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The Electric Crystal by Osvaldo

DJ Full 7 7 7 7
Drakan 9 8 9 8
eRIC 7 7 7 7
Jay 8 9 9 9
Jorge22 9 9 9 9
Jose 5 7 8 8
Josey 8 9 10 10
LOTRKingluis 9 7 7 6
manarch2 7 7 7 7
nerdfury 6 8 7 6
Orbit Dream 8 9 9 9
Phil 9 8 9 9
Ryan 8 9 9 9
release date: 12-Jun-2018
# of downloads: 73

average rating: 7.98
review count: 13
review this level

file size: 46.20 MB
file type: TR4
class: Cave/Cat

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"(6) Gameplay & Puzzles: For about two-thirds of this adventure, I had a decent time; there were no groundbreaking gameplay elements, but progression felt smooth and the classic catacombs exploration was enjoyable. Things then started to take a nosedive for me. I recall a trap room, with the floor consisting of black circles, and it was entirely trial-and-error to determine which tiles were safe (I found no clues). I wasn't a fan of this, nor the excessive and convoluted backtracking later in the adventure, which is especially disorientating if you play the adventure across multiple days. The final straw for me was the room with 2 pushable blocks, near the end of the game. I literally scratched my bum for 10+ minutes while Lara pushed. This "puzzle" was made even more arduous due to the fact that there is no indication which pushable needs to go where. Most unpleasant. (8) Enemies, Objects & Secrets: My favorite aspect of this level was shotgun blasting a copious amount of skeletons. I would have liked to have seen a final boss fight of some sort, but it's not a big deal. Some larger areas could use more object decor, but this category was done well overall. (7) Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The atmosphere is pretty average; there are some nice areas here and there, but then there's the chasm that looks too boxy, and rooms that just blend in with each other with not much unique architectural identity. This lack of room identity really hurts during the backtracking segments, as everything just blends in with each other and you get disorientated. Sounds were OK, although I noticed a few sounds missing. The builder does provide camera hints but I feel that more were needed to minimize the disorientation. For example, after conquering the trap room with the black circles on the floor, you pull a lever switch and you see a camera of a trapdoor lowering above a ladder. Since the player has never been to this area, nor do they currently have access to this area, this camera doesn't help and just adds to the disorientation, making you feel like you've missed a corridor somewhere, when you haven't. (6) Lighting & Textures: The lighting of main hub rooms is generally done well, but many side corridors don't appear to have any lighting applied to them. There is quite a lot of ugly wallpapering, too. It's just a very inconsistent category that needs more attention and care. Overall, I can't recommend this level. There are many more "classic catacomb" levels worthy of your time. I do feel like I've generally been on the positive side in past reviews of Osvaldo's levels, but the gameplay frustrated me too much here. 6/8/7/6." - nerdfury (05-Feb-2021)
"I would say this is a "middle-class" of Osvaldo, pretty balanced but inferior to his superior levels and superior to his inferior ones. I could pass it and find all secrets without a walkthrough but the puzzles and pathing tends to feel messy despite of correct resources utilized. And while I stayed relatively immersed I cannot help the feeling of the place being "correct" rather than good. I guess you may or may not enjoy it, depending on the day." - DJ Full (15-Jun-2019)
"I have to disagree with Jorge - this pushable puzzle here is nasty and tedious but there are some that take three times as much time and are much more annoying. The builder still didn't do himself a favor by including this. Anyway, I think this game is still decent overall, with exploration-based and occasionally challenging gameplay and decent visuals. There's some lengthy backtracking, also over level borders, so not all parts are nicely flowing, but by remembering where all of those puzzle holes are you save yourself a lot of time. The traps and timed runs add a bit of variation, a few more creative ideas are presented as well so overall a quite okay gameplay. The secrets are well hidden, and the enemy placement is quite effective. Atmosphere is quite solid overall with decent architecture and texturing (mostly), but lacks in terms of audio and lighting at times (there are missing sounds and the lighting is sometimes rather flat and dull, there's not a sun in each room). Some textures also are not well applied but it's much better than in Temple of Seth. A level that takes about 75 minutes to finish, an improvement in most regards over his previous levels, mostly because not everything is streched out too heavily - but sometimes this still holds true." - manarch2 (12-Oct-2018)
"I quite enjoyed this well thought out set of Catacomb levels. There were a couple of things that somewhat slowed the pace down (extremely tedious push puzzles and overlong backtracking) and I could well have done without them, but it's otherwise solidly constructed and the textures are pleasing to the eye. Aside from the slow parts, the gameplay is otherwise fast- moving and constantly entertaining, despite the occasional overwhelming size of some of the areas. The flying crystals were neat touches, and the skeletons are easily dealt with thanks to the numerous explosive ammo pickups. The only stopping point was near the end, where a door did open after the torch puzzle, but I found that I missed one so I went back to light it and I was on my way again. Enjoyable." - Ryan (04-Oct-2018)
"Huge question: which Tomb Raider game includes the most boringly annoying push-puzzle sequence? Easy answer: The Electric Crystal. And builders who plan to do that kind of thing should definitely include a savegame so they could spare us the excruciating torture of the said puzzles. Now that I got that off my chest, I must add I really enjoyed this set of basically two Catacomb/Egyptian levels for all the rest of it. Really, even though I wasn't in awe, I had a lot of enjoyment (despite the major and sometimes confusing backtracking) playing it and thought the atmosphere was ok, the secrets were easy enough to make everyone feel rewarded, the other puzzles, exploration and general action were pretty good (I loved destroying all those pesky skeletons as well as the insects turned into blue-ish lights) and so were the textures, the lighting and the architecture as a whole. It's a rather long adventure but quite varied and very much worth it (excepting the said pushblock puzzle). I do recommend it without a doubt, especially if a save is added for that part." - Jorge22 (21-Aug-2018)
"Not very agree with the other reviewers, certainly Osvaldo is an experienced builder and this couple of levels are solid and well designed, without bugs, well lightened and textured and with a lot of tasks to accomplish. I found enough flares, medipacks, ammo and extra weapons too, and the secrets are not very hidden. But I still don't like very much his style; yes, I like the old levels and the classic tasks, but I think there is excessive backtracking here, leaving always closed doors behind and dead ends so you need to go back to the same places many times running always long distances and jumping between levels; even more there aren't creative puzzles, and all is based about jumps, timed pads and switches. The three movable pieces puzzle I found was really a torture, tedious and boring, dragging the pieces long distances over a very winding path more than half an hour; and I don't want you to say more if you choose the wrong tiles to place the pillars... Better play it following the walkthrough." - Jose (14-Aug-2018)
"An amazing long classic-type TRLE of around 2-3 hours, with a lot of nostalgic factor involved. The gameplay is mostly entertaining with rare occasions of overusing pushables. At first it may seem that too many skeletons were used, but I honestly enjoyed the quantity. Good atmosphere, texturing and arquitecture, but a lack of excelent lightning, rendering lara many times a 2D texture feel (lack of sun bulb!). Cameras were used when necessary and the sounds were perfectly timed. I recommend this TRLE for everyone, specialy those in need of a step-back in time, to the old TR4 days." - LOTRKingluis (09-Aug-2018)
"a well rounded Catacombs adventure , that will take you at least 2 hours to complete the first time. Solidly built , it offers easy raiding , rather varied with exploration and ennemies , a few easy traps , a bit of jumping and swimming and some puzzles , but mostly this adventure is pedestrian. Atmospherically wise , texturing and lighting are well achieved in some places , and in others more variation would have been welcome ; regarding the lighting of some rooms it is nonexistant , i don't mean too dark but there is only the ambient lighting with Lara not appearing in 3D. With more time spent the author could have designed even more pleasant surroundings. Anyway well done with no glitches , this adventure built with the basic Catacombs was and tga with a few additions/modifications could with a doubt appeal players who enjoy easy/relaxing raiding." - eRIC (25-Jul-2018)
"A very enjoyable level, with good light, perfect catacomb atmosphere, well placed music and enemies, and a laaaarge environment for exploration, with many backtracks. I liked very much the crystal bats, and not so much the long time the spirits took for exploding around the bird statues. There are a lot of skellies, but the right weapons for them are also readily available. It is not very hard to find the secrets. I was puzzled to find a trapdoor closed on a secret, when it should have been opened, but afterwards I discovered that it was necessary to shoot four skellies and some sets of bones after climbing a pole, in order to open the trapdoor. A little tricky, that - in fact, I had left skellies and bones well alone; my Lara ran and grabbed the pole to go down after picking up the item, and only returned, sighing a little, when she found the closed trapdoor. In resume, and though the pushblock puzzles could be a little more gamer friendly, a level that is not difficult, and is certainly recommended for all raiders." - Josey (21-Jul-2018)
"It must be a measure of how long it is since I played a traditional catacomb style level as I found myself really quite in the mood for one and this is pretty good. It might have benefited from a little 'tidying up' here and there - less backtracking and definitely less shoving puzzle pieces about - but the overall experience is good fun. It has an old school look so I was a good half way through the game before I realised that Lara would vault out of crawl spaces. The only 'modern' touches, if you will, were (I assume) re-textured bats that look like small horsemen's gems. If you like catacomb levels and don't mind a lot of exploration then I can certainly recommend this one." - Jay (15-Jul-2018)
"This builder has certainly heeded the reviews of his earlier releases to give us a classic Egyptian raid of the Olde School that's head and shoulders above his first two efforts. Most important to me, the lighting here is impeccable, and there were few if any occasions where I had to use a flare. There are two separate but interlocked levels that are visited in alternate stages, and total playing time is about two hours (three for me, since I was writing a walkthrough while playing). Gameplay is fun and fairly easy, and my only real gripe would be all the backtracking that's required. Some builders tend to allow steady progression in a level, others make the player go back long distances to perform tasks in previously-explored areas in order to open up new areas. I prefer the former philosophy, but that's just me. There's also an extended pushpiece puzzle near the end that would be sufficiently excruciating even if you knew where to place the first pushpiece (after that it's pretty straightforward). But on the whole the builder has come a mighty long way, and I'm looking forward to playing his other recent releases. Recommended." - Phil (01-Jul-2018)
"2 connected levels. It will be necessary to make several round trips in the 2 to find the puzzles and the keys necessary to arrive at the end. A long tedious passage with pushable to place in the right place, many skeletons but we find the shotgun pretty quickly to get rid of it. Some bats turned into jewels. Nice level for a return to the roots of tr4." - Drakan (19-Jun-2018)
"Goodness me,this 3 hour level (split into two for the sake of practicality - but really one huge area) teetered on the brink of bloatedness;but the constant variety of puzzles and challenges managed to successfully keep it moving. You're broken in gently,with an extremely simple door-opening exercise - but the builder relentlessly ramps up the difficulty level from there on in.Not that the puzzles are ever particularly difficult;but the solving of one will invariably open up another part of the level,until it becomes a sprawling expanse which needs to be traversed repeatedly.Camera clues generally do the best they can (although it never helps when you're given a glimpse of a room you've never visited before);but it's something of a losing battle,when you have so many rooms to potentially revisit and struggle to recall the location of. Everything looks slick and well put together,though;so it's no hardship to wander around.The rooms are decently textured,and atmospherically lit;while enemies are well placed,and keep things spiced up nicely. The pushable puzzle sequence in the latter half of the level dragged on (pardon the pun),and the timed challenges were fun;but this is all about exploration,and having a very good memory.Those who enjoy exploring an extremely intricate and sprawling (but well connected) map,will enjoy this.Nonetheless,perhaps the builder might consider toning this element down in future levels;as his belief that 'bigger must always be better' isn't necessarily the case." - Orbit Dream (13-Jun-2018)