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Old 29-09-13, 20:46   #101
sheepman23
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GREECE
Level 6 - The Colosseum




As if the whole Neptune business wasn't enough, this new level throws another Roman phenomenon at us: a colosseum. And this time, it's not just a small mythological error that plays a very small role in the level composition; the colosseum is the centerpiece for the entire level.

As a result, I'm going to try and ignore the fact that this level really shouldn't exist. That, or Lara stepped onto a teleporting pad between the folly and this level that somehow transported her over to Italy. That's always a possibility.


Lions and gorillas in the arena together... something is not right about this.

The colosseum itself is really cool. Forget that it's a square colosseum... that's what makes it unique. It's too bad that the blackness can sometimes distort your view of the entire thing, as it really is an impressive piece of level design. I only wish that they had put some pickups along the seats, as there isn't much reason to go climbing up them when they're really bare.

For much of the level, you go from room to room, pulling switches to open up doors in different rooms. It's all pretty generic, and even kind of linear stuff, but it works for the most part. I particularly love the room with the timed gates and pressure plates.


I would call Lara a gladiator, but gladiators didn't carry pistols with unlimited ammunition. Which is basically cheating.

Pierre even makes a few cameos here and there. His appearance actually fits really well with the entire Colosseum shoot-all-of-the-animals theme, which makes it even better when he doesn't show up at all in Palace Midas.

However, for all of the things that are fun about the Colosseum, I don't think that the designers made full potential of the set that they had in front of them. This level just feels too short for what it's built up to be. There are basically four different challenges around the arena (timed run, boulder, pillar room, the key) that you complete in succession, and then a few trips up to the balcony thrown in there for good measure.

Aside from fighting, you don't really do a whole lot in the main arena. I think it would've been cool if they had given us a fun platforming-oriented section where we got to scale the heights of the Colosseum, maybe to reach one of the aforementioned challenges.


I love how this pair of doors looks like a grand exit, when it's really just hiding a small medipack...

Conclusion

Geographic incorrectness aside, the Colosseum is actually more fun than I remembered it being. It's memorable, and it mixes in some good combat moments with little challenges around the edges of the arena. But while there's a lot going on around the outside of the main area, I was slightly disappointed that, except for fighting, there isn't really a lot to do in the actual colosseum. It's more of an impressive set piece than it is a part of the gameplay. I'm also not a huge fan of the opening moments of the level, although I did like how you had to take a back route into the colosseum since the front door was locked.

All in all, replaying the Colosseum was pleasantly surprising. It's not one of this games's best experiences, but it's a pretty solid piece of work.

Rating - 8/10

P.S. - I think that the spike pit in the center of the arena has to be one of the least effective traps in the game. There are so many ways to get into it...
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Old 29-09-13, 23:06   #102
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While I wouldn't rate the level as highly, I agree with everything you said. But really, you rate this level as highly as St. Francis Folly?

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However, for all of the things that are fun about the Colosseum, I don't think that the designers made full potential of the set that they had in front of them.
Exactly. I felt that the gameplay was way too monotonous for a level that could have included so much more. It's a shame that they only created a series of lever pulling in this whole area.

I also have to mention the third secret in this level. I think it took me three or four playthroughs to finally find it. A very clever secret indeed.

Anyway, excellent review. Palace Midas next eh?
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Old 29-09-13, 23:10   #103
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You just made me realize that I completely forgot to talk about the third secret... it's one of my favorites in the game. I didn't even notice it until my second playthrough, the door opens so subtly and you can't hear it. Not only is it tricky to reach, but the reward is fantastic.

I was tempted to give it a 7/10, but then I thought about it and I don't really have any reason to. I think it's kind of an underrated level, actually. It could be better, but it has substance.

Hehe, I'm excited for the next review.
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Old 29-09-13, 23:14   #104
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I probably would have gone for a 7/10 myself, mainly because of the lack of gameplay ideas. Plus the level seems too short for me. I still thought it was pretty decent though.

Hmm, what are the chances of you giving Palace Midas a 10?

100% I think.
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Old 30-09-13, 06:50   #105
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Ahh, I remember the first time I entered this level so well! Like it happened yesterday... I just stared at the huge arena for a while. Like you said, impressive
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Old 30-09-13, 09:34   #106
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Greece levels were just wierd.

As for the mix up of names - Core admitted they just didn't research very well .. listen to TRA's commentaries. At least Crystal fixed that tehehe

And as for the collisium - they aren't just in Italy ya know - Turkey and other countries had them.
There is alot of factual basis that points these levels to be set in Turkey and not Greece at all!! Think about that one - research..

Google Turkey Christian Armanian Orthodox churched and you'll see.
It matches roughly the date on the front of the Monk's diary in the Natla Offices TR1 FMV.
The church outside from SFF FMV and TRA scenes match images and also the decor.
Remember the arches in the stones in S.F.F - match also to some images..
Like this as a quick e.g

http://images.travelpod.com/tw_slide...rches-kars.jpg

FACT: Greeks migrated to where modern day Turkey is now and took some of their culture and building styles with them (google it)

So - the designers really did design a ''folly' here haha

Mix of Roman, Greek and Turkish architecture/gods.
Whether you believe it to be in Italy, Greece or Turkey -
I like to think of it as layer upon layer of several different era's
(like Underworld's concept New tombs built over older and older ones)
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Old 30-09-13, 12:33   #107
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According to the game The colosseum and folly is actually set in greece not turkey.
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Old 30-09-13, 16:06   #108
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Nice review.

I agree with the idea that Colosseum felt more of a set piece rather than a level. Indeed, the whole level seems to revolve around that massive 'room', and after a while I had a hard time remembering what else the level consisted of...

Anyway, 8/10 seems to be about what I would give.

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Hehe, I'm excited for the next review.
I bet you are.
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Old 30-09-13, 16:11   #109
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I'd give the colosseum a 10/10
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Old 30-09-13, 20:08   #110
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I don't think TR actually specified that St. Francis' Folly was supposed to be in Greece. I always assumed Italy somewhere, given the presence of the Coliseum and Cistern, but the Turkey interpretation fits as well. While I like the atmosphere of the level as a whole, it's fairly short and easy, and you can see the limitations of the TR engine in the arena itself. In TRA they were at least able to make it round as it should have been.
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