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Towards the City (Verso La Citta) by Elfy

CC 5 4 6 5
G.Croft 5 5 5 4
Gerty 7 5 6 7
Jay 6 6 7 6
Jose 5 5 6 5
Kristina 4 4 4 4
Lil Kid 8 7 7 6
MichaelP 5 3 3 3
Mulf 4 5 4 4
Orbit Dream 6 6 6 7
Ryan 5 5 5 5
Sash 3 1 4 3
TombRaiderFan 6 6 6 6
Treeble 3 3 3 3
Yoav 7 7 8 8
release date: 19-Feb-2004
# of downloads: 54

average rating: 5.12
review count: 15
review this level

file size: 17.21 MB
file type: TR4
class: City

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"This suffers from some of the same flaws that also characterise the builder’s follow-up, it relies as much on the player’s goodwill and sound judgement, and, being the builder’s debut, it looks even more raggedy. Yet I enjoyed it more, as the builder was apparently more on my wavelength when they made this. I think it is good opportunity to relive the ‘experimental’ spirit of the early TRLE period, when people had some nonsensical but fun idea—in this case: drive a motorbike in a spiral up a mound, then drop into a hole when you reach the top—and just ran with it, unencumbered by considerations of plausibility or by what some rando might say on Twitter, Twitch or Twatch; also unencumbered, it has to be said, by the finer points of levelbuilding, such as beta-testing. That’s how I prefer to remember those heady days anyway, rather than as the time of the oversized rooms, the interminable ladders and the random death tiles, of which we also got plenty, and which we are still getting.
So I readily grant the unbelievability of the location (Orbit Dream), but I find it difficult to concede the possibility of confusion (MichaelP). The map is neither large nor complex; it consists of three small, clearly circumscribed areas separated by large City gates; and if you need to return to an earlier area, alternative routes are provided to lead you there. There’s barely any backtracking, nor are there any rooms that serve no purpose. True, once the first gate was open, I spent most of my time pondering the function of one particular structure that seemed to just…be there (but which had, as it turned out, a proper purpose, housing an important lever. It is very cleverly constructed and grants the player a fine sense of achievement; and it is, of course, entirely implausible).
In fact the level could have done with a few more rooms, namely for Lara to see through; as it is, several rooms disappear when viewed from above. There are numerous other errors of construction. You are positively invited to inspect the end of the world and asked to just accept it for what it is. In order to prevent premature access to the area behind the first gate, the builder rather too readily puts up with an invisible block and with creating illegal slopes, which are also present elsewhere. Most damning of all, you can reach what would be the end of the level without the motorbike, but in that case you can’t activate the finish trigger. Yet in other respects the construction is quite sound, as in the case of the puzzling structure mentioned above; if you’re stuck in the second area, can spot (though not reach) an all-important floor lever and then go about finding a way to get there; and the ‘edgy’ placement of another floor lever at a 45° angle (a favourite with novice builders back in the day) deserves an honorary mention, as it is one of the rare cases in which it is actually warranted: it sits, and must be operated, on a single tile on top of a pillar. Take that, The England Prison!" - Mulf (22-Feb-2021)
"Not sure what to make of this. It looks and feels pretty unfinished, very rough on the edges, and there was a distinct lack of camera clues for the amount of levers involved. The way the level is designed seems to make it bigger than it actually is as you go on a quest for a bike to clear a sequence of jumps and proceed. Nothing particularly difficult. I reached the end of the level on foot and the endtrigger didn't kick in, according to the walkthrough you need the bike for that. I also had the flyby that shows the bike location play on loop by climbing up the wall on the "wrong" side, but managed to leave the bogus tile by keeping the down arrow pressed. 20 minutes. 01/21" - Treeble (01-Feb-2021)
"This is a rather brief level once you figure out the layout of this city and the tasks (aside from the rather tricky motorbike rides) are not too difficult to perform. The enemies were also quite nicely placed. But this just didn't really enthrall me since there's not much meat on the bone otherwise and the setting has a very crude appearance, even when compared with most city levels of the early days. Not really my kind of level, although it does have its positives." - Ryan (06-Dec-2017)
"In this level you'll find a lot of beginner defects: reaching the end of the world, bad applied textures, rude architecture, ziggy-zaggy lines in the tiles with raising blocks, etc. But even so it was not a bad level for me 'cause the tasks with the bike. Certainly not difficult but not easy jumps with the bike, an exploration touch sometimes, a nasty dark "maze" (well, not really a maze as usual) area and some enemies to shoot. Not very interesting but you can play it if you have some free time. Not so bad at all." - Jose (13-May-2017)
"I have to say this is not my kind of level. Lara is in a city like environment and needs to access a bike so that she can hit the finish trigger atop a large sized mountain of dirt. You can however play the game without the bike as you can jump where the bike would jump and also climb the mountain by foot the only difference is that at the top of the mountain the end trigger won't occur without the bike but will if you have it. Other than that you find a few easy maze areas 3 or 4 SAS a fire sprite some jump switches and levers and all of this wrapped up within 20 minutes but alas I found no secrets in this time. So if you want a level that is quite basic very short and where you can hit the end of world areas all over the place then this is the one for you." - Sash (23-Jul-2004)
"I'm very sorry but I gave up trying to play this level. In two different places one where the motorbike is it keeps triggering a flyby over and over and over which means I had to turn the computer off. In other places I got stuck on slopes forever. This was just a bit too much hassle. Apart from that it's a City of the Dead type level some very unusual architecture and textures. I did some back flipping onto slopes and forward jumping to ledge and into windows but I've no idea if I was supposed to do that. I appreciate Elfy's efforts in creating a level but it needs to be fixed unless it was just my game that had these problems." - CC (07-Mar-2004)
"This is one of those 'what am I supposed to do in this room?' adventures where an occasionally ingenious course has been constructed needing the player to ponder awhile over their next move. Overall though I was never particularly taken with this quest; partly because the City location is looking a little hackneyed by now; but mostly because I never really felt that the location itself rang true. Rather than the City seeming a real place in which the player has to solve interesting challenges it felt instead as if this (somewhat contrived) City had been built around the interesting challenges with buildings serving no ostensible purpose other than to contain a trickily situated lever (or some such). It's still fun and has been rather ingeniously worked out but it's just not very involving." - Orbit Dream (02-Mar-2004)
"I realise my ratings may be rather low here but I did get very annoyed with the level. On the one hand it has quite a number of very nice ideas but it all goes wrong when you can reach the end of the world in many places when cameras loop without stopping - forcing you to reload and most importantly several parts of the level can be played in the wrong sequence as you can get to places in a way the author probably did not intend and then be utterly confused like I was. For example you can easily reach the end without the bike but of course it does not end if you don't have the bike with you but you are stuck as you cannot get back out of the hole. Or you can get to the lever that opens the final double gate using the bike to drive through the crack that Lara cannot climb through but then you can't finish the level as you cannot get the bike back out. Also you can reach an area from the other side and then wonder what that water flipmap is all about. It's a pity really - the city setting is a bit crude but all the ideas are there. With a bit of beta testing and solid re-working of the loop holes this could have been a much better level than it is now." - Michael (01-Mar-2004)
"Lara has to find the motorbike open the door to get it out and find the way out of this strange looking city. Some levers to find some guards to kill some jumping up on the roof a little bike driving and up a ruin to the exit all in about half an hour." - G.Croft (26-Feb-2004)
"This is rather an attractive level with a good atmosphere albeit obviously the work of a first time builder. There are the usual city level things to do - shoot guards ride the motorbike and pull a few levers. Quite simple undemanding gameplay and a rather sudden ending but not a bad way to spend some time." - Jay (26-Feb-2004)
"Indeed a city level and now find the way out of here. There are some levers to find and although it isn't that hard it had me running around a few times. Remember where the doors or gates are as there is no camera work to speak off. Finding the bike you need that to find another lever and the button almost at the end helps you over the chasm. Then you can climb again and I for sure thought that it was the wrong way I did hit the end trigger. There is however also another path that is a trap as Lara will die and there are no textures there at all. The bike riding was easy even for me as riding vehicles is a pet hate of mine. The best I found the search for those levers. There aren't that many enemies to speak off some soldiers and some bats and one wraith. Have fun as I had. 22-02-2004" - Gerty (24-Feb-2004)
"Lara in outside areas at what looks like a city is searching for levers to access the bike and open the doors to proceed. SAS guards will be in her way as well as a couple of bats. The textures haven't been carefully applied; apart from being patchy they are mostly stretched. It's not a terrible level but does miss the elements that will make it worth playing. It's straight forward without any puzzles. The only trap was the fire in front of the last lever which opens the gate to finish the level. With a little more attention to the textures and the gameplay the second level could be quite good." - Kristina (24-Feb-2004)
"Yes..Not a bad level here..some good puzzles and there is good gameplay to deal with here. It includes the motorbike and a huge maze that I got lost a few times. Wraiths that got on your nerves :) and switches to pull. I think the author also needs to include more camera work as well. I pulled a switch and didn't have a clue where it was! Overall not a bad level at all." - TombRaiderFan (24-Feb-2004)
"When this level starts and you look all around you say to yourself Hmm long time since I have played a kind of level like this. This level will bring you again to the City of the Dead - it's a good level - couple of levers to pull - nice gameplay. Lara needs to find the motorbike and drive in the city past the hole and drive to the end if you love to play level like this you enjoy." - Yoav (24-Feb-2004)
"Quite a nice little debut here from Elfy. This relatively small map throws in a good few puzzles from this new level designer. Design on the other hand needs work there are a lot of stretched textures and some look out of place. There are a few illegal slopes Lara and the motorbike can get stuck on so save regularly. Overall a nice little level to play for about one hour." - Lil Kid (22-Feb-2004)