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BtB2010 - Cult of the Mask by TombMaker

Bangkok 8 8 8 9
Bene 8 8 8 9
Bogey 7 8 9 8
Cory 8 9 9 8
Cosmos 7 8 8 9
DJ Full 7 9 9 9
dmdibl 8 8 9 8
Dutchy 8 9 8 9
eRIC 8 8 8 7
eTux 7 6 8 7
Eva 6 7 7 7
High Priestess 7 10 9 8
Jack& 10 9 10 9
jawi 8 6 7 7
Jay 8 8 9 8
JesseG 7 9 9 8
Jorge22 8 7 7 7
Jose 8 9 9 9
Josey 10 10 8 9
Magnus 5 4 4 5
manarch2 6 7 8 8
masha 5 6 5 5
MichaelP 7 7 8 7
Mman 8 10 9 9
Mytly 8 8 8 7
nerdfury 6 7 9 7
Obig 7 7 8 7
Orbit Dream 8 8 8 8
Phil 9 10 9 9
Relic Hunter 7 8 9 9
repley 7 7 8 8
rtrger 9 9 9 10
Ruben 8 9 9 8
Ruediger 7 8 8 8
Ryan 8 8 8 7
Scottie 9 9 9 10
sharnilal 9 8 8 9
SlyRaider 10 9 10 10
TheStig 8 9 8 9
Treeble 7 8 9 8
release date: 01-Jan-2010
# of downloads: 147

average rating: 8.01
review count: 40
review this level

file size: 52.01 MB
file type: TR4
class: Venice

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"fascinating even if sometimes complicated but it has a very logical styria even as a setting. it is reminiscent of an old tomb raider even with the final boss of the game" - Bangkok (02-Nov-2022)
"(6) Gameplay & Puzzles: The first half of the level boiled down to pulling lots of levers, pressing buttons, and going from point A, to B, to C, and sometimes back to A. I don't find this kind of gameplay interesting, and it doesn't help that the only "puzzle" here is a dull pushable sequence that requires little thought. In fact, I would say that "requires little thought" sums up the level quite well. The gameplay did pick up once I entered the sewers, with problem-solving involving a waterworks area and 2 large pools to drain/fill. The second half is definitely better than the first in terms of tasks, but at that point my interest had already waned. Some game design elements just didn't make sense to me: for example, having 4 crate rooms is overkill and shows some laziness in game design. Also, there's a room full of ladders with a unique layout, so I was excited that I would be doing some engaging platforming, but in fact all you do is go straight up and then shimmy right for ages, ignoring most of the ladders. (7) Enemies, Objects & Secrets: Enemy placement throughout the level was good, as was the placement of static decor, however the level is really lacking in traps. I also felt like the final fight was lackluster, considering that it's only 1 demigirl, yet the player will have amassed quite a lot of ammo. (9) Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The atmosphere and architecture is excellent, particularly in the theatre (although it looks like the chandelier chains are floating in air). Sounds were generally decent although it didn't make sense that the builder included a tense tune for one timed run, but not another (why not include a tense sound cue to show players that the run is timed?). Camera hints are good, as are the static cameras when Lara was approaching an enemy. These were done very well, added to immersion, and it's not something I see often. (7) Lighting & Textures: This is generally done well, but on closer inspection there are actually a good number of misshapen textures, as well as statics with the wrong color given their surroundings. I also felt like the darkness in the sewers, which makes up almost half the adventure, was too much, and could have benefited from some warm spots. The builder provides many flares but it's just not fun to be lighting them over and over. Overall, I felt that the gameplay was not substantial, nor memorable, with plenty of "filler" tasks. 6/7/9/7." - nerdfury (16-Feb-2021)
"Another level I had to abandon towards the end because I could not reach the open gate in time in spite of the Nitrous Oxide boost for the moped. Perhaps this speed drive around corners is better executed by those who are better typists than I am but to depress CTRL, arrow keys and sprint all in one go is too taxing but that's the ONLY reason I have marked it down. Otherwise it was a very beautiful and rather linear level - very ambient and with sufficient ammo and medi-packs to keep our heroine alive. Shame about the timed run, otherwise top marks :)" - High Priestess (13-Oct-2017)
"My BtB Venice run starts off smoothly with this pleasant level. There's nothing particularly impressive or breathtaking about it. It's just nice to play. The sewers were a bit too dark for my liking. Gameplay was easy." - Ryan (14-Mar-2016)
"Splendid level in Venice ! The atmosphere is excellent, the level is well built (long enough, I finished in 1:15) and really beautiful (textures and lights). I recommend it! :)" - SlyRaider (21-Aug-2014)
"After yet another undesired break from the custom levels, I was rather pleased to have this as the first of my BtB Venice journey solely for the fact that, despite the rather extensive gameplay, not once I found myself stuck. There's a good flow to the gameplay, although it could have been as fulfilling an experience even if it didn't have the "filler" areas, for the lack of a better term. The entire underground/sewer sequence felt unnecessary for me, including the timed door you need to use the bike+nitrous to get to. While the first half hour seemed to rely too much on switches and remote doors, it picked up shortly after. I particularly enjoyed the whole abandoned and dark theater, which built up to an amazing final boss. 80 minutes, 2 secrets. 08/13" - Treeble (01-Mar-2014)
"This was the first level I played of the BtB 2010 series (actually the first BtB level), and regarding this, it was a generally positive experience, which makes me excited to play the rest. Understanding that TombMaker used the official package released for the project, I thought that the level was well textured, using a variety of different wall textures to paint the buildings. I thought the game was a little lacking in the gameplay department. The level could have progressed a bit faster. There were far too many levers, backtracking and locked doors in the first part of the level, but there were also a few really well thought out puzzles, and a cool timed bike ride section (but I generally don't regard the whole 'getting lost whilst pulling loads of levers, trying to find which door opened' a puzzle, unfortunately). Also, I found loads of guns, ammo and other pickups, but not many enemies to shoot at with them... a little odd considering we got uzi's right at the end of the level. Whilst the entirety of level was consistent and was constructed well, I was waiting for a point where the architecture/ level design really stood out, like a huge underground tomb/ temple to look at in awe and amazement. Unfortunately this didn't happen, the level was perhaps a bit too uniform throughout. The Opera I suppose was supposed to be exactly that (being the climax), but again, it wasn't really anything too original. Overall, I thought it was a polished, well-constructed and atmospheric level from an obviously talented builder." - Cosmos (23-Feb-2014)
"Being the easiest of the package I've played so far, it has only one problem: there is too much switches to press and corridors to run, so tasks become routine and running like hell doesn't allow full immersion. It would be better to place several harder switches, so we would have less ordeal and more time to admire the scenery, which is too atmospheric to be travelled through so quickly without looking around for a while. SUMMARY: Too easy! But anyway constructed very solid." - DJ Full (03-Nov-2013)
"This level was a great adventure, taking place in Venice. Altough it has a part in the dark sewers when you've got a find a way to progress, it did take me back into Venice from TR2. Even if I had to use some medipacks because of the armed men, the rats in groups, and the bats, there are still enough of them. Just like the weapons. I've only left the UZI somewhere. In the end, in the battle against the demon, luckily we have a Grenade Gun, what I've found in one of the 2 secrets. Overall: this is a great level, do not miss it. You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version), savegames and pictures here:" - Obig (05-May-2012)
"I didn't read the plot synopsis before starting this adventure,but the author must be given credit for crafting a level which (by the end) had clearly had a developed storyline.You continually move forward,from a bright and pleasing canal-side location;into some typically dark and damp sewers;to end in a peeling theatre,and the final confrontation.Throughout,the gameplay is entertaining and straightforward.There are no infuriatingly head-scratching moments,obscure puzzles nor expert jumps;simply an enjoyable progression that continually moves you forward.I could probably have done with somewhat less of the subterranean exploration,as this seems to be an ubiquitous feature of recent Venetian levels;but the timed motorbike ride was a particularly fun idea;and the overall speed of the level helped the 80 minutes to zip by in a highly entertaining fashion.Atmosphere was well engendered throughout;the lighting did its job;and the texturing was accomplished. A few more enemies would not have gone amiss,though.By the time of the final Boss encounter,I was absolutely weighed down with a particularly heavy arsenal;and a mere five blasts with the grenade gun were enough to neutralise the potentially fearsome opponent - which seemed a little disappointing.Nonetheless,I felt that this adventure struck pretty much the correct balance;and I hope to see more from this author." - Orbit Dream (07-Mar-2012)
"This was maybe the least entertaining of all the seven BtB levels I have played until now, the gameplay was in my opinion quite uninspired. There is a lot of backtracking and lever-pulling, and some of the doors clearly needed a camera hint. Some areas felt maze-like and it was hard to orientate. Only few puzzles here, a medium-sized harp one and - the best thing about this level - a flooding-and- draining puzzle in the sewers. The two secrets are oddly hidden as the secret paths were long and the players cannot really know if they go for a secret or do the needed action, and it also wasn't a great idea to place them right at the start. The texturing was quite nice in my opinion, but the lighting in some areas was a little flat - the sewers had a constant lighting usage, and the theatre had a uniform and strange use of purple in it. I liked the enemy placement in this level, sometimes hinted by an interesting camera shot showing the waiting enemy, or you can see them from a far distance. All in all this level was solid but I didn't quite enjoy it as many of the other reviewers." - manarch2 (15-Jan-2012)
"With me playing the BTB Venice levels in a somewhat random order, this could not enjoy the benefit of fresh perspective some of the first levels could (but also to a degree, with me participating in the competition and being exposed to the package myself). Nevertheless, it manages to have a personality of its own to set it apart from the pack. The aspect I enjoyed the most was how the atmosphere gradually became more and more sinister. Entering the sewers had that feeling of infiltrating the cult's hideout, and the final palace buildings were dark and brooding up to the final battle. The cameras were also put in effect nicely as they showed you the (usually) unsuspecting mafiosos waiting around corners as Lara snuck up on them. There are also a handful of clever tasks, including a timed run on the Vespa and the puzzle with pools, but mostly the level is a hunt after buttons and levers. Initially this hunt sends you around the level back and fro distracting somewhat from its otherwise linear feel, but essentially this makes up the bulk of gameplay here. There a few nice looking areas, more to the end of the level, but I didn't find the visuals to be the most convincing aspect of the level. The initial city areas are simply too vast and boxy for a setting that is generally renowned for it's intricate alley, canal and bridge system and works more as a mix of big and small expressed through that system. Apart from that - another downside, I felt was the over-abundance of pickups, which were not that necessary as you progressed further on in the game, especially with there hardly being any enemies in the final area. The constant arming lead me to believe there will be battle on a massive scale (to which some of the final larger areas could've lent themselves perfectly), but it ended with a demigod that was vastly overpowered by Lara's arsenal (even without finding the 2 secrets) and a wraith that was pretty innocuous, considering the level ended barely a minute after its appearance. All that said - this still is worth to play for the better aspects, and generally is simple enough to not be very troublesome for the majority of players out there." - eTux (28-Jan-2011)
"It’s the first BtB 2010 level finished by me. And it is a very nice introduction to further levels. Gameplay is easy, but very enjoyable. I passed through the half of the game with fun and with no real difficulties. The second half is a little bit harder but it didn’t lose much of its charm. Unfortunately the visual side of the level is worse. Much worse. I have seen many cracks and also some places where textures were put carelessly (canals for example). Also there is very small number of objects. Author could put some more of them to bring life to Venice. I also disliked big empty areas with very simple architecture. Overall, this level is enjoyable to play, but if you’re looking for something that you can look at with pleasure, search for other custom." - jawi (08-Aug-2010)
"One of my favorities of this series. Nothing to get you overly stuck. Gameplay flows quite nicely and doesnt leave you looking for doors or levers on the wrong side of the levels. Very good use of 3 core locations - namely the venice street level, sewers and thearte. Approx 2 hours to complete for me. Pleanty of hidden items/rewards if you go exploring. Very polished, and holds together very well." - TheStig (02-May-2010)
"In the first half, the adventure begins a bit too repetitive with the "find lever, open door, find next lever, open next door" routine. Fortunately, the switches to open doors on the ground floor aren't on the second floor in real life, that would drive me mad. Besides, ammo can be picked up so much you could start a war with it. - In the second half of the adventure, when Lara descends into the dark passages below the city, needs to find wires for a repair and rides a bike, everything gets better, more exciting and atmospheric. - Occasionally excellent use of cameras, I loved the moment when Lara comes out of a crawlspace, behind a bad guy and unnoticed by him, until she draws the pistols... sneaky!" - Ruediger (07-Mar-2010)
"This game is not difficult to play and very long, an hour and a half if you know what to do and more than two hours if not. Not difficult tasks, only a timed run with the bike perhaps the author abused of the many switches/buttons to push and a lot of backtracking going from place to place to open a lot of doors. Better look for the secrets to get some weapons 'cause there are a lot of enemies to shoot, although later, in the sewers you'll find more weapons. Good architecture and well lightened and textured, good atmosphere and some interesting situations to solve. A very complete work." - Jose (01-Mar-2010)
"This starts very nicely with a long flyby and some fast paced exploration of small rooms which quickly yield the two secrets near the beginning of the level and the author then sends you back and forth a bit with many buttons to push and doors to open, which is entertaining enough for a while, but somehow I felt the game dragged out a bit beyond its merit when you drop into the sewers, and need to do some tasks more on the tedious side - even though the timed run with the scooter was fun. And it then continues to go on and on with only the occasional highlight, like the water swap in the huge sewer pools and when you reach the nicely architected theater, I wondered if the author got tired of the level a bit as the texturing is suddenly a bit on the odd and erratic side. Maybe a little less would have been more in this level. The end is quite sudden as well and for me this started out nicely and then went downhill a little bit in the second half. Very neat camera work throughout though, especially how you often got a shot of an waiting enemy ahead of you. Definitely worth a play, but bring a bit of patience along. (80 mins, 2 secrets)." - MichaelP (01-Mar-2010)
"The author clearly had a lot of fun writing the story for this level, and though the quality of the actual level doesn't live up to the expectations set by the dramatic story (though writing "all heck breaks loose" kind of takes the edge off things), I hope he or she had just as much fun building as he/she had writing. This is a very straightforward and linear level, with a lot of switches and a lot of doors. In the first half of the level, you'll pull switches and run back and forth through the area you're in, walking through newly opened doors to pull new switches. It's not terribly interesting. The second half of the level takes place underground, and while a couple of things like a short timed run with the scooter and a puzzle involving emptying and filling two pools of water spice things up a bit, the gameplay is still fairly bland. There are quite a few enemies (though less and less as the level goes on), but you'll be given more weapons and ammunition than you can shake an epileptic stick at (what?), so they never pose any threat at all. The texturing is okay, but there are no particularly impressive areas, and the author needs to work on avoiding cracks in the texturing in his or her next level. The lighting is okay too, though a bit flat and somewhat dark in places. If this fifty-minute level is a first effort (as I have a feeling it might be), it's a decent effort. The author just needs to work on making his or her next level pop more visually and make the gameplay more varied." - Magnus (28-Feb-2010)
"This level does include some nice jumping puzzles, but it is often unnecessarily laborious with detours back and forth, mazelike passages and strange triggers. There are also some boring "relay races" for switches. One good thing is that you can pick up plenty of Uzi ammo, so in this level I actually used this weapon. Most of the level takes place in daylight, but there is also a rather dark part in the sewers." - Bogey (26-Feb-2010)
"I first started the level thinking I was doing something 'illegal' but it was the builder's design and fun. There's a lot of back and forth and by the time I got to the underground and flooding areas I was happy to have a walkthrough close at hand. The timed motorbike run looked easy but was more challenging then at first glance. The sewer fog gave more of a feeling of miasma that was very atmospheric and true to the environment. Cameras were used but it was confusing to show a door leading to a timed button but not the door it opened. Lots of good weapons, some coming later in the game but the grenade launcher (secret) was early and even with a feeling of 'overkill', it was good. Nice contrast of the light in the outside areas and in the dark underground. Recommended." - Bene (18-Feb-2010)
"Very nice"town" level, all Venice aspects included here. Nice puzzles with some easy timed runs and also one on the scooter that was a bit more challenging." - Dutchy (13-Feb-2010)
"Again, another pleasant level, and it plays very well, with easy progression. The puzzles were simple, and there was a high number of enemies, although they never ambushed you. I found 2 secrets, and objects were used well to create a realistic atmosphere. The atmosphere was good, as you run through Venice and the sewers underneath. Sounds were used occasionaly, however, I would have liked a few more camera hints, rather than just hearing the door open. Texturing was nice, and it was lit well. Overall, a nice level, that has fun and easy gameplay. 1 hour 10 mins 2 secrets." - Cory (13-Feb-2010)
"I think its a great game , it keeps up the tension till the end .Excessive use of levers , switches and keys are always a downer for me in gameplay design. The run for life to get rid of the fire wraith in the end was long but interesting if your memory served you well. The unevitable witch is unfortunately the only boss the Wad allows to be be used , whatever , so she finds her earthly grave in this game too. After having played 18 games in 5 weeks I find it harder every other time to justify a decent score but the amount of competitors shows that the TRLE community is alive and well and all levels so far have been fine quality work and well worth playing. Thanks again to all involved in the project !" - Ruben (09-Feb-2010)
"A rather dark level (allow me, I'm not one who usually complains about it), a bit soulless, with comparatively monotonous settings, namely in the sewers where a large chunck of the action takes part. Upsides: the use of the Vespa in the sewers to some extent and the last part in the theater, with a somewhat original fight against the masked ghost after a search for keys - fortunately, one can easily beat it with the grenade launcher. More recommended for those who don't want to leave any BtB's entry behind." - Jorge22 (07-Feb-2010)
"Hard not to compare this to the few other levels already played and trying to mark this one on its own merits. I did think the use of the textures provided was not quite as original nor as well-place, nor some of the building quite as good as the other levels I have played. From my own attempts at building I know how difficult it can be to get rooms stacking correctly so that there are no extra large steps at the tops or bottoms of staircases, and some of the ceilings in the rooms near the end seemed too low for the environment, but I feel sure this builder will soon get that sort of issue sorted out. As far as the timed runs were concerned, these are normally things I abhor, but the builder was generous with the timing, so the only real issues were the little things like remembering to brake in time. On the plus side, there seemed to be an adequate number of visual clues by way of camera so all in all game play progressed reasonably smoothly with little backtracking required. I found only one secret and I used nearly all the medpacks provided - those baddies just don't want to die." - sharnilal (02-Feb-2010)
"If one leveldesigner has one pack with objects and textures for 3 month, he can build a toplevel or he can build a boring level. If he has builded the architektur, but has not enough ideas for the clever riddles, he can place a lot of doors and a lot of switches, without the hints of the cameras - and voila, the level is complete. And to play for everybody. Flyby of the start goes through the walls, textures are boring and have cracks, the surface of the water is broken. Result: you must self decide to play or not to play this level" - masha (02-Feb-2010)
"Pretty nice, pleasant, relaxing level that goes through the streets, then it goes down to the sewers, and after that there's some sort of opera house. This concept is very nice. Textures are beautiful, the level's lighting is also a good point. The puzzles are well-thought. Liked this one very much. Recommended!" - rtrger (02-Feb-2010)
"The level is built on a solid foundation, with a plot for Lara, and indoor sewer and outdoor Venice areas to balance each other. Objects and environments are constructed well, however a few textures have gotten squished or stretched in the process and some of the fog, which is quite atmospheric, is sometimes a little too dense to see through. While the level is substantial in length, taking me just over an hour, the manner in which it is lengthy is not as impressionable - most of the time is spent going back and forth between areas and you must pull one switch after another to finally open a path up. Highlights however are the motorbike timed run (wish the end had a bumper guard - you'll see what I mean) and the flooding rooms puzzle. It is a decent level, it just doesn't have the extra "umph" to set it apart from the other entries." - SSJ6Wolf (27-Jan-2010)
"We are pitted in sunny Venice as we uncover the secrets of the "Cult of the Mask." A promising initial flyby and good room design makes this a fun adventure backed up by nice visuals and smooth gameplay. Music is well used to give off atmosphere where it is needed, and the lighting and textures are very well-used across the board, with every area having its own vibe and frame of reference. The lighting towards the end is very nice, given the occult context of the storyline. Objects are nicely used, and I kind of liked the idea of the watching mafia men at certain points. The secrets were fun to look for, even though simple, and enough enemies are present for diversions from the level's focus on exploration. While a fun journey, the gameplay of the level needs work. It is mostly a hunt for buttons and switches that open doors to more buttons and switches, a puzzle item once in a while maybe. The only interesting aspects of it were the timed run with the Vespa, and manipulating the cisterns in the sewers, as well as a bit of platforming here and there. Perhaps the author would refine the gameplay for future releases by spending some more time studying the editor's intricacies. For what it is though, a solid level and adventure this level makes." - Relic Hunter (25-Jan-2010)
"This level is almost like two levels in one, with some action in the Venice streets before you move underground to the sewers and the finish in an abandoned theater. The gameplay is mostly pulling switches, and some of them feel very spurious (like pressing a switch to open a door a couple of corners away that opens another door which actually leads somewhere), the puzzle aspects pick up once you reach the sewers though, and decent navigation challenges are spread throughout(and the difficulty curve is well done in general, although it isn't too tough). The sewers are the weakest part atmospherically but, beyond some maze-like corridors at the start, the gameplay makes up for it. I think that part could have done with some more large areas though, considering the author is obviously capable of making them. The enemies were used well; and the notable lack of enemies for atmospheric purposes in some areas made it obvious the author knew what they were doing in this regard.
The initial Venice section is very convincing; I especially liked the distinctive marble garden/fountain areas, and the bright atmosphere contrasts with the sewer and the very moody theater the level ends at. Outside of some slightly dull lighting in the sewers it is very well done, and the texturing is also great except for some slightly odd texturing in the final area. I especially liked the sense of progression in the level with the changing theme. A very good level but seemingly with more focus on atmosphere than gameplay." - Mman (25-Jan-2010)
"I'm not sure how to rate this level. Actually I think i wouldn't have missed anything if I had not played it. There were really no puzzles there, everything was based on the same way. Lara is looking for a switch that opens a door somewhere. There you'll find either another switch or a key to another door. Often you had to walk long distances, just to get from one switch to another. Only the riddle with the two basins in the sewer system can be described as such. The idea of the vespa was nice as well. The sewers were too dark in my opinion and because of the missing backgroundsound here was no real atmosphere. In addition, there are many large rooms, but they are largely empty and so sad. Apart from this, the level ist well built and the architecture was pleasant. Overall, for me a boring level with fluent gameplay, because you always know what to do. It is only exciting when enemies suddenly appear and you can use the complete arsenal of weapons." - repley (20-Jan-2010)
"This felt like a very unbalanced level, in the gameplay and textures/lighting categories. There are a few puzzles that are quite intriguing, like filling a pit with water, then transferring the water to another; and a cool Vespa timed run. On the other hand, a lot of the gameplay revolves around merely pulling a switch in one room, which opens a door in another, where you press a button that opens a door in the first room - or, for variety, in yet another room. Similarly, there are several pretty outdoor areas, little courtyards, and indoor rooms like a grand hall and a library (all mostly in the first third of the level), all of which are nicely lit. But once you get into the sewers, you're treated to pitch dark tunnels and wallpapered textures. Even the theatre area at the end is unbearably gloomy.
Enemies are quite various - in fact, I think the builder has used every enemy in the wad. Weapons and ammo are plentiful - far too plentiful. I finished the game with 6 guns - including 2 which I found twice, and 2 which I didn't use at all. Such a surfeit would have been useful in a shooter level only, not in a mostly exploration based one.
Reading the other reviews, I wonder if I played the same game. IMO, this is not by a very experienced builder, though perhaps not a debut level either (if it is the latter, it's a very good one). Lighting cracks abound in the outdoor areas at the beginning; there are lots of large empty rooms - or worse, crate-filled rooms; and those little extra touches like varied geometry and complex architecture that are hallmarks of experienced builders are conspicuous by their near absence.
Still, all said and done, this is not a bad level. It has a few good moments, (for example, the hunt for the first secret, which is very well done) and some eye candy as well. Players who aren't as irritated as I am by dark environments, sewers and far too many crates, may even find it quite enjoyable." - Mytly (20-Jan-2010)
"Cult of the Mask is my first level of BtB2010 and before I write something to this level, I must send first quite a thick praise to Horus. The textures look great. The same one is valid for the objects and the opponents. But back to the level. Though this is only first from a total of 23 BtB2010 levels which I play, but by now I believe that I have played one the best level from this series. Allowedly, the play principle is relatively simple. One must find only a lot of levers, then run through the now open doors, shot down all opponents, so far they exist, and look for the next levers. Such a thing can become sometime dull with about one and a half-hour playing time. Can, but must not be, And here it never becomes dull. Since there is to see a lot of interesting places. And one does not make every day a time run with the motor scooter through a canalisation. And thus the inclined player must swim through the canals of Venice, sees nice backyards, has to go through the canalisation and is, finally, after one and a half hours at the finish. After this really good prelude I am really curious about the next levels." - Scottie (19-Jan-2010)
"A level that is easier to play through. At the beginning you go back and forth a few times in an area with houses and canals, later Lara roams through endless hallways in the sewers. This Tomb Raiding the simplistic way, there are hardly any puzzles. The tasks Lara has to manage focus on pulling levers and pushing buttons. I did not need the nitro for the scooter. Bottomline, a bit tedious gameplay with typical enemies and unfortunately very few puzzles." - Eva (17-Jan-2010)
"A good solid level, through sunny Venice, then underground cisterns, to a shadowy theater and the cult of the mask. Has a good start opening doors, or doing jumps, or moving a harp in Venice. But the level improves as it goes along. While the underground tunnel portion would not normally be my favorite, this has good construction. There is a timed run using the Vespa, rather tight mostly because Lara--who is used to her old motorcyle--insists on wasting time trying to kick start it, instead of just turning the key. Then there was a water-tank-type puzzle, with filling and emptying different chasms for Lara to make progress. It was easy to flood the first area, but when Lara came to the next dry chasm I admit this baffled me for a while, because of the fresh way the puzzle is presented. I liked the exploration in the theater to get the golden key, and the end dramatic presentation of the mask cult. This is an author who is in professional ranks, and can concentrate on presenting believable environments. An enjoyable outing, and recommended." - dmdibl (12-Jan-2010)
"This one certainly must be included among the brilliant games of the year. The lighting is very good in the great majority of the places, but, even if it wasn't, there would be plenty of flares. By the way, flares can be found at the very beginning of the game - and the same can be said about the shotgun, if Lara bothers to break a glass pane when she is at the initial piazza, finding a secret before the appropriate time and easing her tasks. Another strong point of the game is the timed moto run - that ends in the water, requiring very good brakes. Wow! That was pure adrenaline. I also enjoyed very much the cisterns' puzzle, and felt quite gratified when I solved it, after being no end puzzled: Lara opens a passage, finds a bunch of immortal bats, uses a switch, and opens a door that takes her... to the departure point?? The objective of all these actions becomes clear afterwards, and how intelligent was the author! As to the flaws of the game, I found only two: (1) at a point, when Lara presses a button, we hear a door opening, but don't know which of them; (2) there are lots and lots of crates, and my Lara lost a good amount of her precious time verifying if they were only a bad taste decoration. Thanks and congratulations to the author of the game!" - Josey (10-Jan-2010)
"I'm playing these BtB levels randomly, and surely I'm not picking the cream of the crop to play first. If not, then I have a definite treat in store for me as I work my way through the rest of the 23 levels. Cult of the Mask proved to be just as complicated as A Very Good Year, and it required more than an hour and a half for me to complete, even with the advance walkthrough in hand. Although everything is textured to perfection, I must admit that I didn't have nearly as much fun in the dark and dreary sewer section that dominates the middle portion of the level. Keep me outdoors among the gondolas and brightly lit canals and I'll be quite content. Still, this is a worthy entry that bears all the earmarks of a seasoned builder. Highly recommended." - Phil (07-Jan-2010)
"An easy level , the builder has designed it with a good balance of (rather simple) puzzles , a bit of action and exploration. It starts in an outside section of Venice with canals and houses to visit , then a darker section in undergrounds and sewers before arriving in a Theatre with its side rooms. There is a good balance too with the goodies provided , we can have the pleasure to blow out enemies with the grenade gun which was found twice. I found the first section quite pleasant making a good change from the harder BTB 2010 levels , in fact I never wondered what to do next , it all flows nicely ; it also can be said so of the underground and sewers section where I appreciated the timed drive with the Vespa , and the good puzzle with the flooding. The ending section was my lest favourite as I found the Theatre a bit underused and too dark. The looks are solid without being special , there is a couple of places which stands out of the rest , the courtyard with an upper level and a hole of water in the middle , and the high hall with columns where you have the pleasure to make a good timed door. A user friendly level which provides good entertainment certainly made by a builder who cares that the players are not annoyed and have a good time. Good work ! [ my stats : 1 hour 24 / 2 secrets ]" - eRIC (07-Jan-2010)
"It's always pleasant to be in Venice, although this trip does involve rather more sewer visiting than trip in gondolas, but then that's Lara's idea of a holiday. This is my first foray into this year's B2B levels and it eased me in gently, with fairly linear, undemanding gameplay, although there are quite a lot of dogs and tough henchmen to deal with and there is one timed bike ride to achieve. Accessible to pretty much all grades of raider I would think." - Jay (07-Jan-2010)
"well this was a level wich i was live very much ........ no bugs like at previous one (Legacy of the Lament Rose) not shortage off ammo or flares or medipacks a real pleasure to play .......... very well designed places and clever puzzles combined with sone tough timeruns especialy one with the bike andsome tricky curved jumps .... all in all a excelent level highly recomanded" - Jack& (03-Jan-2010)