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Create a Classic 2021 - The City of Petra by Sabatu

Adrian 10 10 10 10
BlackWolfTR 9 9 9 9
Chel 9 8 8 8
dinne 7 7 8 7
DJ Full 8 8 9 9
eRIC 7 9 8 7
Feder 9 10 10 9
JesseG 8 9 9 7
Jorge22 8 9 9 9
Jose 7 9 9 8
Lorax 9 10 10 10
Mahetus 9 10 10 9
manarch2 7 7 8 7
MigMarado 8 9 9 8
Mman 7 8 8 8
Phil 9 8 8 8
Ryan 8 9 9 8
StormChaser 9 9 9 8
Topixtor 8 7 8 8
Treeble 9 9 10 10
vandit 6 7 7 6
release date: 21-Nov-2021
# of downloads: 353

average rating: 8.45
review count: 21
review this level

file size: 92.00 MB
file type: TR5
class: Desert

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"This is undoubtedly the best TR5 level out there, official or otherwise. The atmosphere, with the temple carved into the cliff wall, is perfect. Gameplay might be a bit tricky with a jump or two near the beginning but otherwise (with great thanks to José's walkthrough) it offered everything you could expect and more — the trials at the end for instance. I'm usually not keen of non-linearity and perhaps my experience might have been affected (for the better) for following the walkthrough, but I liked the generally open areas at the beginning as you explore three different points of interest before finally gaining entry to the main temple. Definitely add this to your playlists. 60 minutes, 3 secrets. 04/23" - Treeble (09-Apr-2023)
"One thing I don't like is when a level looks non-linear but then favours a certain order of paths forcing repetition if you guessed it wrong. Apart from that it's a good level, maybe a bit underwhelming but still relaxing." - DJ Full (13-Jan-2023)
"The first TR5 custom that I have played in ages, and the first on Windows 10. I was only able to run the game in 16 bit windowed mode. Trying to run full screen crashed on startup each time, unless I chose the lowest resolution possible. Windowed mode it was, since the alternative looked like complete trash and hurt my eyes. Beyond that initial hurdle, my other technical complaint is that the lack of muzzle flash and flares was frustrating, as my eyesight is not the greatest. I spent a great deal of time running around aimlessly because there were a few passages in dark rooms that I could not see for the life of me. I also missed some pickups the first time around because I just couldn't see them. Gameplay & Puzzles: There is a great deal of enjoyable and tricky platforming to be found here, and I enjoyed the exploration. The puzzles at the end were clever and nicely done. Like other reviewers have mentioned, it was very cool to see this particular temple in a Tomb Raider level! Sabatu's customs are always entertaining and this latest is no exception, in spite of some of the technical flaws. We're given plenty of spaces to explore. Puzzles are fairly straightforward, for the most part. Key and switch driven. The gameplay is a bit nonlinear for the first third of the adventure, and coupled with the item-driven progression, could be a potential frustration point for many. Enemies, Objects & Secrets: Your standard Rome fare of enemies: lions galore, gladiators, legionnaire heads and living statues. The undead also make a few appearances. Some enemy encounters are tricky due to very close quarters, and it's touch and go until Lara finds a shotgun. I was hoping for a crusader but alas! The exterior locations feel very empty and lonely. The interiors, with their murals, spears, mosaics, plinths, tattered banners and imperial statues feel hastily abandoned. Found all three secrets, one of which was a real doozy to reach. No easy return to terra firma after scoring that prize. Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The overall ambience is great and the timing of musical tracks enhances rather than detracts from the feeling of immersion. I have always been fond of the ambient sounds from the Chronicles Rome levels and they work well here. Lighting & Textures: The lighting is poor in many indoor locations, due to the limitations of the crazy TR5 engine. Textures for the most part are well done and contribute to the overall atmosphere of Lara's surroundings. The inclusion of mosaics as puzzle hints was a nice touch. There are a few misplaced textures (a spiked but hole-less tile comes to mind) and some metal footsteps when running over pebbles in the 'penitent' mural room. Small quibbles. The spike tile startled me, though. Duration: I'm blind and I also like to take my time. Speed-raiding isn't my thing. More like stroll-and-sightsee-raiding. Spent about an hour and a half net game time here. Difficulty: For the platforming alone I'd have to give this one a challenging rating. I reloaded plenty. Tight-quarters combat ups the challenge factor up another notch. For me I felt that it was just right. I don't like for things to be too easy, but I also don't like to be infuriated so this hit the sweet spot. Final Thoughts: This level does have its share of problems that detract from overall enjoyment, but I would still recommend that players give it a try." - Chel (30-Apr-2022)
"This is a recreation of Petra, as well as aspects of it's use in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. To pull off the somewhat unique theme it uses a mix of Nevada and Rome textures, with a few extras and custom additions, and it does a good job looking convincing despite the odd-seeming mix. This is also a Tomb Raider 5 level rather than TR4, and it uses the different assets and behaviors well to make things a little different both visually and gameplay-wise. The one standout issue is that the push-switches have incorrect animations. Lighting is generally good but I do feel more highlights for important paths could be added, as there are some that are easy to overlook which slightly tweaked lighting could have averted. The gameplay focus is mostly on exploration, with some TR5-based combat along the way, outside of finding the various important paths it's not too difficult, although there can be some backtracking if things are missed, despite the main "hub" parts being quite quick to navigate. It felt a little by-the-numbers in some of the interior parts, with you just going between rooms, shooting enemies and pressing switches, but there's generally better tasks mixed in, and the TR5 assets allow for a couple of original moments. The ending area also does some more interesting things by recreating the Petra temple of The Last Crusade, with some puzzles based on the ones there. A good map, but I feel it's missing something that makes me think it ran across some time or engine limitations." - Mman (28-Mar-2022)
"Using the TR5 engine is taking a chance, but this is basically fine. I quite liked the desert textures that populated most of the settings, and I thought the general atmosphere and lighting were well done. It was interesting to see TR5 lions, gladiators and sword skeletons make their appearance. The fact that most of the time I was a bit clueless as to what to do and where to go next, I liked less - I don't mind a more guided sort of exploration, why should I really? The final part, with the Last Crusade trials recreation was interesting (and of course I tried taking the obvious wrong chalice before ending the level, just to see what would happen to Lara). Nice and enjoyable." - Jorge22 (28-Mar-2022)
"Lara enters the City of Petra in search of a Holy Grail. This quest evolves into a non-linear search for four gemstone pieces before Lara can claim her prize. I'll start with the two things I took issue with, one being the layout leading to quite a bit backtracking if the player missed something. The other is the spiked floor room with the second armory key. I thought maybe the ceiling was supposed to be a clue as to which tiles were safe, but that is disproved by the armory key's tile (safe) sharing the same ceiling as the medpack tile (not safe). The walkthrough has no mention of a clue so I guess it is just trial and error. The rest of the gameplay was enjoyable though, the various kinds of enemies from the TRC Rome levels are in full force, which I enjoyed combating. The stationary skeletons from the Ireland levels are also present, I think this is the first time I've seen those used effectively in a custom level. There are also collapsing floors to contend with, as well as a unique boulder trap that was really more of a puzzle. I was able to figure out the clue for that one, as well as for the floor tiles puzzle that appears shortly afterwards. My favorite part of this level is the architecture; even though the texturing is a bit simple and warped, the geometry helps make the environment immersive, especially the ampitheatre and temple entrance. 1 hour 3 minutes." - JesseG (14-Feb-2022)
"Another excellent Sabatu level built using a not so commonly used engine. Sabatu continues to prove that you don't always need a ton of original assets and textures to make a great TRLE game. Highly recommended along with everything Sabatu has made." - Lorax (12-Feb-2022)
"First TR5 level since 2015, it's really nice to see something on this engine. I think this level is very well made despite some difficulties that author encountered.
Gameplay is enjoyable and executed very well with really fresh ideas! To me everything is consistent from the very beginning and there's no feeling that particular room is just a "filler" which is really nice. One of the biggest downsides is mainly caused by engine itself are lack of flares and despite level is adjusted for all players in terms of lighting I can say there'll be players for who some areas can be really, really dark which can make level less enjoyable for them. Basically it depends on monitor that player has. Another downside is that some platforming sequences can be challenging for less skilled players. I personally haven't struggled with them. Overall gameplay is pretty TR-ish. Plenty of platforming, some combat moments and so on. As I mentioned it's very well made besides a few things. :)
There's plenty of ammunition and medipacks, I would say a bit too many (personally of course) but for other players I think this amount will be perfectly balanced and they won't be afraid of loosing ammo or medipacks too quickly hehe. Good balance in enemies, not too many or too less. Well hidden secrets with nice rewards. Very good usage of assets from "The Colosseum" level and I think from the TR4 "Coastal Ruins" level I hope I am not wrong as well as from TR3 "Nevada Desert" level. I don't have any nitpicks to this. Very well done!
The atmosphere is god likely, it's so well done with good usage of flyby cameras to showcase the areas it only makes everything better. Good amount of camera hints in general. Sounds are perfectly fine, didn't find any missing, gltiched or wrong pitched ones.
Texturing is very well done, however there are some nitpicks to it on certain areas, sometimes it'd be better to use fix texture coordinates to make texture less "deformed", I also do think Sabatu was trying to imitate design like it was in original games so in that case I have no issues with that at all. Lighting is flawless, very good usage of light sources to make the level even more atmospheric, there's very good contrast between interior and outside areas. After all it's a great and very enjoyable level. Recommended!" - Mahetus (30-Jan-2022)
"An audacious attempt made with the TR5 engine, but that occasionally backfired. The level is a classic by Sabatu: sand, temples, rocks. So, if you are a fan, this is again a level for you.
The level is rather short and flows quite smoothly, but it requires backtracking and areas are often big and mostly unused. Tasks are basic, some small cosmetic issues are found (not sure if it's fault of the engine or laziness). It's a chill level but it doesn't bring anything "special", except the usage of the engine itself.
I got some crashes on reloads and at the beginning.
Combat was poor, secrets were secret.
Ireland skeletons were a nice appearance as we never see them in custom levels.
Texturing is a bit sketchy sometimes because of some too stretched ones here and there, lighting is mostly ok in bigger areas but insufficient in others, or too flat. The lack of dynamic light doesn't help (although it's an engine fault).
An okay level and an okay experiment." - dinne (30-Jan-2022)
"To begin, I've visited Petra, and Sabatu has created a convincing replica of what a visitor sees when he finally emerges from that long winding mountain pass to the see the spectacular carvings in the far wall. That alone produced a burst of much-appreciated nostalgia. The feeling of euphoria quickly faded with all those tricky jumps along precarious surfaces that consume much of the early going, but the game then settled into a leisurely exploration mode with enemies and traps thrown in to spice things up. The puzzles at the end were a bit obscure, and even though I'd seen the Indiana Jones movie that inspired this level, the details had long ago vanished from my memory, making José's walk an indispensable aid. My total playing time was just short of two hours, and I was glad for the opportunity to play another TR5 level. A fun and absorbing raid." - Phil (29-Jan-2022)
""The City of Petra" is a worthy raid built by someone with a clear eye for jumpy gameplay and architecture. It may become the best TR5 level of all time, which is a curious award in itself, given how difficult it is to work with the engine.

I think this was my first Sabatu level, and my first TR5-engine TRLE. It was a lot of fun to play, even if I found myself lost more than a few times, and forgetful about "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" near the end.

I'm sure Sabatu is a very good builder, yet he doesn't seem to worry himself too much with giving hints. Many of the ways forward are available from the start. Still, you look around at the incredibly detailed surroundings of Petra and you have no clue what to do next. I found more ammo and Medipacks than I could ever want while trying to get forwards. Some of those fixated Lara looks, some cameras, and some text hints near the end (in this case to reflect the hints in the film), would have helped.

A few more puzzles, instead of some repeated keys, for example, would have been good during the outside portion of the gameplay. Some texturing was, even if very rarely, a bit poor.

The atmosphere is incredibly good, even if limited by the lighting issues caused by the engine. Overall, the level feels great, looks great, and reveals some of Lara's shared ancestry with good, old Indy.

This was my last CaC21 level. Thank you for this instant classic, Sabatu! Congratulations on reviving the Last Crusade so well." - MigMarado (07-Jan-2022)
"Yes, it's a TR 5 level of which we've seen very few by now, but if the price for this is the lack of flares and - less so - several sound problems, I would prefer actually prefer any other engine, even TR 1. This is still not unenjoyable with interesting platforming, some intriguing puzzles (especially at the end) and solid exploration. Some of the darker parts are rather hard to navigate because neither binoculars nor shooting with pistols really helps you, only the lasersight zoom (!) makes a difference. There are well placed enemies and the two boss fights are fun, if a little too easy as the head does not even attack Lara in the corridor. The architecture and atmosphere are quite strong and maybe that's the only really positive thing to say about the engine, and visuals are overall solid as well, but there are several rather obvious texturing mistakes and some interior rooms could have more dynamic lighting. On the whole this was nice enough for the 45 minutes it lasts and as an experiment okay, but it also shows that TR 5 should not be used regularly for custom levels. Found all three secrets of which only the last one was not very easy." - manarch2 (08-Dec-2021)
"Sabatu has already released many fun and beautiful levels. This time some things worked a bit less imo. Without speaking of the absence of flares , it is imposible not to notice the wrongly apllied textures or disonant details like a spiked tile without spikes holes. The player has to keep an eye for openings that are easy to miss or for slanted blocks where Lara can stand upon. I enjoyed some of the entertaining moves around the outside areas and the fight with the enemies including two bosses. I can't help thinking the level could have been more enjoyable." - eRIC (04-Dec-2021)
"I rather enjoyed this level especially as it is TR5 level and we don’t get many of those (at time of writing this review this one makes the total 20) so for me it was a ‘must play’. I didn’t miss the lack of flares as I didn’t find it too dark, but I did find it rather confusing and spent a lot of time lost. Really good looking architecture and I didn’t notice any bad texturing. Liked the enemies, which were typical TR5 Rome. Overall a very good level that I enjoyed playing and which, considering it was built with TR5, seemed to be remarkably bug free and as someone who has built lots of TR5 levels that never got released due to innumerable bugs I think this is an achievement in itself." - StormChaser (01-Dec-2021)
"From the beginning of the level, a memory of a certain Indiana Jones movie may come to mind. At the very end of it, you will certainly confirm your suspicions. That was a nice touch; I’ve always wanted to see that temple in a Tomb Raider level. But the level is much more than that, in fact, it is the first TR5 custom level in ages, and it succeeds perfectly using the original assets to create something far superior than what TRC had to offer. Gameplay focuses on exploration and battles, with a good amount of ammo and the complete 3 weapons arsenal. A word of advice, ALWAYS look at every corner and ceiling of a room, because there are a couple of passages very easy to miss, and you might get stuck for quite a while (like I did). The only major problem in that regard is the impossibility to light up the ambience, produced by an anomaly in the editor/engine. That’s why you won’t encounter any flares, and you won’t be able to illuminate with the pistols or the binoculars. The only thing that seems to work is the red filter from the laser-sight. I think the author did as best as he could to get around this problem. Apart from that, a very enjoyable TR5 level with a great aesthetic, highly recommended. Found all secrets, took me about 1:30 hours." - Feder (29-Nov-2021)
"Oh boy, 2008 since the last TR5 level with a fully original map. And, reading the warning about the lighting, "for good reasons", I thought to myself (even if maybe it was on Tomb Editor's end and not entirely TR5); a word about the packaging and technical stuff: the archive was full of trash, like, literally there was a 0 byte file called "opengl" and several of those hidden and semmingly useless .DSstore and .finder files, as well as probably the useless "screens" folder and a ZIPPED VERSION of the ambience audio track for whatever reason, then there were 1 or 2 extra .dat files and I am almost sure there are a lot of unused audio tracks (while some actually used in the title flyby where missing... weird or bug, you can't really know with tr5 at this point). Then the .exe wasn't using the correct fov as the tomb5 project does BUT at least it was the semi-widescreen version and probably nothing else was to be done without having to use said project (I tried using it and it seemed to work well, but the skybox bugged out so I decided to stay with the provided .exe, after all we played like this for years...). At this point, I can't fault the author for the presence of the majority of those files; it's Tr5, who knows what's gonna break! *(nothing, I deleted them all and finished the level)* But enough of that, let's get ot the level itself: Competent. That's the first word that comes in mind with Sabatu's works, usually. Unpolished. That's ALWAYS the second one. Extremely well done enviroenments (with the awesome touch of it being a, rather crude but efficient and probably impossible-to-do-better-in-Tr5, rendition of the real Petra site), extremely well done texturing (besides a small texture error in one of the inner chambers of Petra and a missing "holes" texture on one spike sector)and ligthing/atmposhpere. Top notch presentation, basically. Keyword: presentation. Death rooms? Completely square and wallpapered (no, the lack of flares doesn't completely hide that, also because the laserlight lets you see them very well). Enemies? A bit spread all over the place, 2 gladiators were broken and didn't want to attack you if you didn't shoot them, the "boss" can quite literally be the second enemy you encounter depending on the path you choose and there is a lack of a real bossfight (missed chance to use both versions of the gladiator statue, it is actually possible via OCB and probably some other touchup) and by consequence one of the last secrets can be completely useless, skeletons can be shot and "killed" without anything happening (that surely is hardcoded but just reporting it); pushing buttons uses the wrong animation and you can virtually "unpush" them by pressing action again, obtaining a completely still Lara for a few second and no other effect (surely Tr5 hardcoded shenanigans, right?); many interesting spots and corners where empty; there is a sector in one water cave were you can get stuck into a slope due to a glitch, I couldn't get out. Oh, water textures: for some reason they are low quality/unfiltered even with bilinear filter on (wonder if that's a Tr5 problem too...). There probably is an unintended shortcut to the top of the city entrance, but it could have just been an unclear alternate way. Some sounds were missing I believe, most notably the "rollingcube" one, but that's probably on Tr5 engine too. I just tend to justify this level, in the end, as you can see: Tr5 is obscure. And by the love of God, HOW does it happen that a rollingball objects ROLLS BACWARDS when moving TORWARDS you? Let me guess: Tr5 engine. Finally, at the very end, yeah: level crashes on desktop on finish trigger (yes, I am aware this is 99% hardcoded crap). But don't get me wrong, it's a great level. A nice looking one, if anything. The last section, while feeling sightly rushed and offering a needlessy long (but nothing serious) pushblock, was pretty original even if inspired by the movie (how is the "kneel" puzzle achieved I have no idea, I should play Tr5 from start to finish once and for all...), and the main outside part of the game offered a nice degree of tasks (loved the lasersight and bells room) and non-linearity at the cost of a slight backtrack and possible unbalance in combat, both absolutely accetable in account of easy (and buggy) enemies and magnificent visuals. Secrets were nice even if, alongside more semi-secret pickups, they were reminescent of many original Tr5 secret spots that basically where "remember that door? Yeah it is now open. When did that happen, you ask? Who cares", but some of them rewarded with actual supplies while some did not, a thing that I don't like. In the end, as usual with Sabatu, a lot of wasted potential, a lot of nitpicks, but still competently made. Of course relasing it in time for the CaC could also be in part the cause of the "rushed" feeling. I honestly would have liked to know exactly *what* problems were actually just Tr5 being funny, that would have also helped other reviewers to see the work more objectively. Overall a fun little raid, that if anything accomplishes one thing: teaching us to never start ambitious projects in Tr5 engine, for the sake of our sanity, at least until more eventual software/project updates (at the time of writing this TE already fixed some lighting bugs related to Tr5, I guess thanks to this level too). I reviewed and scored the level accordingly to the frankly brave decision from the builder, that I wholeheartly respect, still with the hopes one day to wrap up my own Tr5 project as well." - Topixtor (28-Nov-2021)
"Non very friendly this TR5 level; the gameplay sometimes is not easy with several tricky jumps here and there but doable anyway, and this time there's a lot of backtracking if you don't do the tasks in the order the author thought (but if you follow my walkthrough, you can avoid it ;D ). As usual, the architecture and natural environments are quite good, and the atmosphere is well worked, but I found the ambience too dark in several places, so I was forced to increase the bright and the gamma settings in my PC to properly explore that areas, 'cause there are not available flares. And don't forget that if you watched the movie "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" you'll better understand the final challenges inside the temple to finish the level. All in all, another good creation from this author, worth to play. Recommended." - Jose (28-Nov-2021)
"After a long time span of six years, here is the first TR5 level in a while, and an enjoyable one it is too. Unfortunately there are a few irritations, so I shall mention them now and then focus on the positives. Firstly (I know it is stated in the readme file and maybe the TR5 engine doesn't play fair at times), I agree the lack of flares was rather annoying. None of the corridors are dark, but there are a couple of pitch black spots where at the very least I would have liked the binoculars to work properly. Some of the sounds were a little weird too, but that's a very minor issue. Also, some of the more complicated puzzles might elude you if you haven't seen "The Last Crusade" recently" (luckily I've seen it plenty of times so I wasn't too stumped). On the plus side, the texturing and atmosphere are absolutely splendid, the enemy attacks well placed to provide challenging but not frustrating combat, the exploration factor is always well tied in with the geography and the trap sequences are very enjoyable. Overall, this does require patience at times, but if you have that then this will ultimately turn out to be a very worthwhile experience." - Ryan (28-Nov-2021)
"I, unlike some, have reviewed this in the context that the author had to work with the TR5 engine. The lack of flares meant nothing after a minor tweak of my monitor's gamma. It took me back to my own visit to Petra a few years ago and I thought this brilliant take on the ancient site was a well laid out, well-textured and expansive level with great platforming. I particularly liked the initial quests to find the gem pieces - the last part follows the Indiana Jones film so was comparatively easy. I, for one, certainly wouldn't whine about having to look hard for paths after all TR is all about exploring - if you want it laid out on a plate for you, go play snakes & ladders! Some nice puzzles and craftily concealed pick-ups. Found all 3 secrets. Thoroughly recommended for those who enjoy a TR raid." - Adrian (26-Nov-2021)
"I'm very happy to see another TR5 level after 6 years out there. It's very well made level and I'm congratulating to Sabatu for managing to build this level on most unstable engine of TR5. Gameplay itself is pretty various with good amount of exploration of beautiful ancient ruins, some parkours on steep cliffs and avoiding traps. I liked the idea with hint which shows that we need to crawl to avoid boulder. Altough sometimes I found gameplay too basic. The looks of the level is very good, with nice ancient buildings and ruins scattered everywhere which really makes good atmosphere of "forgotten past". I actually felt that the lighting outside was too sunny for a cloudy day on desert. Maybe less stronger colours outside would make it look a bit better. Also I found some misshapen and incorrect textures here and there. But mostly the lighting and textures were done very well. Overally I do think Sabatu has made great job on making this level on very buggy engine of TR5. It has nice gameplay and great environment. I can definitely recommend this one." - BlackWolfTR (26-Nov-2021)
"A damn cool idea has been implemented here, namely to explore the city of Petra, like in the third Indiana Jones movie. There are interesting puzzles waiting in the rock city, especially at the end where Lara has to go through some trials. In the first one with the rolling block you have to make a certain move, here I was on the line for a while. The atmosphere is quite good, you definitely recognize Petra. However, there are also some sour cherries in this TRLE. The author says in the readme "the level is sufficiently lit". Since the TR5 engine apparently doesn't allow flares, it's damn hard to navigate through the dark corners and make out everything. I had to make my monitor extremely bright to even spot pushable blocks, ammo, etc., no chance without that change on my part! Then there are too few clues, I had to search for the way to the Armory Key for a very long time and finally had to look in a video where it is. Some doors lack sound, furthermore you see the wrong Lara animation at the push button. In my opinion, the level lacks polish and better lighting if there are no flares or are not allowed to be. Too bad because as said I like the choice of themes, the enemies are very okay and the music is appropriate. But the things mentioned are unfortunately unnecessarily frustrating. Still, thanks for this TR5 level." - vandit (25-Nov-2021)