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BtB2015 - Beyond the Labyrinth by Mman

Adrian 10 10 10 9
DJ Full 9 10 10 9
Drakan 9 9 9 9
janachorider 9 9 9 9
Jay 9 9 9 10
JoeTheCrazyGamer 10 10 8 10
Jose 4 9 10 9
Josey 8 9 9 10
Magnus 8 9 9 8
manarch2 9 9 9 8
MichaelP 9 10 9 9
Mytly 10 9 9 9
Phil 10 10 10 9
requiemsoul 9 8 10 10
Ryan 9 10 10 9
Tolle87 10 10 10 10
totizedger 9 9 9 8
Treeble 9 9 9 9
release date: 11-Oct-2015
# of downloads: 175

average rating: 9.17
review count: 18
review this level

file size: 114.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: Rome/Greece

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Reviewer's comments
"Again, a level I couldn't finish by myself, and again, finished thanks to G&D savegames. The first timed run was totally impossible for me; and near the high place with the gladiator in the small terrace with the spikes I should grab a cracked white pillar, shimmy around two corners and jump back to another cracked pillar, after dozens of tries, Lara never landed on the crack behind and always falls to her dead. But let's not fool ourselves: the remaining gameplay is quite good and this big level is fantastic in all aspects, texturization, atmosphere, architecture... So it'll be always worth to take a try. Only got disoriented at the very end, trying to find the finish trigger." - Jose (17-Oct-2017)
"Being a huge fan of Mman's speedruns, I was really looking forward to play his level.In short, it's very fun to play and very hard to review.As soon as the opening flyby ends, you will recognize the builder's trademark style.It's full of huge breathtaking rooms with several levels, each one built in the elaborate way so that you never have a feeling of emptiness.Just imagine this - You have one big temple, which is built on top of huge underground cave with the lake, which lays on top of another flooded temple.Such a complex architecture with marvelous results!It would be interesting to see 2D map in the editor because this might be the unique case where the level takes more vertical than horizontal space.So why is it so hard to review?Well, it's mostly because most of the enjoyment comes from the architecture itself.Feeling that you get while scaling those huge places and slowly progressing towards the top is wonderful and it's something you have to experience yourself.Physical tasks that you have to do are very complex.One wrong step and you are burned, impaled, cut or crushed.Unfortunately, the difficulty might drive some casual players off.Even the walkthrough can't help you much, you will usually know exactly what you have to do at all times, but you might have trouble doing some jumping sequences, especially if you want all secrets which are very hard to get even if you know how to obtain them.Having that in mind, it's a good thing that there are not much enemies.There are few of them, just to fill the gaps and in my opinion it's a good decision due to the nature of the level.Texturing, lighting and the overall atmosphere is great.You can really tell the difference in ambience between temples, underground areas and some huge lava zones.Every part has it's own background theme and camera hints are always there.Maybe I missed one or two more flybys, especially because those rooms were great opportunities for it.There are ten secrets and all of them are very difficult to get.You will have to do some elaborate speedrunning tricks (not glitches, fortunately) and make some very tight timed runs.I got 6/10, so at least I got half-reward which you get for 5+. Overall, I strongly suggest to everybody to play this level to the end and not to give up.It can be frustrating at times with it's physical tasks, but seeing all areas is worth every second.For my taste, this hardcore level is a masterpiece in every aspect and it has become by far my favorite in BtB15 (although it's before playing the winning level which I save for the end).Highly recommended." - Tolle87 (23-Sep-2016)
"God, what a level. This is another level that experienced players will be in their element with. Not to mention the secrets, labelled as "expert". Many adrenaline inducing tasks where you need to be on guard at all times. Another top level for me." - Ryan (05-Mar-2016)
"I haven't played many greece levels before so i don't have much experience with these. I must say that i really enjoyed this level very much as i love a challenging raid. There are 10 secrets to find and they are mainly for the more seasoned players out there as they involve pixel perfect jumps, tight timed runs etc that may very well be too hard for some players, if you miss some of the secrets then the builder has made it possible so you can collect them later. Texturing is mostly well applied, lighting is sometimes very impressive and at other times a bit flat. Gameplay is very enjoyable and much about platforming which is what i like the most, i absolutely loved the falling sword/spikes sequence where you have to run on all the spikes tiles to move on while avoiding to get penetrated by spikes which will happen if you do it wrong. Enemies are nicely placed so they can deal great damage to you. I wanted to give gameplay an 8.5 but gets a 9 because it was very enjoyable even though there were no puzzles. Highly recommended!." - totizedger (14-Jan-2016)
"This is possibly the most classic one of all. A huge buried organic cavern stuffed with only a little dose yet of very focal-point objects will make you remember everything from this level. Usage of surrounding geometry and transparency close to perfect, as well as the secret system. Even though I missed none of 9 included I cannot express how grateful I am for the given opportunity to go back if I did. The map is filled with fitting, belonging life (and un-life) and is quite challenging but nothing is insanely hard and if it a certain trap might be problematic there is often more than one way to pass it, for instance there are alternate slower shimmy paths left for cowards allergic to rotating blades like me. The spike arrangements, no two alike, also call me to take my hat off but I lost it on a night forest walk with Fiodor... so I have no hat... and I will get cold this winter... never mind. SUMMARY: Could look better and lacks some revolution in gameplay but apart from that it's really epic and enjoyable. Would also do good if the topic was Nordic or Roman." - DJ Full (31-Dec-2015)
"Like the other 'labyrinth' level in BtB 2015, this level too features two labyrinths for the price of one. Fortunately, the first one is so tiny, it barely presents any challenge, and for the second one, you have your trusty ball of yarn to help you through. There are no real puzzles in this level, but I didn't even notice their absence while playing. The gameplay focus is strongly on platforming, timed runs and traps. While even the regular parts of the level are far from easy, the difficulty is cranked up to eleven for the secret quests. Apart from the first one, nearly all the secret quests are experts-only challenges. Some of them had me pulling out my hair in bunches - jumps like the ones required for the sixth secret give a whole new meaning to the phrase 'pixel perfect' (literally - I actually had to emulate the exact position of Lara's feet in the video linked in the walkthrough in order to set up the jumps). Still - getting all the secrets felt like an amazing achievement. The secret quest takes up so much of the gameplay focus, it's a bit hard to discuss this level without taking about it. If you miss even one of the secrets, you don't get to experience a tough multi-boss fight at the end, or get Pandora's Box - it's a bit of a damp squib for Lara to go through all that just to get a pot of honey, which is all she gets without all the secrets.
The level looks pretty nice. While there is not a lot that can be considered eye-candy, and some of the big empty halls and caverns feel a bit bland, there are several very impressive areas, such as the huge cavern, the tall multilevel room that forms the hub for the last third or so of the level, and the fire traps area. Lighting varies from rather flat and colourless in some areas, to dark and atmospheric in others, and brightly orange in the fire traps area.
Overall: A exciting, challenging level, even if some of the jumps and timed runs are a little too tough at times. Recommended, especially for adrenaline junkies." - Mytly (31-Dec-2015)
"Normally I would avoid any level with the word 'labyrinth' in the title, but this is Back to Basics, so sometimes sacrifices have to be made. So when Lara decided that, hey, there are already archeologists exploring this labyrinth but I should probably do it instead because I always take such care not to disturb anything, I reluctantly tagged along. And I'm glad I did. Eleven levels into this year's competition, this is easily the best so far. It's a level that is more based around action and platforming than puzzles and exploration, which makes for a very fun 75-minute romp. Puzzles are brief and to the point and you always know where you need to go. Most of the challenge comes from getting there, and there are a lot of large rooms where you'll have to perform a lot of death-defying leaps as you climb ever upwards. To add some extra challenge for veteran players, there are ten secrets to find. Most of these (a couple of them require you to find semi-hidden switches) are easy to spot, but require some acrobatic feats to reach. It's a fun extra challenge - I don't usually bother with secrets, but here I actually went to the trouble of getting all of them. The reward you get for finding all of the secrets is pretty lame, but they still felt worth getting - I like secrets that aren't just some ammunition hidden in a hole somewhere. While you're performing your death-defying leaps, you'll do it in a good mix of smaller and larger rooms, the latter of which usually take good advantage of the extra space. All of them are textured well, and there are some nice touches, like the luminous plants in one room. Caves feel organic and temple rooms are colorful. Overall, this is a very well-designed level - even if there are *two* labyrinths (don't worry, they're mercifully small). And, of course, the whole thing ends with Lara collapsing the whole temple behind her, to the sound of the world's smallest thud. But that's okay. Probably no one else wanted to explore the labyrinths anyway." - Magnus (30-Dec-2015)
"Do you think you are an expert in TR? Well, if you play this level and pick up all the secrets, you really are. I'm sorry to say that I am not! In fact, this excellent level was very bad for my self-pride, and the recovery will come slowly. Yes. Here we have no puzzles. Here we have no kindnesses. Here we have no lovely prettiness. Here there are only challenges and traps. This is a level for athletes who want to meet an athletic and acrobatic Lara. She will use all her athletic abilities to pick up all the secrets, and if, and only if, she succeeds... she will fight an entire host of the worst enemies as a premium! Do you like this prospect? Then begin to play the level, if you dare! The constant religious music is a little irritating, perhaps, but surely the level has its own beauty and novelties - such as means to go back to three different points of the map, in order to try again to pick up a forfeited secret. And it is also well built, varied and interesting, a big testing room for expert skills. Don't be afraid, try it!" - Josey (30-Nov-2015)
"Level mainly for experts, especially to retrieve the secrets where there are many challenges. The best part is when we need to get the cog. But this level is very large with 2 labyrinth parties. This is a good level with many difficult jumps and a final who sounds a bit far-fetched. We can return to the hunt for secrets in the end. Reserved for experienced players." - Drakan (21-Nov-2015)
"The things you do just to get a honey pot. This is another BtB level that likely only the more seasoned raiders will enjoy and appreciate. Because it is one hell of a ride - even without the designated secret quest, which is clearly marked to be for experts only and that is exactly what these are indeed. The main gameplay also revolves around often unobvious actions and jumps that may take a few attempts to figure out and hence this level probably will have the biggest discrepancy between net and gross play time in the competition (it certainly had for me). The whole architecture is large scale and functional to require you to find your path up and around and down. Often times it is either burners or spikes and falling swords that make your life harder as well. The actual maze at the end is quite bearable and the boss fight is only for those who do work their way through the secret quests - but it is certainly worth doing that. I enjoyed this ride greatly from start to finish, even though I did curse loudly more than a few times. The toughest part for me being that timed run for the second secret. A very unique adventure and certainly one of the top levels of this competition. [96 min, 10 secrets]" - MichaelP (18-Nov-2015)
"What a level... there are indeed many huge areas to discover, and all of them are very carefully designed. Only one of the high rooms (where you place handle and head) is a bit too functionally constructed IMO, the rest is very realistic and beautiful to look at. Texturing is quite cleanly and often cleverly applied (some walls aren't perfectly divided), the lighting creates mysterious touches and is sometimes very effective, but it's definately too often too flat and there's probably not a sun in each room. The gameplay is very enjoyable, mainly consisting of very long platforming sessions that are often highly original (e.g. the use of the delayed spike tiles) and challenging enough, while the hardest bits are reserved for the ten excellently hidden secrets that even allow an additional weapon and the entrance to a bonus area - very good stuff, especially since the secret hideouts are quite visible and the difficulty is how to reach them. The enemies are also very professionally used in this game and their placement also makes up for a challenge. Perhaps there could be a few more intriguing puzzles to round up the good feelings about this level, but even so it's a fantastic raid and one of the best levels of this year's BtB. It took me 55 minutes to reach the finish trigger." - manarch2 (12-Nov-2015)
"This is a truly remarkable level that took me two hours to complete, although it seemed longer than other BtB levels of greater length. It has a near perfect blend of complexity, beauty and difficulty and appears to be the work of a design engineer. The tasks required to progress are hard enough, but as an added bonus there are nine expert figurines that when collected allow you to access bonus areas (five give you heavy armament mid-game and an artifact that you keep until the end of the game, using it to open a gate leading to the receptacles for the other four figurines). There's so much environmental variety that you get a fresh look every time you enter a new area. And there's no required backtracking that I recall, even though you end up in the same place where you began. It's hard to believe that this masterpiece was conceived and executed during the few short months of the competition. It deserves the highest honors." - Phil (10-Nov-2015)
"Another fantastic level in this BTB2015 series. I love big areas and high ledges. Such creative fiendishness with the best secrets quest yet. How lovely that the builder gives you a chance at the end to go back and collect all the ones you missed! Real challenges that will test and satisfy all keen TR experts. Could well be a winner." - Adrian (09-Nov-2015)
"wonderful level.the visuals are pleasant,the gameplay is good and the search for all the secrets hard." - janachorider (07-Nov-2015)
"Mixed feelings towards this level. While gameplay flows nicely for the most part, there's just something about how it keeps throwing you upon relentlessly big areas. In the end, I myself am under the impression I only reached the finish trigger by sheer luck, as I feel like many of the mazey areas could lead to other areas equally big. While some areas look unconvincing, there are others that more than make up for it, so it pretty much evens out. By no means an average level, perhaps just not my cup of tea. Have to mention I only found one of the secrets, so I never got to the bonus areas. From what I've seen through my time here, getting to them is no easy task, so congratulations are in order if you can make it in. 90 minutes, 1 secret. 10/15" - Treeble (04-Nov-2015)
"There are some really wonderful, fun packed agility tests/traps etc., going on in this level. It's also a very nice touch on the part of the builder to reserve the trickiest tasks for reaching the secrets, meaning the basic game is accessible to most players. Even without going for the secrets, there are challenges enough to keep you occupied and the enemies are well used - I particularly enjoyed (if that's the right word) the gladiator amongst the spike traps. Some of the action might be difficult for anyone suffering from vertigo as much of it does take place in high up spots, but it really is great fun and is one of the definite must plays of this year's competition." - Jay (24-Oct-2015)
"Excellent use of the Puzzles. It is very easy to get lost in this level. A strong contender to win BTB2015" - JoeTheCrazyGamer (19-Oct-2015)
"One of my favourite levels of this BtB. The rooms are huge, impressive and intimidating. The sections platform are fantastic, the exploration is great, the secrets are very rewarding and well planned. It was sad to complete this fantastic level. Highly recommended. Difficulty Medium 70 minutes." - requiemsoul (13-Oct-2015)