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Level: The Lost Secret of Egypt back home search
Author(s): Mehrbod
total rating:7.71 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Casual Raider 9 10 10 10
Ceamonks890 5 4 4 4
nad 10 10 9 10
Sabatu 5 4 4 3
Sylwia 9 9 9 8
Teone 10 10 10 9
category averages
(6 reviews)
8.00 7.83 7.67 7.33

Reviewer's comments

"Well, I do not know what to say. This game reminds me of Tomb Raider IV a lot. Tr4 heavily inspired many areas. No doubt about that and if you doubt about it, there is the level order which is similar to TR4. Of course except for SecretBase Levels. I like new gameplay mechanics. Some textures were excellent. But many areas were empty, and in my opinion, the lighting and some textures did not make a sense. For example, the marble floor used for a swimming pool. Or green light or any different colour absurdly used in certain areas. I understand that the author has a particular idea and he may not like my sentiment, I know how it feels when you create something that you like, and you think that the area or level is impressive and after that, some people can tell you. I love it, or It's beautiful, or this doesn't look very nice and even: This looks like a ****. I have compassion for this feel. I am not saying this is a bad game. Definitely not! But I think there should be more care for the overall atmosphere as for texturing, geometry, or something that fills the room. I couldn't understand why some used textures did not fit at all to the Egypt location. I won't give 10,9,8 nor 7. this review is my opinion, and I won't give the highest points, because other people love it and gave it 10. I am not like that :). And my conscience is pure. But still, I am looking forward to seeing another level or project from this author." - Sabatu (10-Feb-2020)

"In this Custom the builder has used his own programming so we have access to new functions such as new moves for Lara, time trial or internal store with ammunition and medipacks. Even though time trials are not my type of entertainment, I liked the idea of the store. It's convenient to be able to buy ammunition when it runs out, especially when basic pistols don't have infinite ammo. There are many opponents but they are well placed, so the elements of the shooter are not boring. The final fight is particularly epic and hard, I played at the highest level of difficulty (there are three: low, medium and hard) and it was not easy to beat the boss. Game is long, there are many levels, some of them are inspired by the original ones. There are also cutscenes, so that the story is told in a consistent and understandable way. Gameplay is great, cool puzzles, a lot of exploration, Tomb Raider at its best. I had a great time. Music & texturing is ok, lighting could only be a little improved. For a debut level it's better than good. Recommended." - Sylwia (09-Feb-2020)

"Well, what can I say, an outstanding game. Altogether there are about 25-28 levels to play. I had 16 statistic screenshots in total. But there were many more levels to play. The level builder has designed a complete game with many new elements that you can use. Very different from the other custom levels. You can choose between three different levels of difficulty, so there is something for everyone. I decided to go for the hard version and I don't regret it, because here the player is confronted with one different challenge than you know from other custom levels. After defeating enemies and get your reward (cash) you have to convert this money into ammo or medipacks very fast, otherwise it is gone down to 1.500 bucks. The counter knows no mercy. But you shouldn't think that you can only equip the best weapon. The ammunition per weapon is limited. So, regardless of the other challenges, this is one that I really liked. That’s what gives it that extra something. Except for "Security Area" everything fits perfectly into the Egypt scheme. Very good textures, the music fits perfectly to the environment and the gameplay leaves nothing to be desired. “Temple Of Kom Ombo” and "Water Temple" were for me definitely the best in this game, but you can say the same about almost all the others. All in all a very successful Egypt level which together with the excellently designed cut scenes reminds very much of TR 4. If you like that, you are well served here. Highly recommended." - nad (07-Feb-2020)

"This multilevel set is an amazing showcase of a new game engine which brings many additional features to the traditional one. There's a circular main menu, like in Tomb Raider Underworld. Furthermore you can enable the autograb feature, you can use the mouse to rotate the screen view, you can choose to play in easy-normal-hard difficulty, you can unlock bonus and new outfits for Lara... and many other features never seen before in a custom level. I don't know if this will remain an unique work or it will be the first of a new trend. In any cases it deserves to be praised not only for the technical innovations but also because it's enjoyable to play. The story is a tribute to TR4 and it's similar to the Core Design game in many parts, but there are also original parts which are in my opinion the better ones. For example, in "The Water Temple" Mehrbod proves to be a very interesting designer, not only a programmer. I only suggest him to work more on the lighting because Lara's model often appears flat. I forgot to say that this is a debut level, so hats off to this builder." - Teone (05-Feb-2020)

"Going through the installation process anew (now that a quality-of-life ‘patch’ has been made available for adding back in basic functionality, options for welcomed streamlining & a number of bugfixes among other things to make it a properly playable release at long last), this massive debut levelset still doesn’t look or play like something which took three whole years to make nor does it justify the custom installer & ridiculous filesize. In retrospect, it just leaves me confused with all the high praise it has gotten within the community at large, which frankly feels unwarranted, disingenuous and generally undeserved. For all the ambitious gameplay additions and comprehensive design ethos at its core, The Lost Secret of Egypt is still severely brought down by its biggest flaw. And that my dear readers, is more or less as a shameful prime example of unabashed, thinly-veiled plagiarism. If Mehrbod had chosen to be more upfront and confirmed that this was actually his attempt at remaking TR4, the final result likely wouldn’t have resulted in so much controversial in-fighting and mixed opinions throughout the TRLE community, speaking as somebody who had to deal with all that venomous vitriol and hate first-hand to the point I needed a decent break from it all temporarily. But since he didn’t and claims otherwise in the provided download materials, I feel its in my best interest to inform potential players of what to actually expect going in. Level design is largely just amateurishly-recreated takes on TR4 maps which primarily consists of lifeless environments that feel way too big for their own good (with thoughtlessly-handled texturing, object/enemy placement and lighting implementation to match, typically being either very unfitting or out-of-place entirely). And while there are a couple of maps that veer away from ripping off TR4 wholesale (such as High Security Area or The Great Pyramid of Giza, with the latter being a level map ripped straight from MagPlus’s ‘Egyptian Dream – Tutorial’ without rhyme or reason for its inclusion), they all have a sense of being noticeably detached in terms of logical location consistency from the rest of the game, still suffering from a lot of the same significant issues regardless. Sound generally doesn’t fare much better in this regard either, with music choices from a wide variety of sources making the natural atmospheric tone of given levels schizophrenic. The voice acting is also greatly unconvincing, with a noticeable lack of proper vocal inflection or appropriate character accents in the performances which would have helped to better immerse players in gameplay & story events. But in its current state, it only serves to create a further disconnect between the player and what’s happening on-screen, proving increasingly detrimental to the experience as a whole (with copy/pasted cutscene animations and inconsistently altered FMVs from TR4 which ultimately feel half-baked and lazily implemented). And while I can forgive the actors in some capacity for their lack of experience in English voiceovers, what I cannot forgive is the dreadfully-written dialogue script which tarnishes a lot of the characterization, subtlety and nuance that TR4’s plot originally had (with the Kurtis levels feeling especially out-of-place, given you never see him again after the tutorial levels and the lines he says, are things most males would never say to one another in real life). So why include him at all and establish this relationship with a faux Von Croy or act as if he’s always been an archaeologist, when you only play as Lara after that? It only serves to degrade Kurtis’s established character by removing all of his unique traits & backstory previously established by Angel of Darkness. And for what? To turn him into even more of a Lara clone? Nothing about Kurtis’s overall inclusion in the Lost Secret of Egypt makes any degree of sense. But I suppose Mehrbod didn’t want to make the plagiarism too overtly blatant, if he had chosen to use Young Lara for the tutorial sections instead (as the dialogue in these scenes still feel like they’ve been written with Lara in mind). I would go more into the gameplay side of things. But as has become a common theme during the course of writing this review you’re reading now, it isn’t very well thought-out. So I think its time to wind things down and avoid utter redundancy in what I have to say. So in conclusion, there is an impressive demonstration of technical ingenuity on Mehrbod’s part here. But ultimately, its brought down on all sides by questionable design choices as effectively nothing more than a lesser version of Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation without the loving care or creative spark that makes it such an engaging experience to return to over 20 years later. So save yourself the wasted data and venture elsewhere for more original levels which are genuinely deserving of your time. Or better yet, just play TR4 again and wipe this accidental mistake from your memory altogether. I do hope Mehrbod comes up with his own ideas for next time, if he intends to follow up on that implied continuation of this debut in future." - Ceamonks890 (31-Jan-2020)

"Really nice experience during playing levels. Some really new things mixed with classic TR feeling, felt like turning back in time. Levels are beautiful, textures and lightning are well placed, music is great. Nice idea of purchase of weapons, different types of difficulties, menu, checkpoints. Lots of features in one custom. Gameplay was pleasant most of the times. Personal opinion? Loved Water Temple as it reminded me of Tomb Raider I. Disliked level with levers and spikes, in my opinion too much unnecessary backtracking. Two first tutorial levels should be optional, they were a bit off and gave me the wrong feeling of whole adventure which is really nice. There were very few moments that I found too difficult but overall levels are rather balanced in difficulty. Though I have feeling it could be better it still is really nice and well-made custom." - Casual Raider (14-Jan-2020)
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