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The Book of Destiny by LaraHCroft91

alan 9 10 9 10
Ceamonks890 4 7 7 7
Chel 8 7 6 8
DJ Full 7 9 8 8
dmdibl 7 9 9 8
eRIC 6 9 8 7
eTux 6 7 6 7
Gerty 6 8 7 7
Jose 3 6 5 8
manarch2 4 7 7 7
MichaelP 6 7 8 8
Mman 6 8 7 7
Nina Croft 7 8 8 6
Nuri 8 8 9 9
Orbit Dream 8 8 8 8
Phil 8 8 9 9
Ryan 7 7 7 8
Treeble 6 7 7 7
Wolf7 6 6 7 8
release date: 01-May-2008
# of downloads: 201

average rating: 7.33
review count: 19
review this level

file size: 85.68 MB
file type: TR5
class: nc

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"While I was trading some unlisted levels with Ejecta I noticed I had not one, not two, but three (three!) simultaneous installations of this level on one of my temporary working folders. Trying to put some order to it, I decided I should go and play it at once so I can archive it properly. These are remains from my process when I was playing all non-TR4 levels a couple of years ago and was short of two TR5 reviews to complete the set then (now it's more), but much to my surprise I found the executables to be quite unstable. Once I got the game running, I made sure to play from start to finish in a single sitting, and in this case we're talking about five levels. The first two, VCI-styled, are the meatier ones, with the remaining three being rather short (and one of them is actually a duplicate, so you already remember where things go making it half the original length). The VCI levels are pretty standard for that theme, so there's a lot of crawling around in vents, stealth adequately works for the handful of sleeping guards (the cyborg not so much, but seeing as you don't need to kill him I just ran away), and lots of buttons as you go back and forth. The museum exhibition areas were nice, but overall I thought the tasks were far too repetitive and more often than not there are no camera clues, so thanks to dmdibl for the detailed walkthrough. The house level was tedious, with remote levers all the way through so you keep going back and forth — and later on do it a second time, because why not. The fourth level takes a leaf out of the TR5 Rome levels and is rather nice, atmosphere wise, a few enemy encounters but generally speaking more balanced than the others (or maybe that's the impression I got because it's shorter, hence nowhere as much padding). The three documented secrets didn't register as such. All in all, it wasn't as bad as I may make it seem, but it would definitely have benefitted from some streamlining. 2 hours. 04/23" - Treeble (09-Apr-2023)
"I don't know why, but I never liked this game at all, it isn't all bad but it quite feels like it starts well and descended into badness. The first two VCI like levels are fine as well as the fouth but what the heck was all that shaking?! The third and fifth just weren't good for me the gameplay went quite downhill and I found myself bored. Wanna give it a look? It's your choice, but better adventures of hers are out there. Wolfy Regards." - Wolf7 (21-May-2019)
"This is a fairly good looking game that utilizes the TR5 engine. Which is just crazy in itself, since nobody uses the TR5 engine. Not sure why. There are 2 locations to explore: a VCI inspired museum (which I didn't know was a museum until the 2nd level gave me the title "Escape from the Museum") and France. France is build using the Chronicles Rome textures, but we will just take the builder at their word that we're in France! I thought it was fun. I like sneaking around lab/HQ environments and moving through ventilation systems and all that wacky hi-tech mess. VCI levels are hit or miss and these were mostly on the spot. The Young Lara level threw me, as I didn't expect it. That level was kind of boring, since all that young Lara can do is pick up items, move things, throw switches, etc. I enjoyed the France/Rome level as adult Lara quite a bit too. The level was fast-paced and featured a crypt, the streets, and a temple with a gladiator. I did not like having to replay the same mansion level with all the objects in the same places as adult Lara. The ending itself was odd. After the final boss fight, Lara finds the Book of Destiny. But! Lara found the Book at the museum way back at the beginning of the game, so why is it now in this house guarded by serpent creatures? Who is Shadow and why did Lara visit his hideout as a teenager? We never see a person who might be this mysterious "Shadow" either. If I don't think about the logic of the storyline too hard it still stands as a fun set of levels. Think about the logic explosion with regards to plot and progression and it all falls apart. I searched for a readme in the download or a note that gave a brief plot overview but found nothing. It's a bit combat heavy in the beginning, which can be a turn-off for some players. Luckily we have the H&K MP5 with sniper mode so it becomes a cakewalk to dispatch any guards who get in Lara's way. The environments are puzzling and large, and for the most part aren't cheap. There is a cheap part in the 2nd level involving breakable potted palm trees and a crawlspace that blends in almost seamlessly with the wall texture. Since we have no flares it's nearly impossible to spot this tiny gap. I had to consult a walkthrough for it, which irritated me. Players may also be turned off by the buttons that trigger machine guns to drop from the ceiling and fire away. There are also a lack of screenshots of doors opening when buttons are pressed and switches flipped, which can result in a crazy amount of backtracking and hunting for just what that switch did. Also, why did we have to keep losing our supplies after transitioning to a new level?! Those criticisms aside I still enjoyed playing through this, and at no time did I feel like setting it aside to play something else before finishing. This builder hasn't produced anything since 2014, but their later works were much better than this first release, an considering this is a FIRST release it's pretty impressive. Happy raiding!" - Chel (14-Dec-2018)
"Wow, good to see that someone actually managed to create a full adventure with the TR5-engine. I mean there are only 19 custom levels with this engine that have been published so far since 2000 and at this point when I'm reviewing this, I have already played 16 of them and they were all very short or test levels. Taking a look at this release gave me joy, because it is what a standard, classic TR fan-level is like and it has a story. The first two levels are some base/lab-levels that take place in New York. They have kind of diversified gameplay and interesting environments that made me think that this was a museum.. The third level has less gameplay. It is more like the author showing the player the beauty of the mansion, because the only things you do is collecting keys and pushing levers to open doors (I guess there isn't anything else that young Lara can do). The two last levels thereafter are classic tomb raiding. What I thought was cool is that we visit that mansion again later with present Lara and discover new areas. And I'd just like to add that I noticed that the level "In France - Present Day" had a room taken from Tomb Raider 3. Gotcha!! So, in conclusion I recommend to play this release if you're looking for TR5 stuff. You're not going to be disappointed at all." - Nuri (27-Aug-2018)
"Even when the environments are well made and the rooms have a good appearance, all the entire game was tedious and boring. The first two levels are the same: hundreds of crawlspaces slowing the gameplay a lot, pull a switch to open a door and pull another switch to open another door. There were also several tightropes to slow the gameplay even more, and also a lot of shelves and cabinets to get ammo and medipacks to slow the gameplay even more. And if you don't choose the routes the author intended, there's a lot of backtracking slowing the gameplay even more (I was forced to cross the tightropes too many times). Also I missed many more cameras when pulling switches triggering distant objects. The third level was not very funny too, look for keys and items to open doors and no more (well, the timed run was easy). The fourth level was the best, but I found several bad features there: falling into the water pit with the tightrope forces the players to reload; I got out of ammo when shooting the two giant gladiators, so I was forced to use a savegame editor to get extra shotgun ammo. I think only a big boss near the end could be enough for many players. The last level was basically the same than the third one, except the final battle with the serpents, so repeat again all the movements in the same rooms and pick up the same items in the same places. In that level I never found an extra weapon (I think the shotgun 'cause the kind of ammo I found) so when I slide down the ramp and saw I had to deal with the serpents only with the pistols, I decided to abandone the game." - Jose (08-Aug-2017)
"This TR5 game consists of five levels, taking place in VCI, Mansion and Rome environments. I was actually quite pleasantly surprised, considering the mixed review scores and comments it received. OK, it's not likely going to be a masterpiece and there were some boring and buggy parts, but in the end I quite enjoyed it. The ending boss battles were nicely executed as were the short timed runs (well, bar the buggy one) and the environments (to my untrained eye) looked nice. I wasn't a fan of the backtracking/duct crawling or having to play one level twice, but overall, it's not bad." - Ryan (18-Mar-2017)
"I really enjoyed the levels, in level 1 & 2 there are a lot of crawlspaces, though. There are enemies and bosses too, and that is cool. There aren't so many secrets, and I like to find secrets but that is not a great problem. I like the atmosphere and sounds of all the levels, but there were times in which I pushed a button/switch and I didn't know what that button/switch made, so I think there were left a few more cameras. I like how well the textures are used. I took a lot of time with the third level because I had found the crowbar already but I didn't know what to do with it! I ran through all the house trying to find something but I gave up and I had to check the walkthrough (I usually try to complete the levels by myself but this time I couldn't :'(). My favorite level was the fourth one. I enjoyed the gameplay of it. The battles with the monsters, challenging parts... I don't know what else but I liked it ;) Keep up the good work :D" - alan (20-Sep-2016)
"I don't quite get what it was all about. There is a book. Getting it implies a flashback to various periods of Lara's life. Then we revisit the third level in fifth level but triggers and items are almost the same though this time we fight some hydras and ultimately get the book. Possibly a vast part of this only happens in Lara's head, or at least this is how I understand the plot. Certain points can make you stuck forever and at least three could be rethought, for instance the dreadful spot the difference in second VCI level where a crawlspace is not only covered with a single kind of shadeless texture but also masked with additional potplants - that's too cruel to me so I gave up, just like I did with the trapdoor and crowbar door in the house level. Still I found the game surprisingly enjoyable for great diversity of interaction including setups known from Chronicles and rarely utilized in custom levels like sniper evasion, choice between stealth or kill, sneaking past sentries or headshot opportunity, and we even get a nice touch of a falling elevator. Multiple kinds of TR5 enemies and faithful soundtrack help reproduce its native mood and I only missed some golden roses to complement it." - DJ Full (01-May-2016)
"Trying to clean up my HD I saw that I started this ages ago but of course never finished it. Of course I couldn't remember a thing, so back to the start. This time I did finish it in one go (although that took a couple of days) but I am glad I did. I have to warn you that it is rather big and you play 5 levels. What stands out for me is the crawling one has to do in the first two levels. VCI would be a dead give away as there are ducts and more ducts and the second level has them as well. Would be very welcome to have more camera works as I was baffled at time what to do and where to go. You get an encounter with a unique enemy you cannot kill, so be prepared and remember sometimes it better to walk than to run. Then there are two house levels one as young Lara and one when she was an adult. The third level was said to be in Paris, I'll take the authors word for it. So better have some time on your hand when you start this but it is a nice set of levels that will keep you off the streets for a bit." - Gerty (18-Mar-2016)
"There are too few TR5 levels out there, and this five-part series brought back a lot of good memories. It took me three and a quarter hours to complete, and I was assisted by two competent walkthrough writers, David Dibble and Harry Laudie. Sure, there are drawbacks (not a flare in sight until the beginning of the last level, too many tightropes), but it's a fun raid, and that's the main reason why we play anyway. I didn't care too much for having to repeat the third level, but a day or two had passed between sessions so I wasn't too put out by the repeat performance. The head-shooting technique documented by David made for a terrific savings in ammo in the early levels. The cyborg didn't electrocute himself in my game, but he eventually went away on his own. By the way, this builder has shown a steady improvement in the scores for his five releases, which is the sign of a good builder. He has also covered the waterfront with his limited repertoire: a TR3 game, a TR5 game, and a TR2 lookalike in TR4 format. Wish he'd do more. Recommended." - Phil (14-May-2015)
"For a three hour duration,fairly ambitious multi-level series this has received a somewhat lukewarm response so far.The reasons for this are pretty obvious once you get around to playing them:occasionally buggy gameplay (e.g. a trapdoor which doesn't open when it's supposed to);very few camera clues (which,in such labryinthine areas as you invariably get in all five levels,is verging on a criminal act!);far too much crawling through ubiquitous ventilation shafts in the first two (and longest) levels;limited ammo against seemingly endless hordes of baddies. I lost count of the number of times I needed to re-load from previous points in the game in order to avoid all the various pitfalls. So,at the end of the day,why did I like it so much? Well,it may be for the somewhat convoluted storyline (which appeared to be told partially in flashbacks);or the three greatly differing locations;or the sheer variety of enemies. The texturing was decent throughout;objects and secrets were neatly and appropriately placed;and the gameplay (excepting the aforementioned quirks) was nonetheless filled with variety and incident. Some of the concepts were actually great fun:sneaking past the sleeping guards;edging on a tightrope over an impressive liftshaft while a counter- weight whizzed past;avoiding exciting laser traps;battling giant swordsmen and dastardly Vipers;exploring a pleasing Rome(by any other name)environment. If you refer to the two walkthroughs,you shouldn't get too aggravated;and will probably come through these several hours of gameplay pretty satisfied. The strength of the builders ideas should,at the very least,be reason enough for this multi-level game to be considerably better known." - Orbit Dream (22-Jul-2014)
"Finally managing to complete this massive levelset comprising 5 levels in total, I left it feeling completely unsatisfied as a whole in the gameplay and story departments. The VCI-themed levels(while offering a decent challenge), are drawn out for entirely too long with an over-reliance on crawlspaces to pad out the overall length, while 'Old Times France 1985' (aka the Young Lara level), unfortunately has a couple of game-breaking bugs here that can force you to reload a save if you aren't careful and in general, feels completely unnecessary for inclusion as you revisit this level again in 'Shadow's Hideout' with Adult Lara doing a lot of the same actions as previously, leaving me to wonder what the point of this third level was. That just leaves the 'Present Day - France' level, which was probably the most appealing one to explore in, but still lacked anything resembling memorable moments for me. Overall, while the texturing, objects, custom load screens, enemies and musical choices are handled rather well with each level, the storyline honestly doesn't make much sense. What's so important about this book? Why does Lara need to kill off some hydras in 'Shadow's Hideout', in order to retrieve the book that she got herself from the VCI levels? What does the third level add on to the overarching plot? Its questions like these, that are buzzing through my mind and I never ended up getting an actual answer to any of those questions during my initial playthrough. Would I still recommend that any raiders play this release nowadays? Hmm, maybe. But unless you're willing to put up with a lot of potential tedium while playing, I simply cannot recommend this, unless you have the walkthrough available to look over if you ever get stuck. Otherwise, approach with caution." - Ceamonks890 (19-Jul-2014)
"Having already played the builder's Vision of Future and regarding the fact that it's the second highest rated TR 5 game (and by far the longest and only one with more than two levels), I was rather disappointed with this one. The initial VCI levels have much to speak of technically and include a series of nice elements unique for the TR 5 engine, but gameplay was rather tedious for me, mainly because of too slow progression through endless crawlspaces, too long tightropes, possible lengthy backtracks if you simply choose a different route than the builder intended, no very original tasks. The museum part at the end that resembles TR 4 was nicely done and I think if the builder sticked with this theme a little more and did not let the players spend too much time in the base sections, he would've caught much more interest (there is apparently a reason why mine is only the 7th review coming in). Also, nearly no camera cues are installed, which makes the game even more slower. Despite of that, the fights were all rather on the tough side with many guards you only can kill with a headshot, at parts I thought there were too many but at least they increased the action moment. The third level is set as Young Lara level in a large mansion, again exploration is the main task in here and again it doesn't feel very much inspired since you go on search for a couple of items and levers (again with very few hints). There are a couple of potentially game-stopping problems in this level though. When Lara jumps from the balcony to the ledge with the medipack, she cannot return but only drop down into the courtyard - in case she didn't open the door already she will be stuck for good. Also, if you are too fast at the timed run that per se was quite nice, drop through the trapdoor and move on, the exit won't open and you have to reload. Add to this an almost invisible crowbar door and I was really annoyed with this level. In my opinion the following, fourth, level, is the most playable of the series, definately the most visually appealing one, but still doesn't contain really fun gameplay moments, except for deactivating the water current and the final fights which really were tough, especially the one against two (!) hammergods. Again there was one (not so bad) stuck moment when you fall from one of the tightropes but in general this was the level I enjoyed most - in total difference to the last level. The only reason for which I understand the reincarnation of the worst level of the set (namely the third) is the storyline, but since no explanation was given why Lara revisits the mansion as adult, it rather felt like a little oddity. In general the storyline is missing which especially would explain why Lara found the item of her desire in the first level, and had to retrieve it in the last one. But back to the fifth level - the mention stuck problems from the third level at least are removed now, but any kind of fun got killed by exploring the huge mansion, which felt already tiresome the first time around, yet again. All in all not really fun gameplaywise but at least all other categories are solid. Found three non-registering secrets in 1:45 hours of net gametime." - manarch2 (22-May-2013)
"FIRST LEVEL (Project BOD) is a good introduction to the whole game, and requires the nerves of steel and patience, and even occasional reference to the walkthrough. Just like the VCI levels in TR5, this level also require from the player to conserve the ammo, since you have just enough ammo that you need. So use sniper mode and target the heads of human enemies, in that way killing them with only one shot. Lara has a lot of health supplies, so going through many laser traps and fighting against many enemies should not be a problem. The main enemy here is a cyborg, that can be killed with a lot of ammo provided that he is standing in the water (but Lara must not stand in that water when he falls down and make a short circuit). There are a lot of switches to be pressed, a lot of doors to be open, a lot of traps to be disabled and evaded, and what I liked most here, a lot of choices to be made. For example, you can use stealth to get pass the sleeping guards, or you can kill them if you like. Bare in mind, though, that you must not collect any item on many pedestals throughout this level (except the Book of Destiny at the very end), because these are traps, especially designed to lure Lara to her death... I enjoyed playing this first level, because the builder used some pretty good ideas that TR5 gives to builders. The gameplay may be slightly interrupted with crawling through many ducts, backtracking (although there are very nice shortcuts when you need them most) or tightrope walking, but all in all, this is how one TR5 VCI level should look like. The only downside I found here is the camera shots which are missing throughout the level, so when you press a switch, you don't know what actually happened. Also, some hints about the 'wrong' steps Lara can make in the level, should have also been given from time to time, it wouldn't hurt. The sound is perfect, you can hear the soldiers walk or snore in the other room, the design is decent, and the lighting is not so good, but nevertheless, the overall ambiance is quite nice, with textures decently applied, and a few cracks now and then. SECOND LEVEL (Escape from the Museum) is in many aspects identical to the first level, only shorter and a bit easier (no cyborg). It is also full of crawlspaces, ladders and switches, with not so excessive backtracking, but still enough of it to ruin otherwise fluent gameplay. Sound keeps to be perfect, lighting is again dull and the same in all the rooms, ducts and lobbies, and architecture is simple, when it should have been elaborated. A museum should not have only passages and ducts and hallways, so I personally never had an impression Lara was in a museum. Also, the laser room with monkey-swing above, decorated as an ancient temple, was totally out of place, imo. I expected much more elaborated level here, with some X-ray rooms, for example, or shafts with explosive etc, but nothing of these could be found here. But, there was something I liked very much here: there are certain rooms where Lara must keep her HK holstered, in order to stay alive. THIRD LEVEL (Old Time France 1985) is placed inside a house somewhere in France, while Lara was a little girl (so no guns, and no enemies). Here you must collect couple of keys, open dozen of doors and use many switches, until you find the exit. There are a lot of medipacks here to collect, and since Lara has lost all those hundreds of medipacks she collected in the first two levels, this supplies are quite useful for later. There is one not so challenging timed run on this level, so that is about the only really interesting moment in the whole level. The house is decently built, although nothing spectacular, but the lighting still remains dull and the same, outdoors or indoors, which is a large flaw, imo. The gameplay is seriously damaged with a lot of backtracking, and many side quests where you find additional supplies. Pay attention to jump levers which are hard to see, and be very careful to locate one crowbar door in the house. I have expected so much more from this level, since the first two levels were quite promising. However, this house is nothing special, to my regret. Also, the biggest downside here is that this particular level is without any sense; I fail to understand why young Lara visited this house, and why she will return to it later. FOURTH LEVEL (In France - Present Day) is a bit linear, but much more entertaining than the previous. Here we have a part of a small French city that resembles a lot to the Rome levels in TR5. The architecture here is much better and the lighting is also much better than in all other levels. On this level there is no need to conserve health or ammo, since on the next level Lara loses everything she has found here. So, feel free to use the best ammo you have against three challenging enemies: animated gladiator statues we'd met in Rome before. Here we'll also have to find the crowbar, several keys, a lot of ammo and health, and a lot of doors to open. The level is not challenging, and you can probably finish it in one go. Unless you fall off from the tightrope and end up in a pool from which you cannot climb up... FIFTH LEVEL (Shadow's Hideout) brings Lara back to the house in the third level, where she (once again) finds the Book of Destiny. Only this time, she is armed, which means that here you'll meet some enemies, dogs or gargoyles already seen in TR5. Again, the same gameplay as in the third level, with some action added to it. OVERALL REVIEW: Although the game has some serious downsides and the locations and the storyline seem rather unconnected, it is obvious that the builder knows a lot about TR5. For example, the AI of enemies in first two levels is very well used and elaborated, and animated statues on the third level are even better and tougher than in the original game. It is not easy to find custom TR5 levels that are good, and this one is really good TR5 levelset. The builder should next time pay more attention to lighting and cracks in textures, should maybe have a better and more connected storyline, and should include some jump sequences in the gameplay, since here there are almost none. But evidently, the builder has a lot of potential and talent, and I think and hope that each next level will be better and better. I recommend this levelset to everybody, because it is not very challenging (maybe first two levels are a bit more challenging, but still, possible to finish in an hour or so). I eagerly wait for the next release of this builder, because I believe it will be even more fun than this one." - Nina Croft (06-May-2011)
"Project BOD (8/7/8/8, 40 min): The most substantial level of this series is a rather decent rendition of a VCI/Base adventure with Lara infiltrating the building in her shiny black catsuit. It cames with plenty of duct crawling and a few tightropes to walk and ladders to climb, which makes gameplay rather slow and sometimes it feels slightly tedious, but it is still fun with the lasers to avoid, the discs to find and use and a few guards to kill via headshots. It could definitely use a few more camera hints though.
Escape from the Museum (7/7/8/8, 30 min): Really a continuation of the previous level, so more of the same, but slightly less inspired in its overall progression. You do get a secret of sorts, but it does not show in the stats.
Old Times, France 1985 (5/7/8/7, 15 min): Shifting gears, as the storyline takes you back into a young Lara level in a kind of Manor setting, so definitely not a favourite of mine. All you do is the usual exploration for a few keys and the only real highlights are the timed run (good) and the very sneakily hidden crowbar door (bad).
In France - Present Day (6/8/8/8, 20 min): France looks more like Rome at least in TR terms, so you get to explore a small city setting, shoot a few locks to open doors. kill a few dogs and the only brief adrenalin rush comes from interesting battles with three gladiators which are a bit on the tougher side.
Shadows Hideout (5/8/8/7, 10 min): Oddly, this comes as a recycled level 3, now playing with adult Lara and without the need to do the timed run again. Instead you search two Gate Stars and get a final battle with three fire throwing snakes.
All in all, a solid and entertaining set of levels, although there is a clear break after level two and the overall gameplay level does not hold up with the first two VCI levels." - MichaelP (16-Oct-2010)
"Project BOD - We don't really get that many VCI inspired levels that one could write home about to be perfectly honest, so I have to admit that initially this seemed to stand a fair chance against the bulk out there. Too much crawling in the ducts (is there anyone out there who actually finds this fun?) maybe, but being built in its native engine, the sniping and sneaking was as fun as ever, so all was good for a start. What eventually tips the odds out of the game's favour is the stingy use of cameras. The author does employ a fly-by every now and then, but at the later stages of the level, more often than not I was perplexed as to what a switch did and probably would've long given up without the directions in the walkthrough. I suppose that's not the only problem of the game - the fact that the stealth sections are there, but the player is given no incentive other than curiosity to see them through makes them kind of pointless, and the same could be said for the artefact treasury traps - it seemed like such an elaborate setup for something the player could simply avoid by not stepping on certain tiles after discovering that there's no reward in suffering through them. As far as looks go - they're relatively decent - not up there with its source of inspiration, but acceptable.
Escape from the Museum (1 secret) - Snatching your object of desire doesn't end the game here, and ala Escape with the Iris you get a briefer continuation of the VCI saga to close this chapter. Apart from the shootable palm trees with the hidden crawlspace behind them, this seemed to flow somewhat better than the predecessor. There are areas that seem redundant (the entire trip up to the tightrope rooms) or a bit out of place (temple-like rooms filled with lasers?), but the fact that you're just essentially looking for 2 disks simplifies the entire affair and doesn't make it feel as maze-like as the level before. There are few nicely challenging moments like getting out of a crawlspace and immediately getting into a state to battle the armoured laser guy, and rushing back to crawlspace past a turret you triggered but avoided when entering the area. The one secret I found didn't register in the statistics as such (possibly because no Gold Rose was used?).
"Old Times" France, 1985 (1 secret) - Seems like it's flashback time, young Lara is exploring a mansion for reasons only known to her. While the setting is nice, the level suffers from the same problem as the preceding levels - there's pretty much no camera guidance. In the level's defence - apart from a rather obscure bug with the timed trapdoor and a crowbar door that blends in a little too well - there's not much in the way of difficulty here with you stumbling upon crucial keys and medipack pickups wherever you go. However, my biggest gripe this time would be that not a whole lot has been done with the level itself and the chance to foreshadow any future events is not used here, which would be mine, as a builder's, primary reason for adding a young Lara level in game. As it is - it doesn't seem to have any significance in the big picture of the game.
In France - Present Day - the game continues with an adult Lara in a Rome setting. It's a bit of everything from the TR5 Rome levels - with the initial area being a bit like Trajan's Markets, the interior areas a bit like Streets of Rome and the underground parts reminiscent of the Colosseum. There's nothing that stands out as far as the looks go, but it's not bad looking as well. Gameplay is not quite as confusing as in the other levels - plus you get a nice task of turning a propeller off so you can access a water passage, and the fights with 3 of the Roman knights were more thrilling than I remembered them from the original games. There is an odd pool of water in which you can fall in following an unsuccessful crossing of the tightrope and be unable to get out, but as long as you recognize it soon enough it's not a big game-killer.
Shadow's Hideout - basically it's level 3 again, only played with an adult Lara this time. Since you've been here before, it should not be a problem even without the cameras. You do encounter a few dogs just so it doesn't get too boring and the snake triplets make for a nice boss ending. Finding the titular book here again just confused me, since it seemed Lara already had it by the end of level one? Are we to assume this was intended to mimic the entire Iris storyline? I.e. - Lara is in it's proximity in the 1985, then finds it sometime later in France, but has it stolen from her, thus has to get it back again, which is where the game actually starts? But storyline inconsistency is the least of the game's problems so it's probably best to just let it go.
In a nutshell - this 2 hour game would've been an entirely different experience if the author had considered actually guiding the player every once in a while with some camera hints. The list of things that could be improved for this particular game doesn't end there, but I'm just a bit puzzled why it never crossed the author's mind that - of all the things - a mix of scarce use of camera hints and gameplay that can be confusing because it throws you all over the level might not make the game very enjoyable. It may not be the most memorable level set out there, but underneath the faults it is lots of harmless fun and one of the most mention worthy among the TR5 kind. I was confused and unsure how to proceed more often than I would've preferred to be, but there are a couple of exciting moments too - mostly in shape of the enemy encounters. Best played with the walkthrough within a hand's reach, but recommended if you're particularly curious about what kinds of levels can be made with the TR5 engine." - eTux (12-Jul-2010)
"Level 1: Project BOD [ 55 minutes / 7 9 9 8 ] A VCI style level where the author has designed some well achieved moments , with the use of lasers , some rooms where we have to be in stealth mode to get out of there alive, and enemies. The ammos is limited , but the repartition of them through the levels is well balanced, I never feared to run out of them. The design is well done although the lighting is a bit weak. Most of the level you have to be on your toes. Despite maybe too many crawlspaces , a memorable level with lacks of cameras and good sounds which will be also the case in the other levels Level 2: Escape from the Museum [ 45 minutes / 5 8 8 8 ] The continuation of the first , a bit less ambitious and enjoyable. The progression through out the level is not complicated but did not seemed to make sense to me. So you deal with the robot (great !) shoot the plants (weird !) in the goal of opening a trapdoor in another part of the map, then return here to pull a switch to open an opening above a tightrope , but beyond this opening there is nothing significant to do apart from collecting some goodies ? And again too many crawlspaces. Level 3: Old Times France 1985 [17 minutes 4 5 8 6] A manor with young Lara , with the Mansion and the Roman textures , nice to play if it was not for the buggy timed trapdoor , and the panel of a wall you have to open with the crowbar (has to look at the walkthrough to know that). Solid setting except for a missing texture at the top of one of the courtyards. Level 4: In France - Present Day [25 minutes 7 8 8 6] A Roman type of level with a few streets , a little church , some warehouses and catacombs. The lighting is not worked on a lot, but the level looks rather good except when you are at the top of the courtyards where we can see there is no depth nor enough height to the surroundings. Despite three short tightropes (one where you can fall into water and not being able to come back) , the level was great fun to play , Lara has to shoot dogs , some key locks and windows before going underground , in the catacombs there is two fights with big Roman statues , it was fun and they function very well (not like in custom TR4 levels). Sounds are good except there is none for the pushable blocks though. A level where what you have to do was always rather obvious giving a fluent flow to the level. Enjoyable. Level 5: Shadow's Hideout [17 minutes / 5 8 8 6] It is level 3 revisited this time at night. The course is sometimes the same sometimes different. A cellar has been added, and the final area where Lara can kill the 3 serpents like in TRC which seemed to be a bit easier to me than in the original level , and find the book of Destiny." - eRIC (11-Nov-2009)
"After playing the authors semi-large Vision of Future I decided to check the other pack in their back-catalogue on TRLE, so here's the review:
Project BOD: A VCI level. The lighting is a little flat in areas but it's mostly convincingly done, and there are some nice additions to the theme like a museum section (don't get greedy!). the main areas mostly manage to capture the good parts of VCI (the unique gameplay themes) and avoid the bad parts (excessive trial and error), but it's let down by a major flaw; flow stoppers like crawlspaces, ladder and tightropes (I should add that the agonisingly slow TRC version of tightropes deserve a special place in hell, especially when compared to the much more consistent custom TRLE version). I took around forty-fifty minutes to finish the level and at least half of that was in crawlspaces and ladders, after needing to backtrack through a crawlspace and tightrope to find the way to progress I have to admit I was almost tempted to check the walkthrough for the rest of the level just to get it over with, but it worked out in the end.
Escape from the Museum: A continuation of the last level, and quite similar in theme (and still executed well). There's one unfairly placed laser guard (he's looking at a crawlspace so you seem to have no choice but to take medikits until you get a shot off on him), and one really obscure puzzle involving shooting flower pots. There are still too many vents but it still flows much better than the last level.
Old Times" France 1985: A young Lara level, set in a French manor. It's a pretty safe exploration level and it plays well outside of a ridiculously obscure crowbar door that you'll pretty much need a walkthrough for. However, there's a bug that ruined my enjoyment somewhat as I ended up having to replay the level three times (partially my own fault as I should have backup saved the second time); there's a timed run for a trapdoor, and if you don't wait for it to close (if you're too fast) you bug it out and get completely stuck, and the second time I couldn't seem to open it despite waiting for it, obviously it worked the third time. Some of the keys also felt very spurious (I'm guessing they were there for linearity purposes, but it may as well have been non-linear or had the doors controlled by switches).
In France - Present Day: Lara starts in the streets and moves on through some underground chambers. Gameplay is decent, and fighting two Gladiator statues at once was quite novel but there are obvious newbie type mistakes, such as at least three places you can get completely stuck (one from falling off a tightrope, the other from surviving a drop down a pit that's apparently supposed to be fatal but is very easy to survive and the last from not picking up an item before you continue), it's not hard to tell if you've fell in one though. The lighting is a big step backwards, it improves towards the end but a lot of it is just ambient light with nothing else. I get the feeling this was an early level by the author that was added with minimal changes, considering the weaker visuals and strange oversights.
Shadow's Hideout: Back in the manor but in the present, very little has been done to it though, to the point that most of the items and keys are in the same places. This time you continue past the former end and into a fight with a triple dragon head boss and use some keys in the house to open the last door. Returning could have been very cool but very little was made of it. It could easily have worked far better with some very minor restructuring; have Young Lara find the locked door but no keys to open it (cut to the next level there), then have present day Lara find them in level four and use them in this level, which would add a subtle narrative while changing very little, as it is the time change is a good concept with very little payoff. Strangely you can leave without even taking the quest item.
The gameplay is a mixed bag that contrasts some decent ideas and gameplay situations with some very dodgy design decisions like the flow killers in the first level or stuck points in the fourth, and this also applies to the lighting and detail, which is good for the rest and then take a bit of a nosedive in the fourth level. You might want to check it out, but I'd recommend you play the far superior Vision of Future from this author first; on that note it appears the author is gradually improving and I'm definitely interested in what else they might come up with in the future." - Mman (29-Aug-2009)
"TR5 levels that require players to give up old habits. Each version of Tomb Raider has its own game engine with unique features hardwired into the exe file, which even modifications like TREP can't fully duplicate. In order to play these levels under Windows XP, I used a patched executable that is included in the zip file "Tomb Raider: The Wolf Whiplash"; otherwise the standard included exe file took ages to load. I tested this under Windows ME and everything works fine from the downloaded zip, no need for a patch. Similarly, the game works fine using Windows Home Vista, so it is only Windows XP that requires the patched executable. The game is a set of five levels: the first two have Lara infiltrating enemy headquarters, the third is a young Lara house level, the fourth has Lara in modern southern France, and the fifth is unnecessary but short. It took me time to adjust to the differences in game play from TR4, but then I really started to enjoy myself. In the first two levels Lara comes equipped with a sniper rife with scope, and it is ineffective against the guards--Lara takes lots of damage in aggravating shootouts. This is because the guards are wearing Kevlar vests which are bulletproof. But if one uses the Look Key to aim the rifle at the guard's head, they will go down with the first shot. By the second level I was taking advantage of this, taking out the guards before they barely knew that Lara was there, doing rapid aiming and firing. In TR4, Lara tightrope walks by tapping the keys lightly. In TR5, it felt as if Lara had lost her balance. Tightrope walking was a struggle, one needs to firmly press and hold the left or right key to restore Lara's balance. Yet by the fourth level I had somehow adjusted, and was getting Lara across a rope with barely a pause for balance correction. There is a Cyborg, and if one remembers from TR5 these need to be electrocuted, so shoot him to expose a metal leg, then lead him into a pool of water in the bathroom. (Or just run into the elevator and leave him behind, he seems to get lost later on.) There is also a heavily armored mechanized soldier shooting deadly energy bolts. If Lara crawls he will follow, shooting harmlessly over her, but if she stops he will crouch down and blast her. At the start I had no idea what all the switches did, as there are few camera clues, and some things were unfairly hidden. Players need to watch for what looks like a damaged ceiling tile, as these are really trapdoors, and need to shoot potted palm trees. By the second level I had figured out the author's rules and had a good time working out the escape route. The third level, young Lara exploring a house, was a pleasant break and fun to play except for one devious crowbar door that blended into adjacent textures and was almost impossible to spot without flares. I would have scored the game play higher if the author hadn't resorted to such cheap tricks here and in the previous levels. The fourth level is closest to what most players are accustomed to, modern Lara exploring a village and catacombs-like environment. The highlights are the battles with giant gladiator statues, very tough opponents with the original TR5 encoding. The game should have ended here with the climactic duel. Instead Lara is transported back to the house level we have already played. Everything is the same except that now there are dogs to fight. Lara needs to get a couple of gate keys, but these are easily found by repeating the identical route as before, and revisiting secrets. Then Lara has to battle three sinuous serpents that can set her on fire--the shotgun ammo is sufficient--and pick up a second Book of Destiny. Summing up the full game, I had a good time and faced distinctly different enemies than anything in TR4. Some of the frustrations were simply the learning experience. The design is solid, the appearance convincing locales. The lighting in places seems too dark because of the absence of flares, and this was particularly true in the young Lara level. The main defects are the glitches in game play that grind everything to a halt: the author's refusal to provide adequate camera shots showing what switches do; and the at times taunting tricks like the hidden crowbar door in level three when Lara has no flares. A walkthrough will take care of this, so I have been generous in the scoring." - dmdibl