Level: Return to Venice back home search
Author(s): Pwhirl
total rating:6.21 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
alan 6 6 6 6
Android 10 10 9 10
Casual Raider 2 3 4 5
CC 6 6 8 8
Ceamonks890 2 3 4 5
Dimpfelmoser 6 5 8 8
eTux 4 5 4 4
Gerty 7 7 8 8
Jay 6 6 8 7
Jose 4 5 5 4
Kristina 6 6 7 7
Leeth 2 2 3 3
Loupar 6 5 7 5
MichaelP 8 8 8 7
Nomad 6 6 8 7
Orbit Dream 6 6 8 8
Phabius Phodes 8 8 7 9
Phil 8 8 8 8
Qwendo 5 6 6 5
RaiderGirl 6 8 8 5
Ryan 6 6 7 6
Sash 5 6 5 6
Sheevah 8 7 8 8
Torry 9 8 8 7
Treeble 7 6 7 6
TrueRaider 8 7 8 9
Yonatan 5 4 6 5
Zhyttya 3 3 3 3
category averages
(28 reviews)
5.89 5.93 6.64 6.39

Reviewer's comments

"This is like a remake of the Venice level from TR2. It's entertaining to play a classic level with a different engine. The first areas are the same, only with some objects lacking (motorboat, trapdoors...). After you pass the door to the dark sewers everything changes, and it gets quite boring. There's the task of finding levers, opening doors, finding puzzle items like a crowbar, or using the revolver to shoot at something. The bike quite replaces the motorboat from TR2, and it's important to finish the level, so remember where you leave it. Textures are the same from Venice and lighting is dark in the sewers, which was my least favorite part of this level. Lara had to run with a flare on her hand almost all the time but there are plenty of flares and ammo to kill the guards. Found all 5 secrets." - alan (30-Aug-2017)

"Return to venice was one of the first custom levels I ever played and it has made such an impression on me back then I always had the notion this level was amazing. Playing it at this time, it should be obvious that it would not rekindle the same feelings of awe. Granted, the level has some kind of charm. It delivers the atmosphere of Venice fittingly, sure most of it takes place in the dark canals or sewers but that is what is half of Venice. The issue is that the gameplay is not so good, it is entirely focused on opening doors and pulling levers. At many points you push a lever, a door opens and in the new room there is nothing but a lever again, and repeat - nothing interesting or no sense of accomplishment whatsoever. One of the rare varied (and possibly the hardest) tasks in the game is finding the crowbar, which lies in an unassuming, easy to miss place. The last part was the most fun section in the game, where you platform on canopies I guess they are called. The level is not generally bad and it is quite playable, but experienced players will most likely find it simple and boring." - Nomad (13-Jul-2017)

"This starts out as a remake of the original TR2 Venice level, complete with boathouse and wooden shack, but things take a (literally) darker turn once Lara reaches the sewers, where floor lever fever strikes again. I didn't find it utterly tedious, but I would have preferred to spend more time in the bright outdoor sections, just to eliminate thoughts of the darkness. Could have been better, but you could do worse." - Ryan (07-Dec-2016)

"My score says pretty much what i think of this level. Not fun at all. The fact that you play in pitch dark for most of the time doesn't help. I was exited to see a "Remake" of Venice but this is miles away from reaching the same level of enjoyment has i had when playing the original. Driving motorcycle it's what you do here, and maneuvering it in tight corridors it's annoying, if you get stuck in a long corridor you need to literally walk the motorcycle out of there (since this motorcycle doesn't have a reverse gear). In the end you need to hit the ending trigger with your motor - you need nitro and to find a lever to open a door BUT you can actually finish the level without placing the nitro, because the motorcycle will hit the finish trigger. So picking the nitro and the pipe it's pretty much useless. Ultimately i think the level would be far more enjoyable if we had more lightening (and yes we do have flares, but that doesn't replace a good small lighting for a nice atmosphere)" - Zhyttya (01-Mar-2016)

"A bad remake. This level just had the beginning of Venice from TR2 and then a lot of random stuff, with no originality or challenge on it. The game play was randomly cruising around in a bike (that didn't even needed nitro to end) throw dark corridors on witch you can't have a flare or some kind of light. This level is so basic, so dark, so simple, so dull and without no connection to anything. And it doesn't really end, It's just a random gap that you go throw and that's that. And the secrets are easier to find than the crowbar. You can go to the end of the level without picking it, only needing the crowbar to the last door! But the crowbar is at the beginning of the bike sector. Not really recommended, just a bad remake in my opinion" - Leeth (01-Mar-2016)

"What starts out as a simple copy/paste of the original TR2 Venice level(albeit with a lot of standard TR4 assets used instead), quickly begins to devolve into boredom as you'll find yourself spending a considerable amount of time in pitch black sewers or uninspired interior areas trying to find levers to pull, in order to progress. And while the motorbike section is certainly entertaining as a finale sequence, its not enough to make up for the generally lackluster experience I had while playing. Not recommended." - Ceamonks890 (28-Jun-2015)

"When I began to play this level I thought that it was another remake, but after half an hour I realized that the author only used the first rooms as a base to build the rest of the level. Once you reach the custom areas you reach the complete darkness, always with flare in hand to see a small part of the environment; the remaining tasks are pull, pull, pull, pull and pull a lot of floor levers to open doors. There is an outside area where I could saw some light, but again back to the sewers and waste the few flares I had to go back to the motorbike and finish the level. Too dark for me to like and no puzzles to solve. Not recommended." - Jose (19-Apr-2015)

"Initially, I thought this was going to be pretty much a remake of the official TR2 Venice level, but it quickly veered off in its own direction, with SAS guards rather than mafia bosses, thugs and dogs and a motorbike standing in for the speedboats. There's nothing difficult to achieve here, but it would have been far more pleasant to spend more time in the bright outside areas rather than groping around in the gloomy interiors and (sigh) sewers. Not bad, but I felt it had more potential." - Jay (11-Mar-2015)

"The beginning is replica of TR2 level and it looks nice, then you got stuck in sewers pulling levers while running from doors to doors. That part made me die from boredom. Too much is never too good. Was disappointed with such small part of outside areas." - Casual Raider (24-Jul-2013)

"You get what the story promises - the beginning is the all too familiar Venice setting from the original game, but once you get into the sewers you sort of... more or less stay there for the remainder of the game. That in itself is a rather brave choice to put it that way, but I have always been puzzled what exactly is so attractive about raiding in the sewers? It's dark, it's monotonous and there isn't exactly all too much to do there. I've been to some interesting sewers in the TR universe, but they're usually the exceptions that prove the rule. And unfortunately, it's not too different here. You do get a plethora of flares, but it's still a pain to keep lighting flare after flare to get through the relatively dark environments. While the bike ride and the jumps are a nice distraction, the gameplay plainly put is absolutely dull for most part - you just chase levers and doors, and unfortunately for the player, don't really get that many hints as to what each of the levers did, though to be fair, the doors will be nearby in most cases. But then again - it was nice of the builder to create special places for the bike to turn around along the narrow platforms of the sewers and make sure the player can't get stuck for good no matter what you do. The 6 secrets I found were rewarding, but I was a bit worried that the only extra gunpower I found was the revolver - but then I learned that you can actually carry on everything to the next level of the author. Overall - it probably won't blow you away by any standards - but you could do worse than giving this a chance." - eTux (07-Jan-2010)

"Here's a level I played some time ago but recently (6/05) replayed it for the purpose of writing the walkthrough. I remembered it as being both enjoyable and challenging in spots, and the playing pleasure was by no means diminished the second time around. I had forgotten where to find the crowbar, so I had to backtrack and search desperately in the darkness before I finally stumbled across it. After that, however, everything fell neatly into place. Like other reviewers, I was somewhat annoyed by the darkness of certain areas (especially along the motorbike route), and pushing floor levers got a little monotonous after a while. Still, I would recommend this level to the player who has the basic skills under his belt and is now ready to tackle something of medium difficulty." - Phil (03-Jun-2005)

“This is also a little gem, bit harder than the SAS stake out and in here you have to ride a bike (instead of the boat) and also need to find the nitro plus valve for the last jump. The start just looks like Venice and the guy from the balcony that shoots Lara, there is no key but a laser sight as a reward. Yes indeed, practice shooting as near the target you'll find the revolver. Overall I found this quite dark and had to add flares, but there is enough ammo and weapons to find throughout the game. One secret was sneakily hidden in a climb-through ceiling. Found 6 in total. You take the bike down in the sewers, but even I could ride it there and that is saying enough LOL. Have a go at it. 03-05-2004” – Gerty (03-May-2004)

“I first attempted this level two years ago and became completely stuck quite early on; this time around, the way ahead revealed itself to me with only the smallest amount of searching. Doesn't that tell you something? It tells you that I have become a sad person who spends far too much of his life staring at a virtual pneumatic brunette, that's what! This level begins with a pretty faithful recreation of the opening section of the first Venice level from TR2, but thereafter (due to the lack of a Motorboat) it spirals off in a different direction. I wasn't too happy at the choice of ‘exploring lots of dark underground canals’ Gameplay, but the pace successfully quickened toward the end, climaxing in a fun motorbike jump into the next level. It's all very much 'Levers ahoy!', but reasonably enjoyable all the same.” – Orbit Dream (10-Mar-2004)

“The theme is Venice here and nicely done. There is nothing original just the usual doors to open and levers. The bike is also used but the darkness was very irritating. I will never understand why people like do dark areas, apart from the fact that your eyes hurt it’s no fun to stumble on walls all the time. I liked seeing this kind of atmosphere again as I played the original games just a few months ago. The six secrets weren’t hard to find and if you don’t mind playing levels with pitch black areas then try this.” – Kristina (01-Sep-2003)

“We know all this, an exact replica of the start of the Venice level in the original game. But there are differences later on. I totally missed that trapdoor near the bike, and when I finally saw it, the level was very straightforward from there. That bike is put through its paces in an interesting way in the sewers underground. And I always love the swims in the canal, the jumps from balconies to awnings around the buildings. Ah the memories! Short nostalgic level.” – CC (07-Jun-2003)

“Another Venetian level from PWhirl, this one starts exactly like Venice from TR2, but after the gates to the sewers it becomes something very different (well, in TR2 we had the boat, so the whole level was in the water, in TR4 we don't have a boat, so the author used his creativity). I enjoyed it, even if its puzzles were too obvious and hey, it's the first level I play it's easier to find secrets than the correct path to the finish! No big deal, this level is easy and in 30 minutes or so you are done with it. However, I am still wondering about the ending of this level, maybe it's for a sequel?” – Treeble (21-Dec-2002)

“This level is not really a remake of the TR2 Venice. Only the first part is a re-built of it, with the same enemies in the same places. The central part of the game is an endless run across dark corridors, searching for the crowbar and the next switch to activate. I love TR2 and specially the Venice levels, so I've enjoyed the outdoor environment but the dark of the sewers was very annoying. Also, the sky texture (from city of the dead wad) don't match with the horizon; it would have been better with a ‘Coastal’ sky.” – Loupar (08-Dec-2002)

“The first 5 or so minutes of this level are the original Venice level recreated and it’s only when you get to the point where in the original you would drive the boat through the newly opened gate it changes. Instead of the boat you end up with a motorbike that you seem to take deeper and deeper into the sewers where you periodically must dismount to open many doors and pull quite a few levers, with one thankfully nice detour back to the surface looking for the feeder to the nitro. The game play for me was very simple and held nothing challenging and in fact became a little monotonous in the sewers, and although texturally the replicated beginning was faithfully done the rest of the level was repeated over and over again and the lighting in the sewers was just too annoyingly dark and maybe one or two lights or lit torches would have been a grateful sight. Taking me 40 minutes with 6 secrets found this in my opinion is a level mainly suited to the diehard Venice fans more than anything.” – Sash (21-Jun-2002)

“Starting out as a great replica of the Venice levels this turns out to be 50 minutes of really entertaining raiding. Even though the sewers you explore are rather dark and gloomy and even though gameplay is mostly the usual lever/door combinations, I did enjoy the use of the bike with which you end the level through a final jump, the inevitable balcony hopping and the six secrets I found. Some dogs, some SAS and some bats to deal with. Good fun!” – Michael (21-Jun-2002)

“Well, I thought this was a brilliant attempt at recreating the atmosphere of Tomb Raider 2 and I thoroughly enjoyed this level.” – Torry (21-Jun-2002)

“Most of this level is not really Venetian but takes place in underground areas which are kept dark and moody. The end is also quite uneventful (jumping with the bike over a ramp). There are many, many levers to pull, which gets a little boring, so for me this was really more of a standard level. Secrets are plenty around but they are easy to find and do not reward you with anything special. Not a must-play level, but try it for yourself.” - Qwendo (21-Jun-2002)

“A fantastic recreation of some parts of the Venice level from TR2 and some bits of his own to make sure of some originality. Some places are too dark and some sneaky bits that make you think.” - TrueRaider (21-Jun-2002)

“The level starts out as the Venice level from TR2, only spookier and more menacing. It was textured the same as Venice, too. The puzzles were also the same as the ones in the level. I see this in a bad eye; the author could make a great and different Venice level, I didn't need a Venice duplicate. Besides, between the two levels, the original wins.” - Yonatan (21-Jun-2002)

“Except for a few small changes, the first few areas are an exact replica of the Venice level from TR 2, which I really enjoyed as that is my favorite TR game. Then it goes underground into some dark sewers and I didn't enjoy that area nearly as much. I know that in real life a sewer would be pitch black, but this isn't real life and I would have liked a lot more light instead of the many pitch-black areas I found. After all, there probably wouldn't be a motorcycle or a group of fully armed soldiers in the sewer either. Gameplay is mostly opening doors and pulling levers but I had to have a flare lit constantly throughout the majority of the level. Finally, towards the end it goes back outside to a charming little Venice canal with some nice little villas and some balcony hopping. The outside areas looked great and were a lot of fun - it would have been great if the whole level were like that. I found heaps of pickups including six secrets that helped take care of the soldiers and bats.” – RaiderGirl (21-Jun-2002)

“Very nice recreation of the Venice level from Tomb Raider II, my favorite scenario from that game. But don’t think it is just a simple replica, as it includes a few add-ons. I particularly like the sewers, very well textured and appropriately lit. It reminds me of the sewers in the Rome levels of TR Chronicles, very creepy. Overall modeling is well done, as the replica parts are almost identical to the original and the new ones are very realistic. Too bad the breakable windows are not there. With a custom WAD and a couple of downloads it would be possible by now. Gameplay is not very difficult but it includes some interesting puzzles and cool action. Overall a very nice level that should be checked out. Download it!” – Phabius Phodes (21-Jun-2002)

“Awesome, I always loved the Venice levels and this mixes the new with the old absolutely amazing. The only real thing that could be improved was the cameras, you have to press the look button to return to gameplay. But other wise I really liked it, it was not overly difficult but it was still challenging. The sewers were a nice addition to the old. I was reading the comment about it being to dark in areas and can say that only sewers were dark and I don't think sewers are well lit.” - Android (21-Jun-2002)

“I am a big TR2-Fan and this level really made me feel like being in Venice again, especially at the start. All is rebuilt, textures are the same. Very nice. And although I usually don't like levels that base on the city WAD, I preferred playing this one - maybe for its moderate difficulty level. Objects like medipacks and ammo are sufficient. I can't even remember any nasty traps - thanks for that. :-) All in all I can say this level is nothing exclusive, but fun to play. The only thing I missed was some more cameras. So grab the bike and find your way out there!” – Sheevah (21-Jun-2002)

“It's nice to be back in Venice and it starts out with an atmosphere that matches the charme of the original but that can't diguise the fact that the gameplay is yet another level/door mania that gets very tedious after a while. The motorbike ride is good fun and the one detour where you have to get the pipe for the nitro is a true highlight but all the other stuff is a bit boring. I found many secrets without really trying and only the first bat attack was a bit of a thrill, otherwise the enemies were placed in a rather lacklustre fashion. On the other hand, it's pretty fast paced, it won't take you too long and there are some good moments in there so just for old times sake you should visit the Grand Canale again.” – Dimpfelmoser (21-Jun-2002)
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