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TR Advent Calendar 2021 - A Christmas Eve by PedroCroft_

DJ Full 8 8 8 7
JesseG 6 7 8 8
John 7 9 9 9
Kubsy 4 6 5 7
Lina La 7 6 9 8
Lioness_86 6 6 7 7
manarch2 4 6 6 6
Phil 7 7 8 8
Ryan 6 7 7 7
Vicky 5 10 10 10
 
release date: 22-Dec-2021
# of downloads: 224

average rating: 7.15
review count: 10
 
review this level

file size: 400.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: Xmas
 


author profile(s):
email(s):
pedrotrlegames@gmail.com

Reviewer's comments
"This level really defended itself from being played, also the lighting is at the border of watchability - but we somehow made it. I therefore recommend to try this game but keeping the walkthrough at the ready." - DJ Full (19-Feb-2023)
"When I first saw this level, I knew I had to play it! I love the Christmas themed levels. Even better is when they take place in a city environment. While this level was so enjoyable, the amount of glitches was not so fun. Dealing with the glitches and not being able to save in certain places was a hassle. However, the rest of the level definitely had a good TRLE advent calendar feel to it. From the environment with the snow and Christmas decorations, I think the creator capture the advent time feel well. The puzzles were fun. Overall, have to say about the level is I enjoyed it! :) Will be replaying sometime in the future." - Vicky (09-Feb-2022)
"This level is a cut or two below Another Winter City, but not three cuts. The game is actually quite intelligently laid out and is spread throughout a sprawling city map, and if not for the provided walkthrough and map I probably wouldn't have bothered. I've noted the shortcomings mentioned in the previous reviews and agree with them for the most part, but if you know in advance about the various pitfalls and what's about to happen next, it's a pretty fun and visually appealing raid. Manarch2 has mentioned the several "no save" spots in his walk and has also provided a very helpful annotated map which I resorted to on many an occasion to keep my bearings. My net playing time was two and three quarter hours, and much of this was due no doubt to the constant backtracking, but I never had this "when will it ever end" feeling. The current Advent crop has been an enjoyable one for me." - Phil (02-Feb-2022)
"Im sorry but this doesnt meet my expectations at all. I had several problems with saves, loads, bugs etc. even though I checked that screenshot folder. Atmosphere, sound are nice, but whole time I was stressed that game crashes... Maybe I will play it again for some time later.." - Lioness_86 (09-Jan-2022)
"I don't know what the builder was thinking with this one. The first problem is that this level is way too large for its own good and the quadbike, while generally helpful, repeatedly gets stuck in objects that are not even close by. Often you are even forced to reload because you cannot get out. Secondly, the non-saving areas are also very annoying even if you've seen the pictures in the folder, also because you don't know where you can save again. Thirdly, there are lots of bugs, unintended routes (why is there a party ticket in the inventory right at the start with which you can finish the level in a few minutes?) and dead-ends in this game, cameras pointing to the wrong places or are not helping at all (especially when something is triggered at the other side of the map and the camera doesn't work properly). At the end it's not much more than an orgy in backtracking and the opposite of enjoyable. Even the few tasks that are not about finding and using items are not very nice (like the conveyor belt task that only allows the correct solution or the obscure puzzle in the church), as the design is too much focussed on prolonging the gameplay time (like when you have to use a lot of similarly hidden levers in two areas). The looks also suffer from the level's size, they tend to be fairly repetitive and dull, especially the lighting outside. While texturing is okay mostly, there are some wrongly used textures on some walls the fitting only to surrounding walls. Object design is good overall, and I liked the usage of some characters, even with a nice confrontation with the only 'enemy' in this game, but there are many misplaced objects and objects hindering progression; they are also not very well lit. It could all in all have been a much more decent level with a level of a third or so of size and more logic and fluency in terms of progression, so I hope the builder reworks this project in near future. Finished in 70 minutes with all 10 decently hidden secrets found, one not by myself." - manarch2 (03-Jan-2022)
"Lara explores a large winter town, which is built up pretty well. There is a good variety of lighting between areas, and the texturing is nice despite some wallpapering and warping due to geometry. Most of the gameplay involves traveling back and forth across the town to use various items, as is on par with holiday levels. There is a lot of backtracking, but at least a quadbike is provided to reduce the pain. There are also some maps provided, I would have preferred if they were in the inventory but it's better than nothing. I did appreciate the pushblock puzzle. However there are several issues, one of which players may notice in the download; not being able to save in certain places. I also had several small but annoying collision issues both on foot and on the quadbike, as if I was running into something that wasn't there. The animations got in my way more than once, either causing me to miss a jump or giving me a headache with the camera snapping abruptly each time Lara came to a stop. The biggest issue was a softlock – when I tried to pick up the crowbar, it triggered a flyby of a door that would never exit. Thus I stopped playing at 1 hour 7 minutes." - JesseG (01-Jan-2022)
"A brave and spirited addition to the Advent Calendar, although this level did lose some of its magic and lustre along the way. The city atmosphere has its certain something, but the backtracking across numerous sections of this huge map and back again after nearly every action began to get onerous after a while, and this is only slightly offset by the more exciting gameplay in the ventilation systems and the sewers (I did enjoy the jumping sequences and timed runs). Luckily I didn’t get caught out by the save bugs and never encountered any crashes throughout, but they still should have been removed prior to release. The construction of the various buildings in this city isn't too bad, but the textures look a bit bland and the streets far too sparse, a few more objects would have helped here. The music choices tended to overlap in an annoying manner too, but I appreciated the addition of the other audio files nonetheless. Overall, a very nice attempt that just failed to be as enjoyable as it could have been. The secrets were nicely hidden though (one in particular had me going in circles for ages)." - Ryan (30-Dec-2021)
"A huge christmas city level that nearly took me 3 hours this one lol. Even with a map and a quadbike to get around on it can feel overwhelming the amount of buildings, roads and areas to have to explore around. Disappointingly a lot of the gameplay is boring fetch, collect, combine, place and repeat quests which luckily you mostly get camera hints for although sometimes you might get frustrated as where to go next as you cant remember or know where that place the camera is showing you actually is! plus the amount of backtracking that is needed can be intense but luckily made easier by that quadbike. What i really like was the other parts of the gameplay with timed runs, death defying platforming from ledges in the air, death squares and pools with tricky climbing or jumping tasks above, dangerous fans and really good pushable object puzzles the list goes on in such a variety of areas such as streets and shops, houses, sewers, churches, hotels and underground industrial areas. Unfortunately there is bugs here where you cant save in certain areas which can be annoying as you could easily get lost in this level and other irritations are just that the obscurity of some of the items and where they have to be placed despite some camera hints can be frustrating but as for the lovely snowy atmosphere, music, lighting and textures you can see how much effort has gone into this and i commend it" - John (29-Dec-2021)
"I will have to say I mostly agree with previous reviewer. I have to confess that technically I finished the game cause I reached the part where it basically gives you all the statistic etc. But I did finish it way too fast, like obviously it was not supposed to be that short. There are lots of glitches in the game. And honestly I usually find even not obvious glitches very easily in TRLEs in general. If anyone needs a beta tester I'm happy to help. So as I said I technically finished level few times, but I started over from the very beginning multiple times (if anyone is curious check out my recent past streams on Twitch). I think I was quite generous with how many chances I gave this TRLE. After playing it so many times I actually managed to make progress, but whenever Lara would get in the hotel the most hideous things would keep happening in this level, it was super annoying. However I liked how pretty level looks like, and I thought that some textures looked much better than in previous Pedro's levels. Level is colorful, there are some people that are spread all over the town: in a cafe, hotel, in the streets, like the lady with presents who was standing near fire, the guy with a dog that Lara brought blanket for. I found that type of characters if I may call them so interesting. Btw I did not understand if Lara was supposed to get in the club (party place) or not, since I gave the ticket to the lady nearby. So how did I actually finish the level so fast? Basically it would appear to be so whenever I would try leaving the hotel. Of course I found the hole on second floor and the puzzle that I had to solve but it was impossible to get in another one like that on the first floor. I also managed the little puzzle with cafe and a flat where Lara found blanket and a teddy bear. I noticed another door with a key hole but I think Lara needed crowbar to get in that area. I found a piece of paper and pencil that helped Lara to write and send a letter and after that Lara ended up with an empty box. Which I had not clue what to do with. (that was when I started over the level probably for like a fourth time cause of all the glitches). I liked Amelia's outfit, and I liked the interior design of some rooms. This level seems huge, but yes a bit empty. I liked atmosphere and the music I thought this time Pedro made it so much better. Puzzles are interesting too; sad that some of them are extra glitchy. I am planing to give this level another try. But well, due to the glitches I can finish it in few minutes. Oh also I actually managed to find two secrets. I wish I could continue playing this level and that hotel in this TRLE won't be filled with bugs." - Lina La (28-Dec-2021)
"I would like to say first of all that I am kind of glad that I have beta-tested this level because I tested this level when it had no quad or map and it was an absolute Tiring to the point I though Pedro is punishing me this Christmas. It is somewhat better than the last version I played feat: a quad however, it is still not good with bugs present in the game.

Gameplay & Puzzles: Gameplay involves searching for things through this absolutely entire huge city which I think should've been reduced by a half. It involves also a lot of and I mean a lot of backtracking (other Christmas levels had them but not on this huge map) the map (present in the inventory) does not really help as it doesn't show you where you are at the moment. There is also stuff hidden in the corners in this massive city such as the homeless man with the dog and girl or finding shops etc, after picking certain items the camera shows you them but you still need to guess where the hell they are.

And one last thing that absolutely made me mad in this game: the rooms out of bounds leading to save/load bug AGAIN, Pedro what the hell? You were told not to do that several times, instead of showing you a text ingame, you have to consult with "The areas where you can't save" folder to check where you can't save but guess what? 90% of players will probably not check the folder *sigh*

There are also bugs present such as the pushable box losing its collision and the way to fix it is to restart the game and load the previous save.

Enemies, Objects & Secrets: There weren't any enemies and object usage was ok, however, due to some rooms being large, then they felt very empty, more objects would be appreciated to decorate it even more. Secrets were well-hidden in fact.

Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: Atmosphere in the city feels very flat, very empty and dead, all you see are the lamp posts and cars with holes on the floor (it seems like the city couldn't repair the holes this Christmas) the city should be more populated and again the size of it should be halved because when it becomes huge then you don't really have control over it. The ambience music outdoors is okay when there's a Christmas chime playing but the rest is the AOD music which I think does not suit here in my opinion. Camera usage is good as it shows you where a certain item needs to be placed.

Lighting & Textures: Lighting is ok but sometimes even when the lamp posts were lit, I still felt as if the city was very flat and only ambiance colour was present (another issue as to having huge areas) a fix for that would be to put sun bulbs to improve the lighting a lot. though the inside areas were lit pretty well I must say. Texturing is also ok but on the buildings, I noticed a lot of wallpapering which, in my opinion, was unrealistic for me, you could've put stops so that the buildings aren't literally filled with every window IMO.

Summary: In summary, I think this Christmas level could've been better designed if Pedro again listened to the feedback (especially about the save/load bug) as the main problem in this level was the massive city which involved a lot of backtracking and trying to guess what the current objective is. A diary would've been helpful to keep track of progress, otherwise, you will be stuck here for hours wondering where to go and what to do. Recommended if you have patience." - Kubsy (23-Dec-2021)