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VCI in L.A. by Astraf

billie2001 7 8 7 7
DJ Full 8 8 9 8
Jason L 7 7 7 6
Jay 8 8 8 8
John 6 7 7 8
Jorge22 8 8 9 9
Jose 6 7 8 9
Lina La 10 10 10 10
nad 8 9 9 9
nerdfury 7 8 8 9
Phil 8 8 8 8
Ryan 7 7 9 9
tuxraider 7 7 7 6
Wolf7 6 8 9 8
release date: 13-Oct-2021
# of downloads: 208

average rating: 7.89
review count: 14
review this level

file size: 120.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: Base/Lab

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"This certainly does effectively create the look and feel of the official VCI level, although thankfully without the infamous bugs. Despite being split into four sections, overall it isn’t a long game, but some of the tough enemy action can be time consuming if your shooter tactics aren’t the best (mine can be a bit woeful to be honest). There is at least a goodly array of weaponry provided and the final section is a nice take on the ‘desert railroad’ scenario." - Jay (17-Apr-2024)
"Average VCI themed level. I liked how you start on the street, and have to gain access to the building and work your way up. The start has some problems: the city textures didn't really work, the limiting of the open street is weird, I could enter a dead-end area I wasn't supposed to get access to. The enemies are pretty tough and get worse towards the end of the level. I didn't really understand the second lever puzzle, I just solved it by pulling random levers. On the other hand most of it is a solid looking level with some good gameplay. The main level is followed a very short level at the end. It's basically a train level, but themed as being on a truck. Lara has to survive enemy attacks for some minutes. It's a really creative idea, but it was hard and glitchy. In summary, this can be recommended if you like the VCI and infiltration theme." - tuxraider (13-Oct-2023)
"Can be very good if you play it as intended, but can also go tragically wrong if you try to customize the combat, as there is no margin for freedom. The second secret tends to break and you might need those pickups a lot. But the biggest problem is the pacing - the second level feels way too long. Recommended, but watch out." - DJ Full (26-Jun-2023)
"It's an enjoyable adventure if you are a shooter; if not, Iwarn you that there are too many enemies to deal with in many areas, specially in the final level on the truck. The design is good, with a decent architecture and well textured surfaces; the objects are well placed and the lighting is well worked too. It's not easy get stuck, the author gives enough camera hints, weapons, medipacks and ammo to finish without problems. Some secrets are not hard to find, but I missed some puzzles to solve and not only advance shooting enemies and pulling switches here and there. Anyway a good levelset with a convincent atmosphere. Good work." - Jose (28-Jun-2022)
"Not one of the most inspired levels of this builder. The gameplay is basic, more exploration/action than puzzle oriented. One of the switch puzzles had a rather confusing hint (which room is the Battle Area?). Some enemy encounters to spice things up a little. In the short last part there are numerous enemies but all you have to do is survive for some minutes. The lighting is good, texturing not bad either, just some minor mistakes. The voice acting choice was a bit questionable (why would an English aristocrat like Lare have a Russian accent?). It's not a bad game, but it feels a bit unpolished and nothing really stands out. If you are not a fan of VCI, this will not make you change your mind :)" - billie2001 (18-Apr-2022)
"Here we have a game divided up into 4 parts set in and around a vci skyscraper but this time set in los angeles. The catsuit and once again Zip is back and in your ear again as you start the game off outside trying to find a way into the building with some gentle exploring around finding items to proceed and a good timed run, the next 2 sections are inside the building where it is mainly about finding switches, items and key passes from dead guards unfortunately although i did appreciate another timed run, there was a target shooting task as well and later on the platforming tasks became more common and fun but overall i was disappointed with the amount of puzzles and traps i mean they do exist but too few and far between for me. also what i found was lacking was music tracks to enjoy but what was the most exciting and original part of the game was the final part when lara makes her escape on the long moving truck on the road with choppers and men and androids trying to either kill you or push you off lol what a great way to finish off the game!" - John (14-Feb-2022)
"Very short one for sure which is a good and a bad thing :3. The game is divided into 4 levels, but for the sake of content I will not consider the last level as a standalone, instead I will be rating it together with level 3 ^w^.
Chapter 1 (6 8 8 7): Short introduction to the game itself, the level is spent mostly outside the facility and inside a house just in front. Gameplay is very basic, we got a timed run to spice things up which is quite appreciated, in an otherwise hunt for switches and keys. Objects are nicely placed, we got a very pleasant secret which I really enjoyed, weirdly enough this will be the only level without any enemy. Atmosphere is okay albeit I did not really find it refined that much as the lighting inside of the sewers was perhaps too bright and considerably colorless, I was not very fond of the sounds given to Lara’s footsteps, they kind of appear to be glitched for some reason, but I am not evaluating this too much. Texturing was okay, I was not fond of the lighting, it looks underdone in some areas, like the aforementioned sewers, and perhaps too bright.
Chapter 2 (6 8 9 8): Level spent entirely inside as we make our way to the stairs, exploring is the key and sometimes we trigger guards entering into bathroom giving us sometimes the object we need to proceed, very simplistic gameplay. Object usage is still good, not anything incredible, some enemies to deal with shamefully we are not in for stealth. Atmosphere is okay again, the lighting was not the best but the look of the building inside is for sure unique and does pay off quite nicely for those who stop admiring the geometry and texturing. The latter was quite good, better than the previous level for my taste but the lighting feels again quite underdone. Despite its PROs it is still a very forgettable level
Chapter 3 & 4 (7 9 9 9): This on the other hand is a less forgettable pair of levels for sure! One is spent as we make our way up the building as it gets progressively harder and the second one is one great take, albeit with its flaws, on a train level. The gameplay while it has some annoying padding, it has got some interesting twists to it, for example a puzzle which required me to check into a room, a puzzle which was easily solvable with a note, and two different ways to clear an objective. It is shameful the gameplay is outshined by forgettable moments of mondain exploring until you trigger a guard. The object usage was okay, shines the new enemy created by Cornchild which is one hell of an op (overpowered) character “^w^ and some good enemy placement that felt quite satisfying to fight against. The atmosphere is varied and the more we delve into the building the more cybernetic and advanced it looks which does give a good spin on the otherwise very lukewarm look of the previous pair of levels. Texturing is good and the lighting does look more refined compared to the previous levels despite not being anything incredibly special, it is the interesting texture choice and look of the second part of this level that really elevate this mark from an otherwise 8 :3
Conclusions (6 8 9 8): In its luck it is a short adventure so it does not take long to get to where the game really gets interesting, in its misfortune when it should be interesting it is not for long due to the short length of the adventure. It is recommendable to those looking on how to spend a spare hour, I believe in a more interesting Part 2. Wolfy Regards :3" - Wolf7 (09-Nov-2021)
"An interesting VCI-based level set where nothing actually stands out (perhaps the final? I managed to finish by climbing on a cage and firing from there after a while, otherwise the bolt firing thugs were a bit too heavy). The general atmosphere and the textures seem fine, and the lighting fit. Other than that, it's a lot about finding your way, escaping, and shooting many baddies along the way. Maybe that's unfair? The fact remains I can't remember a lot of it. But I did find the adventure enjoyable." - Jorge22 (02-Nov-2021)
"This is a fairly pedestrian raid with four interlocked levels. The weapons have weird names, and the enemies are restructured versions of their more familiar counterparts. The tasks are straightforward, often requiring the player to shoot an enemy to obtain a weapon or a key to open the next door. The timed runs are generous, and the three-minute battle at the end can be managed with a little care and some attention to Lara's position on the truck bed. Lighting is quite good throughout, and although plenty of flares are provided I rarely felt the need to use one. Not a barn-burner, but certainly a worthy download." - Phil (18-Oct-2021)
"Base levels don't seem to be as plentiful as they were in the earlier level building days, so even though I don't pretend to be the biggest fan of this genre, it's always pleasant to experience one once in a while and this is one of the more enjoyable ones. A couple of minor glitches reared their ugly head at times (the buggy movements of the armoured guards, a weird glitch when using the Walter gun and a sound issue when the guards fired at Lara) and the gameplay does lack somewhat in the puzzle department (plus the switch puzzles were trial and error and the stairwell sequence was a bit too contrived), but I did enjoy the smooth, linear flow spiced up with the occasional timed run and trap and I thought the enemies were generally well placed, the highlight being the final standoff aboard a treacherous truck moving at speed. Atmosphere was brilliant throughout and despite the voice actors not being English originally, I appreciated the clarity in their speeches. Lighting and texturing was sublime from start to finish too. Not the most complicated raid out there, but definitely worth a go." - Ryan (18-Oct-2021)
"(7) Gameplay & Puzzles: This is a 4 part, medium-difficulty adventure that took me ~80 minutes. It's fairly combat-heavy (especially in later stages), and doesn't have much in terms of puzzles or traps. The short chapter 1 starts off intriguing, however I didn't find chapter 2 to be very interesting. It's a lot of running towards many electric doors, wondering if they'll open automatically for you or not. There's also plenty of running around in almost identical looking rooms, shooting dudes and flipping some switches here and there. The gameplay in chapter 3 is less repetitive, and a very short chapter 4, consisting of a battle on a train, was freakin' awesome, and definitely ended the game on a positive note. I recall one puzzle in chapter 3 involving many switches, and a clue, "Sum of Battle Area door + Sum of Gas Chamber door" and I found this to be a really confusing clue/puzzle. There's only 1 gas chamber, so that part is understandable, but what does "battle area" mean? Prior to seeing this clue, the player will have participated in multiple battles in different rooms in chapter 3. Which room exactly is the "battle area"? (8) Enemies, Objects & Secrets: I think that the enemy engagements are the strongest aspect of the game. Of particular interest are the robot enemies and the tough goons that shoot deadly blue flames. And, of course, the way that the train battle is executed in chapter 4 is brilliant, as Lara has very little room to dodge the deadly blue flames. Static object decor is excellent. There are very few traps across this adventure and it's a shame, as the base/lab class offers plenty of opportunities for a builder to get creative with modern trap setups. There are a couple of turrets near the end of the game but at that point it's too little, too late. (8) Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: There are some things that are excellent with this category, and other things that need more attention and care. Stuff that was done very well: Establishing a convincing sense of place, room connectivity and the suspenseful background music. I very much enjoyed the cutscenes and voice acting. I was really happy that the builder returned as the voice actor for Zip, and Lara sounds like a badass, just like in "RotES". Although both voice actors are not native English speakers, they were both clear, concise and engaging. Stuff that needed more care: When Lara is shot at, there is the wrong "underwater" sound and I expect more care from a builder of this experience. Uzis appear when holstered, even though they aren't an available gun to use. There are light grey "blank" geometry tiles that can be seen a couple of times (looking out of windows in-game, and also on the loading screen). When you get to the roof of the tower, if you look down, you will see that the beginning building doesn't have a roof. I know these "little things" may not seem like a big deal, but when many little things are added together, they're not just little things anymore. (9) Lighting & Textures: As with the builder's last few releases, the builder shows that he's very skilled with this category. The textures look very polished and the builder utilizes lovely pops of colored lighting to highlight areas of interest. I did notice some wallpapering here and there, and also I wasn't keen on the brown marble texture plastered across the tower building's interiors. Overall, I enjoyed myself but I do think the gameplay needed more variety. I just feel a little let down by the gameplay, considering the varied and engaging gameplay of the builder's previous few releases (especially "LSotC Remake" and "Examination of the Sphinx"). I also think that the atmosphere needed more polish, as there were a number of "little things" that detracted from immersion (as mentioned in the 3rd category comments). I know, based on the builder's talent and his recent excellent releases, that he is more than capable of this polish, and I do look forward to his next release. I may sound harsh but I hope I am constructive. 7/8/8/9." - nerdfury (17-Oct-2021)
"This is a very well done base/lab level. The design of the office complex with the many floors was a bit confusing, since the floors looked more or less the same and you just had to get another card, some pickups and in one case the crowbar. However, the further you got, the areas also became more complex and differentiated. The textures are very well chosen, the music fits well to the action and the enemies are sometimes hard to kill. However, I liked the ending on the highway best. Very well designed fights on an very long truck. A very good level that I can only recommend." - nad (15-Oct-2021)
"Lovely level. Not too difficult but very enjoyable. I liked the resemblance to TR5. Puzzles seem to be interesting but not too complicated. Wish it was longer." - Lina La (14-Oct-2021)
"We start in the streets of Los Angeles trying to infiltrate in Von Croy industries. The atmosphere was fine; once we get into the sewers TRAOD music is playing, I loved that. Everything was pretty good, until you enter the building... The design felt a bit copy+paste and some weapons were wrong on Lara's equipment (you get a rapid fire gun, but Lara has the Uzis on her holsters!) author should be careful next time with this details. Otherwise, the level was fun and the last part on the track was so cool, quite hard. Lot of action! Recommended if you want a Chronicles throwback feeling." - Jason L (14-Oct-2021)