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Create a Classic 2021 - Rome wasn't built in a Day: Part 1 by AgentXP

Adrian 10 10 10 10
billie2001 10 10 10 10
BlackWolfTR 9 10 10 10
Dick 10 10 10 9
dinne 8 8 10 10
DJ Full 9 10 10 10
eRIC 9 10 10 9
Feats 10 10 10 10
Feder 10 10 10 10
Jason L 8 7 9 6
Jay 10 10 10 10
JesseG 8 10 10 10
John 9 8 9 8
Jorge22 10 10 10 10
Jose 8 10 10 9
Lady_Wise 10 10 10 10
Leoc1995 9 8 10 10
Lioness_86 9 9 9 8
manarch2 8 8 10 9
MigMarado 9 9 9 9
Mman 9 10 10 10
Mr XY 8 9 10 9
nad 10 10 10 10
Nillc 9 9 10 9
Phil 9 10 10 9
Ryan 10 10 10 10
Samu 9 9 10 10
Tacotacs 10 10 10 10
TimJ 10 10 10 10
Tolle87 8 9 10 10
TubThumper 10 10 9 10
vandit 10 10 10 10
ViridionSama 8 7 9 9
Vittyrei 10 9 10 9
release date: 21-Nov-2021
# of downloads: 369

average rating: 9.47
review count: 34
review this level

file size: 167.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: Rome/Greece

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"Brilliant. This is a large slice of Rome, which takes a lot of exploring, and I enjoyed every single inch of it. There’s plenty to accomplish and, if you need a walkthrough from time to time, I’m not going to blame you. AgentXP has once again produced her magical blend of varied, interesting gameplay, ravishing scenery and touches of humour that have made her one of my favourite builders – and I’m sure I’m not alone. An absolute must-play." - Jay (29-Apr-2024)
"This is surely one of the best city levels that comes to my mind. The main focus in the level is to find various items to access new areas in the city, which is going to give a good explorations challenge and test the navigation skills of the player. The library included also very nice use of moving bookcase traps, and the camera puzzle was certainly unique, since I haven’t seen anything similar in any other custom level. As you can often find in other AgentXP’s levels, this one also includes some hilarious encounters with NPCs, my favourite being the lady who wants you to bring pizza for her. Needless to say, architecture, texturing, and lighting are all amazing. It is going to be interesting to see how the story ends in the second part." - Samu (27-Aug-2023)
"Well Judging by how large and expansive this level is I’m very sure that this Rome wasn’t built in a day indeed! This level plays like a city level set in very atmospheric nighttime where you have to open new streets and areas of the city as you progress. Its a large city but you do get a map in your inventory in case you get lost. Gameplay is great, I love this type of exploration when your in and out of buildings, exploring across rooftops and smashing through windows to get into rooms looking for items and I especially enjoyed using the tightropes and swing poles between buildings but these types of areas and gameplay are only part of what is on offer here! as we have nasty traps, puzzles involving pushable items, funny character interactions and fetch quests and riddles involving new gameplay elements involving taking pictures with a camera for clues. Locations and environments also move onto parks, library’s, sewers and even a dig site to explore but the optional library was one of my favourite places because of the visuals, the timed run and of course the puzzle and traps involving the deadly bookshelves. Speaking of deadly….. beware of crows, rats, dogs and skeletons and If your looking for a extra challenge there is 20 secrets to find with a weapon bonus as a prize for collecting them all. Overall this level is perfect for you like exploring gorgeous Italian style cities with a variety of tasks to complete, and this is one not to be missed!" - John (30-May-2023)
"Decided to give this level a go after hearing many good things about it and it was a thoroughly enjoyable TRLE to play! Had a great time playing this level! I loved how all the areas inter-linked together with a handy map to help you get around. The gameplay was engaging and as always with an Agent level it looks amazing! Even though there were not many people about the Cityscape still looked vibrant and lived in. Would wholeheartedly recommend this level to anyone!" - Feats (16-Feb-2023)
"Fantastic level which truly blows TR5's Rome section out of the water - indeed this one level is probably bigger than that entire section! Great use of object old and new, with some interesting integration of new objects to solve existing puzzle types in a unique way. This map is sprawling - affectig something at the other end of the map is something that is mercifully rare though, but I did write a lot of notes down of things I'd spotted and where as I knew I'd forget. The inclusion of 20 secrets gives it great replay factor. I've lopped a small point off for sounds - something that can often happen when merging sounds from different games together (and this is very AOD sound heavy) is that they can sort of jar when heard one after the other, or concurrently. But this is a minor nitpick. Great level - 2.5 hours - 7/20 secrets (and I was trying, so that's a poor show!)" - TubThumper (01-Dec-2022)
"A level where the choice of details is perfect! A variety of puzzles that challenge you. I like the library so mutch, I enjoyed it. A short but exciting level, I look forward to the sequel!" - Vittyrei (06-Sep-2022)
"While my personal favourite of Agent is still Vacation, here she sets her own standard again, using classic elements as well as going extra with worldbuilding, storytelling, collectibles and cutscenes. One thing to complain about is the pacing, it's a bit uniform all the time, so let's see what happens when the second part is released. This one is for brave, observant raiders who embrace exploration and aren't afraid to use memory." - DJ Full (21-Aug-2022)
"This level would be one of my candidate answers to the question: "if you could recommend only one custom level to someone, which would it be?" It is relatively easy, the only difficulties being on puzzles, you will never have to make difficult and twisted jumps in trapped rooms and in that it really feels like a classic of the TR4-5 era. The setting being Rome, it's really fitting. The city is by the way one of the most beautiful I've seen in a custom level and really believable. I even preferred it to Prague, built by the same author in a Christmas level. There are lots of details everywhere... a chimney smoking, grapes hanging or the carpet being rolled up in a corner in a flat being renovated, with pots of paint waiting on a shelf. Details like those make this world really tangible and AgentXP is a master at her craft.The new editor allowing to make diagonal steps and walls really adds new possibilites in building and it shows notably in this urban environment that is made way more natural with those shapes. With a cautious use of different textures and lighting, the author managed to give to each different location visited during this journey in Rome its distinct and own atmosphere. Even the different flats Lara visits are different from one another, with beds of different colours or different colours for the walls.
This is a relatively easy level. Most of the gameplay is centered around exploration and solving puzzles, with bookshelves being deadly traps if the player isn't careful. Those squishy blocks were a very clever puzzle. I didn't know this was possible.Some backtracking from one part of the city to another is required. Sometimes you find an item to solve a puzzle somewhere and get another one that you need where you find the former. Fortunately, there are numerous shortcuts that you can open along the way and the city is lovely, so walking back and forth isn't that much of a problem. At first, I found it to be a problem that the revolver wasn't close to the lasersight when I needed it for the red lamp switch, but when I realised I also needed the lasersight to ring a bell, everything clicked and I thought it was indeed genius to have both part close to a place Lara needs them. The player is really guided, though. When finding the waterskin and later on the trident, a camera view shows the place you need to use them, which were in my opinion very logical. I didn't need those clues, but other might (reading previous reviews, it seems that I've got a better spatial sense than others).
The fire wraith was surprising, but a welcome obstacle in a somewhat very peaceful level where the only enemies are a few dogs and rats. It couldn't be otherwise as we are in an open city, but I really hope that part 2 brings its share of fighting. With the creativity of AgentXP, I hope she's able to offer innovative combats to put all those pickups to use. I haven't played all her levels yet, so I don't know if fight design also is something she excels at. The glow/bloom effect on the flares was very strong, a bit much to my liking. Some statics didn't have collision and Lara could pass through most columns. I found 15/20 secrets and facepalmed myself when I gathered clues from the walkthrough for the other ones. None of them is impossible to find if you are attentive enough. The only one I would definitely have missed is the one where you need to jump on a small balcony. How the hell did AgentXP manage to make a staticmesh or half a block walkable? Genius! I was a tad disappointed that the chandelier in the library wasn't hidding a secret on its own, because I was really proud of finding this one. At first, I was a bit dubious about telling the player how many books they need to find, but when I constated the sheer size of this library, I understood that it certainly was better to guide the player (and it's still not as worse as white shiny ledges, ah ah). By the way, thanks for the jumpscare with the last secret! Fortunately finding it rewards the player with just the right answer for the incoming threat, he he.
Others have already written about the voice lines that highlight the storytelling of this level. It's full of humour and AgentXP does a really good job as Lara Croft herself, and there are some seriously hilarious lines! "Thanks, but doors aren't really my thing" and "Back again? Wow! You have problems." really cracked me up. If part 2 also involves voice acting, I hope she can write Lara a bit closer to her classic wit and dry humour. "Are you going to pay for that window?", ah ah ah, I'm still laughing. The other actors are rather good for an amateur performance, even if the actor playing Pierre sounded a bit too young. From time to time, breathing noises in the mic or strange echoes can be heard, but it's still better than other amateur productions. Regarding the sounds, I think I'm among the people paying the most attention to details even without noticing, it just bothers me. Many sounds were reused from TR5, notably Lara catching her breath when surfacing, but the pitch wasn't corrected and thus she sounded very low-pitch. The reverb sound effects were sometimes a bit too strong or unnatural for streets or alleyways, but was absolutely fine in an airduct or in the huge hall of the library. The musical cues from TR5 are used on the right place, it really felt like the classic Rome, but with more greatness. The first tightrope walk on a clothline was highlighted by a simple but effective camera, for example. I think that the flyby cameras could have been made just a bit better in avoiding very sharp u-turns (like in the short flyby introducing the library exterior).
As I said before, there was an excellent choice and usage of textures, nothing feels out of place. If lighting seems a bit dark at times, the player is given enough flares to make their way comfortably. And most places are beautifully highlighted. I think my favourite place is the library, which is gorgeous! I'm usually a harsh reviewer, taking points away for minor details, but I cannot give anything else than a full 10 to this masterful adventure. This level is very very well crafted, a true masterpiece recommended to anyone." - TimJ (12-Aug-2022)
"Wow! I have been really impressed with this superb level; the architecture is fantastic and all the areas are beautifully decorated with all sorts of appropriate objects; the texturing is perfect, and the lighting is very well done, although in some areas it is too dark, like in the river area, even so I found a lot of flares that for me were more than enough. The gameplay is already something else; I liked the puzzles with the moving blocks in the library, and also the clues you take with the camera that are stored in the inventory to get the code, but I think there are too many switches and keys, the city is too big and even with the clues that the cameras give, sometimes you feel completely lost without knowing where to go and you just go round and round looking for the right route. Even so, and just to admire the incredible settings, it is worth exploring a level as professional as this. Chapeau!" - Jose (05-Jul-2022)
"This is a large Tomb Raider 5 Rome based level. The visuals are excellent throughout and full of details that make one of the best looking Rome levels I've seen, including a lot of new objects and things like interactions with other characters. The texturing and lighting are excellent, and also use non-Rome textures in some creative ways to expand the theme; which also comes through in giving the individual locations a decent amount of variety while keeping the general theme. The gameplay is heavily exploration-based, including a map to give you a general idea of where you are. Despite the large area, it does a good job of using character interactions, notes, and camera hints to give a general idea of where to go next, as well as gradually unlocking the full scope of the level. The gameplay is quite chill with action moments being rare, but there's a good mix of other tasks, and there's also a large secret hunt to reward you for exploring further as well. The ending is a bit anti-climatic due to just being a sequel hook, but hopefully that's coming out in not too long. An excellent level that executes what it's going for well, and already a great start for this Create A Classic contest." - Mman (08-Mar-2022)
""What did they find down here? There must be a way through somehow..." Take a dive and it's finito. Sudden? Yes, but understandable in this case. This is basically a ride along the streets (and sewers, where there's a city, there's a sewer) of Rome, basically devoid of enemies except for two or three dobbermans, very much based on exploration, with a few interesting puzzles, and some platforming (some of that platforming, from what I've now seen, involves the discovery of secret roses, but alas, I only found a few), all packed up in some kind of retro architecture with the odd reminiscence of other TR games. Then, there's a bit of a dig site, including a couple of skeletons as the welcome committee. Very different from the original Rome levels, and far better too. I liked the somewhat curved architecture Agent applied on the streets. My only complaint? A bit too dark. Other than that, it's quite enjoyable." - Jorge22 (16-Feb-2022)
"This is a visit to a sprawling Rome level, which will find Lara running back and forth to fetch keys, pizzas, and clues to enter the dig site of interest that Pierre has pointed her to. Thankfully there is a map provided, which helps the backtracking not be very painful. The town is full of life and it is a nice change of pace to see Lara called out on her usual destructive antics - of course, she won't let that stop her! I liked the squishy blocks that, instead of being used for traps, were combined with buttons to act as a puzzle element instead. There are also some simple pushable block puzzles for Lara, as well as a topiary puzzle, but it's unfortunate that the solution for the latter is spoiled to the player before they get a chance to deduce it on their own, which I would have much preferred. The strongest aspect of this level by far is the visual appeal, which showcases excellent architecture and colorful lighting in each area. After Lara breaks into the dig site and descends a bit, the adventure ends a bit abruptly, but the player is told that Lara's quest will be continued in a later release. 2 hours 4 minutes." - JesseG (10-Feb-2022)
"An amazing Rome adventure that makes our Chronicles Rome memories refreshed and better: warm, calm, cute and cozy. It's huge and it's easy to get lost here, but that might be a good thing... If that was real life. Yeah, because this level has an issue with the level design and you'll find yourself wandering around over and over (and the provided map doesn't help, both for me and others apparently, I couldn't get how it was rotated). While interconnection is generally a good idea anywhere, and in this level is often cleverly used, what makes this level so difficult to get oriented into is the lack of a main distinctive area we can use to get oriented. Most of the areas look the same: 2 squares roads with irregular floor and orange colors. There is a main square with the market but most of the interconnection is elsewhere. This cuts off the enjoyability of the adventure because it consists in running around over and over until you find the right places by accident, even if you "know" where to go.
For the rest, gameplay is enough linear and enough non-linear, combat is underdeveloped, some innovative puzzles are satisfying (camera and library), dialogues are funny. Secrets are generally nice, although some can look like main progression but they're varied in difficulty and it's nice. Many of them are where Core would put them.
The visual quality is stunning, the atmosphere is strong, objects are well used, you want really to explore this place in real life and get lost there.
This level is a bit too long for the tasks provided (many times they're basic ones) but I might be biased because of the long runnings around.
The level will have a sequel, so it finishes without an ending.
Worth trying it, at least to feel the atmosphere. Probably the best Rome atmosphere we got so far." - dinne (25-Jan-2022)
"No one crafts more scenic, eye-pleasing surroundings than AgentXP. This adventure takes place in a sprawling town in a nighttime setting. Builder's choice, but I found the overall ambiance a bit too dark for my taste. More than enough flares are provided, to be sure, but it's just not the same. I'd much rather have the opportunity to appreciate fully the builder's artistry than to be obliged to use a flare to see what's to be done next. The required backtracking, particularly if you want all 20 secrets to be gifted with a grenade gun at the end, and the frequently murky gameplay made this one to be enjoyed with a walkthrough close at hand. To her credit, the builder has allowed frequents means to open up shortcuts along the way. Even with that, I clocked a hefty three hours here but had a good time throughout. This builder never disappoints, and I'm impressed that we had two new releases from her within a month of each other. Highly recommended." - Phil (09-Jan-2022)
"Very nice level. The streets and exploration were fun, puzzles were good with some help like note or hint what to do...My favourite part is library and searching for a few well-hidden secrets on the roofs or alcoves. I had one crash - when need to extiguish the fire with small skin that I previously filled it in the spa, but when I filled it in the bathroom, worked fine... For me it is dark level, I almost everywhere need a flare but fortunately there are many of them... Anyway, Im satisfied as always from this builder." - Lioness_86 (07-Jan-2022)
"Well, to put it shortly, another very good level from a highly talented builder. The gameplay has its lengths and could be somewhat more intense at times (e.g. the sewers are a bit boring) but the various puzzles and traps are interesting and diverse and even the exploration of a huge space wasn't unpleasant. Story is very nicely implemented here with some funny dialogues and text hints. Enemys play a minor role here and I wonder what to do with all the ammo and medipacks of which half or even a third would've been more than enough, but the object design is very competent and the 20 secrets a very welcome addition, even if some of them are almost impossible to miss. The atmosphere is highly realistic - great feeling of depth - and especially beautiful when it comes to the larger outside areas, but all rooms are designed with care and only very few and minor texturing issues were visible. Sound and camera work is faultless and I really liked the AOD vibes in this game. In total a successful game where a pleasant time (80 minutes for me) is guaranteed, even if it could be more focussed towards more tasks from time to time." - manarch2 (20-Dec-2021)
"In this level Lara ends up in Rome, in fact it is a retelling of the events of the first chapter in TR5. But don't worry, this level is not a copy of the original, the city and the gameplay are completely new - that has advantages but also disadvantages...
Visually, the city is nice to look at, there are a lot of details to admire in the winding alleys of this level. Textures, lighting, the atmosphere in general is at the typical AgentXP level. The only visual flaw that caught my eye is the object lighting. Many objects stand out from the environment and thus appear out of place. The gameplay focuses on exploration, in between there are a few funny NPC encounters, some puzzles and in the library it gets a bit trickier when the bookshelves try to kill you.
Overall, the concept of this level is very reminiscent of Agent's previous level "Christmas in Prague" - an open city that gets bigger and bigger with time and things to do everywhere. I celebrated Christmas in Prague, this time the concept was overused in my opinion. Rome becomes too big in a too short time, the player is not given much time to memorize the current environment, the next area that needs to be explored is already waiting. At some point I was overwhelmed, the map only helped to a limited extent, since cardinal directions were not indicated and up is not north.
The open concept is also a hindrance when you get stuck. At one point a silver key was hidden in a white sink, which I had overlooked and instead grabbed the secret that is 3 meters further to the left. If the level builder hadn't told me to look into the room again, I would probably have checked half the city again, because many rooms were already open at this point. Another place that is planned rather unhappily is the clue for the switch puzzle in the park. Depending on whether you go to the sewers first or to the library first, you will miss the hint to this puzzle. Since there are two options, there is a 50% chance that you will only see this clue after solving the puzzle. It would have been better to put this hint somewhere in the sewers so that it is not possible to miss it.
My favorite area is the library, especially because it was isolated from the rest of the level but also because there is a little more challenge here, using the bookshelves as a death trap is a smart move. The phototask at the end to get the door code is a brilliant idea and was a lot of fun, also a good way to make some parts of the level more relevant, because while playing I often had the feeling that some parts were quite underused.
All in all a very nice and authentic level, highly recommended with patience and a walkthrough nearby!" - Mr XY (15-Dec-2021)
"I have waited exactly twenty years for a Rome level to come along that matches the charm, detail and intricacy of Rene Brooymans’ masterpiece: The Last Crusade. Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day is that level, and in many regards it transcends Piega’s work - there are more objects, effects and gameplay in RWBIAD, not to mention some cool dialogue that was occasionally very funny: “Are you sure you want one [a pizza] from there?” AgentXP conveys Lara very well with her precise English enunciation, and these regular dialogue sequences help to enliven the level.
In terms of gameplay I think this is AgentXP’s best level so far. Although I loved the visuals they were necessarily retro and not quite up with her best. Having said that, I’d prefer to play levels like this with 64x textures rather than face graphics lag because my PC is being overwhelmed with details. My only complaint about the visuals is the night time setting, with its plethora of harsh shadows. The Last Crusade is still slightly prettier because it is set on a sunny day.
As other have said: looking forward to Part 2. (Maybe there could be a part 3 to conclude, set back in Rome - during the following day ;) Maybe in those areas we could see but not reach. Just a thought." - Dick (08-Dec-2021)
"This builder just never fails to impress and this is no exception. But be warned, this level is an absolutely immense piece of construction. It's impeccably put together, with great attention to detail and tastefully applied textures and lighting, but it does have the potential to get rather confusing and overwhelming if you're the type who gets easily turned around. There's a lot to do in terms of exploration and searching every room, nook and cranny carefully is paramount to avoid frustration. Luckily, AgentXP generously provides shortcuts around the various main areas to minimise unnecessary backtracking and trust me, you'll be thankful for them. The way the various areas interconnect is absolutely masterful and I personally found it a joy to play through, and I'm sure any further players will too if they let themselves be guided a bit. The secret quest was a neat touch, as were the various interactions between Lara and the residents of Rome. Not for the faint- hearted, but it's a real treat if you're up." - Ryan (06-Dec-2021)
"Huge level where we can explore different areas of a Roman city. There is plenty to do and many good details to appreciate throughout. It is amazing how you can put so much stuff in a level nowadays. What i liked the most aside from the variety of tasks and some great ideas of gameplay is the scenes with a few people. I usually do not mind that much but here the dialogues and the way the people speak was really funny. I don't give a perfect score in gameplay despite its excellency due to several crashes in the old library also when typing the code to the digsite but i could continue by reloading a savegame and i was glad i could. Can't wait for part 2." - eRIC (04-Dec-2021)
"Writing a review for a level isn't simple in my opinion, as more than just showing that the level is recommended or not, you need to point out elements that could be different. Writing for established authors makes this task more difficult, because of the high quality of the levels provided. Although I've written few reviews, I follow and like to read what the community thinks of both my levels and the levels I'd like to play, despite some things I have to “laugh so I don't cry”. Some reviews I've read lately (not on this specific level) made me wonder how much current video games have made players stop thinking before acting. Linear games in which the objective is shown on the screen and you just have to move forward, shooting, pressing switches, progressing in a straight line, are increasingly common games that have made players lose a little sense of exploration and seeking to understand that there are different ways to solve a puzzle. Judging without stopping to think about strategies and alternative paths, is a serious mistake in my opinion, but I've read reviews of this type, unfortunately. Reading my review you might even think that I'm running away from the important points and being indirect in my review. But no, this introduction makes perfect sense when dealing with this AgentXP CAC, which requires a lot of exploration from players. Here we have a game that presents at various times the classic feel (necessary for a CAC level in my opinion) and at the same time gives the player a TombRaider close to an OpenWorld. I admire how Agent managed to build all this OpenWorld in just one file (.tr4). Probably future levels can follow the same logic using the backtracking between levels existing since TR4, but I emphasize the author's ability to build something of this proportion. This level of “openness” makes the player have to explore, explore, explore and explore even more to find their way, often getting lost or wasting time walking from one place to another. The level of map detail and city design is close to perfection, with an excellent use of classic textures and a variety of well-placed staticmeshs. My PC (which isn't a PC gamer) was suffering at some specific points on the map due to the huge detail regarding the construction of the scenario, causing a few moments of lag in my gameplay. But, as I said, blame my “non-gamer PC” and that just highlights the whim to detail every corner of the city. Textures and lighting also achieve an absurdly high quality level that brings a classic and polished feel at the same time. The map provided when starting the level was essential, and I believe that without it many players would have difficulty finishing this level without watching a walkthrough. Although I've built TR4 levels in the past, I've never worked with TRNG, so I don't know when the possibilities to include or not some improvement are possible. However, when playing this level I was wondering whether to add something that would make Lara “update” the map after entering a certain place or find elements that will be key to progress. Such feature is used by games like The Last of Us 2 for example, and I believe that the possibilities of TRNG would allow the inclusion of an element at least similar to that. I highlight this because most of the nearly 3 hours I spent at this level were walking from one side of the city to the other to find the destination. For example, when collecting the “small waterskin” a camera tells me that “place” that I need to find, but that my “floppy disk” memory has turned it into a long journey. This is just an example, but I highlight this element as a possible improvement in levels in this “open world” style (thank you for adding the map as it could have taken even longer my exploration in some places). I emphasize again that I don't know how TRNG works, but I believe it's something possible to be added (maybe not in the way I mentioned, but it's something to think of as an alternative). In gameplay, I also point out that the rhythm of the level is practically the same from beginning to end, with a lot of exploration and also a bit of backtracking (it can even be excessive, depending on the trajectory the player makes in the level, which isn't linear) . Although the evident proposal for exploration at this level is perceived, which is its high point, I missed some “breaks in rhythm” at times, with the appearance of more enemies, a moment of tension, a Lara Croft- style escape, finally, a little more action that would bring a little more of the classic Tomb Raider. About the enemies, these are restricted to some dogs and rats, and a greater variety would be more attractive. I understand it's a part 1, but I need to analyze all the CACs as complete levels, and for this one I feel there was possibilities for these changes of rhythm and adding a better variety of enemies. Not that they are points to treat as negative, but together with the aforementioned elements could turn into a 10/10 level. As for the secrets, I couldn't find them all, but while some were pretty well constructed as to their location, others were just "loose" in the middle of some staticmesh. Also, sometimes while I was looking for the next step, I would find a path that would then “only” lead me to a secret, but which I thought was the path to take for the main mission of the level. You who are reading may even think that I am contradicting the "Introduction" I made when reviewing when I mention the need to seek alternatives that make the player "not get lost for a long time", but this is one of the elements that I highlight as a improvement to the level as a whole. My introduction refers to the fact that this CAC requires a minimum of reasoning from the player to know what to do. In my case I knew what to do, but I lost a lot of time until I found the destination I was looking for (I hope you understand the logic) and improving this point would be important in my opinion. In general, despite these aspects that i consider open to improvement, I understand that this is a level of competition and that Agent had a deadline to meet, so I must emphasize the author's ability to build this fun and challenging OpenWorld, with an element of exploration as a focus . Some aspects related to rythm and lack of enemies were noticed when I played, but the quality of the scenery and the fun provided throughout the level makes me wait for part 2. I didn't play all the levels by AgentXP, but I know that whenever a new level is released it's already a guarantee of an excellent level. Each player has different skills and experiences with TombRaider, but this is definitely a recommended level for lovers of exploration (Sorry for the long text, but when i noticed i had already written over a thousand words). I finished in 2h46 minutes and found 8/20 secrets. My rating is 9/8/10/10." - Leoc1995 (03-Dec-2021)
"I must say this is the most beautiful Rome level I have ever played and I have played a lot of them since it is one of my favourite themes. The attention to detail is incredible, all those beautifully decorated little corners, the streets, the buildings and especially the impressive library. And all this accomplished with the old classic textures and objects! The gameplay is very good and I liked exploring this big map. Unlike other reviewers I didn't find the level dark. I used very few flares. I actually ended up with more than 90 flares left. Texturing and lighting are top notch and the enjoyment factor up high! Found 13/20 secrets, some of them rather easy to find, some other very well hidden. Heartily recommended to players of all skills." - billie2001 (02-Dec-2021)
"What a trip this was. If we ever had the chance to see what Core’s open world TR idea would look like, I think it would look a lot like this. It starts gently, in a hotel room, then in a short street, and finally after setting the tone and getting to know a little bit about searching your way through the buildings, the level takes off and leaves you with plenty of ways to proceed. At that point, Lara is free to wonder around the beautifully decorated streets (and I have to highlight the author’s talent to put together such a vast and rich texture palette, as well as perfectly fitting objects), with the help of a useful map. It can be confusing some times, but eventually all paths converge into the dig site, where we are left with a nice cliffhanger. There are plenty of hilarious situations and dialogs too, and I’m truly intrigued about how the story will continue. Everything else has already been said, so… just play it already! Highly recommended. Found 13 out of 20 secrets, took me around 3 hours." - Feder (29-Nov-2021)
"This is an excellent Roman city level that is very complex and elaborate built. There are many very well designed squares with a lot of attention to detail. The gameplay seems a bit confusing at first, but with the included map you can easily find your way around. The squares become easier to reach as the game progresses, as you can gradually open the connecting gates. The tasks are not difficult but well thought out. After the work is done, you get to where you want to go. I liked that very much. I also liked the search for the secrets. They were partly well hidden. With a little help I found them all. If you consider that this is only the first part, you can already look forward to the second. A level that is highly recommended." - nad (27-Nov-2021)
"As we have come to expect from AgentXP - a thoroughly professional, immersive and entertaining level. I liked the intersecting street areas which you slowly connect as you explore. Also the secret quest was fun - I only found 18/20 on my first try. I never complain, unlike some, about the lighting/darkness of a level I just tweak up the monitor gamma if necessary and all is good. I will say the TR glaziers must be working overtime after this level as soooo many windows got smashed...! Waiting impatiently now for Part 2." - Adrian (25-Nov-2021)
"I am not a fan of vast levels, but this one really got me in the first place ... and I assure you that it is a VERY vast level: in order to complete it you're gonna have a good memory and remember the various places you've roamed, even if the LD comes in aid with a map and a series of shortcuts that will make the backtracking easier. This game appears to be a prequel (or perhaps an alternate version) of the events that happen in the first segment of TRC. We will roam around a mysterious quarter in Rome, where we will face mysterious libraries, solve puzzles of all kinds and ... even deliver a pizza! The game is focused on exploration, but there is also a bit of platforming and some shooting. Furthermore, despite being huge and illinear, the level is divided into many macro-areas that have to be completed in order to move forward. Some ingenious ideas such as the ingame dialogues or the camera make everything more beautiful and varied. In short, play it!" - Nillc (25-Nov-2021)
"Very charming and atmospheric entry from AgentXP in CaC this year. The whole city looked very charming, beautiful and it was well planned. It was pretty big but with map it's easy to find out where are you and where you need to go. There were nice and pretty interesting ideas and tasks however I felt that there was a lack of puzzles. Story plot is quite good and voice lines add immersion to level. Secrets were nicely hidden in good places. I really loved the choose of textures, we can see textures here from many locations, like from; Rome itself, Venice, Alexandria or even Barkhang Monastery. I loved how these textures worked so well with plenty of decorations and great lighting. And I think the lighting was on it's right, not too bright, not too dark. I can definitely recommend this level as it's very fun to play, with beautiful and charming environment and some nice story plot. Waiting for part 2!" - BlackWolfTR (25-Nov-2021)
"The gameplay & the puzzles are very nice, not too easy, not overcomplicated, everything is thought for a Tomb Raiderish progression. They also are well integrated in their location, considering it's a city level. The choice of enemies fits well the city and the story, they also are well balanced, not to many, and not too strong. Objects and secrets are placed where it makes sense to find them there. Special big up for the hide of those secrets, every of them is followed by a special feature: a room or a decor, even a special interaction sometimes. All the city feels vivid followed by so many details, the result is a realistic city level. Quite a lot of flybys but always for a good purpose, immersion, hint, or just for the pleasure of the eyes. Well balance between what happens in game and what sound/music we have. The lighting and the textures are just perfect. It contribues A LOT to the immersion and the realism of this trle. The sewer obviously are more prompt to be dark, while the city itself has a nice evening orange-pinkish shade touch. To conclude my review, i spent 2 hours and 22 minutes to complete the level, and i only found 16 secrets on 20, and wow, did i just walked 14 kilometers in that level ? Impressive. This certainly a great level we have here, and worth the try for sure. The choice of multiples outfits also is a very sweet touch. The 4/5 people who voiced the NPCs are also a cool feature, funny, and helpful, you can't not love them ! Thank you a lot for the time invested in it, and i think we are all impatient to see the part 2 !" - Tacotacs (25-Nov-2021)
"Gameplay 8 Agent's level was very vast and filled with different sub quests and puzzles, some of them being quite engaging and thoughtful. I liked the library's puzzles and the sewer section the most. The gameplay was slow paced, in the sense that first you had to work your way around the city, unlocking places, shortcuts and get a good sense of orientation. The level was so huge! To be fair, I think the progression could have been a bit less confusing, as I did went far into the level without knowing you could enter the library early. This led to a bit of backtrack and useless roams to find the way. Enemies 7 While the idea of 20 secrets sounded really amazing at first (I got 12 secrets in my first playthrough) some of them seemed placed around casually just to inflate the number. I enjoyed climbing roofs and getting inside appartments to find golden roses, which felt rewarding but some of them were not carefully hidden. I think the level could have been good with half the amount of secrets: fewer but much more memorable and rewarding ones. Enemies were slightly disappointing: overall, just a couple of dogs, rats and a few bats. I think the Bartoli's pizzeria could have hosted more Fiamma nera's enemies looking for revenge! Atmosphere 9 The engaging cutscenes and few npcs scattered across the town really helped the city feel alive and the plot was also very intriguing. I promise I put the box back in Lorenzo's shop and I didn't break the windows of the pizza girl^^ Sounds, tracks and cameras really were amazing at telling details of the surrounding and I never felt a switch or a keyhole was confusing. Really amazing job. Lighting 9 the city was just an incredible display of talent in building: perfect understanding of architecture and geometry around the allies and backstreets, bloody brilliant. Light and textures were on point, giving a good 'at dusk' scenery. Loved the details of the different shops names like Bartoli's pizzeria, the cafe... again, nothing much to say here. Amazing! Duration Due to the open space city structure, the level is quite long to complete and explore, also because you obviously wish to find all the secrets. Difficulty From an experienced player, this level was not in the slightest challenging. I think it would be a perfect level to introduce new players to the amazing world of TRLEs, almost acting like a sequel/prequel to TR5 rome, and surely showing how much better the design and look from Agent's level is compared to TR5 Rome. As always a great work from Agent, keep it up <3" - ViridionSama (24-Nov-2021)
"Well, Agent never fails to impress. Attention to detail as always on point. Textures very well done as always, lighting superb, gameplay simple and flows nicely, secrets are well placed and a few sneaky ones in there. Element of humour in there to which is always extra points. Gotta love some humour, great level!" - Lady_Wise (24-Nov-2021)
"This level certainly wasn't built much faster than Rome herself! It is quite a prize on its own we get from CaC21. Recommended for everyone! Fairly easy and about 2h20 minute length.

This 9 overall reflects the harshness of the review (in light of this being a "demo" of sorts, and accounting for the competition) in a truer way than the level itself. My subjective overall is 10, no question.

The puzzles are a bit too easy, given the elements introduced to facilitate their solution. The secrets get "in the way" too often. There are just too many, and they muddle the gameplay slightly. There were camera hints that showed virtually nothing, given their lack of context (too tight) or, in one instance, not showing the stopping water flow. The lighting could be brighter in some areas where there are deep shadows next to bright light, which didn't look natural to me. Some texture applications were also sub-par, there were instances of stretched and compressed textures where some trimming was in order.

The level itself is excellent. The story does not make too much sense chronologically (you'll see artefacts exhibited where you shouldn't yet find them - Easter eggs? Yes, but they add to my point regarding chronology). In every other sense, the story is very well thought out and plays great in-game, with a lot of good encounters along the way. Rome is at her best in Miss XP's hands! There is beauty everywhere, and nothing seems too classical as too get boring or repetitive. There are many great moments in the gameplay itself, in the midst of such oozing Italian atmosphere.

Congratulations, Agent! You are one of the most professional builders ever, so I'm eagerly awaiting round 2. Thank you so much for yet another precious adventure. You rock!" - MigMarado (23-Nov-2021)
"Lovely adventure in Rome with Chronicles vibes and some TRAOD easter eggs. It was fun, but I think the biggest issue on this level is how unnecesary dark it is. I got lost a lot of times due to the darkness on the streets and this doesn't help to the fact that you need to do a lot of backtracking through the streets cause, so darkness make it hard (at least for me) to remember the correct place you need to go... even with a map! But still a great level and I actually enjoyed it." - Jason L (23-Nov-2021)
"Stunning interpretation of Rome! The atmosphere is fantastically realized and this despite the fact that only old objects and textures from the classic TR's 1-5 were allowed to be used here as part of the CaC2021 contest. Every section is packed with detail, so every minute was a real treat. It's only one level but this one is so huge (3:40 playtime for me) and crammed with typical TR tasks but also new challenges like shooting a photo of each of 4 locations to find out a number code or finding a pizza, in return you get an opened door. The dark corners can be problematic for some players. On the other hand, there are a lot of torches to find. Secrets collectors will also get their money's worth, because there are 20 secrets to find. Again a highlight from AgentXP and I am very excited about the sequel. I highly recommend it!!" - vandit (22-Nov-2021)
"It's not often that you see such an authentic city in a TR game. Something like "Christmas in Prague", but even more elaborate. So, you'll mostly run from one area to another, but what's in-between is what makes the essence of this level. As expected from Agent, there are some really cool ideas with the objects, characters and dialogues. Agent herself shines as the voice of Lara, with help from some other well-known TRLE/Twitch users. Bottomline, storytelling and the authenticity of the surroundings are wonderful once again. The tasks are logical and, very importantly, appropriate for every single area. It's always nice to know why exactly you're doing something and what you'll get by that, with my personal highlight being the library which is so cool that it can be a separate level by itself. There is only one part that is too bizarre for my taste, when you have to do too many serious things to achieve something simple and basic, but maybe it's just me. The hunt for the secrets is fun and don't be scared by their count of 20, they are just slightly out of your way and they won't lead you away from your goals. The flaws? Well, the unavoidable obvious one: Sometimes it's easy to get lost, even with the map you're provided with. It's always great to have shortcuts to minimize backtracking, but I feel there are too many of them to the point that it makes it difficult to orient yourself. Maybe it would be smart to make your own map along the way. Apart from that? Well, there are too many pickups&ammo which you don't need almost at all. I know it's justified by "part 1", but with this amount we'll need an extreme amount of heavy enemies in part 2. However, if the biggest flaw that one can think of is that you have too many pickups, then the level must be excellent. And it is." - Tolle87 (22-Nov-2021)