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BtB2010 - The Phantom of the Opera by tombraider1703

Bene 9 8 9 9
Bogey 8 8 9 8
Christian 7 8 9 7
Cory 8 8 9 9
Dick 9 8 7 6
DJ Full 6 8 9 8
dmdibl 9 8 9 9
Dutchy 8 7 7 7
eRIC 9 8 10 8
eTux 8 8 9 9
Eva 8 7 6 6
jawi 7 7 8 7
Jay 9 8 9 9
JesseG 7 7 9 8
Jorge22 7 8 9 8
Jose 8 9 10 8
Josey 10 8 9 7
Magnus 6 6 6 6
manarch2 7 7 8 7
masha 6 7 8 7
MichaelP 8 7 10 9
Mman 9 9 9 9
Mytly 9 8 8 7
nerdfury 6 7 9 6
Obig 7 8 9 9
Orbit Dream 8 8 9 9
Phil 9 9 9 9
Relic Hunter 8 8 9 9
repley 7 7 7 7
Ruben 9 9 9 9
Ruediger 9 8 8 9
Ryan 8 8 10 8
Scottie 8 8 8 7
Shandroid 8 8 8 8
TheStig 8 8 9 9
Treeble 8 9 9 8
Ward Dragon 8 9 10 9
release date: 01-Jan-2010
# of downloads: 133

average rating: 8.09
review count: 37
review this level

file size: 40.74 MB
file type: TR4
class: Venice

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"(6) Gameplay & Puzzles: I felt pretty lukewarm about this shorter adventure, which is divided into two parts: 1) canals, buildings and sewers exploration, and 2) adventuring inside the Opera House. First of all, the positives: I enjoyed blowing up TNT crates, as well as the harp pushables puzzle below the theater. The platforming, trap-dodging and general problem-solving in the first part is entertaining, but I just wasn't into the 2nd part, largely due to less interesting platforming here, a not-so-fun underwater segment, and of course the extreme darkness (more on that later). Aside from a tricky curved jump between two buildings, all other tasks were of medium difficulty. The gameplay in many regards feels "off" to me, in the sense that a huge chunk of part 1 can be skipped if the player shoots the bell with the shotgun or pistols and avoids the glock+lasersight altogether. And, as mentioned, I felt like the acrobatic tasks get less engaging and interesting as the adventure progresses. (7) Enemies, Objects & Secrets: There are very few enemies and traps; the final boss demigirl didn't even engage Lara so I was a bit confused after I finished the harp puzzle. I think the trap setup could have been a lot more fresh and exciting (the underwater blades in the theater are super easy to avoid). I think the only strong aspect of this category was the use of object decor, but even then there are some areas that are really lacking in objects (e.g. the library room after you use the crowbar). The first secret, the shotgun, was too obvious, although the 2nd secret was well placed. (9) Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The builder demonstrated great skill in crafting attractive architecture and I think the atmosphere is the strongest aspect of the game. I especially enjoyed how the builder stylized the "aftermath" areas of TNT explosions. While in previous sunny Venetian levels I was adamant that the TR1 Atlantis ambient loop was not fitting, it was used effectively here given the eerie night time atmosphere. Cameras were also skillfully utilized, although I didn't like how the camera went wonky in the mirror room so it was difficult to see which tile was safe to step on. The mid-game cutscene with the demigirl hovering about (and being spooky) was very well done. (6) Lighting & Textures: The builder demonstrated a keen eye in texturing as well as mood-setting with eerie lighting. It's a shame he made it so difficult for the player to see his artistic talent in the later part of the level. The first part of the level, exploring the canals and buildings, was dark, but not too dark. However, the darkness in the Opera House/theater part is just too much, and there are NO flare pickups in the first half of the game. Not cool. Overall, I didn't have much fun in this level due to the darkness and lack of flares, and the gameplay is not innovative/memorable enough to offset this negative aspect. 6/7/9/6." - nerdfury (23-Mar-2021)
"This is a very atmospheric level and for that reason alone it's great. Luckily gameplay also holds up well with nice puzzles set in and around the opera house. Nice!" - Ryan (16-Mar-2016)
"This game has a rather good half and a rather mediocre one. The outside area is really atmospheric and there are some good gameplay elements in it, mostly some clever platforming parts which make you think, and the exploration for the glock and the lasersight were fun, even if they aren't needed to shoot the bell. The textures are cleanly applied and I liked the night atmosphere very much. But once inside the theatre, everything changed. The lighting was still blueish, but it became overly oppressive and dull, and without any flares (to a certain point) it was excessively dark in here. The two puzzles in the theatre were interesting enough, but the acrobatics above the stage were rather boring as well as the finale - I even had to search around for the phantom, because it didn't want to attack me. So I ended up with rather mixed feelings about this level, but it was overall pretty decent and fun, so apart of the lighting there are no major issues - but I feel that it could've been much better with a little more tweaking. Found two secrets in 30 minutes." - manarch2 (26-Apr-2014)
"I quite enjoyed my time here. Gameplay was very straightforward, and although at times it didn't make a whole lot of sense (like using a key not to open the trapdoor right above, but instead to blow TNT boxes elsewhere) it still managed to keep me going all the way through. I also enjoyed the jump sequence right after the zipline into the trapdoors, failed a few times but found them engaging all the same. I also loved the spooky apparition of the phantom downstairs, felt sad to put it down to steal its face later on though -- only to watch a rahter unnecessary flyby retracing my steps back to the beginning of the level. Worth playing, despite being a very standard adventure. 35 minutes, 1 secret. 12/13" - Treeble (01-Mar-2014)
"One of shorter competing games divided in two parts: theatre infiltration via enemy/trap sequences and phantom summoning via puzzle solution. The tension graduates properly as the author was certainly having fun with those crazy sounds and cameras, but unhappily about 1/3 of the overall progress can be bypassed if we find the almost unmissable shotgun. There are still builders unaware of precise targeting ability with help of this weapon. Hopefully this applies to player majority as well, and those will surely enjoy the revolver hunt... unless they use pistols to shoot the bell anyway. After that, they will solve a very easy variant of elemental puzzle, but here the design is wrong as well: if two receptacles are placed together, no-one, especially knowing about the element puzzle bug, will guess at once the items are supposed to be placed with inbetween break. Another serious issue is a definite lack of flares in the first half of the game, and the final mistake is the flat theatre interior ambience making it difficult to see anything, fortunately just in that last area. Shame on all those errors, because the game is filled with a lot of potential wasted in easy way. Still, when I followed all the path the author had intended, I found my revenge on the serial-killer phantom unexpectedly rewarding. SUMMARY: Lots of errors in this little game, but it's so short and action- packed that it can't get frustrating and might be recommended to anyone." - DJ Full (05-Nov-2013)
"Already from the screenshots I expected this to be a spookier kind of Venice than most other entries and the storyline and first glances of the actual game only reinforced that belief. The level's lighting is a bit on the dark side, especially in the outside areas and the opera, but not overwhelmingly so (though an extra flare pickup would not have gone amiss). The texturing and lighting are strong through the entirety of the game and it's easy to see that the author is someone who has an eye for good looks. If there would be any faults to mention in the looks department - then I'd say that in the outside areas it looked a bit unnatural for the tops of the buildings to be cut off at the same level and it could've varied just a bit for a more authentic feel, but that's a minor quibble in the big picture. The tasks offered don't lag behind and I liked how they carried the storyline with the explosions, baddies bursting into the opera, and the phantom stalking Lara. All set in scene nicely, and if anything - I think the author should've explored the stalking angle a bit more to build up tension for the final confrontation. The 2 secrets are not hard to find as well, which always helps lousy secret finders like myself to feel a bit smug about ourselves. Overall - an excellent addition to the BTB 2010 collection, well worth playing, and should not provide anyone a whole lot of trouble as long as played with eyes open!" - eTux (28-Jan-2011)
"After reading the storyline, I though it’ll be a nice level. It turned out that I was right. Partly. Game is introduced by a flyby that shows a little bit empty city, an impossible bridge (no doors on any of its sides) and Miss Croft, which is ready for another adventure. First half of the game is quite enjoyable: All you have to do is to jump all around and kill some baddies. Having nice texturing and lighting the game is just fine. I found a shortcut, which shortens the level for about 15 minutes. Architecture isn’t very good, but I didn’t spot anything eye-unpleasant. A little bit different atmosphere is shown in the second part of the level. You enter a big theatre with a huge stage, but with no seats (I wonder why…). The area is dark, sometimes even too dark, with not enough flares provided. Those rooms also look quite empty. I’d definitely use more objects here, especially because there are many of them in the wad which suit this kind of environment. Here gameplay is also quite linear and simple. I like the moment were gangsters enter the theatre and you have to fight them. It’s a pity that there was just a pair of them, because there could be some more fights in this game. Nevertheless I had quite an entertainment here. To sum up I’d like to say that the level is good, but not so good to give it higher scores. It’s an enjoyable adventure, but I recommend playing other, better levels from this BtB, because you can get easily scared off by the Phantom of the Opera." - jawi (01-Jan-2011)
"A very well thought out solid level here. Lighting and texturing are absolutely first rate, striking the right balance between being dark enough to have good ambience, but not so dark that you cant see what you're doing!. Progression is relatively linear, but there's pleanty of dark corners you'll have to sneak through to complete. Took me around an hour to complete Recommended." - TheStig (18-Jul-2010)
"I can suggest this level for everyone. It is an easy adventure. If you go through on the level with standars pistols, you don’t have to use medi packs, and int he secrets you can find the shotgun too. The level has UZI and Glock17 too, and if you want to ring the bell, you don’t have to use any of them, so you can miss out the vault and spikes too. It is the author’s fault. At the end of the level, the phantom stucked into a corner for me. The level is a little bit dark, but there are flares. Medipacks too, I haven’t used any. Some baddies, rats, and the phantom is the enemy. And a group of bats, and a bunch of rats, you can avoid them by sprint. You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version), savegames and pictures here:" - Obig (01-Jun-2010)
"It begins with normal Venice business, getting Lara into a few houses and swimming across the canals. But from the moment she slides down a zip line, the fun really starts! Crumbling floors, jumps, fires, blade traps - a lot of action that kept me on the edge of my seat till the phantom lost its mask. I encountered one bug when Lara falls into water and is immediately "beamed up" onto a safe ledge far above. That actually was helpful, so I didn't mind. The gameplay was never too hard and the builder was especially thoughtful insofar as tedious backtracking was always avoided. For example, a block rises in the theatre so you need't repeat the rope jumping. The underwater doors closing behind Lara tricked me till I read in the walkthrough I had missed a switch behind a door. On the other hand, the mirror room was easier than it seemed at first glance. The lighting is rather dark but colourful. Camera and music use wasn't overdone, I liked the final fly-by, it felt like "hooray, the curse is lifted". One of the most entertaining levels in the competition for me." - Ruediger (14-Mar-2010)
"Here we have a simple level, but very enjoyable with an incredibly atmosphere, good cameras and cool effects. There's no need to get the revolver or the sight to finish it, but it'll be very useful to deal with all enemies you'll find. Nice and not difficult gameplay, remember to use the waterskin when you have it and don't wait for the bag of sand. Ambience is too dark, at least for my monitor and this difficults the exploration, but there are not excessively hidden items. Entertaining tasks and some surprises await to the players, well hidden secrets and definitively not a masterpiece but an excelent work you'll enjoy." - Jose (01-Mar-2010)
"The BtB levels submitted as debut levels this year are of amazing quality indeed and this one here is no exception. Right from the starting flyby this adventure is loaded thick with atmosphere, great lighting, very solid texturing and you progress through it very switfly and easily, yet it is never boring or dull. A very organized level that guides you from one task to the next and features some good use of sinks and flipmaps. The phantom appearance was a nice addition and the mirror room looked good too. Only the finale, while executed again with a nice flyby, seemed a little sudden after placing the mask - almost as if the whole flow was broken and not brought towards a proper ending and overall enemies played only a very minor role and the secrets were fairly easy to pick up. Those are minor gripes though in a thoroughly enjoyable level. (50 mins, 2 secrets)." - MichaelP (01-Mar-2010)
"They say first impressions are very important, and this level sets the bar very low with a flyby where the music starts one third into the flyby and ends two thirds into it. It's fitting, though, since the final flyby is equally as disappointing: the camera quickly zooms away and flies into a room you visited at the beginning of the level, and then the level ends. The actual level, fortunately, fares a bit better than its flybys might indicate. The gameplay tasks are fairly varied, without ever snowing in too much one thing, so you'll get to perform some challenging jumps, explore a bit, kill some bad guys and solve some puzzles. It's all pretty standard fare, though, and while it's nice to see a lot of variation, none of the tasks really stand out, and the adventure ends up feeling a bit too 'been there, done that'. The texturing is okay, though nothing overly impressive, and the nighttime setting doesn't do the level any favours - it just leads to a lot of fairly dark areas. Overall, this is a decent thirty-minute level that doesn't really do anything wrong, but unfortunately also fails to stand out among the other Back to Basics levels." - Magnus (28-Feb-2010)
"I'm still in disbelief that I just finished the level. 34 minutes? Really? It still retains a 7 in gameplay though, since what gameplay there was was rather entertaining. I appreciated the underwater doors puzzle and traps among other things. The enemies got a bit messed up though. One witch disappeared in front of my eyes (on multiple tries) and the other one just kept flying into the wall while I shot it to death. I liked the atmospheric flybys at the start and finish though. This level had much potential, but the end result is not elaborate enough to compete with the other entries." - SSJ6Wolf (27-Feb-2010)
"Apparently, a band of saboteurs has been at work in the city, as some switches produce rather surprising results. I found one of the traps very hard to escape as it seemed to require an extremely precise timing of a jump. On the other hand there is a bug that boosted Lara to a ledge at the top of a "chimney" when she tried to swim out of some water in the bottom. There is also a confusing texturing in a mirror room, but one can argue whether this a bug or feature. I was rather annoyed by the camera on the first sector in this room, though. The level has many quite dark areas. Most of the action takes place indoors." - Bogey (26-Feb-2010)
"A good variety of gameplay but very dark and gloomy. One set of flares found late on meant endlessly reloading the same flare just to navigate and see stuff. Too dark to be enjoyable." - Dick (23-Feb-2010)
"A rather shorter adventure brings Lara to an old derelict Opera house. Unfortunately this level was much too dark most of the time, which took away quite a bit of playing fun for me, especially as there were no flares available. Gameplay: There were some nice jump and acrobatics-tasks to master and if I had been able to see more it may not have taken me so much time to look through everything with my single flare and then reload and look again ;) Textures seemed to not have been applied with a lot of care in many places and there were many cracks which looks especially bad in the underwater areas." - Eva (17-Feb-2010)
"Really well done opening and ending flyby. I especially enjoyed seeing and remembering all the areas in the finale. This begins with a dramatic blowing up of crated TNT, allowing passage to a different area. Contrary to some reviews, I found this not particularly easy or short. 2+ hours for me but then again, I seem to take longer than most in any level. The right curve jump before a fan while in the vents was a hard accomplishment for me, albeit extremely satisfying once completed...I guess others did it easily and the underwater maze was a puzzler for me as well. Easy? Yes, once it was figured out correctly but not before. Loved the secret in the mirror room and the fact that it was easy. Good textures and a dark, somewhat menacing atmosphere in the Opera Hall added to the enjoyment. Recommended for all." - Bene (17-Feb-2010)
"Nice level with some outdoors and inside action in a large theatre later. The lighting outside was very good, there were some spots in the theatre I thought to be too dark. The puzzles on and under the stage of the theatre were well set up. Playable for all.." - Dutchy (13-Feb-2010)
"This good level has even an ending sequence that most of the other BtB 2010 are missing. A nice mixture of puzzles and agility tests , playable for everybody. The order in which this years BtB levels are played definetely have an impact on all reviewers scores due to the amount of games which look kinda alike due to the use of the same WAD all the time. I was actually thinking of a slightly lower rate but changed my mind for if I had played this one first I would have lowered my rate for some others accordingly. So I decided to give it the good average rating it deserves. Good fun to play , on to the next one." - Ruben (12-Feb-2010)
"I really can't imagine what made the builder think that it would be a good idea to create an intensely dark level, and then forget to provide flares until about halfway through it. With better lighting, I would have recommended this level highly, but right now, I am having a hard time trying to think of any positive points about it, after the blinding headache I got from trying to squint my way through it.
Ok, that's really unfair, I know. I'll be nice now. The level does have a very positive point: great gameplay. There's a tad too much ladder climbing, but apart from that, the game moves fast, and requires deductive and observation skills as well as quick reflexes. The underground section where you find the Glock is great, as well as the underwater maze in the theatre.
Enemies are used sparingly and appropriately, for which I am very grateful. The secrets are presumably very well-hidden, since I found none. The camera flybys are nicely done, and the music is well used. Textures are well-applied. In short, there is really no deficiency in this game apart from the terrible lighting, and the rather short length. Better lighting and another half hour of gameplay would have made this one a very good level indeed." - Mytly (09-Feb-2010)
"A beautiful fly-by leads you into this rather absorbing adventure,which moves along smoothly and is nowhere particularly difficult but nonetheless manages to entertain at almost every step.Gameplay consists of a mixture of flipped rooms,traps,enemy placement and the occasional puzzle;and it all blends together very smoothly,helped in no small measure by the immaculate texturing and well-applied lighting.The atmosphere is everything you could ever want for in a venetian adventure,although quite what the significance of the final fly-by might have been was rather lost on me,as it seemed to imply that there was more to come. This is a level suitable for players of all abilities and it's almost a pity that it's released amid so many other worthy entrants in this years competition,as it deserves to be very well known.Highly recommended." - Orbit Dream (07-Feb-2010)
"This was a really pleasant level to play. It's the first of the BtB Venice levels that I've played and it made a very good impression on me. The buildings are beautifully done and the sky really caught my attention. The level was extremely atmospheric and the music was perfectly integrated into the level to heighten the experience. The camera fly-bys were also very nicely done and showed off the beauty of the level. My only slight complaint is that the purple lighting inside the opera house gave me a bit of eye strain after playing for too long. The gameplay was very straight-forward and logical. Everything made sense and there weren't any unreasonably difficult jumps, which is a good thing in my book. I thought the puzzles were a little too simple, but they were varied so it was nice to have a little bit of everything. I also really liked the little elevator towards the end of the level. That was a clever way to stretch the puzzle out over different floors, and it's perfectly fitting for the Phantom of the Opera theme of the level. There wasn't too much combat, which added to the isolation and mystery of the level. Overall this was a really nice level and it makes me look forward to the other Venice levels which I will try to play soon." - Ward Dragon (06-Feb-2010)
"This is one of the shortest in the competition, however, I feel that the building skills shown here make up for the short amount of gameplay. Very nice flybys are dotted around the level and sounds were used to change the atmosphere very well. There was clever use of the TNT textures and it generally wasn't possible to get stuck (other than an underwater lever, hidden by the door that I kept missing). Enemies were few and you were given plenty of ammo and health in the earlier parts of the level, plenty to deal with all of them. The whole level was very cleverly laid out, and it played very well. Recommended. 35 mins 1 secret." - Cory (06-Feb-2010)
"Venice by night. A refreshing change of pace, I must say. I would have been foaming at the mouth if I'd been playing this admittedly dark level before getting my new computer with its much-improved monitor. But I found the darkness here to be quite in keeping with the mood established by the builder in the early going. I also can't figure out the comments about this being a short level. I played at my usual speed, using a walkthrough so that I experienced no inordinate pauses in gameplay, yet I clocked a little more than an hour from start to finish. Everything here suggests the touch of an experienced craftsman, including the breathtaking flybys, and I enjoyed myself immensely. I was even able to manage the rope swings near the end without undue effort. A very nice raid, one of my favorites in this year's BtB competition." - Phil (05-Feb-2010)
"At the beginning I had looked forward to a gruesome adventure in the night of Venice. The outskirts of Venice with the canal and the forecourt of the Opera House was designed well and moody, but I was disappointed in the opera. Many large, empty and above all very dark rooms, no rows of seats or something else which would be in an opera. In addition i was missing good and matching music, to support the mysterious and creepy mood much more. The riddles are simple - searching switches, solving a pushing puzzle and a jumping sequence in a mirror room. The gameplay is linear, the path is not hard to find. Comfortable level, easy to play, but nothing special." - repley (05-Feb-2010)
"Too longe and too boring - a lot of big houses with independant of another rooms with too much jumping and searching of the keys and switches. Too easy gameplay. The textures were uninspired, the lighting and sound were good, but partly too dark - it was unfair with too little flares." - masha (04-Feb-2010)
"A short but sweet entry (it took around half an hour vs the hour+ of most levels) to the contest. Gameplay is mostly dexterity challenges involving jumping and slopes, although there are a few puzzles towards the end. It all flows well and makes good use of the space, including some nice use of explosive areas.
The setting is pulled off very well and is very atmospheric (and another level that makes good use of a night setting that's rare for this contest). Some might find the theatre a bit dark but I thought it pulled off a creepy atmosphere very well. While great, it can't help feeling a little insubstantial versus the best levels that provide around double the length with gameplay that's consistently as good." - Mman (01-Feb-2010)
"A pleasurable level, without multiple ways and byways to confuse the player. The gameplay is straightforward and almost easy - and I liked very much to see things happening when Lara places first the water, and later the earth, in their respective basins; generally, we have to place all the items for something to happen. The mirror sequence was fine, and the water maze, unusual. The appearance of the fire spirit was fun (at first, Lara thought that getting rid of it would be a difficult task; the author was naughty here...) Unfortunately, the game became very dark from the moment that Lara entered the theater - I didn't like that purple-rosy glow and the lack of torches." - Josey (31-Jan-2010)
"A shorter entry in this year's contest, but sweet enough to make those 40-or-so minutes a satisfying trip. Venice is set during a night in some streets and houses outside of an abandoned opera house that the story is tied to. Things start out quite nicely, providing a smooth progression and keeping the pacing to a fine balance of challenge. Gameplay focuses on exploration initially, then there's also a fair amount of swimming involved, platforming through dangerous flames and spikes, avoiding blades, collapsible tiles, and a bit of fun with a mirror room. Atmosphere is interesting, using the "beating-heart" background track to create a sense of foreboding, which given the context of the story for the level it fits. Music cues are well utilized, and the brief appearances of the phantom make for interesting suspense. The textures are finely utilized, particularly the opera stage, and the lighting fits the nighttime setting well, maybe it was a little dark in some areas of the opera house, but that's a fairly minor complaint from me. On another note, the bell to open the opera house should have been placed higher or in a more inaccessible place as it's quite easy to miss the Glock revolver as there really is no need for it, but then the player misses out on the entertaining sequence of finding the gun. Overall, a short, sweet, finely produced entry." - Relic Hunter (28-Jan-2010)
"The phantom of the opera is quite obviously a phantom of the darkness. Since only this can be the reason, why Lara does not marched on the bright day through Venice to run down the phantom. However, in this case darkness does not mean at the same time exciting Gameplay and a gloomy atmosphere. In addition it needs a little bit more than only darkness. And in this case it means only which is it pure and simple too dark about wide distances. It would have been very helpful if the level builder had distributed Flares in the whole level so that the inclined player does not find them if he is already almost at the level end. Apart from the fact it was a pleasant level. It existed only a few opponents and the riddles were relatively easy to solve. There were no heavy jumps and one always knew what was to be done. All together one could run a brief hour completely relaxed through the dark Venice." - Scottie (26-Jan-2010)
"Very linear, this one. Nothing challenging. The way through this level is quite obvious, predictable. The way down to the section where the crowbar has to be found is the only a bit interesting sequence of this game. The quite dark scenery of this level may be a bit stressful, but it is in accordance with the story-line given in the readme. A nice little game for a rainy afternoon but far away to be a favorite in the running competition" - Christian (22-Jan-2010)
"This level was pretty fun and I loved the way the builder used the phantom, which always builds suspense. I did however, thwart the zipline trap and was able to take my time..whoopsie. I liked how the mask is acquired, and I especially enjoyed the Opera House with the background sets. Well done!" - Shandroid (21-Jan-2010)
"One of the shorter entries, this has a wonderful gothic atmosphere and I always enjoy a trip to the Opera House. There's plenty to accomplish and quite a few traps to negotiate, but nothing to deter all but the most inexperienced players. It was good to see a variation of the door puzzle again - this time underwater. For some reason, this really evoked the old TR2 Opera House level for me, although I'm not sure why as it doesn't look very similar. Most enjoyable." - Jay (14-Jan-2010)
"A comparably simpler level that can be made even simpler by shooting the bell that opens the opera's door with just the pistols - but you may still choose to follow the more complicated (and somewhat interesting) sequence that leads to the glock revolver as I did nonetheless. The level looks good, namely in its first part with the channels, despite the fact that Lara's feet sometimes melt with the floor or the walls. There are fun puzzles along the way and even the mirror room with spikes, one of my pet peeves, is friendly enough because the safe tiles and the spikes are on different levels, as friendly as, for example, the underwater slicers that one may simply pass below. The brief appearance of the ghost way before the final showdown is a great touch. There are a few cut scenes too, which is good as I noticed that they're missing in a few other levels, better in most aspects as they may be. The music suits Venice and I particularly enjoyed the music in the first cut scene. In the end, after putting a definitive end to the ghost's worries, you're left wondering what you have to do next. No clues whatsoever. Where is the mask to be found? And all you really have to do is push the harp in front of the mask's receptacle (sorry for the spoiler). All in all, not a winner but rather nice." - Jorge22 (12-Jan-2010)
"Being half-way through the BtB 2010 Venice levels now, I can say that The phantom of the Opera is definitely one of my favourites so far. It is also the shortest one , and one of the fairest ones gameplay wise. Not that there is not challenges therein, there are some deadly traps, and some actions that possibly may require a few tries , but really there is nothing tricky, you only have to be sometimes on your toes in the first half of the level. There is also a few well done puzzles. Enough camera work and No backtracking make the experience here very good for the player. The author has worked on together several ingredients so to serve the atmospheric scenario : the background audio loop , the lighting which is predominantly blue , the short appearance of the phantom before you finally meet it at the end, and the well done flybys. It was a pleasure to be immersed in the plot, and a good change to not have a gigantic map to wade through. The level will never win a prize for its beauty, although it looks quite good, but is by all means an excellent example of what a good level should be. Anyway big thanks to the author for this enjoyable level where absolutely everything makes sense. I just wonder what was the use of the laser-sight : I did not found the revolver but the bell could be shot with the pistols. [ 45 minutes - 2/2 secrets ]" - eRIC (10-Jan-2010)
"Another quality entry in the contest. The emphasis is on game play, maneuvering Lara through an obstacle course of jumps, with underwater spikes and fans sure to be deadly. Anyone can make tough obstacles, but it takes an experienced author to make things look like a gauntlet, while still allowing Lara to work through it, and players to derive satisfaction from mastering it. A lot of skill went into creating this. For my tastes, the setting is too dark and compact, though I know the original TR2 Opera House was very dark. The outside Venice areas look good. The architecture feels solid and real. I had issues with an underwater puzzle, where Lara was supposed to swim in a circle to close doors behind her, then swim in the opposite direction to find an underwater lever revealed. This would have worked if the lever had been placed in an alcove. In game, Lara immediately noticed the underwater lever showing through the open door, and pulled it as it was (through the door). Another place Lara picks up a laser sight, then takes a zip line and goes through numerous obstacles to get the Glock. Now Lara can combine Glock and laser sight to shoot the bell. But in game Lara stood at the top of the zip line and used the shotgun, angled down, to shoot the bell. So the doors were already open. Well, it was nice to get the Glock. There is fun rope swinging in the opera house. This level takes about an hour to play, so it isn't as involved as longer levels, but it offers a fun adventure. Recommended." - dmdibl (07-Jan-2010)