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Level: A Highland Winter back home search
Author(s): StormChaser
total rating:7.90 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
dragooncroft 6 6 8 9
Drakan 8 8 9 8
eRIC 8 8 9 8
Jay 8 8 9 9
Jorge22 8 8 9 9
Mulf 6 7 6 6
PedroTheGamer 8 8 8 7
Ryan 8 8 9 8
The Snarky Lesbian 6 8 9 6
Torry 9 9 9 8
category averages
(10 reviews)
7.50 7.80 8.50 7.80

Reviewer's comments

"I play very little tr3 but the screens of this one I liked and so I played it. Nice but a little dark for my taste (I did not remember that we could correct with the gamma). Large rooms with some baddys and search for keys to move forward are the main ingredients. correctly textured this level I liked it." - Drakan (20-Oct-2019)

"A valid Tomb Raider 3 level given the limitations of the engine and the author does not disappoint. 75 glorious minutes of traditional raiding in the Antarctica theme but this time set in the Scottish Highlands. Sure it was not overly difficult but that is what makes it shine. I only had to refer to the walk through once or twice. The second time right at the end as no matter how often I looked I could not see a castle key BUT the walk through said it was dropped by one of the goons so I tried everywhere and eventually came up with it. Lord knows where it was hiding. Only found one secret. Textures are as good as the original and atmosphere was grand. Thanks Stormchaser." - Torry (15-Oct-2019)

"This level’s builder recently let it slip that he isn’t all that good at playing TR, which is a surprising confession coming as it does from a veteran builder with no fewer than 18 notches on his belt, but even if taken as a humorous understatement, it might go some way towards explaining the lack of challenge that this level presents to players active in the upper leagues. Indeed, its first half is rather too sedate for its own good, the pace picking up only after the area with the broken bridge, and the second half contains all the set pieces that can be considered a challenge (two short icy-water bits that require precision to survive, and an extended timed run across a suspended walkway where you need to cut corners while sprinting).
Visually, the ‘castle’ consists mainly of a sequence of interchangeable courtyards, sometimes connected by unnecessarily long corridors, while the structures in or around them are all solid masses of stone like the purely symbolic buildings at Saqqara, except at one point halfway through, when you actually get to move around in some (fairly lacklustre) interiors. Thus, most of the level takes place in empty spaces surrounded by walls, often too large for what little gameplay they contain. In one case, those walls are surmounted by sky-high fences to prevent the player from entering an adjoining courtyard, which I thought was an odd design choice (in a castle, the walls themselves should define the limits of your reach). The ‘natural’ areas outside the walls are too blocky to be convincing, and the absence of transitional textures doesn’t help.
Technically, there are only a few minor issues: the collision boxes of some imported objects (trees, a stack of crates) are way too large, the crowbar doors are glitchy (the broken bits float mysteriously out of the map), and there is a randomly textured bit in the back of some rocks you’re apparently not supposed to climb up, but easily can.
In sum, a competently built and mildly entertaining level that could have done with a bit of pruning as far as gameplay is concerned, and with a more imaginative and less repetitive approach to the visuals." - Mulf (11-Oct-2019)

"It's quite coincidental that I played two Scottish Castle levels back to back, but this is undoubtedly the more well rounded (and thus enjoyable) of the two. The frozen atmosphere is well caught and the environments pleasing to the eye and while it doesn't stray too far from Peter's usual building style, the action is a little more fast paced this time around for a number of reasons. Firstly, the enemy confrontations keep you on your toes and you have to watch your supplies and health carefully, as pickups aren't really strewn all over the place, but the odds aren't ever unfair. Also, the timed runs do require you to be reasonably quick (like all good timed runs) but again, they're not insurmountable. Like eRIC mentions in his review, I also liked that why the gameplay was generally linear, some sections require a bit of thought on the player's part, so you can't just breeze through this one. Enjoyable gaming." - Ryan (03-Oct-2019)

"A quite entertaining level that seems to use the TR3 engine well. I couldn't find any major flaws - sure, there are many overall dark places and huge hordes of baddies, but both are perfectly manageable with the provided flares and ammo - and, furthermore, the game progressed at a good pace with nice, surprising touches here and there. Is it basically about finding castle keys and whatnot? Maybe but that's oversimplifying. I enjoyed the pace, the atmosphere, even the icy water (because it was always very doable) and I had a good time finding my way to the end of it. Perhaps not your regular masterpiece but still quite good in its own TR3 league." - Jorge22 (02-Oct-2019)

"So Highland Winter is the second level by Stormchaser that I'm getting into my hands, and the similarities to his previous level are immediately noticeable. TR3 Jungle Textures used in a more European Setting with some vines everywhere to evoke the feeling of being in the Scottish Highlands. And as with his previous level, this scenario works out fairly well, the atmosphere is established. And while in many areas, especially at the start, it reminds me a little bit too much of his previous level, it switches up the visuals way quicker with some way more memorable areas. However, in terms of overall puzzles there is way less to find, and even the jumping "puzzles" are very straight forward, mostly coming down to just finding keys that either drop from baddies or lie on roofs. So that bored me a bit, especially with the enemy variety being fairly boring. Huskies from the Antarctica levels and Scientists with the Aldwych Clubs. I guess it gets the point accross that these are hobos hiding in the ruins, but their overall placement and why they are really there did not really make sense to me, especially when the ones with the guns appear. On the other side what really went well here is the pickup balancing. You are really tested in using your resources wisely, cause both med kits and ammunition are very sparce. This is definitely a plus in my book. In the end though I still would have wished for way more varied environments and less linearity. Still recommended as a nice little level." - The Snarky Lesbian (01-Oct-2019)

"I can start, and it's a good idea to make Scotland cold, even though it's an island (I don't live there to say whether it snows or not) this project may have taken months to complete completely, and I completely understand the limit required by the unnoffical editor, which The real thing has never been released, you know, because knowing that we go to what matters, the level is very fun, the door is very interesting, not long, and not boring (that's positive). textured, the lighting is poor (but I don't care, that's because of the editor's limit, so I'll say it's good, best of all) I loved that part of the snowball trap that took me by surprise, I laughed too hard, I thought the bridge part was bad, because of the lack of basic geometry it could have done, and more snow is also texturing the strange rocks, congratulations and keep up the great work with this editor." - PedroTheGamer (01-Oct-2019)

"It's always a pleasure seeing highland fling-inspired custom levels. The atmosphere was very good overall. I liked the waterfall at the end especially! The gameplay itself was somewhat underwhelming as there wasn't a lot going on other than random baddies, swim before time, and get the key to the next area. The ending was also underwhelming; I would've loved to explore cistern-like tunnels underground to get the final artifact. Some of the music was also a bit unfitting where very long and dramatic music played in the caves underground near the end, yet there were only 4 or so baddies to kill. Nonetheless, I was glad to have played this custom level and relive one of my favorite themed sections (Scottland!)" - dragooncroft (30-Sep-2019)

"Brrr, those icy Scottish waters are very detrimental to poor Lara’s health. This is an enjoyable visit to Scotland all the same and the snowy settings are very atmospheric. There’s a good balance of tasks to achieve, but the timed elements, including those aforementioned cold swims, are generous. The other hazards include gunmen, thugs and dogs, plus quite a few snow boulders and some occasionally quite hard to spot clumps of barbed wire, which, in true TR3 style, are fine to walk through. I only found one of the three secrets, but it was the MP5 so I was rather pleased. A fun, not overlong game that should be suitable for most players. Recommended." - Jay (30-Sep-2019)

"Stormchaser is right persevering in his second TR career , with TR3 levels , as this new adventure is (imo) his best to date. It took me a bit above one hour and does not have a dull moment, even if the progression reveals itself straightforward. Gameplay is rather varied with what i call systematic exploration for pickups and gameplay elements, jumps , a few traps ( barb wire and big snow balls ) , and two enjoyable timed doors but they are not difficult. What i like is that sometimes you have to look where to go or jump, even so the pace is fast. The deadly cold water adds also to the gameplay interest , the time allotted to do what you have to do underwater is just right. Enough pickups and enemies and good atmosphere. For info a small detail : after the cave with some baddies and before the ending area , Lara can reach the top of rocks and see (given the texturing behind these high rocks) that she was not supposed to climb there :]. Good level !" - eRIC (27-Sep-2019)
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