Level: Reign of Chaos - Venice back home search
Author(s): karlo002
total rating:8.54 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Akcy 9 8 9 9
Andzia9 9 9 9 9
CC 8 8 9 9
Christian 8 7 8 8
Deekman 8 7 9 9
DJ Full 9 10 9 9
Engelchen Lara 8 9 9 9
eRIC 9 9 9 8
eTux 7 9 9 8
Gerty 8 9 9 8
gfd 9 9 10 9
Jay 8 9 9 9
Jose 7 8 8 7
Josi 8 7 9 7
Kristina 8 8 8 8
Leeth 8 7 8 8
Loupar 8 8 9 9
manarch2 7 8 8 8
MichaelP 8 8 9 9
Mman 8 9 10 9
Moonliteshadow 10 10 10 10
mugs 10 9 9 9
Mytly 8 7 7 8
Necro 7 7 8 8
Obig 8 9 9 10
OverRaider 10 7 9 10
Phil 9 9 9 9
QRS 10 9 10 10
Ryan 8 9 9 9
Selene 9 9 10 9
Sutekh 8 8 10 9
TombRaiderFan 7 8 8 7
totizedger 7 8 9 8
Zhyttya 8 8 9 9
category averages
(34 reviews)
8.26 8.32 8.91 8.65

Reviewer's comments

"And so we move on to our next destination which is Venice. You may think "Ah i love Venice because it's so beautiful and romantic" but this is not the Venice you are used to but a haunting experience that will surely make your heart beat faster. You start out in an underground area and like manarch2 mentioned i don't know why Lara started her visit in Venice in the sewers because there was no explanation as to how she got there. The atmosphere is really creepy telling you that something evil is hiding in there. Gameplay is good but not great in the first part but it gets better in the second part. Now that we have finally escaped from the sewers we can finally relax and look at the beautiful scen.... ery.....!!! The creepy atmosphere continues and i really like this part a lot more than the first one both in terms of gameplay and atmospherewise, the sight of dead people in the water and the background sfx complement each other very well and this was without any doubt the best part of Venice. Perhaps it was a bit too short in my opinion and the lever run with the fire was not very fun because i kept dying several times. The third and last section was very relaxing and was much needed after so much tension but lacks a bit in the gameplay aspect sadly. Overall i enjoyed this section of the adventure more than the previous one due to the more varied gameplay and that it was less exploration based." - totizedger (22-Oct-2017)

"This section was larger than Mexico. You start in the sewers (naturally) and then find your way out to a zombie ridden Venice and then enter the church for the next Chaos Gem. I enjoyed this section. Onwards to China!" - Ryan (19-Apr-2016)

"Do you know what I hate the most in community projects? Rating all levels separately, especially when they feel as a whole, what applies here especially to the untrimmed version (I got one from our dear Hungarians but I still ticked the green link to boost the fake counter). I could just make a long commentary and paste it under each episode with links to other chapters - less chaos and you only read once... why not? The whole adventure will also get common rating however I will highlight the aspect which stands out in each part. So here we are in the age of TRLE which is real archeology to me, like digging out blurred Indian tablets, or analyzing broken Chinese china to repicture the whole thing before it broke. Or like drilling Tutankhamen's mummy... I mean tomb! for deeper impression in the new old chamber. Same for the levelset, the sole storyline of which raises questions. How can Lara survive the gems which feed on nearby life? How could Natla's followers carry her body if they're braindead mummies? Did they use just the claws or also wings? What happened to the New York episode, has it become Be My Valentine, should I seek elsewhere for full experience or is it utterly gone, vanished, forgotten? Not lost in chaos, for in such case it would be here. Most of these won't be resolved even in a long trip which takes an Airport... Agnes, we meet again, what a nice surprise. I liked her previous levels, here I looked for similarities, but this location, while convincing and even holding the first secret, is just a hub filled with trunks, passengers and killable staff, so I shortly departed straight to Mexico, on the contrary instantly familiar. You could think it's nothing special, just a bunch of primeval corridors and basic bulbs, but the essentials are flawless, forming a mini level of maxi efficiency. As expected we hear custom tracks, starting with Ennio's harmonica well highlighting the great loss overwhelming a defined ghost town. I would like the background Mike to be cut with less hearable seam, also the horizon doesn't quite match and few casual objects bring random Egyptian blend. A real nail in the cactus was trying to obtain the revolver but once I figured it out things went comfy and easy, focusing on exploring western cityscape, a truly heartwarming preparation that encourages despite of being cursed and infested with evil enemies - I could even take the wraiths. As soon the level jumps to Free Mexico, we get bashed in the head by some sombrero civillain... hey dude, shouldn't you be grateful, I've just freed your town! But since Lara holds the gem we can assume the guy just mistook her for the reason of curse (or we can just ignore the inconsistency). Right after that we get a bit of wonderful relief (with much better handled Mike), as we start to understand and appreciate the brilliant concept underlying this game - apart from the usual common pickup link, the plot structure is based on enslavement/freedom bipolarity which feel nothing but great when interleaved. I hoped this contrast will last for the entire game. The subsequent transition from the plane flight straight into a Sewer System could be less intense, in fact they could skip the sewers totally, but this instance is different - sharp, bright lighting occurs while the map makes sense. After unlocking more places the intended path gets unclear so we'd better had some plan or local indicators about where we came from and where we go next. Puzzles were mostly about keys and switches and at that point I started to miss something creative. The finale with a cinematic flyby gave me just that, as I usually appreciate one decent cut more than a million flawless textures, but I still wanted to resurface as fast as I can, for a deserved Hereafter Holiday, a whole different approach to Venetian scenery - though the cityscape is missing rooftops, it's convincing and filled with creepy details like floating corpses, blood fountains or zombies hunting Lara's brain to solve tasks on their own. This is a cursed level which follows another, so we may think the balance between ordeal and relief is lost, but this weird platformer under menacing sky where music keeps fitting is still lighter than the preceding sewer so the atmosphere keeps happifying. If the forced medikit usage at the fireplace was intended I strongly disagree with it, but all other gameplay makes sense. Next in order, Say Cheese explains the previous level as an intermediate pre-relief or sub-relief before a really defined purification unit - not until now we were supposed to lively smile and sunnily enjoy, and the disenchanting process has been amplified from two levels to three. In short: things get serious. I wish the final marina was more than a cutscene but I forgot about that little inconvenice as soon as I landed in Underground Temple. This is another kaboom-like transition from an unchained city to an isolated, water-overflown dungeon. Notice how the scope of particular episodes has developed so far from little city through big city to a large temple where scale change implies reasonable emptiness: two-square wide corridors are overwhelming and uncomfy but also give more space for exploration and combat, as chaos appears in form of nasty creatures - things get even more serious. But an enemy more fearsome than spiders and abandonment by everyone else is the inhumanly long multi-floor pushable which, unless Christoph just went chaotic evil, was designed I don't know why. Cave craft, multilevel stack, logical trigger design and other skills needed to create big complex things are involved, yet bearing the task without Silmarillion audiobook in the background would be unmeasurably hard. I wasn't listening about good gems in order to balance bad gems, I just wanted to check both for few years already and before I sail to Aman, and their timing has matched, be it nature or Valar intervention, though the Ungoliant chapter came a bit too late to fit the arachnid content of this level. The next one, China Garden, invites to explore, largely redeems the pushable and is the first one sized to imply a split in two parts (sounds like a compliment). More and more locations get memorable (that was a compliment), I will remember the village, still isolated but differently peaceful. And the outer temple with transition to the rooftops. I also liked the waterfall ways in and out of the blue key area. Possibly the author couldn't decide which one was to be which, but I easily imagined both options for both paths. The key itself could be placed in less ordinary location as well as some other pickups, and in certain places a faster way back could be provided. All concludes with a boat getaway and before I took another plane I noticed the Airport has changed - I wonder if this level was also variable before and it doesn't feel good to only realize now it might have been. Anyway Lara arrives in a toilet, for the first real puzzle, both about time. The task involves destruction but when the door opens the security doesn't bother, I could kill the same guards again and also at each previous return. Though they don't drop a thing I had tons of medikits, but somehow the shotgun was still missing. Its absence had nicely forced laser sight usage, but that was two episodes ago in Mexico. Later it appeared the game allowed to find all secrets but also miss the shotgun, leaving me with 200 shells and no chance to use them until the last episode. For now I just flew unaware to an ominous place holding a Mystic Tree. This is where construction starts to get really complex - after you thought China was big the game expands along another dimension letting us into a mysterious abbey which is more vertical than horizontal, and intensely crafted in all directions. It also feels like a mosque because of intense Cairo wad usage, and while I never liked these red doors the other casual objects are unusually located - unexpected ornate pillars and arched passages form structures which weren't included in the original TR4 but possibly should have been, and the track 109 I found spooky when I had played the core game now sounds beautiful (or maybe I'm just going chaotic evil either). Some texture chunks don't match geometry so I had trouble perceiving certain structures as a whole. The ornaments seem to occur in correct amount but they might have been more understandable if they didn't vanish among similarly ornamental texture patterns. If I mentioned unsatisfactory key placement before, here it evolves with the Tower Key placed on a catwalk (where it would have no chance to remain) and destined for a hole located few squares away. Another key lies on a random roof, but at least these two, the Backyard Key and the Chamber Key are fairly named - because later on the ground we find an Enchanted Light Key which sole name shall be read with epic horns in the background, cause thunderstorms and raise people from the dead... but no it opens a door. Still the place has unique parts like surprising dog usage and possibly the best Lara_Double I encountered until now. After that we get the fourth gem and Córdoba is brought back to normal... Córdoba? Not having heard until now that I'm in Spain only intensified the feeling of being trapped in the middle of nowhere, so despite of mistaking the mosque for an abbey I take it as a well-executed intention, and the 1/1 unit balance between cursed and blessed levels is restored to produce the most intense contrast since the sewer jump. Struck by sudden brightness, I again felt a bit uncomfy, this time because of scenery collage - where have I really been thrown into, a garden, a city, a castle, a palace, a patio, a river? What is real nature of this level? If this is based on a real city, how could any ordinary inhabitant proceed across? Any bit of explanation what really happens here would be invaluable, for instance puzzle items could say a lot... but nope we again get a "ruby cube", "fire opal", "sapphire ocular" and no clue whatsoever. That's why the word "playground" reappears in mind, likely summoned from some Tibetan monks contemplating Mr XY's works in the meantime. This impression only amplifies as we solve the gate puzzle, the first serious riddle I would anyway halve in length because I was already mesmerized and acting like chaotic stupid. I generally love this trope, it works great in non-alterable fiction like voiced cutscenes missing so much in this adventure, but I suppose it might be either totally enjoyed or utterly hated within a bright, open level requiring omnidirectional exploration (I was panned about 65-70% left in this awkward stereo). But the texturing is coherent and while the place is unspecified it might also feel unified because of its slight surreal overlay. I found one banana jump shortcut, but another spot felt like a fast getaway trigger fail so I take it as chaotic neutral, still a tie between good and evil. What I really like was the shrine pushable, one of these nice little things I value over epic sights and generic awesomeness - here's what I consider a masterclass: instant focus, one push, quick item grab and no wondering if anything else is supposed to be done with the pot. After all we take the chopper back to the Airport, and what... the heck has happened here? I'm almost sure this is where the New York segment was supposed to occur, because the plot hole screams with volume of Lara's backpack and feels like substituted with a quick hub action. But it's also good to actually perform some task in this place. After that we can stuff all the gems in the lead-isolated trunk to ensure they won't radiate in the plane (not wanna repeat the Cai'xia scenario) and set off to the final destination so Nadine can again test our geographic knowledge - yes, just like I did with Nevado Huarascan Plateau, I had to google Alnwick, and... what do you mean "England"? Are you sure it's not a sunken rift volcano in the middle of North Atlantic? Or did Natla bother to awaken an uncharted British range for Hellforge? After a brilliant opening when retrieving all gems unlocks the initial door to invoke immediate need for exploration, I found a real treasure of the old editor - a vertical diagonal wall. Even the sun has frozen to watch it for a bit longer, however it's another item which opens a normal door despite of the name scored for high brass, piercing strings, mixed choirs and timpani. Graphic overlay starts to get really coherent at last, it's really the further the better in this game, though some clusters still require quadruple vision to comprehend - maybe these spiders of China would feel entirely comfortable in here, or maybe Nadine is just a WOMAN so to hell with my male 16-bit color perception indeed: I swiftly glance at lightrays and windows, then I focus on my task and I think the moveable bowls of tomato soup are yummy. I thought this even playing that part after dinner, what confirms I liked the puzzle for reasons other than being hungry. Lavafall has more rivers of molten spaghetti, also more lightrays, some so bright I couldn't see through them. Custom objects appear more frequently, puzzles get much better to live their own life or death. Again we get more than a single cursed level, so the 1/1 balance is abandoned for the second time, but this arrangement contrasts more efficiently with the brief breath of Spain - quite fitting considering all the stones are collected and we can entirely focus on breaching the Core Of EVIL. This involves watching your steps, careful trap negotiation, battling flying skeletons... and here's where I realized something doesn't match. Where are Natla's monsters, minions and advanced equipment? In fact I expected them to appear in proximity of every gem, and accumulating with each next stone retrieved as the enemies would slowly realize the seriousness of trouble they're in - but so far no references to Natla's world have been given except from a single meat texture beneath my feet, and without a single trace of her activity you won't even know the mission involves her if you skip the readme, what is definitely the supreme flaw of the game. It felt even more off-topic in the Library, where various book genres resemble a cursed instance of Hogwarts specializing exclusively in black magic, instead of anything remotely linked to Atlantis. Such change of mood would do great in any point of the plot except from the prefinale build-up which should focus on the final goal. This is tricky to explain so just imagine Merlin's Caves as the prefinal level of KAP instead of a side task it is now, and you see what I'm talking about. Later I figured out the real meaning of the Alnwick castle, but at the time when I played the levels I had absolutely no clue. In the same library I also found the only proto-gamestopper - I missed a secret, returned for it and got halted by a one-shot door in the Rusty Key chamber, while the way in was closed for good. The key has a twin and each of these items takes a whole level to find, so as much as I was disappointed with keys before, these two are textbook examples of rewarding effort - I had a whole new dose of motivation when they unlocked the Cathedral. It seems another split has been done here, between this level and Death and Resurrection, as they feel the most coherent with each other - in the first one we breach the scene of closing battle, in the second one we prepare the stage for fight and do the fight itself. The conclusion marks all the essentials: climatic action velocity, the strongest usable items, the most powerful enemy and a getaway with a well-deserved ultimate prize. The final artifact is of really bright concept, though going the opposite way would possibly make more sense, and could also justify the ingame flaws. As a possible better design I can bring here an unplanned other example from King Arthur Project: there are two gems, the official light one and the secret dark one, to fulfill hidden wish of balance. Heck, now I think this levelset and the Arthur game have a lot in common. I wonder what would happen if the two teams cooperated. SUMMARY: Sometimes... chaotic... phfffrrr... <0i>[the author falls from the chair into uncontrollable, spasmatic laughter in admiral of his own brilliance, the rest was written horus later when he finally rose from the floor and restored keyboard aim with fingers still shaking due to lost energy (apparently he got immersed too much so the gems took a bit of his life as well... oh NOW he understands the full meaning.] Variety of objects and locations isn't unified the usual way, resulting in a mix of TR2/3/4 with a TR1 boss, but the overarching contrast of enslavement and freedom, the bipolarity of chaos and order, eventually the location-independent fight between good and evil cement everything instead, and all the authors cared to obey this idea entirely so no single episode subparly executes it. I of course wouldn't mind if this extraordinary glue worked together with progressing Atlantean theme, and if the tasking was more creative, because in such case the project as a whole would be close to perfect - but this is still much more than a pack of levels linked with similar gems: it's rather like a complete symphony you need to analyze bit by bit in order to fully understand, and don't you dare sleep before the finale no matter what disonnances you hear on the way." - DJ Full (02-Apr-2016)

"OK.. i so much enjoyed playing Venice WAY MORE then i was expecting! Lara starts off on the sewers for some reason, and i admit i found myself quite lost sometimes until i got the map on my head. Once you get the hang of it the rest of the levels flows really good and fast. The atmosphere on the three levels where amazing! Loved the lighting on the sewers, loved the creepy ambiance on the second level - lovely detail on the corpses floating - and love the peacefulness of the last level. There was one thing though that i didn't like, and i'm talking about the "Lara on fire!" area. You literally need to put Lara on fire and run to the water. You are forced to use meds to finish the level...i had a lot of meds but if for some reason you don't, then the game it's pretty much impossible to conclude, your meds! (although you can easily find them through Venice). Anyway, it was better and WAY more challenging than Mexico." - Zhyttya (12-Feb-2016)

"What started as a boring level in the sewers of Venice ended as a pleasant surprise. The beginning is a bit clueless and you roam about a bit to much and the first puzzle with boxes/long monkey swing is a bit to boring. But, after that the level really picks up. It has a some great but simple platforming puzzles, nice mechanics, a really good camera work and the atmosphere is spot on. The little details like the fire to create the explosion or the corpses on the bloody water really made the level more enjoyable. There was only one thing that i really hated, the "Lara on Fire".. Taking free damage is just something that I hate and it's to much counter intuitive. Still, lovely level even if i still questioning my self how Lara ended on the sewers" - Leeth (12-Feb-2016)

"The second level Venice of great Reign Of Chaos project was better than first level Mexico. It has greater atmosphere, textures and lighting applied very well, very nice gameplay and some really entertaining puzzles. And now about the secrets. It wouldn`t be fair if i would give in "enemies, objects, secrets" higher score than 7 because there are 0 secrets in this level. I personally hate when there are no secrets. If i take as example TR Secret Agent what an amazing raid but it has one dissapointment - no secrets! and i gave 7 because of that, so i did here!! 10/7/9/10" - OverRaider (11-Feb-2013)

"According to the storyline of this levelset one cannot expect to be heartly welcomed in a Venice with gondolas, tourists, bars ans nice plazas. A third part of this level we spent in the sewers of the city obsessed by evil. Gameplay here is a bit more challenging and intersting as in the Mexican part of this series. Especially getting out of the sewers is quite trick. A couple of jumpswitches guarded by spikes have to be activated with absoulte preice timing. The dark and oppressive atmosphere is convincing. Once out on fresh air there's no time to breathe again. The bloody water is full of corpses, even the holy water in the church, where finally the chaos gem will be found, consists of blood. Up to that point still a lot of searching with partly tricky sequences in the streets, the houses and up on the roofs has to be performed. If this author provides medipacks, you can be sure of he is going to take this health away agian immedeatly. So a burning Lara - no way to avoid that - has to consume medipacks until she finally can extinguish herself. I don't like such suequences, but this has no impact on ratings. Gameplay shows more creativity than in the sewers part of this level. Finally, when having found the gem, a convincing change of atmosphere takes place. The formerly bloody water in the channels is fresh and clear, fish are swimming around, tourists are in the streets again, everything is peaceful. The way out of Venice is not that outstanding. It's some running to and fro to find several keys to finally get back to the airport. Recommended." - Christian (04-Jan-2013)

"Sewer System (7-8-8-7): Honestly I didn't really get the sense of this particular level. Why did Lara had to first explore the sewers if her main destination is not particular related to the underground? That will stay a mystery for me and not only because of that this was admittedly the level I least liked of all the Reign of Chaos levels. Too many player-unfriendly situations, too drab atmosphere. It's not that the level itself is not nicely constructed, there are many really interesting gameplay ideas like flooding a basin (very nicely done), a pretty tight timed run over fire pillars or using the torch to free the path in a very unique way, but most of the time you will be running around this level and wonder what it is all about. There were a lot of very sneakily hidden levers like the jumpswitch near the start, it isn't often obvious where the key you just found goes to and two long falls requiring a large health loss could be easily avoided. Apart from the difficulty of knowing what to do next, the game is rather easy as there were only few and pretty undemanding trap sequences. While the spooky setting convinces in a way, the rather monotonous greenish lighting didn't really feel nice and most of the time only one texture was used on the walls so that the level didn't feel that great. The killable mummies were a nice touch though. 45 minutes.
Hereafter Holiday (7-7-9-8): Until very late in this level I was about to give the gameplay a higher score as right from the start of the level the pace increased highly and the nearly thirty minutes I spent in this level were really fun. The jumping on the roofs were quite entertaining and I also liked the small underwater door puzzle. The desolate atmosphere worked better for me than in the first level and I liked the idea of the corpses swimming in the water. But the switch that had to be pulled while catching fire and you being in need to spent quite a few medipacks to finally reach the pool was the clear let-down of the level - the idea of forcing players to loose so much health and probably still die a lot on the way to the water only increases my list of pet peeves. The other negative point of the level is that it was over way too early. Just when you enter the church courtyard you have access to the pretty attractive church and pick up the gem - the builder could have inserted at least a bit of gameplay in this area as this level ended when I just was getting used to it. 25 minutes.
Say Cheese (7-8-8-9): The biggest issue I had with this level was directly at the start. After having picked up the gem in the church that was on water level Lara drops down on a slope and slides down in the underground... wait, no! She slides into another, beautiful part of venice that is also on water level! This was the oddest encounter I had in the whole series. It might have worked better if the sewer level would have been placed after picking up the gem (this would at least show the reasons why Lara went into the sewers). Despite this issue, this is certainly the visually best level of the series up till now and even if the gameplay was rather mundane most of the time you most possibly won't even care of that and be amazed by the bright and sunny atmosphere in this areas. The underwater maze could have perhaps been half as large as the only obvious function it had was to prolong a rather short level, but the door puzzle was quite creative and fun to sort out. I had to smile at the large amount of human objects used in this level which felt rather kitschy and should create a contrast to the depressing and lifeless atmosphere of the last two levels. The ending cutscene was really well done with Lara arriving at the harbour and thus I had a rather positive feeling about this level trio when returning to the airport. 15 minutes.
Summary: This is a good example of a game whose quality raises with each level. While the game suffers from a few strange level connections the atmosphere is yet again very well crafted, gameplay however is still not very well-rounded. Even if my ratings are the same, if I had to decide which of the first Reign of Chaos parts I liked more, I would rather choose Mexico though as the setting isn't that overused nowadays, even before the penultimate BtB contest. 85 minutes." - manarch2 (30-Dec-2012)

"This custom made me big impression. The sewers weren't so scary, but outside in Venice was very terrific. Blood everywhere and in pools and in fountains either. I don't want to know what happened to those poor people. But again, Lara made perfect job, and save Venice. And so, we can enjoy beautiful streets again." - Andzia9 (04-Mar-2010)

"Sewer System - Venice: You start in the sewer, it's actually quite an impressive area with some interesting rooms and good atmosphere. The gameplay flow feels a bit off though; at the beginning in particular it's quite stop-start with levers and ledges quite easy to overlook; I think it could have eased people in a little more before throwing in stuff like camouflaged underwater levers. There's also an area where you have to drop for over half your health twice, which is very cheap and could have been fixed by simply changing some debris around a bit. Beyond those issues it's good and interlinks in quite interesting ways, including some nice use of flooding areas.
Hereafter Holiday - Venice: After a small sewer part (including an interesting twist on jumpswitch usage) you are finally in the streets of Venice. The apocalyptic Venice (including blood-water with corpses) is a very interesting take on a theme that is generally the home of quite light and sedate levels. There's some non-linearity here as you hunt for two parts of an objects, and a strange instance with a friendly neighbourhood giant Spider; yes, it helps you out. I'm not sure if it's just a bug or something, but it's kind of a shame you only have to fight one enemy with your new ally, its presence is also a nice help for arachnophobes to prepare for China, but more on that when I get there :) . There's one really cheap part where you have to catch yourself on fire and use at least a couple of medikits to survive, which seems to be an extension of that pit in the last level; forcing medikit use doesn't add anything at all. The gameplay is good beyond that though. It ends in an impressive looking church where you finally get the gem.
Say Cheese - Venice: Now to saved Venice, and more in line with how it is usually portrayed (except even more pretty than usual); this level actually has various civilians in the street (although a bunch of cloned Jean Yves don't convince too much) and no enemies at all, but, in the style of the Mexico equivalent the puzzles are quite possibly tougher than in the dangerous parts. In a change, however, it actually takes place in a completely different section to the cursed level. It starts with one ridiculously hidden block that I somehow managed to find by total luck, but beyond that it plays well, and goes through a variety of tasks, including a very tight underwater sequence and a couple of timed runs. Eventually you find a way to the docks. A very good climax to this section." - Mman (30-Aug-2009)

"Sewer System - Venice: Now Lara is in Venice for the second Chaos Gem - but what an unexpected side of Venice this is. Instead of canals and magnificent architecture, we get sewers. Oh well, at least the sewers aren't all that bad ... in spite of the occasional rats, zombies and bloody skeletons. Sewer levels are very far from my favourite kind of level, but to be fair, this one is very well made. The architecture is interesting, the lighting is suitably spooky and the level design is a maze of neatly honeycombed tunnels. I particularly like how later areas can be seen through openings earlier in the level. The gameplay is decent enough, with a few noteworthy bits: finding your way out of the water and onto the ledges in the beginning, the pushable box puzzle, the timed run over the fiery pillars, and the explosion at the end. There are also a couple of annoying moments, like having to fall down a deep pit not once but twice, and losing about three-quarters of your health each time. I like playing without using medipacks, and being forced to use them is, IMO, an unfair trick. Hereafter Holiday - Venice: This level starts exactly where the previous one left off, with Lara being attacked by zombies. After dispatching them, and after getting past a very tricky quadruple spike trap, you finally reach the streets of Venice. The streets, however, are unrecognizable. If anything, the sewers were more cheerful. This kind of level tends to be beloved by a number of fans, but sadly, I'm not one of them - corpses writhing in bloody water are *really* not my cup of tea at all. I try to turn a blind eye to the bodies, and focus my attention on yet another super-tough spike trap - which you have to go through twice. The gameplay consists mainly of collecting keys of every metal imaginable, as well as two parts of the Ruby sphere. Along the way, there is some fun balcony hopping to be done, as well as some not-at-all-fun setting Lara on fire (yet another medipack wasting trick!). The church, where the red Chaos Gem is hidden, is fortunately very beautiful, with its eerie green stained-glass windows. Once you get the Gem, the level ends. Say Cheese: Ah, sunshine at last! The inhabitants of Venice don't seem to have noticed anything amiss with their city, and go about their business cheerfully, now that the red Chaos Gem is safely in Lara's backpack. Lara herself needs to get out of Venice now, though you really don't feel like it now that the place is so beautiful and serene, with church bells ringing in the distance. After an underwater maze (with yet more medipack wastage - gah!), some fun rooftop jumping and a short and sweet timed run, you can get your hands on a key that will open your way out of this area. A nice switch puzzle and a short climb later, you're out on the docks, and on your way to the airport. So that's Venice, folks - not my favourite location in Reign of Chaos at all, and riddled with some unfair tricks. There are some good moments, but the atmosphere in the first two levels is not to my taste at all, whereas the third level, which I love, is way too short. I wish there had been more of a balance between the light and dark levels, as in Mexico." - Mytly (24-Aug-2009)

"A good set of levels. The first level in particular was excellent! Aside from the fact I could hardly spot the first UW switch (had to brush up the luminosity of the screen to see it) , this level offered me a great time. I had the 'ball' for the progression in this level, despite a bit of backtracking (you have to go more than once in the big sewer). The following levels were also very good to play, with some good puzzles , and a fluent yet subtle progression at times. Loved how we have to make our way around the roofs. Not sure I liked to force Lara burning though but it was a minor thing when considering all the good stuff I enjoyed in these levels." - eRIC (15-Aug-2009)

"Great level planning, especially the Sewers with all the interconnected passages, but still we go through it in the predetermined order. We can kill the mummies with simple weapons, that was unusual. Some really nice jumping sequences, a big drop twice, where I had to use a medipack. Many dark areas, but we have enough flares from the previous levels, and can find some more here. Textureswise was a bit boring, still I liked it, probably because its clever architecture. The town levels were also great, lots of jumping on the roofs, nasty spike traps. Here again using medis was inevitable, due to the switch where Lara caught on fire. The last cheerful level should lasted longer, but it was nice nontheless. There were no secrets." - Akcy (06-May-2007)

"Venice: we start these maps in the sewers which are not my favourite TR environments because I've always found them a bit depressing and I think there's only so much you can do in them. I still think that TR should be mainly about raiding ancient structures in forgotten lands but I do understand that we still need some variety. Anyway I found this first map to be rather maze-like and more than a bit confusing, which doesn't mean that it was not good fun because it was. You really have to examine the environment carefully though. The second map started out with a brilliant cinematic 'horror film' introduction whereby you suddenly found yourself facing three zombies and I'm glad to say that they were the type you can kill (I hate unkillable enemies). Soon after this beginners will found themselves flabbergasted when they realise that they have to activate four spiked jump sitches! Damn difficult. After this is a very nice and slightly scarey town, complete with a blood river full of corpse and moody music. The environment here is much more forgiving in structure than the Sewers here and you won't get lost. You may get stuck a bit though because you really need to look everywhere to progress. After this I was glad to notice Lara entering a different kind of town; a bright cheerful one that even had some people in it (but you can't shoot them!). Nice to be in a happy place after a scary one, giving the maps a good contrast. A lot of acrobatic skills are needed in this map because you'll be all over it looking for keys. A rather nice trilogy of maps then and I must say that I thought the middle one was the definitely the best. These maps took me 3hrs and 15 minutes but I'm afraid to say that I was dissapointed not to have found a single secret in all that time." - gfd (01-Jan-2007)

"The first venice level, I wasn't too keen on. You begin in the sewers so the atmosphere is pretty dank (but I guess you cant expect anything else). The puzzle solving was great though, although some were too difficlult like the times run/jump across the pillars before the fire comes back - but after a lot of trial and error, I managed it. The last level was excellent. The building and objects placeed captured what I imagined Venice would look like. The clock chiming in the background added to the experience. Wasn't too keen on the run around till you find the hidden pushable block but things picked up after that and quite challenging (although there are far more challanging levels) but very enjoyable. Highly recommended." - Necro (22-Apr-2006)

"Sewer System (8/8/9/9, 50 min.): As the title implies you do not really see beautiful Venice in this part, but only the sewers. So this implies a bit of swimming, quite some backtracking and getting rid of rats, bats, mummies and dogs. I thought the darkish, spooky setting worked well and the rooms are cleverly connected. You get a box push puzzle area, need to flood a few pools (nicely done), master a timed run over pillars and at the end are treated to a nice camera scene as you blow open a door to get out. Requires a bit of patience, but thanks to good camera guidance you will hardly get lost. Hereafter Holiday (9/8/9/9, 40 min.): Still no daylight and a set of tricky spiked jumpswitches set the mood right at the start. You then emerge into the eerie dark atmosphere of a doomed Venice and explore the area that is littered with fires, bloody water, floating corpses and the likes. The balcony and roof jumping is fun and at times tricky. You need to acquire a set of keys, fight spiders and plenty of mosquitoes and eventually reach the cathedral with the Chaos gem. Setting Lara on fire and running for water was a bit of a no-no, but otherwise a great level. Say Cheese (7/7/9/9, 15 min.): Finally a beautiful day and what a treat to listen to 'O sole mio'. Not all that much to do and was that underwater maze really necessary? The button puzzle was fun though and the timed run not too hard and the gondolas will carry you back to the airport. Overall a great addition to the Reign of Chaos series. Again the change in setting from gloomy to bright works nicely. So onwards and upwards to China." - MichaelP (16-Apr-2006)

"I really liked this Venice adventure. Even if I had to backtrack quite a bit. There aren't that many enemies but to be honest I didn't miss them. The traps, timed runs and tricky jumping took care of that. Go from the sewers to the outside again, both a spooky atmosphere and luckily the last part was more cheerful. The timed runs are doable although I could strangle the builder a few times though. Do look very good as switches are very well hidden and again, save and save." - Gerty (06-Feb-2006)

"This level starts in damp and gloomy sewers where the odd, not so friendly, rat lurks. There are many well hidden switches here. There are some great obstacles to get through or across and some timers to beat. The floating corpses in the bloody water add to the eerie atmosphere. I enjoyed the block puzzle and maneuvering some difficult jumps, not to mention the"lara burning" timer. Great atmosphere and yet another great level." - Moonliteshadow (08-Jan-2006)

"This is not the Venice that Lara remembers from her search for Bartoli. This time Natla has turned it to her dark whims. The sewers were creepy and dank. And the old raiding addage "play with eyes open" was never mor true than here. Well hidden switches and keys and such make keeping a sharp lookout a must. Once on the surface, this fairly small sector of Venice is widely varied architecturally both inside and outside of the buildings, and is completely deferent from the original Venice levels. The twitchy corpses in the blood stained waters of Venice's canals were a nice and eerie touch. It would have been a fun touch to provide a scratch and sniff card with all the unwholesome scents that you just know were present throughout this leg of Lara's quest for the Chaos Gems. With some nice floral and Itallian cooking smells at the latter part of the visit once the next Gem has been found and all is well again. The music also lent credence to being in Venice. There were times I reloaded just to listen to the tunes!" - Deekman (19-Nov-2005)

"I think I'll scrap Venice from the 'places I'd like to go someday' list. The sewers are dark (I know, I know, sewers usually are) but you can find enough flares so it's not all bad. Very puzzly though, but I like puzzly and enjoyed playing this part. Once out of the sewers you get to a Venice that's still dark, not as dark as the sewers but still dark, with bloody water with dead people, ( not sure they were really dead, I mean, they were moving, yikes!) very cleverly hidden switches, fires and spikes to watch out for and big bugs to shoot. And lets not forget the big spider, wasn't happy to see that creepy monster but luckely I had some revolver ammo so I got rid of him/her very quick. So I was very happy to find the Chaos-gem that took me to a much more friendly Venice, no bugs, spiders or dead/dying people but a sunny, nice place to be. The key you need to end this level is in plain sight but not so easy to get, so there's some more puzzling to do before you can go back to the airport. 8-7-2005" - Josi (19-Sep-2005)

"This extended mini-adventure consisting of three distinct segments is not your usual Venetian vacation. The first part takes you through the underground sewer system, not my idea of the most romantic of surroundings. When you finally get outside for the second part, you find yourself in a dark, eerie environment with blood-red canals and floating corpses. Unsettling, to say the least. It's not until you slide down into the third (and much too short, in my opinion) part and are greeted with a musical medley of Italian favorites, including the nostalgic "Al di la" from Rome Adventure. Despite the rather gloomy atmosphere of the first two segments, the gameplay is inventive and challenging throughout. I'm not familiar with this author, but his contribution to this grand work ranks right up there with the builder elite. I'm having more fun with Reign of Chaos than I can remember (at least since my last rave review a month or so ago)." - Phil (17-Sep-2005)

"These three levels made by Oliver must be the best levels I've ever played that have taken place in Venice. As much as I loved the Venice levels of TR2, they're not by near as fun to play as this. I especially loved the scenery, from the dark and scary sewers in level 1; Venice Sewer Systems and the gloomy and desolate city streets in Hereafter Holiday to the cheery and warm vacation feel in Say Cheese There were not too many enemies(none in the last, friendly level) and those that were consisted mainly of zombies, huge rats and some poisonous spiders, but the challenges were many and there were a few timed runs and lots of traps and tricky jumps. A bit much backtracking for my liking, but nonetheless a more than worthy level. This part was by all means harder than the Mexico levels. The first level was the most difficult one challengewise and the longest, the second was more mind-boggling and with some more traps and the third was pure pleasure. Level 2; Hereafter Holiday was definetely my favourite part of the these levels. Three brilliant levels well worth noticing, with a dark and sinister atmosphere you're bound to remember for a long, long time. Absolutely a worthy contribution to the project and performed with great skills that the players will definetely enjoy." - Selene (17-Sep-2005)

"This set of levels is one of my favourites from the 'Reign of Chaos' game. I just like canals and not many enemies which is exactly what we get in this one. The first part has a gloomy atmosphere naturally, since it's the sewers we're visiting with many rats lurking. As we move on, Lara leaves the underground and emerges in an area with houses, balconies which means jumps. The main goal is to find the two pieces of an artifact that will help her escape this area and visit the last colourful part of the set. You see Jean Yves somewhere in that part and his twin brother, there's also a timed run and more keys to find. I enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed the other parts." - Kristina (25-Aug-2005)

"Well, this is not a bad set of levels, but the first of the set was very monotonous: always the same textures, going from place to place only to pull switches, all places seemed to be equal eachother, few flares for so many dark places,... Second level was a bit better, increasing the difficult of the puzzles and variety of places and situations. Third level was another thing, it feels like a real Venice (because Lara retrieve the gem?) it cost me too much to find the moveable block, but after this the gameplay was good; Lara could trespass all the men (like they were ghosts) but not the women (???) and this was the best of the three levels (for me). There were some difficult tasks along the levels and sometimes it's difficult know what to do or where to go but like I said, it's not bad levels." - Jose (22-Aug-2005)

"The second travel in Reign Of Chaos is to Venice. Only in the third level of this set we can see the real and nice Venice. The sewers and the underground world is the wellcome to Lara. After one difficult room with a lot of spikes and zombies, Lara goes up to the streets and the channels. There are few bodies floating in the water (great) and the atmosphere is really dark and spooky. The gameplay is more difficult than the Mexico part; and some switches are really complicated to activate (with spikes or fire under). I've loved the end cutscene." - Loupar (10-Aug-2005)

"Three beautiful, deceptively innocent and simple looking set of levels here, that are far from easy in places, making them, probably the best levels I've seen based in Venice. Sewers of Venice: Well, usually Lara finds the sewers halfway through or at the end of a level. So it's good that Oliver has decided to get this over with first, lol. I became very familiar with this sewer system as I was running and swimming backwards and forward, up and down, so often, trying to find what to do next. Throughout this entire game the authors have created beautiful environments, which give the impression that it's going to be a walk in the park, or city, or sewer, or whatever. But there is very clever gameplay and tricky tasks too. What I remember most, about the whole game, is the very well hidden switches. Although there are no Japanese style jumping sequences, there are some fairly hard ones, like the backflip to a slope and forward jump to a pulldown switch in the sewers. And speaking of well hidden things, I needed flares to find the kick-in wall and crawlspace at the bottom of a pit. Lara has to find many keys and switches (one key is almost impossible to see after shooting a box), and eventually flood a part of the sewer canal so she can use that underwater lever. Other cool happenings are a backflip off a ladder to a slope and jump to get higher, a block pushing puzzle where you'll need to move 'all' the blocks, and many more. Down here appropriate enemies are zombies, bats and emaciated dogs. Lara eventually finds a deep shaft to climb up, out of the sewers . . . Hereafter Holiday. The start is quite challenging. Having dealt with some zombies that approach during the opening flyby, there are nasty spike traps in front of jump switches. I'd advice people to save in front of each one before attempting to jump to the switch. There is only a fraction of a second when Lara will grab the switch to stop the spikes. My Lara died so often in this room. After climbing out to fresh air, we are looking at lovely Venetian buildings and canals, but the water is red with blood from the dead bodies floating in it (I was fascinated the way they tossed and turned over in the water). The atmosphere here is dark and sinister. None of the usual blue sky and bright daylight of previous Venice levels. Again, there are well hidden switches, and I found certain areas had a lot more going on than I first thought. So look around carefully everywhere you go. One underwater area of the canal has three levers to pull. To get back out again, just pull one of those levers again. Other enemies are spiders, big and small, and mosquitos. I loved all that has to be done on top of walls, balconys and roofs. There is one place that is very odd - a switch that can only be used if Lara is set on fire, then using a few medpacks to keep her alive as she runs back to the water. I've never seen this type of gameplay before. A very unique Venice level indeed. We find the chaos gem at the end of this part and now we move on to a more pleasant environment . . . Say Cheese, is Venice as we all would like to see it, basking in sunlight, with beautiful buildings and gardens. This part starts and ends with lovely flybys. Again, there are some almost impossible to know of, never mind see, hiding places, like the block in the wall behind a bush. And a clever timed run from inside one of the houses. I say clever, because I tried to do it the long way. Anyone who's tried this will know what I'm talking about. There is also a caged area with four switches. This was very easy to operate, by the shortest amount of trial and error. I was sad to leave this place, as Venice has always been one of my favourite levels. But then I was bursting with curiosity to visit China." - CC (01-Aug-2005)

"Well, we start in the sewers. Honestly, poor Lara spends half her life swimming around in c**p. Actually, having said that, the water looked clean and sparkling - quite appealing really. Well, apart from the floating corpse, but I'm just being picky. It was a really nicely constructed area - something a little different from the usual sewer areas and I enjoyed exploring. Dogs, rats, bats and mummies are the enemies and there's a nice (but not tight) timed fire column run and a sequence of spiked jump switches that require exact timing. I was glad to get out of the sewers and into the city but I have to say the water in the canals looked highly insanitary (unlike the sewers) and those moving corpses in the water were entirely eerie. Tinnos wasps, spiders great and small and a chap with a sword are your enemies here. The final part was much more cheerful in style - very pretty indeed and peaceful - much more like a tourist destination." - Jay (25-Jul-2005)

Here we have three very different levels, be it for atmosphere or gameplay style. The first one 'Sewer System' is as claustrophobic as can be and relies heavily on research. A few agility difficulties here and there but not that much, and the enemies aren't very threatening, considering the mummies can be killed with a few pistols bullets (much to my surprise). But the atmosphere is incredibly immersing (maybe not a good thing to immerse there, considering you're in sewers). The second level 'Hereafter Holiday' relies both on research and agility. You'll just love the four spiked jump switches, the run to the jump switch and the fire rush (I know I did). Lots of original ideas here. And the atmosphere is incredible. You DO feel you're in a doomed city. I couldn't help thinking of '28 days after'. The third one 'Say Cheese!' is light and easy, but served with a timed-run mixed with a tricky jump. Good balance. And the atmosphere is so well rendered that you can almost feel the sun on your skin and can't help thinking about granitas. Oliver is telling us a story and he sure knows how to do it. Please, Oliver, give us more. - Sutekh (22-Jul-2005)

Sewer System Venice: Well, you will need a good memory for this level. There are many runnings helter-skelter until finding the proper, shortest way. The enemies are zombies here as well (but they can be shot down yet), and bats and dogs. And also there are many things to do. Already at the beginning of the level a jumpswitch has to be pulled on one of the pillars, then timed runs and block-pushing make the adventure more exciting. We are in Venice, but for now in the sewers. Irrespectively of this fact, the textures are great and suit the story and the environment very well. We have to find many keys and the matching locks until the end when we can finally climb the ladder up to the city. It was a great adventure too! :) Hereafter Holiday-Venice: Well, this is neither a simple nor an easy level. Already at the beginning you have to perform some very precise jumps to the switches to avoid spikes. Then at the burners there are more hard challenges. The lever behind the pillar has to be found, and also on the balcony you have to be skilled to complete the tasks. On the rooftops we have to find some keys. Maybe the toughest challenge is to push a button while Lara takes fire. It cost two of my medipacks. Unfortunately, I don't like such inevitable scratches, that can't be avoided in no way. This discouraged me a little bit from this level. Otherwise, the textures are great and I liked the dead bodies in the water. They were a good idea and fitted the level. The church at the end is wonderful, and there we get the next Red Chaos Gem. In the meantime many keys and Ruby Sphere Pieces have to be explored. On the whole, I liked the level, the textures and the sounds, but rookie players will suffer much here. :) Let's go to the liberated city! :) Say Cheese-Venice: This level is wonderful. There are vital streets, rosebushes, people, wonderful terraces. Once we find the pushable block behind one of the rosebushes, our task is not so difficult. Though the small water labyrinth has to be explored, but after finding the place where we can take breath it's not so hard either. There's a timed run after the switch that is covered with clothes. At the end, when climbing the ladder, I was sad that I couldn't look round at the gondolas. :) It was a great finale of the previous level. You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version), savegames and pictures here: - Obig (18-Jul-2005)

For some weird reason, I got stuck in this trio of levels CONSTANTLY, literally every couple of minutes, and it's made even weirder by the fact, that none of the things I got stuck on really were so difficult to figure out (well, maybe setting Lara on fire wasn't that obvious), but since others got stuck often too, it couldn't have been just me, so it must be a kind of strange aura on the level, heh. Or it could've been that keys and things like that blended so well with the environments, that it caused many of the so called 'blind' moments. Well nevermind that, I have mixed feelings regarding this level setting-wise - never really been a fan of the sewers setting, and this level didn't change my thoughts on it, but since this is only a case of not my cup of tea" and not actually something wrong with the level (17-Jul-2005)

Oh, Oliver! You have won my heart forever - 'Al Di La' being played in the beginning of your level. It is my all time favorite music. Your contribution to ROC was excellent. The sewer systems that you created were intricate and interesting, and incorporating beautifully hidden switches made the gameplay challenging and great fun. The floating dead bodies were a wonderful touch and you could almost feel the oily blood in the water. There were some tricky maneuvers, but I thought there was a logical progression to your game. I loved it and I know my fellow raiders will too. Well done. - Mugs (09-Jul-2005)

Lara starts in the sewers and sadly finds that her path is quite confusing. You need to find a few keys to proceed and to eventually fill a hole with water. Puzzles are generally easy throughout the whole game but you need to watch out for well hidden switches. There are a few not too hard timed sequences and a little pushable object puzzle. The only thing that disturbed me a bit is that there were not enough cameras used. Later Lara gets into town and the graphics are nicely done here. More keys to find and more timed runs. Enemies are dogs and bats and a few zombies. I liked sound and atmosphere and did not find any secrets. - Engelchen Lara (05-Jul-2005)

Wow! This was three hard levels! The strange thing was that I got stuck in the beginning of each of the three stages and after finding a clue the rest went rather ok. The gameplay is excellent with the hidden switches and places very hard to get to. A LOT of running back and forth getting keys etc and I really like that. Sound and atmosphere is perfect. The author has managed to get the same eerie feeling as in the Mexico levels (by Agnes) and you really feel that the city is just a mere shadow of its former self :) The lack of enemies (just a few) and secrets (none) are the only downside during these levels IMHO. I would have given it all tens if not for these facts. Everything else is as good as it can be. From a builder perspective I really liked how he very often showed a glimpse of areas you had been to (and not yet been too) behind some bars, or holes etc. Many builders have of course done that but I have never seen it in such a great way as in these levels. I went 'ahh NOW I'm there..' or 'hmm that place is behind these bars?' all the time during these levels. One of the finest things ever made in a tombraider game is how Lara lights the fuse and blows up a gate in the first part. Top stuff! 2006-07-02 - QRS (03-Jul-2005)

These 3 levels consist mainly of finding keys to open doors. I found these 3 levels rather disjointed at times. You were doing the same thing over and over again, which was finding keys to open doors. The areas were fairly big and it was easy to get lost. I got stuck many times due to the fact that if I pressed a switch I didn't know what it did, because there were no cameras to show what had happened. The design was fairly well built and the buildings were built really well. If you are a builder, you will know it is very difficult to build a town area with lots of buildings, so Karlo did a great job. The lighting could have been a little bit better to give it a more atmospheric feel to it. The sound was good, which included some lovely music with flybys and some great background music too. Overall these are a great set of levels, although it could have been made better by giving it more interesting gameplay. - TombRaiderFan (03-Jul-2005)
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