Level: Return to the Opera back home search
Author(s): Igor
total rating:7.92 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Ceamonks890 8 7 8 9
dmdibl 9 9 9 8
eTux 8 9 8 8
Gerty 8 8 8 8
Jay 8 8 8 8
JoeTheCrazyGamer 8 8 9 8
Jose 5 5 7 7
manarch2 9 9 9 9
MichaelP 8 8 8 7
Nuri 7 7 6 6
Orbit Dream 9 7 8 9
Ryan 8 7 8 8
Torry 7 8 8 7
Treeble 7 7 9 9
vienna 8 9 9 9
category averages
(15 reviews)
7.80 7.73 8.13 8.00

Reviewer's comments

"Awesome level with tones of Pickups, Enemies and Puzzles to solve. Loved the end battle with all the guards including the dude with 2 guns." - JoeTheCrazyGamer (27-Jan-2019)

"This level was not bad but really had little to exercise the old noggin with simple switches to pull and doors to open. There was one door that I could not open and even following the walk through it remained steadfastly closed and as I did not get the secret I am supposing this is what it ultimately lead to. There was also an object on an opposing ledge that was out of reach so why was it there at all? The timed run in the speedboat was easy if you took the time to turn the boat around facing the way you needed to go before flicking the switch. There was also a speedboat ramp that remained unused. So many possibilities left unused that could have made the level most entertaining." - Torry (07-May-2018)

"This has held up well in comparison to most other TR2 levels and provides an enjoyable 45 minutes or so of raiding. I enjoyed the original Opera House level so I liked this one. Admittedly the surroundings aren't as attractive as the BtB Venice levels, but they're executed well enough here and you also get a timed boat ride and a couple of block puzzles to add to the enjoyment. I did feel that the majority of the rooms in this level were rather too barren and could have benefited from more objects, but that's just a quibble, really. At the end you find the Old Score and end the level." - Ryan (07-Dec-2017)

"A solid and huge level but not very entertaining for me 'cause the continuous backtracking and excessive switches to pull with no puzzles to solve. Sure that I missed a key somewhere (a secret?) 'cause I found a silver keyhole I never used but I was able to finish the level. The rooms are very very empty (the thieves took away everything? lol!) without a single object in all the level; many rooms are too dark and I found few flares to light my way; too many enemies to shoot, and not enough ammo for the shotgun (why not another weapons?). On the other hand, the texturization is good, and the camera shots showing the doors opening are very helpful. Indeed a well made level, but not very enjoyable for me." - Jose (22-Jul-2017)

"Now here's another TR2 custom level that doesn't fall behind our usual TR4 levels in any way. Atmosphere and looks are outstanding, with an added nostalgia bonus for the engine itself. I felt there was too much padding to gameplay in the form of too many remote switches and doors, but otherwise this was a fun romp through a huge Opera house to eventually retrieve an Old Score from an old foe. You also get a nice timed door for the speedboat, how is that for a throwback? 60 minutes. 05/17" - Treeble (28-May-2017)

"Great level from year 2006. Levels main idea comes to front of the players eyes when you are walking in to the Opera. Puzzles are good and athmosphere and textures are great. There are many enemies so use your shotgun if you can. Level for TR2 fans!" - vienna (21-Mar-2017)

"This custom level was very boring for me at the beginning, but later, I discovered an opera, which was kind of well constructed and had kind of good gameplay. As in tomb raider 2, we start outside the opera and have to find a way IN the opera to kill the humane content, eventually find some treasuries... And if there are players out there with "real-tomb raider-skills", they will find the one only secret in this game, which is well hidden." - Nuri (13-Nov-2015)

"For a Venice-themed level, this has got a great atmosphere with effective use of lighting and texturing(despite the limitations of the TR2 engine), gameplay has a satisfying amount of variety(including a timed sequence involving a boat) and plenty of good ol' Venician enemies to slaughter en masse, as we set to retrieve this musical score that Lara wants, in order to practice piano in her spare time back at Croft Manor, I guess. Who knows? Saying that though, there are some issues that I do have with this final release from Igor under the TR2 engine. For one thing, there are barely any actual decorative objects utilized(which can honestly make the environments you traverse through, feel a lot more barren than they need to be.) And secondly, as good as the gameplay is, it can sometimes be rather unclear as to what you just activated with some switches, leaving you to traipse back and forth looking for that one room you missed earlier and hope that you'll eventually start to get somewhere. But in the end though, this is still definitely among the few TR2-based releases that you have to go through at least once. And I can easily recommend this to anyone who enjoys a high-quality tomb raiding experience, if nothing else." - Ceamonks890 (31-Aug-2014)

"Just having played Cape Fear I chose to play another high rated TR2 level. These two levels don't have much in common; Return to the Opera was built with the original Venice textures, and texturing was more than correct. There were quite interesting tasks in this level, I think, like the Crowbar or the pushblock areas, or the only one secret in this level. To get this, you must not jump down at the beginning, but to the left to get into an area with a key. Then you have to replace some pushables, then repull a switch to open another door, using the key and a relais. One of the best secrets in TR2, I think, no secret in the official game was that nicely hidden. The gameplay was, I think, even better than in Cape Fear, simply because of more unlinearity and more puzzles - using the block to strech a ladder, for example. There were many bright and dark spots which gave the level a truly brilliant atmosphere. There were many enemies in this level, and they weren't placed just somewhere, but on tricky places. I think this level is even better than the Opera House level from TR2, as I enjoyed every minute of it. After around an hour, Lara escapes with the well deserved Music Score. Thanks to Igor for this adventure!" - manarch2 (18-Dec-2010)

"This is definitely one of the better TR2 levels on offer, nicely evoking the official Opera House level, which I always did enjoy. This has blended elements of that game with entirely new and innovative ideas, making for an unexpectedly sophisticated feel for what is not normally a genre that invites the word. For those who fancy a little mayhem, there are plenty of windows to break and thugs, henchmen and dogs to kill, but there are more cerebral aspects to entertain also, especially with dual action switches. There's also a nice little timed run/boat ride (not too tight) and the usual quota of keys to find. I was also rather amused by Lara's end goal, ie. the artefact she escaped with, entitled 'old score' in the inventory. Music? Or was Lara settling an old score. Not sure whether the builder intended a pun, but I choose to think he might have." - Jay (10-Nov-2010)

"As my fellow reviewers have already said, this is a very solid Venice level that is great fun to play. Good length at about an hour, a nice initial section with the boat (including a timed part), some decent action with a bunch of bad guys and their dogs and then inside the opera house some back and forth for switches that will require you to keep your orientation. The one secret is also quite elaborate and not an easy one to get. Definitely one of the best TR2 levels out there. Try it!" - MichaelP (11-Sep-2010)

"This almost could enter the BtB competition of Venice and would score quite high if using the WAD Horus made. It is for sure a level you have to try. Your hunt is for keys, and switches to get your hands on the Old Music Score. In the mean time there will be guards and thugs that can make your life miserable. There are plenty of pick-ups and flares, as you do need those once in a while. I had a crash at the end when I wanted to pick up the Music Score with a Key. The remedy for that is to kill first all the enemies and then there is no problem to end the level, they way one should." - Gerty (17-May-2010)

"For all those who have so far been somewhat underwhelmed by the Unofficial TR2 levels, here is one which really impresses.Textures and lighting are very accomplished and (together with pretty much everything else in this level) illustrate the point that all things are acheivable provided you put in some hard work.The scenery is impressive considering the drawbacks of this particular level-building system,and the lighting helps to create a rather potent and occasionally sinister atmosphere.The Opera House doesn't look too much like a realistic venue (in contrast to that from the original TR2 adventure)and is a fairly spartan place,devoid of furnishiings and embellishments;but the battalions of thugs and mafiosi just about make up for this. Gameplay is often ingenious and full of creativity,with a hugely varied collection of tasks and challenges.What let some of it down was a degree of obscurity over some of the switch and lever functions (one was timed,but not obviously so;while another opened two different doors depending on whether you depressed the lever or pulled it back up again,which I thought was a little too sneaky - especially as it only led to a secret);while there was a pushable block in a room filled to the rafters with identical but static blocks,which was somewhat cruel. Nonetheless,the wealth of gameplay ideas was most impressive and the whole level (which lasted a full 110 net minutes for me!)kept me up for most of the night - and ensured that my wife was rather displeased.Whatever your marital status,you'll find this adventure completely absorbing and well worth spending a night playing;and it's unquestionably Igor's masterpiece." - Orbit Dream (25-Feb-2010)

"Remarkably faithful to the spirit of original TR2, with an entirely new interpretation. A little ways into this level I found myself thinking it was quite good, and hoping it wouldn't falter. In many ways it gets even better. Begins with a scenario that looks like the 2010 BtB Venice levels. Lara frees a motorboat for a timed run through closing gates, then works her way up to the opera House. Lots of thugs are shooting at Lara, and the lighting is rather dark, but these things were true of the original opera house. There are good puzzles, and the opera house turns out to be much larger than expected. There is one good secret with a deceptive dual-use switch. The multiple tiers, dressing rooms, elevator shafts, and dark ductwork with fans recall the original version. The red curtains are here, though the elevators are missing. My one complaint, something that tripped up game play, was the use of the crowbar where it looks like Lara should be using a circuit board. I thought this was a mistake, when after pressing Action the crowbar is used and then disappears from inventory. Later, stuck, I read the walkthrough and found this was correct, though it still looks odd to me. The level ends when it seems like there are still things undone. Lara spotted a gun at the top tier, but never found a way to get it. On stage, Lara shoots at gunmen up in the balcony area, and they drop good pickups, but Lara never manages to reach those goodies. The level may be as full as TR2 allows. One of the best TR2 custom levels, and not to be missed." - dmdibl (23-Feb-2010)

"Being completely honest - it's hard to deny that most of the TR2 levels are somewhat lackluster. They offer nice ideas alright and some manage to stand out more than others, but the tendency generally is not very flattering. With that in mind, this level of Igor's was quite refreshing in comparison. The textures and illumination are great, if a bit samey, the level keeps you on your toes for about an hour in an enjoyable combination of tasks and conveys the same sinister atmosphere the original opera level did. In the time you spend here you get a nice boat ride, some tasks involving movable boxes, searching the vents, but mostly shooting more baddies and dobermans than you can shake a stick at. Once you reach the opera some non-linearity options arise and with them the possibility to do stuff out of sequence, which can result in some tedious backtracking. There's only one secret, but the various steps to get it are rather ingenious, making it a fun side-quest. Being spoiled by the variety of tasks the standard format levels come in, I can say I missed it a bit here, but the author uses the TR2 elements competently and in context of what the format offers this is a very commendable effort. The level builds up to the final blow-out nicely and with the prize of the music sheet you acquire from the macho, there even was an objective to the whole exploration here (of which I was not aware of until then, though). A solid Venice level, well worth a shot!" - eTux (28-Jan-2010)
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