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A Lost Oath by Astraf

Cruzader 6 7 7 7
DJ Full 7 8 8 7
eRIC 5 5 6 6
Jay 7 8 8 8
JesseG 6 9 9 8
John 8 8 8 8
Jose 8 9 8 9
Lizard Queen 7 7 9 8
nerdfury 4 7 7 5
Phil 8 8 8 8
Ryan 7 7 8 8
Sethian 6 6 7 6
 
release date: 11-Aug-2020
# of downloads: 156

average rating: 7.27
review count: 12
 
review this level

file size: 92.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: Castle
 


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

Reviewer's comments
"The game is brief, simple and manages to get correctly puzzles, secrets and combat. Lighting is too strong, I guess it's mostly the ambient tint being somewhat unpleasant. Texturing is better, with material choice sometimes eclectic but mostly not crossing the line. A nice short snack." - DJ Full (25-May-2023)
"i really enjoyed this set of 3 castle levels, especially the first one when you start off outside in a jungle and have to explore around the castle's intriguing exterior, the setting layout and atmosphere of this first level i found to be so original and so enjoyable and it my favorite part of the game. The gameplay involves a lot of platforming, swimming and finding and using items with some torch and shooting tasks, a pushable item task, a timed fire ghost run and some birds, bats, guards and dogs to defeat as well as the main boss at the end, and it was all very enjoyable because of the variety and great flow of the level with environments and tasks always changing you certainly never get bored! i would say the only things missing were some traps and timed runs to make it a 10 for me. What i will say though is i suggest yo search and explore as much as you can before you move onto the next area as i missed a knife/crowbar in the first level and had to backtrack and then i missed the shotgun and one of the stars and at least one of them are essential for completion so quite irritating that your able to move onto next levels missing the items you need for later but apart from that i had a great time" - John (19-May-2022)
"Astraf builds very different types of levels , this one is one of the strangest , the setting is a mix of jungle castle library and tinnos caves with sometimes too colourful lighting. The gameplay is non engaging but pleasant enough, the enemies fit almost well , as for the final boss i don't know why builders still use this buggy guy who can swallow dozens of revolver bullets and shotgun shots without dying. Astraf has realised good offerings , in comaparison A Lost Oath looks more of a rushed job with its missing or wrong sfx and objects that showed up in other rooms. I like the background audio in the jungle part of the level at the beginning , this was relaxing." - eRIC (21-Dec-2021)
"**I was unable to complete the game due to a softlock, however I did reach the final boss so I feel that my feedback is still of value**

(4) Gameplay & Puzzles: This is a 3-level adventure of easy-to-medium difficulty. Up until the final area, the adventure was not too bad. Heavily exploration focused, the tasks to complete are not very memorable, and dull at times (there is one pushblock "puzzle" involving a Catacombs pillar that is too obvious and lasts too long). Still though, nothing frustrating. There are some straight-forward torch tasks, some basic platforming, and a neat little moment where you shoot a barrier with your lasersight and it releases a ball. The reason for my low gameplay score is as follows: Once I was in level 3 and confronting the final boss, I realized that I needed another star (I had only collected 1). There is no way to go back to level 2 to grab the 2nd star, which I needed to finish the game. So, I was softlocked. Although I cycle through multiple save slots, by the time I had realized what had happened, I didn't have a save slot for level 2. This softlock was super frustrating for me. A player should not be allowed to progress to the next level until they have all necessary items. The readme file does not warn the player of this issue. (7) Enemies, Objects & Secrets: There's actually quite an interesting mixture of enemies, and the wraith is used effectively in level 2 and it's always nice to see a final boss that I've never seen before. The builder does use object decor to add personality to rooms, however the issue with the decor is that there is often a lack of consistency of cultural theme, which breaks immersion. There's a wrong switch animation and the "crowbar" is actually a pocket knife. Why not rename the object to be "pocket knife" so that it makes sense? (7) Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The castle architecture is decent, with a proper sense of place and room connectivity, but rocky/tree areas are boxy and unconvincing. The outdoor geometry glitching in and out in the distance also needed work. Classic music cues and the background ambience were well utilized, although there is the wrong sound when Lara is getting shot at. In my opinion the custom running animation is completely unnecessary, doesn't add anything positive, and makes the camera bob awkwardly. There are good hint cameras and flybys are used effectively. (5) Lighting & Textures: I would describe this category in one word as "unharmonious". In some areas, the intense pinkish/reddish lighting is too strong and was an eyesore. It's like some rooms give off a psychedelic vibe, despite the level as a whole not being psychedelic themed. Speaking of themes, I think there is very little consistency of aesthetic theme here. In some rooms the builder mashes together different textures of different civilizations/contexts and it breaks immersion. For example, the castle walls, mixed with modern bricks and medieval stone, look weird. There were few misshapen textures, however wallpapered textures were common, and looked especially bad in the tree areas. Furthermore many statics have a completely different lighting to their surroundings. Overall, I am sorry to say that I did not enjoy the gameplay nor the aesthetics of this level. I think the builder is talented, and has grown so much. Nowadays I always get excited whenever he releases a new level, but this is an earlier effort that I wouldn't recommend to others. 4/7/7/5." - nerdfury (31-Jul-2021)
"Really a very good design, this set of three small levels is very nice to explore with entertaining and no hard tasks; I liked the good architecture and texturization, the good use of objects and the fluid gameplay; also the final boss is not hard to kill. On the other hand, I thought about serious problems if you don't find what the author prepared for the players; I explain: the shotgun in the first level is a secret easy to miss, and in the second level it's possible to miss one of the stars (once you get the first one you can go back to the first level to use it); in that case, if you jump to the third level without this items, according to the readme file, you could never finish the adventure, 'cause you need the second star to get the revolver and the second shotgun. Despite of this, I really enjoyed this small and entertaining adventure. Good work, Astraf." - Jose (04-Nov-2020)
"A set of three levels set in a castle setting, outside and inside. There are a few wallpapered areas but overall these are nice looking levels. Combat pins Lara against dogs, goons and undead knights. The rest of gameplay is simple tasks, there are some caverns to swim through, a torch to light some sconces with, and a pillar to push around. It's not a bad adventure but I feel more could have done to make it more substantial. 1 hour 7 minutes." - JesseG (03-Nov-2020)
"I have mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, I find all of Astraf’s levels to be somewhat endearing because it’s clear that a first-time builder is trying out lots of cool new ideas, and really making an effort at telling a coherent story. Also, the level works well from start to finish, even with its faults. On the other hand, though, I thought this was a major step back from his previous release. I quite liked ‘Castle of the Moon’ and was excited to see he had created a sequel for it. For some reason though, it almost feels more similar to the author’s very first release.

For the most part, objects are strewn about rather haphazardly, and don’t really fit together in a consistent way. There are a good number of enemies, but I did sort of cringe a bit when I saw that horse and knew it was going to result in that monotonous-of-all-battles: the horseman – even if the Crusader costume was nice. The problem is, I felt like the addition of all these enemies, masked the lack of good gameplay that the previous Young Lara level showed he was capable of creating. Also, the final boss fight was also a bit too much of a buggy mess, but at least the readme provided a warning about that. At least Astraf does use cameras well in a way to help one know what to do next, and in order to tell his story.

As in the past release, the musical ambience is great, and paired with a beautiful horizon, it helps to create a good atmosphere. However, when it comes to lighting this level sadly falls short and is either too bright and neon-pink or too dark through all the random shadow bulbs in the caves. Also, the texture combinations are rather chaotic – the Indian rainforest textures, with some Coastal Ruins brickwork, some City of Tinnos stonework, and then an entire amalgamation of objects - it just felt all over the place and didn’t allow this environment to feel like it was grounded in any sort of reality. Again, it is a decent enough game, but I think it lacked a lot of what made his previous release special, where more of his talents shone through." - Sethian (06-Sep-2020)
"Considering this is a multi-parter, it actually isn’t that long a game, but it’s fairly action packed. It jogs along at a nice pace and it’s undemanding so if you feel like a bit of a rest from some of the more frantic raiding then this might be just the thing. Good atmosphere and attractive settings are the definite plus points with this level and the boss ending involves an enemy I haven’t encountered for some time." - Jay (02-Sep-2020)
"This is a nice little three-part level. The action flows back and forth rather seamlessly between the first two levels, and the third segment is nothing more than a boss segment that's over rather quickly. If you're looking for something new and fancy you won't find it here. What you'll get, rather, is a fun, competent raid with a couple of nice twists and turns along the way. The lighting is good, plenty of flares are provided if you need them, and the six secrets aren't that hard to find. You'll spend about an hour here if you're not in a hurry." - Phil (02-Sep-2020)
"Despite being a three-parter, this game isn't actually as difficult or as lengthy as initial impressions would seem to suggest. Providing you raid at relatively normal speed, you should be able to complete this within an hour or so. It would be an ample choice for any inexperienced raiders wanting to get their feet wet, but that also brings me to the main criticism I have with this game: it doesn't ever reach any great heights of excitement as most of the time you'll either be hunting for items or backtracking between the various levels. The construction is undoubtedly solid and the textures are applied in a very pleasing manner (while cameras and music are also adequate), but it does begin to feel rather repetitive as you progress through. Still, as I mentioned, it's not a bad choice for a generally undemanding raid." - Ryan (31-Aug-2020)
"This is a very average level in my opinion. It is competently made with some small technichal hicups (like the horseman's boss horse becoming invisible, buttons showing a pulling lever animations) and design issues (such as having bronze automatons enemies from TR4 Lost library level being re-skined as undead crusaders which confused me because I thought they might be invulnerable when they are not) however the issue is that nothing truly stands out. Gameplay has some nice castle exploration however I did not enjoy having to go to a location to get an item only to have to backtrack again to the same spot I was before in order to progress which felt like useless padding of the TRLE when the designer could have instead put some puzzle for the player to solve. Oh and since I am on the puzzles point, there aren't any (I don't count having to find torches in order to light braziers as puzzles...). The TRLE does have a good flow to it thanks to how it's structured and I appreciated being able to open up the castle for further ease of exploration as you went along. I found 2/6 secrets and one of them was smartly hidden, so props to the builder. Sound was used reasonably well with a mix of TR4 and TR3 atmospheric music. Graphics assets is for the most part just stuff from TR4, 5 and a little bit of 3, they are combined well though for the making of this TRLE and the camera work was also nicely done with some cool shots of the interest points in the level. It's pretty easy, it is short, took me 1.1 hours to complete, it is well made but like I said there's nothing special here. There are way better TRLEs than this one out there however if you decide to give it a go, I don't think you'll regret it because despite everything that I've said at the end of it all I have still enjoyed it." - Cruzader (24-Aug-2020)
"I chose this level because it was the sequel to Castle of the Moon which I enjoyed very much, so here I am. What I liked about the level: 1) How the first two levels were open to enter or exit at will (which also helps top up the healthbar situation if need be). 2) I’m usually not too fond of underwater areas but there is one diamond shaped tunnel that was very cool to swim through. 3) I liked how it’s possible to trap the final Boss in one of the shallow water pools while you collect all the goodies around the place. 4) How the ammo respawns if you run out before the defeating the final boss. What I didn’t like: 1) Maybe a bit too bright looking in the first level but this is nicely balanced off in the second level. 2) The lava pits in the final level are a big problem if the final boss falls into one of them preventing the player from finishing the game and having to reload. Conclusion: Still a nice sequel to the Castle of the Moon with nice areas to navigate during the first two levels and if players are careful of the glitch in the final level. There are no difficult timed runs, so appropriate for average players." - Lizard Queen (12-Aug-2020)