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Level: BtB2010 - Leave the Gondolas in Venice back home search
Author(s): Drakan
total rating:8.51 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bene 8 9 9 8
Bogey 8 8 8 8
Cory 9 8 9 8
Dick 8 9 8 8
DJ Full 8 9 9 9
dmdibl 9 9 8 8
Dutchy 9 8 9 8
eRIC 9 9 8 8
eTux 8 8 7 7
Eva 7 8 8 8
Gerty 8 9 8 8
Jack& 9 8 9 8
jawi 8 8 8 8
Jay 8 8 9 8
JesseG 8 8 9 9
Jorge22 9 9 9 9
Jose 9 9 9 9
Magnus 7 8 8 8
manarch2 8 8 8 8
masha 9 10 10 9
MichaelP 8 8 9 8
Mman 9 8 8 7
Mytly 8 8 9 8
Orbit Dream 8 8 9 9
Phil 9 9 9 9
Relic Hunter 9 9 10 9
repley 8 8 9 9
rtrger 7 8 10 10
Ruben 8 9 9 9
Ryan 8 9 9 9
Scottie 9 9 10 10
Treeble 8 9 10 10
category averages
(32 reviews)
8.28 8.50 8.78 8.47

Reviewer's comments

"As the story goes: “Bandits terrorize the city and grouped together in the theatre Fenice”. You gotta love that. Glad that there weren’t that many bandits as I was thinking of a serious shoot-um game. I found it a solid game and apart from that one bike ride, I had to re-do a couple of times (not good at driving vehicles in a timed fashion) I had quite a lot of fun." - Gerty (20-Jan-2018)

"Another nice entry in the series. This can start off quite confusing if you don't know how to escape the initial sewer area, but then you are out into beautiful sunset Venice, complete with canals. A nice variety of secrets to go for with a bonus if you find all four. Then it ends with a tricky Vespa ride. Great fun." - Ryan (15-Mar-2016)

"Don't get wrong with my consistent marks, the single aspects of the various categories vary quite a bit in this 35 minute level. First of all, the gameplay is fun from start to finish, there's never a dull moment and only few places where you can get stuck (shooting the bells is one example). Many key items to find and use in such a short time, but it never feels over-used here and there's enough to be done to achieve the various pickups, like a nice variation of the element puzzle, interesting usage of raising blocks and of course the grand motorbike ride at the end through most of the settings. Sometimes, the progression feels a bit easy though and it never gets quite involved. So - the lighting in this level feels extremely warm and cozy, giving me a very good feeling while playing, although it's not perfect from a technical viewpoint (mainly because of strange sun placement). The texturing, however, is rather hit and miss, way too eclectic as you see ladder textures all over the place and more texture combinations that simply don't work together very well. The architecture is good and complex, yet some areas feel a bit boxy, while others are satisfyingly rich in their detail. The enemy placement is effective, and if you have enough weapons most enjoyable, and the secrets are nicely placed, although both endings (the normal and the secret one) feel totally abrupt, although the problem of the storyline is solved (most likely, at least). It's a level which I left with mixed feelings, but in the whole it is a very solidly crafted one. I couldn't decide for any category to be rated with a 7 (which I originally intended), so here you go with an "extra" point ;)." - manarch2 (04-Apr-2014)

"So, I ended up taking a three months (well, technically, two and a half) break since finishing my previous run with BtB Venice. I will strive to reach the finish line, however, and this little gem was a good reminder as to why to do so. The environments here are very inviting, and most of the time they breach out into even further areas to be explored. At first, I found this to be slightly annoying as I had a hard trouble remembering where I'd been to, but later on I was familiarized enough to know my way. It wasn't enough for the final speed run with the scooter, however, as I failed it the first time around - but I'd blame the narrow corridors and the way the TR4 motorbike handles. I also found it to be slightly unfair having to use the waterskin to put out the fire: couldn't do it without setting Lara ablaze and sacrificing one or two medipacks as I made my way to the closest puddle of water. All said and done, however, this was a rather pleasant raid and I still can't get over the overall atmosphere, it truly made an impression on me. 55 minutes, 3 secrets. 11/13" - Treeble (01-Mar-2014)

"What I have to praise this time is wonderful scenery ranging in execution from very good to brilliant. Even though the sun is orientated wrong and some inner spots have no object source, it's all so warm and comfy that I rarely complained about the lack of logic, and the objects fit this setting perfectly. In opposition to this peaceful environment, Lara is here to both conduct and perform a one-woman stabilization mission. As always in such cases, this involves killing a lot of people - but on the contrary with real life, those here are not that innocent. They lurk in narrow passages, sometimes in larger groups, but fortunately usually behind extremely handy corners of two independent locations. The boss is placed in the middle of the game, but it's followed by a bike ride through the whole map, so all places feel united in this moment and a different climax can be experienced like it should. Inbetween, some doggies never wake up and I walked past them thrilled. Even more mystery was added when I found all roses and saw more still figures up there. This is an alternate ending, but unfortunately the normal (not all-secret) one is just about leaving through an insignificant door, so the whole thing is missing at least a flyby conclusion. Another flaw of two major ones would be a sudden leap of difficulty in one moment when we're supposed to open a door with a group of switches, but after the first couple is activated, no camera tells us there's another set in a different location we should check. SUMMARY: A pleasant sunset is a great time to murder some mafiosos and restore peace in the city., isn't it? Recommended, and some locations MUST be seen." - DJ Full (05-Nov-2013)

"If it weren't for a couple of really obscure visual moments (the distant and hard to perceive bells;the 4th secret) this would have been one of the very best of the BtoB Venetian levels,as it's superbly constructed,has atmosphere in spades,and contains gameplay which ingeniously develops as the level progresses. I rather enjoyed the opening few minutes in the sewers,as it made a change to get down and dirty instead of running around predictably bright courtyards.In fact,the whole adventure has a somewhat dark and oppressive feel which is only enhanced by the heavyweight and dramatic enemy attacks;and any adventure which has the audacity to build to a thrilling motorbike race as the Grand Finale (as opposed to a tedious 'shoot the Boss' ending) is quite alright in my book. You may or may not lay your hands on the four secrets necessary to unlock the alternate ending (I picked up two,decided to forego the third as it would have required too much fire-power,and completely missed the fourth);but whichever conclusion you experience will take you about 70 minutes to attain. It looks great;it plays well;and is good immersive fun." - Orbit Dream (04-Dec-2012)

"I can only applaud the creative touches that went into coming up with the title and some of the level's tasks. I particularly enjoyed the final timed ride with the Vespa and while the rest of the tasks were not as exceptional, sometimes even a bit confusing, they amounted to an overall enjoyable 40 minute game. The level is well interconnected, having a number of shortcuts to ease your travels around the level. The search for the 5 secrets (4 actually, as the 5th is a direct reward for finding the other four) is not too stressing, but a nice, well made side-quest. As far as looks go - the uncontested highlight is the palace in which you spend a brief amount of time. Apart from it, I must say I did not care much for the looks the rest of the level unfortunately. The room geometry was a bit too blocky and uninspired, I found some of the texture appliance choices questionable (even if in some places it is interesting if you look at it as intentionally chaotic, quasi-surrealistic, but then the author should've just consistently stuck with it) and apart from the mentioned area it did not convince me completely till the end. It's certainly not bad, but I would probably recommend the level for the tasks rather than the looks." - eTux (28-Jan-2011)

"Title of this level made me smile, but I wasn’t carried away by the possible inventive storyline which would be connected with it – this one presented is rather simple. Gameplay is easy – it features some nice touches though (like e.g. scooter ride). I only got frustrated at one point: when you have to pull the switch and jump up to the timed rising block – I was just falling again and again. I like the idea for secrets: To gain all of them you have to find four Rose Jewels which open you the way to the fifth secret: Code Card. This one leads to room with another rose. The rest of the gameplay is quite usual: some exploration, some traps, but no puzzles. Architecture is ok and so is texturing, but lighting and atmosphere are much better – they definitely make the level nice. Author wisely used music tracks and the objects. I also like that he presented such variety of locations: canals, city, magazine and palace – you never feel bored. I recommend this one to everyone who wants to have fun for an hour time. I can’t say more about it; you just have to play yourself! Congratulations to the author!" - jawi (11-Aug-2010)

"A long level with a big variety of tasks. Cameras are very well showing you always where to go, but the problem here is that often you leave something behind, and after a long time when the camera shows you the place, it's difficult to remember where it was 'cause the level is very huge. It happened to me when the camera showed the bike, and I said: where is that place? So, better try to play it in one shot. There are beautiful courtyards and big areas to explore, but this is a level where you always have something to do or some place to go; it's difficult get stucked, and the tasks, at least are not very tricky; only the long timed run with the bike along all level near the end cost me several tries, but it's not very tricky. One of the best I've played from this contest." - Jose (01-Mar-2010)

"This starts in the sewers, but soon enough you emerge into some narrow streets and I found it quite easy to get lost in the first half of the game as you need to have a keen eye to not miss a few vital openings which will allow you to collect the necessary items for progression. Once that is overcome and you get a little more used to your environment, things do flow quite smoothly and there is a decent mix of tasks to accomplish, like a simple pushable/raising block puzzle, shooting four bells, a swinging crate room and a water and fire/wine element puzzle. The hunt for the four secret roses which then give you the 5th and a nicer ending was well done and added to the fun in this game. Near the end you finally get a long backtrack to the scooter and a timed drive through the final door. Solid game, definitely recommended! (60 mins, 5 sercrets)." - MichaelP (01-Mar-2010)

"I just love how the author put zero thought into the story for this level - even going so far as to name the theatre 'Fenice'. It's like, "what, I have to make up a story for my level?". It's lazy, and as a master procrastinator, I can respect that. Fortunately, the author spent more time on his/her level than on the story. The gameplay is based heavily on exploration, but it's the good kind of exploration where things are in places that make sense (usually, anyway), rather than in stupid places that you're likely to overlook. I made steady progress in this level, unlike in a lot of other Back to Basics levels, where I'd end up overlooking something and be stuck for ages. Things do tend to be a little too simple at times, though, with keys often being very easy to get to and often right next to the door you need to use them to open. It's not a big issue, and I prefer this over the alternative, but some added complexity would have spiced up the gameplay. The texturing is good, with only some cracks breaking the illusion. The lighting is colourful but mostly fitting, and the architecture mixes indoor and outdoor areas as well as water and land beautifully, with a final scooter ride to the finish giving you a chance to see how the whole level fits together. At thirty-five minutes, this level is neither too short nor too long, and it's probably one of the better Back to Basics levels this year." - Magnus (28-Feb-2010)

"I think the good points of the level are the lighting and the texturing, and the gameplay is the bad point of the gameplay. A bit too linear and boring with lots of shooting. But the level looks sooo good that I just stopped sometimes to have a look on the enviroment. I think this level is not that bad, but the gameplay must be more variated." - rtrger (26-Feb-2010)

"Here you will face a fair number of mobsters with oh so effective submachine guns, but I would still not call this level a shooter, as the game is quite varied on the whole. There is one hard jump for a secret, and a quite bumpy timed bike run, but otherwise there are no real difficulties in this level, except possibly a somewhat challenging swim. If you collect four ordinary secrets you will get a bonus secret. The baddies had a propensity to walk on the bottom of the channels, which looked funny but it was not a big issue." - Bogey (26-Feb-2010)

"One of the more underdog entries here showcases a well-paced, stress-free but also challenging enough journey of an hour's entertainment. The start is a little dull in the dank sewers, but shortly you come outside and that's where the fun really starts. Venice is set on an evening with a nice sunset atmosphere, complete with very good lighting and some nice environments. I think the water should have been blue instead of green though, but that's a non-issue. While there is a tad numerous amount of enemies at the beginning, things even out quite quickly when finding the Glock pistol, so the challenge is fine. There are a few nice puzzles too, a few involving pushing, and the sequences to acquire the pieces of the element puzzle are fun. The end of the level features a pretty exciting timed run on a bike with turbo, testing your driving skills as you turn sharp corners and avoid the water. I also found the approach of two separate endings for the level to be interesting, one for no secrets and another for indeed finding them. The latter lets Lara leave the level with a nice jeweled rose instead of being empty handed. Perhaps a tad underrated, I found this level to be very well made and a standout of the competition." - Relic Hunter (25-Feb-2010)

"One of those levels where you virtually trip over the secrets but can't find the actual game items to save your life. Well, that was my experience early on but maybe I was just playing like a lemon. A decent level overall but a rather premature end as it looked like this was shaping up to be very long and involved. Nice to be rewarded with an alternative ending with all the secrets." - Dick (20-Feb-2010)

"Notwithstanding the forum thread that takes a gratuitous slap at this level for a totally invalid reason, I found it to be an exhilerating and crashfree raid that has a bit of everything that the Venice milieu has to offer. The environs are well crafted, well lighted and sufficiently varied, the tasks are neither too difficult nor too easy, and collecting all four secrets makes a difference in how you finish the level. That timed scooter run at the end nearly did me in, but I finally managed to conquer it without ever having used the turbo booster (you simply don't have time to reach down and apply it, because you're too busy driving like a maniac while trying to shave split seconds off the twisting and turning route). That sequence alone justifies the investment of the hour or so that I spent here, but the rest of the level - while quite enjoyable - was rather pedestrian by comparison. In any other year this would likely be one of the finalists, but with the extraordinarily high quality of these Venice levels it's just one more release that I can heartily recommend." - Phil (17-Feb-2010)

"Good variety in gameplay, indoors outdoors, shooting bells and enemies. It all comes back to a timed ride on the scooter, over some jetties and along a canal. Nasty ride it was too ;-) Well built, good atmosphere, but a bit flat in lighting here and there." - Dutchy (13-Feb-2010)

"This begins in the sewers and promises to be a lot of fun which is quickly borne out with finding the crowbar early on(always a plus) and a clever Mask pickup underwater going back and forth through spikes. At the first look it seems more difficult than it is. As long as there is enough health, Lara makes it(almost)easily. I'm not sure why the water element fire was so difficult to put out without burning Lara - design or flaw? In any case Lara has to be standing at an angle to put out the fire without getting burned herself. It can be done with a few tries. I'm also not sure what the title has to do with the game play but perhaps the author does or it's just a joke. Most memorable has to be the timed speed motor bike run - especially one particular sharp right turn and of course the four secrets giving the player a fifth secret. There is mayhem - not excessively so and not as much as I expected - but enough to add some excitement and enough medipacks and weapons/ammo for Lara to effectively, once again, restore order. Recommended." - Bene (10-Feb-2010)

"The gameplay in this level involves quite a lot of traps, which is a pleasant change from the other BtB10 levels. Add to that a very enjoyable timed Vespa ride at the end, and the gameplay looks quite good, even though it's a bit weak as far as puzzles are concerned.
The enemies are a little annoying in that they gang up on you before you get heavier weapons. Also, the use of dogs as statues is a little unsettling (though original, no doubt) - I kept expecting them to come alive any minute! I liked that getting all the secrets - which wasn't too hard - enabled an alternative ending.
Objects are a little strangely used at times - for example, clothes hanging on a washing line so close to the ground that they appear huge. And some objects are just overused (so many trash cans! Is Venice experiencing a trash collectors' strike? ;))
The texturing is a little uneven, and the random use of ladder and monkeyswing textures all over the place is rather confusing. Lighting is mostly very good, though a little garish in certain spots, like the fire element puzzle room. But there are also a few really lovely rooms, like the main hall of the manor house, as well as the pretty canal-side areas.
I know I seem to be nitpicking at this level, but actually it was a lot of fun. In spite of its shortcomings, it offers a solid hour of good, Venice-themed fun. Recommended." - Mytly (09-Feb-2010)

"This is one of the titles that caught my attention. Hadn't it been for my game crashing too often and the pleasure would have been bigger - I can remember a level that mentions that if one has the game crashing at a certain point, the solution is to replace the title file with the original title file (I did not see that here). Putting that aside, as well as Lara landing on top of platforms when she tries to get there from underwater, the game is quite entertaining and well designed by a somewhat seasoned builder or by someone who learns his/her lessons well. I liked the gameplay (namely shooting bells in pairs, lol, the simple yet nice room where Lara sets the wine on fire and the final Vespa ride, albeit a bit too short), the overall looks and the lighting. Nice entry." - Jorge22 (07-Feb-2010)

"An hour of exploring a village with a timed bike run at the end, and a secret room and cutscene if you find all four secrets, which is a nice touch. The secrets are not too hard to find and are a bit elaborate. The downside of this is that it seemed that seemed to take away some focus from the main gameplay - but that was still fun as well with its puzzles, traps and combat. Trying to put out that fire with the waterskin was more frustrating than it should have been, and there was a bit of backtracking, so there were a few minor details that could be improved. While I do not think this level is as impressive as some of the other entries, it is still a nice adventure to try." - SSJ6Wolf (07-Feb-2010)

"Solid good stuff . Never found out what the roses ,nitro-feeder and the switch near the end were supposed to do but all in all another good BtB 2010 entry ." - Ruben (04-Feb-2010)

"This level was a true surprise for me. The gameplay was very runny, the level lets to play itself and it goes light and unproblematic. The ambience, exceptionally the areals outside, with the water and wonderful palaces - it was perfect. Very very harmonious. But the sewers was too very interesting and makes me fun. The riddles are varied, the enemies are not boring and not too much. A lot of medis let to play it and survival it unproblematic The textures are perfect, the lighting almost - a lot of cracks, and of not enough lighted rooms. Result: Almost perfectly level, high recommendable" - masha (01-Feb-2010)

"This is another level that seems to suggest a bit of a learning process from the builder; there are simplistic areas with weak lighting very close to great looking, atmospheric areas (it also makes good use of an late afternoon sky), which makes it a bit schizophrenic visually. Luckily the gameplay isn't, and involves various puzzles that mostly work well, although it's hard to tell whether one puzzle involving standing in just the right position to not be set alight while putting out a flame was a bug or intentional. Beyond that though it flows well and has various challenges, including a nicely done timed bike ride. There's also a bonus ending for finding all the secrets, thankfully they aren't too tough as I normally suck at finding secrets but got them all in this level without trying much. A good level, although it isn't quite up to the very best of the levels I've played so far in BTB2010." - Mman (27-Jan-2010)

"Lara has been asked to restore order in Venice which is being infiltrated by some bandits. Via the sewers under the city you reach a beautiful quiet area of Venice with two nicely designed areas with water and houses grouped around it. You need to find the keys to the central room and need a few items for that. I did like the idea with the special ending if you manage to place all the secret roses. I did have a few issues with level crashes, which reduced the fun in playing this one a bit." - Eva (25-Jan-2010)

"A respectable level without special surprises, but lots of ideas and fun. It is located in a complex level that is in a non-linear fashion, so that initially all must be explored. In every corner there is something to do, but the puzzles are standard and not difficult to solve. Sometimes you have to avoid some traps. All you have to do is to clear the path for a timerun on the bike. The atmosphere increases while playing the game, started in the gloomy sewer ending in great designed outdoor areas and courtyards. The enemies are too numerous in some places. Overall, a fine level that can score with a fun ride on the bike." - repley (20-Jan-2010)

"To quote the Readme: "Lara should come to Venice and fight against bandits, so that the order can be restored". Citation end. When I had read this, I thought that I will play now a really boring and badly textured shooter level with which my only job is to run from room to room and to dispatch dozens opponents. Well, it is such a thing with the thinking. I was quite completely wrong in any case. This level is just first-class. The houses and canals look great and the riddles very well thought out. Here there are of course opponents, but not too many. And in the end there is one more time run by the motor scooter straight through the whole level. And if the inclined player has found all four Secrets, he can still receive the fifth Secret." - Scottie (20-Jan-2010)

"This is pretty good, with engaging puzzles and tricky obstacles. It has a reasonable appearance, though you forget about that once involved in the hunt for objects for Lara to make progress. I hit an impasse in the place where other players on the forum had trouble. It was impossible to quench a flame with the waterskin without igniting Lara at the same time. One looks for any possible alternative. But the only solution to continue the game appears to be to ignite Lara while dousing the fire, then have her run and jump into a pool of water. I hate that sort of play. But this gives Lara the revolver, and she can shoot four bells. At the end there is a timed bike ride that many may find exhilarating. I would have preferred a path designed more for the bike, without so many narrow right angle turns, or steps that snagged the bike so that it won't track properly, just when you think Lara might make it. After this Lara enters a bare small room and the level ends. But if she has four secret roses to place, she enters a decorated room to get a fifth secret rose for a nicer ending. Well done." - dmdibl (13-Jan-2010)

"well .... a ride moustly for experienced players .....u have alot off things to doo find revolver wich is at unusual place find the sight for it shot 4 bells /use waterskin to extinct some fire use wine also ignite it / and moustly find 4 roses wich some off them are not easy to get and without all 4 the level cannot be finished ..... and for the finale a timed bike run wich i was find insane hard one cos long road to doo and manny turns in narrow places and jumps over water canals so u need speed too and in mean time max. driving skill to avoid falling in the water ..... moustly the last corner before the timed door was very difficult to take cos u come at speed and need a very sharp turn at a narrow path avoiding to hit water ...this was one off the moust hard bike timed runs wich i was made .......a bit too much enemyes for my taste through ........all in all a challenging level" - Jack& (11-Jan-2010)

"I found the crowbar very early on in this level so that was me in a good mood right from the start. The action moves along briskly between the sewers and the city and this is definitely one of the more enemy orientated levels. At one point, a henchman fell into the sewers, but he just carried on running around and shooting at Lara. They breed henchmen tough in Venice. Luckily, medipacks and ammo are generously supplied. The final timed bike ride is exhilarating. Another good entry in the series." - Jay (07-Jan-2010)

"This level is certainly built by an experienced builder who has put many things together to bring entertainment and a very interesting map for you to explore, with many puzzles in a non linear fashion. Plus, a part of the map has intelligently been designed for the fun and challenging timed drive with the Vespa at the end. Before that , many items have to be retrieved and used , action is not forgotten , with many enemies , some traps , the use of sinks ; some special touches like the dogs which stand still or the ammos placed in the trash cans ; the 5 secrets are also a big plus here. The looks are quite good, especially the courtyard where 2 crucial keys are to be used and the palace. A very good map , puzzles oriented with exploration , that do not miss the mark of bringing excellent fun !" - eRIC (04-Jan-2010)

"Based on the last three levels that I have played, the standard is very high for this competition. Here we start in a misleading 'sewer' as it does not set an example for the rest of the level.After we exit the sewer we enter a straight-forward level which has very nice, flowing gameplay. The only place I got stuck was actually a well-thought out and clever gameplay puzzle. I was only able to find 3 roses, though I think I knew where the fourth was. Enemies were numerous, but if you read the storyline, you are expecting this. Secrets were generally hidden well (I didn't find two of them) and other objects were used well to make for good gameplay and nice scenery. Textures got a lot better throughout the level, as the sewers started out very repetitive and it developed into two or three nicely textured courtyards. The final timed run with the scooter was enjoyable, and having to jump water was great fun, this finished off the level very nicely. Overall, a very nice level that I recommend you play if you are looking for a fun, hour long level. 1 hour 3 secrets." - Cory (02-Jan-2010)
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