Surviving Tomb Raider in six easy steps

tomb_raider_rifleSo you’ve just grabbed the Tomb Raider reboot and think that in a few hours you’ll be running things in the Dragon’s Triangle. Not so. There are all manner of nasty ready to end you, if you’re lucky, or worse. Take these six tips on board you’ll be making everyone your bitch in no time.

Step 1 – Boared? Buck up and hunt

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It may seem like an absolute given, but hunting is a quick and painless way to quickly score yourself some relatively painless XP. Best of all, they don’t fight back! Activating your survival instinct marks out flora and fauna in a bold yellow outline. Not only do you gain XP from killing them, but skinning the carcass gives you another bonus hit. You’ll get a warning when you’ve hunted each region down to bare bones so the next time you’re looking at that fluffy bunny thinking how cute it is, run an arrow through it and be all you can be.

Step 2 – Embrace stealth

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While some of you may prefer the tactics of a weekend warrior, such as running in guns blazing and make a horrible beautiful mess of things, ’80s action star style, there is something to be said for a more stealth driven route. While using survival instinct guards who can raise the alarm are conveniently outlined in red. Why kill a dozen guards when you can quietly mop up two or three? You can even upgrade your silent kills  to a one hit wonder which has surprising and magnificently gruesome animations.

Step 3 – Melee the fuck out of everything

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I can’t speak for the rest of you, but something absolutely primal came over me throughout the course of my playthrough. I pretty much focused on the bow, arrow and pickaxe combo and found it incredibly satisfying and caveman like brutal. If you funnel your skill points into upgrading your melee you can unlock some positively jaw-dropping one hit kills, especially when you are in sneaky sneaky mode. Take note of the picture above, which is easily my favourite. Lara takes an almighty swing and embeds her pickaxe in the skull of her victim and has to forcibly yank it free. Yowsers!

Step 4 – Dodge like a Skyrim meme

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OK, so I know the title of this step may seem a little cryptic. In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim a retired warrior you cross paths with mutters “I used to be an adventurer like you, until I took an arrow to the knee”. How could the developers have known that Crystal Dynamics would take that to heart with Lara Croft’s dodge? In keeping with my primal gameplay philosophy I utilised the dodge mechanic to scramble out of the way of oncoming non-firearm attacks, planted an arrow in the leg of said attacker, shoved another in his throat and enjoyed the arterial spray that followed. You will too.

Step 5 – Get your archaeology on

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Maybe it’s my role-playing game background and sensibilities but I wouldn’t leave any area until every tomb was raided, every challenge completed and every collectible .. err… collected, and I can’t urge you enough to follow suit. Beside a healthy XP increase, most completed tombs reward you with a treasure map detailing every collectible’s location in the region making the grunt work that much easier. If that wasn’t enough incentive, after methodical exploration you’ll earn enough XP to unlock the highest skill tiers. In a single playthrough I raided every tomb and nabbed every hidden item. Take your time and smell the roses, it is well worth the trouble.

Step 6 – Finish Him!

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Some of the highest skill tiers, I previously mentioned, will afford you the opportunity to perform spectacular one hit finishing moves if you’re in close proximity to your enemy. As you move in, up close and personal like, dodge any incoming machete swings and as you roll to safety you’ll incapacitate your target with an arrow, indicated by the skull icon above their head (see above). While they try to shrug it off and collect themselves, do them and yourself a favour and ease them of the burden of life. Approach with your equipped weapon of choice, sit back and watch a scintillating death animation of either a pistol to the face, shotgun to the base of the chin (as shown above) or a rifle burst from the rib-cage upwards. Buenos!

 

Need a little more Tomb Raider in your life? We’ve got links galore below.

Check out our detailed Tomb Raider review, video interview with Art Director Brian Horton or these sweet concept art pieces.

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Dave Kozicki

Shotgun Samurai

Video game reviewer, presenter and enthusiast. Film and TV-aholic. Pop culture geek. T-shirt and sneaker addict. All around nice guy and one hell of a sexy beast. Writer for Official PlayStation Magazine AU, AusGamers, Hyper Magazine and Australian Penthouse.