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Level: SAS Stakeout back home search
Author(s): Pwhirl
total rating:7.10 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
alan 6 7 7 7
CC 7 7 8 8
Ceamonks890 3 3 4 5
Dimpfelmoser 6 6 9 9
eTux 5 4 5 4
Gerty 8 7 9 9
Jay 6 6 7 8
Jose 5 6 7 7
Kristina 6 6 7 7
Loupar 6 7 8 7
Magnus 7 7 7 7
Mehrbod 7 7 7 7
MichaelP 8 7 9 10
Orbit Dream 6 6 9 8
Phil 8 8 8 8
RaiderGirl 8 7 9 9
Ryan 6 7 7 8
Sash 7 7 7 8
Torry 8 7 9 9
Treeble 6 7 8 8
Yoav 8 8 9 9
category averages
(21 reviews)
6.52 6.52 7.62 7.71

Reviewer's comments

"A pretty good remake of the original TR2 Venice level! I have to admit the object substitution between TR4 slots and TR2 slots was cunningly done, although due to the limitations of the classic TRLE engine, this was almost everything the builder could offer us. I really enjoyed playing this amazing TR2-ish game. Recommended. Thank you!" - Mehrbod (15-Feb-2019)

"This is the continuation of the author's previous level: Return to Venice. In TR2, after finishing Venice, Bartoli's Hideout follows, and it happens the same here. It's like a remake of the level with new areas added. The only enemies you'll find here, as the title says, will be SAS soldiers. You get weapons, medipacks and flares so it won't be difficult. The funniest and oddest part was when I found Lara's doppelgänger, but she disappeared after you got away from her. Cameras and music are well used. I only found 1 secret and finished in 35 minutes. Some doors remained closed for me, but I guess there were secrets there. I liked this one more than the author's previous offering." - alan (30-Sep-2017)

"This is a nice and relatively simple Venetian level, eerily reminiscent of the original Bartoli's Hideout. The gameplay is incredibly easy and non-taxing, so newbie players should have no problem with this. Thankfully it's brighter than the builder's other Venice levels so I enjoyed this one more. No masterpiece, but quite fun." - Ryan (30-Jan-2017)

"This is practically the same as 'Return to Venice' in terms of overall quality and general concept, only its set in TR2's Bartoli's Hideout level this time around. So if the earlier aforementioned release was up your alley before, then this is essentially more of the same. Wouldn't recommend this to anyone but fans of shooters personally." - Ceamonks890 (28-Jun-2015)

"Part of this revel is the same than the original, but there are many custom areas. The level itself was boring for me 'cause there are not puzzles to solve, there is sometimes a lot of backtracking and the only tasks you are doing along the entire level consist about pulling levers and kill SASs and dogs once in a while. Also it's not real that Lara can trespass solid windows. The best were the cameras and musics. If you're a shooter, it's a level for you." - Jose (20-Apr-2015)

"There certainly are a lot of SAS to deal with in this level, but at least the setting is Venice so there's a certain amount of eye candy to be had also. This pretty much carries on where the author's previous Venice level left off and, apart from battling SAS, the action is fairly gentle - no puzzles or timed runs - so suitable for all players, especially given the generous amount of guns and medipacks available. The only thing that might confuse is the fact that, despite the fact that windows can't be shot out, Lara can pass through them anyway. Hmmm." - Jay (16-Apr-2015)

"Similarly as the first Venice level of the author, a part of this one is essentially a remake of an original game - Bartoli's Hideout in this case. You can actually continue playing from Return to Venice with both levels installed. The only difference I noticed is that Lara starts the game in a different place depending on whether you continue from the first level or start this straight from the script, but the difference was not too big for me to feel like I was missing out, and I wanted to take advantage of the countless goodies collected before and thus could breeze through the game here with no major problems. The author's reluctance or inability to conjure up an original script results in an interesting bug where the mirror line from the Coastal Ruins level will allow you to meet a clone of Lara's somewhere closer to the end of the level, and while it does lose some professionalism points, it doesn't hurt the game too much. The walk-through windows were definitely an oddity too, and the gameplay could be spiced up a little more, but overall this was an improvement from the author's debut and while not too memorable as far as Venice levels go, worth a go if you want something relatively simple." - eTux (08-Jan-2010)

"This is one of those delightful gems, a diamond in the rough, that I stumbled across (6/04) while hunting for walkthrough fodder. It's fairly short (I played the level and wrote the walkthrough in a 12-hour period while doing lots of other things) but it has everything that I enjoy in a Tomb Raider level: Nice scenery, varied tasks and enemies sensibly placed, and logical gameplay. You have to go out of your way to get that last secret, but the builder provides such a neat hint in that ceiling trapdoor that you just have to explore further and drain every last drop of goodness from this fun experience. It won't win any awards, but I recommend it highly, especially for the beginning raider who's intimidated by some of the more complicated productions. Play it if you haven't already done so." - Phil (05-Jun-2005)

"Who would have thought that this would be my 1000th level to review. And what a nice little gem it was. Venice and although not one of my favorites this was much easier than the original. The beginning does look remarkable like TR II. What I had to do with the bike was beyond me as you can do everything on foot but after playing Return to Venice it made sense. Here you have to find levers and the enemies are the one you would expect in here. What did take a while to comprehend were the windows one could walk through instead of shooting. All in all it was fun. Puzzling was the mirrored Lara what was she doing in here is this done on purpose and what was the meaning? But apart from that give it a go I was mighty surprised when I reached the finishing trigger as I could have gone on raider much more. Found 2 secrets. 03-05-2004" - Gerty (03-May-2004)

"Charming atmosphere and a well-constructed layout combine to make this an entertaining level. Gameplay on the other hand is a little mundane. The level begins as a re-visit of the Bartoli level from TR2 (with additional spirited slaughter courtesy of the motorbike) before moving off into a Venice of book-filled reading rooms and dark crawl spaces. There was one exquisitely surreal moment (possibly unintended) when Lara came face to face with herself; but this was generally speaking a fun and smooth-flowing journey through bright and (on the whole) peaceful Venetian backwaters." - Orbit Dream (13-Mar-2004)

"Actually this level reminds me of the Bartoli's Hideout level from TR2. Nice level with textures of Venice. Lara visits a new house and place. The atmosphere gives me good feeling and I enjoyed to play." - Yoav (16-Feb-2004)

"I think I had enough with the Venice setting. This continues with the same atmosphere as the previous levels and yet again we get SAS to kill and levers to pull. I am not saying it doesn't look good but there are no real puzzles and seeing the same textures all over again isn't that good. Anyway try it out and better play it as a sequel." - Kristina (01-Sep-2003)

"SAS Stakeout is based in Bartoli's Hideout from TR2 but without the best rooms (the chandeliers room my favourite) It hasn't enough action and the secrets are rather easy to find. There are no puzzles only switches (with a well done camera work). After 50 minutes of net gaming and four secrets found the feeling is like playing TR2 and I loved TR2: a good work." - Loupar (30-May-2003)

"I love Venice levels and here we are back at Bartoli's Hideout to finish the job off and do some more searching. You'll recognise the place straight away. This time though keep a sharp lookout for crawlspaces. You recognise the shootable windows from the original game but this time you can just run through them. I liked the additional little canal where the old shed-like house was in the original game and the extra rooms inside. There was one door in a fireplace I turned the fire off somewhere else but when I got back to the fireplace the door was still not opened and after doing a few more things I went back and the fire was burning again. So I really don't know what happened here perhaps it's a secret I didn't get. I have a feeling I missed some other stuff as well. It would be worth it to go through the level again and see. You get a lot of ammo and guns but all you need to shoot are guards and dogs and what the crossbow was for I haven't a clue. Great stuff if you're a Venice fan. I'd love someone to make an enormous Venice level so I could wallow for hours in it." - CC (01-May-2003)

"Forget what the title suggests as there are only a few of the black clad men to dispose of. This is a meander through those very familiar Venice canals of Tomb Raider 2 fame and the author brought it off quite well. The similarities were there but there were also differences to make this re-visit an almost new experience. In the 45 minutes the level lasts I located four secrets whilst trying to find the final exit. The atmosphere and the textures were very very good and for all you nostalgia buffs I recommend this level highly." - Torry (12-Oct-2002)

"A bit of nostalgia. A return to one classic TR2 level: Bartoli's Hideout. With a few modifications this remake turned out into a totally new level keeping the same start points the big houses and adding new rooms later. This level is very good perfect for every TR2/Venice level style fans. However there were a lot of doors that would open only with a crowbar that I didn't find so they are still closed. I wonder if there was a way to open them though. The new rooms are basically a 'carbon copy' of the older ones - for instance the area with the house floating on the river was copied and I was a bit confused when I swam to it (I thought I was swimming in circles! LOL). After 35 minutes the level was finished but with all those closed doors I think I missed something. Also the puzzles could vary a little more mostly they were the classic find-switch-open-door-find-another-switch but with jump switches. ;)" - Treeble (22-Sep-2002)

"The Venice levels are some of my favorite from the original games so I really enjoyed the 45 minutes I spent here not only searching for hidden levers and switches but swimming in the canals jumping from awning to awning and finding the four secrets and the well placed crowbar. Despite the name there are actually very few guards to shoot along with a few dogs so shooting is only a minor part of the level. The author has done a great job of building and texturing the Venice canals the music adds to the atmosphere without being intrusive and the camera work is helpful in showing what the switches do. The action stays constant during the level but it's never hard - nothing tricky here just a good time remembering an old favorite." - RaiderGirl (28-Jul-2002)

"Even though this is an almost perfect replica of parts of the Venice level it had just enough difference to make it interesting in its own right. Being not a huge fan of pure shoot 'em ups I was happily surprised that this level wasn't overrun with SAS men in fact a couple more would have been okay. The game play besides shooting consisted mainly of finding some levers to progress as well as locating 3 not too difficult to find secrets which took me around 40 minutes but along the way there were a couple of things that were a little odd you are able to run through certain windows and in one spot there was a bizarre Lara reflection that was obviously a design mistake but otherwise this is quite fun just a shame there was no speedboat!" - Sash (21-Jun-2002)

"A revival of the Venice atmosphere at its best. Flawless texturing and lighting brings you back to the good old times. The gameplay matches the original TR level but therefore misses out a little on new and surprising ideas. Many many SAS to kill as the title suggests a few well hidden secrets to find and maybe just too many medipacks lying around to make it a real challenge. In absence of a shootable window you can walk through some of them in this level which I found strange and would maybe rather have not put a window at all. Despite that one little problem this level will offer you about an hour of entertainment." - Michael (21-Jun-2002)

"This is a nice level with many SAS-men to kill. The level is set in Venice the texturing is good and the lighting too. It's possible to walk through certain windows. I found four secrets and way too many medipacks." - Magnus (21-Jun-2002)

"Is it just me or did that level rush past just like that?! As it is with most cover versions this spree in Venice basically makes you wanna go back and revisit the original. The atmosphere is truly remarkable and it made me aware that the Venice adventure from TR 2 is one of my all time favourites. Sadly enough the gameplay doesn't match the superb texturing as it is a rather easy sprint from lever to lever with the opening doors in between. I bet you can work out for yourself what kind of enemies you get there are no puzzles to speak of and the many pick ups seem utterly pointless. Still it feels really good to run along the Italian canals and though this mission left me somewhat unsatisfied it's fun while you're there. I wish someone would come up with a good storyline and challenging gameplay in a setting like this. It would be a true winner." - Dimpfelmoser (21-Jun-2002)
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