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The Russian Base by Wyski

CC 5 5 5 5
Dimpfelmoser 5 5 6 5
eRIC 6 6 6 4
eTux 4 4 4 4
Gerty 7 6 6 6
Jay 6 6 5 6
Jose 5 5 5 6
Kristina 4 4 6 6
MichaelP 6 5 6 6
Mulf 5 4 4 4
Obig 7 7 8 8
Orbit Dream 6 6 6 5
RaiderGirl 6 5 6 7
Ryan 5 5 6 6
Sash 4 5 6 6
SilentViper 5 3 5 3
Treeble 6 7 6 7
 
release date: 02-Feb-2003
# of downloads: 40

average rating: 5.44
review count: 17
 
review this level

file size: 15.70 MB
file type: TR4
class: Base/Lab
 


author profile(s):
email(s):
felix_wys@web.de

Reviewer's comments
"Starting out in am aggressively square bay in what is presumably meant to be the Arctic Ocean, this breezy little one-off looks none too promising at first glance. The visuals improve somewhat, although the outside areas remain far too large, boxy and wallpapered throughout; and the level is in constant danger of falling into the ‘Mummies in the Arctic’ category due to the combination of textures from TR3 Antarctica with the Newcity wad. (Added to the former are some textures taken from TR3G “It’s a Madhouse”, which works surprisingly well, while the wad is rather more eclectically augmented with double doors and a Rollimgball from Library.) The eponymous base—obviously located not in Russia, but in one of the seedier quarters of Tinnos—consists of a number of corridors connecting a few rooms which were clearly built as a pretext for giving the motorbike a spin while wearing a fetching uniform.
From the start gameplay is so far ahead of the field that all the rest stumble in a few hours later, clear second winners, all sweaty and short of breath; lighting barely made it across the finish line. Inbetween the usual killing of SAS and a couple of dogs, blowing up a pair of (unthreatening) sentry guns and pushing a few too many levers, you do a reasonably challenging timed run, dive past surprise Rollingballs, cause another Rollingball to break an icy surface, and make a few jumps across instant-death tiles; all this in the service of opening up a path for the motorbike. In a twist of tragic irony, it then turns out that the bike wouldn’t even be necessary to reach the finish trigger if the builder hadn’t placed a few Smashable Bike Walls and Floors in the very last section. As a consequence, the whole thing comes across as not a little contrived.
There are a few opportunities for you to get stuck with the bike, though these are easily avoided. Several reviewers report problems with the water flipmap, which could indeed have been set up much better; and the Rollingball smashing an icy surface—thus allowing you to trigger it—should absolutely have had its own camera. However, Orbit Dream was not as hopelessly stuck as he thought; and eTux is wrong when he claims that you’re stuck if you enter the area that is supposed to be flooded before the flipmap is triggered—though getting out requires a somewhat tricky running jump, and I’d readily agree that in all probability, the possibility of getting stuck there simply didn’t occur to the builder. (The level has obviously not been beta-tested.) Quite apart from its rough-and-ready first-draft looks, the level appears to be unfinished, largely due to its uninspired final section. While you have to hop off camera triggers, the camera clues themselves are helpful, and the level ends with a brief and nicely dynamic flyby as Lara slides down a slope towards an uncertain future." - Mulf (18-Jan-2021)
"The builder has used a fairly eclectic set of objects and textures, very few of which said ‘base’ to me, but this short level is not unpleasant and rattles along well. It’s mainly all about running around shooting guards, plus a fair bit of swimming, and if you just want to pass about 25 minutes of undemanding raiding, this could fit the bill well enough." - Jay (15-Jan-2021)
"A short raid through an Antarctic setting in search of the Crowbar, Valve Pipe and Nitrous Oxide Canister. It's not badly made, if a little on the simple side, although the bike ride may prove a challenge. Aside from these aspects, there are also a few levers to pull and some SAS guards to combat. Short and not without charm." - Ryan (02-Jul-2017)
"Not bad this short level, with an interesting ride with the bike near the ending, even when you can get totally trapped in the room with the crates if you don't drive to your left. Apart from this, the classic tasks pulling levers and shoot enemies in several places, but few backtracking. Found the revolver but not the shotgun; found also some paper walls in the last part too. Not good the initial timed run using a floor lever and without camera, but not very tight anyway. Correct texturization, I missed some more cameras and musics. Secrets are easy to find. Playable but not a great level." - Jose (23-Aug-2016)
"Not your usual base level, with a mix of Tinnos , Ice, City of the dead , and even a tiny part of village from TR3gold. I enjoyed this little romp at the research of crowbar, nitro, and the valve so to use the bike , smash some walls with it and go beyond a frozen lake. There is many mistakes in the looks, and the lighting has not been worked on , some parts are awfully too bright, but if you don't mind that , this level offers a good moment [24 minutes]" - eRIC (09-Aug-2009)
"This was a nice and enjoyable adventure merging various elements from the City Of The Dead into this arctic setting. It didn't work quite well in my opinion as some of the results really don't match at all but that's just visually speaking. Wyski could have used some of the custom baddies instead of the regular SAS and the outfit Lara sported in this level was pretty nice. This is some kind of shoot them up so there aren't actual puzzles in this 30 minutes raid." - Treeble (23-May-2004)
"A nice little level but too simple for experienced players. Finding floor and wall switches and canister and pipe to rev up the bike and the crowbar all very easy to find. You could get a little bit confused as there are a few ways to go to get things. For example I tried to jump the bike across the lake before I realised I had to go find the pipe for the bike. A very simplistic base like setup with crates. You approach two machine guns from behind and as you already have the laser sight it's just a small exercise in focusing and blowing them up. At one time you have to flood an area that has some fire squares and you come to a large ice cavern with water in the centre this was a nice room. After that it's driving the bike through breakable walls and over the lake. At the end of the bike ride there's a icy slope that brings you back to where you started up the slope. A nice but useless touch. And then an easy climb to finish. Worth a look though for a half hour." - CC (15-May-2003)
"What a little gem of a level and thanks to Ian for pointing that out. Even everyone must know by now that levels with vehicles are way down my list for playing this one wasn't so bad. The gameplay was a bit puzzling as there were so many ways to go and of course I took the wrong way first time around. So played it all over as to see what I missed and writing a walkthrough I of course had to check if everything panned out. I used the fly cheat for that and just to quench my curiosity I looked on top of the buildings that surrounded the big yard and lo and behold surprise surprise found two more bikes there and 4 canisters as well. In a way that only gave me more the feeling that the level wasn't finished and the author just quit at a certain point. A shame tough as it is quite nice. Found two secrets. 08-05-2003" - Gerty (12-May-2003)
"This is one of those levels that's actually quite hard to rate as it plays rather well but seems to lack a little in each rating category. Subsequently it's not going to score as high as it might from me (or indeed probably from anyone else either) although it's perfectly entertaining to play. Isn't life unfair sometimes? As far as Gameplay and Puzzles are concerned this level has been well thought out from a design point of view and yet it falls down in several places. For instance after pulling the Lever in the watery cave you apparently cause the adjacent fiery floor to be swamped with water. Except unfortunately you don't; because the trigger for the flip effect has not been placed on the Lever but elsewhere in the room and if you don't happen to step (or rather swim) over it you can become inadvertently stuck. It's not a major error and provided you keep your eye on the immediate environment of the Lever you can find the correct path but it spoils the game flow. Similarly I'm not completely convinced that you actually need the use of the Motorbike at all. I became rather confused by the outcome of each Lever activation but I'm rather certain that the Exit Doors to the Base (once opened) can be reached easily by simply swimming thus negating the 'search for the Nitro and Feeder' section of the adventure. On the positive side many of the stunts for the Motorbike appear to have been provided simply for entertainment value; which is fun and brings an enjoyable fast action finale to the adventure. The cameras could be a little more polished and the environs of the Base itself (although very well-built) are affected by the draw-distance limitations. But once again let me re-iterate that this level although peppered with little faults (which may even pass unnoticed by some players) is a good entertainment nonetheless. I spent an enjoyable and reasonably challenging 35 minutes here and you will too." - Orbit Dream (28-Apr-2003)
"Well not sure what to think about this level. I enjoyed the bike ride with all the wall and floor smashing and the first timed run was fun also (even if the timed run could be activated only every 2nd time). Overall this is just a lot of lever pushing and moving forward where you can and also some battles with SAS soldiers and dogs and it's easy to miss some areas like the one which had to be flooded (of which you couldn't get out if you went there before the flooding) and I'm not even completely sure if it had to be flooded since I DID miss something vital that allowed me to continue my quest from there. The texturing isn't really that bad I just think that the author was too lazy to texture the rooms properly (but remember this is nothing anyone is forced to do either you want to build levels or you don't) and if he'd (she?) bother to look how all the textures fit together the result would be much much better. I can't say anything positive about the lighting though. Play it if you really want to not like I could stop you anyhow..." - eTux (09-Apr-2003)
"I got off to a slow start in this level as it took me a moment to realize that first switch was timed and really didn't start enjoying it till I got to the actual base and started searching for the bike and all the necessary switches. Some of the jump switches were well hidden and some areas protected by machine guns which were easy to destroy. There's an area to flood and the bike ride was fun and required the NO and the feeder valve. Nothing difficult overall but an enjoyable half hour of raiding and a good try for a first level. Hopefully we'll see more from this author." - RaiderGirl (15-Feb-2003)
"This levels name really sounds interesting as in the story it is Antarctica and in the title it is Russia ok this level is Wyski's first level so it is sure that it isn't a top50 level but the textures somehow didn't fit together as a French coastal zoo is placed in the Russian tundra and I also disliked the objects as there were sandy walls to break in with a bike which was an Egyptian version and since it isn't made for Antarctica it is illogical that there is one the enemies are some stupid 'with-harmless-grenades-shooting-standard-SAS' which are also Egyptian like dressed and first not base like and 2nd not tundra-like but all in all worth a play especially for shooter fans and fans who likes 'fall-through-also-if-it-is-marked-as-not-to-fall-through-'-window ..." - SilentViper (10-Feb-2003)
"A snowy base level where the aim is to find the bike and make a few jumps and smash a few walls to get to the end. No puzzles get in the way of this goal only a dozen or so SAS that are easily taken out with all the revolver ammo and some levers and jump switches to pull are what stand between you and the bike. I have to say I was slightly uninspired by it all and found more pleasure in the 2 secrets I found to be honest but for an easy 30 minute raid to help pass the time away on a rainy afternoon this is perfect." - Sash (07-Feb-2003)
"Not the usual base setting you might expect. Instead it stars out with Arctic/Tinnos textures and then builds more on the elements of the City WAD as you go search for the nitro and the bike easily eliminate two sentry guns with the revolver and make your way out. The bike ride was fun though and the timed door at the start a nice element. Maybe a few too many levers for the short duration (just above 30 minutes) and an occasional missing texture and thin wall but all in all a solid debut and a good relaxing raid. " - Michael (07-Feb-2003)
"This level doesn't have enough puzzles and the ones it has aren't very interesting. The main thing here is that you push a few levers with the first one being timed and open doors. After picking up the oxide canister and prying the pipe with the crowbar it's all about riding the bike and smashing walls. In the way SAS guards and a couple of dogs will try to stop you plus two sentry guns but they are useless and I don't understand their purpose as you get the laser-sight and blow them away from behind. They are facing a door and you don't get to pass from the side or in front of them so I really don't get it it's just too easy. The traps aren't many either a few fire tiles here and there. The textures are not stretched but there are tiles missing especially to some corners. Lara will wander in an icy let's say base area outside and inside of which all the above will take place. I liked the military outfit. A short and straight forward level." - Kristina (07-Feb-2003)
"Rather endearing in its innocence. You get a few beginners mistakes like paper-thin walls boxy rooms too many pick ups and a rather arbitrary placement of enemies but on the whole it's a most refreshing debut. I particularly liked the way the author seems to be fond of letting the bike crash through walls and floors. The room where you find the Uzi (secret I think) looked really great and the light switch was a nice touch. You get half an hour of romping through a snowy base with a lots of levers to press (some seem a bit out of place) and your objective is to find the bike and obtain the power petrol so that you ride over a couple of gaps and then steer into the sunset. What more can I say?! Sometimes the textures seem to be applied a bit sloppily and the light is very basic but as there are hardly any crawls I'm more than willing to overlook a few design flaws. Fast paced easy and entertaining." - Dimpfelmoser (07-Feb-2003)
"This is a great level again it has a TR3 Antarctic feeling. The main task is to find and tune up the motorbike. First you have to seek for the crowbar and get the valve pipe with it. Combine it with the nitro. I found only 2 secrets at the first go but I will be more attentive next time :-) There are no added sounds and only some soldiers and dogs as enemies. The texture fits well to the level. I love Lara's suit too." - Obig (07-Feb-2003)