enemies. The pickup ratio is very good in regards to traveltime. Every new section you enter has grenades, Uzi ammo and shotgun shells a plenty to not feel completely empty, it is however a screwed up ratio in terms of how many enemies you fight, massively. By which I mean that this level does not have enough enemies. This fact struck me as the hardest over the course of the entire level. You will get lots of ammunition for the Shotgun and Uzi, but nothing to use it. More than a couple of times I entered a big hall or a clearing with my Shotgun / Uzis drawn, expecting enemies to appear, but nothing happened. It is by far THE oddest element about this level. There would have been lots of places to spawn enemies, in fact that I'd argue you could double or almost tripple the amount of enemies, and still not run into issues with your current amount of pickups. It took me over 2 hours to beat this level and I used 1.0 (2 smalls) med kits, and still I ended the level with like 3 large med kits and another 5-6 small med kits. I could have build a small wall with them as bricks. So even if the pickups were not enough, you could easily supplement that with the normal pistols. The 3 types of enemies in this level are the TR3 Lud's Gate Guards (modified to look more fitting in this level), dogs and ravens. Only the guards can shoot, and the dogs might rush you a bit. But otherwise there is not a lot of danger presented by them. I ended up shooting even the pitifully weak ravens with my Uzis the moment I got them, because what else would I have used them on? And this level gives you a Grenade Launcher in the last quarter of the level. I then also used that Grenade Launcher exclusively and was fine till the end.
So yeah, I can recommend you try the current version, try to not miander around too much in the beginning, use the special weapons exclusively the moment you get them (even for ravens) and bring some time. The puzzles themseleves are fairly easy block pushing and level pulling ones. But you will be amazed by the nice textures in some places. And to the creator, again, please take this level and double or almost tripple the amount of enemies present, put them everywhere, keep players on their feet, allow them to feel like they are competing with them to find the artefact before them. Especially in the clearings. Put them everywhere. And you will find that a lot more people can enjoy this level more.
Time spent: 2h 20m; Secrets found: 4 of 6; Med kits used: 2 small med kits." - The Snarky Lesbian (27-Feb-2019)
"I'm reminded of the old saying about buses - you wait for hours and then three come along at once. I say this because I seem to have played one or two levels lately that use the lovely Scottish textures after not having seen them for a while. They are used effectively here, but the place is absolutely huge and I could really have used a map. There's a lot of exploring and backtracking involved, plus shooting guards and dogs, the odd dip in what is undoubtedly very cold Scottish water, and a fair old bit of shoving boxes around. Undemanding and pleasant enough." - Jay (10-Feb-2019)
"Lara searched for a sacred sword that I'm very surprised was able to fit in her backpack. Gameplay is mostly exploration with some puzzles, enemies and traps. This is a linear level that is structured like a non-linear one, with quite a few elaborate dead-ends that will lead to a good amount of backtracking that I would have rather done without. Objects are used in a decent amount, but a few more would have helped with some of the larger chambers that feel a bit empty. Enemies are used well throughout. The architecture is a bit on the blocky side and a few of the rooms are too large for the purpose they serve. Colorful lights are used well. The texturing is decent but some areas feel a bit wallpapered. Overall it is not at the same caliber as the official level in The Lost Artifact, but it still makes for a good raid, if a bit long-winded. 1 hour 31 minutes." - JesseG (07-Feb-2019)
"A surprising return to Peter's familiar Castle environments, this time in a TR3 Gold setting, but this latest effort provides a much more enjoyable gameplay experience than Castle Ness or Castle Malvernia ever did. There's still quite a large amount of exploration and running around to do, but it still manages to be entertaining for the duration it lasts, and there were a couple of block puzzles and jumping exercises that I found to be nicely executed, and that provided a good bit of variation. Enemies consist of guards, dogs, crows and the occasional rat, but nothing difficult, especially if you find the three other weapons scattered about. The TR3 engine does look a bit primitive by today's standards, but this is one that proves they can still provide a fun time." - Ryan (06-Feb-2019)
"It's always nice to see the birth of a skilled author who chooses to build in the old engines, with all the complexity and limitations that implies. In his second entry, architecture and textures are the strong point, while lighting is in need of more care. Fluid gameplay and good battles are to be expected, but several long corridors could've been avoided, as well as a few wrong colored meshes on the enemies. Some rooms may feel a little vast and empty, nothing a few more statics and decoration can't fix. I have the feeling this author might become a great TR3 builder, should he chooses to follow a more perfectionist path. Found 5 secrets, 1 hour 22 minutes." - Feder (05-Feb-2019)