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Essen Mysteries by ilariacroft

Adrian 10 9 10 10
Bangkok 9 8 8 8
billie2001 8 9 10 9
DJ Full 9 10 10 9
eRIC 8 9 9 9
Feats 10 10 10 10
John 9 9 9 9
Jorge22 9 10 10 10
manarch2 8 9 9 9
Phil 9 8 9 9
requiemsoul 9 9 9 9
Ryan 8 9 9 9
Samu 9 9 10 9
Sponge 10 9 10 10
TimJ 8 8 10 9
release date: 17-Jun-2022
# of downloads: 222

average rating: 9.13
review count: 15
review this level

file size: 250.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: City

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"One of the best levels I've played this year. The puzzle with the bike, the stealth zones and the last time trial were very nice. I really liked the detail of not being able to enter the church with the motorcycle (You have to be respectful with the sacred places :)). I'm looking forward to playing next chapter. Very well done." - requiemsoul (11-Nov-2022)
"I have played the previous chapters .. I love the continuity of the story and the fact that it is also dubbed in Italian, something very special that brings even fans who do not want to be there to translate and maybe lose the thread of the story. very intricate puzzles between them but well proportioned with the surrounding environment. I hope very soon in the continuum and that the creator will one day enclose it in a single game all the chapters. having said that really congratulations." - Bangkok (25-Oct-2022)
"I thought it would be the last episode of this adventure but it seems we will surely have another sequel and i guess many players will look for it, this builder always delivers works of quality and is also good at storytelling. The beginning in Essen is a bit slow but becomes more immersive as the level unfolds, with some smart use of objects. In the end we have some action and more enmies, the timed trial was quite easy to do in time but as you can't know that , it is still a thrill. Good work." - eRIC (08-Oct-2022)
"I finished what is currently a trilogy of Mysteries games and this is definitely the best of the bunch so far! A beautifully and cleverly crafted level that was a joy to play! Only point of frustration was the stealth section towards the end but it in no way detracted from what was a very enjoyable experience overall! Without spoiling I look forward to a continuation of this series if the builder decides to do so!" - Feats (12-Sep-2022)
"Lovely and atmospheric setting that makes me want to visit the city of Essen someaday, coupled with engaging gameplay and a lot of technical gimmicks (especially stealth parts) that makes this a quite cinematic experience at times. While the gameplay has a few slower parts and there could be more challenges here and there I thought that puzzles are quite enjoyable and there are a lot of interesting tasks to maintain interest. The looks are very solid and I must say that the builder has evolved quite a bit since her debut, so if this continues we will maybe see a sure HoF contender next time (?) ..." - manarch2 (16-Aug-2022)
"There are three acts to this level. The first one is similar to a lot of other city levels where you run around and backtrack a lot to find items scattered across the map. Then, there is a short stealth moment in a museum that surprised me, as I didn't know we could now use those stealth elements from TR5 in custom levels! The final act is a rescue mission to save Jean-Yves before the police arrives to arrest Lara for murder. While easy, the last act was quite dynamic with this race against the clock and was a good way to put excitment in a level that was a bit lacklustre in its beginning.
But indeed, Lara is a murderer. It's the first time that I'm shocked with the way I've killed a npc in this game, but I literally opened a garage and killed an innocent civilian garage worker who wanted to prevent the intrusion. :-(
Anyway, the beginning has Lara running around to gather some stuff to open access to some other stuff. There is some tight timed runs and surprise rollingballs smashing Lara that I would have liked being announced with some suspense musical cue. Some puzzles were confusing. I thought that trying delta and omega one on side would free the object on this side and respectively for the other side. But no, the other object was freed with a completely different mechanism. Another set of greek letters would thus have been a better way of making the puzzle understandable. I knew there was a raising block, but the way to activate it way illogically on the other side of the building in the crypt. A keyhole would have made much more sense in this case. The stealth elements were welcome, but maybe underused as it was only a short section and, as I said before, I liked the final challenge that redeemed this level for me.
Before the end of the level I went to the walkthrough to see what secrets I missed and I must say I didn't like the first secret that relied on luck if you happened to light a flare at the right place and saw there was an invisible door. The one with the table was however really well thought and it's secrets like those that I like, pushing people to think and I'm never mad about missing those, I know I should have been more clever. Regarding the use of objects to decorate the level, with so much effort put into building a wonderful level with many custom objects and textures, I don't understand why the little details weren't more worked on. For example there are many objects that are straight from tr4 without any retexturing and they sometimes felt out of place, like the doors from the Great Library or a minaret from Cairo on top of the Cathedral in lieu of a tower bell (but I found the catacomb fountain to be really nice in a hotel lobby, though!). The level is generally well built with some beautiful places, like the cloister. But if I compare the hotel to what AgentXP did for her Christmas in Prague, I clearly cannot give the same grade, there is a step higher attainable.
The full italian voice over was surprising, but accompanied with subtitles. It was amusing to hear Lara and Jean-Yves speak another language! We could sometimes hear the actors breath into their mics though. The cinematic cutscenes were very entertaining, but I would have liked one or more flyby cameras to showcase the work on the cathedral.
Regarding the work on textures, it's near flawless, with some odd choice in the sewers and it seems that all didn't have the same resolution, but that wasn't that much of an issue, it's rather seamless.
In short, it's a pretty cool level that doesn't invent anything new but still is a good time to play. Recommended for everyone." - TimJ (11-Aug-2022)
"A playable - and interestingly made - game! The beginning feels a little slow, but as the story unfolds, especially after Lara gets into the church, and then the museum, things heat up. I didn't actually plan on using the bike, but well, one has to. It's not tough, but you sometimes must think things through, a bit out of the box, so as to make it, most especially in the museum, with its VCI touch (how does Lara even pass by one of the guards without him even noticing she's there, as she's escaping the most dangerous area?). The ending, at the hotel, includes a very doable, somewhat complex, timed run to save Jean-Yves. The settings and textures look pretty good. The dialogues don't feel intrusive. Good job." - Jorge22 (16-Jul-2022)
"This is in my opinion without a doubt the best level that ilariacroft has released so far. The game kept me engaged every minute by offering several easy but unique puzzles and interesting ways to interact with the environment. One of my favorite sections was the museum which features possibly the best stealth that I have seen in custom levels. I wish that this section was slightly lengthier but on the other hand it is better to leave the player wanting more than to overuse certain features. I liked also very much the ending in the hotel, where things get kinda heated and Lara has to rescue Jean Yves before police capture her. Moreover, the environment looked impressive containing carefully crafted architecture and a great use of color. It will be interesting to see how the story continues in the next part." - Samu (16-Jul-2022)
"Okay this is already on par with hall of famers and significantly steps up the game compared to both prequels. Ilaria is learning very fast and the experience in the (so far) final part of the trilogy is through the roof... literally and not. Essential!" - DJ Full (11-Jul-2022)
"(Huzzah! My first review!) This game takes you on a really entertaining trip through a historic part of the city of Essen. After 1.5 h Lara got one step closer in her quest and I am anticipating the sequel already! In terms of gameplay, this game is truly a masterpiece. Some cutscenes explaining the story also tell you your objectives. Players are guided through the game fairly well to make sure one finds one's way. Still, the puzzles will test your brain cells. Noticeably, a lot of thought was put into avoiding back-tracking, so that Lara ends up opening new ways and shortcuts throughout the map. Finally, a blend of exploration, action, puzzles and stealth offers a diverse, well-paced and fun gameplay experience! I don't see what could have been done better regarding gameplay; it's perfect! The authentically designed scenery has become somewhat of a trademark component in the way ilariacroft is designing custom levels. Photographs in the loading screen make it clear just how much effort was put into creating a believable model of the dome of Essen and its surroundings. Some objects and textures have been slightly modified to complete the ambience. The enemies in this game were well-chosen and placed in a way that creates a dynamic contrast to the exploration part of the game. The ending of the game really brings it all together in terms of music, atmosphere, gameplay and enemies. That's what big time entertainment looks like." - Sponge (07-Jul-2022)
"I really enjoyed this level. Great texturing and layout. The gameplay though was even better and nicely varied with some good puzzles. Very much looking forward to the next installment. Found 3 of 3 secrets." - Adrian (05-Jul-2022)
"Set at night in part of a city which initially includes exploring the streets and sewers looking for items, keys or switches to progress further wasn’t exactly a fun start for me despite the motorbike that was available from the start to drive around on but after the first 10/15 mins or so the gameplay dramatically changes from mundane to mesmerising! We have some original and fun puzzles here especially the use of the lift and motorbike in order to gain access to the museum, I enjoyed the platforming and all the different style timed runs and tasks involving raised block platforms and hot saunas and of course the traps! later on we have to test our stealth and timing skills with some proper VCI style gameplay sneaking around avoiding guards and laser beams. The variety in the gameplay certainly matches the variety in environments to play in as we have the streets, sewers, a Church, a crypt, museum and so much more. I thought the visuals, cutscenes, atmosphere and music was almost perfect with the setting and you can tell so much care has been taken with this level to make it both fun and engaging and it was! so well done to the builder" - John (27-Jun-2022)
"The third installment in this series provides another hour or so of sufficiently enjoyable raiding without providing anything too complicated in the gameplay section. The surroundings are pleasing and carefully put together with an eye for detail and the few dark spots don't hinder too much, and the cutaways were nice touches without ever being intrusive. Gameplay mainly centres around exploration interspersed with a few small puzzles and timed runs (though the ending escape one was really well thought out) and the guard and dog battles keep proceedings spiced up. Recommended." - Ryan (24-Jun-2022)
"The level starts with a warning about a possible bug with the motorbike, but I used it rather liberally to get from one place to another more quickly and I never encountered any problems. That was a nice touch, putting it on an elevator and using its weight to crash through a glass ceiling. There were other inspired moments as well, such as sneaking up behind a guard and stabbing him in the back, playing chicken with two other guards to keep them from noticing you, and a generous timed run at the end that forces you to decide whether to pause for assorted pickups while making your escape. The ending is abrupt by design, leaving the player panting for the promised sequel's early release. There's a plethora of flare and ammo pickups, and perhaps there could have been a better balance with the medipacks (of which there's a relative dearth). Still, I was never in danger of running out of the latter. The surroundings are well crafted and pleasing to the eye, the gameplay is varied without presenting any undue challenges, and I spent well more than an hour here while preparing a written walk. Recommended." - Phil (23-Jun-2022)
"A new fun adventure from Ilaria -the third of the series- and it's getting better and better. The gameplay has a bit of everything (exploration, platforming, traps, timed runs) and the flow is excellent. There are also several puzzles. Not fancy, but nice. The secrets are not very hard to find, but they are cleverly hidden. Good camera work and nice music cues. The environment looks beautiful and, as in all Ilaria's levels, it feels fresh and new. In short, everything is there for a highly enjoyable adventure. Eager to see what's next." - billie2001 (19-Jun-2022)