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20x20x20 Challenge - The Venice Incident by Uzi Master

afzalmiah 7 7 9 10
Blue43 8 8 8 9
cho7 10 10 10 9
Diz 8 9 8 8
DJ Full 10 9 10 10
dmdibl 8 9 9 9
Drakan 10 10 9 9
eRIC 6 6 8 8
eTux 7 6 8 7
Gerty 6 7 8 8
Jay 8 9 9 9
JesseG 8 6 8 9
JoeTheCrazyGamer 6 6 6 7
Jose 7 7 9 9
manarch2 7 6 8 7
MichaelP 6 6 8 8
Mman 8 7 8 7
Mytly 7 5 8 8
nerdfury 9 6 8 9
Ryan 7 6 8 9
Shandroid 10 9 9 9
VoodooChild97 7 8 7 10
release date: 29-Nov-2011
# of downloads: 197

average rating: 7.99
review count: 22
review this level

file size: 56.75 MB
file type: TR4
class: Venice

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"(9) Gameplay & Puzzles
During the first 5 minutes of gameplay, I thought to myself, "Sweet, a chill and short Venice level!". The adventure that awaited me was far from chill, or short, but it was a blast. Aside from the final boss, I felt like the challenge level was just right, and there's quite a lot of thrilling exploration, combat and trap-dodging to do within a Venetian manor (and surrounds), confined in a 20x20x20 cube. Puzzles were very light, although I did appreciate the references to "Madam" by the builder (it's not often that a builder will try to incorporate some lore). I loved the idea of limited pistol ammunition and ammo conservation in general. The backtracking was too much towards the end of the level, which prevented a perfect score in this category. I think it would have been reasonable for the builder to enable a shortcut to go from downstairs to upstairs once the stairway traps were conquered (e.g. disable them once Lara takes the wires next to them). That would have minimized the backtracking frustration.

(6) Enemies, Objects & Secrets
This is definitely the wonky category (I do feel like the builder nailed the other categories almost perfectly). Baddies would often glitch in and out of walls, or they would be standing by a railing object and Lara did no damage to them when shooting (yet they would be able to damage Lara). Decorative static objects would glitch in and out of visibility. I noticed some weird things with doors, too (a door that opens into nothing but a brick wall; a door with an invisible block that Lara would bump into). The final boss would sometimes disappear mid-fight, meaning that I had to reload and try the final fight again (UGH) as there would be no way for me to complete the game otherwise. I don't really have an issue with the amount of baddies in general; you can always try to play smart and kite baddies to areas more favorable to Lara, or if Lara needs to swap weapons, swap behind a wall and not when she is exposed. What I didn't like was that the builder didn't include some kind of warning in the readme or level info page: "WARNING! The final boss fight is extremely tough and you will need several large medipacks at the very least!". I actually finished the game with about 5% health with no medipacks left... imagine a player's frustration if they initiated the final boss fight and didn't have enough medipacks. I did find the 1 available secret and I do feel like there were plenty of opportunities to hide more juicy secrets.

(8) Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras
The builder captured a lovely Venice atmosphere very well, and he did a wonderful job with the architecture of the manor. It really was a pleasure to keep ascending and then finally be on the rooftops, seeing the lower areas that Lara had already conquered. I do think the builder could have varied the rooftop heights of the backdrop building textures, so that the "cube"-ness of the level was less obvious. Sounds and cameras were generally used well, but I absolutely think that there should have been a camera pointing at the upstairs double doors once Lara used the radio on the computer. It wasn't clear at all that the next step was to approach those doors, and that they will now automatically open when approached.

(9) Lighting & Textures
Textures and lighting were well done; there were no especially dark areas/areas that needed flares. The level had a constant "bright" lighting/lack of lighting variety, but that's not a big deal for me.

In sum, this was a creative, challenging level full of thrilling combat. I had fun (aside from the final boss) and I think it would be a close to perfect level if the builder had ironed out some enemy and object issues. 9/6/8/9." - nerdfury (23-Oct-2020)
"Well textured and built, the architecture is simple , many doors to open , some good ideas , a lot of gameplay occur in small size rooms , and some imperfections (dogs that give you small medipacks when they die, static objects lighted too brightly). Entertaining a times but ...wait , you're in the middle of a fight against several gunmen (without counting the dogs), and you have some uzis ammos a few shotgun ammos and some pistols ammos (pistols ammos are limited) and naturally you run out quickly of one type ammo thus you are defenseless for a while , while the enemies continue to drain your life, that is one of the funny situations you may encounter in this level with many enemies. There is enough medipacks and there would be enough ammos if you had only one type of weapon. Problem is you have several weapons and this is more of a problem when the fights are prolonged while enemies do not have to change weapons. Strategy does not count here, you are the hostage of the builder choices. Official shooter games play more fair (or are better planned). If you play customlevels for relaxation you may want to play something else, i did not find this raid very satisfying." - eRIC (02-Aug-2019)
"If I had to keep this review brief, then I could say that I am in total agreement with Michael's words. It is indeed quite impressive the way that the builder has managed to pack an awful lot of gameplay into the challenge restrictions, and the way it connects is definitely admirable, as are the moments when you arrive at a familiar location but from a different angle. The looks of the level are also beautiful and well done, thanks to Nadine's BtB2010 textures. However, the actual enjoyment factor for me was rather low due to the unabashed shooter nature of the gameplay. I lost count of the amount of enemies here, but there must have been dozens, and that is far too much for a single level such as this. They're quite fearsome too and although enough supplies should be available if you look carefully, the fun of a game shouldn't come from trying to preserve Lara's hide at every turn. There's a nice code puzzle, some pushable puzzles and a neat scene with a radio, but the shooting takes centre stage. I also came across a locked gate near the beginning which presumably led to the level's only secret, but I had no clue how to open it. An impressive construction, but not that enjoyable to actually play." - Ryan (28-Apr-2019)
"A level that was really fun but it seems like a shooter game. If you want to practice ammo conservation this is a great TRLE. It has seems to be on the easy side in terms of puzzles." - JoeTheCrazyGamer (21-Oct-2016)
"Holy massacre, Batman! I stumbled into this without any prior information as to what to expect, apart from thinking it might be on the brief side due to the competition's restrictions and Venice-inspired as the name indicates. I think it was only about 10 or so minutes into the game that I figured something was off about it and to my horror learnt of the level's true nature. It has to be said - that squeezing out 70+ minutes of gameplay out of such a restricted playground the author had to work here is no mean feat, and - at a total body count of about 130 enemies when all was said and done - this is the most intense shooter experience I've had to date, and, I'm unashamed to admit, being the poor strategist that I've always been (hence not the biggest shooter fan), I was yelling ear-withering expletives at the laptop's screen and conjuring up images of excruciating anal torture to inflict upon the author till just about the last minute of it. I was torn between rewarding the sheer audacity to pull something like this off and punishing it for the mental anguish and frustration (i.e. anti-fun) I had to go through when playing it. Lest you have very particular tastes in your gaming experience indeed, this might not be the level for you - you've been warned. But even if it were somehow possible to put aside the fact of what impact the whole Lara VS the Crazy 88 concept will have on your enjoyment - the gameplay still suffers from coming across as rather artificial (doors closing, opening, re-opening arbitrarily, lack of camera clues, the course of the level being somewhat haphazard, and at times misleading, enemies materializing in a manner that could only conform to the spontaneous generation theory), repetitive (I've lost count how many times I had to do the whole route with the jump from one awning to the other) and samey (with the main puzzle being of the 'use gun on man' variety). The looks may be overall agreeable, but - the longer you dwell here, the more you get a feeling that the level is bursting at its seams. You see palm trees and unsightly sides of staircases flickering in and out of existence in other unrelated rooms, door bugs - or doors pushing Lara off ledges as they open, sometimes rooms being clearly overlapped (water-sprites showing in regular rooms), and some of the texturing and architecture being very awkward due to the restrictions the author had to conform to. If it had not been abundantly clear through implication by now - I cannot honestly say I had 'fun' at the level's most intense moments by any stretch - but at the same time, I've never played quite anything like it, so I can't turn potential players away from it in good faith either. If you like shooters, there should be no doubt in your mind by now whether you want to try it, you might seem similarly if you want to experience something at the extreme end of what's possible within the editor, but should neither of the above apply to you, you might not be having the time of your life in here. Found the level's only secret." - eTux (27-Mar-2013)
"HOLY CRAP! This was amazing. If the tag system gets implemented, this will only need two: Venice + Shooter. A really good one! Never before I've seen so much action on so small space. Its density is terrifyingly high, with constant awareness of threat, expected to get out from behind the corner in any second. Variety of puzzles (flipmaps, artifacts, switches, raising blocks, agility tests) and environments (from gloomy basements through bright daylight rooftops, to a (yeah!) ventilation duct), all wrapped in an illusion of mysterious autonomy (a dock, a small library and a ritual hall) will keep You thrilled, if only You don't mind limited pistol ammo. But my greatest compliment goes to the author for a different achievement: regarding repetativity of used interactive items, including 2 roses, 4 identical keys and 6 code cards, it's just hard to believe UziMaster didn't get lost in making them all coexist - but he really led the paths, often non-linear and intersecting each other, the way making any key-to-slot order mistake impossible. In the whole game, there is only one place You can get stuck in: the final fight chamber, where some opponents bearing crucial items might be killed thru doors Lara can't cross. Fortunately, that ending battle is locked in a small space, and after a short time of uneaseness, a player can get a clue he/she needs to replay that particular room. SUMMARY: Highly recommended. Completing this level took me two evenings, while I predicted it to be a 10-minute adventure of One Room Challenge type. Believe me - THIS is heaven compared to One Room Challenge!" - DJ Full (01-Jul-2012)
"Shooter alert; must be a guy thing. Not overly fond of shooters but this was the pits. Even with all the goodies you can pick up, I still like Lara's trusted guns but I hate that there was not enough ammo for that so I had to use the other weapons. Bleh for not having a choice in the weapons department. I see that the limit of this challenge is something that needs a lot of imaginanation so kudos for that. I did bump into invisible doors, oh well. I got so confused at times and got lost big time but I found the secret. Not really my kind of level though." - Gerty (23-Feb-2012)
"A fun level 75% of the time, for those who play for sport. Pros: brutal, relentless combat, challenging acrobatic demands, a charming setting, professional-grade texture and lighting touches, and an overall high production value. Dedication to detail is commendable and much appreciated. Cons: an overabundance of key items and resultant backtracking via the most inconvenient routes, not enough camera hints though the existing ones are tasteful, and the enemies themselves... Lara's guns have a weak impact and many bullets just don't hit home. With that in mind, the trigger happy will prevail." - VoodooChild97 (20-Feb-2012)
"I have to say that from a pure intellectual point of view I am indeed very impressed with this level. It must have taken a considerable amount of thinking to design the map, plan it all out and create the connections that progressivel open up throughout the game and fitting it all into the 20x20x20 restriction of the competition. Kudos to the author for that! Unfortunately, the actual adventure packed into this environment is anything but fun, unless you do enjoy a challenging shooter and quite a bit of running around, wondering what you may have missed or what to do next. In other words, I found this to be a hugely player-unfriendly level and had rather no fun at all playing it and was glad when it was finally over after almost 90 minutes (and it would have been longer without the help of the walkthrough). There must be about 50 fairly hard to kill guards around this Venice Boathouse and that is just a bit too much. And if you happen to not find that grenade gun, the final battle in the room with the mask is likely a major frustration for players at best - if not even impossible to survive. Like I said, for me an impressive level, but for the wrong reasons, so to speak." - MichaelP (19-Feb-2012)
"This was not an incident, but a real war! Lara vs all the italian mafia! The level is very well designed, with a lot of interconnected rooms and a good appearance; tasks are not very hard and many times there are several ways to advance. The ammo is limited, but you'll find enough if you find the weapons soon; I'm amazed with the hundreds (yes, literally hundreds) of pickups and moveables a builder can add to a single level. There's an enemie (always several) in each corner, so be prepared to shoot, shoot and shoot again every step you do. Excessive enemies for my taste. Also try to explore carefully all corners, 'cause sometimes it's easy to miss something and this will force you to revisit the same areas many times. The bes were the ambience and the texturization." - Jose (20-Jan-2012)
"This level was incredibly hard for me and I know I have died millions of times but I still think it is a good level and the lighting and texturing is great. This venice level has a lot of rooms and you do have to explore a lot bwhich does make things confusing at some times but you don't get stuck for a long time. An annoying thing about this level is that in about every room there is at least one enemy or about 3 to 6 enemies. When I finished this level I checked how much enemies I killed and I killed about 90! I have to admit the palace was amazing to look at and the texturing was perfect. I have also played this builder's previous level in the one room challenge and that was really hard as well and that had a lot of enemies too. I would love to play more levels from this builder but I hope he makes easier levels." - afzalmiah (15-Jan-2012)
"Phew this was a blast! This level is all about fast-paced combat, and while the pistols have limited ammo, the rest of the weapons helped compensate and were fun to use. Save your explosive M-16 bullets for the "boss fight" which will become much more fun. The level could have been structured a bit better however. Some backtracking forces you to lose quite a bit of health (jumping over that clothesline) and you have to do a tricky balcony jump several times. On top of that if you forget something before that timed run to the zipline you'll have to repeat the timed run. The objects had a lot of "what the hell?" moments. First off almost every dog has ingested a medpack for you to take. There's literally a useless door (the room with a crowbar door that opens over water) that I think was supposed to connect to a room but the author never actually connected the two rooms. A crowbar door that you open closes again for no reason, forcing you to take an annoying backtrack route instead. A few doors had invisible walls in front of them, and there were also invisible chandeliers that you hopped on to get to a rose (maybe that's related to the code card slot I never used in the same room). As far as the cameras go, the intro was great, but camera cues were needed for some switches (especially the ones that opened that trapdoor at the end of the zipline) and some fixed cameras can get in your way. The texturing is well done although the lighting could have used some variation. Overall it's a pretty fun level despite the somewhat broken gameplay (was there a torch somewhere? I never used one). Finished in an hour and 15 minutes." - SSJ6Wolf (21-Dec-2011)
"The aesthetics of this level is fine. There are many enemies behind every door open. Be careful to keep as much ammunition and survival kits to kill the final boss. Very good level." - cho7 (18-Dec-2011)
"You haven't seen a "shooter" until you've played this level; there's a bunch of enemies to kill around almost every corner. The start is rough with limited pistol ammo, along with certain routes amounting to death-traps until you have a requisite amount of guns/ammo/health with no warning, While the action doesn't let up, it does ease up once you start gaining massive quantities of ammo (outside of the final battle, which is one of the most absurd encounters I've ever seen). That's not all there is to the level though, and there's actually a surprising amount of exploration and puzzle-solving along with the slaughter, to the point it almost awes me how so much content could be fit into such a small space, although a few tasks are a bit too vague (like the usage of the radio). The theme is well- executed, with a large Mansion to explore with plenty of detail, although the lighting is a bit flat at times. There's even a story fit in. Despite the flaws this is definitely the most memorable level in the contest, and probably my favourite as a result, despite it being less polished than most of the others." - Mman (08-Dec-2011)
"This is the only level in the 20x20x20 Challenge which fully understands the challenge. This uses the BtB Venice wad so texturing and objects are of a high order. Other top entries used naturalistic settings with rocks and forests, and inevitably created spots that felt squeezed or constricted. Here the author chose a Venice villa whose rooms and balconies fit naturally within the limitations, so that players are hardly aware that there are limitations. It packs an incredible amount of gameplay into that area, so that the walkthrough for this is as large as a sprawling similar themed three-level set such as The Last Adventure. If players aren't watchful for every pickup, the opening can be tense with Lara running around holding minimal weapons and ammo, while sharpshooting Venice gunman spill out from every corner, doorway, wall top, balcony, cubbyhole, and curtain. The intelligent quest for items and ammo makes up much of the level, with added things like tricky jumps, a torch puzzle, a zip line, rooftop battles, and a final confrontation when Lara stumbles into a secret cult of hoodlums. Most of this is fun. The only problem for me was the last twenty-percent of the level, when for reasons known only to the author, Lara has to repeat the same series of balcony jumps five times in order to reach the villa roof. One of these is particularly unconscionable (when Lara throws a switch to open a trapdoor at the end of a zip line), as a perfectly good shortcut to the roof is turned not to players' advantage, but is perverted to sabotage Lara and make her drop to ground level, forcing a repeat of balcony jumps. I did not find the balcony jumps difficult, or that they took all that much time, only that the repetition intruded on gameplay. Some players complained about the final battle, but I used the fixed Venice.tr4, and found the intense fight reasonable. While Lara was waiting for the helicopter to land at the end, I checked inventory and found plenty of leftover medipacks and ammo, so the number of enemies in this level is not excessive. A laudable achievement." - dmdibl (08-Dec-2011)
"I decided to make this level because it was a level with the Venice textures and objects btb2010.Tout started well, it was beautiful, pleasant, some enemies to kill but I realized it was a real nest of enemies. So I started for save up kits and ammunition as I could not go to the end of this niveau.Malgre the significant number of items to collect (even the dogs have kits lol). This is a very well done, well built, pleasing to the eye. There's just a jump a little hard on the first awning to 2nd. The final battle is daunting, there is even a flyby that prevents proper preparation. So before you put the last puzzle, back and fill up your energy and prepare your best weapon, because just after the flyby, the doors close and no escape possible, we must fight. I had to try several times before to kill all enemies. It is unfortunate that this level is not for everyone (because of the many enemies) because it is really nice and the author was able to make a very large space with 20x20x20.Congratulations." - Drakan (06-Dec-2011)
"This a good looking Venice level with interesting game play, which is a mix of health pack intense shooter action and exploration with lots of switch hunting. Many areas in this game have to be visited multiple times to place items or access switches that were inaccessible earlier. Of course this style of game play does lead to a certain amount of back tracking and I found it a bit tedious once in a while. For the most part the game does flow smoothly and is not overly challenging, but there are also a few precise jumps, and some really nasty blade traps. My biggest problem was that I got stuck several times because I had no ideas where to go next, but luckily checking the stuck level thread in the forum solved most of it. There is a sheer never-ending supply of enemies, mainly dogs and armed baddies. Some of those guys are very hard to kill and saving often is definitely required. At first Lara starts with limited pistol ammo, which initially appears to be a problem but as soon as the player progresses, there are lots of weapons, ammo and Medipacks to be found, so shortage should not be an issue. A tough boss fight in the end concludes the level. There is not much to complain about room design and architecture, as well as texturing and lighting. Everything has a solid look and feel to it. I did enjoy playing through this level, but personally I thought it would be nice if it had been a bit more puzzle oriented and less shooter based. Also a few more camera hints in certain areas would have been nice. Definitely recommended (Under 2 hours, 1 secret found)" - Blue43 (05-Dec-2011)
"This level left me feeling very frustrated and disappointed, because it's a blatant shooter level (a class I detest) even though it's classified as Venice. Sorry, but killing 125 enemies in about an hour and a half is simply not my idea of fun, and I was very tempted to quit halfway through the level. Lara is constantly under attack throughout this level, with only a few moments of peace later in the level. To add to the frustration, pistol ammo is limited. Why a builder would disable infinite ammo in a shooter level is beyond me. Luckily enough, he does provide generous amounts of ammo, as well as several weapons, and lots of medipacks (even the dogs carry medipacks. And rats carry keys. Useful animals they have in Venice.)
On the few occasions that the non-stop shooting does stop, the gameplay is quite enjoyable. There's a mini-puzzle involving a safe and a code, a torch puzzle, plus a timed run, and quests for several keys and artefacts. There's also a cool tricky jump over some awnings, and a blade-trapped staircase to navigate. The main thing that felt off is that the final destination of the level - i.e. the helipad - is easily accessible even without the four codecards, so getting these codecards in a huge massacre of a boss fight is particularly pointless.
The mansion is very well built, with the upper balcony areas being especially nice. The textures and most of the objects are from the BtB2010 set, which is always a pleasure to see. The lighting is not bad, though it could use some more colour and drama. The house is surprisingly large considering the constraints of this challenge. I believe the builder has built a large number of rooms 'within' the others (in terms of the Level Editor), which may be why so many objects seem blink in and out of sight. There are certain problems which speak of a lack of beta-testing, like enemies which float down from ceilings or burst out of walls, or invisible chandeliers that Lara can climb on. The cutscenes are very good, except the last one, which lingers a little too much on close-ups of the helicopter.
Overall: This could have been a fun level if only the enemies had been cut down to about a third (and even then it would still be a shooter, but at least a tolerable one.)" - Mytly (05-Dec-2011)
"I am not one to be excited about shooter type levels, however, Blade has made an outstanding level that just so happens to be a shooter. I was very impressed with the entire level, short of a bit of backtracking toward the end. I kept having to either choose to go up a blade-filled hallway, or make a long stretch of a jump on an awning. I chose the awning. Perhaps after making it through the blades once, a button to turn them off would have been nice. At first, I was very scared I was going to run out of ammo and especially medipaks, but they get more plentiful as long as you don't run yourself out in the beginning. I had a super duper fun time exploring this mansion and I managed to find the secret, which wasn't too hard. It is a rare level that I wouldn't mind playing again right away, and this one would qualify. As expected, the final boss is a doozy, but not so tough if you have the ammo and medipaks. Don't let the limited pistol ammo keep you from playing this great level, there are lots of weapons and ammo, and I had plenty leftover. Very, very good job, Blade!! Please keep building!" - Shandroid (04-Dec-2011)
"This level is both a masterpiece and also a debut-like level with its faults. While it's a hard-style shooter level with over 100 enemies to shoot which is one of my "pet peeves", this level also contained very fluent and innovative gameplay. The storyline was very nicely implemented in the game, the start with the exploding boat was really nice and also the main progress tasks were clever: Using a radio to get help and at the end the helicopter appears nicely, however it would have been better if the heli arrived in a place you couldn't go to before, as the final battle seemed to be needless (of course it was still). The lighting and textures were well in this level but everything was a tad too bright for my taste. The limitation of the contest made the surroundings a bit blocky, and the final camera flyby wasn't that well done. What creates fun in this level is the sheer multitude of varied tasks, timed runs, pushable, switch and torch puzzles, traps, hard jumps and so on. I never got stuck in this level too much, as there is always more than one thing to do. So - this level could have been quite the hit if the builder didn't make the odd choice to put in myriads of enemies, which ruined the gameplay for me." - manarch2 (04-Dec-2011)
"It's no secret that I love Venice. It's also probably fairly obvious to anyone that has read my reviews over the years that I'm not the world's biggest fan of shooters. This is most definitely a shooter and guess what? - I loved it. It could just be the magic of Venice or possibly the fact that this is very well done. Initially you will have to husband your resources very carefully as pistol ammo is limited and the baddies commence their aggro pretty much from the word go. As you progress through the level however, weapons and medipacks are lavishly provided (even the Doberman dogs frequently leave mini medipacks, so who needs a St Bernard). The exploration is great fun, with occasionally challenging feats to accomplish, such as negotiating your way down a staircase full of slashing knives. The boss ending is a bit of an adrenalin rush, but you can certainly enjoy using your grenade gun at that point. I was most impressed by just how much the builder managed to pack into the 20 x 20 x 20." - Jay (04-Dec-2011)
"As a general rule, a Venice levels is going to tend towards being something of a 'shooter'. This level is different; it's a definite, unashamed, 24 carat shooter... with some fairly good gameplay thrown in as an added bonus. There are baddies everywhere and where there aren't baddies there are dogs and where there aren't dogs there are bats - the place is infested! With limited ammunition it hurts indeed to waste some on the bats and even the dogs need two shotgun rounds (instead of the usual one), add on the trouble caused by the guys in white suits (don't they know the 80's are over?) who are wearing body armour and you have to be very careful what weapon you use on which baddie. This easies up as you pick up more and more ammo and weaponry, but don't waste any. Nice setting, good lighting, a bit of agility and an easy timed run makes this a very pleasant level even if you're not keen on shooters. A couple of hours of gameplay and I'm ashamed to say I missed the only secret (which I am informed comes with lots of goodies). Lots of fun." - Diz (03-Dec-2011)