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Create a Classic 2021 - Mystery of the Sunken Ship by BlackWolfTR

dinne 6 7 8 7
DJ Full 8 9 9 9
JesseG 9 9 10 8
Jorge22 7 8 9 9
Leoc1995 10 9 10 7
Lorax 9 10 10 9
Mahetus 10 10 10 8
manarch2 8 8 8 8
MigMarado 8 10 9 9
Mman 8 9 9 9
nerdfury 9 10 8 9
Olympus Mons 10 10 10 10
PedroCroft_ 8 8 9 9
Phil 8 9 10 9
Raildex 5 5 5 4
Ryan 9 9 9 8
 
release date: 21-Nov-2021
# of downloads: 172

average rating: 8.55
review count: 16
 
review this level

file size: 175.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: Ship
 


author profile(s):
email(s):
blackwolftr@wp.pl

Reviewer's comments
"That's some good ship. I was immersed and I had no problems. Cool bonus also." - DJ Full (20-Feb-2023)
"This is a sunken ship theme (along with something different for the bonus level if you get the secrets). The visuals are strong throughout, with plenty of variety within the theme, from large undersea caves to the various sections of the ship interior. Lighting and texturing are strong throughout, although I felt a few bigger areas had slightly flat lighting, but it's mostly atmospheric and interesting. The object use is also good, with some new ones that add some new interactions to the undersea theme. The bonus level felt a little less good looking than the main levels, but it's still looked fine.
This has probably the most challenging gameplay of any of the entries in CaC2021 so far, with large timed runs, plenty of traps and agility sequences along with lots of exploration. There's a nice ramp-up to the difficulty, with a relatively calm start and the difficulty rising as you go until some of the toughest challenges later. In general it does a good job guiding you, but later there are a couple of almost randomly placed switches required that are very easy to miss. Keys do blend in a lot, but camera hints are given and/or they're in clear dead-ends behind more involved tasks, so this doesn't cause much of a problem. There are a couple of moments you can get stuck, and, while you are warned about them it could have probably been handled a little more elegantly. The bonus level again felt a bit weaker, with a couple of somewhat repetitive tasks, but it's not too long so it doesn't overstay itself as an extra. A great set and one of the best entries to this so far, but less skilled players might struggle with some sequences." - Mman (26-Apr-2022)
"This level looks (and is - mainly) well crafted, but let me tell you, it's got some truly mean traps, and that special broken tile sequence, I tried it 1000.5 times, but heck, there's was always some milissecond missing - hence, I had to use a kindly provided savegame. I also didn't find all the secrets, so I guess I skipped Venice, I can't review the bonus level.So, from what I've seen, the atmosphere is good, the settings are good, the enemies are well placed, but I didn't have much fun really, it felt more like being able to complete a chore at times. Maybe I'm being too harsh, but that's how it felt. So, recommended, yes, but tough, very." - Jorge22 (07-Apr-2022)
"Great Maria Doria themed level by BlackWolfTR. There are some pretty difficult moments. I had a particularly frustrating time doing this timed run early on with collapsing floor tiles, but overall it was a great experience. If you enjoy a challenge and having your skills tested then you should definitely give this a try." - Lorax (11-Feb-2022)
"Great level with a very classic feeling. BlackWolfTR showed once again how much he improved since his debut.
Gameplay is built in more classic way basically exploration, finding keys, pulling levers, platforming and so on. There are also nice ideas to the puzzles to add some freshness. This level is definitely for more experienced players due to quite tight timed runs as well as hard trap sequences. Platforming is generally not that hard but there are more or less tricky jumps but not like pixel perfect ones. After all, gameplay is executed very well.
We'll meet plenty of enemies here, fortunately the author provided a lot of ammunition as well as the medipacks, so difficulty in this is pretty balanced. Secrets are done in the TR2 system, after collecting all three dragons you'll be rewarded with a bonus like medipacks, ammuntion or even weapon. This is done very well and reward is rather satisfying. Very good usage of "Maria doria" levels assets every static has own place and there's no chaos. Very polished category.
Atmosphere is extraordinary, from the very beginning the starting flyby sequence adds a lot to the atmosphere of this level, it's just done flawlessly. We have pleny of camera hints here, so you won't get lost that easily. Sounds are correct and there's no wrong pitched or missing ones.
Texturing is perfection. A lot of variation to make level looks interesting. I don't have any nitpicks to this, however there's a thing that bothers me a lot is the lighting, blue tint fits perfectly fine to the environment although there's lack of contrast at some spots by this I mean lack of cold and warm spots. All rooms have almost the same lighting and this kinda makes them look monotone. My next nitpick is that some important details can be missed by lack of something like lighting hint. Just show something important to push the game forward by simple light point, so most players won't miss something important. ;)
Besides this what I mentioned, this level is very polished. Great work BlackWolfTR! Recommended for more experienced players." - Mahetus (01-Feb-2022)
"A decent level but not accessible for many players. Also, this level has "traps" regarding softlocks, I met at least 3 and one is even warned in a paper Lara collects but this is a tapefixing and it shouldn't be fixed in this way (there are other tapefixed moments anyway that show the initial idea of the builder and then fast fixes later). The gameplay is generally frustrating, for these reasons: objective difficulty, misleading design (you can't break the electric box with harpoons yet you can mount the lasersight on it; you never get to use a second rope; sometimes you reach areas that are not convenient to reach but the design "suggests" you to try), symmetrical architecture that never helps orientation, same looking areas in mazeish structures, terrible pickup placement that camouflage with the environment (this is clearly made on purpose, that's even worse). Some lack of contrast in some areas make platforming difficult to see, also.
For me personally it was satisfying to finish the double timed run (personally!), but using collapsible platforms that can create a softlock (they don't, but almost, or anyway some players will think so) is wrong, especially because the player can't know that the timed run will be repeated later. Some difficulty is also probably not planned or anyway too high in random moments, like getting to grab the rope which is a really random type of difficulty, but there are others.
A lot of back and forth is required in this level, and in my opinion some areas are too unnecessarily big.
I didn't have much fun here, honestly, although some puzzle ideas can be nice, especially the ones with pushblocks and enemies placement is generally correct, but the good points are ruined by the taxing adventure in general.
As progression, this level doesn't set any specific goal while proceeding except fetching the last artifact and often I felt like I don't know what I'm looking for, or not "motivated" to continue. Probably because the level has a lot of fillers and quests that drag for too long to refill a previously built too big area, I guess. Tasks are often pretty basic, although assembled in creative (but stressful) puzzles.
Aesthetically Lara showcases a nice outfit and some areas look very atmospheric. Light is often monotonous (blue anywhere and sometimes flat, or sometimes random pitch black), though, and texturing is sometimes weird, creating white "flowers" with mirrored textures and areas are sometimes too big, leaving us with a pattern effect. Nice and creative shaping of the deadly pits with irregular floors and spikes. Audios are nicely placed, sometimes sound effects are wrong.
I couldn't bother searching for a secret I missed, to win the bonus level, so I didn't play it. There is no way I'm going to replay the level with that last area with those hammers we have to face back and forth..." - dinne (29-Jan-2022)
"Lara starts this levelset in a huge and well-decorated underwater area, thankfully with an aqua lung so she won't have to keep surfacing for area while exploring the vast area. The player is not let off easily; as Lara gets above water in some cave and shipwreck areas, she will face some tricky jumps and a very tight timed run. The difficulty does not let up in the second level which quickly introduces a multi-layered timed run that is also quite challenging. Mind you, this is not a complaint on my end as I found the gameplay quite engaging. There are also some nice pushable block sequences (easy by contrast) and plenty of steam, fire, and squishy pistons to contend with. And let's not forget the algebra exercise! Eventually the second level opens up into a lovely ballroom area (well, as lovely as you would expect in a wreckage) with a search for two fuses. This can lead to some backtracking if you miss things like the automatic pistol or the living quarters key, but the level's layout is centralized enough where that wasn't too much of a problem. Aside from that the only thing I take issue with is a certain room with enemies that cause a massive explosion as soon as Lara starts to enter. This can cause instant death without much warning, which is a bit harsh on the unsuspecting player. The adventure ends with a mutant that takes a lot of bullets, a nice finish but maybe some of the objects should have been cleared away because the enemy got stuck on those. As a last note I felt more could have been done with the lighting, but it isn't bad at all. This levelset isn't for the faint of heart, but if you're up for the challenge then this will be a rewarding experience. 1 hour 50 minutes." - JesseG (21-Jan-2022)
"The sunken ship of Lara's dreams and your nightmares awaits you in this levelset. A very entertaining and well built adventure, which marks the maturation of the author.

There were some paths that were too well hidden, and I also managed to finish the level without getting one of the key weapons. However, the adventure is very good and of medium difficulty, requiring some patience (and maybe the walkthrough).

The sound choices were jarring sometimes, and some textures weren't adequate or were stretched, which does not take away from the overall great atmosphere.

The levelset (no bonus level for me, though -- I hate hunting for secrets) took me 1h50min.

Thank you for this great level, BlackWolfTR! You're getting better by the minute! Congratulations on this soon-to-be classic." - MigMarado (29-Dec-2021)
"This turned out to be a a much more extensive adventure than I thought, and it's definitely among the longest in this competition. The first section in the ocean (alone taking me 45 minutes to complete) was merely an appetiser for the real meat of the game inside the eponymous shipwreck. The TR2 spirit is captured very nicely right down to the audio files and the enemies, and I admired the tributes to the original Maria Doria section. Darkness was a bit of an issue in the dark corridors especially when you had to traverse them numerous times, but flares are generously provided. The timed runs were also a bit too finely timed for my liking, and the thumper sequences were a bit repetitive, but aside from that you get a decent variety of whatever TR has to offer, including pushblock puzzles, platforming and a decent amount of enemies to combat. Recommended." - Ryan (25-Dec-2021)
"This CaC entry took me quite a bit longer to play (and write a walkthrough for) than I had anticipated. There are three levels. The first one involves a series of oceanic tasks in preparation for the main course, which is the second level that takes place within the confines of the sunken vessel. There are three secrets in each of the first two levels, and if you find them all you're treated to a bonus level in Venice and its environs. The game is expertly laid out and requires considerable agility on the player's part. I don't normally include savegames with my walkthroughs, but several of the sequences here, especially the timed ones, were so difficult that I felt compelled to break that rule. The double timed run near the beginning of the second level was, in my opinion, unfairly tight, so I've deducted a point in the gameplay category because of that. The later sequence with the breaktiles was inordinately difficult in the early going with that 180- degree turn onto an adjacent tile, but since I was lucky and made it on the millionth try I've decided not to deduct another point here. The thumper gauntlet is challenging but quite doable, and I debated whether or not to provide a savegame just after its successful completion, but I decided in the end to leave it in. And the timed run in the bonus level was so tight that, even though I made it in the nick of time by having saved in different slots along the way, I felt a final savegame here was justified. In all, this is an action-packed game that's not for the faint of heart, and I felt a sense of satisfaction when all was said and done." - Phil (23-Dec-2021)
"The level took some some time to get into as finding a start in the huge water area wasn't so nice, the cave section felt too dark to get oriented easily and you can actually drop to the floor of the cave area without dying (without a chance to return back up), but from then on things improved and I had a quite good time here. There are enjoyable and not too easy timed runs, diverse tasks and puzzles to solve and also some decent traps, good usage of breaktiles and the crowbar, and nicely done enemy encounters. At the end of the second level things could've been shortened a bit as tasks were slightly less inspired. The atmosphere is overall quite nice with some nice views to outside areas, but there are few really stunning areas. Texturing is done competently but the ligthing could have benefited from more diversity as many rooms look pretty similar. Nevertheless, this level was another good one of this builder and the 1:25 hours it took me to finish it were time well spent. Found all six nicely hidden secrets and thus could enjoy the sweet little bonus level." - manarch2 (17-Dec-2021)
"i want introduce i've played this custom on beta testing and i already saw the final version with him(which is my friend)... Gameplay & Puzzles: i really enjoyed much the gameplay was the strongest part of this project with a lot of explorations,exploring and variaty of tasks on a wherecked ship.....puzzle as kinda challenge for me principally the math one made me use fexinspect but any stuff with math made my brain stop working lol..overall the gameplat in general was much funny for me.... Enemies, Objects & Secrets: this level are very well decorated for a wherecked ship with classic humans of TR2...very well balanced..but some parts with the trap ''Heavy Stamper'' was a bit frustating for me with a lot of try's made me annoying...as well with a very amount of less pushable made me stressful at some parts of this level...there's no problem have pushable but this ammont??? same happen on bonus level....some timed runs was kinda challenging...besides some flaws the rest sound wounderful :)))) Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: level design was very well builded and i can say how this builder improved his skills looking the seguiment of releases of this builder...level 1 i got very surprised with a very well did ocean with a night horizon...ship was well very builded the opera,machine room and broken pool and many stuff...good job once again BlackWolfTR.... Lighting & Textures: i would say texturing was very well applyed principally on ocean part was very very well did and the ship as well...overall lighting was fixed of last test time now constrast have a fixed version than last time lighting was mixed with RGB and TR2 lighting...seems be fixed and mucgh better now.... btw i really enjoyed this project...was much funny and stressful to found lasersight lol XD,but the custom is really good..the best maria doria i've played on last years...higly recommended for everyone of course but level need skills and not for bengnners...2h20...." - PedroCroft_ (02-Dec-2021)
"Unfortunately, I can't like this level. You are running from switch to switch, from key to keyhole without any major theme. It makes some major DONTs. For example making two consecutive timed runs with collapsible floor - the result is a softlock. The author should have seen it coming that this can result in a soft lock. I needed to restart from an earlier savegame because of this. There are some rooms that feel like they needed to be there just so you can open one door with a key or switch once more. There is no direct goal you need to achieve, it's just one big fetch quest chain. The level knows exactly two light schemes: bright blue or pitch black. There is no inbetween. The author could have played around alot with contrast in the levels, since the texture palette is mostly one-colored already. The boss felt kind of out of place, considering that nothing actually hinted towards it." - Raildex (01-Dec-2021)
"Although I haven't played them all, the levels created by BlackWolf tend to have some similar things: exploration, timed-runs, some hard jumps and interesting puzzles. In this CAC, the author gives us a MariaDoria-style level with an interesting and fun gameplay in general, maybe with the same quality of the CEC level (that i still need to do a review). I had been invited by the author to betatest this CAC, but due to my lack of time I couldn't start and so I do this review after playing for the first time. The first level spends most of its time off the ship, exploring the underwater caves to find a way to enter the depths of this submerged ship. I liked the lighting of the level, especially outside the ship. But inside the ship some rooms give a feeling of standard lighting in my opinion, where I think the author could have worked a little more with the dark effects in some rooms, even to make Lara a little more 3D. I understand some inspiration in another MariaDoria style levels, but i think this could be an improvement for a ship level with the TR4 engine. Another point that I emphasize for the author to improve is "highlight the key items". If I'm not mistaken the first level, for example, has three keys, and the three I had trouble to notice at first. The Detonator Key I literally ran over and didn't notice. Maybe in that cave adding textures from a box with the key on top of it, or adding some statics like a skeleton next to it would make it stand out more. Same thing for the key that we found after using the detonator, as the texture of the key and the background are the same color and probably my screen isn’t the best (this fact can cause migraine and players can have problems like me, but that's another story that some people will understand by reading this review, so you reader don't consider what I wrote inside these parentheses). Back to the review, with the aspects mentioned, I believe that lighting and textures could have been better polished, especially in this matter of “highlighting” the objects (7). Therefore, the main element that I suggest to the author is to give due emphasis to the key items, with lighting, different textures, statics, etc. For this same reason I also reduce one point in the objects, enemies and secrets aspect (9). In the level 2 we start with a timed-run that requires the player's best skills. It took me several attempts to get this timed-run right, but I think it's very close to the limit. This is a point that the author balances in his levels over time. I saw an improvement over its previous level, but I still believe that this timed-run could take a few more seconds of delay to close the door (even considering that it's not a single timed-run, but a double, which requires patience and skills). In addition, the fixed camera that shows the outside of the ship can be irritating for running and such camera harmed me in some of the attempts of this specific timed-run. These are just a few details that I think could be improved in later levels by this author. The Level 3 is a bonus level that only with all secrets is possible to play, so I will focus in the main levels. Overall, the variety of gameplay with cool puzzles makes this classic MariaDoria-style adventure bring certain nostalgia points that are worth playing. Because this, for me it’s an authentic 10 for gameplay. For the atmosphere and sounds, I think is excellent, with a good use of the classic tracks to create the level's context. It's just the camera aspect already mentioned that brings some “not-good” aspects to gameplay (to not say bad, because is not bad). But on the other hand practically all the levers have camera indication, which is an aspect that I think is very positive for a TRLE. In this sense, another 10 on atmosphere, sound and cameras. Overall, I've been following the author's progress and I see we have an excellent builder in development. Achieving total balance of a level is practically impossible for an author, but I know that when Blackwolf achieve even more balance in gameplay build, then we will always have a great level to play. An adventure recommended for all fans of ship MariaDoria-style levels (copycat "J"? In the bad sense no, but in the good sense a great adventure). Continue with the great work BlackWolf!!! Recommended for players with some skills, not for beginners I think. I finished the level in 2 hours and 10 minutes, with only 1 secret. My rating is 10/9/10/7." - Leoc1995 (30-Nov-2021)
"BlackWolf has created a fantastic level that I have thoroughly enjoyed playing. The theme is fantastic and has been well thought out. One thing I absolutely love most about this level is the more unique puzzles, can’t say much without spoilers but I enjoyed the TNT part, for example. They do make you think, and I really believe BlackWolf has got the balance of challenging, but do-able, bang-on here. I know I probably say it a lot, but I do love the ship/underwater levels, and Mystery of the Sunken Ship is a great example of how good they can really be. I finished in around 2 hours 30 minutes with 4 out of 6 secrets. Highly recommended, BlackWolf - nice one - 10/10/10/10" - Olympus Mons (29-Nov-2021)
"(9) Gameplay & Puzzles: This is a challenging duo-level adventure that took me about 2 and a 1/2 hours. Exploring large areas is the main focus, however the builder also includes plenty of puzzles, tricky platforming, timed runs, and combat. There's not that many traps here (nowhere near as many as in the builder's recent release, "Remnants of the Fallen Forest Kingdom"). I always wanted to press on further, and the gameplay flow is smooth and exciting from start to finish. Although there are certainly some large areas to explore, I did not feel disorientated as the builder does an excellent job of introducing to the player sections of the world bit by bit, if that makes sense. I usually find pushable puzzles boring, however the pushable puzzles here are different from "the usual", and good fun. Other specific tasks I really enjoyed are the 4 numbers puzzle, the mini-maze where you pickup the automatic pistols, and the thrilling breaking tile platforming sequences. (10) Enemies, Objects & Secrets: There are some fun enemy engagements with shotgun goons here, and the final boss fight is epic and awesome. The rats make weird noises, but that's a very small issue. The builder did a wonderful job of bringing his world to life with object decor. There are so many professional subtle little details regarding objects, such as the use of the crowbar to remove debris to repair a mechanism, the blinking lights of a dressing room, the flora and fauna outside the ship, etc. I did miss the many crazy traps found in RotFFK, but that's fine as the builder is going for a different gameplay style here. (8) Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The atmosphere and environmental immersion is spectacular, as is the "sense of place" for the player in this eerie world. The builder combines rocky organic geometry with man-made ship interiors beautifully. Flybys, static camera hints and music cues are very good. I wanted to give this category a 10 so badly however for me there are some issues here. There are a number of tricky timed runs in which the triggered object is not near the activating switch. For example: near the start of level 2 there are 2 intertwined timed runs, also a timed run in the ballroom on the 2nd floor, and a timed run involving the deactivation of a stamper near the end of level 2. None of these timed runs have a sound cue (or visual indicator) to indicate that they are timed. I think player-friendliness would have been greatly increased if the builder had communicated to the player that these tasks are timed. Another issue with this category is that the shaking camera during the stamper section was uncomfortable for my eyes. One more (minor) thought is that after Lara repairs the mechanism and uses a switch to activate it, there is no sound or camera to show the important event of the mechanism raising. I think this would have been great for building immersion. (9) Lighting & Textures: The texturing is so beautiful across the adventure (the starting cavern looks especially stunning). It's a dark level, as to be expected with the ship class, however the builder is very generous with flares and I never felt like the darkness/visibility contributed to me being confused about my next objectives. The binoculars definitely helped me a lot in the dark cavern platforming area of level 1. So, I would say that the lighting is good, except I noticed that it was fairly common in level 2 for Lara to look 2D/flat. Overall, I had a great time and highly recommend this level to experienced players, but there's definitely some aspects in the 3rd category that frustrated me. When considering the very high polish and professionalism of the builder's 2 recent levels, I am truly so excited for more to come. 9/10/8/9. P.S. As a side note, I find it impressive that the builder recently released 2 high quality levels that have a significantly different gameplay style from each other (RotFFK is more agility-focused whereas MotSS is exploration-focused)." - nerdfury (27-Nov-2021)