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The Sunken City - Prologue by Perceiver

BlackWolfTR 8 8 8 9
dinne 7 6 9 8
DJ Full 8 8 8 9
g12STL 8 10 9 10
Jay 8 8 8 8
Jorge22 8 8 9 9
Jose 4 6 5 5
manarch2 5 6 8 7
Mman 7 9 8 8
Phil 8 8 8 8
Ryan 8 8 8 8
Samu 7 8 8 7
Teone 7 6 6 7
release date: 30-Jul-2021
# of downloads: 171

average rating: 7.63
review count: 13
review this level

file size: 123.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: City

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Reviewer's comments
"This is a most atmospheric two parter, albeit in the somewhat dark, rainy and ‘just what is it with this girl and sewers?’ sort of way. It’s not a particularly long offering, the second part being a shortish affair, but there’s lots of action and a somewhat different timed run at the end. Nothing too difficult to achieve and there’s a generous amount of weaponry provided. I enjoyed it." - Jay (11-Mar-2024)
"Firstly, while a prologue, this is it's own release and doesn't seem to have content from the main Sunken City release. This is set in Istanbul, with mostly custom items used. The night-time city style looks decent; it's quite dark throughout but Flares are super-strong so it's not too big a problem. Design is fine, but it's mostly set in industrial buildings and (modern) sewers, so it doesn't have too much individual identity, although the use of giant 3D buildings in the background was a nice touch, and the river splitting off part of the level adds some flavour. There are some quite unique interactions with objects, and they are used well in general.
The gameplay is decent with various original interactions, although a couple, like a certain pushable, are a little obscure and I mostly solved it because there wasn't anywhere else to move it. While there are two levels, if one of the more unique interactions doesn't hold you up it's pretty short, and the second level is mostly combat outside of a timed run to finish up. There is some non-linearity that's nicely handled as the structure leads to opening up more interlinking as you go, so backtracking isn't bad even if you reach a dead-end on one way. The combat itself has been edited so Soldier guns are much more deadly, though their own health is about the same which seems a little unfair, however the Desert Eagle you get early on mostly deals with the combat easy enough (outside of one cheaply placed enemy who can shoot you from a place you can't directly shoot them). Mostly a taster that doesn't do anything especially notable, but some of the interactions are nice and it's overall enjoyable for it's short length." - Mman (30-Jul-2023)
"A promising infiltration demo in convincing industrial mood. Made of simple stuff but in a way which kept me immersed. Nicely provides quick returns to visited places. Combat is also good, needs some tactics compared to the usual. Tuned for the full version already." - DJ Full (25-Dec-2022)
"Honestly, I can't understand the high ratings for the gameplay section in this levels. What I could saw was a decent texturization and few more. I know that it's by night, but the levels are too dark, and even when the time for the flares is long, the gameplay is seriously damaged by this issue; the architecture is quite simple, with a series of inteconnected boxes; the author lets you advance to unexplored areas even without the necessary items; there are no puzzles to solve; the background music in the last part with that nasty whistle was not very nice; sometimes I missed more cameras (when the lower room in the sewers was flooded) and even when the tasks were not very hard, the levels were not entertaining for me. I've missed a red key in the first level but even so I was able to finish. The compass was totally useless, because the continuos darknes in all rooms so the written walkthrough is useless too. Definitely a levels well builded but not entertaining in any way; I think this author was in too much of a hurry for release them or got out of fresh ideas this time. Sorry." - Jose (01-Jun-2022)
"A little prologue for what is hopefully about to come. It has a sort of an AoD feel to it, mainly regarding the settings and the atmosphere, which I consider to be well crafted - but allowing the player to move Lara naturally, thanks to what I consider a much better engine. The enemies may take a little more than usual to kill (I mean, using the revolver), but there are just enough medipacks and ammo, so that's ok. One could argue it's basically about finding keys and opening doors, which wouldn't be a total lie, coupled with the odd smart move and easy timed runs (I actually would only consider the last, at the station, to be a real timed run), but I didn't find that to be an issue. Dark, but fitting. Nice." - Jorge22 (24-Sep-2021)
"Pretty good level in AOD vibes. We will explore there warehouses and sewers. Gameplay was good with some puzzles but I found it sometimes a bit dull and boring I don't know why actually. The nice AOD atmosphere worked well alongside with lighting and textures + also ambient music improves quality of atmosphere. But I found some rooms were quite empty, with lack of decorations. I liked this prologue and story really interested me. Waiting for the continuation. I can recommend it." - BlackWolfTR (24-Aug-2021)
"This is a rather atmospheric two-parter, much of it due to realistically darkish lighting that is not horribly dark but fairly consistently, which makes it a little hard for the eyes, especially since the base areas are not very diverse in terms of design. Still the environment is convincing with good architecture and some nice far views. Gameplaywise this feels a bit uninspired at times with a lot of levers to be found and used and only a few puzzles and at the end two nice timed runs, especially the very final one is interesting. Overall a nice and promising intro to a hopefully more engaging levelset I finished with both secrets found in 25 minutes." - manarch2 (16-Aug-2021)
"This is an enjoyable and competent two-parter that appears to be a demo of a larger work, because in the second section there's ammo for a weapon that's never provided. The atmosphere here is superb, which to me constitutes a large part of the enjoyment factor. Although the environs are dark and rainy, there's enough ambient light to see what's going on without having constantly to light flares. The timed run at the end is quite inventive, and you have the choice of trying to negotiate it while a guard is whacking at you with a wrench, or by simply shooting the bastard so you can continue doing what you need to do without being distracted. I opted for the latter and made it past the timed fence in the nick of time. A good, solid effort." - Phil (15-Aug-2021)
"It's always encouraging to play a demo that in itself is both well constructed and entertaining to play. The atmosphere is gripping from start to finish, the lighting is convincingly gloomy without being oppressive and the textures are competent, while the gameplay has its challenges but is never frustrating. The majority involves fetch quests and exploration, but the ending timed run and the various action-packed guard attacks keep proceedings spiced up. The only odd thing was ammo being provided for a seemingly nonexistent weapon, but presumably that will be solved in future installments. Otherwise, nice one." - Ryan (15-Aug-2021)
"GAMEPLAY & PUZZLES: Gameplay overall is solid although it gets repetitive towards the end due to switch/item hunting, which takes majority of your gaming time. Gameplay is, however, spiced up with a timed run, some pretty tough gunfights and a pushblock puzzle, which was the highlight of the level for me. More puzzles like this and less basic switch/item finding would have helped to improve already nice gameplay.
ENEMIES, OBJECTS & SECRETS: As mentioned above, gunfights can get fierce since enemy bullets deal plenty of damage and medipacks are scarce. Nonetheless, I found that as long as you use the hand canon against most of the enemies, you should make it alive to the end. Just make sure to collect all the ammo that is lying around. Decorative objects are used nicely and they are appropriate for the environment. Horizon object with giant box-shaped buildings was not the most visually pleasing to look at though, but this is probably more due to my personal preference rather than a fault of the Author. There are two secrets in the level, neither of which I found.
ATMOSPHERE, SOUND & CAMERAS: The choice of background audio tracks is great and helps to create moody city atmosphere. I liked also the rain sound in the second level and the occasional thunder. If you are a fan of “Angel of Darkness”, this level has some the same feeling to offer. Cameras are used scarcely but, on the other hand, they were not needed much because it’s usually quite obvious what each switch does.
TEXTURES & LIGHTING: Textures are well chosen and applied, and I don’t have much to say about them. Lighting is not bad either but it tends to be fairly flat in many areas lacking contrast.
CONCLUSIONS: This is a very atmospheric city level, which offers entertaining gaming time approximately for an hour, even though, gameplay consists mostly of switch/item hunting. It is also possible that this level will work better as a part of the full adventure, which I find often to be the case with demo releases. It will be interesting to see how the full game turns out to be." - Samu (12-Aug-2021)
"Two urban/industrial themed levels, honoured with a very very good asset. But that's it, because most of the game isn't as exciting and at some point it starts to drag and becomes a bit too dull.
Gameplay: poor, but sufficient. Areas are huge and the gameplay "density" is very small, there are several decoys like unused doors, useless pushblocks, useless electric cases to shatter, unused corridors that result in a lot of cumulated disappointment, lot of backtracking is required if some objects are not found at the correct time and interconnection is present but sometimes could be better, although I recognize it's difficult to interconnect areas on the side of a river, but the other side of the buildings was never used and the parks on the bottom neither, while they could have served interconnection.
Other underused parts are the pipe that fills the room of water in the sewers, where you can see it from 4 sides and at first sight it looks like you've to do 4 tasks to refill the water more and more time to time, but then you refill it only once.
Breaking the floor with a pushblock to first raise is a great gameplay idea and reaching the other side of the river was also rewarding (pity then there was nearly nothing to do there). The underwater section is also generally poor, there is nothing to do over than just... Going through it. Empowered enemies can be good but more medikits are mandatory, at least 2 in those unused medical cases on the walls (enemies are the empowered ones from my debut level, so I don't know if I should praise or complain, lol).
A keyword to describe the gamplay: unused. Unused elements, areas and occasions absolutely anywhere, very very timid level design.
A small note: Dozy is not disabled, and not sure if this is intentional or not.
Aesthetics: great atmosphere, but dragging and too dull because it never lets the eyes rest. Flat lighting often requires more effort to observe the surrounding and this never really ends up in some fully lit zones, so that becomes generally tiring, if not boring. Pity. This asset is great and hides a lot of potential but all this gloominess (probably trying to get realism) polluts it. Some lack of variation is also found in some too big walls that have the same brick texture patternized anywhere but this isn't so striking, just, sometimes it looks blocky or drafty compared to the rest. Again, a quite timid usage of lighting and architecture, but less timid than gameplay.
Sounds are often very appropriated and good, but then we have missing footsteps sounds (or extremely low) and in the second level two weird soundtracks that quite much "stand out" for being a bit too invasive and sketchy. I think the builder made these tracks because they seem "very fanmade".
Generally worth trying, maybe better played by night because of the darkness. Recommended for the atmosphere, but nothing exciting and the game finishes with a lot of dissatisfaction and a feeling to not have done much." - dinne (02-Aug-2021)
"This TRLE was challenging due to the huge amount of damage that enemies can do to you. The level wasn't too confusing after the first half, but there was no clear direction on which way to travel. The sprint/long-jump move was a good one and probably one of my favorite modifications, I only wish it were a section or place where it was necessary to utilize that move. Good level!" - g12STL (01-Aug-2021)
"I found this prologue a little challenging because enemies hurt Lara a lot (more than usual) and there are few medipacks around. Apart the health problems, gameplay is not difficult, I only got stuck once because I didn't see something I had to shot with the lasersight. Also I got confused by a couple of pushable with no apparent use. The design is essential, quite empty, probably it's a builder's choice but I would have put more decorations in such wide areas. I loved the background panorama, anyway. All in all it was an interesting level but I hope what follows will be better." - Teone (31-Jul-2021)