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Dark City - Part 1 by Lima

Bene 10 10 10 10
Blue43 9 10 10 10
Christian 10 9 10 10
Diz 9 10 9 10
DJ Full 10 10 10 10
dmdibl 10 10 10 10
Gerty 9 10 10 9
Jack& 7 8 10 10
Jay 9 10 10 10
Jorge22 10 10 10 10
Jose 9 10 10 10
Juno Jim 10 10 10 10
manarch2 9 10 10 10
MichaelP 8 10 10 9
Miriam 10 10 10 10
Mman 9 9 10 10
Nina Croft 9 10 10 10
OverRaider 10 10 10 10
Petaludas 9 8 10 9
Phil 10 10 9 8
Ruben 9 10 9 10
Ryan 10 10 10 10
Scottie 10 9 9 10
Shandroid 10 10 10 10
TheStig 9 9 10 9
Treeble 10 10 10 10
TrueRaider 9 10 10 9
Zhyttya 9 10 10 9
release date: 29-Aug-2010
# of downloads: 280

average rating: 9.66
review count: 28
review this level

file size: 156.25 MB
file type: TR4
class: City

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"I often heard people raving about this particular levelset over the years and now I understand why. It oozes atmosphere and as a whole it's layout is brilliant. It feels like one massive (and cohesive) city level split into several smaller chunks, but the transitions are quite smooth and you feel a good sense of progression as you move from one block to the next. The very opening cutscene had me fooled, with skeletons waking up outside a busy bar and as the flyby goes on it's revealed it's actually a subway train level instead. Objects are perfectly used here and I believe the vast majority of them are unique, combined with the general craft of each area helps with that extra bit of flavor. There are a couple of 'unfair' bits throughout the journey, such as the glass wagon in the first levle, the sea hags are especially deadly when you're trying to outswim a strong water current, and the dragon at the end set my Lara ablaze at least three times during the brilliant camera flyby in which it dies) — perhaps some more without the walkthrough guidance — but overall this is definitely one enthralling masterpiece, from start to finish. 2h30min, 23 secrets. 09/22" - Treeble (25-Sep-2022)
"Great level !!! New ideas, great lighting, very fun game !!!" - Juno Jim (09-Apr-2022)
"U know this trle is good when it starts with prodigy!i love hearing good and different songs on a tr level!I cant say how much i enjoyed this game and put Lima in my top favorite builders.It reminded me very much of ice age 3(clara). Old engine Lara in cemetery , broken bridges, garages, motels....just perfection.Loved the usage of secrets to get rewards back.What i didnt like though was the secrets places or why they were placed some of them together.Excellent gameplay and a last level boss truly breathtaking! Lima plz keep this serie going more..Heading to demo dark city 2" - Petaludas (09-Mar-2021)
"I really don't know why I didn't play this game (or set of levels if you will) before but in fact I didn't. That is even though I did play the demo for part 2. This is excellent material. Excellent. The settings are very varied, from a great train level to a rather thrilling and complicated ending with a dragon below a broken bridge, in the middle of a deadly lake, not for getting the cemetery part, the jeep ride and more. I found the atmosphere (music and sounds included, as well as lighting) convincing and the secret system with the dice quite rewarding. Excellent and it certainly deserves four tens from me." - Jorge22 (29-Oct-2019)
"Okay, the scrolling titles that explain the background story is really a bit too long, especially if you had glanced through the readme beforehand. But after that, I settled down to enjoy an exhilarating and inventive raid and wasn't disappointed. Lara starts off on a destroyed train with broken glass and dead bodies scattered around in abundance...who knows what happened! Then Lara arrives in a subway station where there are some grotesque rats to finish off. If you thought rats were small creatures, then you're in for an unpleasant surprise. A new reward concept is introduced here: acquiring secret dice objects to exchange for useful items. Next up, Lara arrives at the garage and has to locate a few items to crank up the jeep. Sea hags make an appearance (irritating little creatures), so brush up on your swimming skills. The action really tenses up when Lara reaches the church. Dark crypts to explore and keys to find while the main objective in this level is to locate 9 skulls. Then, after escaping the cemetery, the whole thing culminates in a nerve-wracking boss battle against a dragon. Thankfully help arrives in an ingenious fashion. The end flyby promises more in the next segments and I eagerly await them. Brilliantly done." - Ryan (24-Jan-2017)
"So far the best level editor that i've played yet. If you're looking for a Core's type of game this is it. This is absolutely brilliant. The puzzles are incredibly well thought! I had to checkout many times the walkthrough i admit, but if you have the patience this is perfect for you. You will be stuck in this level at some point i promise you. The only thing that i felt tedious (and thus the reason why i gave a 9 instead of a 10 on the puzzles) was the last level. It isn't clear what you need to do, and i kinda gets frustrating once you got no idea where to go or what to do. The secrets are AWESOME! I only wished it had more flares to pick up! It can get really dark sometimes and i had to use the flares many times and i run out of them at some point, giving only 9 to the lighting because of that small detail. And the well...dark, scary. Definitely a 10, the soundtracks are bloody scare! In conclusion this is one of the best level editor games, and i'm so sad the author didn't continue with part 2. It was an amazing experience, and i would pay to play part 2." - Zhyttya (26-Jul-2015)
"The best city custom levelset i have ever played so far!!! I played this one long time ago and i remembered it was something special so i played it again. In my opinion each level is too short but there are 9 excelent levels which take you in various dark places and have many clever puzzles and tasks so overall quite long adventure. It took me 3 hours and 47 minutes of net gameplay and i found all the secrets (not very hard to find). This is a mustplay, masterpiece you can`t miss. Lima is one of my most favourite builders and all i can say is a big Thank you very much for your amazing adventures and i can`t wait for the Dark City Part 2. Full 10/10/10/10" - OverRaider (03-Jan-2013)
"I'll confess as I work my way through the releases from 2010, this is one of the ones on my list I've been looking forward to playing the most. You'll see many positive reviews here for the Dark City Part 1 and rightly so. This is the first level by Lima that I've played, and was immediately impressed by the flowing gameplay and how 'complete' everything feels. Though the textures & objects used might not be at the cutting edge of what we can get from the editor now-days, sometimes what's more important is taking all of your game elements/textures/objects & sounds and putting them together cohesively. This Lima succeeds with completely creating really believable worlds that you'll soon find yourself drawn into. There's a real dark ambience to the whole adventure that will leave you in a constant state of tension, added to by the superb background tracks used. Gameplay wise, most of what's included here shouldn't cause players any problems however I did run into allot of problems with the final snake-boss during the 'Broken Bridge' level. It didn't seem to matter how many times I attempted it, I'd shoot the rope and the bus would fall, but the snake would always get off that last 'lethal' round as the bus dropped on it and my Lara would be burning after the end of the cut-scene. After about 2 hours of trying it again and again, I downloaded a save-game off the forums and completed it first time. I'm not sure what caused my save-game to be stone-walled at that moment, so keep plenty of saves around that point in case you have to go back to it. All in all I have to say this is a pretty outstanding adventure. The locations are varied (I think the church sequence collecting the skulls was probably my favorite) and will soon have you immersed in this dark world. So to summarize: What's good: Lighting, texturing, story, sound, locations, baddies, ambience...hall of fame material here I would say! What could be better: Would be nice to see wide-screen support on the TR4.exe, would love to see Lima work with some higher-res textures; couldn't defeat the snake using my save-games. In total I got 7 hours of gameplay from the Dark-City Part 1. It's a really high-value download from a massively talented builder. I'm not sure when part 2 of the Dark City is due, so I'll look forward to reviewing some of Lima's other levels in the short-term. Highly recommend, Stiggy." - TheStig (11-Jun-2011)
"Things made with extreme care, every grated surface (even if useless) is climbable, bins (even if useless) are pushable, and doors (even if useless) are mostly objects, not textures. Posters on the walls, trash scattered all around, furniture equally dense in all places, logical puzzles created the way they would function in real life, without any nonsense applied - all of this makes this game so realistic You will feel like playing Max Payne mixed with Silent Hill and Doom. No square in the initial train level is wasted. For the first time I've seen usage of spikes in such level. I wanna know how many texture pages were spent to make the canyon road, because it's smoother than roads in most of games I've seen in my life (and I don't mind TR only, but ALL games). No one suffering from arachnophobia should play the underground part, because even spiders are made realistic. I mean, of normal size - not human size. Secrets are excellent. Even hands confirm that (play the game to find out what I mean). The last of them, a dice called Lima, is simply unbelievable. It makes all parts of the level accessible, and gives lots of fun, especially to explorers. The game crashed after the Broken Bridge, and when I checked the /data folder, I spotted a .tr4 which wasn't launched anytime ingame - thus, I assume it's an extra level for those who find all secrets - and, as follows, it appears I missed something. I also didn't notice the weapon "Silent Viper" somewhere. But I know I will return to this game someday, with a pleasure to find the missing pickups. SUMMARY: Lima is one of few modern builders who don't get their gameplay lost among polygons. With Iron Wolf and the Golden Eagle, he has instantly become one of my favourite builders, and Dark City: Part 1 proved he can design ANY environment, bringing imagination even beyond all these things he has already shown us. A true raid of must-play (and, for secret hunters, must-replay) quality. Don't dare miss it, as well as Lima's previous work. Both are obligatory, and now I'm gonna say something that shouldn't be told in any review: I really think one day this guy, whoever he is, will release something which gets to (and remains in) the top 5 of the list. Waiting for the 2nd part..." - DJ Full (13-Feb-2011)
"This game comprising nine levels is so amazing, that it deserves a long and detailed review... The first level, Subway13, is the best train level I've ever played. It it extremely well and realistically built, with a lot of objects, dead people, doors and trapdoors to open, crawlspaces and inevitable climb on the top of the train. This level is rather short, but very dynamic and hard at moments. I myself spent one hour just trying to get back across the glass shards. The second level, Substation 13, is even better, built amazingly well, with excellent architecture and texturing, with perfect lighting and with a great attention to details. Enemies here are tough, there is a couple of tricky jumps, and very interesting gameplay. Guys who play this level will like the wall posters and graffiti, and I, being a girl from Serbia, particularly liked a poster of a famous Serbian rock band, Riblja Čorba... This level is absolutely great! The third level, Motel Rooms, is a very nice and cozy city level, with a lot of things to see, including a basketball court. This level includes a lot of searching, jumping from roof to roof, and opening many small hotel rooms. The best moment in the level, imo, was when Lara found a secret inside a barrel, how her animation was combined with this static object... The next two levels, Garage and Gasstation, were very hard for me, and more than once I had to refer to walkthrough in order to see where to go next. Garage is especially hard, with long and hard swim sequences through the maze of sewers, and those sea hags were just too bitchy, hard to kill and even harder to avoid. What particularly amazed me here was the rain effect and sprites (circles on water surfaces). Gasstation level is very well elaborated, including a jeep ride and exciting music. The best moments in this level were the passage hidden inside a doghouse and a giant tire that works as a boulder trap. When I was playing these two levels, I was not sure if I was playing the custom level, or TR6, that's how realistic these two levels are. The following level, Tunnel, is very short and probably the trickiest, because of the jeep ride across the deadly river. Next two levels, Old Cemetery and Out of Old Cemetery, are completely different. After urban areas we have a church level, with graveyard, hidden crypts, skeletons and flying sea hags, with very tricky jump sequences and with a mini boss fight against a demigod type of enemy. I fail to understand how Lima managed to make a nine part puzzle at the end of the Old Cemetery level. Also, I was very pleased to see an orthodox church in custom TR. Great and very realistic church level, indeed. I particularly liked the idea of hiding those skulls, on skeletons or on a scarecrow. The last level, Broken Bridge, brings us back to the outdoor urban area. It is very hard, because of the nasty dragon who will probably kill you a hundred of times before you can kill it. But, no matter how hard it is, it is definitely worth playing. OVERALL IMPRESSION: Well, Lima proved he has a great talent and skill for level building. His levels are original, realistic, complex and different from anything I've seen before. He uses the textures, cameras, objects, lighting and sounds as a real master of level building. There are many great things I could say about this game, but I won't make this review too long. I will only say that many skilled builders have a lot to learn from Lima. For example, his reward system is very original, and it can be elaborated even further. When I finished this game, I saw the announcement "To be continued very soon". Lima, my friend, I am living for that day, so please don't let me wait too long... Great work here, Lima, and one of the best custom TR I have ever played. The Dark City definitely belongs to the Hall of Fame... Awesome!" - Nina Croft (12-Dec-2010)
"As the levels are mostly quite short I will combine some of them. I don't talk much about textures and lightning as they are so much fitting to the settings and so well-looking in every level they get full marks of me. The two Subway levels were a really nice intro of the series (I hope so!) and the first was the most interesting train level for me. I know nearly all reviewers before me said it but the idea of the secrets is simply fantastic: Finding a ball and using it on a machine to get Ammo or something else. There weren't many puzzles in the first levels but hard traps like the glass in the train. The second level was a brilliant interpretation of a station with several innovative tasks here. Unluckily only some rats to shoot. (8-9-10-10) Motel Rooms and Garage were two more short levels; Motel Rooms had some "new" enemies - the zombies, while Garage had interesting code puzzles and a pleasant searching for items to repair. (8-9-9-10) Gasstation only was simile to the two levels before, with a great and long car ride. In which level before could you crawl in a doghouse? Very nice idea here. Tunnel was only a continuation of the level before, with a very difficult car ride over some mountains and very small bridges. Very nice outdoor areas here. (8-9-10-10). In the two cemetery levels you had to search for nine skulls in the first one, all hidden so well it can grow into a hour-long searching. Finally using them into a chapel lets you get the Snake Eye, THE key item of the level. Now you have to escape with it and that's fairly not simple. While Out of Cemetery was quite short (10 minutes) you get a nasty surprise in the next one. The dark atmosphere in both levels is of a high standard; here's the only level with a bit reducing at the fourth category as it was a bit too dark in some places. (9- 10-10-9). Now we get to the highlight of the first part of Dark City: Broken Bridge. The sea monster was of course brilliantly made, same as the way of killing it. What an idea! Shooting at a rope holding a bus to let it fall on the monster! The snakes were of course also nice, but nothing compared to the boss fight. Making a whirl in the water was not easy, I can imagine. All in all a convincing end of the Part 1 and that and the last cutscene make hope that the second part will be as good as this or even better. (10-10+1 for the snake boss and the bus-10-10). If you look at all levels they maybe haven't got the best gameplay (very good in any case) but they make so much fun it's an absolutely masterpiece and a clearly must-play." - manarch2 (20-Oct-2010)
"There are several wonderful new concepts in this nine-level series. I like the idea of multiple bite-size segments of from 20 to 30 minutes each, which gives the player a sense of variety. I also like the idea of the Secrets ATM Machine, where you're rewarded for finding each secret with a redeemable object that you can insert in the machine (at a different location) for some valuable item. And the machines themselves are often cleverly hidden, constituting another sort of secret. The levels are well constructed and provide some immersive gameplay. The first few sections are so similar to the style of Lukasz Croft that I became convinced that Lima was just a nom de plume for Lukasz. I don't think it's a slap in the face of either builder for me to say that, as both have become well-known names in the field. The levels that gave me the most trouble were the ones with the sea hags (one proved indestructible, at least for me) and the final piece with the dragon. The gameplay in those two levels was also the most intricate, making for a most challenging combination. I would have hoped that out of nine levels there would have been at least a few that were brightly lit, but there weren't, and from what I can recall there were no flare pickups for the last half of the game. For Part 2, give us some bright and cheery sections, please. You can expect to spend a good five hours making your way through these mini-levels, and it's good fun from start to finish. Highly recommended." - Phil (09-Oct-2010)
"One of the best city packs around; you start in the Subways and work you way through the town (and its outskirts) where the artifact you are looking for can be found. Every level is very atmospheric with good texture and lighting use, and all the custom objects and enemies fit perfectly (and it has the best use of Sea Hags I've seen). Some of the objects are also pretty unique like a certain fan (you'll know when you see it).
The levels are quite bite-sized by the standards of most level packs, which gives a good sense of pacing while still allowing for some interesting level designs. The author is good at using objects in subtly unexpected ways without being too obtuse about it; the only time I had trouble was a couple of random near-invisible pushblocks. The final boss was a bit annoying due to the flames being pretty random to dodge at times, and the final level in general felt a bit odd platforming wise (I'm not sure whether I even fully did it the intended way). Camera hints were used well, although there were a few parts I think could have done with a couple more. The secrets system is unorthodox, and I seemed to find quite a few of the secrets just lying about along the way, however I missed a bunch so I assume they aren't all that simple.
The pack ends with a really cool peek of the next part, so hopefully it doesn't take too long to come out." - Mman (27-Sep-2010)
"Very impressive I have to say. This is a mini game with about ten levels (lost count, sorry). They are short though but that doesn't mean that you can finish this game quick. I did had a feeling that I missed quite a lot of gameplay, perhaps because I found numerous doors that still are closed, perhaps never to be entered? What stands out that the train level was great to play even if you know how limited the things are one can do in a train level. Tip for the compartment with the glass shards, side flip, it worked like a dream at my end. Then there is the station; there is so much to look at. Be aware to save at strategic points because exploration is high on the list. Getting to a motel for some puzzles. Getting to the garage and gas station, you have to repair your jeep; that is easier said than done though. You get to ride the jeep and I am not a fan of vehicles but I didn't mind this though. The cemetery is spooky where the hunt is on for skulls. The last level"the Broken Bridge" is the hardest I found but it was good to finally kill that giant snake. Throughout the levels the hunt for the secret cubes was fun. They will give you some nice little extras, but then you also have to find the place to place them. There are however a few game stoppers that you can get trapped and there is no way to get out. Overall this is a great adventure with impressive objects. Gameplay will keep you playing and although it is not as straight forwards but that will teach you to look and look again." - Gerty (14-Sep-2010)
"As mentioned by many others, the almost 7 minutes (!) long intro of the storyline that everybody should have read from the readme anyway, was a bit of a let down, but it all goes steeply uphill from there...
Subway 13 (7/10/9/9, 30 min, 1 of 2 secrets): The adventure starts with a train level, but one with a certain difference and full of great looking objects. Gameplay is a bit slow as you hunt for keys and the wagon with the glass floor is quite tricky. Great introduction of a new secret system - finding cubes for which you then need to find a 'station' where you can retrieve your goodies.
Substation 13.c (8/10/10/9, 40 min, 1 of 3 secrets): A suprisingly complex setting that will have you explore for a while before you find your way around. Very cool raptor & lizard rats as enemies. Good use of the torch and a few ladders that are a tad bit too long, but absolutely stunning atmosphere in this part and wonderful attention to detail.
Motel Rooms (7/9/8/8, 30 min, 2 of 3 secrets): The weakest level of the set for me. The entry through the wine cellar is clever, almost too sneaky. And when you enter the city and the motel you shoot tons of windows and traverse similar looking rooms. The zombies with the knives are good for a chuckle though.
Garage (9/9/10/9, 30 min, 2 of 3 secrets): The storyline takes up more speed again, as you explore first the sewers, battling a few tough sea hags and then get to fix up your jeep in the garage, which is simply wonderfully executed in its setup.
Gasstation/Tunnels (7/9/10/9, 20+5 min, 3+0 of 3+3 secrets): We continue to be treated to a myriad of great custom objects enhancing the authenticity of these levels. The jeep ride is fun and these are probably the best looking custom level roads ever.
Old Cemetary / Out of Old Cemetary (8/10/10/10, 30+10 min, 0+1 of 0+3 secrets): It just gets better and better. The Church and the cemetary are truly spooky as you hunt down the nine skulls. There is one jump that seemed surprisingly tricky in comparison to the difficulty level of the series, but eventually you do get your hands on the snake eye and make your escape.
Broken Bridge (9/10/10/10, 40 min, 2 of 3 secrets): I played the finale after quite a few days of a break from this series and as such it blew me away all by itself. The atmosphere, the audio, the Hydra monster, the broken bridge setting, the circular current in the water, the eggs - it all fits together perfectly and you get a real sense of being there. Very cool way of killing the enemy by bus and then a few jumps to reach the end - which apparently is only the beginning of Part 2... I can't wait to continue this very engaing quest!
" - MichaelP (14-Sep-2010)
"After a looong intro story (which cannot be stopped except by exiting with Ctrl/F4, so don't hit "new game" by mistake again) the game starts in a moving subway train and from there Lara will work herself through this multi level game full of custom objects/enemies and great never seen before ideas. I found the idea with the secrets "exchange stations" fantastic. The game has a great spooky atmosphere with excellent lighting, textures, cameras and background sound. You will not get bored a single minute in this one. I found the game to be on the challenging side, as there are a few jumps combined with enemies that will take many attempt to complete. I think I invented some new words during the jump switch/sea hag part in the sewer system and also the curved jump with pulling the shotgun and shooting chain. That one was particular frustrating, as many time all seemed to have gone well but when the camera finally swings back, Lara just stands there and is already on fire and there is nothing you can do about. The ending was quite sudden, but then you are rewarded with a wonderful flyby, which makes you hope that the part 2 will be released very soon. I didn't find all the secrets, but when I checked my inventory in the end I had several items in there that I don't remember ever having used, like a book and also some "red Viper ammo" where I never picked up a gun to use it in. This is a must play for everyone and one of the best custom levels I have ever seen. Great work and I guess we are looking forward to part 2 of the story." - Blue43 (13-Sep-2010)
"If you've read the 'Read Me' then go away and make a cup of tea as the level starts, the scrolling text says exactly the same but is painfully slow and you can't get rid of it. Because of this I started this level in an irritated mood but that was soon evaporated. A really good train sequence! One of my favourites. Nice little puzzles, some difficult jumping over broken glass (for me, not making the agility too easy is like salt on eggs - essential, not a minus point), a few baddies in enclosed spaces and a well made train. The game just got better and better with each fresh part, each difference and separately challenging. The bit with the Hydra was especially good but I'm afraid I missed the point with the shootable eggs. (Probably just me getting old). Some iffy points, the afore-mentioned intro, the jeep needed headlights in those dark tunnels and the sea-hag guarding the key under the gratings was almost impossible to kill - just a couple of rounds at a time as you jumped back into the water and climbed out again. But these are only a few niggles in an otherwise excellent level. I was sad to finish it and can't wait for the next part (I hope it's called 'Part 1' because there's a Part 2 and maybe a 3)" - Diz (08-Sep-2010)
"Very rarely do levels just "do it" for me. From the first exciting step to the last thrilling "coming soon" flyby I was completely and utterly hooked. This level had everything I look for in a level set. I cannot stress enough how awesome Dark City is! I loved everything about it. There were great secret machines that were very innovative, addicting exploration and absolutely top-notch atmosphere, objects and textures. I did raise an eyebrow at Lima's apparent obsession with nudies everywhere (what city was this again?), as this is not the way of my country! I am so excited for the next set of levels, I really hope it is not long! Excellent work, an absolute must-play for everyone...just keep in mind that there are boobies." - Shandroid (06-Sep-2010)
"ok i just finished this game ......well is a quiet long game containing 9 levels . all levels are different from subway station at a train level and further at a cemetary and a tough finale at a cave with a giant hidra and blocken bridge......basicaly this game is constructed well with good graphics and smooth gameplay .but have his own flaws too .....maybee i judge a bit harder but the marks seams a bit on high side ....9.75 is way too much in my opinion...... cos this game contain some frustrating parts too and i will enumerate a few off it . : at train lavel is a part where need to jump over some broken glasses on the ground inside the compartiment .... the place is narrow and the ceiling is low so u need to take alot off atempts to jump over the ground glasses part ..iff u touch any is instant dead ...... ok further is a issue with the jeep .. have no lights and u need to drive across alot off dark corridors and dark caves with ........ at final level u need to get a key from a fenced place .. to get the key is easy . back way is frustrating ... after u open the crowbar door lara slip out from the rock and jump at a floating platform . from that platform u need to shot a rope hanging the Buss to kill the Hidra ... is frustrating cause after u climb at that platform and start to shoot at the rope direction the hidra launch fire balls at u and the platform is small u cannot avoid the fire balls only jumping back and hanging to climb back and start sooting the rope and even iff u manage to shot the rope quick at flybye with buss dropping down at hidra he still shot 2 fire balls untill die and after finish the flybye u see that lara catch fire is only mather off luck to survive ......also flares are not manny and is set up to light very short time ...... at underwater level tunnels level i think is 3 or 4 sea hags down at water .. is hard to kill them cos they get under the platform and is a strong water current down to make ur life a missery u get up from water and cannot shot them and need to jump at water again and lure them out in open water and lower ur life very fast ..the enemyes take alot off bullets untill die .. a wrencs man take 4 shotgun bullets to die !!.... this was the bad parts .. well a potentialy hall off fame game wich i dont think will get at hall off fame cause contain manny frustrating parts .. albeit is a good game but too manny frustration ......the ending is abrupt and i am curious how will be the continuation ....." - Jack& (05-Sep-2010)
"I was worried about the story. It looked very complicated and catastrophic. However, despite the density of the plot, I felt very atracted by the prospect of the first level, the train one. It was a real train. It had seats, shelves, windows ... I liked much more than the train level of tomb raider 4. The following levels remained the same appearance. The detail cultivated to its higher point is perhaps what best defines Dark City - Part 1. But we can't forget about the inteligent and logical puzzles and the fluent and enjoyable gameplay. Moreover, objetcs created a great atmosphere, they are very original and they really fix on this level. Secrets are fantastic, there are 23 in all game, and when you find one you'll have to place it in a hand which gives you an usefull item. There's no doubt that lighning and texturing is perfect. In fact, there are some places that I can't forget: the broken glass room in the train, the huge station, the confortable motel rooms, the road where you ride the jeep and the frightning old cementery. I am really looking forward too seeing the next part of this saga." - Miriam (04-Sep-2010)
"The scrolling text at the very beginning, although well written and actually a good idea, but it would have been good if we could have him pushing. Because, at least for the players, who understand little or no English or speak, this is unnecessary. This is obviously not a negative point, the devaluation would be. It's just the only way that one sits for minutes before the screen and wait until it finally starts. And it is not so great if you have already played a while and want to load a save, but then by mistake and click on New Game to wait that long, until the opening sequence through. But as I said, this is just a thought, not to be negative criticism. The subsequent opening sequence is certainly very good.
Subway 13: Finally a good Train Level. The train looks great and is well-designed puzzles. Although I must say, however, that the compartment with the broken glass has been built a bit too heavy. The jumps have to be a very carefully timed, because otherwise you just end up in the shards of broken glass window. An experienced player will probably have little problems here, but beginners and not so experienced players will have a tough time of it with this. That could have built the Levelbuilder quite a bit easier.
Substation-13.C: I do not want to exaggerate, but this station could have be painted by Picasso. This is the very high level architecture. I would have to spend hours here, give me everything just to watch, but Lara was determined to continue, so I had to reluctantly tear away from this great sight. The dark corridors look not so good, but are still built very well. However, there were for my taste too many of these mutated giant rats around. A very good idea were the many eggs. If you do not paying attention and accidentally hit a bad egg, you had lots of baby rats in the neck.
Motel Rooms: Again, I'm running around with his mouth open and did not know what should I admire more. For indoor or outdoor areas regardless of whether everything is built well. You just have to watch once the basketball court. He looks so good, I would prefer to invite a few people and which had played a little bit. This level was much easier than the previous one. There were only three zombies around and the puzzles were fairly easy to solve. I found it quite pleasant, that it was a bit quiet here after the rather difficult second level.
Garage and Gasstation: Both levels look very good. Above all, I really like the car repair shop. However, it would have been to long to point out which of the five lever you have to pull, so I think the hint could have been a little clearer. And the sea hags were rather superfluous. It was relatively easy to escape from them, but it has still lasted quite long until you could shoot them, because they always swam so close to the exit places that one could only now and then land a lucky hit. It would have been better if Lima had sometime previously placed the revolver and laser sight somewhere, then it would have been much easier to kill the sea hags. In the gas station, it was a bit calmer. You had to send only a few cheeky mechanics over the Jordan.
Old Cemetery and Out of Old Cemetery: And again I am impressed. A spooky cemetery, a beautiful church and as a delicacy, the well-built crypt. The only thing that really disturbs is, that the storm is in the ever-same volume. It Would have been much better if the thunder sounds in the main building would have been quieter. But as this ongoing noise storm in always the same volume were a bit annoying. But the other sound was, as in the previous levels, excellent. And it was almost clear that in the next level Out of Old Cemetery, the ghosts want to take revenge of Lara, because she has stolen the skulls. However, it looked a bit odd, that the ghosts looked like sea hags. There the level builder could have make it quite a bit better.
Broken Bridge: As in Level "Tunnel" you can admire here the very well-built road. However, I noticed as a negative which the Jeep has no light. In general I must say that overall there are too few flares. If one, like me, playing with lighter settings, this is not such a big problem. But that does not everyone and even with these brighter settings, there are some dark spots here. The whole area of the Broken Bridge, however, is level architecture at its finest. The broken bridge is a work of art and the giant vortex in the water is a real eye-catcher.
Summary: What can I say? Aside from the lack of flares this level is a class of its own. This just fits (together almost) everything. The issues negative things can hardly blur the excellent overall impression and I look forward to Part 2" - Scottie (04-Sep-2010)
"The story to this is fascinating and the mention of Facebook in the prologue set up is unique in the annals of TR and made me smile which is a good beginning to any Raid. Also unigue was the conversion of found Secret Dice to Secret goodies. Not only were the Dice to be found but the hidden conversion terminals had to be found - a nice two - parter. Atmosphere and graphics can not, in my opinion, be faulted in any part of this level set. Attention to detail, even in the train level was surpassed only by actual gameplay. The destroyed train car with the glass shards was memorable for its difficulty and marred only by my lack of patience in having to go through it for the third time so I found another way around but this may have been one of the best train levels ever created for TR. The subway station, appropriately number 13, with the giant rats and eggs was an adrenaline jolt with the beginning of entering the vents nicely done - good gameplay. I may have missed some play here as I never found a use for the second movable bin but if so it didn't matter as there was a lot more to come. The only part of Dark City I expected was the Motel Rooms set in an actual city and getting in was a nicely set up challenge. Once into the garage and into the gas station with the cool use of a doghouse, a nice stash of supplies was found. The tunnels and the jeep ride were fun and for me, the best jeep ride, ever. The cemetery level with the church chandelier jump was well thought out and the attention to detail remarkable - the small house on the hill with the swinging door; the crying baby; another graveyard that was inaccessible but as spooky as the rest with, of course, a full moon riding over all.. I was hoping the jeep would get me up the hill but instead, a Broken Bridge is to be the route. Out of the Cemetery was unique for me because it was set back into the church with subtle changes and new directions in which to go as well as old territory to re-discover with new objects. The Broken Bridge was intense with that dragon/snake thing hurling fireballs, making the climb to the top another unforgettable bit of gameplay. Unique for me, also, was the use of the crowbar with the split second jump to safety and then the very nice solution to the monster's demise. I missed the laser sight but the shotgun works well in this situation as well as in others. The ending is a sneak peak into the next level and I hope we won't have to wait long for it. This has all the marks of an instant classic and it most definitely is A Must Play." - Bene (04-Sep-2010)
"A wonderful game designed by Lima. Play this masterpiece yourself and you will soon understand why it has been rated amongst the Top levels by the reviewers. A few minor issues prevent a perfect ten from my point of view , i.e. the Landrover without headlights ( genuine british construction) , the dull and ever-present rain and thunder sound in the background , the total absence of any custom music . After a long and lonely TRLE summer gap Lima`s Dark City came like rain upon a barren desert for the TRLE community . Absolutely recommended." - Ruben (04-Sep-2010)
"After the apocalyptic story I had to read before the adventure starts I feared the worst. But after having started the train-sequence I knew a was at the beginning of a great game. This train-run, one of the best I've ever played ends in a wasted underground station with quite realistic atmosphere. It's remarkable here, how much work the author spent on details; this elaborate design will be found in every corner of the levelset up to final sequence. I liked the concept, hiding secret-keys (little cubes) that could be changed to useful goodies at the concerning receptacles. Gameplay in this adventure is outstanding. There are no new moves or jumps to perform, gameplay is so innovative here simply because of brilliant ideas. A sequence in 'old cemetery', where the player has to perform several jumps between windows, rocks and chandeliers may be one example here; This sequences is refreshingly unusual. The mentioned part of the levelset (cemetery)is one of the highlights of the whole levelset. The author succeeded in greating a perfect atmosphere here. The final showdown - killing a hydra with a bus - is superb. It's hall of fame stuff!" - Christian (03-Sep-2010)
"Lima has achieved something here which is quite a rarity in custom levels as a whole - attention to detail. It's everywhere in this large set of levels through custom objects and textures. Each level is fairly short, and in total gameplay lasts between two and a half to three and a half hours. But that's exactly what makes this game so engrossing, there is never enough time to get sick of a particular place because, before you know it, you have entered another area. The jeep plays a pivotal role in much of the game. And for once you can actually drive it. By that I mean there are long (increadibly well crafted) roads and tunnels without the need to get out every two seconds to check the scenery for something hidden. A sense of isolation and desertion is conveyed beautifully with the eerie soundtracks. In the underground station, you can faintly hear screaming people far in the distance - an excellent touch I thought. There are numerous gameplay highlights here. The graveyard, whilst not only being as creepy and atmospheric as is possible, offers some interesting searching for 9 skulls. Equally fun, but tricky, is the final level which basically involves dodging the firey expulsions of a big snake. I won't spoil what happens in this level, but it's absolute genious and very original. It did get occasionally frustrating, but it's intensely rewarding once you finally manage it. What the game suffers from, however, is occasionally monotonous gameplay. There are a lot of keys to collect and a lot of doors to open. Despite the variety in location, the only puzzle based elements were collecting parts to fix up the jeep in drivable order and a few other bits here and there. I also found the lighting a little flat in some areas, particularly parts of the graveyard. Despite the enormous key hunt though, the fast pace and quick change of scenery more than make up for this. A plethora of custom objects only enhance the experience. A classic, and absolute must-play." - TrueRaider (03-Sep-2010)
"This builder is absolutely determined that you WILL read the readme as it comprises the intro, which is irritatingly interminable if, like me, you had already read the damn thing. Subway13: I always enjoy a train section so I immediately forgave the builder for the world's longest and most boring intro and settled down for some fun. As train levels go, I must say this is one of the more inventive ones I've come across and I particularly liked the carriage full of broken glass. Substation 13C: Oh, you really do NOT want to see the size of the rats around these parts. I think the fact that the surroundings look so 'real' just made the mutated rats scarier. There's lots of grates to shoot out, ducts to explore and very clever use made of a torch at one point. Motel Rooms: It was pleasant to get away from the rats and spend some quality time climbing around on awnings and shooting out windows - that never gets old, does it? Garage: It was inevitable that Lara would find herself in the sewers sooner rather than later, but normally speaking they're not infested with sea hags. Aaargh. Once having managed to access the garage, there are some fabulous custom objects to use on the jeep. Gasstation: Having equipped the jeep, Lara decides to take it for a test drive. There's a brilliantly well hidden crawlspace in this section that could have you blundering around searching for something to do for quite some time. Tunnels: This is a short, linking section that basically just involves more jeep driving, including a nice little jump over a river. Old Cemetery/Out of Old Cemetery: This is the most atmospheric and deliciously macabre section, where the goal is to collect skulls and then make your escape - good old jeep comes in handy again. Broken Bridge: The last section is definitely the most taxing as a giant serpent obviously fancies some crispy fried Lara and getting away from it with our heroine uncooked takes quite a lot of perseverance. You do get to take revenge in a rather spectacular manner though. Finding the route to the other side of the bridge is very well thought out gameplay and when you finally achieve that goal, you get a tantalising glimpse of the continuation of this rattlingly good adventure. I very much look forward to it. PS I especially liked the rather different two part idea with the secrets - first you have to find dice and then the receptacles where you can cash them in for goodies. Clever." - Jay (02-Sep-2010)
"Professional levels in an outstanding and continuing series, that will provide many days of entertainment. The author has put his own stamp on Tomb Raider, creating a gritty realism which has a unique feeling and atmosphere. From the starting subway train to the ending broken bridge the attention to details is superb, and this allows for clever and subtle game play. A long introduction explains that demons and angels will be locked in conflict, laying waste to their battlefield--unfortunately, Earth--and most of humanity in the process. Lara must stop the flood of demons from Hell, which lends a certain grim urgency to the adventure. The title "Dark City" is apt, the darkness here being evil. There are many original touches to enhance the levels. For example, secret dice can be converted to usable shotgun ammo, or large medipacks, or flares. So not only does Lara have to search out secrets, which may be tantalizingly inaccessible, but she must then find a conversion station to get the full benefit of created goodies. Clearly the author is completely familiar with Tomb Raider, so that familiar conventions, and the expectations of players, may be given a humorous twist. One needs to play the game to experience this. Almost every area--subway, station, motel, garage, gas station--has notable features. The nine playable levels seemed to get harder as they progressed, so the hunt in the spooky cemetery proved challenging. And trying to leave the cemetery, with wrathful ghosts rising from desecrated graves, involved a whole separate hunt for an exit key. The concluding level "Broken Bridge" was the most frustrating and devious, with a fire breathing dragon setting Lara alight whenever she tried to do anything, and a difficult path to find. Though I have to say that "Broken Bridge" was my favorite level, with immense satisfaction in dropping a bus on top that dragon, and finally working out the route. I did notice in "Gas Station" that if Lara bypasses the room with a skeleton swinging by its neck from a ceiling fan rope, she will later get trapped without a key and have no way to return. Perhaps there should have been a way for Lara to get back out, as the slope makes the entrance one-way. In "Broken Bridge," if Lara wants to convert her secrets to goodies she does have to make a long detour back, but as this was the end of the levels I didn't mind spending the extra time. The last level "Underground Area" is only a fly-by preview of things to come, whetting our interest with winged reptiles and strange puffy bugs. A rich and rewarding adventure, a must play." - dmdibl (01-Sep-2010)
"After some hours of hard riding, I've finished. Remarkable game that highlights the incredible work on objects, architecture, texturing and the curious secrets and successful system. However, some phases of the lack lose substance and charisma. The best artistic impact is at the cemetery. The base is the exploration, there are little puzzles and traps. It is not very demanding but the last phase (Broken Bridge) is really hard. Total duration about of 4 hours of net game. Great work very recommended. We'll see how steady but needs to improve to exceed the wonderful "Golden Eagle Iron Wolf". Congratulations! I look forward to continue playing this fantastic adventure." - Jose (01-Sep-2010)