"This is probably a bit of a redundant
review by now, really, seeing as a
Definitive Demo of this game has recently
been released that is bug free and much
more enjoyable to play. This one just
isn't very inspiring to play. Lara's
animations are a little shaky and don't
really work, the environments seemed to be
a little bland in comparison and the
gameplay doesn't really reach any exciting
heights. I am a fan of TR2 Venice, but I
would rather play the original or the
aforementioned recent release. There was
also an aggravating pole-swinging sequence
to an alcove that proved quite frustrating
in my case. Only really for die-hard
remake buffs." - Ryan (21-May-2019)
"Decent Demo, I've been looked forward to this project, it
seems promising." - SeniorBlitz (23-Jan-2018)
"Now this is a level every Tomb Raider fan holds close to their hearts, so it was nice to see it faithfully remade. It has been changed a bit, but most of it plays the same way it did back in 1997. With a few tweaks this could be a great effort, but it does have a few shortcomings. What bothered me the most, I guess, were the wrongly rotated textures, which is a real bummer because otherwise the textures are very sharp and detailed. It was nice to see high quality enemies for once as well. I don't really get the need for new animations for things that always worked so well (namely, the standard running/jump animations), so I can't say I cared much for them. There have been so many remake projects in the past and the vast majority of them eventually faced the same common end, so I'm hoping these two fellows actually reach the finish line, while taking their sweet time to polish things as much as they can, of course. 30 minutes, 3 secrets. 10/14" - Treeble (03-Oct-2015)
"Not bad this remake, but it's only that: a remake. I've noticed few modifications respecting to the original game, and I think that's not the players want. There are some bugs to fix (swingpoles) and the game crashed a couple of times. The paper walls in the building near the beginning could be avoided, and I missed cameras when pulling switches to know what they did. The inner rooms are too dark, but at least I found enough flares. As I said, not a bad level but authors should think about adding new rooms and puzzles so it is more entertaining and also move the location of the secrets (it's not funny to look for the secrets in places you already know they will be)." - Jose (25-Feb-2015)
"It's a really great feeling to play a classic Tomb Raider level with some high quality improvements. I enjoyed this level very much, the bit in the end was nicely included to the original gameplay. I only didn't like the paper thin wall in the building in the very beginning and those two gold things didn't really seem to fit the level, but other than that - great work. I hope to see this project finished some day." - misho98 (07-Dec-2014)
"This is a remake of the Venice level from TR2 with some new animations and modern textures. I didn't like the weird animation she did when not running as it felt kinda odd. Gameplaywise it's pretty much the same as the original with the exception of some new rooms and tasks that really do not improve much from the original level. Pole swinging animation was odd it was like in slow motion or something. Lighting was decent, the balance between dark and bright was too big making outside areas a bit unrealistic. Everything works ok and the gameplay although almost the same is fairly enjoyable. I do hope that the builders will make something of their own in the future as i think they have the capacity to do so. I am looking forward to see the finished project, what they have improved. Recommended especially for those who haven't played the original TR2 level." - totizedger (18-Oct-2014)
"I had to shake my head at some of the technical defects
pointed out in the earlier reviews. What this rather
unsophisticated player experienced was an attractive, fun,
well-lighted romp that would probably provide about a half
hour of solid entertainment if one were not writing a
walkthrough while playing. It had been ages since I'd
played the original TR2, so although the surroundings were
familiar to me the gameplay was not. As a matter of fact, I
had completely forgotten about the need to blow up the mines
in the exit channel in preparation for the timed boat ride
at the end, so I found myself stuck at this spot for a long
while. Anyway, the builders have done a good job recreating
the TR2 Venice level, and I had a jolly good time here.
There are some nice new touches as well. I had never before
seen the animation where Lara pulls out a vertical pole for
use as a swingpole. Unfortunately, there's also a game-
stopping bug here. If you save after having triggered the
mines, the fourth swingpole won't be there and you won't be
able to finish. I saved in a different slot while hanging
from the fourth swingpole, just to see what would happen.
When I reloaded, I was hanging in midair, the pole having
vanished. I was able to swing around, jump off and proceed
with the game, but this problem should definitely be
addressed and fixed in the final version. Good fun, and
recommended." - Phil (17-Oct-2014)
"It is quite rare that a Level gets such a breadth of scores as this one, but I guess it has to do with the philosophical issue of whether one likes to revisit previously seen adventures or whether that seems like rather wasted effort when somthing new could rather be created. Personally, I am not a fan of remakes at all and in that sense this 30 minute visit to Venice was not very inspirational to play. I also do not like the odd modern animations of Lara and many of the rooms here seem rather bare and square. However, the boat riding was fun, some of the enemies looked rather cool and it all kind of works together pretty well. Even though it does remind you how good BtB Venice levels are after all in comparison to this remake from an original game. Personally, I would hope these talented builders shift their focus to creating some original games, but each to their own..." - MichaelP (17-Oct-2014)
"I am not sure what to think of this demo and this is way too long for a demo in my book anyway. On one hand I love the"old" games but then I can play them every time I want them. On the other hand I think that if these two builders can put their head together and come up with something new and creative they probably can pull it off. A remake is a remake even with something extra put in. Maybe for the next project, I sure do hope so." - Gerty (17-Oct-2014)
"The purpose of remake is to give new life to something, and TR4 engine could add a lot of it - while here, we get almost the exact replica of the first Venetian level of Tomb Raider 2. Some walls feel empty, there is still place for some flowers, chandeliers, awnigs and so. Even secrets and enemies are in the same exact places. It's also not good to repeat Core's mistakes and locate a switch 1000 miles from its door, and every single new room added feels this way. Why not to place secrets in these new locations instead? Also, the original stuff got damaged in many ways. Accessible boundaries, missing sounds and textures are common here. But the most destructive change is the application of baseball bat-armed, GTA-looking enemies instead of Bartoli's crude, muscular baton-wielding thugs, and fluffy German shepherds replacing dobermans, so the mafia threat aspect the original Venice episode is famous for has been completely destroyed. SUMMARY: I heard this is an older version, submitted accidentally instead of the final one - but it's not minor differences between these two I'm worried about but the point mistaken. A remake is not a copy, and I hope the builders will understand it so the final version flows as it should. Still, this demo isn't a waste of time, and You can hardly get stuck in a setting as familiar as this one." - DJ Full (11-Oct-2014)
"My expectations were high and so I'm really sorry to tell... this game is not what I wanted it to be. The screenshots look quiet nice and the projekt itself is a wonderful idea to, but the implementation leaves a lot to be desired! Gameplay is still the same as in the TR2 and the little additional content is nothing to speak of. Secrets are still the same as before and also new textures can't hide the fact, that the author has still much to do for the fullversion.
In summary it can be said, that I'm really disappointed." - The Boo (07-Oct-2014)
"A very interesting idea. I always hoped for a TR2 remake.
The builders increased the classic gameplay with a few
more (and new) challenges for us. The gameplay is very
good. But unfortunately, I'm not satisfied with some
other things. The sounds of the boat are missing. Some
areas are very bright or very dark. The lighting is not
being well used here, I found some rooms that the
coloring wasn't even used. I also missed the lighting
transition between some rooms. The same goes for the use
of metasequoia/meta2tr. Right in the beggining of the
level, the floor texture is stretched. The bridge that
you can find near the gates that will lead you to
Bartoli's Hideout seems broken and distorced instead of
'next-gen'. We can see some bugs in the connections of
the water rooms, in the Venice canals, it seems that the
water rooms aren't connected to each other because of
this bug. I noticed some textures that weren't well
placed, being distorced, rotated wrong or stretched. I
hope the builders don't rush to release the complete
edition. And definitely they need more beta testers to
help with the improvement of the levels." - Gabriel Croft (06-Oct-2014)
"This is an interesting take on the original TR2 Venice level. It's instantly recognisable and broadly speaking the gameplay remains as in the original, including all the fun speedboat bits, but there are tweaks here and there, which reflect the fact that TR4 Lara can do a great deal more than TR2 Lara ever could. Thus, we have the introduction of swing poles and Lara's 'new' moves. Also, I loved the inclusion of the oh so atmospheric background sounds from the TR4 Streets of Rome level. Bearing in mind this is a demo, it is a bit rough in places, but hopefully all will be spruced up by the ultimate release date. It's also not my favourite Lara as she appears to be lumbering around as though her bunions are playing up, but overall this is an interesting and, I think, successful updating of a fondly remembered level and I look forward to the full game." - Jay (06-Oct-2014)
"Well, this is what we've all been waiting for. I've always
wanted a Tomb Raider 2 remake and I'm actually a little
happy that this is what I got. Nothing new here worth
mention in terms of gameplay although the author did spice
up progression with a little more exploration than the
actual Tomb Raider game did. The normal and original TR2
textures were replaced with more high-definition textures
and added to the atmosphere. Not much else to add other
than what any other reviewer said. If this is the demo, I
can't wait to see what these authors has in store for the
rest of the actual remake...that is if they finish it.
Overall, a nice, short, and sweet blast from the past (it's
a demo...). Time-30-40mins, Secrets-3/3, Difficulty-Easy,
Recommended." - Larabiker301 (06-Oct-2014)
"Having played both the original release of this project and the most recent updated level file at time of writing, I have to say that I finished this preview ultimately with rather mixed feelings.
And while I don't consider it a masterpiece or a completely unplayable mess(unlike what some prior reviewers have stated otherwise), I do have to agree that this initial demo felt rushed out far too soon, in the hopes of retaining community interest.
Because as a whole, the general presentation is all over the place in terms of quality, with a concerning number of bugs, missing/awkwardly-done texturing in many areas, unconvincing lighting effects and an atmosphere that doesn't really come close to capturing the experience of the original TR2 level as effectively, among other things.
Having said all that however, I do believe other aspects to the overall design of the original TR2 Venice level benefited greatly from the upgrade(such as the high quality character/object models, some remixed classic tunes and Lara's much more vast moveset to name a few, despite a couple of dodgy animations.)
And if SrDanielPonces and Xopax can apply that same amount of effort towards the rest of the overarching design in the full version of the game, then I'm sure we'll all be in for something truly special.
But as it is, the builders are already working on a much more polished and expanded demo, being very much well-aware of the amount of shortcomings this current release unintentionally provides, leaving me cautiously optimistic.
So in conclusion, while not necessarily something that I'd classify as a must-play, your time won't be wasted too badly here if you decide to give this one a shot and be able to overlook most of the issues present in this currently-released demo.
Though personally if you wanting to play something much more polished and representative of the project in question, I'd highly recommend waiting for the aforementioned expanded demo currently in development by the builders, before getting your hopes up too high for this one." - Ceamonks890 (04-Oct-2014)
"This is a game of thirds. The first third is a virtually
click-for-click remake of the initial area of the TRII
Venice level,and enjoyable for all that.The mid-section
takes place in the well remembered canal environment
(blow up the mines;find the 2nd boat;activate the timed
exit doors - you know the drill)and has a few additional
gameplay challenges,but also several moments which betray
the rawness of this overall enterprise - the edges of the
map are visible;incomplete sections of rooftops damage
the atmosphere,and many textures are mis-aligned.This is
generally forgiveable,but it all goes belly-up in the
third section,involving a pole swing to an alcove - a
swing which is quite impossible if you happen to have
saved and re-loaded,as the final pole subsequently
disappears and the game is impossible to complete. A
useful downloaded savegame saw me cross the Finish
Trigger,but the enjoyment had vanished by then. As a
remake,this is very hard to assess;as most of it is a
copy of someone else's work,while some of the new bits
are unplayably buggy.This Demo really needed a lot more
work in its latter stages;and,despite generally good
efforts with lighting and object placement,is very much a
work in progress and should be treated as such." - Orbit Dream (04-Oct-2014)
"Gameplay & Puzzles: The TRII gameplay is correct but it's the gameplay from TRII! No one needs another remake! The points are only for the added areas so they are rather low. Enemies, Objects & Secrets: The enemies and objects are not from TRII but from other resources, they fit here and there are good objects. For the comment to secrets, look in the first category, because they are all the same. Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: Again, a lower score because the builders didn't use their own mind for creating the architecture but copied or remodelled them, it doesn't look very nice either, the venice level was much more beautiful! Lighting & Textures: The textures are not bad but there are too many mistakes, the looks are bland and lighting is too mixed. There are good and bad areas here. Total: 4/10, a game that as others said and I can only confirm no one needs. There are so many possibilities to make a good level that remakes just feel like a waste of time." - Rambo (04-Oct-2014)
"Tomb Raider II is my favorite game of the whole series and
after I played this custom level I thought "wow. you never
played such a good remake."
The sound is very good as is the lightning and the textures.
the enemies are exactly where they have to be and the puzzles
are even better. I really hope, that there is more to come
from Tomb Raider II and that it will be as fantastic as this
demo level was." - Jadyn (04-Oct-2014)
"The Tomb Raider Anniversary II demo was buggy and had it's flaws, but since the game is in it's very early stages, this is to be expected, and easy to fix.
The demo is of the level 'Venice.' The level which Core Design released as a demo. The level stays true to Core's version as well as adding upgraded sounds, areas, lighting, objects and enemies. However a lot of things seem off.
The running animation for starters, Lara seemed a bit wibbly and looked drunk. The camera bobbed way to much. It also throws off timing for jumps as Lara starts off a bit slow.
Textures has been turned sideways aswell, but this was un-avoidable due to the limitations the builders were under.
Overall the demo is an experience worth remembering with new sounds and moves for Lara around every corner you turn.
I give this game an 8/10." - DVDSpike (04-Oct-2014)
"From the time I was expecting a remake of TR2, I'm happy to try a demo! Congratulations to the team for this result that I find splendid!
Overall, the level is quite similar to Venice in TR2. I like the remakes of the textures, the characters (those with the bat is thinner), the boat, the underwater mines, the secrets, the flares, etc. I also saw the added move when Lara falls crouching, we can recover her quickly by pressing on "run". The add of new rooms/objects (as in the beginning) is a goot idea too!
To the bad things: I think you have to review the lighting in some places (in the boathouse at the beginning for instance). There is a display problem with the Golden Ball : in the menu, the text is hidden behind the object. Sometimes, the surface water texture doesn't appear under the water (where there is the bridge before the underwater mines for example). I also noticed that nothing was given when we have the three secrets but like it's a demo, it's maybe normal. My game lag a lot in the menu (loading/saving page). Finally, a corridor is absent between the third secret canal and the golden key's house (the shorcut that I liked).
In any case, I enjoyed this level but I couldn't finished it for now because the final door is closed. I recommend it and I want to congratulate again the builders !" - SlyRaider (04-Oct-2014)
"I think that the renewed trend to remakes just brings custom levels in a wrong direction. I mean, if you want to bring back up fond memories of playing the old games, the best to do so is to play the old games and not remakes or reinventions that in most cases never come particularly close in quality. I hope the builders will do significant changes to the full version and maybe only slight impressions taken from the original, because it won't be played by many people otherwise - it's just unoriginal and incredibly tedious to go through then. That aside and coming to this particular level, the gameplay is pretty much the same with mainly two changed areas that are solidly constructed (especially the block puzzle in one of them) yet don't offer much special. The enemies and objects are nicely remade and there's even a very neat movement with a pole, yet several animations seem to be fairly odd and unnecessary. The atmosphere is not as detailed as in the original (even if TR 2 isn't that well known for complex geometry either) and several sounds are missing here. I appreciate the work in adding some new sounds but it's not fully worked out. Textures could need a lot more attention with many wrongly rotated or streched ones, and lighting doesn't excel either, even if it's not totally flat the room transitions are incoherent and lighting is too artificial at times (the water colour is too strong, as well as some strangely coloured rooms). Overall, as said before, I'd rather like to see something entirely new from those builders instead of a full remake, but even so a lot of work has to be done in order to create a worthwhile tribute. Found the three (original) secrets in about 20 mintues." - manarch2 (03-Oct-2014)
"Very nice remake of a classic Venice level, it's very
promising and I can't wait for full version.There are some
missplaced textures and some weird Lara's movement, but
that's why this is called demo, I have no doubt it will be
fixed.There are some places builders must pay attention to,
because I found several spots where you can reach the top
of level boundaries and one of those presents the dead-
end.Lara has much more moves now in compare to TR2, so some
adjustments have to be made for most (if not all) levels to
prevent players from reaching spots they're not supposed
to.If this level is a guide, this game will be good
nostalgic experience and I'm certainly looking forward to
play it." - Tolle87 (03-Oct-2014)
"I'm going to start this review with what hopefully can be
seen as constructive criticism... I'm going to be a
little more critical of this than I usually am, but
that's mainly because as a demo, and by no means a
perfect, but I hope I can leave some food for thought for
Ok so I've finished the level, and at the most, I think
it's adequate. As far as remakes go, it's certainly not
the worst, but as with many, I think I prefer the
Gameplay & Puzzles
It feels a little lost, it seems to want to have it's own
identity (or the identity of the CD's era), yet at the
same time be a slightly enhanced version of the original
(but I genuinely think there are much more effective ways
of enhancing a game, and without the need to call it a
remake). The extra rooms didn't really add anything new,
it just feels like a slightly elongated version of the
original. I have no problems with adding in extra content
or having slightly different approaches to the puzzles,
but I've never really been a fan of adding in extra
hallways just so there can be another switch you need to
press. I would have preferred it if they changed the
games puzzle dynamics but using the same room-space/
layout of the originals (an example of this is Resident
Evil Deadly Silence, which also added in the classic mode
too). That said, I thought unlocking the second boat was
By simply calling it Anniversary II, implies it's a
sequel to TR Anniversary as well as remake of TR2. I can
totally understand why they added in the new moves, and
the pole swinging, it makes sense in that respect. But
the way they've made the game, I really don't think it
was necessary, or adds anything new to the core gameplay,
example ... replacing the slanted roof with three swing
poles does nothing for gameplay improvements (but does
open up something I'll explain below in texturing*).
However, using it more creatively in a slightly more
sophisticated revamped puzzle (somewhat with the boat
puzzle) could make it feel a little more fresh.
Finally, the running animation felt really disjointed,
please fix this!
Enemies, objects & secrets
... all fine.
Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras
Again, there were parts that were OK, but there were a
missing sounds (primarily the boat), and I noticed a few
mixed up sound cue's (ringing of the bells before
flipping the switch - final puzzle). The footstep sounds
were quite nice though. The main Church bell sound
effects in the background was OK.
Lighting and Texture
Would have much preferred it if they created updated
versions of the original Venice textures, rather than the
B2B Venice texture set. I noticed that some of the
textures were slightly off in comparison to the original.
For example, windows were slightly stretched, and I
noticed some wallpaper effects going on and textures not
lining up. However, for the most part the textures were
Lighting was an issue, it didn't seem to flow nicely from
one room to the other. The outside was overly lit, and
there were major inconsistencies with lighting indoors.
There seemed to be a clump of dark spots, followed by a
clump of lit spots, followed my no lighting at all. But
I've been aware of this project from it's announcement
which was only in May, and am aware this is quite far in.
That is reasonably quick! Please take the time to make
sure that the lighting and texturing is top notch, make
sure that textures are seamless, gameplay flows ect. I
personally think that this project may be going a little
too fast, and from the comparison shots posted on TRF, it
appears that you could do with studying the original a
little more closely. I was actually looking at the
comparisons screens and thinking "hmm, actually the way
the original was constructed seems much more organic
looking than the remake, and the texturing is also
slightly better, despite being low res"
This game may have potential... But I don't think it will
in it's current form.
I hope it doesn't sound too harsh, but it's only the
demo." - Cosmos (03-Oct-2014)
"Xopax and SirDanielPonces seem to be on their way to creating a decent remake of Tomb Raider II, from the looks of their demo, which contains the entire Venice level.
While not exceptional (though the finished game very well could be), it is fun to play through. The demo is a faithful recreation of the iconic level from the original game, but also contains several new areas to explore, most of them utilizing Lara's expanded move set. There are a couple of new items that must be found, and they are very well-hidden. I thought the lighting and textures were well done, for the most part. Most of the new puzzles were challenging, but not too difficult to figure out. The level exit area was the part where I became the most confused I really liked the new, custom-made enemies (human and dog), as well the revamped dragon secret statuettes.
My main complaint regarding the demo is Lara's running animation. She seems to get a slow start, and does a bit of a stutter-step, which seems to mess up her running jumps. More specifically, she starts slow, does the "stutter step," and then jumps before reaching the edge of the platform she's on, which in turn, causes her to fall just shy of the ledge she's trying to grab. The running animation itself is also a bit odd--it's somewhere between the jog that we're used to and a waddle, and is fairly distracting. I'd much rather have the regular Lara jog from the classic games than this custom-made one.
Despite that hiccup, the demo is actually enjoyable. It's full of nostalgia, and once the jogging (as well as other bugs that other players have mentioned) is fixed, I'm fairly certain that Tomb Raider Anniversary II will be a fantastic game that any Raider would be happy to play." - indigo15 (03-Oct-2014)
"Venice - I never tire of the ambiance of Venetian levels
and this was a very good re-work of the original level from
Tomb Raider II. I had to mark it down one point due to a
slight glitch with the pole swinging sequence. Reloads
during this part render the forth and last pole invisible
and Lara won't grab on to a non-existent pole. I also had
difficulty getting into the alcove so had to request a
savegame. It is also tricky to get into the large
boathouse in the second area if you blew up the first boat
early on in this section. A pleasant and nostalgic raid." - High Priestess (03-Oct-2014)
"Another Demo level but a demo for what? Who would be looking for another copy of Tr2 Venice levels once he has played the original ? Using Nadines BtB Venice WAD and textures only is not helpful to gather many score points for this game, at least not for me... Play it if you want enjoy a few happy moments by listening to Vivaldi. A demo level that nobody really needs." - Ruben (03-Oct-2014)
"Tomb Raider Anniversary II (Demo) as the title would suggest is theoretically supposed to serve as a reiteration; a celebration of the series with a remake. Much like Crystal did before them with Tomb Raider: Anniversary (for Tomb Raider 1996).
Unfortunately, like most remakes in the Level Editor community it falls instantaneously short by forcing new"HD" content into a previously created level file and calling it a remake or a retelling.
Lara looks and sounds better of course, but the gameplay is the same (with a few questionable additions) - and the animations wobbly.
I'm keeping this short because it's just a demo and the room for improvement is there... but right now, if you want to play Tomb Raider II, I suggest you play the original." - Baratheon (03-Oct-2014)