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The Lost Secret of Egypt by Mehrbod

Casual Raider 9 10 10 10
Ceamonks890 5 4 4 4
DJ Full 6 7 9 5
Kubsy 5 5 5 5
nad 10 10 9 10
Ryan 9 8 9 8
Sabatu 5 4 4 3
Sylwia 9 9 9 8
Teone 10 10 10 9
TimJ 2 4 5 6
Wolf7 9 8 10 7
 
release date: 18-Dec-2019
# of downloads: 342

average rating: 7.20
review count: 11
 
review this level

file size: 1,761.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: Egypt
 


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

Reviewer's comments
"TR4 with new interactions, but much less immersion. I know it was to be a feature showcase but did it really need a downgraded Cambodia, downgraded Valley, downgraded Karnak, downgraded Venice, downgraded Tutorial... I eventually paused in the downgraded Cistern because my rating is possibly maxed and it might drop if I keep playing. If you are a learning builder then see the first chapter for science. For casual players, this is absolutely NOT recommended." - DJ Full (11-Oct-2022)
"Well, first let me say that I do truly appreciate the efforts that have been made to provide some kind of unique experience. The technical skills required to come up with such a mod of TR, even accounting for TRNG, are remarkable. However, being a good programmer or tinkerer doesn't make you a good game director, game designer or actor. There is no real artistic vision in this level piece, almost everything is a blatant copy of Tomb Raider 4 or other custom levels. I've got the feeling that the author tried to mix together a bunch of things he found cool without wondering for a single second if those things were indeed cool or if they matched together. And he's certainly convinced of his excellence, as he's put his name everywhere he could, like during the install process or in the save/load screen. He went so far as to crypt every file in the game in a MMK file (which are his initials), if you play an audio file in your favourite media player, you will enjoy "The Lost Secret of Egypt OST by MMK" (though some of the original composers are mentioned in the mp3 tags, not all of them are, for example Nathan McCree is absent), but no credit is given to any of the source or inspiration. This is something that deeply bothers me. There is absolutely no readme or credit file that lists the people that have contributed to the game nor the source of texture and sound files, BUT when you're installing the game there is a EULA you need to agree to where it is said that you must absolutely not reverse engineer what has been done. I think that is some intellectual dishonesty. The Tomb Raider Level Editor Community thrives only by sharing with one another and if we want to continue being able to build amazing thing and revolutionize our possibilities, open source and honest citation is the way to go. As for the game itself, as I said the technical skills are noteworthy, but the actual execution fails on almost every points. Levels are a lazy recreation from those of TR4 with no real thought given about level architecture, texturing or lighting. It's basic gameplay in its most boring form. The cash shop is overly complicated with the sequences of keys you need to activate and it only appears for a few seconds so you don't have time to decipher exactly what the icon means. By the way, almost every icon, even if not done with paint, still are pretty bland and don't really share any cohesive theme. The accumulation makes the whole interface look ugly. The animations are clunky. For example in the new walking animation you can clearly hear that the footsteps of Lara don't follow a regular tempo (tap, tap, tap, etc.) but make a peculiar rhythm (tatap, tatap, tatap) as if she were limping. The sound quality for custom sounds and voice is really substandard. Better recording material would have been needed. Regarding voice acting, I don't want to discourage or be mean to the people who volunteered to play characters, but this was rather mediocre. Voice acting is a job. You can record some lines for an amateur project between friends, but if you want to release something and advertise it as a great level series, you need to do better (some have done so: e.g. it was just right in the UUB series from Richard Lawther). All in all, this is a very amateurish project that is advertised as a great game by an awesome genius when actually it is not even worth giving it a try. And as a side note, we also could have done without the proselytism." - TimJ (27-Jul-2022)
"Now here is a massively controversial game and there are indeed a few reasons. Now first and foremost, this is unlike any of your typical custom Tomb Raider levels out there and it's definitely a unique experience. The additions of the various difficulty levels to suit different raiding preferences, the trophy system, the unlockable prizes, the menu system and the ability to purchase ammo all make this a production like nothing else and for that reason alone it deserves to be experienced. I also appreciated the fact that there were some neat twists on familiar Tomb Raider puzzles which kept proceedings fresh and interesting (despite the majority of the surroundings eerily resembling the original Last Revelation game), while the atmosphere is on point and sound cues well used). What could have been worked out a bit better were: 1. A few of the boss battles could have been fairer to the player, particularly at the end where it was a case of "too many cooks spoil the broth" and I'm sure the whole clone-shooting exercise would have been better if it was trimmed down. 2. The key combinations to activate the "shop" was a bit inconvenient when being accosted by enemies. Maybe being able to pause the game and get the items you need would have been fairer. 3. The textures and environments are somewhat imbalanced in that some of the temple rooms and courtyards are quite impressively built, but others look rather plain. 4. I'm not entirely convinced by Lara's odd foreign accent as it seemed rather jarring, but you have to make allowances I suppose. Overall, an impressive piece of construction, which does require a fair amount of perseverance but is ultimately worth playing. P.S. difficulty rating is based on the Set is Merciless difficulty." - Ryan (31-Aug-2021)
"This game has sure been quite controversial for some people, because of how different it played compared from other TRLEs and the fact that it had some maps that were part of Tomb Raider 4. I like to think of this game as an overhaul over the original game, that will not achieve the same results but does manage into providing its own bright sides and darker sides.
My 9 in Gameplay comes from the overall features the game has to offer, you can actually replay the game and actually have cheats, actually replay that with a timer limit, this game surely had the most solid and amazing structure I have ever seen and it just testifies on how this engine is still capable of amazing things. What stops me from giving a ten is the fact that there is indeed few levels that are original and not modifications and the original levels (with the exception of the Temple of Door and the Water Temple) are not really too worth sitting through.
I gave a 8 in Enemies Object and Secrets quite frankly for the secrets and the overall different outfits you can achieve if you play the timed runs, objects usage is quite hit and miss, but most of the times it is pretty decent.
I needed to give a 10 in atmosphere and now listen carefully why, there are some levels in the game that have such an amazing atmosphere and fog usage that it blows away whatever other level that does not look good at all. The Water temple, the Temple of Door the senet level I forgot, all of these have this immersive atmosphere that truly, truly is worth seeing.
Lighting and texturing is quite hit and miss, the game is pretty hit and miss but the hits are kind of enjoyable and thus they did made my experience a lot better to be completely honest.
This game is quite hit and miss and a lot of people might pass this for the not extremely user friendly being and its being a re-imagination of the forth Tomb Raider game. It sure had some amazing features, it is a shame the author has stopped so soon, he could have achieved more, if he looked beyond the people who did not like the game and spotted the positive criticism that sometimes people give. The author kind of knows better what I am referring to. Wolfy Regards." - Wolf7 (11-Oct-2020)
"The Lost Secret Of Egypt by Mehrbod is... well... Tomb Raider 4: The Last Revelations, yes you’ve read right. From the beginning, I was quite excited when this levelset has been finished and published but when I was playing it, I was quite disappointed. Mehrbod implemented quite a nice menu with extra features such as: gallery, achievements etc. Which I was quite surprised as nobody in Trle has been able to implement such things. However, the game itself is copied from Tr4 with some changes. FMV are exactly the same as in Tr4 but with rather bad voice acting. While I was playing it I noticed how Mehrbod tried to implement places from other Tomb Raiders, for example: the venice-like area in one of the Karnak levels. However, they were poorly executed as they were quite empty or didn’t suit to the environment in my opinion. Also the levels in „Cairo” levels went off-topic as apparently Lara entered labs instead of the city itself which is strange. In conclusion, I am a bit hesitating with this levelset, because I know what Mehrbod was trying to do (Show us the technical advancaments that can be done with Trng) but was copying original Tr4 really needed? Not trying to bash Mehrbod but I’ve expected better." - Kubsy (09-Oct-2020)
"Well, I do not know what to say. This game reminds me of Tomb Raider IV a lot. Tr4 heavily inspired many areas. No doubt about that and if you doubt about it, there is the level order which is similar to TR4. Of course except for SecretBase Levels. I like new gameplay mechanics. Some textures were excellent. But many areas were empty, and in my opinion, the lighting and some textures did not make a sense. For example, the marble floor used for a swimming pool. Or green light or any different colour absurdly used in certain areas. I understand that the author has a particular idea and he may not like my sentiment, I know how it feels when you create something that you like, and you think that the area or level is impressive and after that, some people can tell you. I love it, or It's beautiful, or this doesn't look very nice and even: This looks like a ****. I have compassion for this feel. I am not saying this is a bad game. Definitely not! But I think there should be more care for the overall atmosphere as for texturing, geometry, or something that fills the room. I couldn't understand why some used textures did not fit at all to the Egypt location. I won't give 10,9,8 nor 7. this review is my opinion, and I won't give the highest points, because other people love it and gave it 10. I am not like that :). And my conscience is pure. But still, I am looking forward to seeing another level or project from this author." - Sabatu (10-Feb-2020)
"In this Custom the builder has used his own programming so we have access to new functions such as new moves for Lara, time trial or internal store with ammunition and medipacks. Even though time trials are not my type of entertainment, I liked the idea of the store. It's convenient to be able to buy ammunition when it runs out, especially when basic pistols don't have infinite ammo. There are many opponents but they are well placed, so the elements of the shooter are not boring. The final fight is particularly epic and hard, I played at the highest level of difficulty (there are three: low, medium and hard) and it was not easy to beat the boss. Game is long, there are many levels, some of them are inspired by the original ones. There are also cutscenes, so that the story is told in a consistent and understandable way. Gameplay is great, cool puzzles, a lot of exploration, Tomb Raider at its best. I had a great time. Music & texturing is ok, lighting could only be a little improved. For a debut level it's better than good. Recommended." - Sylwia (09-Feb-2020)
"Well, what can I say, an outstanding game. Altogether there are about 25-28 levels to play. I had 16 statistic screenshots in total. But there were many more levels to play. The level builder has designed a complete game with many new elements that you can use. Very different from the other custom levels. You can choose between three different levels of difficulty, so there is something for everyone. I decided to go for the hard version and I don't regret it, because here the player is confronted with one different challenge than you know from other custom levels. After defeating enemies and get your reward (cash) you have to convert this money into ammo or medipacks very fast, otherwise it is gone down to 1.500 bucks. The counter knows no mercy. But you shouldn't think that you can only equip the best weapon. The ammunition per weapon is limited. So, regardless of the other challenges, this is one that I really liked. That’s what gives it that extra something. Except for "Security Area" everything fits perfectly into the Egypt scheme. Very good textures, the music fits perfectly to the environment and the gameplay leaves nothing to be desired. “Temple Of Kom Ombo” and "Water Temple" were for me definitely the best in this game, but you can say the same about almost all the others. All in all a very successful Egypt level which together with the excellently designed cut scenes reminds very much of TR 4. If you like that, you are well served here. Highly recommended." - nad (07-Feb-2020)
"This multilevel set is an amazing showcase of a new game engine which brings many additional features to the traditional one. There's a circular main menu, like in Tomb Raider Underworld. Furthermore you can enable the autograb feature, you can use the mouse to rotate the screen view, you can choose to play in easy-normal-hard difficulty, you can unlock bonus and new outfits for Lara... and many other features never seen before in a custom level. I don't know if this will remain an unique work or it will be the first of a new trend. In any cases it deserves to be praised not only for the technical innovations but also because it's enjoyable to play. The story is a tribute to TR4 and it's similar to the Core Design game in many parts, but there are also original parts which are in my opinion the better ones. For example, in "The Water Temple" Mehrbod proves to be a very interesting designer, not only a programmer. I only suggest him to work more on the lighting because Lara's model often appears flat. I forgot to say that this is a debut level, so hats off to this builder." - Teone (05-Feb-2020)
"Going through the installation process anew (now that a quality-of-life ‘patch’ has been made available for adding back in basic functionality, options for welcomed streamlining & a number of bugfixes among other things to make it a properly playable release at long last), this massive debut levelset still doesn’t look or play like something which took three whole years to make nor does it justify the custom installer & ridiculous filesize. In retrospect, it just leaves me confused with all the high praise it has gotten within the community at large, which frankly feels unwarranted, disingenuous and generally undeserved. For all the ambitious gameplay additions and comprehensive design ethos at its core, The Lost Secret of Egypt is still severely brought down by its biggest flaw. And that my dear readers, is more or less as a shameful prime example of unabashed, thinly-veiled plagiarism. If Mehrbod had chosen to be more upfront and confirmed that this was actually his attempt at remaking TR4, the final result likely wouldn’t have resulted in so much controversial in-fighting and mixed opinions throughout the TRLE community, speaking as somebody who had to deal with all that venomous vitriol and hate first-hand to the point I needed a decent break from it all temporarily. But since he didn’t and claims otherwise in the provided download materials, I feel its in my best interest to inform potential players of what to actually expect going in. Level design is largely just amateurishly-recreated takes on TR4 maps which primarily consists of lifeless environments that feel way too big for their own good (with thoughtlessly-handled texturing, object/enemy placement and lighting implementation to match, typically being either very unfitting or out-of-place entirely). And while there are a couple of maps that veer away from ripping off TR4 wholesale (such as High Security Area or The Great Pyramid of Giza, with the latter being a level map ripped straight from MagPlus’s ‘Egyptian Dream – Tutorial’ without rhyme or reason for its inclusion), they all have a sense of being noticeably detached in terms of logical location consistency from the rest of the game, still suffering from a lot of the same significant issues regardless. Sound generally doesn’t fare much better in this regard either, with music choices from a wide variety of sources making the natural atmospheric tone of given levels schizophrenic. The voice acting is also greatly unconvincing, with a noticeable lack of proper vocal inflection or appropriate character accents in the performances which would have helped to better immerse players in gameplay & story events. But in its current state, it only serves to create a further disconnect between the player and what’s happening on-screen, proving increasingly detrimental to the experience as a whole (with copy/pasted cutscene animations and inconsistently altered FMVs from TR4 which ultimately feel half-baked and lazily implemented). And while I can forgive the actors in some capacity for their lack of experience in English voiceovers, what I cannot forgive is the dreadfully-written dialogue script which tarnishes a lot of the characterization, subtlety and nuance that TR4’s plot originally had (with the Kurtis levels feeling especially out-of-place, given you never see him again after the tutorial levels and the lines he says, are things most males would never say to one another in real life). So why include him at all and establish this relationship with a faux Von Croy or act as if he’s always been an archaeologist, when you only play as Lara after that? It only serves to degrade Kurtis’s established character by removing all of his unique traits & backstory previously established by Angel of Darkness. And for what? To turn him into even more of a Lara clone? Nothing about Kurtis’s overall inclusion in the Lost Secret of Egypt makes any degree of sense. But I suppose Mehrbod didn’t want to make the plagiarism too overtly blatant, if he had chosen to use Young Lara for the tutorial sections instead (as the dialogue in these scenes still feel like they’ve been written with Lara in mind). I would go more into the gameplay side of things. But as has become a common theme during the course of writing this review you’re reading now, it isn’t very well thought-out. So I think its time to wind things down and avoid utter redundancy in what I have to say. So in conclusion, there is an impressive demonstration of technical ingenuity on Mehrbod’s part here. But ultimately, its brought down on all sides by questionable design choices as effectively nothing more than a lesser version of Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation without the loving care or creative spark that makes it such an engaging experience to return to over 20 years later. So save yourself the wasted data and venture elsewhere for more original levels which are genuinely deserving of your time. Or better yet, just play TR4 again and wipe this accidental mistake from your memory altogether. I do hope Mehrbod comes up with his own ideas for next time, if he intends to follow up on that implied continuation of this debut in future." - Ceamonks890 (31-Jan-2020)
"Really nice experience during playing levels. Some really new things mixed with classic TR feeling, felt like turning back in time. Levels are beautiful, textures and lightning are well placed, music is great. Nice idea of purchase of weapons, different types of difficulties, menu, checkpoints. Lots of features in one custom. Gameplay was pleasant most of the times. Personal opinion? Loved Water Temple as it reminded me of Tomb Raider I. Disliked level with levers and spikes, in my opinion too much unnecessary backtracking. Two first tutorial levels should be optional, they were a bit off and gave me the wrong feeling of whole adventure which is really nice. There were very few moments that I found too difficult but overall levels are rather balanced in difficulty. Though I have feeling it could be better it still is really nice and well-made custom." - Casual Raider (14-Jan-2020)