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Goddess Nut's Secret - Astoria Cathedral by DennyCroft

Adrian 10 10 10 10
billie2001 9 9 8 8
BlackWolfTR 10 10 9 9
DJ Full 9 10 9 8
El Dorado 5 9 9 9
JesseG 9 9 9 8
Jorge22 9 10 10 10
Jose 5 9 8 10
requiemsoul 9 9 9 9
Ryan 7 9 9 9
tuxraider 7 8 8 7
 
release date: 27-Jul-2023
# of downloads: 3146

average rating: 8.77
review count: 11
 
review this level

file size: 168.00 MB
file type: TEN
class: Castle
 


author profile(s):
email(s):
dennyven06@gmail.com

Reviewer's comments
"Really a good effort from this builder. Perhaps the longest level I've ever played in all my life (I've played thousands of custom levels). The gameplay is usually bad, I had to run hundreds of kilometers finding often dead ends and backtracking a lot. There are some interesting tasks, but the backtracking was really nasty (what about the first and second torches?). Not for my taste. The architecture is very good, the enemies are well balanced and the pickups were enough to deal with them; the secrets are well hidden. I missed some more cameras ad musics here and there but the gameplay was enjoyable in that sense. The best: the lighting and the texturization in all rooms; I take my hat. Conclusion: I don't say that builders have to design lineal levels; of course, I've played many no-lineal levels and I've enjoyed them very much, but in this case I think the constant tedious backtracking in many many areas could be not very pleasant for many players. A very great work but not very funny for me." - Jose (14-May-2024)
"It's admittedly rather rare that I post a review of a level I was unable to fully complete, but this is an exception as this turned out to be a bit of a buggy experience, and I hope my review is posted to forewarn other players of possible problems. Firstly though, the construction is absolutely sublime throughout. The titular cathedral is an imposing piece of architecture, the textures are beautiful, the atmosphere quite eerie at times and some of the gameplay is sufficiently challenging but not frustrating. However, there lies the downfall. It's also a rather confusing place to explore, and there's a bit of an overdose of backtracking and repeating routes already taken two or three times. The game ended for me (properly) when I saved on a wooden platform in preparation for a breaktile sequence. Having failed, I naturally reloaded only to find Lara caught in an endless death loop as the platform was no longer substantial! This happened to me earlier in the level (which I replayed from the beginning, finally bypassing that point), and having no earlier saves to go back to (my fault, I know) I quit there and then. This was probably a bit too ambitious of a release (as I understand it, TEN is still in its infancy), and could have done with some of the kinks ironed out before releasing. A shame, really." - Ryan (14-May-2024)
"It really breaks my heart to give this mod a mixed review, because it is clearly visible how much work went into it. The shear amount of work to build this castle must have taken hours and it shows. The problem starts when You start solving puzzles. The moment You get into the castle You are hit with dozen of dead ends which require key or something else at the end. When You finally figure the right way (which require A LOT of going around), You are rewarded with key and no idea what to do next. Some of the puzzles are great, but the way to get to them, requires a lot of snooping around the castle and a lot of patience. Also, I’m sorry but making a long path at the end of which it turns out You need a lighted torch, so You have to go back all the way and return with torch is not a puzzle, it’s just disrespecting players time. I like games that don’t hold Your hand all the way too, but I believe there is some middle ground. I liked the ending and I love the locations, but everything between seems a bit like a frustrating chore." - El Dorado (28-Dec-2023)
"Definitely a good game which I failed to fully enjoy. The reason is that 90% of the game takes place in a Cathedral built with the same brownish colour theme which becomes boring after a couple of hours, further more a big chunk of the gameplay evolves around several huge corridors which are extremely same-ish looking. An unlucky guess about the corridor you're looking for can lead to huge backtracking. Other than this, the gameplay is good and the graphics well crafted. Took me 6.30 hrs in stats, at least a couple of hours more in real time. Recommended if you have a good memory (I don't) and better play it all in the same day." - billie2001 (02-Nov-2023)
"A single but very big level. It took me over 5 hours on the statistics screen.
  • Gameplay is mostly about gaining access to the cathedral and areas within it, and finding keys. It's an open level: you can go back to most of the areas, which sometimes leaves you wandering around aimlessly, or backtracking a lot. I had to look at the video walkthroughs relatively often. Apart from that it's pretty decent, with understandable and fun challenges.
  • Visually, it looks rather impressive, but also like it didn't use its full potential. I'm not sure what's the problem. Maybe the textures are too low res. (For example "Shalebridge Murder Mystery" looks better inside and uses the TR4 engine, but it doesn't have outside areas.)
  • It's fun to explore the cathedral, reaching high up places, etc.
  • Often, several strong enemies will come at you after you've collected a new item. The balance seems to be a bit off here, every time I either mowed them down with the HK from far away, or they got to me and killed me quickly.
  • This game uses the TEN engine. For the average player, almost nothing changes, except that you need to know that you can use diagonal ledges. There are also some new bugs.
  • One important bug was that you could fall through platforms when loading a savegame. Apparently this was fixed in a later release of the game (I didn't test because the savegames are incompatible), so you may want to check which Tomb Raider level site has the most recent release before playing.
  • I encountered a number of collision bugs. This is obviously a TEN engine issue, but of course TR4 and older engines got such bugs as well. The problem is that there are some places where you're relatively likely to trigger them if you go the right way, so it might discourage you from going the right way.
  • Another funny bug: in the tower with the jump pads, you get a locked up if you move a block such that Lara ends up on a jump pad.
  • I found some deadends from which you can't escape. You need to be careful with your savegames.
  • Lara gets put on fire too easily, like going near a wall torch.
  • There is a small home level after the main level, but it's relatively boring and primitive.
Conclusion: some problems, may require some patience, but definitely recommended." - tuxraider (16-Sep-2023)
"One of the best levels so far this year. It is huge and very solid in all sections. The challenges are entertaining with a very interesting "backtracking" and the difficulty is challenging. Enemies take a lot of damage and pistols are almost useless against them. Highly Recommended." - requiemsoul (26-Aug-2023)
"Likely the single longest map I've ever played, and also a very solid one. Its biggest enemy is probably the size, especially the sewer. It also has some gameplay issues: 1) Not a fan of multiple wading passages through the flooded area; 2) Not a fan of discovering a torch requirement after a very long climb; 3) Not sure what the numbers on the pushblocks were for, as I just pressed all of them and somehow it solved the puzzle; 4) Not sure what the bird rotation puzzle was about, as I solved it with alignment I didn't even expect to work. Visually, I would avoid so much of dominant color, which was sometimes tiring for the eyes. Add to that a gallore of early TEN bugs and you're getting a level which walks the tightrope between challenging and annoying. Still, I somehow finished satisfied, so props for the builder and for me. Recommended for any time except November." - DJ Full (23-Aug-2023)
"Bugs/Functional Issues
  • I was unable to complete the adventure because somehow I only tallied three Holy Gems after visiting all four places where they are obtained. My earliest save is after visiting the first two gem locations (library and tower) and having only one gem so it happened pretty early without me realizing it. I'm not sure if one of the pedastals was simply empty, or if I did indeed pick up two gems and the game only counted it once for some reason. At least I got through most of the adventure before getting stuck. Either way, I would recommend players put each gem in its place immediately after finding it.
  • In the room with the rotating bird switches, the pushable block was difficult to move, sometimes Lara would stop wanting to move it. Exiting the game and re-opening it resolved this issue.
Disliked
  • The flames on the wall sconces can all set Lara on fire, which is not only annoying for getting around but it also makes it difficult to safely set them alight with the torch. Flames used for decorative purposes should normally be flame emitter 2, not flame emitter.
  • Missing things in certain areas could lead to a bit of backtracking, such as the place where the hourglass is placed in the submerged basement area.
Neutral
  • The flame thrower and SAS guys that ambush Lara throughout the adventure provided a hefty amount of combat, but with this long of an adventure that can be a bit tiring. There are some other vermin to add some variety to the pool of enemies.
Liked
  • There were a few puzzles to enjoy - relatively simple but nice tasks such as figuring out which switches to pull or where to push things.
  • I usually dislike mazes, but the garden maze was actually someone enjoyable, thanks to the fact that the player gets a chance to preview the layout from atop the tower (and perhaps take a handy screenshot!).
  • The overall architecture of the castle and surrounding area is impressive and showcases how much TEN can hold in a single level.
Time: Stalled at 4 hours 7 minutes | Difficulty: Hard | Rating: 8.75/10" - JesseG (18-Aug-2023)
"Let Lara sleep after a very long and troublesome journey (and let us eagerly wait for the continuation). First of all, this is a TEN level that uses the new potential well, but the builder decided not to overdo the shadows or include really confusing and incredibly difficult actions - bravo for that. It's also a level where you seem to get a lot of everything, from surroundings and actions to enemies - I can't quite make my mind up whether that ended up being too much of something or not. Having so much of it all also paves the way for a lot of backtracking and moments in which you end up checking the walkthrough for all sorts of details - that I didn't like as much. I didn't feel there was anything wrong with all those ducts either (they're perfectly usable in TR levels). I enjoyed the finale with the hydras fight. Then, there's a short Home Sweet Home level out of the blue... I thought that was a good idea. I found all five secrets, but I'm not sure I would have known had to make Lara jump to her bed to fall asleep and end the level without taking a brief look at the walkthrough, that is even though it seems more or less normal in real life (minus the jumping). All in all, I thought the time I spent playing the Astoria Cathedral was well worth it." - Jorge22 (11-Aug-2023)
"Brilliant level set in a vast, expansive & beautifully designed cathedral - well more of a castle really. Great gameplay over the hours it took to complete, kept me hooked until the wee hours. Puzzles were challenging at times but fair. Loved the new moves, though there were a few issues with some of the old moves e.g. climbing near the edge of a ladder or turning whist crawling - but that I guess is the engine's, not the builder's, fault. Good atmosphere & use of sound and secrets (6/6) were not that easy to find. The only slight quibble was the amount of backtracking necessary, however it would be churlish to reduce the score on that account alone. Can't wait for the raid 'to be continued...'!" - Adrian (05-Aug-2023)
"So nice to see another TEN level. This one is made very well and is very entertaining. The gameplay is almost perfect. You can find here everything a high quality level needs: exploration, parkour, puzzles, traps, some combat, a brief plot and some twists to the gameplay. I really enjoyed everything here. The map itself is very big and the game is pretty long. But it's a joy to traverse through all these areas as they look really good. However, I have a little remark towards the ventilations as they do not really fit into this cathedral environment. Another remark I have is that in the second level, the weapons in the inventory get bugged e.g. some of them become invisible, some have incorrect textures and when you draw them, the animations gonna bug. I think these weapons should have been removed as they are not even important in this level. Designwise - it's on a high level as well. First of all, the architecture: it's done very well, the locations look spectacular and interesting, no remarks about it. The texture placement is good and diverse. The lighting is on the brigher side, which is not bad but some rooms have a bit flat lighting. But the atmosphere is there and is very good. Overall, it was a joy playing this wonderful TEN level with all the improvements that come with it. Definitely recommended!" - BlackWolfTR (02-Aug-2023)