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20x20x20 Challenge - Return to Nevada by AgentXP

Astraf 8 10 8 9
Dick 8 9 8 10
DJ Full 9 10 8 10
Jay 8 9 8 9
JesseG 8 9 6 8
Jose 6 10 8 9
Killer Gameplayz 9 10 8 8
manarch2 6 8 7 8
MichaelP 7 9 8 8
Mman 8 9 9 10
Orbit Dream 8 10 7 10
Phil 10 9 9 9
Rambo 5 8 7 9
Ryan 8 9 8 9
sonnyd83 8 9 7 9
TombExplorer 7 8 10 9
release date: 26-Dec-2014
# of downloads: 215

average rating: 8.42
review count: 16
review this level

file size: 66.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: Base/Lab

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"This level was my first 20x20x20 experience and gave me a nice first impression of what such a level can look like. The whole level is, as the name suggests, based on TR3 Nevada with nice polished textures along with a few other high tech objects from other TRs which fit in really well. The puzzles made me think a lot from time to time, especially as I didn't find the crowbar straight away and realised very late on that I'd missed it in a slightly dark corner of a prison cell. I would therefore recommend that players look at every corner here and there carefully or at least twice. With some switches and keys, I also found it a little difficult to work out what I had just triggered with them, as there wasn't always a camera hint or a sound (for example a door or trapdoor), but you could still find them quite quickly. The thing that surprised me the most were some of the sounds, because I noticed that some objects or animations were missing sounds or even played the wrong sounds. In the rocket room, it was particularly noticeable when a fire came out of a grate, because it was a very loud and sometimes distorted sound and I was glad that I could switch it off with the right switch. But luckily it wasn't like that throughout the level and otherwise the sounds were nice. Textures and geometry were very varied, giving the whole level a lively and believable atmosphere. For anyone who is a TR3 Nevada fan, I highly recommend this level as it is a very successful adaptation of it. Thank you AgentXP for this nostalgic journey." - Astraf (10-Jan-2024)
"This level had me hooked from the start, for some reason I just found it gripping. Gripping and aggravating. As someone who regards each visit to the walkthrough as a fail - for myself and for the builder - this just had too many fails:
---Important pickup items that were very difficult to see, and easy to overlook; often positioned near more-visible secrets - which encourages you to think your work in a particular area is done.
---No cameras! Well, hardly any. Even when a switch opens a nearby door, you might find later that other actions have occurred.
---Too much time spent without weapons, having to avoid guards or persuading easily- distracted prisoners to beat them up. And also being unable to complete tasks in certain rooms because you know a few things need shooting.
---A very counter-intuitive 'puzzle' with a pushable block.
Despite all of the above - I truly loved playing this, it provided about two hours of high-concentration net gaming and the Nevada base was was rendered with greater detail and care than the original from TR3; I even found all of the secrets because I was exploring so hard. I'll be sure to play it again sometime." - Dick (26-Mar-2023)
"This level mixes elements of all of Tomb Raider 3's Nevada levels, although it's mostly Area 51 based. The visuals do a good job capturing the TR3 aesthetic, with heavy use of coloured lights, lots of glass to foreshadow other areas and late-afternoon exteriors. The objects are also used well, and there's a few original things as well to add some twists to the original theme. Various areas are homages to parts of the TR3 Nevada areas, and, while most are distinct enough, I felt one or two were maybe a little too derivative when the designer is obviously capable of doing more ambitious takes on them. The one notable issue is the sound, which isn't overtly bad, but seemed a little off, with certain things (like using medikits and various enemies cues) being silent or very quiet, and also having a weirdly loud and annoying fire trap at one point.
The gameplay is somewhat of a hybrid of High Security Compound and Area 51 in TR3. With you starting out with no weapons in a pseudo-stealth sequence, and then opening up as you get your equipment and can start exploring properly. While there's generally a good mix of challenges there are some weirdly structured aspects, like one way-too blended keycard that could have been fixed by simply putting it in a shootable box (since it's only relevant after you get guns), and the ability to miss where you are supposed to get weapons and get the Uzis before the Pistols, which results in Lara refusing to draw them and making it seem like things are bugged. It sticks out when these issues could have been easily averted by simply blocking a couple of things off until the Pistols are attained. There are also some lacking camera hints at one or two points. Outside those problems it's quite challenging but generally engaging and varied. A strong take on this challenge, but it's a shame the things it's let down by could have been removed with a few small tweaks." - Mman (29-Aug-2021)
"As a fan of Nevada Desert / Base levels, I really couldn't wait to play this level and, if I have to be honest, I was satisfied with this adventure. It really feels like you are in an high security base. Also take into consideration it is set at sunset, and you can understand by yourself that the atmosphere skyrockets. Texture placement is pretty good, and lighting is for the most part fitting(some places are a bit too bland or dark, in my opinion. More contrast could have helped). Objects are very good for the most part, except some of them that I really didn't see much fitting. At example, the crystals at the end of the level felt so Low Quality compared to all the HD stuff of the level. Or another thing I didn't see much fitting, was the VCI hologram. It could be there, but you could try to retexture the "boards" so it didn't show the VCI logo(as I think the Iris hologram was pretty good there). Other than those, rest of the objects are pretty nice, especially those lasers... they look so good! The main drawback of this level is the gameplay: generally I love those big places with hallways and a lot of keys/keyholes that open some rooms all around the level. The only thing is that some of them really don't seem to make much sense, and you can find some keyholes in some rooms that doesn't really make you think there could be an extra room in there(an example of this, is the Armoury room. For some reason, inside this room there is another room with another keyhole. It is a 2x3 room, what's the point in having another room, in that room?) I got stuck for so long trying to find this kind of "hidden rooms" all around the level, and it made my playing time double(if not triple!). Because yeah, the main thing of this level is that, if you know where to go, you can complete it in 1 hour or so. But I finished it in 3 hours, just because of this problem. The thing I really loved was the fact that Lara at a certain points get thrown into a jail room, again. I really loved it as it boosted atmosphere even more. Also, the UFO looks pretty believable from the Inside, really loved it(despite those crystals). Another thing I wanna say regards the secrets: most of them are kinda ok, except one that really I don't understand: there is this room with boxes. For some reason, one of those boxes hides a secret door that looks EXACTLY LIKE A BOX. It really made no sense, didn't like that secret at all, I think that secret could be avoided. One last thing, is about the ending: once you approach the Element 115, level ends. I know that in TR3 it is like this, but I wish there could be some kind of escape or any kind of ending that is not just an abrupt shut-off of the level. Overall, this level was such a good one that gave me so many hours of fun(mostly because of the atmosphere, that really makes you feel lost in an hidden base). Recommended? Yes, definitely. Not recommended if you usually get lost easily. Difficulty? Hard. Duration? Approx. 1h10m - 3h45m (highly depends on how fast you discover some rooms/passages. It is most likely to complete it in 2h45m+ blind)." - TombExplorer (30-Oct-2020)
"You start the adventure poisoned and without weapons while avoiding the guards, unfortunately not for long, Lara gets knocked out and placed in a prison cell !! Awake and find the pass cards to open the prison cells. (The inmates are your friends and kill the Guards for Lara). Make your way to the armory while finding secrets. Find the laser sight and destroy the turret gun to advance to the Rocket silo and outside. Return to the first area to unlock the door and progress to an underground area with aliens and a UFO. Enter the UFO and destroy the aliens to end the game !! Another great TRLE from the wonderfully talented Agent XP :)" - Killer Gameplayz (05-Nov-2018)
"It doesn't seem apparent that there were any restrictions placed on this surprisingly vast level. I spent about an hour and a half exploring this level, and you have to give credit to the builder for being able to construct this and cram so much gameplay into a single raid. The lack of camera hints was a bit frustrating, and it didn't help that quite a bit of backtracking to previous areas was required. For this reason, a couple of references to the walkthrough might be a good idea to avoid becoming too ill- disposed towards the level. I also encountered a couple of savegame crashes, but these weren't insurmountable. The surroundings of this Nevada base environment are otherwise top-notch, and the secrets and enemies are very well placed (initially quite tricky due to a rationed inventory, but very doable in the later stages). Overall, this exploration level will not be for everyone, but it's a massive construction that the builder should be proud of." - Ryan (14-Aug-2018)
"I took this seemingly little level for a lightweight break but it unexpectedly appeared more challenging than certain multilevel marvels I played and took me three hours of real time before I figured it all out. It indeed is missing many hint cameras and requires extensive memory usage or a notepad, but I swear I've never seen anything THAT complicated in a level sized to what its root competition required. Even the secret count itself surprised me from the start - I thought: "Wait, where on earth did he locked all those lockups? Will just every item placed in a corner count as a secret one?" Apparently not - numerous and useful secrets are creative and varying, and some even embedded in an especially crafted room with classic opacity applied, like a dog cage or aquarium. Some are simple, the other unusually challenging and You need to watch out all the time - it was enough to lose focus for one moment and I skipped the grenade gun, though the final enemies are still more fun to ice with a rapid series of uzi bullets, of which we get over 500. Other numbers are similarly great but I would call it "generous" and not "overdone", and that's a huge difference, approximately the same as between overlapping a room because you really don't have choice and doing so because you just think you have none. Yes, I noticed these overlaps so the limit is in fact crossed - but only a little, and the sceneries included thanks to it are so climatic that I wouldn't even mind if the level was twice as big as it should. BTW I wonder if these overlaps could cause the AI bugs mentioned in the readme. I stumbled upon some weird behaviour, though all was bearable and none gamestopping. I only had some (possibly unrelated) savegame crashes but fortunately renaming a file and/or some restarting always helped me to load what I wanted and in the end I didn't waste more than 3 minutes on this extra necessity. Anyway when I already sniffed through each and every single shelf of the base, when I acquired and utilized 90% of all swipe cards included, when I travelled through miles of vents while avoiding lasers, steam and burners, after I marvelled at the standable throwable smashable pushable, eventually when I killed that whole army of thugs and even launched a missile high into the sky, a pull-up on the rock revealed a giant (again thinking in scale of 20x20x20) canyon, not even showing a sign of narrow boundary but still covered in solid, heavy and fully-shaped (or at least looking so) organic rocks bathing in soft sunset to resemble regular-size BtB Steampunk games or even more ambitious projects. Really, if somebody dropped you to the bottom of that place and told to look around, you would think you're in Coyote Creek or alike, not having a clue how small this level really is. The goal achieved in 100%. SUMMARY: How much could You pack in 8000 cubes? The level seems to answer "everything and more". Would You arrange it better than here? Maybe, but it would be really hard. I recently started to like base levels, and this one deepens my fascination. It's brilliantly designed and one of few which managed to stun me and keep me this way until the well-rewarding finale, despite of notorious lack of vital cameras, the absence of last pickup-getaway sequence, some missing sounds and other few errors coming from limited building time. Highly recommended." - DJ Full (14-Apr-2015)
"Wow! It's incredible what this author can do in a 20x20x20 area! The design is excellent and the enemies are very well balanced; enough guns and ammo so you don't need to use the pistols in all the level except when you find them. The gameplay is often confusing with a lot of backtracking, it's easy to find dead ends and in most cases you miss cameras when pulling switches so you can know what are you doing; no real puzzles (except the crates puzzle), I think there are excessive switches to pull and excessive cards and keys to find. Most of the rooms are pretty dark, but I coudn't find enough flares to explore the areas comfortably; however texturization is very very good. Recommended for all players who like exploring." - Jose (24-Mar-2015)
"I will admit that this is maybe not my most favorite genre to play, but one has to acknowledge that the Level is put together really well. You get a lot of the usual aspects - many switches and access cards, duct crawling, guards to kill etc, but every now and then a spark of Inspiration shows and a few clever or original moments are thrown in, like the launch of the missile, the prisoner killing guards for you while you are still without weapons, the scene when Lara gets put into jail and a few more. I thought the longer push block sequence was nicely thought out, but ended up being a bit tedious and the biggest weakness of the level is clearly the almost complete lack of camera guidance (except for two brief moments where one is used). So, probably recommended to have the walkthrough nearby if you want to finish this in about 90 minutes vs running around the corridors for many more hours. There are also 8 secrets to be collected along the way, which adds to the fun, so if you have the patience to explore, this is a level for you." - MichaelP (07-Mar-2015)
"Here's another example of why I should not allow earlier reviews to dissuade me from playing a level. I was expecting a backtracking ordeal, but that never materialized. Instead, I was able to milk two hours of gameplay from a level that by definition has built-in limitations. I still don't completely understand what those limitations are in the 20x20x20 levels, but I found this to be immersive (although I just now discovered that Webster's recognizes no such word, but we all know what it means), engrossing and highly entertaining. Indeed, although this one has the lowest ratings of this latest crop, I found it to be my favorite despite its excessive darkness in too many areas. Dutchy has provided his typically competent walkthrough that documents everything, even a premature ending not intended by the builder (everything, that is, but an alcove containing an extra pair of Uzis in the cave with the alien ship). Highly recommended." - Phil (14-Feb-2015)
"Gameplay & Puzzles: The gameplay is very boring and confusing, I didn't like it at all. Too much backtracking and no clue where to go, it's exhausting. Liked the storyline and there are a few but simple puzzles, not everything is too bad here. Enemies, Objects & Secrets: Good work concerning enemies which are many but they fit very well, some are killed by prisoners, some are used for secrets just like in TR3. The objects are nicely reused in this level and the secrets are nice too find, not too hard but there are quite a few instead. Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The architecture is rather well done, I never noticed the real size of this level, quite amazing. Not so amazing is the sound which is perfectly messy, and there's nothing to say about all the missing cameras. Lighting & Textures: Maybe a few mistakes but I very much liked lighting and also textures, both are very well done and the combination works very nicely. A modern interpretation of a classic set that was quite fancy. Total: 7,25/10, well built but with many flaws of which the gameplay has the most." - Rambo (20-Jan-2015)
"Despite the constant backtracking and occasional faulty sound effect, I had a very enjoyable time playing this game. It did take me 3 hours 45 to complete, but I do like to take my time. The action takes place in a completely new version of the area 51 level, and does offer many new areas to explore, such as the desert and cave areas. The texturing and lighting are quite impressive, and I particularly enjoyed the inside of the spaceship, and the large security offices overlooking the desert, although the lighting in the caves is too dark. I liked how all the rooms seemed to link cleverly to each other, so although there was a lot of backtracking, it was not too tedious. The level begins with Lara in a pool of liquid which appears harmful so she has to hurry and find an antidote. She helps a prisoner escape, and he is useful, as she has no guns to begin with. There is a lot of collecting fuses, pass cards and such like. The best or most satisfying bits are figuring out how to turn the kitchen flames off, exploding the gas containers in the storage area, destroying the machine gun, getting the rocket off the ground, and of course fighting the aliens. It is also not too difficult, which suits me just fine. I did have difficulty finding the crowbar but it turns out it was in the prisoner room. More camera shots would have been very useful in some places. The secrets were very well hidden, there was one in the exploding gas can room which was a crowbar door which looked like a regular container! Very good effort, but next time, maybe one or two proper puzzles should be added." - sonnyd83 (08-Jan-2015)
"I had rather hoped that this might turn out to be the warm and wonderful outdoor side of the genre rather than the crawling through laser trapped air ducts sort of thing, but ah well. Despite my denied wish for sunnier climes, this turned out to be a most enjoyable trip and there was a brief foray into the great outdoors, plus a wonderful encounter with aliens and their suitably otherworldly spacecraft at the end of the level. It is in some respects a frustrating level, in that camera hints for the numerous switches etc., are almost in the 'rare as hens' teeth' category, so much time can be spent running aimlessly around looking for the next activity. To mitigate this, it's also a very good level with some excellent gameplay. It's very cleverly built, with the various areas meshing together quite brilliantly as the game progresses and you really won't believe just how much the builder has managed to cram into the 20x20x20 concept. Recommended." - Jay (07-Jan-2015)
"I have to applaud the builder for creating a level that really nowhere makes the semblance of being restricted to such a small size. In other words: This level feels nothing but huge! Given the very clever room connections and believable look of the whole setting with a good mix between outside and inside areas and the great architecture, I feel like giving that low marks to this level actually doesn't do it justice. The main problem of this level is, like already named before, the gameplay being too confusing for its own good. The map nicely opens up more and more during the game, but without camera hints (which this game seriously lacks) it's nearly impossible to know where to go next when the open door or next item can be found at the other end of the map. With hints, though, this would have been a really enjoyable game - there are a few quite interesting tasks to solve here (although there could be much more of those and less backtracking instead), many box puzzles, interesting fights against a variety of the animal, human or supernatural sort, a nice storyline that slowly unfolds as you explore the mysteries of this base, a few neat allusions to the Area 51 level of TR 3. The eight secrets are mostly tricky to find which was a nice side quest. The other problem of this level were the messed up sounds which are sometimes totally mixed up and some play at too high or low pitches. The object design, texturing and lighting are very good for the most part with only a few problems with cracks in the outside areas and many enemies getting stuck in the surrounding objects (which also causes them to drop after their death on a square where you can't pick up the health packs they mostly lose). Overall a very good level that gets slightly impaired by the lack of camera hints and not well worked upon sounds. 65 minutes." - manarch2 (02-Jan-2015)
"I found this to be an enjoyable and more unique Nevada adventure: Lara starts in a poisonous tank and her first order of business is finding the antidote, and evading the guards until she can find some weapons. She will be dodging lasers, making new criminal friends, and eventually discovering an alien ship. There are quite a few elements that carry over from her original adventure in Nevada, but the level is different enough so it didn't feel like playing the same adventure. I have to admit I didn't expect a level in this challenge to be as substantial as this one was. The texturing and lighting is good, although sometimes places are a bit dark and there are a few missing textures. The biggest flaw of the level is the sound - somehow the sound effects got corrupted, in particular the flame emitters are very strange and loud, and I had to mute the game around them. I found 7 secrets in two hours." - SSJ6Wolf (01-Jan-2015)
"If there were restrictions placed upon the construction of this truly epic adventure,I certainly couldn't see them.For a single level,I spent an unbelievable 3 hours 45 minutes within this;but the explanation for that is fairly simple:there were almost no camera hints anywhere,despite there being seemingly a hundred different levers and switches to activate.As a consequence,I spent absolutely ages running around the huge and labyrinthine environments trying to work out what each and every one of them did.I'm certain there were plenty of doors unopened by the time I reached the Finish Trigger,but there was no way in hell that I was going to retrace my steps in order to find out why. It also didn't help that,for around half the level,you had no guns with which to get rid of the numerous foes wandering around.Yes,it was a good idea to have escaped prisoners do the killing for you;but this,combined with the general feeling of not knowing where you were supposed to go next,did little for me other than cause frustration and make the adventure feel more of an obscure plod than the thrilling adventure it was surely intended to be.Which is a shame,as the storyline is superbly developed throughout the level;and builds gradually (via a plethora of beautifully crafted locations) to a marvellous Finale inside an Alien spaceship.There is undeniably a wealth of exploring and puzzling to do,but I would recommend waiting until the Walkthrough is published before plunging into this complex environment. As far as every other category is concerned,this is an undoubted triumph.The atmosphere is potent;the lighting and textures are absolutely first class;enemies are superbly placed,while objects are incorporated masterfully into the environment.Actually,it's all brilliant.Which makes the exclusion of camera hints all the more annoying,as (with easier to follow gameplay) this should have been a contender for straight 10's.Regrettably,I deducted points because of it." - Orbit Dream (30-Dec-2014)