I entered the Opera House with a vague sense of foreboding, not because I thought something bad was going to happen but because I was pretty sure I was going to spend the next hour of gameplay bored out of my skull.
I really don’t know where I got such a negative impression of Opera House from. I mean, it’s no Venice but it’s still a fairly decent level, and very pretty too. And, as we all should have established by now, I’m greatly appeased by pretty things.
I have been trying to keep everybody up-to-date with the plot (or, at least, my interpretation of the plot) and from this post forward I shall be using italics for my recaps, mainly to jazz things up a bit and so that I don’t keep having to starting paragraphs with “So, …”
Lara has stormed through Bartoli’s hideout, killing thugs and upsetting chandeliers, and now finds herself at the entrance of an old opera house. Could Marco be inside?
The start of the level, which involves coming out of a dark tunnel (for once).
Most of the environmental traps in the opera house are thanks to the building be in a state of disrepair (rubble, sandbags, etc.). However, I cannot work out the justification for large boxes that can magically swing themselves from side-to-side. And it’s not like there are just a couple of rogue ones, these things are everywhere.
Also, I notice that night has fallen while we were sliding down that tunnel at the start How long was that tunnel?! It was only about 4pm when we went in.
Marco Bartoli’s father, Gianni Bartoli, who bears a striking resemblance to Harry Houdini, if Houdini decided to adopt a fairly lazy Satan disguise.
I was going to mock this carpet, but then I realised that actually, I quite like it. And Lara has apparently decided it’s the perfect place to do a bit of yoga.
I just love this picture because it looks like she’s trying to give that crate a really awkward cuddle.
Hey, all that yoga practice really paid off!
The eponymous opera house. I see the architects made the bold decision to replace the orchestra pit with a swimming pool. That’s dedication to experimental theatre right there.
Lara and this fellow spent a long time watching each other from afar, because apparently bullets can’t travel more than ten feet.
It was actually quite romantic, until I got close enough to shoot him.
All these mirrors are smashed in exactly the same way. I suspect a conspiracy. That, or a lazy texturer.
Screw the Rocky Horror Picture Show, this is the best kind of audience participation.
Once again, Lara must rely on her magic knuckles to open some doors. Here she is giving them a quick pep talk. “Time to make it worth my while contracting metal poisoning from eating that key!”
One of the puzzles on this level works on the assumption I have even a single clue as to what the hell a “relay box” is. Bad move.
Standing between Lara and the exit of the opera house is the mini-boss, Giant Revolver Guy (to give him his official name).
Heading out to Marco’s seaplane, one can catch a glimpse of fair Venezia at night. Then, one can wonder who the hell that woman is on the side of Marco’s seaplane, who looks as though she escaped from Duke Nukem 3D.
On the seaplane, we’re treated to a cut-scene (yay for cut-scenes!). This is about the only exciting moment in it.
Having snuck onto the seaplane, Lara eavesdrops on a conversation between Marco Bartoli and his pilot, Fabio. Fabio has some (fairly reasonable) doubts concerning Marco’s plan to go raiding the sea for an artefact his father, Gianni, may or may not have been carrying when he died. Marco responds by punching Fabio in the stomach (while Fabio is still driving the plane, I might add), and then gives a little speech about how awesome he (Marco) is and how he’s destined for greatness.
Lara is spotted by Marco as he leaves the cockpit and is quickly knocked out by a cultist (Eros).
Yeah, I’ve given up on my plan to get all the secrets.