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Russia - Episode Two (Remastered Version) by Dnf Productions

Bene 10 10 10 10
CC 10 10 10 9
Cuqui 9 9 9 9
Dimpfelmoser 8 9 9 10
DJ Full 9 9 9 8
Dougsan 7 9 10 9
eRIC 9 10 10 10
eTux 8 9 8 8
G.Croft 9 10 10 10
Gerty 6 10 9 9
Jay 9 9 10 9
JoeTheCrazyGamer 10 10 10 10
Jorge22 10 10 10 10
Jose 8 10 10 10
Kristina 9 9 9 9
Loupar 6 8 9 10
manarch2 7 8 8 8
MichaelP 9 9 9 9
Monika 9 9 9 9
Navi 8 10 9 10
Phil 10 10 10 10
RaiderGirl 10 10 10 10
Ryan 9 9 10 10
Samu 9 10 10 10
Sash 10 10 10 10
Scottie 9 10 10 9
Treeble 9 9 10 9
Whistle 6 9 10 10
release date: 12-Jun-2003
# of downloads: 99

average rating: 9.26
review count: 28
review this level

file size: 142.39 MB
file type: TR4
class: Cold/Snowy

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"As we had a scheduled weeklong maintenance I went and downloaded the walkthrough for this level series, knowing it would take me a whole week to get through judging by the previous Episode, and I am glad I did so. As a whole, I found the levels to be quite confusing and non-linear in nature, with a lot of running back and forth and sometimes even between levels as you gather pieces necessary to proceed. There is a very impressive intro sequence and a few cutscene sequences spread throughout the levels, with full voice-overs (and a nice trick in dialogues to reuse official speech files from TRC), and it's notably a high quality product. The first level is actually a remade version of the stand-alone Russia preview level released earlier, but it's an entirely different beast. I was also taken by surprise by the Cybermode levels, which reminded me of one of my earliest (and also obviously simplest) texture mods for custom outfits — never thought I'd see something similar in action! Despite these high tech levels, I found the general atmosphere of the series very reminiscing of the original TR1 and TR2 (plus The Golden Mask) levels, with a few nods to TR3 and TR5 levels as well. Expect some tight timed runs, quite a few mazeish areas, and, what I felt to be slightly unfair, some very long swims between air pockets. I must have chomped through 5 or 6 large medipacks working my way around Water World, but ultimately I was still left with a healthy surplus of items in my inventory by the end. You get plenty of weaponry (even more so if you follow the walkthrough down to the last period, like I did), so don't hesitate to use those to save on medipacks. And, just for the record, I played the Remastered release. 7h25min, 30 secrets. 09/20" - Treeble (13-Sep-2020)
"This game is one that I would recommend to anyone it is so good, I love the whole backtracking vibe to it and the fact you need to get some secrets in order to get others is one I really like, All in all, a fantastic level which took 12 hours to complete first time finding all but one secrets." - JoeTheCrazyGamer (19-Dec-2018)
"This is a superbly made game in every possible way, both in settings and gameplay. I'll get my minor negatives out of the way first. I encountered a small bug on my way out of the Forbidden Castle level, where the main doors closed if I didn't make it in time so I had to reload (not overly annoying but still...). Also, the backtracking got ever so slightly tedious and you may end up running around in headless chicken mode for a while. Those did not tarnish what is otherwise a brilliant experience. Settings range from cold, snowy bases, warehouses and mines, to beautiful castles, security compounds (with a robotic Lara) and finally to a variation of Piega's Catacomb Towers as a bonus if you find all secrets. In terms of gameplay, there are good, varied puzzles to solve, enjoyable timed runs and a few devious traps, plus items to find. Don't miss this one." - Ryan (10-Sep-2017)
"From a base like in Fool's Gold, a much better variant of the demo level, we reach a familiar rig-like setting with a sea plane (one of my many favourites of TR2) and a funny trolling guide though I'm not that sure about metal shatter crates and the way out of the upper balcony could be a simple pool jump. The newbies will again suffer from fake twin hole, yet somehow another set of identical plugs is real combo trigger as it should be. Then we get deeper into the mines like these from TR3. Predominantly it's all keys from offices and levers from storages, casual all the way though combat is clever and unique elements finally appear like a moved rail cart or TNT blown with shatter detonator... don't ask, I don't know, but it matters something serious is going on. The mineshaft hub seems complicated but the closest thing is the first to check, that is until transition to ice palace which takes puzzles in a completely different direction. They still make sense, we're in ancient temple so magic stuff and need for observation apply, but pay attention or suffer. Also don't pay too much or you find 3 shortcuts and 2 secrets before spotting the real way through the firerope room. At this point the game is convergent with Quest of Gold, the mine breach to palace exploration is quite like going from TC's mine to his mineral city, even the textures are similar but the interaction is absolutely different and often surprising. Of levels included this one satisfied and educated me the most despite of difficulty. I only don't get that bonus pickup. Next in order is a castle level, at last something outdoor and bright, for a little while it made me forget about flat lighting dominating the entire game, only bearable due to very good textures which make up. Gameplay gets ingenious including a wacky mirror room which gave me a brain hemisphere war, or an unexpected drought flipmap supported with brilliant drop effect - a state of creativity and impression is achieved crap like permanent spikes, swim-through window or another unfitting circuit are unable to damage. The part is concluded with a seriously clever backtrack: though we revisit three maps we're neatly dropped next to subsequent escape passages we're supposed to cross, and though we can't tell anymore where the hub is, we're unlikely to get lost. A whole new hi-tech chapter unlocks with unexpected outfits and testing lab interesting to watch. Floors and prisons of maximum security zone are copies which need a lot of memory to go through but are worth figuring out for that great moment when the circuit is finally shot as the hint, simple enough not to flee our head for quite long, can be followed at last. As suddenly as we went from mines to magic, we now go from dry exploration to intense diving, almost missing from other levels. I'm not sure how the wreck fits in the plot but it would be much more suitable for final or prefinal artifact - this superb underwater location matches classic quality and occupies the mood between TC14 and psiko, so it seems underused with only a circuit onboard, not to mention we somehow provide power from a sunken ship to a fully working base. The place is too easy to drown and could be less tiring with more air close to pickups we need to collect from seabed. They would be especially helpful considering lack of health care: the spike swing is original but it takes a lot of life, enemies too often attack defenseless Lara, so better keep some medikits stored (you should have plenty, flares may lack instead). Then it's about time for climax artifact and evacuation but somehow it happens in the most uninspired scenery of the whole game - flat lighting fills identical corridors again as you grab the prize and drive away. Crate smashing, multikill action and casual secrets around a race track in clever shape of a conveyor belt sustain the ending high note so I took the regular ending first. Only then I went for the secret one, the greatest mystery of this release, as after a remastered adventure we get a demastered bonus. The transition between Piega's and Donald's part couldn't be more visible, it's especially annoying if the author had the original project as a tutorial to follow but no the lighting is again flat in any location added. Another mystery is the reward system of this game, as it's dense and complex but I always dislike secrets which force replay of main thread if missed, also which involve setups like forced life loss, trial and error, penalty if done too late, untellable interaction or premature completion clue leading us to search for permalocked stuff in next level. SUMMARY: More solid than Episode 1 and "raidically complete" - it covers a whole classic storyline: infiltration, rival discovery and getaway battle with losers while each element has its own chapter. Provides all gameplay types. Includes some design I don't approve, requires numerous save slots per level and a safety walkthru check from time to time. Lighting is a step back. Could be the author tried two storylines together, as both power artifacts feel like the main goal. Says "Russia" but could happen anywhere. I see the former episode also had these flaws: alternate focal points of lab and dungeon, and just the finale feeling like Saudi Arabia." - DJ Full (28-Apr-2016)
"And so I managed to finish this second part in a time span of almost three years...
Powell's hidden base (8-8-9-8) - 55 minutes: Positive aspects: very nice starting cutscene, better and more carefully built than the demo (actually a different game with only few resemblances), nice city atmosphere, very long and tight but for me extremely fun timed run, just as fun snowmobile ride, solid texturing, nice enemies. Negative aspects: a few too many levers to pull, rather flat lighting mostly, a bit grey looks.
Restricted Sector A (5-8-7-7) - 30 minutes: Positive aspects: Decent tasks involving water currents, one rather good platforming sequence, nice use of shortcuts, rather interesting plane area, cyborg guide. Negative aspects: Too many enemies, many, many levers to pull and a lot of to and fro without better tasks so quite uninspired gameplay, even flatter lighting, rather boring looks.
Mines Complex (6-8-8-8) - 35 minutes: Positive aspects: quite nice looking mines with colourful and very much fitting texturing, target shoot at the end rather fun, some nice exploration parts, good object design and usage, a few nice secrets. Negative aspects: overall quite low on gameplay with too few tasks, the lighting still leaves much to be desired although the effect is better due to the textures.
Ice Man Palace (6-8-9-8) - 30 minutes: Positive aspects: really nice looking palace with a quite different atmosphere than in the previous levels, nice use of the eponymous ice, good object usage and texturing, at least a bit varied gameplay, nice boulder room. Negative aspects: a few quite obscure and confusing parts (e.g. unmarked shatters and strangely placed keyholes in unintuitive places), partly continuing with the pedestrian gameplay, needless to say - still rather flat lighting.
Forbidden Castle (7-7-7-6) - 40 minutes: Positive aspects: sweet mirror room (actually showing Lara in the mirror), decent library area with rather interesting (but easy) Poseidon statue puzzle, choice of textures decent, good looking large hall in the end. Negative aspects: if the previous levels had rather flat lighting, the outside area had totally flat lights and it doesn't get much better inside, bit careless texturing and architecture, end of the world being obvious outside, very confusing backtrack to the previous level for a mask receptacle.
Mystic Dreams (8-8-8-8) - 30 minutes: Positive aspects: finally a more task-based gameplay with lots of interesting things to to, use of doors for pushable puzzles good, blade, trapdoor and mirror rooms with good challenges, quite fun encounter with a bull, shocking Thor attack, nice rays in one room, rather nice atmosphere overall with good texturing and better lighting than before. Negative aspects: a bit low on cameras and partly obscure, dark crawlspace part.... argh!
Restricted Sector B (7-8-8-7) - 20 minutes: Positive aspects: very fancy invisible mode, guards can't see you, nice scenes in the laboratories, good object design and animations here, symbol puzzle, bonus secret area with a long, but easy timed run. Negative aspects: very boring button puzzle with a lot of running to and fro, lighting getting slightly worse again (yet there are better rooms), more could've been done with the invisible mode than just avoiding some guards.
Maximum Security (6-8-8-7) - 25 minutes: Positive aspects: nice and somewhat creepy basement areas, decent texturing, nice architecture, good timed run over trapdoors, explosion nicely done. Negative aspects: not sure why the workers can see the invisible Lara now, mostly flat lighting, boring progression from one stage to another only pulling many buttons.
Water World (6-7-9-8) - 35 minutes: Positive aspects: impressive flyby through large underwater area (quite a diversion from those rather small scale base areas before), interesting 'machinery room', a good and more tight timerun, decent slope room with a few jumps (still quite easy) architecture quite impressive. Negative aspects: you guess it - flat lighting, texturing in large area not very careful on second look, too many enemies - some even appear out of thin air and one was underwater, too many occasions where you lose health (a general problem of this game), underwater parts too long and tedious, very obscure ventilator shooting.
Escape from Moscow (5-7-8-7)- 20 minutes: Positive aspects: dungeon key aptly hidden in a safe, rather unique city atmosphere (but why so many liquor shops ;) ?), easy but rewarding puzzle at the start, jeep ride fairly nice. Negative aspects: trigger chaos in the offices - why is picking up a medipack needed for progress?, quite pointless exploration of most parts of the city, too many obscure things to shoot.
Dark Dungeons II (not rated) - 35 minutes: Since this is mostly a remodelling of Piega's Catacomb Towers with many copied rooms I won't rate this game as the builder's work, but since I haven't played said level before here are the notes. Positive aspects: very nice lighting (one can see it's a different builder) and superb architecture, good if few cameras, textures with only few faults, nice sand filling scene and generally good use of flipmaps, also water ones, some decent exploration and a few puzzles. Negative aspects: still rather dull gameplay, too much exploration, not enough other tasks and not very challenging, too many mazes and long ladders/crawlspaces, a few more serious texture mistakes in caves at the end, enerving earthquake.
Summary: The main problem of this game certainly is that it's all too much of the same and that over many hours of raiding. The same settings and gameplay ideas are repeated too often and at some point there's a feeling of tedium. Still, you'll get a quite decent task every now or then that makes the raid more interesting again, and the rather solidly constructed areas with a few highlights are pleasant to explore. But the lighting is still a large problem because it's quite flat throughout almost every level - a thing that, had it been improved with more contrast and use of colour, could've made the atmosphere much more special and could deter from the rather sameish looks. Overall you can see much work has went into this game and in many ways it pays off (especially in the - for that time - quite modern object design), though I think there was potential to the better. I found all 30 nicely hidden secrets in a total of 5:55 hours." - manarch2 (29-May-2015)
"After several days I finally finished this great adventure. No objections by my side for all the massive work behind this jewel of the custom levels; everybody knows Donald's habilities to trap players inside the fruits of his imagination. The best of the game was the exquisite care with the architecture and textures, giving a very realistic touch to the levels, with all kind of details. The worst, the tedious backtracking in several levels, like the "Maximun Security"; go to the first floor, to the basement, to the second floor, return to the basement, return to the first floor... Fortunately Dutchy did another great work with the walkthrough. Even a lot of years after the releasing, this adventure will surprise everybody with fantastic features from a very clever and hard-working builder. Simply an incredible adventure you can't miss. Highly recommended. Thank you very much, Donald!" - Jose (17-Mar-2012)
"After Saudi Arabia Episode 1 is this level the next work of Donald Forgues which I had played some years ago and want to play yet once. I hope that this Level is better than Saudi Arabia. Since in Saudi Arabia there were some things which I have not liked. But it already starts with a very good Cutscene, hence, I have absolutely entitled hope that this Level will be better.
Powells hidden Base: Well, the Outside Areas look now a lot better than in the level Saudi Arabia. There Donald has made a big progress. The same one is valid for the lighting. However, it could be a little bit better now and again. However, this level has something with which he can trump all the other level. Here is namely a time run which is in my opinion the longest time run in the level construction history. In the meantime, ordinarily I save very seldom within a time run, but this time run is partly so treacherous that one must save at least two times. If one makes it, however, at the right places, one has, actually, few problems and comes through well. Otherwise this was a good level with interesting duties.
Restricted Area Sector A: Thus must a Base/Lab-Level look, then it also works with the neighbour. Have I mentioned sometimes that I love to play Base/Lab-Level? I already believe. And this level is really good. There many other Builders can take a leave out of Donalds book. Well, with Josep Borrut I make an exception.
Mine Complex: The mine level in TR3 was definitively one of my favorite level, however I must also say that the mine level in "Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machines" was even better than the Level in TR3. Though in Mines Complex one cannot drive with the tipper, but, nevertheless, this level must not hide himself from the originals.
Ice Man Palace: Well, this starts good! Nearly invisible opponents want knock Lara's light out. But not with Lara. Only good that these Dudes become apparent very clearly, because I would not have liked it as so jocularly if they had crept up unnoticed. Though this level is built very good and has many good riddles, but now and again Donald has exaggerated it a little bit, because there are a few situations where I could get to know only with the help of the WT what was required then now by me. It is never good when trapdoors and doors which one must open with the crowbar have the same colour like the other textures.
The forbidden Castle: Though the mirror room looks good, but by the fact that one has only one static camera which looks to the mirror and the movements of Lara are reflecting-wrong, one totally loses the thread. Well, anyhow I have however managed it, but I still not need such a room at all. There are still many other clever riddles and well built rooms, thus one never becomes dull.
Mystic Dreams: These big mosquitoes have always irritated me. Though they fly quite slowly and are easy to defeat, but anyhow they get me on the nerves. Thor is relatively harmless. If one jumps up at the right moment, one will not be harmed. The bull is basically also no big problem, but if the doors stand in a niche, the hit rate is quite high and the Medipack consumption also. The level is all together really good, because he is good built, has a few interesting opponents and a not quite easy time run.
Restricted area Sector B: What's going on? Lara is almost invisible! At least, one sees at least a few green stripes. However, it would have been even more funnier if Lara had completely been invisible. Quite obviously nobody can see Lara. However, this makes little sense, because she can still use her weapons. Apart from the fact the level is very interesting.
Maximum Security: In this level a camouflage still makes less sense. The Sentry-Guns react to Lara and the workers want Lara to the laundry. But these are only little things, because otherwise this is a great level. It goes to and fro about several levels and one must solve many duties. This is a Base/Lab-Level as he should be.
Water World + Escape from Moscow: The Flyby at the level beginning definitively whet my appetite. And the Flyby has not promised not enough. This level is really brilliant. Two times it was a little bit unfair, because the opponents could shoot at Lara without which she could shoot back. But otherwise the level is fully with great riddles, scanty diving actions and several opponents. Thus it properly gives really fun. And in the end one must still flee through Moscow at night to reach the helicopter. Though there are on the move also several opponents who want to prevent this, but Lara has so many weapons, ammunition and Medipacks in the luggage that this level is a real breeze.
This was a level which was so properly after my taste. I am anyhow a big fan of Base/Lab-Levels and from places apart the usual desert / jungle levels. And here I have get my money's worth. While the outdoor areas were bad in the Costa Rica level of Donald averagely to, here everything has fitted. Smaller texture mistakes hardly counted. Some things were hidden something too good, but as a rule this level was good playable. The sound was excellent, only the lighting could have been better now and again a little bit. But on the scale of things this is a top level which one may miss by no means." - Scottie (13-Apr-2011)
"If you've read my review for 'Saudi Arabia - Episode 1', you will know of the levels-you-always-wanted-to-play-but-were-afraid-to-start-up list. Just as the prequel, this adventure was in that list too. Though I had similar problems in here as in SA too, generally the improvement from his first is blatant and there are quite a lot of clever ideas along the way, whom I found to my liking. The sequence with the cyborg-guide in Research Area A was clever, I loved the surrealistically feeling areas in Mystic Dreams, and the Stealth Mode in Research Area B and Mystic Dreams was a pleasant, unexpected surprise, though the red mode comparing to the green mode, despite maximum security seemed less efficient, as even common workers and some undead lurking in the prisons noticed Lara, not mentioning the turrets ;). Also loved the fitting use of cut scenes (the real thing, not the camera views or fly-by sequences to whom players usually refer to as cut scenes), especially the one in Area B greatly explained what was about to go on now - otherwise I would've probably shot every guard I saw. Yet, what I liked the most about this level set that the author mixed every setting that pleased him, but it always somehow worked. Judging from this logic, the author was able to put a top secret arctic base next to Moscow, which also turns out to be an underwater base searching for something in a shipwreck in an ocean (I suppose complaining about the sense of geography would be prissy?), yet before Lara even comes that far, you manage to make a detour to some underground Indian (?) ruins, and an offset castle, in which surprisingly after re-opening a chamber that's supposedly been closed for centuries you find a circuit that seems to fit just right in the nearby mine complex's installment and thus allows you to return to the base and finish off what you started - collect another Mystic Artifact that looks very familiar to the Iris and escape the city using the same helicopter that brought you here *breathes again*. Also throughout the series you see surroundings that are familiar to other custom levels (a part of Mystic Dreams/Forbidden castle is clearly inspired from Piega's sanctuaries for example) or the original releases, what isn't so great for my liking, but I suppose it doesn't hurt much. My main dislikes would be similar to those in Saudi Arabia - though it isn't excessively dark anymore, I noticed sometime around waterworld, that flares are no longer provided and I was out of them - not nice, also the problem with the lack of cameras still exists thorough the series, though, I was especially clueless in Ice Man's Palace when playing, and another thing I was not so keen on, but this most likely is only my personal taste - that the environments mostly looked rather bland - with simple lighting and not overly inspired texturing - I can't say it was bad, not at all, but if asked I won't really tell which part of the game was better visually - maybe the chapel in forbidden castle/mystic dreams? But that was nearly a copy of the legendary sanctuaries rather. Well, when I really try hard to think about this - yes, maybe the waterworld really sticks out, as does the Ice Man's Palace, but that's not so much for an 11 level game, maybe. And again - maybe this is just a subjective observation of mine - in all the 6.5 hours it lasts it I thought it just may be too long for its own good. Yes, some ideas are great and inspired but there's too much running around and lever activating in between - in my opinion, all the good stuff thrown together would've made an exceptionally good mini series of 2 to 4 levels, but spread among 10 levels, this doesn't have a great lasting appeal. Maybe the latter accusation is mainly due to the fact that I spent the better part of last week to get through this monster of a series - this is mainly due to the lack of cameras - it robs the game its flow, trying to stretch it out as much as possible and also succeeds. Also, being the lousy secret finder, I never reached the Dark Dungeon 2, maybe I'll play another time then? Despite some of my negative comments, this by no means is a bad series of levels - it has some great ideas along the way, an interesting storyline that makes you want to play Costa Rica - Episode 3 ASAP, and a great quest for secrets and the bonus level if you're in for it. To summarize my likes and dislikes in one sentence - this is a great experience, but not nearly as good as it could've been in my humble opinion." - eTux (01-Apr-2005)
"These levels are really good. Sometimes puzzles are too hard which is the reason why I gave number nine for gameplay and puzzles. The levels look wonderful and a good thing is also that the game is long. I think the best level could be Water World or Restricted Area A. I will recommend this game to play." - Samu (11-Jun-2004)
"Funnily enough just a little while ago there was a short thread about the pros and cons of linear levels versus with non-linear. Well parts of this epic are definitely far too non linear with all the downsides that make those types of levels a right pain in the ass. Lost in the middle of the Ice Man Palace I was pretty sure I would go with Gerty and give this 6 for gameplay as the cause and effect of those levers is pretty enigmatic and you never get a hint or a cut scene that might give you a clue. What is so bloody irritating about the whole affair is that it seems to be done deliberately. Like after an hour of hard work you get a cut scene of the big cage that lifts but once you arrive there all that awaits you is a closed door. I still don't know what half of the levers did I pushed there. Fortunately it improves towards the end so that right now after I finished the whole set I feel more benevolent towards the author. Alright I started this in Munich where I had no Internet access and it's quite interesting what you are prepared to do and try when you know you can't rely on the trusty help of the forum. Or perhaps it's just that the first three parts are dead easy. So it wasn't before the end of Mines Complex that I found myself in Stuckville big time. But enough nagging. There are certainly more things here that deserve praise. I was particularly fond of the complex timed run in the Hidden Base the Bullchase in Mystic Dreams and the drain and flood puzzles in the Waterworld. For me the main achievement like in Saudia Arabia is that Donald combines so many different styles settings tasks and yet the game as a whole doesn't fall apart and the storyline remains kind of believable even when you find the circuit card in the surreal environment of Magic Dreams. Some areas are very familiar and others are highly original and inventive complete with new enemies and an invisible Lara. I'm always sort of careful with my health so I never noticed the scarcity of medi packs that is mentioned by other reviewers. In fact I finished the game with 13 big ones and that's with running past the machine guns more often than strictly necessary. All in all a fantastic and thrilling adventure even when there are too many doors and not quite enough jumps for my liking. Well when I tell you that I made it to the helicopter on foot cause I never found the jeep (but I guess that way I avoided the earthquake) you can work out for yourself that I didn't get to play the bonus level." - Dimpfelmoser (11-Jan-2004)
"Great set of levels. Very well done and very complex too. There are difficult timed runs good puzzles lots of switches ice boulders collapsible tiles unusual crystals to shoot a very confusing underwater maze some amazing flybys and a terrible final earthquake. The mirror room is cool. I loved the Ice Palace. It's beautiful and the atmosphere indescribable. Lara as a cybergirl is a nice touch. Textures lighting and sound are quite perfect. I got 28 secrets (well hidden). It's an excellent work. A long adventure worth to play." - Cuqui (11-Nov-2003)
"A very large set of 11 levels each of many areas. The technical side was very good with lighting and textures setting the mood as required. The graphics also being well thought out to give good variations between each part. You will have puzzles to solve. Here comes the very big downer for me you press a button or switch and often have no idea what you have triggered coupled with lots of back tracking (you also need to be constantly playing it to remember what has gone on made game play extreemly frustrating. Also to make matters worse you at times have little idea why you are doing something. Video hints and flybys would have made this a superb level especially after having played AoD." - Whistle (04-Nov-2003)
"The test of any 'four-ten' level in my mind is whether I'd be willing to give up some of my hard-earned dollars to buy it off the shelf. In the case of this marvelous ten-level (plus bonus level) series the answer is an unqualified yes. 'Russia' is every bit as entertaining and challenging as any of the commercial releases that we enjoyed before being spoiled by the free Level Editor productions. It has a little bit of everything plus some new touches such as the 'cyber mode' level in which Lara is invisible to her enemies (until she comes back for a brief visit on the way to Water World). Also Dutchy's masterful walkthrough was indeed a Godsend as I could not possibly have negotiated some of the trickier puzzles and found my way back and forth between the various levels without resorting to it. The only thing I would question is the apparently intentional use of Piega's Catacomb Towers for the bonus level. (At least one reviewer stopped playing at this point because the surroundings were so familiar.) This minor quibble aside I'd have to rank this among the top five series that I've played to date along with The Rescue Sanctuaries/Last Crusade Dark Skies and Hidden Garden/Celtic Folly. I understand that the author has a third (and regrettably final) work in progress and I'm eagerly looking forward to its release. My thanks to Donald and to all the other level builders for giving us such a rich variety of free rewarding entertainment." - Phil (16-Oct-2003)
"Russia Ep.2 is a too long game. That's the reason why I've found it totally boring near the end. It's too much time searching objects and too much travels between huge levels. I began to play with a smile in my face because Powells' Hidden Place reminded me the TR2gold first levels; all was perfect until the Castle levels. They are beautiful but they seem to be out of place. I found 24 secrets in near 15 hrs of net gaming; some of them I found while running here and there and some with the help of the forum. I missed some more cameras when Lara activates a switch; this could have been better for the game and have made it easier. The atmosphere sound lighting and textures doesn't have any fault in my opinion. In spite of the loong and difficult gameplay Russia Ep.2 is a real challenge for the TR fans and it's worth to play." - Loupar (01-Oct-2003)
"This magnum opus has already been quite comprehensively reviewed so I don't intend to give a blow by blow account of each level. I came late to this one as the sheer size of it made me keep putting it off and playing smaller levels. You may have been feeling the same but I urge you to play this it really is not to be missed. Be warned however it can be extremely confusing and you may be very glad that there is a walkthrough available - I know I was. This set of levels begins with the best most professional cinematic scene I have ever seen in a custom level. The action ranges from an arctic base through mines ice palaces (my favourite part) castle temples city streets - quite an epic journey with a fair bit of backtracking between some of the areas. You even get a bonus level if you find the relevant secrets. Superb. 27.09.2003" - Jay (27-Sep-2003)
"Since everyone else has already written a descriptive review of these levels I'll make mine short and sweet by just saying: If you don't play these you're really missing out on something special! Each level offers something completely different and visits areas like a base in the snow a base complete with seaplane and hangar a mining complex a snow palace a sunken ship office buildings and you even get to play as cyber Lara who is invisible to her enemies! Donald hasn't missed a detail - the textures and rooms are designed and built perfectly enemies are varied and well placed there are lots of secrets to find (I found 28) and some lead to other secrets which allow access to the bonus level and there are so many little details added that really bring these areas to life. There's lots of exploration to do plus some tough challenges that offer a great sense of satisfaction when accomplished - my only complaint is that there's not enough camera work to show you what a button or switch might have done which could be frustrating at times. I enjoyed every second of this though - I got bored with Angel of Darkness started playing this and never went back!" - RaiderGirl (15-Sep-2003)
"Fifteen full hours of playing later I have finished the ten basic levels of Russia - Episode 2. I began the Bonus level and gave up because of the degree of familiarity with another level I played within the last year (same monkey-swing to fall to wall climb sequence etc.). Russia - Episode 2 is the most intricately rendered TRLE game it has been my pleasure to play. It is also one of the top four most realistic looking (with the exception of the cityscapes). Russia - Episode 2 also has some of the most involved and challenging timed runs/swims I have encountered. It has quite a few imaginative challenges and nerve-wracking puzzles. I commend Donald for putting together such a labyrinth. Unfortunately for me he left out one or two crucial components that render the game not fun to play. I never knew where I was going or probably more importantly why. And I never knew the impact of my actions. Fifteen hours of running back and forth HOPING it is the correct thing to do makes for a boring game. Other problems are common to a number of games: too dark in places for any valid reason necessary objects being secrets objects appearing out of thin air (Lara will check a storage shelf and find it empty only to have to visit the same storage shelf a minute later to get a Bonus Card or some such) etc. There are players galore who would love playing Russia - Episode 2 but I am not one of them. I do so admire the skill it took to develop but I didn't enjoy playing the game." - Dougsan (12-Sep-2003)
"10 Levels plus one Bonus Level plus a title sequence you should spend time looking at and probably the best introductory cut scene I have seen yet. A massive series consisting of no less than 2216 rooms in total if I added the numbers right. So, there's a lot to tell in a review and here we go - level by level. Powell's Hidden Base (9/8/9/10, 60 min., 0/1 secrets): This is not identical with the pre-released single level but most of the areas are familiar if you had played it. About a dozen switches to find and use around the Arctic Base about a dozen cool guards and another dozen of fierce baddies to kill, plus a few dogs and eagles. Texturing, Sounds, Music, Lighting all are quite perfect and make you feel as if you are there. Five keys, a fuse and a fuse breaker are your quest items and you get a bit of snowmobile riding including two big jumps for which you need the nitro feeder. There is a complex timed run past squishing blocks and despite a few helpful cameras throughout the level, this particular switch for the timed run leaves you clueless. Probably the biggest gripe I would mention with this level. At the end you need to master some swimming and a sequence of underwater switches and enter the next level swimming. Restricted Area Sector A (8/8/8/9, 45 min., 1/1 secrets): Still a Base setting - this time more underwater style with a big sea plane to play around and inside, which is quite impressive. Overall gameplay is rather tedious though, as you need to find two yellow and three blue fuses, mostly held by one of the two dozen or so guards you need to kill along the way. Some swimming is needed with currents to watch out for and the room with the slopes, chains and burners was fun. The secret is a bonus key which you use to get access to another bonus key. The use of the cyborg as a guide was well done. Two cards and a disc help your progression and after a short timed swim you end up back in the snowy outside and enter the next level. Mines Complex (8/8/10/10, 45 min., 5/5 secrets): I just love those snowy railtrack settings and it is so well done here - very authentic. Very few enemies (guards and an eagle) and mainly exploring the area for boxes, windows and other things to shoot and a bunch of levers to pull. You use a battery and circuit wire to progress and get to see a few cool static objects as well as some moving icy blocks, so watch out for those. You exchange your bonus key for a blue diamond here. The secrets are mainly easy and not very rewarding. The burner room was interesting and the room with the metal walkways nicely constructed. You blow a hole into a wall and on you go... Ice Man Palace (9/8/9/10, 40 min., 2/3 secrets): Ok, let's get the bad things out of the way first: an invisble ledge, rather unmarked things to shoot to trigger something enigmatic and definite lack of camera guidance given that there are plenty of levers and buttons to push. But - that aside, I just loved the dense atmosphere here, the very clever use of the torch to get the secret (exchanging the blue diamond for the bonus card) and drop the boulders, very nice ambient and added sound and the transparent Ice tinmen. You get to melt some of the ice to pick up the waterskin, need to find and use a key and the Ice Man Mask and maneuver your way through a number of slicer dicers. The Forbidden Castle (8/8/9/9, 40 min., 2/2 secrets): Yet again the setting changes, though still the Castle is set into a snowy environment. Mosquitoes, reptiles and beetles are your adversaries here and you get some fun with burners and swinging spike-bags, a neat mirror room, find a scroll and a key and have a quick return to the Ice Man Palace to collect the trident which opens up the way to the next level. Still a few more cameras would have helped with several of the levers and reach in switches and the 2 secrets only have simple pickups on offer, but I liked the puzzle where you need to shoot a statues head off and then later push it to its correct place. Mystic Dreams (10/9/9/9, 40+10 min., 3/3 secrets): Alright, invisible ledges again, but I guess we know by now. This part features fierce enemies: the hammergod and the very well used bull who helps you open doors and find jumpswitches. The drained pool with water dripping from the ceiling looks great, the rotating blades room was fun and there is a neat effect when placing the Mystical artifact. You also push a bunch of 'doors' around, shoot crystals, maneuvre a little pitch black crawl maze (yuck!) and master a fun sequence with timed trapdoors, collapsible tiles and burners. All this work gets you the two Eye pieces (united they turn out to be the holy sphere and then sends you on a huge backtrack through most of the previous levels, finding the second circuit board, using both in the Mines Complex and getting the key you need to enter the next level via the door in Restricted Area Sector A. Restricted Area Sector B (9/9/8/9, 30 min., 2/3 secrets): Wow - Cyber Mode - that is most definitely a different 'outfit'. You also get a neat reminder of the storyline via a cutscene and then run off to find two cards and a VCI Key by using binoculars to solve a smart coding puzzle, avoid those pesky rotating wheel blades, climb up an elevator and also trade your bonus card for an oxygen canister via a timed run that was fun. Maximum Security (8/9/9/8, 35+5 min., 1/1 secrets): Changing the Cyber Mode from green to red, you get several floors of a base setting to explore, with plenty of buttons to press, three discs to use, some spooky mummies and angry workers in orange overalls and finally at the end the desert eagle. There is a short timed run and you need a key and a circuit wire to turn on the electricity. The ceiling mounted guns deprive you of some health as you run past them and there is another important secret here: the CO2 canister. A short backtrack through the previous level brings you into the next one. Water World (8/9/10/9, 45 min., 3/3 secrets): If I had not drowned maybe a few times too often this would have had an even higher gameplay score. Starting with an impressive view of the submarine base from the outside, you set out to find four cards, a wire plate, the third secret canister that leads to another secret bonus card and are treated to battle cool blue cyber SAS, baddies and crocfish, need to maneuvre a devious machine room, manage a timed run (not too hard), poisonous pools and lasers, master tricky jumps around moving cranes and a great jump sequence across slopes and of course get a decent amount of exploring in and around a sunken ship, draining water and turning wheels to open doors. Very entertaining level in a great setting. Escape from Moscow (7/8/9/8, 30 min., 4/4 secrets): We've reached a rather bleak office building and Lara needs to move a few things around to pick up the Mystical Artifact she came for and then make her escape by killing a dozen guards and baddies, shooting grates, exploring a storeroom for a key and then back out in the streets drive the jeep towards her waiting helicopter. The explosion in the streets was nicely done and I like the music for the Jeep ride. Even if you managed to get the respective secrets, it was not easy to find the entrance to the Bonus level as you need to do a couple of things in the right sequence. Bonus Level: Dark Dungeon 2 (9/9/9/9, 70 min., 2/2 secrets): A run down Memory Lane as we re-visit Rene's Catacomb Towers level here. Two vraeus, a timeless sand and the Dungeon Star to get, a few skeletons around, a burner room that is impressive and of course the confusing maze areas, especially the pitch black one with a ptero attacking Lara's Statue somewhere. The alien raptors were great and a little wasted in that cave and the earthquake was quite unnecessary, but still this felt like a great bonus level as it was so far away from the overall theme of the series that it was quite special to play at this time. All in all - it is a massive amount of raiding you get here and it certainly shows how much Donald has advanced his building skills since Saudi Arabia. And seeing that an Episode 3 is in the making, we all should be looking out for that one." - Michael (01-Sep-2003)
"The 11 Levels plus Bonus level are fantastically designed in terms of architecture and graphics. I was most impressed by the temples. On her quest for an artifact Lara needs to pass through various areas: Temple Castle Mine and Base. Puzzles are not all that difficult and the timed sequences can be managed ok. Missing cameras were a bit of a nuisance and made the game unnecessarily longer when it was already long enough. Searching a whole level after pulling a lever was not much fun. Enemies were diverse and different by level. Mostly they were well placed. I needed to get used to Lara's 'outfit' in the two base levels - not my taste really but my eyes adjusted ;) At the end I was quite surprised to see Lara swim with a burning torch - have not seen this in another level yet as the torch usually extinguishes. I found 28 secrets some well hidden others easy to spot. I can recommend this series to everybody. It is well done and very diverse." - Navi (26-Aug-2003)
"It is difficult to review such a long level with so many different parts to it. Personally I liked the first 4 levels best. Lara as a Cybergirl in level 7 (green) and 8 (red) was a treat. I liked that. Usually there are not too many enemies at once. The bonus level was a bit of a letdown for me. In parts it looked very familiar like a level I had played a long time ago. I had to cheat in this game because I needed a lot more medi-packs then there are supplied during the game. I didn't have the patience with all health-consuming parts to always try and find the one that took the least amount of Lara's health. In between I also used the very helpful walkthrough by Dutchy. Otherwise I played the game like one should. Some parts I managed after seemingly endless tries. I just mention the timed door in Powell's Hidden Base also the endless long swimming in the Water World or in the Bonus Level when Lara without any obvious reason rapidly looses health. There were plenty more challenges in the game. Mostly I enjoyed the game very much. For somebody with some (good/very good) playing skills it can be a very rewarding game and I can only recommend it. Play it! I found all 28 secrets (one more than in the walkthrough). Net time: 12:29:14 - 01.08.2003" - Monika (05-Aug-2003)
"A great and long adventure beginning by a new title and a cut scene brilliantly done mixing puzzles in modern surroundings and exploration in ancient stuff between realism and surrealism. The author has put a lot of care for this game and the details of the different places to raid: an army base and a factory that recalls somewhat the Russian levels of TR2 and TR2 Gold underground mines with some familiar textures of the Antarctic levels of TR3 a beautiful icy palace with the atmosphere of TR1 an ancient medieval temple a temple with textures of the Roman levels of TR1 and Guardian of Semerkhet an impressive underwater base and some high-tech VCI headquarters. There are so many good things to be said from this adventure as the well chosen background atmosphere some sounds of TR Chronicles the new or retextured enemies such as the baddies or the green lizards. The progression is not always straightforward and the different levels are well connected together (although it is strange to find a circuit wire on a pedestal of an ancient temple) some puzzles can be solved by two different ways (although I'm not sure that this is always intentional) subtle hints here and there and more than enough secrets ammunitions or med packs to find (I had 19 big med packs at the end of the game). What annoyed me is that a lot of backtracking is required sometimes because the cameras are non-existent in the middle of the game and the player does not know what to do next. The best (or worst) example is Ice man palace one of the most beautiful and atmospheric level I've seen but what began by a great delight and excitement eventually ended into boredom. A level destined to be loved finally hated: a pity really. Fortunately the following levels Mystic dreams Restricted sector B Water world are really good and my favourites of this game. I want to say that the author has made a big tour de force : he has made me enjoy very much army base levels which I usually don't like. So hats off for that! If it was not for the frustration of Ice man palace full marks were at the door." - eRIC (05-Aug-2003)
"After the great opening flyby of a cityscape with people walking in it I just KNEW I was going to love this. I have to say that I feel very mean giving one score for an entire game of 11 levels, which on another occasion would have been scored per level. All the levels are very well built and run smoothly into each other, and giving good old fashioned TR raiding fun. Keep a sharp eye out on the floors where you've killed enemies to get pickups, some are hard to see. Lara will take things off shelves by pressing action only, not as we've learned to do in custom levels by stepping back, this is great. What's not great is the chronic lack of medipacks so save all you can. Here goes: 1- Powell's Hidden Base: A base in the snow where the helicopter drops Lara, and waits patiently above the buildings 'til she's done what a girl has to do. Lara in her little woolly cap and that black and white combat suit. Find keys and open doors. Enemies are dogs, eagles, guards dressed for the snow and thugs, all well placed. Straight forward gameplay. There's a great timed run which includes a monkey swing, slamming blocks, crates to jump over, ladders to climb, and a few sprint runs. Lara finds a snowmobile to get her around the different areas and you get the nitrous oxide canister to jump a deep pit. There's some swimming with underwater levers that's not too difficult. This water system leads you smoothly into... 2- Restricted Area A: Seaplane water base (think Offshore Rig). The area round the plane floating in a huge water 'hangar' looks great, like the monkey swing, the room where you can push 'and' shoot crates, finding keys (that bonus key was nearly impossible to see on the metal floor), There's a room with ledges and fire emitters that looks terrible, but it's not that hard to get around. There's a brilliant little sequence where you release an android (looks like the Borg in Startrek) that you can follow, and this little darling opens up doors for you to get a disc which activates a beam on a giant circuit board. You end up outside in the snow again and enter... 3- The Mines Complex: Take a look at the moving centre of the tracks in the mine, great. Outside another very well built mine warehouse/tracks/buildings in the snow. There's a great warehouse where you move crates out of the way for a timed run. You find the blue diamond here for the Bonus level. Loved the ice boulders and the old steam engine. There's a bit of a complicated burner room to negotiate, and layers of tracks where you shoot control units to blow your way into... 4- Ice Man Palace: This looks really nice, an underground ice temple with frozen pools and fountains. Great looking transparent ice soldiers attack you here, and you see some unfortunate previous explorer impaled on an ice pole, yuk. There's an intriguing series of torch actions and puzzles and you use the blue diamond in this part. This level can be a bit confusing and frustrating, but it's a great level all the same, and all I can say is shoot 'everything' even if it seems ridiculous. Again through a crawlspace and out to... 5- The Forbidden Castle: Outside in a temple buildings complex and Lara meets giant mosquitoes and mutants. There's an unusual mirror room where you're movements are reversed while you try to use a crowbar on five switches, and you only see the killing fires in the mirror. We have an unusual library here too. I mean, get this, you pull out the bottom of a column to show a trapdoor, you shoot the head of a statue and then push it! Keep as much medipacks as you can - I thought I was pretty good at outrunning beetles, but they killed me at least 5 times in this level, so be warned. The architecture of this level is good but the textures are iffy. A bit of level hopping at the end until you get to... 6- Mystic Dreams: A gigantic cathedral-cum-Atlantean incubating temple. Some transparent ledge hopping high up in the cathedral. Here we meet the hammer wielding minotaur. Swimming through blades, and pulling levers to drain a room with 'water on the ceiling!'. We find and place the lovely Mystic headdress. Breakable tiles in a deep pit with crevices, giant crystals to shoot, and there's a fascinating 'bull run' where you get torro to crash open a series of gates on different floors to get two halves of the blue eyepiece. 7- Restricted Sector B: Back through the Mines Complex to open Sector B. Lara runs into laser light and becomes a green wire frame version of herself, COOL. This means that's she's invisible and enemies can't see her. This now joins my list of most memorable moments. Great puzzles here, a sort of astrological puzzle, then a series of switches to turn off burning floors to get the second half of the V-key. We discover a space rocket in this huge building and find a canister after a great timed run, and Lara is zapped again to become a red wireframe version of herself and immediately starts... 8- Maximum Security: She has to make her way around a huge spacebase, through prison cells with dead guys, and they have no problem seeing her, neither do the mechanics and red wireframe guards! This can be a very confusing building to get around. You are up and down different huge floors to do different things, and not necessarily at the one time. A good sense of direction is required. Lara flips back to green mode through Sector B, then through glass doors to... 9- Water World: Lara is back in her combat gear and we get a nice flyby of the water base, a sunken ship and a mutant fish/crocodile swimming. There are blue wireframe guards and solid ones that shoot you, so take no hostages. After an unusual puzzle of monkey swinging and dropping on squares where machinery flies out to kill you (oh boy!), we get to go out into the 'sea' and swim with the, ahem, fish. You can kill them easily enough. There's some complicated jumping over toxic water, swimming through the ship to drain and flood it to open different doors, and opening two large doors that brings you to an office in... 10- Escape from Moscow: Starting in offices, open the safe in the first one to get the dagger (dungeon key that you'll need for the bonus level), again shooting is the thing here - the grates high up on the walls, shooting baddies in a warehouse and find the jeep in a garage. Out into a gloomy but convincing city. Nice camera angles, as Lara drives on bridges. The helicopter waits on a snow bank off one of the streets, and near it large gates lead to... 11- Dark Dungeon II (Bonus Level): This is a terrific bonus level, plenty to do. It reminds me of something I've seen before - a huge temple with two structures to climb around, and a pillar pushing puzzle. I believe this level is very dark, but I didn't find it so. There's a complicated underwater maze that totally confused me 'til I read the walkthrough, a great fire room, another maze that drove me mad because something was killing Lara and I couldn't figure it out until I found the bird attacking the statue of Lara (good one), then that climb out with the four-way jump to the pillars, trying to see the Dungeon star while swimming, avoiding great looking raptors, running avoiding a skeleton, looking for a receptacle, climbing and running to get out, all during an eARth..qU..aKE. My poor eyes. This is just like getting a complete game of Tomb Raider. It's difficult enough I'd say to create one level never mind 11 altogether. Excellent job, Donald. Well worth the download. I'd recommend anyone who wants to finish the level this year to get the brilliant walkthrough. If you think this review is enormous, you should have seen it before I clipped it! I'm off to get Saudi Arabia now. . ." - CC (18-Jul-2003)
"Wow! This is a fantastic set of levels! You get to play with Lara in almost every place possible e.g. sunken ship/underwater base dungeon arctic palace city.....and you get to play with her in 'cyber mode' which means she is invisible for the guards! That was a lot of fun! Each area is huge and very well built. I think the first two levels were the best not that the others weren't good they are! Two things that disturbed me was the fact that to be able to play the bonus level you have to get certain items along the way but if you missed one and went on to the next level you couldn't get back so in that case you have to replay. (If you weren't fortunate enough to get a savegame sent to you like me...) And the other is the lack of glimpses what happens when you pull a lever. I don't mean that there had to be one every time but since the areas were so huge and the doors could be in the other end or even in the other end and timed it would have been nice with a little hint where to go. Anyway these are 'must play' levels very well up to Core standards and higher!" - G.Croft (14-Jul-2003)
"This is not a level for the 'faint of heart'.....or the novice TR player. Difficult and confusing it's still one of the best ever created. Even die hard players of TR will probably be stuck maybe many times. There is much going back and forth between levels timed runs and lots of secrets. In fact everything that is TR has been incorporated including invisible platforms that are not easy to spot. Get used to whipping out the binoculars when stuck! New at least to me features include a cybermold invisible Lara and statues that must be shot. One with a blue light indicating special attention. I debated the 10 rating I gave because nothing is ever really perfect - but despite a major drawback in the availability of medipacks (PLEASE Donald in future levels give us MORE!) - this level deserves the highest praise. Not to be missed!" - Bene (14-Jul-2003)
"I am in a bit of a bind here as this 11 level game is superb in every category except in my opinion gameplay. I for one didn't mind the back and fro that much but because of the vastness it was very hard and very confusing most of the time. The time it took me was over 20 hours and the distance was over 200 kilometers on my clock. What really bugged me is that one needed some items to bring with you to the next and although in the first couple of level one could go back and retrieve it. But later it became more difficult. Getting back was out of the question and you had to rely on a saved game. This could have been avoided by more camera work and maybe even a note in the readme. Playing this on a MAC I couldn't add anything like medipacks so now I had to do some areas over and over again to save Lara's health. Glad I found that bloody bird at the end very quick although quite by accident. But don't let this discourage you as there are some novelties to see as well. Like Lara in cybermode even twice. There are traps throughout and look out for hidden levers. There are some creative practice shooting to do and when in doubt shoot everything in sight and I did find some secrets that way. I was glad that there were enough people who went before me as I got stuck at the oddest places. Had a weird bug in Escape from Moscow it looked like Lara had broken her left arm and wouldn't use it at all. It didn't hinder the gameplay though. That earthquake at the end really did it for me as I felt nauseated and it just wouldn't let up. There are still some questions left though and I will be looking forward to read the walkthrough see what I missed. Found 20 secrets. 02-07-2003" - Gerty (10-Jul-2003)
"I'm still a little sick from the final earthquake and wondering whether I should classify this mega-game as fantastic or irritating... I think I'm going to be nice and in spite of all the frustration and anger it made me go through I'll give it the first classification. ;) Really I'm still unable to focus my eyes correctly after the final part - some people like earthquakes which can be very valid and some hate them... Since I don't hate them and I'm simply avoidably sick I'll stick to being nice. Well there is I believe no other TR custom level you can compare this 11/12 levels game with... I can't think of any. I can think of more beautiful levels more original too but none stands a comparison to this which could only be compared to an original perhaps Chronicles since it's smaller than say TR 3 and 4 and only because of that. There's a huge lot of running back and fro from place to place from level to level so I wouldn't advise it to people who only love to move straight ahead. It's also so complex I could never advise it to a beginner - frustration plays a major role here and sometimes the only pleasure you get is when you finally achieve something that seemed utterly impossible mainly because of the almost sadistic scarcity of med-packs namely in Water World when one has to dive and make a very complicated series of manoeuvres underwater and aboard a ship. That's it you're always living on the edge and wondering whether you'll be able to get through with it... It's also very hard to get to the bonus level since you need to find a bonus card and then use it in another level to find a canister during a timed run and then find another canister later on and find still another canister so you can use them to find a bonus card that will allow you into a room where you'll be able to find a dungeon key that will give you access to a bonus level as never seen before - a big level not only big but great unlike any other bonus level I've ever played (I've been to one that was more fun but that's a different story) - this one is challenging as the rest (excepting Escape from Moscow which was simple in comparison). I'm not sure I could call this one fun in the strict sense of the word fun it's called Dark Dungeons remember? In the middle of all these ever changing ambiances I found only one bug and one very weird thing both in the same level Iceman's Palace but I've heard there may be more... I almost couldn't get the first bonus card because for some reason the puzzle wasn't working properly and I therefore had to go to a previous savegame and then notice the difference (the wall that didn't descend to ground level finally did!) and in the big room where you should make a block rise in order to set fire to a rope it wouldn't rise - I must be grateful to the forums here as in other places for pointing me another (illegal I guess in the sense of probably unplanned by the author) way... The weird thing is there was an invisible block in the middle of the room but only after you'd set fire to the two ropes there. From there you could go and push a tile unreachable without the invisible platform that would make the block rise when there was no need anymore - that really puzzled me was it an author's joke? Apart from that I didn't open a door in Water World but it seems it wasn't of much importance I (and so it seems everybody else) was unable to find out how to use the button in the ground floor of the rocket room I managed to open a door in the same level and make a timed run so I could get a large med-pack (the most precious item throughout these levels) and finally in the bonus level right at the end there was this flooded room with a gate and a lever which I never got to use because I didn't find out how to 'unflood' the room and have I told you? I was feeling sick from the earthquake so I didn't care anymore either. Apart from that I guess I should be feeling pretty good for having solved most of this so very intricate adventure. Now that I come to think of it at this moment when the sickness slowly starts to disappear I realize I had a lot of fun throughout this game only of a very tense kind. I would like to advise Russia - Episode 2 to anybody with a lot of patience the true TR spirit (it's here indeed no doubt about it!) not afraid of dying a zillion times. It isn't for the faint of heart but it certainly is unmissable for everybody else. Well have I written too much? It's a long game you could write a book about it..." - Jorge22 (02-Jul-2003)
"In this series of levels the player will encounter not many enemies but a lot of puzzles and unusual objects to shoot. There are levels with ice water a great ocean which Lara swims and collects items from within ships mine areas and a base like level with a green and red Lara looking like a diagram. The items will vary every time from fuses to key cards plain keys a battery ad much more it isn't possible to mention everything. Look out for hints that will help you proceed for example what a sneaky move that was to have to shoot a statue's head. Well there was a blinking light in that area to indicate something mysterious is going on there. The mine level was confusing and most of the time by jumping between levels the player can't be sure if that level will be available again or not since items are missing. It isn't necessary to get all the secrets but just the essential ones that will help you access the bonus level. There are some bonus cards keys a blue diamond and the dungeon key which is the most important to open the big black iron gates. The bonus level though apart from a couple of secrets a symbol and some dinos is nothing special. No need to say that the enemies in this adventure are many guards crocodiles weird looking ice men etc. the only thing I can say is that this all together is a mini game worth downloading and don't be scared from the size. You're in for the best raid." - Kristina (26-Jun-2003)
"I know this may be hard to believe but this amazing 11 level game was total fun from the very start all the way to the very end and truly there is not a dull moment in it. Sure you may get stuck a few times in each level and wonder if you should be leaving one level to go to another leaving behind some unfinished tasks but once you know this is how the game is set up you can go with the flow and just enjoy. Okay here's a run down of the game. Powell's Hidden Base - Setting: Ice base and ice tunnels. Gameplay Highlight: Complicated timed run. Enemies: Dogs Snow camouflaged guards white shirted guards. Vehicle: Snowmobile. Time: 60 minutes. Secrets: 1 of which I missed. Times Level Is Visited: 1. Restricted Area Sector A - Setting: Seaplane hangar and base. Gameplay Highlight: A tricky fire infested pole climb in an air vent. Enemies: Black clad men white clad men. Time: 55 minutes. Secrets: 1 that is a bonus key essential for bonus level. Times Level Is Visited: 2 Mines Complex - Setting: Mines and a small outdoor base area. Gameplay Highlight: A fire and trigger tile timed puzzle. Enemies: Eagles white clad men red jacketed men. Time: 55 minutes. Secrets: 5 of which one is a blue diamond essential for bonus level. Times Level Is Visited: 2 Ice Man Palace - Setting: Palace in the snow. Gameplay Highlight: Torch and boulder puzzle. Enemies: Invisible ice men. Time: 50 minutes. Secrets: 3 of which one is a bonus card essential for the bonus level. Times Level Is Visited: 2 Forbidden Castle - Setting: Castle in the snow. Gameplay Highlight: Enemies: Giant mosquitos little green lizard creatures beetles. Time: 45 minutes. Secrets: 2 of which I found only 1. Times Level Is Visited: 3 Mystic Dreams - Setting: Palace of sorts. Gameplay Highlight: The timed trapdoor raising/collapsible tile/shooting puzzle. Enemies: Giant mosquitos hammergod bull. Time: 50 minutes. Secrets: 3. Times Level Is Visited: 1. Restricted Area Sector B - Lara: Invisible apart from green outlines (cybermode). Setting: Base and rocket silo. Gameplay Highlight: Timed run/climb/jump in the rocket room. Enemies: Guards that can't see Lara so do not have to be killed. Time: 40 minutes. Secrets: 3 of which I found only two and one of these was the oxygen canister essential for the bonus level. Times Level Is Visited: 2 Maximum Security - Lara: Invisible apart from red outlines (cybermode). Setting: Many levelled base. Gameplay Highlight: Timed run/jump over toxic water. Enemies: Torso rotted zombies orange suited women cybermoded guards all of which can see Lara now. Time: 40 minutes. Secrets: 1 that is a co2 canister essential for the bonus level. Times Level Is Visited: 1 Water World - Setting: Base under the sea and a sunken ship. Gameplay Highlight: All the tight underwater swims. Enemies: Cybermoded guards white shirted men mutant crocs. Time: 55 minutes. Secrets: 3 of which one is a nitrogen canister essential for the bonus level. Times Level Is Visited: 1 Escape From Moscow - Setting: City streets. Gameplay Highlight: Driving the jeep through the city. Enemies: Guards. Vehicle: Jeep. Time: 50 minutes. Secrets: 4 of which one is a sword essential for the bonus level. Times Level Is Visited: 1 Dark Dungeon 2 (Bonus Level) - Setting: Catacombs. Gameplay Highlight: Revisiting the first half of Piega's Catacomb Towers. Enemies: Skeletons harpy alien looking mutants. Time: 45 minutes. Secrets: 2 of which I found only 1. Times Level Is Visited: 1" - Sash (25-Jun-2003)