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BtB2015 - A Big Fat Greek Adventure by TrueRaider

Bene 9 10 10 9
DJ Full 9 8 10 9
Drakan 10 10 10 10
EssGee 9 9 9 9
janachorider 7 8 8 8
Jay 8 8 9 9
Jose 6 7 8 9
Josey 10 10 10 10
Magnus 6 6 6 6
manarch2 7 8 9 8
MichaelP 8 8 10 9
Mman 8 9 9 9
Mytly 8 8 9 8
nerdfury 6 7 8 9
Orbit Dream 9 9 10 10
Phil 9 9 10 9
Relic Hunter 8 9 9 9
requiemsoul 9 8 9 9
Ryan 9 9 9 9
Tolle87 8 8 10 9
Treeble 9 10 10 10
release date: 11-Oct-2015
# of downloads: 166

average rating: 8.68
review count: 21
review this level

file size: 98.80 MB
file type: TR4
class: Rome/Greece

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"(6) Gameplay & Puzzles: This level looks very polished and lovely (more on that later) but I'm sorry to say that most of the gameplay rubbed me the wrong way. The last 1/4 or so, in the realm of the gods, isn't bad, and there's a nice multi-level pushblock puzzle there that I think is the gameplay highlight. However the city exploration just wasn't fun for me. There is so much potential to be running around in circles if you don't follow a walkthrough. Something that really really grinded my gears: let's say that the player isn't following a walkthrough step-by-step, and then they get to the "shoot 7 bells task", after plenty of running around in circles around the city. I appreciate that the builder does inform the player how many bells need to be shot, but at this point it's likely that the player will do EVEN MORE running around in circles, wondering where they missed a bell. I'm just not a fan of the gameplay's pacing. (7) Enemies, Objects & Secrets: Very few enemies, which is fine. The builder does include some traps in the underground area, however, I think it's "too little, too late". I think it would have been much better if traps had been sprinkled in throughout the adventure, so as to improve the overall flow. The object decor is very nice above ground, and weaker underground. Some large underground rooms seemed empty and missing objects. (8) Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The outdoor atmosphere is of a very high standard and I think the strongest aspect of the game. You really feel like you're exploring a little Grecian seaside town. Underground, the atmosphere is still good, but not equaling the high standard set by the outdoors. There are a good number of polished and immersive flybys as well as camera hints to show doors opening. However, I do think that the player needs more camera guidance at the beginning to help with identifying objectives, and to limit the potential for disorientation when exploring the city paths for the first time. Music/sound cues are done well, although there is no tense sound cue for the timed run on the roof. (9) Lighting & Textures: This was done beautifully; especially the lighting. The texturing is lovely, too, although I did notice some cracks and unclean texturing on triangular tiles. Overall, I am sorry to say that I didn't have much fun with this level, and I think the pacing is not very good. I would still recommend it to players who like exploration-focused levels, and are fine with following a walkthrough step-by-step. 6/7/8/9." - nerdfury (19-Aug-2022)
"Very laborious work to build this huge level. The first part is not very entertaining, 'cause it's too not lineal and the player needs to run around all the entire city several times with serious backtracking; evenmore, look for all that bells was not a funny task for me. The second part is more interesting, with all that traps and more enemies, but the provided ammo was not enough to fight with all them so I had to deal with giant and powerful enemies only with the pistols; it was ridiculous. At least I had enough medipacks. All in all a level playable and enjoyable." - Jose (15-Oct-2017)
"I had a really good time in this level. It's a great looking city and exploration and gameplay mostly made good sense. The only exception being the search for the seven bells for which I had to get some assistance locating them all. I liked the lever and push block puzzle and the reveal of the crypt beneath the church. In keeping with its comedy title reference there is a fitting stroke of brilliance when Lara makes a 'dramatic' return to the stage of the theatre - I loved it! Good music choices, well lit and great texture selection gave me a satisfying feeling of exploring this waterfront village - so enjoyment factor = high; and at a sensible length for BtB." - EssGee (04-Jan-2017)
"This is one of those levels with wonderful authentic city which, by being authentic, tend to lack action and variety.Architecture and overall look of the city is indeed marvelous.The only thing that could have been a little better is the lighting which almost doesn't change throughout the level.There are pubs, water channels, apartments and especially the church which is not only great looking with it's beauty and cross-shaped shining window, but also serves a symbolic practical purpose.It gives you a tool to do what you have to do and afterwards it rewards you for your success.So, what's your actual goal?Well, apart from classic searching for items, you have to shoot 7 bells scattered around (actually above) the city.That means you will constantly hold looking button and desperately watch between tall roofs.If you have played some other BtB15 levels, you know how awkward the look button behaves get the point.Add the fact that city is big and disorienting, it really tends to be frustrating at the times, especially because you won't be sure which bells you already shot so you'll often shoot the same one several times with very limited revolver ammo.(Un)fortunately, I've found a place where you can reach the top of level boundaries (from silver secret location) so I actually managed to see the bells from above the city so it was easier to find them later from the ground.There is also one pretty obvious unintended shortcut that looks like a regular path so it leads you to a place where you need certain item that you don't have.I understand and appreciate building masterpiece, but instead of enjoying the trip, you are forced to keep looking at the sky.Fortunately, after you shoot all 7 bells, you get some excellent tasks in final part of the level where you have to pass some deadly traps, solve some clever puzzles and finally shoot something other than the bell. Overall, although it's not my type of level, it's certainly a worthy one with it's relaxing atmosphere and beautiful city, with some variety near the end.It's more for casual raiders, but everybody can find something for himself here.Recommended." - Tolle87 (04-May-2016)
"Most of this map is set in a well realised town setting, it's a convincing design and there's a decent amount of variety throughout. The later parts in the temple feel a bit simpler though, and while still good they don't match the standards of the first part. The overall design is relatively compact and it makes great use of space, including some nice overlapping later. On the other hand like with the visuals the second part feels a bit less interesting; there are some nice traps, but it's more linear, and some areas feel a bit empty of gameplay. It's all solid but it feels like it's lacking a stand-out moment, and while a great map that stops it from being a favourite for me." - Mman (29-Mar-2016)
"Another high standard entry here. Exploring the sights of a seaside village, a church and a temple. Nice and appropriate audio too, as well as great gameplay, atmosphere, lighting and texturing. Excellent." - Ryan (03-Mar-2016)
"Another one when a very realistic seaside town is followed with "just" a good palace, but I simply admire the camera work in this one - it's a pure masterclass. "Good... Goooood..." [imagines emperor Palpatine walking downstairs just before he's thrown down the shaft] "Feeeeel the power of the flybyyyy cooooone..." Ehm. I bet the bell puzzle could disappoint many but at least Apollo made it clear you're supposed to hit seven bells, and nothing else happens until you do. In one corridor in the palace some traps which weren't there on the first run appear from nowhere on the second, implying major chance of death by surprise. But this is a single point while the rest makes sense. The finale comes in a proper boss fight and all the artifacts we need are supplied to the theatre. Nice. It's only a pity the palace is so small and so short, and - again - the prologue takes much more. Secrets... well they are useless and unlock nothing - NOOOOOOO!!!! [imagines Luke hanging in the cloud city shaft, together with the rest of TRForge crew]. SUMMARY: Mesa likes [imagines JJ Binks in any JJ Binks moment]. Mesa found an illegal way through half of the map but it didn't take a bit of fun. If this is not immersion, what is?" - DJ Full (31-Dec-2015)
"I don't know what qualifies this adventure as 'fat' - Lara looks great for her age - but maybe it's really meant to be interpreted as 'cool'. Do kids still use it that way? Either way, I think it's a bit of an exaggeration. You'll spend the first two thirds of this 45-minute level trying to make it into a theater so you can help some actors get some magical artifacts for their play. This part of the level is fairly non-linear, and you get some streets and surrounding areas to explore at your leisure. It's compact and, with a few exceptions, things aren't too hidden, so it's not too difficult. The layout is a bit on the confusing side, though, with a lot of winding paths, so even near the end I still wasn't sure which paths led where. Eventually you have to shoot some bells, and that's a bit more annoying, although I was grateful that the author actually told you that you needed to find and shoot seven bells, rather than expect you to find one bell in some random place with no hint whatsoever, like certain other authors, who shall not be named (mostly because Back to Basics is anonymous). Other than the exploration, there's really not much to the first thirty minutes of this level. I don't think there are any enemies whatsoever and I don't recall any traps. There's some light platforming and one short timed run, but mostly this part of the level is for people to whom running around the streets of a Greek village looking for the next thing that needs doing seems like a good time. Things change in the last third of the level, as you finally make it into the theater and are transported into a temple. While you do get the choice of two paths, it doesn't matter in which order you play them and they're both completely linear. There are some actual traps here, as well as a few enemies (but only like four or something), so this is more action-focused. For better or for worse, it pretty much feels like a completely different level. But don't expect to spend a lot of time here, as you'll finish up this part within fifteen minutes. The level looks okay. The texturing is pretty good and there are a few nice outside rooms. The temple is functional, but looks a bit dull. After finding the three artifacts she's after, Lara flies through the sky and lands back in the theater. I thought that part was kind of cool. Or fat, as the kids might say." - Magnus (30-Dec-2015)
"Another perfect game, at least for me. It begins smoothly enough, in a pretty Greek village (not too labyrinthic), without enemies, puzzles or traps, where Lara has to find two masks, one of which requires the finding and sounding of 7 bells to make an appearance. The search for these bells is the only boring thing in the whole game, but is more than compensated for the posterior happenings. After the finding and placing of the masks, Lara enters a theater, is transported to an ancient Greek temple, and then, only then, the real action begins. We have a well done levers/blocks puzzle, a very difficult sequence of rotating blades and buttons, a somewhat difficult room full of spikes, a sufficient pack of enemies (I don't like that boss of monsters at all, but at least he is not very tough), and last, but not least, a lovely fly using Mercury's slippers. Perfect! I'll also remark that the levers' room is quite breathtaking, with that thin curtains of water falling and the slanting, delicate sun rays... Congratulations!" - Josey (28-Nov-2015)
"A very pleasant level with some of exploration but not too much. The most difficult is to find the 7 bells. Level well balanced and accessible to all." - Drakan (21-Nov-2015)
"And with this level my BtB 2015 journey comes to an end - and it does so on a high note indeed. I simply loved the sense of place in this adventure, with the many nicely crafted locations that put the package to great use - tavern, wine cellar, a touch of Venice, market place, a nice church, a theatre and then the temple where all the action takes place. The first part of the level is a lot about exploration, so you need to keep your eyes open and your sense of orientation to not end up searching endlessly - especially for the 7 bells you get to shoot. Once you end up in the temple it all shifts to action: lots of traps and enemies encountered here, but all rather manageable and entertaining and not overly frustrating. The secrets were maybe a little on the easy side and there was little too much back and forth in the village for my taste, but overall his level is superbly convincing in how it is crafted and a worthy finale for my BtB journey this year. [57 min, 3 secrets]" - MichaelP (18-Nov-2015)
"The first part of this level is a nice leisurely stroll through a Greek town reminding us all of Venice. A great deal of exploration with a need to spot seven bells in different locations. Once the theater is found Lara is transported to a temple area constructed with traps and enemies everywhere with little or no time between challenges. To again return to the theater Lara puts on flying slippers creating a magical moment. Great atmosphere both in the town and the temple. Recommended for all as the more demanding traps just need to be studied as to timing.....with a bit of luck, that is." - Bene (11-Nov-2015)
"What a splendid adventure that was! From the detailed exploration of the beautifully designed seaside town (which channeled something of the ambience of the BtoB Venice levels);the hunt for the seven bells;the best use of a church in a custom level - to the pacy final 30 minutes avoiding traps and killing terrifying enemies,resulting in a charming 'flight of fancy' - this was a delightful two hours.The gameplay was full of variety and immensely imaginative,albeit erring slightly on the 'easy' side with most of the tasks (plentiful though they were).Object placement was charming;lighting and textures were perfect;while the use of sounds was adorable,leading to a delightful atmosphere throughout. Without a doubt a leading contender for overall Winner - although,in common with most of the other entries this year,somewhat longer in duration than the remit required." - Orbit Dream (08-Nov-2015)
"great level.gameplay and puzzles were okay,but the atmosphere was good." - janachorider (05-Nov-2015)
"Another clear winner in the BtB competition. This one has just the right mix of gameplay and ambiance, and the action is nonstop for the 1:21 it lasted for me. The traps and enemies grow increasingly more difficult and plentiful toward the end, and the armament is just barely enough to keep you alive unless you happen to be playing in god mode. The magnum is provided, but only with enough ammunition to shoot the seven bells that must be located in order to make a needed artifact materialize. I liked that touch of the mercurial slippers near the end. This builder has a soaring imagination, and has used the Grecian package with great effect. High recommendations." - Phil (04-Nov-2015)
"After playing this I thought it could be from the same builder as Little Santorini - the gameplay style, use of enemies and secrets and also many locations with a similar atmosphere. The storyline is somewhat... different, but I liked how it unfolds in the game. Exploration in the town, especially the quest for the seven bells, is nicely constructed, even if there are no real puzzles or challenging tasks - those are more to be found in the underground section towards the end of the level. Still I felt that a little more could be up to this level with relatively few really creative moments. The atmosphere is really spot-on, the town is quite complex in its design and really oozing atmosphere, while the inside areas fall slightly behind - they are a bit flatly lit and boxy. The camera and music usage is good and overall the way the level is designed really appealed to me. The texturing is clean, yet I didn't like several not so nicely clashing textures (different floor/wall textures are too seamlessly put together) and there are a few lighting cracks as well. Overall another good entry in the competition that lasted 30 minutes for me, with three not very hard secrets found." - manarch2 (04-Nov-2015)
"Lara not only has to earn her access to the theatre, but also find pieces to enrich the play set. The city itself seems a bit mazeish upon first sight but it's fairly easy to navigate and finding the seven bells only took one trip around town, so that's a plus for me. Inside the ruins properly said you have two miniquests which are also on the easy side but still fun nevertheless. Not quite my most favorite entry in the competition, but a contender for the top ranks, I'm sure. 70 minutes, 1 secret. 10/15" - Treeble (04-Nov-2015)
"Call me picky, but I'm not sure I'd fancy drinking in a bar that can only be reached by water - at least not without a handy boat! Lara clearly hasn't heard about the dangers of swimming after having alcohol. Anyway, she's visiting a lovely spot and obviously in a holiday mood to explore and indulge in a little campanology. Of course, being Lara, she doesn't bother with bell ropes, she just shoots the damn things. This is a really fun level, alternating between the initial sunny, enemy free holiday setting and the altogether scarier environment she gets transported to half way through the game. Then the action switches from exploration to enemies and traps. It's a most enjoyable mix of gameplay and I must say the animation with the winged sandals is one of the coolest things I've ever seen Lara do." - Jay (24-Oct-2015)
"The establishing flyby at the beginning showed a lot of promise, and the other flybys in this level show that the author has a talent for good cinematography. The builder also has a talent for making a very polished and entertaining adventure as well. Exploring the town of Karastraki is a well-paced affair of traversing the charming environment and searching the areas for items, performing through a nice timed run, and ending in a sequence of finding seven golden bells scattered throughout town to open up the theatre mentioned in the story. I know that fetch quests aren't exactly praised by all players, and while the Karastraki section is mostly about finding puzzle items from area to area and figuring out where to go next, it's done in a non-frustrating manner that made for an enjoyable first half of the level. Each section of the town has a unique atmosphere as well, from the canals at the beginning with the fancier buildings, to the inner areas that look more residential, and the impressive church with its mystical chanting. Things take on a more occult turn inside the theatre, as Lara ends up in a mysterious Greek temple. The gameplay become more exciting in the temple section, offering traps to evade, another timed section, a break with a pushing puzzle, and some harrowing baddies to take down. That variety of tasks keeps a similar pace as the town section, fluidly guiding the player from one place to the next. While the architecture inside the temple was rather boxy, the author makes up for that weakness with a good sense of lighting. I felt each area had its own aura to it without being overbearing. At the end, the entire adventure is nicely wrapped up as Lara re-emerges in the theatre with the props for her friends through a cool remodeling of the zip-line object. Another solid entry, and with twenty-two entries left to play I feel I'm only scratching the surface of what the levels contain!" - Relic Hunter (18-Oct-2015)
"One of my favorite levels of this BtB. A perfect equilibrium: puzles, action, platform, traps, exploration. The bells are very well hidden. A very enjoyable map and highly recommended. 80 minutes. Difficulty:Medium" - requiemsoul (13-Oct-2015)
"This level is split into two parts: the town of Karastraki and a 'mythological place' (some ancient temple or palace, apparently). The town area that comprises the first half of the level is nicely built and quite atmospheric. I especially like the church, with its huge cross-shaped stained glass window, and the theatre is pretty too. The outdoor areas look good, but the interiors of the houses are a bit ugly, as they're covered in a mishmash of non-matching textures. The mythological place is quite pretty, though architecturally not very ambitious (lots of square rooms).
Gameplay in the town area is somewhat unimpressive, and mostly consists of a bunch of fetch quests: I spent a huge amount of time wandering around the whole town looking for the items needed to get the two masks. The quest for the 7 bells isn't bad, though, and the timed run for the sword of Perseus is fun. At one point you have to climb onto an invisible ledge (which I managed to grab only by accident). The mythological place features slightly more ambitious gameplay, with a nice set of traps and timed tasks in one area, and a decent pushable puzzle in the other. The moving blade trap really should have been deactivated after you pass it, as it caused the screen to shake constantly throughout the remainder of the level.
Enemies are fairly well used, especially in the final boss fight. In one case, an enemy drops a key on the floor which is practically invisible due to the texture of the floor. There are 3 secrets in this level, but I didn't manage to find any (there were certain doors that I couldn't open, so presumably the secrets were behind those).
Overall: There is room for improvement in this level, but on the whole, it's a pleasant level and was a good way for me to begin the BtB2015 levels. Recommended." - Mytly (13-Oct-2015)