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Fragments of Destiny - Episode 1 - Laras Home by Reggie

Ceamonks890 7 7 8 9
DJ Full 6 8 8 8
Gerty 6 7 6 6
Jason L 7 5 6 5
Jay 8 8 9 9
John 7 6 7 8
Jorge22 8 7 9 10
Jose 6 7 8 10
manarch2 4 7 5 7
MichaelP 5 6 7 9
Orbit Dream 7 7 8 9
Phil 8 8 9 8
Ryan 7 8 8 9
Sethian 4 5 4 5
the_legend 9 7 8 8
 
release date: 22-May-2019
# of downloads: 159

average rating: 7.20
review count: 15
 
review this level

file size: 197.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: Home
 


author profile(s):
email(s):
trsimmons2012@gmail.com

Reviewer's comments
"As a habit, I strictly play home levels only by the walkthrough, as I find the typical search for the next task, then search and then search some more gameplay quite infuriating in most of them and this one would actually have been no different. With the walkthrough at hand though, it obviously has a nice, fast paced flow to it and is at least endurable. What stands out right away is the very modern look and feel due to the texture choices and some effort on lighting, unfortunately the architecture that goes with hit ruins that effect again with the rather huge and bare rooms of the mansion. I would never have found either of the two secrets by myself and found these rather obscure. The use of the shovel (twice) is kind of ok and so is the one small puzzle with the three underwater levers. I did not need that rat plague in the maze but it was easily escaped from and the hang glider sence was fun. Not sure what to make of the purely optional, yet still timed obstacle course. More could have been done with that one. In the end, it felt like yet another home level (yes, I really do not like them, sorry), at least with some better looks though and over after about 30 minutes - if you follow the walkthrough at least..." - MichaelP (05-Jul-2021)
"this mansion level is interesting but also can be very confusing if you dont have a walkthrough handy, visibly the house and gardens are looking very good with great textures and lighting. a lot of the rooms in the house seem to be a bit large and empty but id say you spend more time outside exploring, finding objects to use and places to use your shovel, this level really needs more camera or lara look hints especially when theres a few passages hidden behind textures or things you had no idea you could shoot but i did enjoy some of the puzzles which i found interesting to do in a mansion level, like filling and draining rooms to reach new areas for example. there is lots of guns and ammo to collect but no enemies to shoot at as the rats and bats just disappear by themselves, i missed having a few more traps but i did enjoy the music and atmopshere of it all. The 2 endings: one finding the gate key and the other one using a hang glider from the roof was a very good idea and a great way to end this confusing but enjoyable manor" - John (13-Jun-2021)
"I was out of the loop for a while when it came to the TRLE world, and only recently decided to get back into it all. In my absence, I noticed that last year someone decided to post a review under my name for this level, either by accident or with intent. It described the level as 'stunning, rich, and mood evoking' and gave very high points, something I would only do if I really loved it. So, of course, I had to check it out eventually and decided to write a real review since the other one was thankfully removed.

This level is a very dull take on Lara’s Home from TR2/3. Sure, these sorts of levels are always a dull take of this most-favorite-of-all locations, but this one stands out due to how buggy some of the setups are and also how bad some of it looks. The gameplay is a bit boring and I found myself wandering around looking for something to do, based on how the original manor is setup in TR2/3. I then ended up trapped in the hedge-maze, escaping scarab-rats while some sort of Lady-Gaga-meets-Beetlejuice-music played. I had to check the walkthrough to find out I was meant to have a puzzle item, and that I could get out of here by crawling through a texture – the author then proceeds to use this method a lot: passing through vine-textures. I think it’s okay for that one secret, but cheap for the rest of the gameplay. I couldn’t get the combat simulator in the ball room to work, and I kept trying to figure out what kind of salad Lara was going to make with the ‘Sterile Dressing’ she found in her kitchen. The only real bit of gameplay was a rather unpleasant underwater switch puzzle that had you filling and draining some underwater rooms. All the guns, ammo, and access to Lara’s armory was nice – but what is the point of it all if the combat simulator doesn’t work?

I realize many other reviews claim that the saving grace about this level are its visuals. I beg to differ. Yes, there are some new objects and lots of new high-res textures. Lighting also, isn’t terrible. But, put together with the blocky room geometry of the LE, all of it ends up just looking like a bad combination. The textures are so detailed sometimes, and the leaves so colorful, that it almost feels like you’re on a drug trip. It ends up feeling plastic and fake applied to the harsh lines of the standard TR2/3 map. Then, we have really detailed meshes such as those gorgeous knights in the ballroom, but the simple TR2 harp is not far away. There is just a lack of aesthetic consistency here. Furthermore, rooms, if they have been changed, have only been made gargantuan and no longer feel realistic, and these overly detailed brick, stone, grass, or leaf textures have then been applied with a non-stop wallpaper effect as if the builder just hit the ‘texture floor/ceiling/wall buttons’ without doing anything to break it up.

There really isn’t much that I liked about this level, except the Easter Egg of the original Core design team on Lara’s bedside table, and the idea behind this Episode 1. Yes, there is a great idea here and big dream on the author’s part: Expanding the entire Spear of Destiny storyline from TR5, and I got the connection between his choice of using that TRA Pierre object to pretend to be Charles Kane from the Russian levels, plus the books on the spear that were on the desk close by. If one reads the storyline given in the description it also sounds good. It’s just a shame the author released this manor as his Episode 1 – of all levels. Had this rather pointless manor visit been paired with a real location from his planned mega-project, it might’ve not stood out as such a glaring problem. If anything, it shows us that flashy new textures and a bit of Meta2TR here and there do-not-a-good-level-make. I hope he continues the Spear of Destiny project somehow, perhaps releasing the entire masterpiece in full someday, but that he gets some beta testers who can test the thing properly and also give him honest feedback and critique." - Sethian (14-Sep-2020)
"This is a first level by Tom and you roam around in a huge almost empty mansion. After running around for a while I got the feeling that this hasn’t been tested or he didn’t listen to his testers. Some invisible blocks were there for Lara to bump into. Some indication when Lara did something would be nice, so you have inkling what was going on as most of the time I had no idea. Then there was that overload of weapons and nothing to really shoot. Textures and lighting could be a tad better as well as the collision of objects. Talking about objects. I had some seriously lagging going on when the object of sunrays was used and in the room where you found the shovel. A bit strange also is when Lara used the shovel she throws it away but it still is in her inventory (which is wise as she needs it more than once)." - Gerty (17-Jun-2019)
"Gameplay: A really nicely planned and good riddle. A lot of detail was put into it. It took me a while to solve which gives a good amount of playtime. I liked the modified layout of the manor which had a renovated upstairs. Objects & Secrets: I liked the additions to the classic WADs such as the shovel and the tree stone, there was also a shootable statue and hidden crawlspaces. An item was hidden in a bush which I thought was quite funny. A couple of items though were out of scale, such as the desk and the bookshelves. There was a small collision issue with the front door where the right half couldn't be walked through. Atmosphere, sound, cameras: Overall I thought this was pretty good, there were enviroment sounds such as birds, as well as water sounds or fire sounds. It seems that the sound has been missing from the stereo in the manor though. Lightning & Textures: I really liked the textures, they are really detailed and of high quality. You could tell a lot of them were made specifically for the level. The lighting overall was ok, I however noticed near the piano that it seem to come from the ceiling instead of the window." - the_legend (13-Jun-2019)
"I never liked Lara's home levels, but it's only my taste. This time, even when there are new rooms and the texturization is very good, it's basically the same: a mansion level. Even more, and despite of the texture hints, it's not easy to know where to use the shovel, and the phantom walls were never a good feature for me. On the other hand, the level has a very good look, well ornated and lightened; there are not difficult tasks and sometimes I found shortcuts to save time; even the more than one way to finish is to be thankful. But as I said, no more than another mansion level not very entertaining. Anyway we all have to value the effort of this author. We'll see the next parts of this adventure." - Jose (07-Jun-2019)
"Certainly one of the better House levels,this is somewhat longer than most (it generally utilises areas outside or beneath the building itself);and incorporates generally well-judged gameplay. Nonetheless,the textural indications of what is diggable or not are fairly vague;and you can easily end up on the top of walls when you're not supposed to. Against that,it must be said that the 'wall run-up' was actually rather fun;the lever puzzle,creative;the accompanying animation to the crowbar was entertaining;and the garden area,pleasing. Best of all was the 'Crystal Maze' Timed Run;and the Hang Glider sequence. Lighting was vibrant and colourful;while having the textures in HD gave it a gloss unlike that found in most other levels of this theme. Objects and secrets were creatively placed;and the level is overall a relaxing and entertaining excursion inside a familiar location." - Orbit Dream (04-Jun-2019)
"I know it's only Lara's mansion, but I actually quite enjoyed this little journey through it. The gameplay is admittedly mostly nothing we haven't seen before (although with the addition of a couple of nifty puzzles and wall jump movements to somewhat extend it), but it surprisingly manages to be rather entertaining and makes the time spent here worthwhile. The high definition textures and lighting also definitely work in favour of the looks department and this version looks very attractive indeed. The various animations are neatly done, and while it may be better to wait for the full version of the game to be released (if it eventually does), it does serve its purpose of introducing you to what you could expect in the future." - Ryan (04-Jun-2019)
"This is quite a well-done maiden effort. We have the same Lara's home that we've encountered many times in the past, but the upfitting has been vastly improved and we don't spend much time inside anyway. The gameplay can get a bit obscure at times, which is why I needed DoggettTV's video walk to guide me along as I prepared a written walk. There are no enemies you can shoot, so I assume that the scads of weapons and ammo you acquire along the way are intended for use in future levels. And while we're on the subject, I suggest that the builder dispense with the use of funky names for the weapons and other pickups. I do just fine with shotguns and medipacks, thank you. There are two secrets in this level, but I saw little sense for the second one. You have to use unorthodox means just to get there, its acquisition is anticlimactic, you don't pick up anything and I didn't check to see if anything was added to my inventory. With TombTitan's tip in the trophy thread I used the hang glider, got the second secret and finished the level on the motorbike without having to save and reload. A nice effort, not at all typical of a "house level." Recommended." - Phil (03-Jun-2019)
"Definition of this manor level is very HD (leaves look good, bricks look bad) and usually highly custom, but in a way which doesn't make objects feel out of place. What I appreciated the most is probably the best manor shortcut I've seen, leading back to the main hall after the garden part is solved. That garden addition is really neat on its own, but it only lasts for few minutes which simply isn't enough when 80% of the map is the same as always. Also too bad the execution very often lacks basic testing - you can notice wrong audio triggers, some missing sounds and sometimes you can't tell an intended parkour from a wall which will lead you out of bounds. So in the long run this level cannot really defend itself compared to master manor levels, and so far it's optional only, so let's just call it a beta and take the real attempt in the upcoming full version." - DJ Full (02-Jun-2019)
"A house level with nice (custom) object and texture placement, but frankly spoken I don't quite see why this level has put some reviewers in awe like this. The architecture is more or less copied from the TR 2/3 version, even more simplistic at times with less rooms to visit inside the manor, and the gameplay also never gets exciting. Okay there is a decent lever puzzle and some more gameplay around the cistern part (including decent usage of the wall jump move), but else than that it's little more than you can expect from some standard home level. The textures are well chosen and give this level a more unique look and feel, but they are not always well applied - there are several streched and squeezed wall segments and brick textures not matching their neighbours. Minor cracks in the lighting are also noticable, as well as unrealistic usage of lighting (especially outside) or very bland areas, but still it manages to feel quite solid most of the time - as well as the texturing. I just wished there were less occasions where you see the end of the world, especially because of the wall jump, but also because towards the end of the level, the builder has apparently done things in a rush - otherwise the existence of the wall glider is not explainable as well as the option to walk at the edge of the map at the final street area, let alone the shortcuts - e.g. I never found that "combat simulator" the builder has promised. All in all it would've been a welcome addition to a level(-set) with some actually new design, just like the manor levels have been to the original TR games, but as a standalone there's not enough happening here to justify the "episode 1" of the title. Found two secrets in 20 minutes." - manarch2 (30-May-2019)
"This is a most handsome version of Lara’s mansion and pleasant to explore. You can practise her new wall climb moves on the assault course if you wish or just wing it and use them as and when required. There are some good animations during the level and it was fun to use the crowbar to demolish brick walls. The gameplay is fairly straightforward but entertaining and, despite finding a generous supply of fire power, no enemies turned up, but then this is obviously intended to be the first part of a series. I shall certainly be interested to see how it progresses as this has real promise and the world beyond the mansion gates looks beautiful." - Jay (29-May-2019)
"A home level. There, I said the obvious. No enemies (unless you consider the mice and the bats), much exploration (not always very fair) and a few different endings, namely the one with the glider (no problems, you can get back inside and get your stuff from the armoury plus the bike and get out again into the distance. I really liked the textures/architecture and the lighting. The moves that one's not so used to, well, one really has to realize they're there but after that it's easy. Finely balanced in general, I thought. Hence, I'll be waiting for the rest (hoping there actually is a continuation)." - Jorge22 (26-May-2019)
"Despite some fleshed-out new areas to explore with a few solid puzzles and multiple different gameplay approaches to creatively conclude the level proper with Lara's more expanded moveset(complimented by some high-quality texturing, lighting, object placement, ambiance choices and charming little environmental easter eggs), this is still the Core Design manor map at its core(no pun intended). And as such, I feel the strength of this release could have been bolstered further if there was at least one more map, to demonstrate more of the builder's own unique vision. But regardless, this was a very impressive debut and I look forward to the next episode. Keep it up Tom!" - Ceamonks890 (25-May-2019)
"Very colourful level where we play in Lara's manor. First thing I noticed is the strong lighting everywhere, which I found kinda akward. Also, not really a fan of realistic textures in TRLE... they look good tho. The gameplay was fun, I loved the part jumping around Croft Manor roof and then descending with the hang-glider. Btw, in this game we found some cool weapons, but there's no enemies!!! The author definitely has potential, this level was like a preview of what's he/she's capable of. I'll wait for his next project. Keep it up!" - Jason L (24-May-2019)