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The Secret of Orion by XianDani

Bigfoot 10 10 10 10
billie2001 8 9 9 8
DJ Full 9 10 9 9
eRIC 8 8 9 8
Fern 8 9 10 9
g12STL 9 10 10 10
Jay 9 9 9 9
Jorge22 8 8 9 9
Jose 7 8 8 9
nerdfury 6 8 9 7
Orbit Dream 7 9 9 9
Phil 9 9 9 9
Ryan 8 8 9 9
Teone 8 9 10 9
Wolf7 7 10 10 9
release date: 11-Jun-2021
# of downloads: 118

average rating: 8.78
review count: 15
review this level

file size: 72.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: nc

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"I really enjoyed this level, with its varied and well built settings, particularly the island parts. Gameplay is gentle, which I increasingly appreciate these days, and varied enough to please. Pickups are lavish and enable you to pick off the enemies with ease, plus the freebie health top ups at every level change mean you probably won’t need to dip into your huge supply of medipacks much, if at all. There’s an excellent cinematic ending too, which definitely left me hoping for more." - Jay (28-Sep-2023)
"It's just a prologue to something bigger but it feels quite underrated already. I noticed loads of extra love given to this project and I hope the sequel gets it as well. Maybe too many pickups but they are a choice anyway. Recommended." - DJ Full (07-Jun-2023)
"Being a Stargate fan myself, I was really excited to discover another adventure with Lara Croft in this universe. Our adventurer arrives on a small island in the middle of the ocean with a boat and mercenaries already present. Very quickly we will explore temples, caves to discover all the clues necessary for the location of the stargate under the complex. I game is not very hard and can I think be tackled by beginners. I hope very soon to be able to play part 2 and discover the new planet where Lara will arrive. Congratulations to XianDani for this superb adventure." - Bigfoot (19-Apr-2023)
"Not very agree with the gameplay without puzzles to solve and repetitive tasks, pulling a lot of switches, shooting a lot of enemies and few more. You can get disoriented when you arrive to the beach for a second time from the second level (what to do?) and more disoriented when you get the crowbar (where is the crowbar door?). There are plenty of pickups (perhaps excessive) and I liked the architecture and the atmosphere with some flybys and the animations at the end of the level. The texturization and lighting are well worked too. I hope the author can think about some entertaining puzzles for the next part of the game. Good work." - Jose (28-Mar-2022)
"And I suppose Lara's headed for Orion (to be continued)... Very nice ending. This was mostly straightforward and player friendly, and, let's face it, a gush of fresh air in the face of so many convoluted offers. There's a lot for Lara to do, but even when it seems all she ever finds is more ammo, flares, and baddies, there is a way, she may simply not find it immediately. The atmosphere, a mix of coastal and Tinnos, is very well achieved. I may not have given it the maximum ratings, but do believe you'll enjoy this one - just don't keep thinking "it's about levers". Recommended." - Jorge22 (13-Jul-2021)
"This one grew on me as it went along. It consists of two interlocking levels, the breakup presumably being necessitated by the size of the game map, and I enjoyed about an hour and a half of net gaming time. Enemies consist for the most part of what I'll call ninjoons, most of whom leave valuable pickups when they die. In fact, you get much more weaponry and ammunition than you'll ever need, together with copious flares to deal with the occasional gloomy areas, but I always prefer too much to too little. Gameplay itself is rather straightforward, but there are several jumps that require a little care. The environs and some of the animations are reminiscent of levels I played 10, 15 years ago, and the feeling of nostalgia was most pleasant. Quite well done." - Phil (09-Jul-2021)
"Very nicely accomplished indeed for a debut offering, in many ways this is rather impressive. As others have mentioned, it is really only the slightly too easy to follow and predictable gameplay that lets it down as a sense of deja vu does begin to set in about halfway through. The pushable globe puzzle also didn't seem to work properly as one globe was left unused after the gates had already opened. The amount of weaponry and surplus initially also seemed a little excessive, but I suppose that the builder wanted to prepare us and I can't complain about that. But the atmosphere is totally gripping, the lighting and texturing is sublime throughout, the music choices very well used and I appreciated the equilibrium of exploration between the outside beach and ship areas and the dark underground caves. Nicely done." - Ryan (05-Jul-2021)
"What an enjoyable level set! It's nice not to be stuck for a change. I liked the environment which is a successful mixture of Coastal and Tinnos. The gameplay is easy but not boring. Some enemies to fight but we have tons of ammo. Secrets are rather easy to find. The game is not puzzle oriented, practically no puzzles that struck me as such. Lighting is very good, with no obvious light sources though. Texturing is mostly good and some texturing mistakes don't really spoil the overall impression. I liked the custom objects and the flybys, especially the concluding one with some very nice custom animations. A very impressive debut. Well done, XianDani. Looking forward to the sequel." - billie2001 (16-Jun-2021)
"I really loved the cutscenes and all of the effort that was put into making the story out to be what it is! The setting was very appropriate and the map was laid out fairly well. There was minimum backwards-and-forwards, you never revisited an area more than once really. The enemies were well placed and easy to deal with as well. The hardest part for me personally were some of the jumps that had to be made, they took me a few tries to make but were appropriate nonetheless. I would very much recommend this level for others to play! Great work from the author! I look forward to seeing more from you!" - g12STL (16-Jun-2021)
"Speaking as a not so good player, I really enjoyed playing this level and surprised myself by actually finishing it without a walkthrough. And finding 5 secrets as well. I didn't mind all the pick-ups since I like finding things. I do however think there could have been a few other enemies. The island could have had a shark or two in the water around it. There were areas that would have been good for spiders and scorpions. Even one or two of those horrible oversized scorpions above ground would fit. I was happy there wasn't a "timed run" as they seem to be my nemesis. The only other problem I saw was that if you jumped off that water tower thing without having opened that access trapdoor on the island there was no way to get back to level 2. It also would have been nice to be able to get back to the start from the end to look for missed secrets. I really hope there is a next part to this." - Fern (15-Jun-2021)
"(6) Gameplay & Puzzles: This is an easy adventure that very heavily focuses on exploration, in such a way that I felt that other gameplay aspects were underdeveloped. The crux of the gameplay consists of going from point A to B to C, reaching into too many wall switches, and sometimes performing some basic platforming. There are no puzzles, very few straight-forward traps, and no timed runs (there's a brief globe pushblock sequence but I wouldn't call it a puzzle). As a result, I am sorry to say that the gameplay became repetitive and dull for me. There are 2 specific gameplay instances that I wanted to make note of further: a) I think there should have been a camera showing the "crowbar-able" gate once the crowbar is picked up, otherwise there is potential for the player to run around in circles. It is not very clear that the gate in question is "crowbar-able". b) When picking up 2 constellations, for the first constellation you need to use a jump switch to deactivate a trap. For the second constellation, you need to do exactly the same thing, again, in another room. I didn't like this repetition of a gameplay task -- why not have the player do something different and fresh? (8) Enemies, Objects & Secrets: I recall 2 types of enemies, many goons, and a couple of crocs. These engagements lacked a thrilling element, partially because of the predictability and overuse of these goons across the adventure, and partially because there's so much powerful ammo. Speaking of all of the accumulated powerful ammo, the endgame feels anti-climatic without a final fight. There are attractive objects that aren't often seen (including some neat ones that I've seen before, such as the Tinnos sarcophagus). I felt that the secrets were too easy to find. (9) Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The atmosphere is interesting, and the builder did a superb job of creating various flybys/cutscenes for immersion. For me, these flybys were the strongest aspect of the game. Architecturally, the initial rocky outdoor area looks lovely and organic, however, as the game progresses underground, the rocky caverns start to look overly boxy in some areas. A couple of minor sound notes: the "silent" flyby after picking up the gear could have benefited from a music cue; there's also a raising door with no sounds. (7) Lighting & Textures: The builder's unusual choice of blending Coastal and Tinnos textures generally looked attractive. However, I do think it would have been good to spend more time touching up textures, as misshapen triangular tiles were pretty common. Lighting wise, it's a bright, well-lit level with over 100 unneeded flares. While I appreciate that there were no overly dark areas, I was often not convinced by the use of lighting underground. Often there were bright underground rooms, yet these rooms had no feasible light sources. Overall, the atmosphere is interesting and generally polished, however I am sorry to say that I did not find the gameplay interesting. It's a good start, though, and I know that the builder is more than capable of crafting a great future adventure. 6/8/9/7." - nerdfury (14-Jun-2021)
"Given the screenshots i immediately downloaded this level, the setting being quite appealing and i wasn't disappointed. While on the easy side, the game remains always interesting, i enjoyed the exploration part at the beginning and then the different quests to retrieve custom objects with a bit of platforming , a couple of simple puzzles or traps and many switches. The game is fluent but there is one thing that was strange as at one point you can come back to the 1st level without anything interesting accomplished, it is only triggered when you retrace your steps after the level change. Also the grey key on the greyish floor was hard to see. Many gunmen who are the only enemies here except for a couple of crocos. Many pickups too i finished the game with 145 shotgun ammos and 12 medipacks. A good thing is that you can get weapons as normal pickups even if you already have them found as secrets. The design of both levels is well done , and with some custom objects there is also some impressive flybys and animations. The level ends with the promise of a sequel. Well done !" - eRIC (14-Jun-2021)
"In many ways this is an epic double-level adventure.The locations never fail to please;and get increasingly spectacular as the storyline progresses.The gameplay is continually fluent,and rarely has you standing still - which is the biggest drawback,really;as it does start to feel repetitive toward the end. The various underground caverns look rather breathtaking (especially the final Stargate area);but,despite their size,you'll be through each one in around five minutes. It's essentially a huge platformer, interspersed with countless enemy attacks;every one of whom drops some item of ammo or weaponry - so much so that I ended up eschewing pistol gunfire as a flare substitute (not that I was hardly short of them) and actually allowed myself (for the first time in my custom level-playing career) the decadent luxury of illuminating dark passageways with revolver shots...and still had plenty of bullets left over! Pretty much the only set-back I encountered was the obscure location for the crowbar's usage;which I happened to chance upon more by luck than judgement (not helped by the fact that you can easily return to the opening level - allowing a potentially vast environment to unnecessarily traipse around!) There was also a somewhat buggy pushable globes sequence;where the exit was opened up before I'd got around to moving the second into its correct position. Nonetheless,the overall level construction displays great confidence for such a novice builder;and the final movie sequence is a real thrill. Textures are adroitly placed;while lighting is accomplished,and atmosphere pulls you in (the use of the classic TR Theme at the end was superbly evocative). This is an impressive outing,and much to be recommended." - Orbit Dream (14-Jun-2021)
"I will say that I am very surprised by this short debut level, which took little minutes more than an hour to complete, while it lacks in gameplay it is still able to provide an interesting adventure, especially during the second half of the custom.
The gameplay is very simple, almost too much, running from an area to another one, completing very, very easy tasks that a new raider would easily complete with no problem whatsoever, it can work yes, but the experience feels dread, because of that, and some little tasks feel a little bit repetitive, not to mention an under-usage of some rooms, especially large one with bare minimum gameplay to be seen. I did find interesting the interconnection in between the two levels which was interesting and did made sense, except when you first come back to the earlier level, which not only confused me into thinking I forgot something to do onto the island, but baffled me more when upon coming back the game continued. I am really not a fan of the gameplay I am sorry.
What really rose up this level from being a forgettable short raid, was its objects because we have an incredible mix in between old TR3 and TR4 objects plus some excellent custom objects which, as people who know me would testimony, is what I like the most seeing in a custom level. What was also great was how the level managed to keep its 2002-2006 level editor look while using also newer objects fitting extraordinarily. I found 4 of the 7 secret and I think I understand the pattern is focused on "the more you explore" and on "fast reflexes", which is absolutely welcomed, actually makes them easier to find. Enemies were plenty and the amount of ammo was outstandingly huge, I must have used pistols only early on in the game and I did not even care about changing when opening vases to retrieve even MORE ammo.
The atmosphere also set this custom off from its gameplay dust, the cutscenes in this game are incredibly well performed and the soundtrack used sets again this off from your typical custom level, cameras were plenty and did help the player most of the time understand where exactly their next destination was, which is again really good.
Lighting was okay, looked a bit pale during the first level, but eventually got better the more you play, texturing was okay, I did enjoy seeing how the author did their best to avoid every crack possible, while damaging the look of the some of this textures, which does make me understand the editor used was most likely NGLE, I would kind of advice the author to move to TE, but of course it is up to them.
In conclusion this is a short one which does not show anything that special in gameplay but does really, really do a great job at its look and style, great job for a debut, going to be looking forward for a sequel, which got teased :3 Wolfy Regards ^w^" - Wolf7 (12-Jun-2021)
"A beautiful surprise. I enjoyed this levelset very much. The gameplay is easy but never boring. The only boring thing is the huge amont of ammos to pickup. Too many, in my opinion. The design is a nice mix between Tinnos and South Pacific. Animations and cutscenes are excellent, above all the final one when the Stargate activates. Higly recommended! I hope to see more from this author." - Teone (12-Jun-2021)