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Horizons - Demon Saga (Demo) by justin

CalrOsario 10 10 10 10
ddaring_dash 10 10 10 10
DJ Full 9 10 10 9
Jorge22 10 10 10 10
Juno Jim 10 9 10 10
Phil 9 10 10 9
requiemsoul 9 10 10 9
Ryan 10 10 10 10
Treeble 10 10 10 10
Wolf7 10 10 10 10
 
release date: 13-Oct-2022
# of downloads: 542

average rating: 9.83
review count: 10
 
review this level

file size: 606.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: nc
 


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

Reviewer's comments
"This game is a new approach to gameplay and concept about progression through spaces and tasks. It's simply brilliant. Of an unparalleled level. Perfect, beautiful and stunningly grandiose!! Highly recommended !! Despite being a DEMO, it looks like a complete game. Concepts were pushed to the limit. Simply amazing!!! 10/10 in all categories!! I'll keep an eye out for the final version and play the previous adventure (Hellgate Saga). I'm going to pay more attention to Justin's work, which, i realized, is amazing!! This demo game is without the slightest doubt Hall Of Fame!!! A note for the puzzles in general and in particular for the numbered discs one: Simply fantastic!! A MUST PLAY !!" - CalrOsario (29-Oct-2023)
"This might be labeled as a demo, but it offers so much more substance than you could ask even from a full fledged release. Not only massive and pretty complete levels, but a plethora of new ideas make this one incredible showcase as of how far TRLE'ing has come since our early days (and to top it off, Justin was also providing us great fun back then just as well!). The enhanced binoculars have a realtime compass attached to them, makes me wonder how far we are from having a standard-ized permanent thin compass line on the top of the screen, as we see in every other modern game out there, it would certainly make things much easier. The amount of nods and references is off the charts, the author also has included a gallery of notes and easter eggs which gets filled with each secret you collect, there's great voice acting to go along with it, excellent use of sounds, and the author continues to push the envelope with quite elaborate puzzles and mechanics. Perhaps gathering resources might get old rather quick, but the fact we have a crafting system (and merchants) working is mind boggling. The best part of it all is probably the humor, something I desperately needed without even realizing, and this level had me grinning like a boy. This is nothing short of impressive, from start to finish, and it's "just" a demo! (@j Please let me audition for a character!). 3h20min, 5 secrets. 05/23" - Treeble (14-May-2023)
"There is much to learn from this game. Some scripts should be preserved as templates for future projects just so the next builders don't have to repeat the tremendous effort invested here. I would skip some gameplay ideas included, but everything was possible to figure out." - DJ Full (08-Dec-2022)
"I was delighted with the new mechanics in this level. Especially such mechanics as wardrobe and fast travel. I constantly asked myself - but how did the author do this ?! I like that the level combines both classic tomb levels and levels in a modern sci-fi setting. This level gave me back the feeling of childish delight in front of what you have not seen yet and what you really like. I will wait with great interest for the full version of the level!" - ddaring_dash (22-Nov-2022)
"WOW !!! Very good !!! Excellent detail, good lighting, interesting puzzles, didn't mind the complexity. Do another one !!!" - Juno Jim (13-Nov-2022)
"As we've come to expect from Justin, Demon Saga provides an entertaining raid with several new features never before seen in a custom level. It's enormously complex as well, and I would not have gotten far without Dutchy's elaborate walkthrough close at hand. On the downside, that intangible fun factor was sadly diminished in my case, especially during the extended in-ship segments where the rooms and corridors started looking the same after a while. I found myself longing to explore a brightly lit outdoor alien environment, such as what we encountered in the earlier Hellgate release, but that was never offered here. But on the other hand, the brief tasks on the outer hull, battling those air currents, presented a welcome change of pace. For a demo this is quite formidable, clocking in for me at a bit over five hours, and when the complete game is released I'm hoping that there will be a savegame for those who don't wish to plow through those grueling ship levels a second time. I was impressed with the lineup of those who contributed to the making of this epic, and the artwork of Anastasia Croft, whoever she may be, is simply outstanding. More, please." - Phil (27-Oct-2022)
"The new mechanics typical of the current generation are very well implemented, the level of detail is superb (the footsteps in puddles of blood splash the screen or the animations when Lara dies) and the design of sound is a masterpiece. The most interesting challenges are the secret ones and the normal challenges are enjoyable but a bit easy. In sum, I can't wait for the complete adventure." - requiemsoul (27-Oct-2022)
"This was a party of a very long demo (as in game, albeit without the ending levels). I had already enjoyed the Christmas demo thoroughly, but this add-on takes Horizons to new heights, and I can only repeat myself: it was funny and fun from the beginning to the end,not your usual Tomb Raider, instead quite original and creative - and doable, understandable. Yes, it's player-friendly (yet very entertaining), which is always a plus in my book as a player. The design looks flawless to me, it's varied, it contains nice puzzles and exploration detours of all sorts, the atmosphere keeps you on your toes, and the enemies are quite different and rewarding, because you can actually beat them. It's a bit of a film, isn't it? Maybe the run against the wind was a bit too much, as I had to look up how I could get out of that place. I also had to resort to the walkthrough to find my way to the guest room, even though it wasn't really that difficult (but the map is huge). The underwater level and the catacombs were a blast. I hesitated to give the Christmas demo maximum ratings, but I will this time, as anything less than that would be unfair." - Jorge22 (22-Oct-2022)
"Now here is something completely different. Having been drastically expanded from the previous Advent Calendar demo of the same name (and still bearing the "demo" moniker, implying that there's more to come), this is now an excellently playable adventure in its own right. And what a magical experience it is too. It's difficult to add much to the previous encyclopaedic review, but I will try my best. The gameplay isn't actually conventional TR gameplay (although there is still a fair bit included), it's more centered around interacting with the environment and manipulating it to your advantage, although there is a bit of puzzling action too. There's also campfires dotted around the various levels where you can upgrade your gear at the expense of a little salvage which you'll collect on your travels, as well as merchants where you can purchase extra supplies using silver coins. The surroundings throughout are refreshing and extremely pleasing, while the atmosphere has a palpable aura of spookiness. If I had a couple of minor complaints, it's that the open-air "running against strong head-winds sequence" was a little too much on the tricky side and the teleporting mechanics were a bit of a hassle, especially when the map was so immense. Apart from those, this is impressive indeed." - Ryan (18-Oct-2022)
"This is a special occasion, thus I will adopt again my rather shortlived yet detailed review style, reminiscent of such classics such as my long review for Bradley's Biohazard and review for Horizons Hellsgate Saga, which is a pretty neat custom built by Justin you might wanna try it out... wait? What? Oh this is the same Justin? Well that explains a lot... anyway
Horizons Demon Saga DEMO (which I will be referring to it as Part Two) is an updated view on the upcoming second part of the acclaimed Horizons Hellsgate saga (which I will refer from now on as Part One), we have already experienced as a shorter DEMO last year.
It provides a grand total of FIVE playable levels, for a total run time of 4 hours to a first player and 2 hours to those who know where to go in the level.
Level One
Remember how Lara got stuck into a flying ship at the end of the previous game after having typed in a code and brought the horizon bacon? Well Lara finally gets to wake up and explore the ship, or at least a small bit of it.
Not much has changed since the previous demo in terms of gameplay, but you will notice a huge step up in the presentation, lighting and texturing is more refined and the UI has changed allowing the player to know how much to pick is left and how much Lara is carrying through the entire experience, not to mention the adding of small audio logs to get more to know about the story, there is only one in this level but there will be more to see :3
In the end this level serves mostly as a way to ease the player in the huge ship, (spoilers) as the player will come back here and they will need to explore a lot more (spoilers end), and does do its job quite remarkably, it can get a bit tiring on replays but it is a necessary level to get a lot of resources and it is very short, thus it does not get too tiring, promised :3
Level Two
This as well was included into the previous demo and got a nice makeover and feels quite cold to look at haha! I have to say the previous lighting was not too bad, but this makeover actually is pretty well done hehe :3
Not much changed except the showcase of the new audio system were tracks and voices are played as SFXes :3 More appearances of Lizards too :3 with their nice and adorable voice :3
Level Three
We are brought to a water world and this focuses much more on exploring and puzzles, it can be divided into two main tasks and a third last one.
The player is given liberty in choosing which of the first two tasks to start, but they do need to find the key item which can be easily found with some exploring.
While the map might look massive and quite overwhelming, it actually quite is not :3 thanks to the few landmarks to keep in mind and the quite handy fast swimming which allows Lara to swim much faster to the next location.
There are here too several trinkets you can pick up on the ocean floor, but they are completely not mandatory and are aimed at aiding the player, it rewards exploring but does not enforce it, in fact I should say the key items are super easy to find if you look well enough.
The three task vary in complexity, with one focusing on getting a rollingball from one side to the other, one completing a very simple maze and a very impressive (and very Justin) puzzle and the last one focusing on changing the position of a box to reach different areas, while changing the water level which is again a very technically impressive stunt .
The last one can be a bit tiring if you are not too sure about what you are supposed to do, but luckily it is short enough to not get overwhelming.
The level also manages to be quite pretty! Between the expansive underwater areas and the more claustrophobic caves two tasks set us in.
Level Four
Lastly we are brought to seemingly a base on another planet, for the more combat/horror themed level in this demo. I can already imagine some people rolling their eyes hearing the word combat..? ... Anyone? Am I the only one who does not like combat in Tomb Raider?
Well, guess what? Justin refined that too, allowing the player to choose between a more action focused mode or a less enemy focused mode, ON THE GO and I repeat ON THE GO.
The Combat is also refined for the better, with strategies that can be taken to wipe out our enemies >:3 which I quite enjoy, I absolutely am not a fan of mindless shooting (being a Dark Souls Fan).
Beyond the refined combat there is a pretty good puzzle in here too and some nice exploration mixed in with platforming and traps to occasionally avoid, it is probably the more refined and TOMB RAIDER level in the package.
I have not mentioned the instant teleport yet, have I? Well it is another quite useful feature programmed in that allows the player to quickly move from one area a bonfire landmark, or rather a campsite.
What is a campsite? Well a place where Lara can use the stuff she found and grabbed to craft ammo, batteries (flares) and medipacks for example .
Back on track, with 3 floors you can easily teleport back from one place to the other no problem super quickly without backtracking too much, which is an absolute saver as the next level has a big map to explore.
The atmosphere of this level is the strongest certainly reminiscent of the 2nd level in Part One, only perhaps executed better in delivering unnerving feelings.
The level is spent mostly in a laboratory looking environment, plus some nice hops outside in a deeply sandy environment and even at some point underneath in a small cavern system filled with lava at the bottom.
Level Five
We are back on the flying ship of the first level :3 and now we have much, much more access that we did before while completing some more tasks, it starts off linearly enough with a few tasks to do before moving on, but after obtaining the yellow key it opens up a bit more to allow the player to look for keypieces themselves. It is a good mix of gameplay less puzzle driven at first and more action focused, moving then to more puzzle like moments accompanied by some exploring.
It perhaps is the longest level in the package and the first one to have 5 secrets to fetch, which are all quite decently hidden but very fun to find, if you then add in the very convenient secret detector you can buy at the merchant's post, which makes a return from the previous game and now sells even more stuff :3c, it is almost a piece of cake to find all secrets =w=
The look of the flying ship is also a remarkable one, despite there being barely any lizard around, it does feel like a lived in place and existing areas have a coherent reason to exist, which does make it feel even more unique. The lore of the game is explored even more here, with more audio logs, with great voice performances (I let you decide if my performance as Zakee was good) to listen and a pretty interesting cutscene, with previously perhaps the funniest scene of the game: General Maro trying to get the attention of Lara desperately with lines such as "Lara I know you are there" "Lara do you read me?", it easily triggers my silly humor x3.
Conclusions
Huge improvements from Part One, which was already a solid and impressive experienced, thus making Part Two demo a worthy successor indeed :3 I am going to look forward to see more X3 Recommended obviously :3
Wolfy Regards :3c" - Wolf7 (16-Oct-2022)