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ORC21 - Poseidon's Sanctuary by shabaobab

Adrian 10 9 10 10
BlackWolfTR 10 10 10 10
Damon 10 10 9 10
dinne 7 8 9 10
DJ Full 9 9 9 10
eRIC 7 8 9 9
Jay 9 9 10 10
Jose 7 9 10 10
Lizard Queen 9 10 9 10
manarch2 8 9 9 9
McRaider 10 9 10 10
MichaelP 8 10 10 10
MigMarado 9 10 10 10
Mman 9 10 10 10
Phil 9 9 10 10
requiemsoul 9 9 9 9
Ryan 9 9 10 10
steven35175 9 10 10 10
vandit 8 10 10 9
Wolf7 8 10 10 10
release date: 10-Apr-2021
# of downloads: 385

average rating: 9.38
review count: 20
review this level

file size: 43.10 MB
file type: TR4
class: Rome/Greece

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"Totally agree with the eRIC's review. This is a perfect level builded by a professional builder with a lot of good features and fresh ideas. On the other hand I need to comment the serious backtracking I've suffered, the very difficult tasks in the room with the moving blades and the problems with the new movements (why new moves?). The design is very good, there are many cameras to help the player, there's a good atmosphere and the texturization is near perfection. I take my hat. I only got problems with the combinations of the items I found in the inventory (I needed to read the walkthrough) and some tricky jumps and hard tasks like I said in some areas. Really a very professional level full of new features, but not suitable for everybody." - Jose (23-Sep-2021)
"This is a Back to Basics Greece level. The visuals are beautiful for any level, let alone a One Room Challenge one, with excellent lighting and textures along with great object use. Even in terms of geometry it's quite creative with a lot of interesting angles and slants to the ruin geometry. The execution is near-flawless. The gameplay is mostly great too, with a good mix of challenges and exploration, along with a focus on the Bow, that you upgrade with different arrows as a puzzle solving tool. This is also the first map in this contest with a full new animation set (as opposed to a couple of new moves) for Lara that actually makes use of it, with things like the new sprint jump actually being needed to navigate at parts; it even enhances the visuals with things like the pillars for jumping also adding to the realism of the setting. This is another map that takes over an hour despite being in one room, with the only issues I had being a little too much backtracking at one or two points, and being able to use the fire arrows on torches could have maybe been communicated where you acquire them as it's the closest I got to being stuck. Another masterpiece of an entry that's a contender for my favorite, and a great map even as a standalone." - Mman (22-Aug-2021)
"What a great level! Hard to believe it was just a single room. Loved all the innovations and new moves, though the sprint/jump took a while to master. Great attention to detail and some new puzzles which is always good to see. If I had to gripe then the enemies were rather a token effort, secrets also a bit simple and the look-camera often jumped to high above Lara (?lack of space at her level) rather than showing her view. I didn't mind the backtracking too much (though there was a lot of it) and I had no lag. Overall a well thought out ORC level - I hope the adventure continues!" - Adrian (11-Jun-2021)
"Another adventure that probably only a halfweay seasoneed raider should attempt, as it requires patience, skill and a really good sense of orientation. But wow - it surely is worth the trip, as the overall look and feel is just breathtaking and the way the area unfolds around the watery central hub is quite clever. Which is however also my only gripe with this level, as by design you end up traversing the same routes many times - and especially if you are not getting things right the first time, the many times become many more times and that makes the whole thing a little tedious to the extent that I chose to use the walkthrough more often than I would care to admit. Still, what stands out here is a lot of really creative and innovative ideas, like the use of fire and explosive arrows, the new moves with the poles, the aqualung, and a few smaller touches, like the exclamation marks over important pickups or Lara's spectacular death in one place. There are a few puzzles and quite many traps, but all in all the whole 70 minutes were just one big puzzle for me to find the right way forward - but that Medusa kill near the end was very satisfying to close it all of. Absolutely, a must-play adventure." - MichaelP (29-May-2021)
"I think the backwards tap got broken, because in the beta I could follow the PDA setup, and now the more accurately I tried, the more likely I was to fail the sprint jump. So I'd look into it and fix if possible. New moves are a nuisance at start, but masterable so I got used to them, as well as to the AOD animation camera bobbing (it also felt like there's less of it this time). Crafting is much appreciated but maybe it would be possible to make a plugin which accepts the craft without leaving the inventory, which is a bit confusing (aside of ring inventory being confusing on its own). As for backtracking: maybe indeed there could be no requirement to climb the trident for the third time, but the real culprit is the super-regular layout which often makes you pick a wrong passage, so you backtrack even if you weren't meant to do - and there you go, how can a blind player tell. The rest makes an immersive experience, with pleasant and organized graphics - everywhere, except from the coral room which looks like Poseidon's storage, you get the first plan, the second plan, the background and the properly placed ornaments which all together provide correct focus, so I always knew what I'm looking at. Overall I guess it's my second favourite level after vandit." - DJ Full (14-May-2021)
"This is yet another game where it's hard to believe it's just one room (mostly), but this time it is all a little less cramped. I enjoyed the gameplay mostly, there are some innovative ideas in this one (e.g. the pillar jumps) together with some rarely seen elements, like the Greek fire. The usage of traps is also remarkable and there are some quite challenging sequences that took some time. I wasn't too much of a fan of the sprint jump as it was a little buggy, with Lara not always wanting to grab the ledge. Also, there are a few lengthy sequences that have to be repeated once or twice, perhaps even more shortcuts had been welcome. Nevertheless it was a very good experience. The atmosphere was quite alright as well, there are rather huge areas especially underwater and little actually tells me that I was passing through a very small-sized and restricted area. Sounds and cameras are very good, and the texturing and lighting are also careful. I found the three (rather easy) secrets, enemies were not really a challenge as the water snakes didn't actually take away Lara's health at all and the final boss is easily, but stunningly dispatched as well. All in all a very complete and highly recommended level and my second favourite in the competition. Spent 40 minutes in here." - manarch2 (06-May-2021)
"The best looking level of this competition, but with a crippled game flow. This level offers very good ideas and some good new gameplay mechanics that I guess will be the author's trademark for a while, introducing special moves regarding sprint jump and pillars (the very first room is a good introduction for the level because it already teaches the player how to handle the new moves and to check the PDA). Crafting ammo and using flammed arrows is an original idea as well, although quite clunky for a number of reasons. This level appears to be difficult but the actual difficulty is the unplanned one, that consists in continuous tedious deaths and reloads that are mainly given by mistakes or imprecisions in the objects and animations. Dying on contact with the TR4 spikes collision is the worst thing of the game, followed by the "Luddick don't do that" joke audio that becomes overly repetitive and I had nausea of that already after 10 minutes of game (because of the continuous unexpected deaths indeed). The environment design is sometimes weird in architecture (just some passages) but strage for the gameplay steps: some recepticles, pickups or hints are located in strange places for being "relevant". For example, the recepticle where you've to put the Poseidon plaque is located in a passage room that also contains a puzzle so it's just out of place and random; the hint with the green cricle-triangle-square are located right on the top of a trap, but then the levers won't deactivate the trap (as I was expecting), but will move Poseidon's statue; the hint for the underwater statues to rotate is too much elsewhere to be understood or linked to that (I noticed it only much later in the game while exploring, because I was still wondering if it was really trial and error or not); the final recepticle is also in a strange place, because this area was already used twice before (as a passage and to deactivate fire) and reaching it requires again many deaths through the shavers (while the game is supposed to be finished, boss killed, and everything should be rewarding and relaxing I guess), so that looked a strange choice to put the final gameplay step there; the pillar to lower to reach a Lyre after 2 diagonal corridor is also in a very forgettable place, and that totally looked more like a secret (while the torch to lit near the pool that leads to a secret... Doesn't look like a secret. So the 2 things felt swapped). Interconnectivity is great although doesn't always prevent extra-running due to recycle of the same areas (that have to be accessed through the same routes often) and architecture (especially underwater), but at least it prevents pure backtracking. Just, the area with parallel bars/fire/pillars/hint seemed to have no purpose even in being a shortcut (why the need to go back in that area later?), unless I skipped something and used the jumpswitch before the intended way. Combat is poor because all the enemies are snakes and most of them are underwater, that require to go agaaain back to the center, pull up, kill them, and proceed again (peak of this boredom was when I finally unlocked the last underwater area with a golden statue, with some epic music, but had to be interrupted because of this task of coming back to kill them before going to explore). However the boss statue and the way to kill it is a great idea and a fresh entry than the usual combat, so this balances the snakes. The arrows crafting is a good and fresh idea, and also the fact of lighting up the torches with arrows is, but quite unintuitive (the "extra arrows for crafting" still don't make sense to me) and with strange controls, missable also because of the confusion given by the additional option "Examine" (just because it's an additional option, not because of the content), and it's mainly added for fun, most of the objects have no need to be examined or to have a caption. Issues about animations: the sprint jump has unclear mechanics (does she jump with only 1 possible foot?) and sometimes it prevents grabbing for no reason; the swingpole animations are shifted upward of some units (idk why) and the normal swing jump (withouth climbing the bar) is never useful in the game except once, but this is the first move you try to do because it's smooth, and it causes always 1 more reload as well. I have also mixed feelings about the usage of the ledge jump animation where you've to climb down and jump up to grab the monkeyswing, because it is actually clever since you've to understand what to do, but at the same time it feels like fixing the game limits with tape instead of just redesigning the geometry: it highlights, or "honour", this engine's weird limit I guess, that's a bit odd. And another tapefixing moment was when you do the circle-triangle-square wrong and Lara explodes instead of being spiked as I expected, since you actually walk on spike holes. Atmosphere and aesthetics are amazing and this is the main reason I'd suggest this level, because it's really worth seeing. Beautiful. However I've to point out some issues here as well: I found odd to put red exclamation marks on objects while camera hints are available as well, because they look very cartoony while instead the level tries to be realistic. Same goes for the appearence of the circle-triangle-square hint. Those 2 things and her constant "Sweetmother Luddick" (well, especially this) break the atmosphere sometimes. I'm very sorry for not giving higher than 7.5 to these good ideas, new mechanics and visible effort. I think few changes would have already improved it a lot. The "real" rating I would give outside from TRLE system is: gameplay 7.8, aesthetics/atmosphere 9.2, so I arranged it in a way to give still 8.5 as average. A very rich level though, ambitious, with fresh ideas, worth seeing and worth playing. Recommended." - dinne (06-May-2021)
"What I liked about the level: 1)Inclusion of the aqualung. 2)The new animation of jumping from vertical post to post (very reminiscent of AOD) requiring very little skill to tackle. Pretty much point/jump/grab and you’ll make it. 3)Combining items to craft arrows instead of just picking them up. 4)The reduced lagging in the revised version is very much appreciated. What I didn’t like: 1)Lara’s death speak is truly disturbing but I get the humour. 2)No compass. Conclusion: Given the constraints of the challenge, it is quite understandable to experience some degree of lagging in older computers like mine. The good news is that with the revised version, gameplay for me was very possible and enjoyable as a result. So if you enjoy non-linear exploration and experiencing new TR moves, then you’ll enjoy this level. It was my favourite out of the ORC21 offerings so far. Suitable for average players comfortable with new TR moves." - Lizard Queen (29-Apr-2021)
"This is a stunning entry into the One Room Challenge. From the sheer beauty of the first area with its foreboding atmosphere and brilliant camera flyby, you know you'll definitely be treated to a thoroughly entertaining raid. The environments are strikingly constructed, the textures are beautiful, the audio files are brilliantly used and the gameplay is complex and engaging throughouts. Not even Lara's modified running animation seemed as much of a handicap this time around and the various new manoeuvres caused me little difficulty, although I was glad that I had played through Tomb Raider Anniversary beforehand, just in case. Lagging actually wasn't too much of an issue either. The only slight downsides were the ferocity of some of the blade trap sequences, the slightly odd three-button combination, Lara's incessant interjection every time a death occurred and the rather convoluted way of creating explosive arrows, the latter of which being rather over the top. Aside from those, I can highly recommend this." - Ryan (29-Apr-2021)
"What an excellent level!! Very entertaining and with great ideas .. Congratulations on this great work, it is a level rich in details and a very well achieved atmosphere. The best I have played in months! Thumbs up..." - McRaider (27-Apr-2021)
"I haven’t quite played all the ORC levels as yet, but to date this is my absolute favourite. OK, it’s very much an underwater level, but the builder has very kindly provided an aqualung so you can appreciate the beautiful scenery whilst not drowning. The gameplay is quite involved and complex and cleverly thought out and the new moves such as standing on swing poles and vertical poles are great fun and put to very good use. Some of the traps are inventive, but everything is achievable for players with a reasonable amount of experience and I definitely recommend it." - Jay (26-Apr-2021)
"A solid map, although the rate of frames is a little low due tod the large amount of objects on the screen. The trap with blades and new moves are superb. The worst thing is that horrible sound when Lara dies. I would love to see a sequel. Good work." - requiemsoul (26-Apr-2021)
"This may technically be One Room, but in reality it's much more than that. I was taken from the beginning by the lush surroundings and impeccable lighting (the three early flare pickups were never touched), and use of the new moves makes things interesting at several places. The most difficult sequence was navigating past blade traps while swinging from poles and jumping to those short climbable stumps, but once you got the hang of the new moves they became second nature. The process of concocting specialty arrows was overly complicated (just give us fire arrows and explosive arrows, for crying out loud), and I needed help from the forum to make the first batch. But they're needed for progression, so you can't just give up. Others have complained about the lagging, but that wasn't a problem for me. I was writing a walkthrough while playing and therefore took a little extra time, but you get plenty of bang for your buck with this one. If the other ORC levels are as innovative as Poseidon's Sanctuary then I've got a real treat in store for me." - Phil (24-Apr-2021)
"What an amazing level Shabab! ^w^ I really found myself enjoying the overall level :3 but let us take a look into every single section ...
We start with the gameplay and this has a relationship of love and hate with me on one hand I really think Shabab did a wonderful job with this one, on the other hand I would have liked to throw the level to a wall at some point ... let us look at the positives:
- It contains an underwater section that resembles Lud's gate ... no no no! Don't escape you reader! This is a good Lud's gate like underwater section, with fairly easy to reach and infinite air!
- The New moveset is amazing! Specially the pillars!
- Traps sequences were really cool, specially when you consider how you could manage to survive it no damage!
- The combining system is a neat idea! Very reminiscent of good Reboot Lara.
So now it is time to look at the negatives ...:
- Bars, the bars, I have a very very bad relationship with them, all about Lara going beyond them when not supposed to, and they really made my play feel like a chore rather than something fun
- Backtracking, oh gosh the backtracking ... a bit of it can work, but a lot of it is going to make me crazy, especially if BARS are gonna be there too ...
- The gameplay is divided into two parts, and the second part is way inferior compared to the first part
- WHY SOME OBJECTS DO NOT HAVE THE DESCRIPTION? Okay, this is a joke and does not change the mark in the slightest, I just promised Shabab I was going to speak about that.
The object usage in the level was tremendously good, and I am surprised how DJ_Full managed to make the game almost lag-less experience while still keeping a very high number of object and details on the go! The colorful underwater plants and the dusty old temple with some plants here and there, plus the statues, really wonderful looking! The secrets were not too exaggeratedly hard to find, but still a satisfying addition.
Atmosphere was also superb throughout the entire level, the little glimpses on the outside world were what I liked the most. I adored also the look of the underwater section, with the colorful usage of plants, as said before, and wonderful was also the gameplay area, thanks to its dusty and decayed look.
Lighting and texturing were just as perfect, I loved the texturing a lot, especially looking directly underwater in the main area, that really shows the ambitious look of the overall underwater area, truly outstanding.
A very long custom level, with very big PROs and also menacing CONs, but still an amazing entry that I truly recommend looking, if you are in for a long one. Wolfy Regards :3" - Wolf7 (21-Apr-2021)
"I loved this. Very amazing artwork and placement and everything felt very relevant to the theme. Puzzles were very well done, a good variety with a a few stuck moments but this made it feel very rewarding once I found the way through. Atmospherically a pleasure. The design of the underwater corridors is a beauty. I did not like the "don't do that" Lara voice over when dying on repeat though, it became annoying in parts where I died a lot to get through an area. It would have been best as a one off on the first death. Beautiful textures, the theme was set in every area undeniably, you knew it was a Greek setting everywhere you went with the stunning artwork and underwater color theme. A bit choppy, and it is not down to the system as I'm running all new hardware. But - it is wealth worth the frame drops for such a stunning level." - Damon (17-Apr-2021)
"Excellent level! It did not feel at all like a one room level, and it was beautifully decorated and textured, with wonderful objects and combinations between them. Really amazing! I didn't like the extensive backtracking or the clunky movements from Lara, which is the worse of some of these newer Lara models and moves. Otherwise, this was a gem, and there was a lot to do. This is a challenging level, above all for the imagination. I recommend it to all moderately experienced and expert raiders. Thank you very much, TRXII! Congratulations on developing such a professional delivery for this limited contest. I'll pay attention to your work in the future." - MigMarado (17-Apr-2021)
"A level with lots of new or of the newest animations or gameplay possibilities. Like in other levels in this ORC challenge Lara can swim forever. I could have done without the water snakes as they do not serve any purpose and it was boring to have to surface again to kill them. Objects are fitting although there is a bit too many in the decor. Gameplay has its good moments , jumping to the next fat pole works very well. There was no solid clue for the 3 symbols puzzle as there were three series of them (as clue ?) in another room. Good architecture and texturing , atmopshere and lighting are also good but a bit monotonous. Some fascinating stuff and good ideas can be encoutered here although there are some obscure parts concerning the way to proceed. So the level displays well the author' excellent skills but it could have been more fun to play." - eRIC (17-Apr-2021)
"I've been looking forward to play this level since the author upload the sneak peek of video. Finally it's time to play it. Despite of too many static objects causes lag, everything looks so sick. I haven't seen any level that make me feel incredible for few weeks. Underwater design is sooooo incredible. The puzzle and the traps are really interesting and challenging. To players, you can't play this game with simple thought. You'll get stuck easily. The author implemented many elements from many games in the franchise. Like crafting system from Rise of tomb raider, the movement from AOD, and the pillar design like TR anniversary. When these mechanism meet with TRLE. It's going to be offer various gameplay. Totally the masterpiece." - steven35175 (14-Apr-2021)
"This level is stunning and largely stress-free to explore, sure there are some weaker enemies, but you can escape them. The author has used the rules of the One Room Challenge very well, the map is extensive and leads over several floors. Visually, you get a treat here from the textures with many mosaics to the many statues of Poseidon and Co, only the lighting could have been a bit more colorful. Also, everything was relatively bright, I am a fan of contrasts, but that is complaining on a high level and a matter of taste. The 3 Secrets (seahorses) were surprisingly easy to find. I found the new animations quite well implemented, even if Lara sometimes hangs in the air or stands which looks strange. However, I had problems with the torch puzzle, I didn't know where and how to light what for a long time. Here I clearly lacked a clear hint. Thus, I walked in circles for about an hour without a clue. Why I deducted a second point from the gameplay are the lags. There are many fog statics and these lead to jerks on older PCs, which unfortunately always depresses the gameplay a bit. I also noticed that Lara disappears in some walls, for example when she hangs on the edge when inserting the Medusa figure. Otherwise, this level is very entertaining, it offers a great atmosphere and invites you to explore, even under water (although I would have liked to see some fish there), because you have unlimited air (if you find the appropriate item). Highly recommended!" - vandit (14-Apr-2021)
"Another excellent ORC level entry. Here we have lovely Greece themed level with outstanding atmosphere. Gameplay was very good, non linear and there were much puzzles and clever tasks. I loved design of this level. Big feel of Greece as we have many interesting textures with mosaics, different paintings on walls and much enviroment decorations like statues, colar reef in water and more. Very beautiful as about lighting. Also I liked fact that secrets were three different seahorses, I found all of them :p I would definetly recommend this level as it's very good adventure with epic atmosphere, clever gameplay and beautiful environment. Great job!" - BlackWolfTR (13-Apr-2021)