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Create a Classic 2021 - Mystery of the Opera House by PhryneCroft

billie2001 8 9 9 10
BlackWolfTR 9 9 9 9
ddaring_dash 9 8 10 9
dinne 7 8 9 8
DJ Full 9 9 10 9
Ivan 9 9 10 9
Jay 8 8 9 9
JesseG 8 9 9 8
John 7 8 8 8
Jorge22 8 8 8 8
Lioness_86 9 9 9 9
Lorax 9 10 10 10
manarch2 7 8 8 9
MigMarado 7 9 9 10
Mman 8 9 9 9
Mouayad 8 9 10 7
Mr XY 8 10 9 9
nerdfury 7 8 8 9
Nillc 8 8 7 8
Phil 9 8 9 8
Ryan 8 8 9 9
Saki Croft 7 8 8 8
vandit 8 9 9 10
 
release date: 21-Nov-2021
# of downloads: 245

average rating: 8.59
review count: 23
 
review this level

file size: 94.20 MB
file type: TR4
class: Venice
 


author profile(s):
email(s):
verena.gottwald@gmx.net

Reviewer's comments
"I seem to have had a few trips to Venice lately, but this one gave the opportunity for a visit to the Opera House, which I haven’t seen for quite a while. This certainly is full of the normal Venice fare and most enjoyable. Although, as usual, there are plenty of enemies to shoot, the gameplay is otherwise fairly relaxed and should be within the scope of most players." - Jay (23-May-2024)
"Finally good lighting in a custom level lol. Could it be done even better? Yes. But I was already more pleased than normally. About the missing floor room - I suggest updating it, unless it was really intended as the actual phantom of the opera." - DJ Full (18-Jan-2023)
"This is a Venice set, with the first level in a canals section and the second in a Opera House setting. The first map is good looking but doesn't do anything too fresh with the theme, although there are some small details like webs in the sewers that add to the atmosphere of the locations. The second level is an interesting take on the Opera House theme, with a design that emphasizes the age and abandonment of the place, with raised earth and vegetation added to the setting. It's good looking throughout, with good lighting and texturing, including some use of TR5 Rome textures that fit in well. I did feel the second map could have had a little more gloom to add to the sense of abandonment. Object use is also good and the second level in particular has some imaginative design to give a new take on the theme. The one notable issue is that one room in level 2 has a bunch of missing surfaces for some reason; I thought it might have been on purpose for a surreal effect, but it eventually became pretty clear that it wasn't intended to be like that. I also felt the Humans were a little overused in the second map, and it would have worked better thematically if it was less full of goons.
The gameplay isn't especially challenging, but there's a decent amount of tasks and quite a bit of exploration required (especially in the second map). There are also quite a few enemies, but also a lot of ammo to deal with them. While both levels take place over some big areas, there are a good amount of shortcuts, and backtracking isn't too much of an issue, despite a few layered item-hunts. It provides hints to where to use items when you find them. There was one door in the second map where I wasn't sure when it opened and I basically stumbled on the fact it had by accident, but that was the closest thing to a hold-up. The ending was also a little anti-climatic, as, just when I expected a little intensity to close things out, it just ended. A very strong entry, and feels just one or two stand-out aspects off being something truly great." - Mman (24-Apr-2022)
"Recommended. Fun play, nice." - Lioness_86 (15-Apr-2022)
"Well, this two-parter (Venice-based, but a more obvious TR4 look - no, not Egyptian) was quite nice to play, even if not really thrilling. The second part, into and in the Opera House, makes things more interesting, even though I could have used less back and fro. Enemies are a mix of TR2 baddies and latter wraiths, demons (or whatever I should call theose bolt-throwing Venetian witches) and dobbermans, and secrets are dragons. It is varied in its own way, and never near impossible by any means, therefore entertaining. The general atmosphere (lighting, sounds, architecture) is ok, but I did find missing textures on the floor, by the fountains, in the second part. Was there a timed run somewhere, during the levels? I'm not sure anymore, but in case there was, I know I liked it. Thanks for these entertaining moments." - Jorge22 (02-Mar-2022)
"The level it's beautiful, I really love Lara skin, which fits perfectly with the Venice theme of the level. The objects, enemies and secrets are fine, especially the secrets since some of them are really well hidden but about gameplay & puzzles what I really don't understand is why to make the rusty key so hidden since it's an item that you need to proceed into the level. In that case I think that the key items should not be so hidden especially if they are needed to complete the level or you'll get stuck forever. Sometimes I've noticed that you have camera hints where is not needed instead of having it on what you really need. For example when you put the camera hint for the fuse or for the crossbow & lasersight which for me was really visible instead of putting the camera hints on the Rusty Key which was really no easy to see making you wander into the level. About textures I found something buggy even thou I've downloaded the 'fixed patched pack', unfortunately where you take the blue fuse with the witch into the courtyard, the bushes are no visibile for me and they are as black/no textured things with collisions. The Opera part is a little bit confusing sometimes, since you have to explore a lot of paths with curtains which seems all almost the same, so sometimes you tend to forget every path but after a bit of backtracking and exploration you collect all the items required for completing the level. But the game is still enjoyable and open even for not so expert and veteran players because it's really easy. If the builder is interested in seeing what bug it affects the bushes into the courtyard with the blue fuse, can see my video walkthrough on my YT channel, which is all complete with all items and secrets collected! :)" - Saki Croft (27-Feb-2022)
"Very two interesting levels to play from some 2 and a half to 3 hours. The opera looks fantastic and is very nicely made with parts on the floors, parts in the water, a lot of enemies are not very strong. I found all 6 secrets and three in each level. The secrets are in very interesting places and very finely hidden. In addition to ancient and ancient Chinese dragons, they also offer a lot of ammunition, health, etc. it is a pity that the parts under water no longer hide levers, secret objects, useful things and enemies. Very finely done and with a lot of effort and knowledge. Congratulations! My warm recommendation!" - Ivan (08-Feb-2022)
"Another great level by PhryneCroft. Gameplay was well done and kept me engaged the whole time. The Atmosphere, Lighting & Textures are amazing in all of Phryne's levels, and this one's no exception. Highly recommended. You should also check out Phryne's other levels they're all incredibly underrated." - Lorax (02-Feb-2022)
"A set of two levels were Lara goes after that gemstone that we've seen in Rome in TRC. The first level has Lara explore some canals in Venice (sorry, this time those boats floating around are just for show!), it wasn't the most engaging start for me as a lot of it was going back and forth opening various doors, but there is a nice little pushable puzzle and some enemies to contend with. I appreciated the camera hints for hard-to-see things like the lever poking out of a bookshelf (I wonder how that kind of mechanism would work?). The second level makes things more interesting as Lara breaks into a nice opera house setting, exploring several theaters while solving another pushable block puzzle and burning through a floor. She will search for two fuses (although I got the blue one without needing to use the yellow one), as well as a mask to piece together before retrieving her prize. Something strange was going on in the courtyard area with many missing textures, and the lighting could use more variety between areas, but aside from that the visuals are quite good. 1 hour 37 minutes." - JesseG (27-Jan-2022)
"A nice level, quite dynamic, but that feels unpolished. Several small things like missing collisions, wrong sound pitches and an area with missing textures, make it look like a rushed level for the deadline. There is even a random demigod in a garden that I totally bypassed.
The gameplay is quite dynamic because there is a lot of combat and platforming but it's sometimes badly organized: we can see often the formula solution-before-puzzle, and in cases where the map is non-linear, missing the solution before the puzzle makes you backtrack quite much, considering the level already requires lot of back and forth in the theatre area. Tasks are basic and classic, there isn't much innovation and the only puzzle that could've bring some (pushable/spikes one) was instead very straighforward and a bit lame, but it all plays easily and straightforward. Many curtains hide main paths and this forces the player to check all the curtains multiple times, which is not a good choice. Aside of that the game is accessible to anyone and can be enjoyable.
It's not "exciting", but it's also not "bad".
Visually the level is surely good and the Venice atmosphere is set. Some areas could have been more lit (or using the light to indicate places) and some areas could've been more varied and less repeated (there are 2 teathres, many rooms with crates and similar texturing) and some connections between main areas are a bit obscure to remember. At least 2 objects were nearly invisible (a key underwater, and a mask piece).
A couple of secrets felt like main path but others were nice.
An audacious choice is to set Venice on rain, which is surely not common but I appreciated that." - dinne (26-Jan-2022)
"Venice has rarely been this beautiful, yet sometimes it seemed so empty too.

I appreciate the creativity of the author, her incredible attention to detail, her sense of atmosphere and flow to a map and a setting. I just wish that there had been more to do and to find in some of the huge rooms that had so little gameplay. This issue was at its worst in the first level. In the end, were it not for how incredibly well crafted and technically put together, the level would seem unnecessary. The second level was more filled out with interesting gameplay, with some notable exceptions near the end. The missing element there were hints to make the game move along, especially telling cameras and Lara's watchful eye.

Exploration was not rewarded often enough. Large areas filled with incredibly constructed nooks and crannies need more activities and objects Lara can interact with. Aspects such as a convoluted mirror, a fire wraith that had to be activated in a specific moment without any hint as to exactly when, a key item which could have been easily surpassed (2nd yellow fuse), and other minor issues are some more things to ponder on in future.

Having stressed all of these (relatively minor) issues, I want to spend some time telling future players how they definitely should play! This levelset is full of delightful settings and moments, exploring all of the editor's capabilities to the max. You'll have plenty of relaxed moments where you just focus on getting some other item, and plenty of action moments to keep you on your toes. The architecture alone is worth the level. Without any gameplay, pick-ups or enemies at all, just jumping and running around PhryneCroft's vision of Venice is well worth the 2h15min game. There are some difficult moments, especially towards the end (as is adequate), yet this is generally and easy to moderate raid.

PhryneCroft, I'll be playing more of your levels! Congratulations on being such a talented builder! Thank you for sharing this diamond with us :)" - MigMarado (06-Jan-2022)
"

This Opera House reimagination has 2 parts: "Streets of Venice" and "Mystery of the Opera House", with some new ideas and overall TR2 feeling.

Gameplay & Puzzles (8): In general, the gameplay is enjoyable and there's a lot of action, it's easy to medium difficulty. There is only one puzzle and it's easy to solve. What I didn't like that there are some rooms and wide areas with little or even nothing to do there (you only pass through). And in the first level you have to pickup a bronze key in the water that is nearly impossible to see.

Enemies, Objects & Secrets (9): There are a lot of enemies, most of them from TR2 Venice levels. Every level has 3 secrets and they are easy to find. There's plenty of objects everywhere and they are chosen wisely, although sometimes they can be a bit annoying.

Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras (10): This is the best side of this level, I like how the author made everything feels like TR2 with all the sounds, music, enemies and secrets. It's all done very well, every sound and track is in its place. And the cameras are useful.

Lighting & Textures (7): The builder did a great job actually on texturing, with much attention to details (except for few texturing problems like in the place where you get the blue fuse in the second level). The bad news is that you won't actually be able to see most of that beautiful work without using the binoculars. For example, in the opera house itself, all the colors, the details and the paintings are hidden in the dark. So, poor lighting is a serious downside in this level for me, especially in its second part. In some places even the flares can't light enough.

In closing, it's an immersive adventure and a creative version of Venice's opera house, recommended for everyone who doesn't mind dark levels.

" - Mouayad (02-Jan-2022)
"An extremely enjoyable Venice level with good pacing and great atmosphere. Definitely the best looking classic Venice I've seen. You always know what you have to do (except where to kill one wraith, it would be better if we had previously seen the totem). Great texturing/lighting with a lot of attention to detail, like fog, greenery etc. No significant puzzles. A good balance between exploration and enemies. Found all secrets. Absolutely recommended to players of all skills." - billie2001 (14-Dec-2021)
"A very nice Venice two-parter that Phryne presents us here. Visually, the level knows how to convince across the board, but not all that glitters is gold. The level does a lot right in my opinion, but there are also many points to criticize,that could have been avoided easily.
But first the positives: Both levels impress with an excellent atmosphere, clean texturing, harmonious lighting and great attention to detail. Especially the day-night change when you get to the second level is convincing. The city is divided into different areas, such as the warehouse, library, sewers, catacombs and of course the opera.
I especially liked the fact that new areas were being introduced gradually, I never felt overwhelmed or lost. In general, the gameplay is very straightforward, especially in the first level, this ensures a certain flow but the complexity suffers. The second level turned out a little better in this regard.
In the version that I played there was a softlock in the second level, where Lara can slide down a ramp without having to open the door at the end of the ramp first - reloading was the consequence. Something like that has to be prevented of course and has no place in a released level. There were also enough easily avoidable problems: Incorrect collision, incorrect shiny tex on objects, sounds with the wrong pitch, object flickering, triggers that activate too early, etc.).
Despite the criticisms, I really enjoyed the level. If you are in the mood for a beautiful and uncomplicated level, you are in good hands here. Recommended!" - Mr XY (14-Dec-2021)
"This is a more easygoing installment compared to a couple of others in this competition, making it ideal for less experienced raiders to give a go. There's nothing horribly complex about the gameplay (the globe puzzle in the second level and the majority of the guard fights being the main things that might challenge) and while there is certain backtracking, the distances aren't too onerous. The puzzles mostly are not that difficult, and the torch sequence and the various homages to TR2 were welcome additions. The atmosphere is well put together with pleasing texturing throughout, although a couple of cameras were slightly problematic in the sense that they either got stuck or showed you a static shot of a yet unvisited area. This was particularly annoying during wraith chase. The secret quest was really enjoyable, though. Overall, while not without its issues, it's definitely a raid worth giving a go." - Ryan (13-Dec-2021)
"The most outstanding quality of this two-part release is the authentic atmosphere provided by the builder. You actually get two opera houses, one in apparently current use that could nevertheless stand some repairs, and the other a smaller and formerly used venue that has been allowed to fall into complete disarray. I'm never sure whether the "difficulty" section refers to gameplay or the ability to figure things out (or maybe both), but although execution of the required tasks here is fairly routine, knowing what to do and when to do it is a different story. Anyway, I'm glad the various video walks were available while I was preparing my written walk. As a tribute to TR2 there are three dragon secrets in each level, with ample weaponry and ammunition sprinkled throughout to deal with the many enemies encountered along the way. A fun raid to be enjoyed by players of all skill levels." - Phil (13-Dec-2021)
"The mystery of the opera house wasnt much of an exciting mystery to me but i can appreciate the effort here with a few little puzzles, traps and some cool platforming tasks across buildings and inside them etc. The visuals are lovely with good textures, lighting and cameras in some very large and gorgeous areas and with some nostalgic tunes as well. The gameplay relies mostly on finding levers, objects and keys in the first level i mean you do get a few traps here as well as some pushable object puzzles and good platforming but the second level is definitely more interesting especially when you get to the opera house with some fire ghosts, timed runs as well as a mirror room and spike and fan traps etc so there is good variety which is always great. i didnt get any large enjoyment from the levels as a whole but i think thats just personal taste as there is a variety of tasks here which the author has given us as well as those fixed cameras after an action to make sure you dont get lost or confused, i appreciated that" - John (08-Dec-2021)
"(7) Gameplay & Puzzles: This is an easy duo-level adventure that took me 2 hours. It's heavily exploration-based, with several puzzles (I will write more about them in a bit). I would have liked to have seen more thrilling moments, as there is very simple platforming, few traps, and no timed runs. OK, the puzzles: there are 2 pushblock puzzles with the general premise reused (stack a pushable on top of another pushable). I would have liked to have seen more "fresh" puzzles as opposed to reusing the same premise. The globe puzzle near the end of level 2 is very well done and is my favorite part of the adventure. For the last puzzle (well it's kind of a puzzle), in the music scroll room, there are 5 suspicious tiles, 4 of them having a skeleton on them (and Lara will die to spikes if she steps on any of these 4). However 1 of these suspicious tiles does not have spikes and there is no skeleton on it. The player may reach the intuitive conclusion that stepping on this 1 tile has something to do with the solution, but this is a red herring. So, I think this room needs improvement. With regards to the general gameplay flow, I wasn't frustrated, but it does drag at times. For example, near the end of level 2, there's quite a lot of back and forth in the opera/theater stage areas. I think the gameplay would have been better with a greater variety of tasks, requiring the player to really "get involved" with more rooms and their architecture, as many rooms feel underutilized. In other words there are quite a few beautiful rooms where you just spend a brief moment in, and never return. (8) Enemies, Objects & Secrets: The goon fights are well-executed; I just love those shotgun goon guys. The dog placement is great as well -- I don't like it when melee enemies are triggered too far away from Lara and they die way before they can even reach her, and the builder avoids that here. The fire wraith, towards the end of level 2, is also well done, however I think the execution of the first air wraith in level 2 is bad, and I will write about this in more detail in the cameras category. The static decor objects are beautiful, and no room looks empty, however there are a couple of issues with regards to object collision. The underwater reeds do not need collision, and only serve to be a hindrance when the air wraith is triggered early in level 2 and you're scrambling to get away from it and figure out where to go next underwater. Also, the chair objects just serve to be clutter when traveling up and down the different floors of the opera house. (8) Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The architecture is polished and immersive, with no areas looking boxy. So, while I do think the general atmosphere is very well done, I feel mixed about both the sounds and the cameras. While there are plenty of music cues for events, there are a couple of occurrences in which there is music playing AND the background ambience, which sounds messy. Also, I do not think that the crickets chirping ambient loop is suitable for indoor areas in level 1. Now, onto cameras: There are many helpful cameras, or immersive flybys, such as the cute rat cutscene. On the flip side, there are several occurrences of unnecessary fixed cameras that don't help and can only hinder progression. I think the biggest issue involves the air wraith early in level 2. When you pick up the mask remnant and trigger this wraith, the camera that appears is not helpful and counterproductive. It shows a doorway with a special "123" texture at the top, with missing floor segments. The player, a few rooms ago, was in a room with a doorway with the same "123" texture, so the player may wonder, "huh, is this the room I was in a short while ago, and the floor fell apart maybe?" (This is not the case). The camera actually shows the player an area they have not been to yet, in a new canals area, and it's just confusing. (9) Lighting & Textures: The builder has a very high skill in this category, integrating Venetian and Roman textures beautifully. There's visual interest in each and every room, and the builder incorporates attractive and professional little touches such as sunrays and the bluish light accompanying the fuse pickup. There are some occurrences of squished textures on 1-click high tiles in both levels, but it's a small issue. The lighting of level 1 is great, however the omnipresent darkness of level 2, especially the 2nd half, started to wear out my eyes.I think level 2 needs more warm spots (higher contrast areas) to act as a breather from all of the darkness. Overall, it's a very polished level in terms of aesthetics, however I feel like the gameplay needs more variety. There are also some camera issues. Recommended if you love the Venice setting and want an easy level. 7/8/8/9." - nerdfury (07-Dec-2021)
"That's very well made venetian themed level. I really had liked to revisit the opera house and it made me feel nostalgic. Gameplay was good with some interesting ideas. The second level was better in gameplay than the first one as there were much more ideas involved, more exploration and some puzzles engaged like the planet puzzle which I liked. The first level was like more simple in gameplay terms. The ghosts segments in second were cool too. Both levels were done pretty well in visual terms. I really liked the looks of outside buildings with nice mix and usage of textures from TR2 and TR5 and well made architecture. I also loved the look of main opera and some side rooms of it. It was really atmospheric and pretty richly decorated. Lighting had been polished and gave really good atmosphere to the level. The usage of objects and statics was good but I have found some objects like motorboats without collision + the underwater plants were quite annoying as their collision was blocking Lara. Also I had noticed that camera was appearing often before taking keys/items like the pickup trigger wasn't put on lol. If it was intention then ok. Overally, it's nice, pretty atmospheric venetian level with nice throwback to old good opera house and some good looking architecture. I can definitely recommend it!" - BlackWolfTR (06-Dec-2021)
"This level is less demanding than you might think but actually there are almost no tasks requiring special skills or time to stop and think about what you're doing (maybe excluding the hidden passage in the mirror room). Sadly so, as it could've been more memorable than it actually turned out to be. Fluent and linear gameplay is what you get here, with some smaller platforming parts and a lot of levers to use. Larger rooms feel underused as often there's just a single thing to do and you seldom have to carefully explore a room to progress, the next thing to do is in plain sight. A not very nice thing is that once you drop into the hole created by the torch at the end you cannot return for the mask pieces and could possibly be stuck for good. This game certainly has some better moments, like the aforementioned mirror room, the torch usage and some pushable puzzles which make it rather agreeable, but not really intense. Enemies are quite plentiful but rather effectively placed (why their death animation is somewhat delayed is a mystery to me) and the combination of old and new objects (from TR 2/5 and BtB10) actually worked well here. The rooms are very carefully designed and atmosphere is quite good here, it's a very nice interpretation of the opera house, but the builder still has some problems with sounds and cameras - some of the fixed cameras are more irritating than helpful and some (interminable) music tracks overlap with the background audio and play on for too long. Texturing and lighting are very good, not to forget, and overall this level has a lot to offer despite some shortcomings in some compartments. Finished in an hour with all six nicely (sometimes too easily) hidden secrets." - manarch2 (03-Dec-2021)
"Very nicely built rainy Venice level at night. The atmosphere, music selection and enemies are well chosen. Despite many hints, you have to search a bit, especially in the opera house, to find all the items. Some small things I would have changed: I missed the AHA sound a bit. At the beginning of the first level you see the camera hint even before you pick up the key, would be smarter if the camera is only active when you take the item. That some crates are shootable and others not was a bit annoying, especially when they look the same. And yes the ghosts were annoying, as the paths where you could eliminate them was a bit too far for my taste. In the room where you have to use the mask you can't get any further or better up if you are missing a part of the mask, the author should fix that. Otherwise a very successful Venice level, the 2 hours of gameplay were fun." - vandit (29-Nov-2021)
"This level is very reminiscent of the Venetian section of TR2 and of the BtB 2016; Lara will have to reach the depths of an Opera House in Venice in order to find a mysterious artifact which holds the power to control the ghosts that are haunting the Theatre. The set includes two levels: the first one is shorter and takes place in a Venetian quarter, while the other is longer and it develops within the Opera House. If you look for a very classic level, well, this is one of them: the main focus is exploration, but there is also a lot of shooting, puzzle solving and a bit of platforming. The difficulty is average to low, and even if the two level are both straight-forward in the gameplay, there are some points that require some thinking (mostly because you have to find the right path, or backtrack a bit). The author did a good job while building this level, he (or she) got the atmosphere right and build an enchanting Venice; but there are also a lot of mistakes such as wrong cameras (one of them led me to get stuck in a door and had to load a previous savegame) and too many object in the same place, so that Lara gets stuck easily." - Nillc (27-Nov-2021)
"Nice and cozy level! The perfect adventure for one evening. The level did not cause me any difficulties. The locations are nice and make good use of the limited arsenal of classic games I see no reason not to play this level! So go ahead!" - ddaring_dash (24-Nov-2021)