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Return to Aldwych by mathew9r

billie2001 9 9 9 9
DJ Full 7 9 8 8
JesseG 8 9 9 8
Jorge22 10 10 10 10
Mman 8 10 9 9
OblivionJaw 7 7 8 8
Ryan 9 9 10 8
 
release date: 06-Feb-2024
# of downloads: 867

average rating: 8.71
review count: 7
 
review this level

file size: 227.00 MB
file type: TEN
class: nc
 


author profile(s):
email(s):
mathew9r@hotmail.co.uk

Reviewer's comments
"Let's talk about the said darkness first. You can't expect to play an underground-type game with the same brightness you use to read a Word document! Our GPUs have control panels and our monitors buttons to fix this. Use them, because running around with a flare in hand is not the right solution. On the other hand, maybe the builder should take a note that most of the players choose their visual settings for life! A nice and atmospheric expansion (or even better interpretation) of the Aldwych TR3 levels. I liked the first two levels better, the third one is more sinister and dark than the rest and you DO need to use flares there. The flaw here is that the environment stays monotonously the same for too long, with the exception of the chapel. In compensation, the gameplay is more intense, with traps, enemies, boss fights. What I hated was the knight on his horse, who managed to remount the horse twice. Grrrr.... Overall, a very good game which I recommend if you are willing to change your usual graphic settings a bit." - billie2001 (23-Apr-2024)
"This is an engaging three-parter that perfectly encapsulates the atmosphere and setting of the original TR3 Aldwych section. It excellently expands on the theme and it's even more convincingly spooky and rundown than the original, as you're constantly watching over your shoulder to see if any nasties could be creeping up on you (which is most likely the case). The gameplay is sufficiently challenging and varied, nicely ramping up in complexity as you explore deeper into this complex. Enemies also get progressively tougher, the toughest ones being the appearance of the skull enemy and a surprisingly challenging boss ending against a really scary looking bloke that keeps the adrenaline going. The main drawback is the encroaching darkness. Yes, I know it might "aid" the atmosphere, but when combined with rather a lot of cramped tunnels and caves, flicking numerous flares became rather irritating after a while. Still, I really enjoyed myself." - Ryan (01-Apr-2024)
"A New TEN level. I have to say this adventure was not something I thought I would enjoy. However its simple and non-complex nature allowed me to enjoy it despite the location of London, the original of which I never played properly. ---------- Gameplay: The gameplay consists of combat and platforming generally, with nearly no puzzles. That is fine by me as the gameplay present offers interesting platforming challenges- such as exploring the abandoned and hostile tunnels of the Aldwych underground, sneaking and taking down the hostile NPC's with what gear you get, and never falls into the trap of making extremely tedious gameplay until the near-end in my opinion. The gameplay is however hindered quite strongly by the stingy flare supply as well as the low healing supply not given through secrets. I'm not a person who always seeks secrets so seeing many goodies like most of the ammo and guns seem to be hidden in them is not great, leaving me with barren supplies at the end. Secrets are important so ensure you collect as many as you can! One thing to also note is the traps in the third level can get quite hard. Sometimes there will be points were saving and loading a lot is just going to be needed, at least for me personally. When it came to the longer stretch of traps it does get a bit much when clumped all together but it's enjoyable to conquer. ---------- Visuals: The issue with the flare shortage is the main one here. There is a lot of darker areas that you can get by in a darker room, but more flares would have been nice. Outside of that the lighting and geometry as well as texturing were done excellently, and the medieval parts were really cool to see, the enemies having crusader armour and really making you the capabilities of the engine. I did see a lot of squished textures and some of them having weird things happening to them, but nothing to make me complain in the slightest. ---------- Story: There isn't much of a story told through the level, and it's up to the player to figure out what is going on. The description in the level page does do it justice and overall it's a neat little take. Lara infiltrates the abandoned train station and makes her way through to the ancient city. I enjoyed the progression and I do wish there were notes of some kind, more of a story told throughout the level but as it stands it's done without anything to complain about. ---------- Atmosphere & Sound It was really easy to immerse myself into the level, with very little ground-breaking instances of me getting thrown out of it. What matters to me in a TRLE level is that I don't get constantly reminded of the engine, and it does an exceptional job of keeping that fact mostly hidden. Some points do feel dragged out for no reason and make me wonder, like the underwater section. Aside from that I can't complain about the atmosphere. The sounds are also good and don't really do anything bad, but despite the quality I did not find anything noteworthy to remember regarding sound design. What was present was done well, but nothing to make it stick in your memory. ---------- Overall, the level is quite a good one, and doesn't force you to the secrets but encourages really good exploration to get the best gear possible- You will need it for the finale." - OblivionJaw (01-Apr-2024)
"Aldwych memories are brilliantly done and the ending chapel has its own spirit, but half of the runtime was one or another type of dark corridor. Sometimes it's even like when I tried One Texture Challenge (never released). Cut those 3 hours down to 1 hour and it would be much better. You... caaaaan try it but... but..." - DJ Full (23-Mar-2024)
"Bugs/Functional Issues
  • The framerate dropped in the beginning for me, but it got better once Lara was out of the rain.
  • Take care when jumping near static objects - many of them can push Lara through walls, getting her stuck out of bounds.
Disliked
  • This adventure is very dark throughout. Especially tricky to deal with if Lara won't find flares for a little bit.
Liked
  • There are a large amount of traps to dodge, from trains to boulders and flames.
  • Combat provides a variety of encounters against several bosses: a knight on a horse, a skull with laser eyes, and a demon shooting fireballs.
  • While the levelset echoes the Aldwych level from TR3, it is different enough to not feel redundant, and it is surrounded by other levels that are very much original.
  • Visuals are done well to create an immersive, creepy underground environment.
Time: 1 hour 34 minutes | Difficulty: Hard | Rating: 8.5/10" - JesseG (23-Feb-2024)
"Three levels, the first in the Aldwich sewers (or London sewers, whatever), the second at the Aldwich station, and the third in some ancient city, with traps and bosses along the way. It's also a homage to TR3, one that I enjoyed thoroughly. The TEN features are apparent, including the look of the torches which is a favourite of mine - but I just now noticed there wasn't any Lara shadow anywhere (and I didn't miss it). You can get to level two without doing all you're probably supposed to, which is what happened to me - later, when I checked the video walkthrough, I noticed there were several areas I never visited, and still I made it to Aldwich. Aldwich is possibly better than the original, but then again, I don't know, it left an impression at its own time. It's ruined (in spite of the underground still moving on the railways) and interesting. Nice atmosphere. The last level is more classic Tomb Raider in ways, and I must thank the builder for making the enemies and bosses easy to defeat (even the dreaded knight on a horse that usually takes ages, and is thus generally boring and a health drainer). The giant rolling balls were a blast. I thought the ending was a bit sudden, but that's about it. I had a lot of fun (visual fun included, despite a certain darkness, but there are many flares), and look forward to more from this builder." - Jorge22 (20-Feb-2024)
"This is a three level set, with you starting in some London sewers, going back to Aldwych again and then more ancient ruins beyond it. This is a Tomb Engine project, but it seems to intentionally stay more subtle with it's features, with the most obvious visual use being the placement of objects in more dynamic ways that adds a lot to the theme, especially in the now more ruined and collapsed Aldwych areas. While it's generally confined, in fitting with the TR3 London/Aldwych themes, there are plenty of nice looking rooms and a nice gloomy atmosphere, and the way it modifies the original Aldwych is quite creative. The lighting is a bit on the dark side at times, but there's plenty of flares past the start and the new engine presumably supports proper gamma/brightness control to offset that as well.
The start is probably the trickiest part exploration-wise, as the initial sewer area has multiple ways to go, and there's also some mini-underwater mazes (although nothing too bad, and there's always relatively easy to find airholes), but the general tasks are decent and the main area unravels in a nice way as you solve it, although a couple of the camera hints didn't seem too helpful with how samey looking some doorways are. Once you descend into Aldwych it's actually a return to the TR3 layout, but with a ton of changes and creative ways to get around, as the place is in an advanced state of disrepair. It also subtly adds it's own storytelling in how the places have broken down, and things like the progression implying that the Masonic Temple was built in that location for a reason. There are some more intense traps, but the Aldwych section is overall still exploration focused, although a bit more linear in structure. The final level in the lost ruins is much more action-oriented, with some quite difficult traps, plenty of combat and multiple boss-type encounters throughout (including a final boss). With the new setting one or two more moments to slow down and explore a little outside the set-piece rollercoaster would be nice, but it's a satisfying conclusion overall. A couple of keys blended in a lot (although this is offset by those being enemy drops so you have a good idea where to look), and one proximity-triggered door during a boss in the last level had me think I was stuck for a little when I wasn't, in a way that felt unintended, but those were the only real issues I had. A good set of levels that mostly gives anyone looking for more Aldwych-type theming exactly what they want and showcases some of the more subtle improvements of TEN, even if it starts a little slow and doesn't do anything especially ground-breaking." - Mman (10-Feb-2024)