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Level: BtB2010 - The Night before Carnival back home search
Author(s): Kat
total rating:8.65 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Andzia9 9 8 9 10
Bene 10 9 10 10
Bogey 9 8 9 8
Cory 9 9 8 9
Dick 9 9 10 8
DJ Full 9 9 8 9
dmdibl 9 8 9 9
Dutchy 9 10 9 9
eRIC 8 8 8 8
eTux 8 8 8 8
Eva 8 8 8 8
jawi 9 9 9 7
Jay 9 8 9 9
Jorge22 9 9 8 9
Jose 10 10 9 10
Magnus 7 7 7 7
manarch2 7 7 8 7
masha 9 9 9 9
MichaelP 8 8 8 8
Mman 8 9 9 9
Mytly 9 9 8 8
Obig 8 8 9 9
Orbit Dream 7 8 9 9
Phil 9 9 9 9
Relic Hunter 8 9 9 9
repley 9 9 10 9
Ruben 10 9 10 9
Scottie 9 9 9 10
SSJ6Wolf 9 9 9 8
TheStig 9 9 9 9
Treeble 8 8 8 8
category averages
(31 reviews)
8.65 8.58 8.74 8.65

Reviewer's comments

"I never quite warmed up with this level which for me outstayed its welcome and both the gameplay and the looks felt rather boring to me. This doesn't mean that this is a solid level, it is rather decently crafted with lots of smaller and larger areas well combined, but it lacks a certain something that other levels had. The overall texturing is good, yet some textures are badly clashing against each other (lots of brick textures which are rotated 90 degrees to their adjacent ones) and are often streched, but you'll only notice that on a closer look. While the lighting is quite realistic (unfortunately this also means a little too dark at times), it felt overly greyish and uninspired for me, and there's also not a sun in each room so that Lara looks strangely 2D. And while the glimpses to other areas are creating a nice feeling in this level (one even gives a great hint for finding a receptacle), the architecture felt a bit strange at parts, especially in the outside areas with a few one-square pillars which should resemble parts of buildings. This shouldn't let down the fact that it's a rather atmospheric level, but it's just not as great as it could've been. Gameplaywise, I also felt a bit want after finishing. Surely there are some nice tasks (especially the two timed runs) but the puzzles and traps aren't really inspired and searching the items for the element puzzle felt more like a torture, especially since there were a few too well disguised doors and levers. The enemy attacks are quite heavy, but rather predictable (although the one gunman attacking after finding a key is superbly placed). While the two secrets are rather easy to find, I (as usual) like the idea of finding a "super secret" when you found both of them. Overall, this is a good game, though for me it does not quite in the same league as others of the 2010 BtB competition. 45 minutes." - manarch2 (11-Apr-2014)

"I accidentally took too long a break since my last BtB-Venice incursion, but I'm very glad this was the next one in line. Despite being confusing at times, it's actually a rather linear level that will have you running back and forth a few times as you quest for keys and the element puzzle pieces. I got stuck on a few occasions (missed the crowbar for instance), but that might have just been me - or maybe not. Up to that point, the chandeliers didn't have any collision, so I kind of assumed none of them would have. No big deal though, like I said, had I spotted the painting passage I'd have known what to do then and there. Some of the areas are rather tight and claustrophobic, but all in all it was a very pleasant experience. 65 minutes, 1 secret. 01/14" - Treeble (01-Mar-2014)

"Lighting is well explained, especially in the final manor hub, with the pool zone being what I consider a perfect room. If only the whole rest of the level looked so convincing... but it's still very good in its structure, sometimes going more vertically than horizontally, what makes those balconies and windows hang above the waters in more majestic way. I enjoyed the puzzle/path design, interleaving very smoothly and easily without much backtracking, of which if any occured, it was never problematic. Killed all enemies without medikits but found them all challenging. I missed some epic flyby, because the one we encounter is rather disturbing than helpful. Got all three secrets and I liked the fact of the third being a bonus for the previous two, as much as the fact the shotgun ammo obtained this way is useful for fighting. Only one small tip here: a crossbow or revolver ammo would feel more rewarding, because we got plenty of shells the normal way, and even without the secret I would have 24 of them left in the backpack. SUMMARY: This level is not the prettiest of the package, but is very well designed in terms of gameplay. Highly recommended if You like flowing puzzles." - DJ Full (04-Nov-2013)

"From a constructional point of view,this level is absolutely superb. The Venetian setting is totally convincing;the lighting is evocative;the textures are perfectly placed,with great attention to detail.Enemies appear in the right proportion to spice things up regularly,but are not overdone. However,I found the gameplay not only too prolonged (the adventure is basically in two halves;each one of which would have made a decent level,but together seemed like overkill)but often too annoying for its own good: viz.the tough jump to a balcony;a nasty double jump over spikes;a tedious library sequence. Worse,though,was the ending coming at an entirely arbitrary point,with one pick-up left to collect and the uncomfortable feeling that Lara hadn't actually succeeded in accomplishing anything specific.A good-looking level,to be sure; but too frustrating to be fully enjoyable." - Orbit Dream (06-Mar-2012)

"The Night before Carnival can be divided in two parts - it starts out as the standard Venice fare - canals, fancy buildings, sewers and the like, but ends up taking you to a mansion where you you will tackle the element puzzle, a library and just about the usual stuff you'd expect indoors. This distinction between the city and mansion is not that significant for the gameplay, since it is of rather high quality all the way through with nifty touches like timing a jump on a spiked slope, getting past burners by bouncing between opposing slopes, using trapdoors in clever ways and related madness, but as far as looks go, while the difference still isn't that monumental, the mansion is somewhat 'cleaner' looking in comparison to the city, which at times appears rough - with some flat lighting, squashed or stretched textures and a plethora of cracks. Gameplaywise the start section is nicely interlaced with you exploring the surrounding buildings, returning to earlier sections from different angles, and a few nice tasks at hand, like the timed run/swim. It toughens up in the sewers and calms down again a bit inside the manor. Some elements, that otherwise would've been unforgivable no-no's, for example the crawl-through curtain, are balanced out by cleverly giving you advanced warning that you'll be confronting them - in case of the curtain - letting you see where it leads to from the other side. I wasn't that convinced about why it was enough to pull the cross off the trapdoor by a tile to open it, when the opposite action would've made more sense (i.e. pushing it on top of it, and the weight of the cross forcing it open). The ending also felt a bit lacklustre, but that aside, there's very little to nibble at here, and it's an all around recommended raid for any fan of the setting." - eTux (28-Jan-2011)

"Night is definitely too bright in Venice. It could be afternoon or morning, but definitely not night. Fortunately, that doesn’t make the level non-enjoyable. And this level has a lot to offer. The whole action is in the city of Venice, which is quite pretty, but has definitely too much cracks and stretched or squished textures. Author should pay some more attention to texturing and use ‘Crack Mode’. This is one of the very few disadvantages. Poor texturing is equaled with great lighting (although still too bright as for night). Author managed to bring atmosphere to the canals and manor, making them realistic. The only problem is too few statics, which would decrease the square outlook of the world. Gameplay stands high. There are various tasks including timed runs, puzzles, acrobatic elements, shooting (I’ll talk on it further) and exploring. The level seems quite long, but in fact it isn’t (took me 1 hour and 20 minutes). Game really reminds me of TR2 Venice; similar outlook with dark corridors and bright outdoor, similar gameplay with a lot of jumping and shooting. As for shooting author really well put medipacks and ammo, because there are exactly so many fights as needed pick-ups. Maybe at the end there is a little bit too much running, but as a whole gameplay is very good. To sum up I’d like to say that there is really Tomb Raider spirit behind this level. All of its elements: puzzles, gameplay, atmosphere, texturing and lighting make up a great adventure, even if it’s only a single level. It would be nice if the night before Carnival was a little bit longer." - jawi (17-Jan-2011)

"Quite a nice level here. The end gets quite dispersed to so there's allot of running around in different locations to pick up the three elements you need to access the mask and complete the level. There were two secret roses but could only find one on my play through (may well go back to the walk through guide and see if I can find the second). All in all good lighting, sensible numbers of enimies (and good placement). Completed in an hour and 40 minutes." - TheStig (19-Jun-2010)

"I liked this level, not that hard, but not that easy in the same time, it have some harder jump, and timed runs. But a few, so you don’t catch a stroke ?)) Enemies are baddies, dogs, rats, and the phantom at the end of the level. You don’t have to use any medipacks. It is not a linear level, but it have a logical way, and if you follow it, the level will be easier. I suggest the level to everyone. You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version), savegames and pictures here: http://treditor.hu/trle/treditor/10/btb2010_14_the_night_before_carnival.htm" - Obig (01-Jun-2010)

"Great level. Easy puzzles, traps and timed runs. And we met only few enemies. Wonderful atmosphere, beautiful textures, very nice rooms. Only few flares, little pity, because many places are dark, but maybe this was especially." - Andzia9 (15-Apr-2010)

"I need to play some more levels, but I think this will be the best of them all from this BtB. Fantastic gameplay with a nice variety of tasks and puzzles; it's not something highly extraordinary, but I like a lot this kind of gameplay with an old and classic TR style: many traps, enough enemies and action, no tasks you need to try dozens of times, good ambience, nice environments... The best was the way the builder leads you through the game giving you clues so you can't get stucked a long time; not easy but not very obscure too. I only noticed this small defects (perhaps only for me): the shotgun appears too late in the final rooms, so you'll finish the level with unuseful ammo; I missed some more flares for the dark areas and some more ammo for the revolver, but medipacks were enough though; the white baddy who drops the bundle of keys leave it in the carpet of the stairs so I was lucky (and cautious) looking for something there I couldn't see. Another features were very good too, as textures, musics, architecture and more. Really an excelent work from this author. Many thanks!" - Jose (01-Mar-2010)

"Quite a busy level which is actually rather linear, even though it does not feel that way when you play it. The author constantly drives you forward along a certain path with helpful camera hints and there is always something new and fresh to do. It is a fairly easy level, but with the occasional spike trap thrown in and a few jumps that are a little more on the tricky side, like the curved one to the balcony high up in the first outside area. There is also a fairly tight timed run/swim, burners to watch out for, some long swimming to manage and an interesting trapdoor/monkey swing puzzle, before it all culminates into an inside area where you get a nicely crafted elements puzzle to solve, including another timed run, a smart push puzzle in the library and a torch puzzle as well. So, lots of things to do and a nice flow, which makes this a very enjoyable adventure. It does not quite match up in terms of overall atmosphere, lighting and textures with some of the top notch levels but it is certainly accomplished enough and thus heartily recommended. (70 mins, 3 secrets)." - MichaelP (01-Mar-2010)

"This is a mostly enjoyable forty-five-minute level. There are a few instances where you need to search fairly large areas for something well-hidden, which I always find annoying, but overall, the gameplay is fun. There's nothing really unique to it, but it's varied and I was always looking forward to seeing what was around the next corner. The level looks pretty good, though there are some stretched textures here and there and there's a ton of cracks - many of which could very easily have been avoided. Just something for the builder to keep in mind for future levels. Though the gameplay is mostly straightforward, it's varied enough to keep your interest throughout the adventure, so you can't go wrong with this level." - Magnus (28-Feb-2010)

"There is an emphasis on traps in this level, but there are many other things to do too, so overall it is quite varied. It is not an easy level, although I didn't find any extremely hard parts. The setting is also quite varied and very appealing. If you collect two ordinary secrets you will get a bonus secret." - Bogey (26-Feb-2010)

"Another very well-built BtB entry. Itís a long level, roughly in two halves: canals/sewers and then Bartoliís estate. Luckily once you reach the estate the front doors close behind you so (unlike certain other levels in this yearís competition) you wonít need to return to the outside areas again to search for a lost item. Just as well! The Bartoli estate will keep you very busy. Texturing and atmosphere were impressive throughout but the lighting seemed a bit rough in places with Lara lighting up, then turning flat-lit, and then turning into a silhouette all in the space of a few steps as obviously different lighting regimes were used in adjacent rooms - and somewhat arbitrarily in my opinion. The lack of flares and the huge number of heavy shadows actually did impede the gameplay somewhat. Overall: a great game with plenty of variety in setting and gameplay - and not too hard." - Dick (18-Feb-2010)

"I still can't believe how high the standard is for these levels, and how enjoyable they are to play. This one is no exception, as it will have you playing for around 1 hour, while you have fun challenges with the occasional timed door and spike trap. It all plays very nicely, and there are some really nice moments of gameplay, however, there aren't enough of these to raise the gameplay score any higher. Enemies are used well, as there are not too many, and objects are placed well, causing the rooms to look a lot nicer. The atmosphere was good, however, there were too few sounds, and the same can be said for the cameras. This is the only slight down point in the level. The texturing is nice and aestetically pleasing, however, the 'crazy' library was disappointing, causing the score to go down slightly. Overall, a fun level that wont really have you scratching your head. 1 hour 1 secret." - Cory (17-Feb-2010)

"This level is an hour of entertaining game time, including some timed runs, plenty of baddies, traps, and puzzles to get you towards that mask and escape from it all in a boat. I experienced a slight issue with the movable cross as I pushed it two squares instead of one, and thus got stuck because I never activated the trapdoor nearby. Some of those walk-through curtains were rather sneaky since other curtains are rock solid, and I also recall one ladder not marked well (it was marked on the bottom but looked like a simple stack of crates otherwise). Those were really the only issues I had with this level. It is a change of pace from the usual mood used with Venice type levels, and in this case it turned out very well." - SSJ6Wolf (15-Feb-2010)

"Great level. This one contains quite a nice Venice setting, starting off in some streets and canals, later leading into a mansion filled with dastardly deeds and traps. There's a good variety of tasks to do here, ranging from timed runs to tricky jumps, and also a nice number of puzzles to solve around the areas. Solid architecture throughout shows good building skills, and a smooth flow of gameplay keeps things interesting and entertaining. The level's looks are finely done, each area having its own feel, and no apparent flaws in lights and texturing. The fogbulbs in the pools made a good looking touch, and the placement of traps is particularly good, as in a certain boulder later in the level. Overall this level is very well made, and while not a winner, an excellent contender for the contest." - Relic Hunter (14-Feb-2010)

"Very nice level to play. A variety of tasks to perform, like hard (but doable) jumps, a little timed run/swim that wasn't too hard. To find the secrets you really had to look around everywhere as a lever to get the first was very well hidden. The fire jumps in the monkey climb/trapdoor room was well thought out, hard but also doable once you found out how. The only nuisance in this game was the lack of medipacks as I totally ran out in the mansion. Had to add them and also that crowbar/exit door that blocked your path over the first floor landing, another, inside turning door would have been nicer. Not much camera hints I thought, but most of the times the doors opened were nearby so easily found. No texture faults found. Lighting was very well applied." - Dutchy (13-Feb-2010)

"A very good constructed level with everything the players could wish for. I myself like drinking italian wine but I believe I have to be careful with it this year because the 2010 vuntage seems to have a very high percentage of alcohol in it ! Great game interesting to play , high ratings from me to say : thank you!" - Ruben (07-Feb-2010)

"I have to say this was one of my favorites. It hooked me early with the deceptively easy jump to the JS and the almost difficult jump to an awning. If Lara is in the right place, the camera shows the awning view and not Lara and that's all that's needed to turn this 'difficult' jump into a very easy one. The underwater rooms were nicely designed and the 'bundle of keys' actually opened more than one door. The first timed sequence was a joy as was the second one. In between was a nasty fire emitting/jumping slopes challenge that tried my patience but the saving grace there was the builder having a Monkey Swing available so that the way back was over and not through the fires - perfect. I thought the 'Night' in the title may have been a misnomer but the skies darkened to dusk and then a bit darker. Classic Raiding with a few twists: the crowbar door hidden behind a plant and the crawl-through curtain and I liked the fact of Lara being barricaded in her room at the very beginning. After Lara picks up the Mask, there's still a mini-fight, a sneaky boulder and a bit of ladder with blades to climb. As with most of the entries, great use was made of getting a peak into the next area and showing where the necessary items were placed. It seemed like this one 'flew' by but my stats say otherwise...I think it was all that slope/fire fun that took so much time.*wink* Highly recommended and I hope you have as much fun playing this as I did." - Bene (06-Feb-2010)

"Again a very interesting and good level. Nice atmosphere, because of great lighting and design of the scenery. Easy and fluent gameplay, very pleasant and relaxing, but never boring because of the large number of varied puzzles and traps. Accompanied by pleasant background music, itīs fun to play this level. The opponents were placed surprising, but in appropriate locations. Overall, a solid and consistent level!" - repley (05-Feb-2010)

"What a nice level! The gameplay strikes the perfect balance: challenging yet not too challenging. Itís very well paced, flowing smoothly even in the fairly non-linear second half of the level which involves exploring various rooms of a manor. There is a wide variety of tasks including some interesting puzzles, plenty of traps, a couple of timed tasks, and several jumps that require both thought and quick reflexes. Pretty much my only (very minor) objection to the gameplay is the placement of spike pits at the entrance of certain rooms, especially the one in the library, where the camera angle doesnít even allow you to see it before you step into it.
Enemies are relatively few, which is just as well, as the weapons and ammo provided are even fewer.
Probably the only mildly disappointing aspect of this level is the visuals. Textures are technically applied quite well, but lighting is a bit flat throughout the level. The architecture too is good, but not spectacular.
This level suffers a bit from the inevitable comparison with the many excellent entries in the BtB10 competition, as it lacks the polish several of the others possess. But in spite of that, itís still a very enjoyable level in its own right." - Mytly (03-Feb-2010)

"Halfway through this year's competition I've played about half of the levels, and so far there hasn't been a lemon in the bunch. The Night Before Carnival follows the trend of longer (90 minutes for me) and highly entertaining Venetian raids to which we've been treated. Much of the action here is indoors, but there's never a dull moment. The timed runs are so generous that even I was able to conquer them in just a few tries. The concluding half requires a bit of running upstairs and downstairs in a large house, performing a number of tasks along the way in collecting the elements that allow you to get back outside. However, just as in Door to Venice, the level ends as soon as you grab that breath of fresh air. There's much charm to be enjoyed here, with a variety of different things to do and to look at. Recommended." - Phil (01-Feb-2010)

"This is a different kind of BtB Venitian level because it is way more faithful to the original than any other I've played so far, not only in its settings but in the use of (several) obstacles and traps as well. That was a reason why I didn't think much of it at first. But then, with a full analysis in hand, I have to confess it was quite enjoyable and the fact that it was close to Tomb Raider 2 was a plus and not a minus, especially when it became clear that, regarding the settings at least, the game may be divided into a first part that is more that way and a second one, perhaps a little more puzzle-based, where the author - slowly and not suddenly - becomes more "modern" in his/her approach. Personally, I enjoyed the more puzzle-based part the most but, quite frankly, I guess it's a matter of choice. Recommended." - Jorge22 (01-Feb-2010)

"Lara is on her way searching a Carnival mask which was stolen just before the beginning of Carnival in Venice. The water canals and surrounding houses are nice to look at and the level impresses with good texturing and architecture. After completing a few tasks, Lara reaches a kind of hall with a library and a cellar area. In here there is plenty to do until wine, fire, water and sand have been found and eventually Lara reaches the mask. All in all, a relaxing level to play, not very hard and quite fluent." - Eva (31-Jan-2010)

"The first half of the level is a trek through various streets and buildings in Venice, and ends up in a house where things become more compact and puzzle based. This creates a good contrast between the areas, and there are a variety of tasks you do along the way, some relatively challenging jumps and some sneakily hidden doors and switches. One key an enemy dropped at the house seemed to blend in a bit too well with the ground (such that I almost missed it even when I was specifically looking for it).
The level is atmospheric and very solid visually throughout, although a couple of interior areas seemed a bit simple looking compared to other areas. A very nice level but it lacks something to truly make it stand out." - Mman (28-Jan-2010)

"A beauteful level, full of calmness and fun, fine textures and nearly perfect lighting - here are too many cracks, I think, the builder dont know, how he/she can avoid it. The riddles are multifaceted: very nice exercise with the pushable table in the library, torch riddle, the global searching outside how inside etc. Not too much enemies (buddies, rats, dogs), a lot of the munition, a little bit few medi packs. But doable and it was fun Result: Recomendable!" - masha (28-Jan-2010)

"I like the carnival not at all. Boring music, boring people and this constrained cheerfulness. No, I like the carnival not at all. But I like this level. I find him really first-class. Very well built, great riddles, successful Gameplay and the fog looks really good. A small problem is the pushable cross in a big backyard. This cross stands on a trapdoor and one may push it only one Square further, then the trapdoor rises. However, there is no hint where the cross must be pushed. However, the real problem is which one can push the cross through the low grid. The right location for the cross could also be everywhere in the backyard. And because one only gets on if the trapdoor opens, one can look long for the right Square. One could find the shotgun relatively late in the level. Another location would have been better there. Though the inclined player could find enough Medipacks, but, nevertheless, it is a little bit tiresome if one has at disposal only the guns. There were none difficult jumps and one had enough time at the time run with the trapdoor. All together a very nicely built level which was to be played very well." - Scottie (26-Jan-2010)

"This has a nice balance of the different venues of Venice, using the grand plazas and piazzas in good contrast to the seedier areas, and the gameplay is very cohesive and pleasing also, with minimum backtracking. The requisite traps, agility tests and puzzles are firmly in place and have been well thought out. I especially liked the whole sequence in the library. If you find the first two secret roses, you can gain access to a room containing the third secret, i.e. a small medipack and some shotgun ammo Ė not entirely necessary, but a nice touch nevertheless." - Jay (14-Jan-2010)

"This level which makes you visit different areas is mostly linear , with plenty to do. Including a tricky jump to a balcony requiring perfect precision. I enjoyed much the great timed task that requires you to jump from a balcony , swim across a canal and pull up in time through the opened door , the puzzle with trapdoors in the undergrounds , and the good gameplay in the library in the last section of the game. Looks are good and sometimes beautiful (like the vast plaza where you shoot the bell), but more could have been done in this category as the textures can be 'disjointed' in the first part of the level , and the lighting is a bit gloomy, I missed some more flares in the last section. Overall a very interesting level." - eRIC (04-Jan-2010)

"I enjoyed this level. The game play is a strong point, involving long jumps, scything blades, and timed runs with swinging crates along the route. There are parallel slope jumps over flame emitters, to a flame protected lever. I tried the save-and-reload trick on the flame emitter slope jumps, but it didn't work--fortunately Lara could get by anyway. Most of this can be done if Lara keeps her cool (as always). A tricky jump was mentioned on the forum, but Lara did that on the first attempt. The timed run through the swinging crates is a matter of thinking out the exact route, where each of Lara's jumps must land; then the timing turns out to be generous. There is a sort of puzzle with monkeyswings and overhead trapdoors that open and shut. Lara did lose health because there were no powerful weapons until later in the game, and she was forced to use pistols against Venice bad guys. The level opens on a small patch of canals, with Lara making her way through interiors--often brick substructure--and returning to the opening canal scene. There is a brief section in the yard of the hangout, then it is back inside, but this time with a library, and an element puzzle. The library is a fun area for Lara. I would have liked more of the outdoor Venice, particularly as what we see of outdoors is quite attractive. If one thinks back to TR2, the opera house ended with swinging crates, so this level's crate section is a tribute to the original, but that isn't what I think of when Venice is mentioned. Lara placed a rose, but there was a receptacle on the opposite side of the corridor that was never filled. After Lara completed the element puzzle, she went on to get the carnival mask, then the level ended, so I have to wonder if something was left undone. A quality entry in the contest." - dmdibl (04-Jan-2010)
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