Another excellent Thief II mission that treads into Dark Project territory, this one is an homage to (obviously) The Lost City of the first game. Garrett is tasked to uncover the mystery of a lost Keeper expedition to Karath-Din, and make some money along the way.
The story is typical, but developed pretty well in all the usual ways. The real reason to play is map is to explore the underground landscape the author has constructed. After passing a brief section of city and sewer, you enter what at first feels like a maze. Confronted with numerous forks in the road, you just have to pick one. You'll find that seemingly disparate paths connect in surprising and sometimes ingenious ways. The author has made the mission a pleasure to traverse with a variety of distincive areas. There are some impressive vistas, like large lava-filled caverns build for climbing and platforming, ruined temples and city districts, even a submarine buried in an underground lake. Even the connecting areas feel distrinct enough to avoid feeling turned around, provided you have the sense of direction required to build a good mental map, as the mission itself doesn't provide you with one.
Despite what one might expect, there aren't really any complicated puzzles in this mission. The ones that are there are kind of obvious, which is fine by me. The only possible source of frustration is a number of required items scattered throughout the level, but we aren't talking Night in Rocksbourg 1 levels of frustration here. My advice is to take a close look in and around any Keeper corpses and installations and you should find what you're looking for. You should keep a good eye out in general though, because the loot is scattered throughout the levels in bits and pieces, and to make the loot goal on Hard or Expert you don't have much in the way of secret hoards to rely upon.
The level of opposition does feel a bit light. You'll encounter most of the usual suspects (burricks, spiders, craymen, fire elementals, even a few zombies in the mine section) but the numbers are pretty small and sparsely distributed. Players who fiercely dislike facing non-human AI should avoid this one, I suppose, but all the same it's not a strenuous mission in that respect.
As I said, its gameplay mainly resides in exploration. For fans of spelunking in Thief, Return to the Lost City is well worth a look.
I like its mission for both unusual tomb raider-esque setting and also for its gameplay, challenging but not that keyhunty or frustrating. Overall, good hommage to original level from T1. You might be interested in another similar (more or less) FMs.
First of all, intruder made another underground vertical mission, Journey into the Underdark - which is set in Forgotten Realms world (and inspired by Icewind Dale series). It is a bit unusual mission: instead of three difficulty levels there are three "classes": warrior, shooter and mage (with different inventories, - weapons, "spells" etc.). And also while you may try stealth it, the mission overall is more about fighting rather than stealthing your opponents. I like it even despite I'm not an avid fan of that setting.
Also there are two Nicked's tomb-raider-like missions set in Garrett's world but with some "egyptian"-style themes: From Beneath the Sands and Whispers in the Desert, semi-remake of Sands. The first one is more about puzzle-solving while the second includes some platforming. They felt like a bit different takes of the same themes.