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Create a Classic 2019 - In the Highlands by piano_raider

Cbl 7 8 9 7
DJ Full 6 7 8 7
Drakan 8 8 8 8
eRIC 7 8 7 6
Jay 7 7 8 8
JesseG 8 8 7 7
Jorge22 7 7 7 7
Jose 5 6 7 8
manarch2 6 7 7 7
MarlenaCrystal 6 7 7 7
MichaelP 6 9 7 6
Mman 7 8 7 8
nerdfury 6 7 6 7
Phil 8 8 8 8
Raider99 6 8 7 6
Ryan 7 8 8 8
Sponge 8 8 8 8
StormChaser 7 7 9 7
Teone 8 8 9 8
TombExplorer 7 7 8 7
Torry 6 8 8 7
 
release date: 05-Nov-2019
# of downloads: 126

average rating: 7.31
review count: 21
 
review this level

file size: 34.30 MB
file type: TR4
class: Castle
 


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Reviewer's comments
"There are some jumps Lara has to master with precision to save herself from a nasty fall. She needs to obtain a crowbar, a key and two thistle stones in the old ruins and avoid some traps on the way. The biggest danger remains falling, however, so be careful when climbing the cliffs and towers. Apart from some HQ trees and Lara's outfit, the game relies mostly on original objects from TRIII. They sure fit the setting but they bring nothing new to the table. The existing baddies could have been made more interesting by patroling an area, or following a path with some AI follows. A new addition to the set of enemies would have made the game more interesting, too. The atmosphere piano_raider has created is heavily inspired by the TRIII Gold levels set in Scotland. I like it! Especially the camera sequences at the start and at the end are nicely done! The music in the game is well known but still fits. Though, again it is nothing new. While climbing a part of the ruins high above the ground, I kinda wished someone would have played the bagpipes in the distance. The level design is easy on the eye but I believe that with a few darker corners and a couple flecks of coloured light here and there the auld texture set would have been a little more impressive." - Sponge (22-Jul-2023)
"(6) Gameplay & Puzzles: This is an easy adventure that took me a little over an hour. The exploration is generally enjoyable, and the 2 timed runs are great fun, however there's not much in terms of puzzles. There is one puzzle involving the use of a map to safely cross a swamp area. The idea is good; the issue is that the map only provides an approximation of which tile is safe; trial-and-error is still required to jump to the right tile, and this puts a damper on the puzzle in my opinion. At times, the gameplay flow seems unfocused. What I mean by this is that unless the player follows a walkthrough, or manages to spot an underwater level tucked away in an unintuitive place, they will be running around in circles in a large area, not really sure what they're supposed to be doing next. I really didn't like the underwater maze near the end of the game. (7) Enemies, Objects & Secrets: Enemy placement is good and I had a few startled engagements with the hounds. I did find it strange (and amusing) that the crows are the tankiest enemy. Object decor is attractive, however quite minimal. I recall one boulder and a flame trap and I would have liked to have seen more uniqueness/memorability in terms of trap setup. (6) Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The atmosphere is very hit n' miss. At times, it is beautiful, with convincing nature geometry and man-made architecture. At other times, it is unpolished. Examples being plenty of "end of the world" areas and paper-thin backdrops, the broken horizon by the beach, some rocky areas near the end of the game that are giant rectangles, and pools of water that seem very fake. The builder does use tense music cues for the timed runs, but music/soundwork is quite lacking aside from this. There's a nice, immersive camera at the beginning and end of the game, however I think there could have been more flybys during the adventure, to immerse the player and/or to highlight objectives. Static camera hints are generally OK, however there is one camera hint pertaining to timed run 1 that I do not think is executed well. In the church, you can either use a lever, which commences timed run 1, or find a sneakily hidden push block. The player will most likely do the former first. Assuming that they do, the camera hint that is provided is not helpful at all, and only serves to confuse, as it shows an area the player hasn't discovered. (7) Lighting & Textures: The lighting is attractive, with no overly-dark areas. There aren't many misshapen textures, but there's a lot of underwater cracks, and jarring texturing issues by the pools of water along the beach. Some of these pools have solid water surfaces, and one of these pools even has a wall of black textures, which looks very unprofessional. Overall, I have mixed feelings; there's clearly so much potential shown by the builder here, but the adventure comes across as unpolished. 6/7/6/7." - nerdfury (24-Apr-2022)
"After two years, while other CaC19 levels vanished in my memory, this one still persists as one of the more enjoyable. Wide spaces to explore, beautiful atmosphere, few enemies, good platforming and also a surprising easter-egg. An excellent recipe for one hour of fun. I regret I didn't give points during the competition, so I try to be forgiven with this review." - Teone (19-Feb-2022)
"Not the usual raid here , for the most part it offers free exploration to get secrets that sometimes are in complete other areas , or to spot a few levers that can be easily missed. More action is required with two timed tasks that are not very difficult but they are long. Enemies are well placed , it was strange though that crows are 3 times more resistant to bullets than dogs. The setting is globally well made and atmospheric , even if you can reach the end of the world in different places and the shaping of the blocks could be smoother. The builder masters well the use of sinks. Original level with replay value." - eRIC (11-Jul-2021)
"This can in theory be quite a short adventure in and around a Scotish Castle setting with included lake and river scenery, as by and large you drop in from your heli, find and master two cleverly designed timed runs that need a little bit of planning to get two thistles, grab your hand of rathmore along the way and off you go and fly out again. Along the way, you get rid of several guards and crows and that was that. But - you should really not miss out on what makes this level quite unique: The hunt for the four secrets, which are not just pickups in some hidden corner, but actually involve a very keen eye, some extra and in fact parallel gameplay that you would otherwise never see. You get to meet a mystical creature along the way which was quite hilarious and gets an extra point from me alone for its presence. So again, quite some clever ideas to be found here, packaged in a bit of a rough around the edges architecture with not a lot of care thrown in to make it look nice. About an hour of net gaming if you do go for the secrets." - MichaelP (08-Jun-2021)
"Sixth of the Create a Classic 2019 competition that I actually played, this level was a very relaxing experience.
This level tries to be some kind of reimagination of the Scotland section from Tomb Raider 3 Gold, and honestly it is was a fun ride, except some little flaws.
Talking about the graphical aspect of the game, despite the very spikey geometry and stretched textures(that are not that bad here in my opinion, they kinda feet), I wish there was some variation here and there to enhance the experience even more.
My favourite area was one of the secret areas: a wharf over the sea(where nessie is slowly swimming around), with a little brick building. I really loved the area so much.
Talking about gameplay instead, the level is honestly very nice, despite some small things like the mud-quicksand "puzzle" which requires a map texture that is everything but clear(it requires a lot of trial and error to get through).
Or the secret that requires you to shoot a guard that you cant even see before he closes a door. That was troublesome.

Overall though, the level was really fun and relaxing, and the little flaws here and there didn't really take off from the experience. Good job!

Recommended? Yes, especially if a fan of the scotland section in TR3G.

Difficulty? Easy-Medium.

Duration? Approx. 50-80 minutes." - TombExplorer (19-May-2021)
"Not easy to play this level full of very huge areas to explore where you need to look for switches and hidden blocks to move running around and around with nothing to do. The corridor with the boulder trap was really nasty and too hard for me. I liked the old enemies, the architecture and texturization; the long timed runs were doable too; but as I said, the gameplay was not very entertaining and I missed more hints and musics here and there. Not a level to play twice but take a try if you like exploration." - Jose (28-Jan-2020)
"While looking huge, this level ended up being quite short. It was enjoyable for the most part until I went the wrong path and collected the second puzzle piece after which I was set on a path that led to the end without having another piece collected. Not sure is there a way back to the main area, but I had to replay it again in order to finish the level, if not, then I'd say this was a bad design choice and having one of the multiple puzzle paths overlap with the main path should not be executed like this. I liked platforming, timed runs and finding secrets (though I haven't found all of them). While in the search for secrets, I also discovered few shortcuts, the builder should be more careful in the future to avoid having such things happen as they can break gameplay easily. While the level had certain, unique feel to it regarding atmosphere, it still looked quite blocky, it was huge, empty and filled with, in some areas, bad texturing, bad sky management (walls to ceiling connection, glitching in the distance) and lots of underwater cracks. Aside from few cameras used for hints there could've been more thrown in along with some music to boost the immersion. Overall, this is one casual level filled with some nice platforming, timed runs and few puzzles enjoyable enough if you're looking to kill some time." - Raider99 (27-Dec-2019)
"It was a hard time for me to finish this at first, cause some of the areas were pretty big and I felt kind of lost in them, I also had to look up a walkthrough for a few things. There were a lot of chances to reach the end of the world, which really broke the immerson and because of the huge and empty looking areas and the non linearity I missed an important puzzle item, so I had to backtrack a big part of the level. It would have been better if the author would have made some areas only accessable after picking up important items or would have created a shorter connection to some key areas. But not everything was bad, the author also created some really beautiful structures of a scottish castle and the assets, like textures, objects etc. were also fitting. Still it was not a thrilling and entertaining gaming experience unfortunately. The game didn't take you by the hand, so you were just there in a big place, where you had to find out by yourself where there is something to do and what there is to do at all. It took me almost an hour and I found 0 of the 4 secrets." - MarlenaCrystal (26-Dec-2019)
"Here we have yet again one of those totally confusing levels that will have you wondering why you even loaded it up so if you are up to it then get out that walk through right at the start. I would never have thought of jumping off the top of the tower without the walk through and this saved me a heap of time and frustration. As in most of these Create a Classic levels there is just too much going on. Too many passages, too many avenues to wander, too many switches to find (some of which you hardly see as the current whisks you by *hint*) and too many doors to open and when you do you have no idea where they are. The only redeeming factor was meeting up with Nessie again. Textures were somewhat faded and the whole atmosphere was clouded in mist. I found the swamp - bog room mean with no way other than trial and error in determining where the tiles in the bog were. Then please don't get me started on all the back tracking." - Torry (23-Dec-2019)
"This entertaining hour and twenty minute adventure has the same appealing look as the TR3:LA Scotland segment, yet it presents a completely fresh adventure. The builder has provided his own walkthrough (which is not completely clear in some places, forcing me to take a look at the posted video walk more than once), and with its help I managed to get all four secrets (all but one of which involve extended exploration in lieu of being carefully hidden). The timed runs are invigorating but fair. But the best part in my estimation is the nostalgic return in a TR4 setting to one of my favorites among the official games. Well into the top half of this year's CaC competition." - Phil (23-Dec-2019)
"This is a Scotland style level. The areas are quite open and have some interesting geometry (it's also nice how the castle parts link quite a bit), but they're also sometimes a bit empty and cubic with flat lighting. There are enough interesting looking areas to balance out the worse looking parts though. Object use is generally good and there's a nice tribute to the big secret of Highland Fling. The gameplay is okay, although it starts with a somewhat aimless open area before things start to get more linear and focused. There are some nice puzzles and platforming challenges, and there's somewhat of a focus on progression like semi-hidden blocks (although there are visual clues) that almost feels like stumbling on secrets. Unfortunately it's a level with it's flow ruined by one big flaw, which is that one item needed at the end is easily missable, and, if you do, you basically have to loop through the whole level again to get it (and the switch for it is itself borderline secret territory), which leaves a very bad taste at the end. That's unfortunate as it's fine outside of that issue. It's also kind of strange how the giant lake area doesn't actually have much gameplay in it. A good map let down by a major flow issue, and it has a strangely unfinished feel to the slightly odd way it comes together." - Mman (09-Dec-2019)
"A revisit of the highlands level from The Lost Artifact. While the level is a bit on the shorter side, it doesn't let you off the hook easily. Several elaborate timed runs, a very tricky boulder dash, a good amount of enemies, and long underwater sequences await you here, and it was overall quite enjoyable. There are a few details that broke immersion slightly, such as some of the water not being translucent, some stretched textures, and some poorly marked death squares. More decorative objects would help the level feel more alive and subtract from the "big and empty" feel some areas have. Overall more polishing is needed, but it still makes for a good raid. 45 minutes." - JesseG (04-Dec-2019)
"In a competition such as this, it may be somewhat hard to tell whether: a) the builder actually tried to create a game with textures and environments that make it look like a true oldie; b) the builder got a little lazy; or c) the builder can't really do better than that. I'd rather go for a) because it would make the game more clever. It's a classic alright and it even shouts out some classc trle's mistakes, such as areas that are too huge and "samey" for their own sake. Lara goes in search of the Hand of Rathmore and, on her quest, she has to face dogs, guards and crows, a few traps (I still think I got lucky at avoiding that boulder close to the end after a few tries), relatively complicated swamp areas and a couple of nice timed runs (she doesn't have to take the first but she definitely needs the second) that aren't exactly a piece of cake. I *think* that if she doesn't get both thistles she won't be able to finish the level - but - wait a minute! - that doesn't make sense. Oh... It was enjoyable but not utterly enjoyable. And, please, consider my 7 in lighting and textures as an 8 or a 9 if the texturising anomalies and too large and repetitive spaces were that way absolutely on purpose..." - Jorge22 (04-Dec-2019)
"Those lovely Scottish textures have been used to good effect in this level. It’s a huge area to explore so inevitably you will do a lot of climbing around the ruins and swimming and it’s easy to miss stuff if you’re not careful. There are some fun timed elements to achieve and, whilst perhaps not as absorbing as some of the other entries in the competition, it is enjoyable. Nice to see Nessie sailing majestically across the water too." - Jay (30-Nov-2019)
"Very large areas of research, especially at the beginning for the search of the key and the crowbar. Not easy to find the right places to jump in the mud area. Then after finding the pushables, it is more easy, with many platforms. 2 submarine labyrinths complicate the task. No secrets found. We often arrive in areas where we should not be able to go and there is even a place where we walk on water lol. Otherwise nice course in the highlands." - Drakan (28-Nov-2019)
"A much simpler and confined raid compared to some in this contest, but the exploration factor here still has its certain something. The Scottish castle setting is nicely constructed and there is enough spice to the gameplay to make this a worthwhile playing experience (I particularly liked all of the timed run sequences). The extended secret areas (a homage to the original Lost Artifact game) were also brilliant touches and well worth going for if you're up for it. Sufficiently enjoyable and a good choice for less experienced raiders." - Ryan (24-Nov-2019)
"A game that tries to be different and that is certainly the best thing to say about it. The map is fairly large and even a bit confusing, with very few things to do in extremely wide open spaces. A few more camera hints might have been helpful, but still the exploration has its certain something, even if it is fairly exhaustive after a while. On the other side there are two fairly nice lengthy timed runs and a decent swamp puzzle where you have to find the clue for the correct tiles. Platforming is high on the list and, in the non-secret path, an interesting take on a boulder trap. What lets this level down somewhat were the numerous shortcuts, some only for secrets, but some where you can skip parts of the gameplay - and indeed you can finish this level in 8 seconds. While the landscape and architecture are quite nice and texturing and lighting are done agreeably, there are a few too many end of the world moments, especially where Lara can bump her head on the invisible ceiling, and the water is sometimes not transparent looking from underwater. A few more audio tracks could've been used as well. The enemies are decently placed as are the secrets, well the last one was fairly nonsense to say the least. Anyway a memorable level that took me 25 minutes to finish." - manarch2 (23-Nov-2019)
"Sometimes boring, sometimes annoying but definitely showing the builder has a vision and a clue - interesting ruined structures invoke the need for curious, beautiful exploration through the nicely distinguishable beginning, build-up, climax and aftermath, and I particularly loved the last secret for the sense of humor included. Can't say more except "why uw maz, delet dis", since the entire thing is majorly unfinished: when I looked for secrets I found skips, when I looked for a skip I found a secret, and I even managed to finish the level instantly after the start which ensures me a 15-second glitchless speedrun is totally possible. In the end it's not a good and not a bad level, but mostly a merciless proof for the importance of proper betatesting - when I finished, my audience was so displeased they demanded another level to redeem this one (review for Sabatu incoming...). Nonetheless, I didn't say the last word, I won't leave it like this and I'm gonna give them another encounter for all the secrets I missed..." - DJ Full (22-Nov-2019)
"It’s no secret that I love castle levels and that Highland Fling is my all time favourite TR level. I’ve also been known to build the odd castle! So with that in mind I was keen to d/l and play this level and I was not disappointed. It starts off with some very impressive architecture and is quite stunning to look at. A slow wander around gets you into the mood of the Highlands as there are some impressive rock formations around. However I found the game quite confusing to play and was lost a lot of the time. The swamp was very difficult and I never found the “hint”. Enemies were not too hard and I used very few medpacks, which is a good sign. As to criticisms, there are several places were you can reach the end of the world, texturing is OK but nothing special and it’s a bit empty of items. Lighting was rather nice and it was always light enough to see where you were going. Some (IMHO) very difficult jumps add a bit of spice to the game play. Overall great level to play and I enjoyed my time spent here." - StormChaser (20-Nov-2019)
"A beautiful and ambitious level with impressive vertical architecture, wide-open sea vistas and some really attractive use of Tomb Editor’s new diagonal architecture. There are some significant flaws in gameplay design that made this difficult to complete, even after the release of an amended version with some hints. These flaws felt more like errors in understanding *how* other players might handle the gameplay rather than a misunderstanding of what makes gameplay fun - I had a great time, but had trouble progressing. These errors include minor issues such as hidden switches without logical placement and underwater mazes without guidance except trial and error, and major issues like a swamp-crossing that has only a vague hint about where to go which forces Lara to die by trial and error or the ability to reach the end of the level without the necessary items requiring a long backtrack. I think all of these could have been fixed easily with just small changes to the level layout and might have been caught with increased beta testing. As I said at the beginning of my review, the basics of the level are really promising. The map is perhaps too ambitious at portraying a realistic seaside castle, in that the wide-open view of crags and ruins on islands, while truly eye-catching, means that Lara has the ability to easily reach obvious edges of the map and walk on solid water at one point. I thought maybe this was simply an oversight, but I also found some shotgun shells in this area, leading me to think the builder wasn’t aware that reaching the end of the world would break the immersion for some players like myself. I appreciated that there were two routes near the end of the level, one suggested and one merely hinted at and requiring careful observation and a leap of faith, leading to a truly satisfying (and surprising!) secret discovery. It was instances like this that made me think the level could have been phenomenal with just a few tweaks. Enemies, including guards, ghost dogs, and crows, were alright but not very hard. Lighting was subtle but attractive, and textures could have used some additional care and rotation or alignment since there were cracks visible in places. About 1 hour to play, but took many hints from other players in order to figure out how to deal with some of the more obscure gameplay. Found 2 secrets." - Cbl (19-Nov-2019)