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Level: Another Venice Level back home search
Author(s): Franco Bula
total rating:5.53 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Blue43 4 5 4 6
Ceamonks890 4 5 4 5
Christian 5 6 4 5
DJ Full 4 4 4 4
dmdibl 5 7 6 6
eRIC 5 6 5 4
Gerty 3 5 5 4
Jay 6 5 6 6
Jose 6 7 6 6
manarch2 5 4 4 6
MichaelP 5 5 6 4
Nuri 10 10 10 10
Orbit Dream 3 6 4 5
Ryan 4 5 6 5
Scottie 8 6 7 7
TheStig 7 6 6 7
Torry 5 7 7 4
totizedger 5 4 4 6
Treeble 6 6 7 6
category averages
(19 reviews)
5.26 5.74 5.53 5.58

Reviewer's comments

"Here we have a little TR2 level that with a bit more thought would have been great. However, this level is marred by unmarked climbables, dark passages, intolerably long ladders and insufficient flares to offset the darkness. Objects are straight out of the original game and whilst I do not mind that something new (re-textured perhaps) would have been interesting. There is a lot of back tracking here and it is easy to get turned around. Textures are not bad on the whole." - Torry (04-Jun-2018)

"Venice levels are usually among my favourites, but this one was a bit too tedious to fully immerse me. It's not that the environments are badly crafted (the darkness in the ventilation shafts is definitely too overdone though), it's more that the gameplay relies solely on tried and trusted backtracking, long ladder climbing and traversing dark tunnels. I actually liked the enemy usage though, as they were very effectively used and required quick thinking to avoid taking too much damage. Found 1 secret, as the Jade Dragon could not be attained and I couldn't locate the Gold Dragon no matter how hard I tried." - Ryan (07-Dec-2017)

"A rather enjoyable Venice level, however it does suffer with the issue of unmarked climbable walls. The very first one you come across is in a library, where about a dozen tiles are textured the same and yet only one can be climbed. From that point on, other unmarked climbable textures are easily "guessed", however it shouldn't be like that. I also thought there was a distinct lack of medipacks, and the moment it was the most unfair - when you're literally a fish in a barrel being shot by two thugs - I ran out and was rather relieved to learn it was the end. I can't help but wonder why Lara's aim works the way it does, not sure if this is particular to the TR2 engine but I've noticed when she faces more than one enemy, she always aims for the one who posses the lesser threat the first. In this case, two armed thugs and a dog, you're miles away from the dog and yet while the thugs happily shoot you away, the first foe Lara targets is the dog. Yes, you press the look button and Lara changes targets, but by then you've already lost more life than acceptable. Anyway, I digress. 45 minutes, 1 secret. 05/17" - Treeble (28-May-2017)

"I really liked the atmosphere in this level, it really reminded me of the Venice-levels from TR2. The whole level itself is also entertaining and "not short". I actually got confused for a long time in this level, but it was worth running around for hours and getting nostalgia." - Nuri (29-Jun-2016)

"Running around and getting confused in look-alike environments is not my way of having fun. Enemies attacking at the most inconvenient moments, well it says more about the builder than it says about me, I think." - Gerty (25-May-2016)

"Starting up this appropriately-titled level, we find ourselves back in Venice yet again, slaughtering plenty of gunmen and their pet dogs as we explore, because I guess Lara wasn't exactly in the best mood that day and just had to take out her frustrations on something. As it is though, the experience we have in front of us isn't a terribly compelling one in itself, as we find ourselves running around back and forth constantly looking for that one item or switch that we need to find and use to advance progression, with plenty of long ladder climbs along the way that just drag on. The rest of the level's other qualities don't hold up too well either, as the texturing is repetitive, the level design is far too linear and the lighting in all honesty, could have done with some more work before release. In conclusion however, while not exactly a terrible experience, this 'Average Venice Level' isn't really a fun one to go through either, offering nothing new or terribly special to keep veteran raiders entertained for long. So unless you're a fan of Venice-themed levels, then I would recommend approaching this one with caution if still interested." - Ceamonks890 (11-Aug-2014)

"Gameplay was mediocre and the textures rather nice, Lighting could have been better in some places but i got through it though. This was a very long level and to be able to enjoy a long level it has to offer very good gameplay which it didn't quite do but it has it's moments though for example when i put the P1 in the machine, suddenly there were a boss and two other thugs to deal with it gave me a surprise. This level is made by Franco Bula and im interested in what else he has to offer. There were one secret i couldn't get because of the fans guarding it. To sum things up a quite good level that you will enjoy if you are a Venice fan." - totizedger (11-Aug-2013)

"I was quite surprised to be reviewing another FrancoBula level so soon! This time round it's the TR2 engine that's up for some retro-raiding fun :) From the outset I should say that TR2 is probably my favorite of the game-engines for the simple reason that the controls have always seemed more responsive and crisp than Lara's later engines. Everything feels immediate, and the result is lots of fun running around and enjoying the Venice scenery. Granted nothing based on TR2 textures is ever going to win any visual awards now-days, but everything is put together pretty well, though I'd of like to have seen more subtle shading used in a few places (one or two locations really are too dark, even taking into account TR2's long flare life). You'll also need to experiment with climbable wall surfaces, as not all of them are clearly marked which I can picture causing some players frustration. As with FrancoBula's other level, this is no walk in the park. It took me 1 hour 20 minutes to complete, and there was a good deal of exploring to be done to find hidden items. Looking ahead I see Franco has a number of other TR2-based levels released which I look forward to playing & reviewing! :) Recommended for Venice fans! Stiggy" - TheStig (30-May-2011)

"Yet another trip to Venice and while this is all quite solidly constructed, it does actually annoy with a number of features that could have been easily avoided, such as very long ladders to climb, darkness in the ducts, unmarked climbable walls and the impossible to get secret. Those gripes aside it playes smoothly with some back and forth for the 40 minutes it last and if you like Venice it should definitely be worth your while to visit it here." - MichaelP (18-Sep-2010)

"Average puzzles. Average gameplay. Average lighting. Average textures. Enemies can be entertaining. One secret can be taken at all. I wasted three days for trying, and finally it appeared there's no trigger to stop those fans from spinning :(. Tiring, sometimes frustrating level. And the sound should be better - there's only one background track. No single thrill or relief can be felt thanks to the music, as it doesn't exist. SUMMARY: Average Venice level. Nothing special. Recommended only for Venice fans." - DJ Full (18-Sep-2010)

"Well, what should I say about this one. TR2 settings without TR2 atmosphere. Some good ideas concerning gameplay can be found in the beginning, but soon it's obvious that there's no real concept concerning the whole level, a lot of not coherent backtracking to find needed items shows this problem. Atmosphere and lightning are not existent during most parts of the game. Some good, but not developped ideas remain." - Christian (09-Aug-2010)

"A TR2 level rather solidly built , ( the textures on walls is somewhat repetitive , the lighting is absent sometimes , and the undergrounds where one spends much of the time are too dark ; had to add flares with a savegame editor ). Some good ideas in the gameplay , but it seems the author at time makes want you to spend more time than necessary. The climbing wall(s) in the library at the beginning and in the undergrounds near the end can be spotted , but the realism sake is not there. How to obtain the 2 missing secrets was a mystery to me, the baddies are efficient to drain Lara's heath , this is overall a rather satisfying level , a bit intriguing and sometimes falsely intriguing. Lara died without reasons in a couple of places. The end is strange ( what is the role of that UW switch , as the big doors to the end of the level seem to open when you pick up the last electronics device ? )" - eRIC (09-Aug-2010)

"Not bad this TR2 level; good ideas about the architecture design and some interesting crate puzzles. Enemies were well balanced too and secrets difficult to find except the white dragon. In the library the clue to know what's the climbable bookcase is not very clear; also I did the crates puzzle first and found the closed trapdoor so I needed to backtrack to look for the card (P2) and then a very long way back to the crates area. Near the end, I arrived to a small outside area with a pool and pull an underwater lever there, but no camera to show what it did so later I found a second P2 and I was exploring a long time until I decided to return to the outside courtyard. Much time wasted to be a good gameplay. Remaining features similar to the previous level from this author, stretched textures, no worked lights and poor atmosphere. Not a very good level but you can take a try; it's not bad and it will remember you the old TR2 venice levels." - Jose (05-Aug-2010)

"Wow, what a strange experience. It really is years since I played TR2 and I'd almost forgotten things like Lara's inability to crawl. The TR2 Venice level is one I remember with great fondness so the nostalgia factor helped carry this level a lot and one of the most emotive aspects for me was hearing the old sound files again. Setting aside the nostalgia factor, what you really have here is, inevitably, a rather unsophisticated game by today's high standards, both in terms of looks and gameplay, but viewed in context of its 'era' it's actually rather good and I enjoyed it." - Jay (03-Aug-2010)

"This is a clean looking TR2 Venice level with typical TR2 texturing and uncomplicated but a bit tedious game play. There are a couple of keys to find and also a few cards or fuses that will open doors. Lots of climbing to roof areas and down to underground waters. The enemies are the well-known club swinging baddies and also the masked Bertoli gunmen. They are placed mostly in areas that are rather inconvenient for Lara. For example: Lara getting shot at in the water where there is poor lighting and it takes a while to climb out and no way to shoot back. The lighting is a bit flat throughout and some of the areas could have used more lighting or a least a couple of flares would have been nice. There are also several unnecessary low ceiling areas. It seems the builder tried to make a 2-story room out of what should have been 1-story only. Also there is a fireplace that will kill Lara, although it is empty and there are no flames. Not a bad level, definitely recommended if you like TR2 and Venice levels and a good effort, specially considered that this is only the second level by the builder." - Blue43 (01-Aug-2010)

"Oh is this nice. A TR2 level which one must only unpack and than can play it. It is long ago that I have played TR 2, so the nostalgia factor is quite high. Though the level is sometimes bewildering a little bit, but is well playable on the whole. However, a few Flares more would have quite felt well. And I had a bug at the level end. Though I had found the lever for the big door, unfortunately, the door stayed shut. However, this was no so big problem, because one had to shoot only three opponents and press a lever. Then, however, I have found out later that this was no bug. I had only not found the last fuse, so the double door did not open when I pulled the lever. Who wants to dive once more quite deeply into the world of TR 2 / TR 3, is here in good hands." - Scottie (30-Jul-2010)

"Sometimes fun, but just misses. Almost good design, almost good game play. Similar to the author's recent TR3 level, but there textures and play were in the jungle, so randomness worked better than it does in a structured Venice. At one point Lara is in a regular room, except that here there is a horizontal shelf, a second floor, where Lara can pull up. There is nothing in such design that looks like normal architecture, so belief crumbles. The level starts with Lara near an empty fireplace, and if she runs into it she catches fire, or at least so the declining health bar suggests. No flames are visible. The bookcases in the next room can't be climbed, except for one different texture--hard to spot--that is climbable. A switch opens a door, but players will spot that the open door blocks a passage in the wall. I was sure that clever play would revolve around this door, that an underground water passage would link the areas, so I had Lara run back and flip the switch to close the door, and open the alternate passage. Eventually Lara does reach the alternate area by another route, but nothing comes of it. As with the author's TR3 level, there are optional sections. Unfortunately, Lara made choices that kept leading onward, so she never returned to explore several places, and it isn't clear what was missed. The entire ending fooled me this way. Lara can jump a series of sloped ramps to a new area, but instead she did a curving jump into a wall alcove. Lara gets back to daylight, seems to be finding a well-hidden secret, fights gunmen, hits a button, and level-ending statistics show on screen. A strange way to end the game, with things surely left undone. The beginning is quite bright, but after minutes in a dark cistern I gave Lara thirty extra flares. If she had explored everything in the level she might have even needed more flares, as some later areas are solid black. With a little more care taken with the architecture, with feedback from players about how they experience a level, the author's work should much improve." - dmdibl (29-Jul-2010)

"The title says it all. I first really thought that this level would be a great change from the other lever-searching straightforward Venice levels, and I was first confirmed by the new look at the starting menu. But I soon was disabused. Some textures were new and really looked nice but the level was so linear. It was always like this: Push a button, use a key you found in the last room and go through the now opened door. I don't know if I took the "normal" route through this level because I did two curved jumps which seemed very hard, but I didn't need some pickups like the relais or the card. At some places, level was way too dark and there weren't many flares, only at the end I got a pack of them. So I had to walkthrough with shooting with my pistols to get more light. In the library after the start, the only one climbable wall wasn't very different from the others so I had to try every single wall. All in all, the level was unluckily no real change as I thought. It had interesting parts, but didn't give the feeling of a new kind of TR2 levels." - manarch2 (27-Jul-2010)

"This would have been an acceptable middle-of-the-road Venetian level if only the gameplay had been considerably more interesting. As it is,you run around and around,searching out keys and cards,killing thugs and dogs,and swimming through uninteresting sewers and look-alike corridors;all of which gets repetetive and not a little confusing on occasion.Although textures are used well,lighting is either bright or murky with nothing in between.The level's strongest feature are the enemy attacks (they always happen at the most inconvenient moments,usually when you've activated a switch and your back is turned),objects (there is a pleasing use of statuary),and the placement of a secret behind fans (which I left where it was,as I had grown thoroughly tired of wandering around murky corridors.)There are two block-pushing puzzles and a couple of mildly tricky jumps;but that's not much in an hour long level;and the gameplay never properly manages to pique the interest. The lengthy corridors and round-and-around gameplay also gives the player plenty of time to notice the implausibilties in the location (huge long ladder climbs leading,not to roofs,but to courtyards);and the arbitrary ending is a huge anti-climax. Not too much fun." - Orbit Dream (27-Jul-2010)
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