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The M16 Curse by alan

DJ Full 7 9 6 5
dragooncroft 6 4 4 3
JesseG 8 7 5 5
manarch2 5 6 3 2
Phil 7 6 7 6
Ryan 7 6 5 4
The Snarky Lesbian 6 7 2 2
Torry 7 8 8 7
release date: 22-Sep-2022
# of downloads: 63

average rating: 5.63
review count: 8
review this level

file size: 52.80 MB
file type: TR2
class: nc

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"So the first thing you see when you play the first level, is that it is ugly. Like really ugly. But that is a harsh thing to say because I'd say that I enjoyed my time. But there is no way about it, the levels are really hard to look at. Overall the get better with every single level, but the first level has a face only a mother could love. Problem here is manyfold. There is the use of gigantic rooms with little in them, that make you look at nothing but the walls repeated textures. There are rooms where it feels like a single image was taken and plastered over an entire structure with an almost eye burning effect, and on top of it, there is a lot of horrific glitchy geometry. This isn't a TR2 issue, geometry does not have to be so awkward. And the author knows it, because not all the levels in this set are this bad. Levels 3 and 4 are absolutely fine on the texture front, but the first level gave me an aneurysm. The final nail in the coffin graphics-wise, is that you don't know where you are or what it is supposed to represent. Is the first level a tomb? Is the third level a ditch? The fourth level is the only one where it could be found inside an oil rig-esque area. Or some industry at sea. No levels don't have to make sense, but they should at least represent some area in the world. Like, in TR2 the Opera House level has some odd areas in it, but overall it sells the illusion that it is a ruin of an old opera house, now used by some sinister faction for smuggling. Level 3 in this pack has the Opera House textures, but I have no idea where I am.
Selling the illusion of visiting actual places is not a requirement by any means, but since both the official Tomb Raider games and most custom TR levels on this site sell this exact illusion quite well, it IS something players will notice and receive some whiplash from. Also some levels had areas where the ceiling was so low that the camera went all over the place, making me feel so disoriented that it made my toenails curl up.
I don't want to be all negative here though. Because it isn't all negative. The first level in this pack of 4 levels is kind of a tragedy to me, but from there on it gets a lot better. Visually, Level 2 is an ugly St. Francis Folly, but the gameplay of wrapping in and around the tower is fairly nice. The space is used well. If level 1 is an E, level 2 is a C+ at least. Level 3 is a bit dower and too dark in places, but had absolutely fine gameplay. Especially since more enemies appeared, fairly nice. Level 5 then is the, in my opinion, best level out of the entire set. Since first of all it has a consistent and higher quality use of textures, it uses the TR2 Offshore Rig Textures, it isn't a single texture plastered manyfold over a single room like in the first level. Also it has a good length, a fair amount of enemies, fitting puzzles, the rooms loop in on themselves and preview upcoming rooms AND - the first couple of rooms represent TR3's Hight Security Compount in a way that made me go AAAAAAHHHHH I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE! Could only be better by having the extra rooms that you open release Monks to attack your enemies. What a nice little homage. It was however weird to find lots of ammo pickups in the level, despite no longer finding the guns they were for, especially since the level took all your guns at the start. That was kinda... odd.
All in all, the levels got better with more or less every single new level. If I had to give them each a rating it would look like this:
Level 1: E , Level 2: C+ , Level 3: C- , Level 4: B
Overall if there is something to take away for the creator, make your next levels like Level 4 in this pack and you will be golden." - The Snarky Lesbian (06-Jan-2023)
"This TR2 four-level continues the builder's preference of offering halfway decent gameplay but with rather crude and average aesthetics. The graphics are more glitchy than before here as a lot of the rooms tend to look rather abstract due to the wallpapered textures, and there are issues with the geometry and the floors not lining up correctly causing a few stuck situations. The atmosphere (or what there was left of it) was also sadly compromised by the lack of audio usage, aside from the ambient soundtrack. The gameplay does at least make up for that somewhat, with some decent usages of traps, block pushing exercises and challenging timed runs and I do find myself in agreement with Jesse regarding the combat, it was quite engaging. The backtracking could have been trimmed down a bit, though. A bit of a mixed experience." - Ryan (25-Oct-2022)
"Playing TR2 levels is always something of an ordeal for me because of the built-in visual limitations, but this four-part release is a better raid than the review numbers to date would lead you to believe. Each level stands alone and is of average length, that is to say, roughly 45 minutes to an hour. The gameplay throughout is rather engaging, but as others have noted, some weapons become available more than once (of course, if you already have that weapon the pickup counts only as additional ammo, and I've so indicated in the written walk). Depriving the player of all weapons to begin the final level was an annoying touch, compounded by the fact that you no longer need them by the time the last ones become available. Moreover, although there were several automatic pistol ammo pickups along the way, that weapon was never found in the final level, making me wonder if the builder simply forgot about it. Anyway, if the woeful graphics characteristic of the TR2 engine don't put you off, this is certainly a worthwhile download." - Phil (22-Oct-2022)
"Visually, this is a step in the wrong direction. Texturing is pretty bad here and you can do a lot better with TR 2, not even speaking of the technical side with all of the standard errors, the texturing also feels random and weird, wallpapers sometimes across floor, walls and ceiling, not fitting to the room etc., together with a room design that is functional at best, but in general not very agreeable, and hardly any usage of audio. Only in the last level this was a bit more coherent, but towards the end again not. The gameplay is rather okay, while having a lot of standard and less inspired elements I liked the usage of flooding/draining and a few decent traps. The object design has its certain charm and enemy attacks are also nice. While there were a few hard to miss secrets, some of the hideouts were somewhat creative. Overall, 1:30 hours that featured okay gameplay but, sorry to say, really unaesthetic design." - manarch2 (14-Oct-2022)
"This is a set of four levels that vaguely resemble different locales from TR2. I'm going to be blunt, the visuals are lackluster in this levelset. Textures are constantly wallpapered and warped, and in spite of the various decorative objects, the areas feel more like abstract ideas as opposed to actual places to visit. There are also some legitimate bugs with the geometry, as triangular surfaces are used, and those aren't supported in TR2, leading to some janky floor collision. However the gameplay fares much better, with plenty of challenging traps to dodge, and weapons to collect (and re-collect) to face off against an ever-increasing horde of goons as the adventure progresses. The gameplay isn't perfect - some oddly placed deadly tiles and pools are one example of that - but it was engaging enough for me to see the adventure to the end. 2 hours 22 minutes." - JesseG (29-Sep-2022)
"Typical TR2 level with lots of avenues to follow. T got stuck on multiple occasions because of missed switches and trap doors that you cannot see until you are right on top of them so explore carefully. Textures are typical of this engine so not flash but not bad either. Rooms are boxy and large but all in all a lot of fun to be had here. Had me at the keyboard most of the day. Only found 4 secrets. My one complaint is that after going through three torturous levels I final lay my hands on the Cursed M16 and on exiting the level to start the final level Lara loses all her weapons. WTF? You do get it back later in level 4 but how disappointing." - Torry (27-Sep-2022)
"When playing this game, I felt like I was experiencing a fever dream from my childhood, like when I would play too much Tomb Raider before bed. I felt this sense that something was missing. In the first two or so levels, there are a lot of open, empty rooms with repeating textures on the wall. A lot of the rooms felt like test/experiment rooms, with flickering textures and the rooms not quite connecting properly. There were also collision issues (i.e. the cave and the big water room you blow up). No music was used except for the ambiance, but there was good use of cameras to show opened doors. The gameplay early on felt rudimentary, but it started picking up momentum around the time Lara loses her weapons; the final level felt the most complete. This game did have some fun and challenging sections, but I think it could use some tweaking and polishing." - dragooncroft (25-Sep-2022)
"Begins like a bad level, ends like a good one. Strong at pace, combat and secrets, so if you can live with drafty graphics, you will have fun here." - DJ Full (23-Sep-2022)