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The Training - Episode Zero (Revised Version) by Dnf Productions

DJ Full 9 10 10 9
JoeTheCrazyGamer 10 10 10 10
Jorge22 10 10 10 10
Killer Gameplayz 10 9 9 10
manarch2 8 10 10 9
Nicky 9 10 10 9
Nomad 9 10 10 9
Phil 10 10 10 10
Ryan 10 10 10 10
Samu 8 10 9 9
release date: 25-Mar-2016
# of downloads: 204

average rating: 9.63
review count: 10
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file size: 461.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: nc

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Reviewer's comments
"This is definitely one of the lengthiest custom level sets that I have ever played, consisting of 23 levels. I generally had a good time playing it although I have somewhat mixed feelings about certain gameplay decisions. Starting with positives, I liked a lot the mixture of locations that include Brazil, Egypt, Nepal, and Venice. Even within each of these four main locations, you will find a large variety of environments to explore. For example, in Venice, you will be completing tasks in the canals, sewers, underground lab, and submarine. When the game is made of 23 levels, it is obviously important that the gameplay has enough variety to prevent things from getting boring. On this regard, the game succeeds well, and I thoroughly enjoyed non-linear exploration, platforming and timed runs combined with various traps, occasional puzzles, battles, the use of vehicles, etc. The biggest downside for me was that the game can be often unfair by featuring pushable blocks, shatterable walls/floors etc., which blend to the environment either perfectly or almost perfectly. Because the levels are generally quite big, it was extremely difficult for me to find some of these things, and I often felt like trying to find a needle in a haystack. There are also times when an object is easily visible, but it is extremely hard to figure out that you are supposed to interact with the object somehow. For example, one level contains a pillar, which you have to shatter by shooting it, but the same level contains plenty of other identical pillars that you cannot shatter. I found it nearly impossible to figure out these things with logic and, therefore, I had to constantly keep checking the walkthrough. Apart from these downsides, I enjoyed the rest of the game a lot, and it would be certainly cool to see more epic level sets from the author." - Samu (23-Aug-2023)
"My my, what a beautiful level set this is! You can easily see how much work was gone to it and I am glad for every second of that, it kept me busy for quite a while and I truly enjoyed it beginning to end. Besides, the levels have realistic architecture and map design, the things I am a sucker for. Nepal's maintenance areas full of pipes and freezing waters, canals and sewers of Venice, bases in Brazil levels all show the design talent of the author. The general gameplay and tasks in the levels are realistic as well, this one is probably the most logical tomb raiding can get. The atmosphere is top notch too, especially in the level Journey to the Past, very creative idea to make the level which tells about Lara's past black and white. I won't get into reviewing individual levels as there are whopping amount of 23 of them, suffice to say they are mostly awesome. Some criticism though as usual, the levels dropped a little in egyptian levels for me, and the voice actors are same for every male character in the game, which made me think Lara's boss was giving the orders in Brazil to kill her for a while lol. Similarly the dialogues between Curtis and the boss really hurt my brain. If the author who I am assuming performed the voice acting, changed his voice a little bit it would be better. Well, truly recommended overall." - Nomad (29-May-2019)
"I seemingly neglected to mention in my review for the original version of Episode Zero that I encountered a couple of major bugs that meant that the gameplay faltered somewhat, whereby cutscenes wouldn't trigger first time around, a certain key never appeared until I reloaded and the game crashed a few times during the later Venice levels. But my gameplay experience was completely untarnished this time around, and there were parts I never even remembered here when I played the original one. The majority is still really similar to what was seen before so I won't elaborate too much, but this is definitely one of the best raids you'll play. There's an enormous variety and amount of tasks to accomplish that all possess a challenge, but are nothing insurmountable and anyone with a fair amount of experience should have no trouble here. You also journey through multiple sceneries for a much needed change of pace in the form of Brazil, Egypt, Nepal, Venice (changing characters and outfits in between) and a final Prologue in Saudi Arabia, all lovingly created, atmospheric and with great object design, containing a grand total of 75 secrets to locate for the explorers out there. Highly recommended." - Ryan (29-May-2019)
"I played and reviewed the original version shortly after it was released and had some issues with it, as documented in my review. I waited more than two years to download the revised version, as I wanted to make sure my memory had faded sufficiently so that I wouldn't feel I was plowing over already explored territory. I needn't have worried about that. This time around, Episode Zero seemed entirely fresh and new to me. What's more, the issues I noted the first time were no longer present, hence my perfect scores this go 'round. To review this epic work properly would require an extended description of each of nearly a score of levels, some of which are revisited along the way. However, I didn't do that for two main reasons: (1) I'm too lazy and (2) the final product would be so lengthy that no one would bother to read it. Suffice it to say that this adventure is on a par with any of the commercial releases, in terms of both gameplay length and quality. You get a huge assortment of different "looks," so that you never become bored with the surroundings. Some of the tasks are somewhat challenging, but I never had the need to resort to any of the savegames provided by Dutchy as part of his walkthrough. I played over a period of several months (while also playing other levels, of course), and my game clock registered right at 22 and a half hours when I finished. There was rarely a dull moment during that span, and it's games such as this one that make playing Tomb Raider custom levels such an enjoyable pastime." - Phil (28-Jun-2018)
"An epic TRLE. It has everything a good game needs and you can really enjoy it for days and weeks without ending. It's not at the very best, sometimes I felt bored and the looks are a bit behind. But there's so much else about it, you won't be unpleased anywhere! Highly recommended!" - Nicky (04-Mar-2017)
"From Brazil to Egypt to Nepal and Venice.(Swapping Characters in a few levels) Lara learns the true meaning of The Training! There's 20 well designed levels and around 12 hours of game play in this TRLE which is packed with everything a Tomb Raider Fan enjoys. Hats Off to Donald Forgues for the hard work and dedication in bringing us this awesome TRLE the Training Revised..... Killer Gameplayz" - Killer Gameplayz (13-Aug-2016)
"... and I still haven't got the artifact! Maybe in a few years time, who knows? I had much fun playing this revised version of The Training, especially because I played its first version years ago and my memories of it basically faded. My kind of game with no tombs involved really (I guess I wasn't fit for archaeology) and a fine balance between different things one can use in tomb raiding, not really frustrating. So, I haven't checked it but I suspect I may have given the first version a perfect score. The perfect score I'm giving it now reflects exactly the fun I had whilst playing it and is my way of saying both thank you to Donald and, please, won't you build the continuation?" - Jorge22 (29-May-2016)
"First of all I also refer to my review of the original game for a more detailed description. Now to the new version: Yes, there were some differences to the original release, many additions and perhaps (I obviously don't recall everything from three years ago) some more polished tasks, but giving the huge scale of the game I think if you are thinking about playing the builder's games you should only play one of the two games and ignore the other. Of course all technical elements like the masterful and varied object and texture design, the great large-scale settings, intriguing atmosphere... are still present in here, although the builder maybe could've improved the lighting and old textures a bit, but this is really a minor thing. All in all perhaps this one is the better option if you only want to play one though. Spent 11:35 hours in here and found ... no, not all secrets, I decided to not search for them the second time around, but still found 29 of them. Even with some reservations because the need of such a version is questionable, this is of course highly recommended - just as the other one." - manarch2 (28-May-2016)
"This TRLE is really awesome and it serves as a great prequel to Saudi Arabia, It was a nice touch starting lara with no guns because it leaves the player vulnerable. By the time you get to the lost island you release this game wont be easy to complete with all the Machine guns dotted around, and we get change to do a timed run for the AK47. There are alot of enemies and later in the game we get a level that seems to be a remake of TR3 gold (Lost Artifact) level "sleeping with the fishes" but called Underwater exploration. It was nice to see a flashback to laras past where we can expore in black and white and it is quite a challenging level. In the egypt levels where lara and kurtis work together it is fun to collect the scions and players may need to rush to get out because we are underwater for a very long time. Once you're out of there. Train Courtyard is also an awesome level with alot of baddies. In the venice section we get alot of fun riding around a speedboat." - JoeTheCrazyGamer (01-May-2016)
"Compared to more than two hours per level I needed for the original version, the revision took me less than one. It might be the previous training has trained me but I think the new one was really a tad easier, though I was again stuck in the u-boot and motel levels while new additions gave me extra time of confusion. I think we should all sign a petition to Michael to ban painted puzzle holes until they get replaced with 3D objects. By "revised" we also get some more lab and mine gameplay, and while Amanda's levels are visual treasure, the dig site extension is just flat, again raising a question how can opposing qualities exist in one game. This builder is just full of surprises, both nasty and wonderful, and I hope this isn't his last one, because I want to grant him with four tens at last. The rest is copy-paste from non-revised review. Ctrl+C. Ctrl+V." - DJ Full (28-Apr-2016)