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BtB2010 - The Heart of Venice by Die Basis

Bene 9 9 10 10
Bogey 8 9 9 9
Cory 9 9 9 9
Cosmos 8 8 9 9
Dany 10 10 10 10
Dick 9 10 10 10
DJ Full 7 7 8 9
dmdibl 9 8 8 9
Dutchy 9 9 10 10
eRIC 8 8 9 10
eTux 9 8 9 8
Eva 10 9 9 10
Gerty 8 8 9 9
Jack& 7 7 7 9
jawi 8 8 8 9
Jay 8 8 9 9
JesseG 9 9 9 9
John 8 9 8 9
Jorge22 9 9 10 10
Jose 9 9 9 9
Josey 9 10 10 10
Kat 8 9 9 9
Magnus 7 7 7 8
manarch2 8 8 9 9
masha 10 10 10 10
MichaelP 9 8 9 8
Minox 8 9 9 8
Mman 9 9 9 9
Mytly 8 9 10 10
nerdfury 7 7 8 9
Orbit Dream 8 8 9 9
Phil 8 9 9 9
Relic Hunter 9 9 10 9
repley 8 10 9 10
rtrger 8 9 9 10
Ruben 10 9 9 9
Ryan 9 9 9 10
Scottie 7 8 9 9
sharnilal 10 10 10 10
TheStig 9 9 9 9
totizedger 9 8 9 8
Treeble 8 8 9 9
release date: 01-Jan-2010
# of downloads: 124

average rating: 8.85
review count: 42
review this level

file size: 42.38 MB
file type: TR4
class: Venice

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"This is exactly the kind of venice level i was hoping to play and i got my wish i love it. its got great varied and fun gameplay set in a gorgeous location with great atmosphere and textures. lots of in and out of houses and buildings to higher levels for more fun platforming, fun puzzles and death defying leaps across canals on to tricky ledges. i loved the water skin puzzle, the torch puzzle and cool tasks such as the bell ringing, zip lining and finding a hidden item in that stunning pool room. theres also pushable items a few traps to avoid like metal blades and fire as well as a few foes such a dogs, bad guys and a sea witch in the final water room. its really is a lovely place to explore around and find secrets as well, i liked the relaxing exploration of this level so much i cant wait to play more venice levels like this one" - John (03-Sep-2021)
"(7) Gameplay & Puzzles: I didn't initially have a very good first gameplay impression, with Lara struggling to get out of the water in 2 separate spots in the first canal. I don't know why the builder designed this to be so cumbersome. What follows are many straight-forward tasks, using levers and finding keys. The level does get non-linear at one point, but the straight-forwardness remains and I would have liked to have seen more gameplay that makes you stop to think. I do feel like the gameplay was "gimmicky" at times and I will explain further in the objects section. The level was still enjoyable, though. One may think that the level is suitable for beginners due to the straight-forward problem-solving, but there's actually a few challenging platforming sequences involving curved jumps. (7) Enemies, Objects & Secrets: Just a few enemies, and I enjoyed the use of the underwater demigirl final boss. Object decor was very well done, although I have some "gimmicky" issues with some objects pertaining to gameplay: an 8-click high raising platform, with no indication that is it climbable for Lara; a switch that you have to use multiple times depending on the stopping position of a blade trap; an invisible block over the fire elemental altar which prevents you from using it despite looking accessible from one side; and hiding a yellow key in a golden chandelier (it's almost invisible), which I never would have guessed if I had not played One day in Venice. I am not a fan of super sneaky tiny keys inside objects of a similar color. If I want that kind of stuff for gameplay, I'll go and play a hidden object game. (8) Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The builder demonstrated high skill in architecture and the buildings never looked "flat". While the room design was very attractive (particularly in the small church), I didn't feel so hot about the overall atmosphere due to the builder's use of an ugly orange sky, as well as green canal water. These colors just rubbed me the wrong way; I wouldn't use an orange sky as a backdrop to orange buildings, and the intensity of the sky makes the environment look un-serene. I come to Venice for serene adventures, dammit. Sounds and music were good, and the builder does provide ample static camera hints, however the level is really lacking in flybys to build immersion. A shame, because the beautiful architecture is just screaming for flybys. (9) Lighting & Textures: The builder knows what he is doing here; it's a well-lit, beautiful level (minus the sky). There were a very small number of misshapen textures indoors but not a big deal. Overall, it's a good level, but the gameplay wasn't really to my tastes, with no memorable/innovative tasks. 7/7/8/9." - nerdfury (19-Mar-2021)
"It's just awesome. Just don't judge it by how hard it is to get out of the water at the beginning (you gotta swim into the corner crevice's so lara stands up, but you will fail a bunch before you get it). After that you will play a beautiful and very nicely constructed and most importantly, ENJOYABLE TRLE." - Dany (04-Mar-2020)
"I had so much trouble to get out of the water at the start and you had to do this a couple of times, that just ruined the fun a bit. But that aside the level on its own is nice looking and fun to explore. There are scales you have to fill and finding the needed objects is also fun. I still think that that key on top of the chandeliers is one of the best hiding places, especially if you don’t want anyone else to find it than Lara. Glad I found the Shotgun as by that time I sure could use it." - Gerty (11-Sep-2017)
"Wow, this level looked good. The textures have been put to great use to create a nice environment. Gameplay is more involved than the last entry. Not too many enemies. A high tier entry." - Ryan (14-Mar-2016)
"Such a spectacular level. What makes this level so good is the fast paced gameplay combined with nice tasks for example pouring the wine and the demigod battle. It is a very easy level but it has some tricky jumps which may be a problem for beginners. What i really liked about it is that you don't get stuck and don't have to run around like a headless chicken until you eventually find what you are looking for. The surroundings are very authentic and really make you feel like you are there. If i have to mention something bad about it then perhaps it's at the beginning where you have to get out of the water because of Lara refusing to get out if not done in a certain way. I definetly recommend this level and i'm sure you will have a good time here." - totizedger (03-Jun-2014)
"My second belated expedition through BtB2010, I found this one to be slightly less linear but still rather easy to navigate. There was only one moment I was stuck, not having realized I could push the cross in the cemetery, but other than that I was running to and fro without having difficulty determining where I was or where I should go. By the zipline there was a rooftop area where you could reach the end of the world, I just assumed that wasn't the intended way and went back to the zipline -- however, from up there I did spot one secret I never got to by other means. The underwater demigod boss in the end was also a rather unusual touch before we get to the all too literal Heart of Venice. 60 minutes, 2 secrets. 09/13" - Treeble (01-Mar-2014)
"'The Heart of Venice' centres on a massive central hub area, though it is split up into smaller subsections. Because of this, the level appeared to be quite daunting to traverse across, and felt slightly overwhelmed by the scale. None the less, I did get to know the level quite well, and I think 'Die Basis' has done a great job in creating a huge open space. It was quite a short adventure, so I felt this hub style of gameplay suited the level much better than if it were a linear 'get from a to b' level. I would have liked to think the entire level constitutes to one massive puzzle, sadly I thought some of the completely arbitrary lever pulling and key hunting got a bit in the way of this. I would prefer to see much more inventive ways to progress through a level, rather than finding a key to a locked door. Having said this, there were quite a few creative puzzles, particularly using the wine as fuel for the flame. It was also a very challenging level (a good thing), and found myself stuck on quite a few occasions, actually needing to use the guide for hints. The level was really finely polished, great use of textures, there wasn't too much to shoot at (another good thing) and I thought that there was a fair amount of pickups throughout. The level design itself was very impressive, and I felt immersed into the setting. Great job!" - Cosmos (23-Feb-2014)
"Possibly the smallest of this BtB edition I have played so far, a bit empty (I think such a great wad requires greater object variety - all in all, Venice is much more than several gondolas, arcades and trapdoors) and also really easy (with stats time only a bit shorter than real time in front of the screen) - but still spacious, warm and relaxing because of being set almost totally in sunny outdoor (however when the ending prompts us to descend into the sewers, lighting changes accordingly). Only several items take part in pickup setup, possibly with element parts being half of all - but among them, a sack on the cross is a very creative touch, along with underwater demigod fight and a purpose given to birds flying in circles. SUMMARY: When everything else fails to relax me, I pick a Venice level and it usually works, just like in this case. Pleasant and recommended, despite of relatively low numbers given." - DJ Full (20-Jun-2013)
"Isn't it odd that I can generally manage to get all the way through a Custom Level without any need for assistance;but should I ever get stuck and need the help of a Walkthrough(even though it may be just the once)I subsequently find it almost impossible to get Lara to take two consecutive steps for the remainder of the Level without the need to read up on what to do next. In this level,for instance,I was doing just fine for three-quarters of the duration until I came to a tricky jump sequence and needed to consult the crib sheet to see if I was about to do the right thing.I was,but from that moment onward the level became inexplicably complicated and without the aid of the Walkthrough I would quite probably have been wandering around futilely for the rest of the day. In retrospect,it's all pretty sequential(aside from the somewhat convoluted burning wine puzzle)and contains a logical flow.The three successive Venetian areas are explored in their entirety;the challenges are rarely hard to accomplish;and it's all fairly peaceful.Lighting and textures are beautifully done;cameras are used helpfully;and the atmosphere is always immersive and occasionally quite charming.It manages to build to a good show-down Finale,and is altogether a rewarding and pleasurable experience. Try and avoid using the Walkthrough,though;I'm sure you'll cope perfectly well." - Orbit Dream (21-Nov-2012)
""The Heart of Venice" is a very beautiful entry to this year's BtB with a great atmopshere and a nice gameplay. The beginning may be a little odd with Lara facing a wall in a narrow corridor but as soon as you get outside this level has a nice atmosphere with the greenish water and a nicely textured Venice. At the start it's rather hard to process since you hav to get up on a ledge in the water, Lara often refuses to go up there and rather wants to swim a little more, but afterwards this level turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable raid. The tasks that need to be done here are often very small and done in a few minutes, but there are plenty of them and everything is much fun. At one point this level grew a little too big for me as there were a lot of areas to explore and it was easy to get lost. Element puzzles are as nice as mirror rooms, and this game had both included, so I was happy. The game involved many tricky jumps across some balconies but after a while it was a little boring as they were more or less the same (run- jumping over some railings). The three secrets in this level were nicely hidden; there were only few enemies in this level, you need to pick up as much shotgun ammo as possible though for the boss fight preparations - really clever - a demigod in a pool. I liked that idea very much and it really isn't so health-consuming when you think a bit before swimming around like a headless chicken. All in all I had much fun the 45 minutes I spent here - highly recommended!" - manarch2 (18-Jan-2012)
"Another very good level, there are several places with channels to explore thoroughly for to advance. There is a jump to a balcony who is not very easy to do but overall not too difficult tasks for Lara, maybe the final task, eliminate the devil to gain access to the final exit.Congratulations." - Minox (28-Feb-2011)
"Eager to please is an expression I saw used describing one of the original BTB levels in the duration of that particular competition, and it seems very appropriate to recycle it for this level. Apart from a few rather sneaky moments, nothing here is really overwhelmingly difficult and it flows well making the level a joy to play. Set around an area of 3 courtyards that open up gradually for you to explore, the next task is usually a few steps away and most of the genuine stuck moments usually lock Lara up in the area till you solve it, thus avoiding more frustration to creep in. The sneaky moments usually involve unorthodox placements of objects, and while most of them are never too far out there (a key on a chandelier, walkthrough curtains), the placement of wine and the ashes, for instance, was not that intuitive and maybe a bit too clever for its own good. The only other odd gameplay moment is the raising block on which's side you can climb on. I liked the placement of the 3 secrets, but I personally would've liked them to be a bit more rewarding than a mere rose pickup. There aren't too many opponents here, so this ends up more on the 'relaxing' end of the spectrum, but the underwater battle with the witch in the end was a clever touch. The looks are overall well done with warm, inviting lighting, clean texturing (bar the odd misplaced or squashed texture) and the author taking the trouble to build some areas that are just there for the looks - thus giving you a feeling that this actually is part of a bigger area. The only criticism regarding that would be - that sometimes these areas looked a bit odd when taking a more observant look at them in context of the other areas (for example, the roof of one house had an odd shape that looked like 1/4 of the regular pyramid shaped roofs) and at least once you were confronted with the end of the world in shape of Lara bumping her head into the ceiling whilst en route to one of the secrets, which harmed the feeling of being immersed a bit. But all in all - nothing serious and certainly nothing that should hold you back from exploring this lovely rendition of the Venice theme for yourself." - eTux (28-Jan-2011)
"Although “The Heart of Venice” title isn’t very good, the level itself turned out to be a great experience. Player moves around big city area in which he finds a plenty of jumping elements, key & switch finding and puzzles. At the end there is a final boss fight and after it, I thought ‘That’s already the end?! What a pity that the level isn’t longer.’ The level is so enjoyable that you won’t see where it ended. Why is it so nice? I think it’s partly because of good, friendly atmosphere, partly because of nice architecture and texturing which is really well done (I found only one badly put texture!) and partly because of nice fluent gameplay. I looked at the walkthrough one or two times during the game so it was quite simple. But I don’t mind ;-). The only bad thing I could say about this level, that there was too small quantity of flyby cameras. Overall, great level if you just want to relax and enjoy the atmosphere of Venice canals at sunset. Congratulations to the author!" - jawi (08-Aug-2010)
"A high standard entry here all round. Well textured, superbly lit, and a nice non linear quality which gets the balance just right. Everything is sufficiently spread out that you have to do some searching, while at the same time not being so far streched that you find yourself confused over where to go next. The author definately has the gameplay mechanics on this one just right. There wearnt legions of guys too shoot either, and I liked meeting the 'entity' at the end of the level in the water (nice and different touch)." - TheStig (02-May-2010)
"Another very good level from this BtB. There are three big areas to explore, and the level is no lineal, but you'll not need to return to the same places once the tasks are done, so the gameplay was good. I only was disoriented when raising the platform after got the mask 'cause I couldn't suppose that it was climbable, but the rest of the level was not difficult, and very entertaining. Very well textured, perhaps few enemies for my taste, I only found the shotgun near the very end. Very recommended to play." - Jose (01-Mar-2010)
"Such a good looking and friendly level! I really enjoyed making my way through here, as your next key task is rather clear most of the times (thanks to very helpful camera work), yet the tasks are so diverse and well constructed into the environment that it never gets boring or tedious. A few sneaky jumps are included, a mirror room and the whole work to pour and light the wine is nicely complex. Another uniqe element is the use of the demigod enemy underwater - very clever. The climbable raising block was a bit of an odd looking choice and could easily have been avoided. I missed out completely on the secrets, so I guess I will have to be back for those another time. (50 mins, 0/3 secrets found)." - MichaelP (01-Mar-2010)
"Another level with beautiful lighting and architecture, and relaxing, fluent gameplay. I really like levels such as One Day in Venice, and The Heart of Venice because of excellent balance between outdoor and indoor exploration. However, THoV could be a little more difficult, there is no any challenges or memorable moments, so it’s actually very easy and short. Fortunately the secrets are hidden very well, and it’s easy to miss them. The gameplay is actually linear; the main outdoor areas are big and free to explore, but you can’t proceed further if you haven’t found important lever or button before. On the other hand it prevents from unnecessary backtracking. All in all, very good and solid BtB entry, recommended!" - Kat (01-Mar-2010)
"Man, I'd hate to be one of the three doves that are perpetually flying around in circles to mark the spot where the Heart of Venice is hidden. They have a way harder job than Lara. But to be fair, this is a pretty easy level. A lot of the gameplay revolves around running back and forth to pull switches to open doors, and getting to them is rarely a problem. If you spot a keyhole, the key is always nearby, and you're not likely to get stuck. That said, as simple as the level is, it's mostly fun, and it's nice to see an author that actually tries to lead the player through the level, instead of trying to get them to get stuck constantly. The gameplay has a certain flow to it that I've been missing in a lot of the Back to Basics levels this year. The level looks nice, with overall nice texturing and lighting. There are some textural and architectural oddities in a few places, but nothing that really takes away from the overall impression. This thirty-five-minute level isn't the worst Back to Basics level, nor is it the best. But it's a pretty good level that's not too taxing, and you could do a lot worse." - Magnus (28-Feb-2010)
"This level features a large outdoor area, but it has a simple layout, so the risk of getting lost is not so big. Still, I didn't quite know what to do a some point, and one switch took a while to find. Also, a few items were somewhat difficult to find. There are many quite tricky movements to perform, but otherwise, there are few interesting challenges. Still, I though that it was a very fun level to play." - Bogey (27-Feb-2010)
"As the penultimate visit to Venice's locales, The Heart of Venice stays the course with much of the lineup as it provides another wonderful adventure. There is a wonderfully built city to explore with much to do. While initially orienting yourself on the right path may be a slight challenge, the level has a relaxing, linear flow while packing some combat, nice puzzles, and a great sense of exploration. The city looks great, laid out with nice landmarks and put together with excellent texturing and room design. Cameras are used well to point the player in the right direction, and the use of sound evokes a very pleasant atmosphere. Worthy of mention is the level's boss fight, putting creative use of the demigod that requires some thought to slay the beast, which is very welcome from the usual crouching exploit involved in killing them. This isn't a very difficult level, yet I would have liked it to have some more difficult tasks sprinkled throughout. I also felt that the lighting was a tad too bright for the sky that was chosen. This one is another winner, a level with excellent craftsmanship clocking in at a little less than 50 minutes." - Relic Hunter (27-Feb-2010)
"A very well constructed level showing forth all the features of good TRLE raiding. This is the last level of all I have played of BtB 2010 but not the least interesting and well designed. For the first time the notorious witch that is in truth a warped demigod must be put away in open combat and not by the "how to kill a demigod" version of a well known bug in the Editor. The author has provided enough ammo and the mighty shotgun for the event , so Lara returns victorious from battle and picks up the Heart of Venice in which this wonderful little adventure ends." - Ruben (16-Feb-2010)
"A very enjoyable level. Some points where I had to check the forum to get a tip, but not too much. Good use of puzzles and not too many enemies that's how I like it. The architecture was really great, lighting well used. I never used a Flare in this level and still it didn't feel too bright. Hoped for a timed run to the block where you had to shoot a bell. Would have been a nice addition there. No further remarks as I liked it all. The secrets weren't too much of a challenge." - Dutchy (13-Feb-2010)
"Every level that I play makes me even more impressed with the quality this year. It plays very well, never being too difficult, although there are several tough jumps. It is construct so that the gameplay fits in with the architecture. Enemies are few, however, the boss fight was one of the cleverest that I have seen, as you cannot crouch underneath her. I was unable to find any secrets (for the first time I think), and objects were used nicely. The atmosphere and sounds were good, however, there was a lack in cameras, especially flybys. I feel that they should have been used to enhance the beauty of the level. It was textured nicely, however, I feel that more care should have been taken in the inside area. A very good level, that is one of many examples of the stunning quality of this year's competition." - Cory (11-Feb-2010)
"This is a nice-looking level, most of which takes place outdoors, but for sheer beauty my favorite remains One Day in Venice. The first part of the level seems rather easy, with camera clues galore pointing you in the next direction. Near the end, however, I was stumped by that curved jump to a balcony where you have to clear a railing and you have insufficient room in which to maneuver. This was the first time during the BtB competition where I felt obliged to enable the flycheat so I could proceed, but that's nobody's fault but mine. Right after that, the ZIP line wouldn't respond when the action key was pushed, so I had to fly down and pick up the torch. (However, when I went back the next day and tried again, it inexplicably worked that time.) Those experiences didn't leave a very good taste in my mouth as I finished the level. Still, the lighting throughout is superb and the game for the most part is quite attractive and engaging. A certain top-tier finisher in this year's competition." - Phil (08-Feb-2010)
"This is a beautiful level, well built and beautifully realised. I can't fault the use of textures nor the lighting and this builder has created an environment with a very different feel from the other BtB2010 levels I have played so far. I feel this builder really understands the way this game should be played, and has left a lot of room for discovery and exploration without overdoing the enemies. There are sufficient clues and and the next move is nearly always obvious, Although I didn't find all the secrets, I thoroughly enjoyed playing this level and wished there were more out there like this. I can't recommend this one highly enough. I look forward to playing more games from whoever this builder turns out to be." - sharnilal (04-Feb-2010)
"This is a fantastic and very beautiful level. It ties with One day in Venice to be my favourite in this year's BtB. And I would say it's the best looking level in the competition. Can't really fault the gameplay either but maybe ODIV had a bit more ingenuity in that department. The secrets offer an additional challenge with some of them tantalisingly on view." - Dick (04-Feb-2010)
"Very very nice level, with agreeable light ambiente, very funny gameplay, few enemies and very clever riddles. It plays in 3 areals with a lot of wunderful houses and water places. The riddles are multifaceted and never boring. Textures and lighting are absolutely perfect - no cracks, no breaks. Bravo! This is a first level of the contest without cracks. Sound was very nice and ever fit. Cameras were very helping and flybys very nice. Result: You must play it! Very good level." - masha (03-Feb-2010)
"well a venice level with usual water canals /buildings to be explored . some tricky jumps but nothing realy special ......... beside i find it very short ... u need to find wine/ bag off sand and waterskin and use each to gain acces at final room with a witch bitch after u kill her she leave the keys to open the grated door take the hearth and after that suddenly the game end abrupt somehow ......... well not bad one but nothing special ....." - Jack& (02-Feb-2010)
"Decent level. Finding a heart is the main objective. The gameplay is very easy, but a bit boring though. Anyway, the level is very-well built, nicely textured, looks very good. Killing the final boss is a bit hard. Overally it's a nice level that I can recommend for everyone. Not the best I've played so far but definitely worthy to play." - rtrger (02-Feb-2010)
"A large, outdoor level where you explore several Venetian canals and some of the surrounding buildings to get at the prized heart at the end. It took me about 50 minutes, somewhat shorter than some other entries but highly packed with combat and puzzles as you solve 3 pedestals and perform some tricky jumps. Unfortunately there is no indication that a certain rising platform is climbable on one side, which threw me off for a bit. I also would have liked to have more heavy weaponry before the last part of the level, but I did appreciate all the healthpacks provided against the gunmen. Well done overall." - SSJ6Wolf (31-Jan-2010)
"Quite a pleasant, player-friendly, colourful level that doesn't bet on too many mafiosi for a (nice) change. It's mostly about finding your more or less non-linear way around three main areas with buildings and canals, solving a few cool puzzles and fighting a masked Venetian ghost in the water near the end. You may get stuck occasionaly, as I did, but that's probably because of some lack of attention. Personally, I would have added at least one timed run when Lara raises a block so she can shoot a bell, but the level doesn't get worse because of that. I rather liked it." - Jorge22 (30-Jan-2010)
"The start opens out into a large area, and you go from there; the layout is quite non-linear and cleverly bases itself around a few canal type areas, leading to a lot of interlinking areas and revisiting areas in very different ways. The amount of stuff in the level makes it pretty challenging, and one key is "hidden" in such a way I can't decide whether to regard it as a good or bad thing. Several of the other BTB2010 level I've played seemed to spam enemies all over the place so it's also nice to play a level that's uses them rarely, and there's a very unique Demigod fight.
The atmosphere is pulled off very well, and it's one of the most consistently "Venice" feeling levels atmospherically so far. The texturing and lighting is very good outside of a some strange texture choices in a few areas. Another great BTB2010 entry." - Mman (26-Jan-2010)
"I do not know so surely what I should hold from this level. On the one hand he is well built and has many great riddles. On the other hand, there were quite a lot of places which I have not liked at all. For example, there were at the level beginning two places at which one could go out of the water. Indeed, the level builder has made it needlessly difficult to the players . One had to swim exactly under the water surface and had to go exactly on a small point. If one makes something wrong, one slides back into the water. Another problem is a key which lies on a chandelier. There he was to be seen only very difficult because the key had almost the same colour like the chandelier. Furthermore there was an important door which had the same colour like a texture door. The right door was thereby easy to overlook. These are in such a way little things which can make the players life miserable. But apart from that was this a well thought-out level which has absolutely given pleasure and had some nice riddles." - Scottie (20-Jan-2010)
"Visually very attractive level, with three connected major areas. But you have to open the connections between the areas first. A variety of puzzles is used to represent all, but there's nothing new. Both the mirror room, as well as the use of bottle and torch are fairly easy to solve. Nevertheless, it's fun to explore the areas where you need some jumping skills to get over the balconys. In addition it is worth to look for secrets, because you can enjoy wonderful views over really well-designed outdoor areas where birds flying around from there. There is a wonderfull friendly and welcoming atmosphere until the end down in a dark catacomb under Venice. There's a final battle to survive. Otherwise only a few enemies are distributed to intelligent points, less is sometimes more. The gameplay is not completely linear, you can perform certain actions in different order and can always reach all the places again. I like such a level structure very much. This level is recommended." - repley (20-Jan-2010)
"The city here is wonderful to look at, the streets and canals are exceptionally beautiful in their design. So, off you go to explore it all and step by step Lara opens up new areas in her search for the magical heart. I did especially like the element puzzle and the very nice high bridge that Lara gets to reach during the game and which offers a beautiful view across the city. The gameplay is diverse and I did especially like the jumps over the roofs and awnings, which were well conceived. A few enemies were easily tackled, except for the one witch that floated in the water and was therefore harder to kill than in the other levels." - Eva (17-Jan-2010)
"This level is quite a treat for the senses: a beautiful setting with great atmosphere and a very nice and suitable background track for the outdoor areas. The golden sunset glow of the outdoor areas is particularly lovely, and it's what single-handedly got perfect marks in the lighting and textures category from me. Of course, the textures are also very well used (though a large part of the credit for the stunningly beautiful textures and objects goes to Nadine and others who contributed to the BtB10 package). The architecture is lovely and quite realistic, with my particular favourite spot being the pretty little chapel.
Where the level falters is in the gameplay department. Gameplay isn't bad at all, but progression through the level is very non-linear. By about halfway through the level, you can access almost the whole map, after which each task involves trekking - or rather swimming - back and forth across it. The next step isn't always clear, and even when what's to be done is obvious, how to do it is completely obscure. Still, some of the puzzles are nicely done, especially the element scales one.
Enemies are suitably few - just a few thugs and a sea hag in a carnival mask as a final 'boss' of sorts. The secrets are quite well-hidden - I found only two of three.
I am glad I chose to play this level first in the BtB10 set - it's not quite as unique as some of the other ones, but it is nonetheless a very well-built and enjoyable level, which puts the BtB wad and textures to very good use." - Mytly (16-Jan-2010)
"At the beginning of this level, I almost despaired; it was very difficult for my Lara to climb out of the water... a task that she had to perform three times: one for a key, one for using the key, one for filling the waterskin. The remainder of the game was perfect, pure pleasure, with just the right ammount of difficulty, and it is obvious that its builder is both skilled and creative; but I won't give him/her full marks only because of those slippery, boring, unnecessary water edges... Nevertheless, I say: DON'T LOSE THIS GAME. IT'S A MUST." - Josey (14-Jan-2010)
"A solid level with large scale architecture and good game play. Except for a couple of rooms, such as the dark ending, the lighting is uniformly bright. There are lots of medipacks, but Lara has to use pistols throughout, including for ringing the bell. There is a shotgun at the end to deal with the fireball creature, but it isn't necessary. I've now played over half the Venice series, so have already seen the key on top a chandelier, where it is difficult to see--and it still gave Lara trouble here. This is really sneaky, so I suppose everyone will start using this in the future. It looked odd when Lara climbed the thin diagonal strut sides of the raised platform. In other levels, the raising platform was placed in a depression, so when it extended Lara could jump and pull up to the top. There was one jump over two sets of railings and into an alcove that took a few attempts, but the challenges are accessible to all. Very pleasant play, with tasks intelligently laid out over a large area. Finished in a little over an hour. Recommended." - dmdibl (09-Jan-2010)
"There aren't many enemies in this highly attractive part of Venice, but Lara doesn't get much of a rest for all that. It's quite an involved level and I did get a touch confused from time to time. It's very much a 'keep your eyes peeled' level and try to remember where you've been etc. I still haven't learned to make notes, but maybe you'll have more sense. I enoyed this a lot, but couldn't help be amused by Lara's choice of souvenir - an actual heart. Yuk." - Jay (07-Jan-2010)
"If the author has never been to Venice, I would be very much surprised; the birds(and their sounds), the lagoon, the larger body of water very much like the Grand Canal and the sounds of ringing bells, all reminiscent of one of the World's famous,favorite cities. Good puzzles and solutions. Especially the use of a sprinkler system to put out a fire and a very sneaky yellow key placement. There's a few tricky jumps that may call for several retries but nothing insurmountable. An exciting, unexpected finish with a rather nasty underwater creature throwing bolts at poor Lara but if the shotgun is found quickly enough all is well. All this without one timed run or timed platforms - who could resist? This one will stay in my memory as one of the outstanding contributions to BtB '10. Well done!" - Bene (07-Jan-2010)
"An imposing map where we can explore a great part of the city with large canals, which resemble to a big puzzle as the progression is not necessarily straightforward. Given the size of the map , I was surprised to find out that my net gaming time was just above one hour. I missed a key placed on a chandelier and climbing the raising block which does not look climbable at all were a couple of puzzling moments for me, generally though the game flows marvellously well and was a great delight to play, with good puzzles , no difficult task to achieve , even if at times there is a more subtle thing to do. The looks are excellent , I could not fault anything , and the lighting very very pleasant. Not too many enemies and good relaxing atmosphere" - eRIC (04-Jan-2010)