Tomb Raider is hardly the most taxing game we've ever played, indeed there are moments when we rather hungered for some of the fiendish puzzling of earlier games. However, there are still a handful of tips and tricks to keep in mind when scrambling about Yamatai.
Remember, you can check out our Tomb Raider review here.
1. Skills For Salvage
Though it might be tempting to plump for as many combat skills as possible when boosting Lara's capabilities at campfires, if you drop a skill point for Survivalist to begin with, you'll up the amount of XP you earn from looting animal corpses and food caches. Follow that up with Advanced Salvaging and Bone Collector, and you'll be earning XP and Salvage at a much faster rate, allowing for quicker accumulation of precious skill and salvage points.
2. Become Katniss Everdeen Before You Can Become Lara Croft
The bow is your best friend. Arrows are plentiful and, given that you won't unlock silencer options for your firearms until the second half of the game, it's primed for stealth. Fire/napalm arrows can cause utter chaos, and there is no greater feeling of satisfaction than landing the perfect headshot thanks to its zoom option. Just remember to deactivate the Zippo if you're doing a stealth run, as fire tends to draw attention.
3. Remember To Check Relics For Secrets
One of the nice little touches in Tomb Raider comes in the form of relics that occasionally hide further information. Rotating the item, and zooming in to get a closer look will occasionally reveal hidden little details that will earn you a little XP bonus. Occasionally this will be a further historical hint, but on occasion it leads Lara to outing some of the artefacts as complete fakes.
4. Allow Yourself To Be Carried Along By The Story
There comes a point at the Mountain Village where you'll be faced with a whole bunch of tantalising gameplay opportunities that you cannot do anything about. Locked doors, inaccessible vantage points, and collectibles otherwise out of reach. Our advice? Move on quickly. Although the game doesn't come right out and say it until later on, you need equipment doled out by following the narrative. Thankfully, the nature of fast travel is such that you can revisit old areas whenever you step up to a campfire. Additionally, once the story has been completed, you have the run of the island to finish up everything you started, so there's no rush. Indeed, the post-game is actually where you really feel like you're playing a Tomb Raider title.
5. Trust Your Instincts
As with Eagle Vision in Assassin's Creed, tapping the bumper in Tomb Raider will serve up a temporary overlay (called Survival Instincts here) that will reveal lots of goodies, from unchecked corpses to hidden collectibles should you upgrade. As such, it's worth pouring a skill point into Orienteering to allow you to flag up desirable items through walls.
6. Don't Trust Your Cover
Cover shooters have gotten boring. There, I said it. So instead of a perennial back and forth between cowering adversaries, Crystal Dynamics created a system that embraces the best that cover shooters have to offer alongside fast-paced run and gun action. You never have to worry about snapping to cover, so movement feels free and natural. Enemies will quickly try to burn your hiding spots and flush you out into the open, so it's imperative never to stay in cover for too long. In the Shantytown, it will be imperative to move and kill in swift, smooth fashion, as you'll be swiftly overwhelmed if you stay in one place. Lara's speed and agility are her greatest strengths in this situations.
7. Check Everything
The major modifications for your firearms (those that allow you to unlock further upgrade tiers) are scattered randomly amongst salvage crates spread across the island of Yamatai, and the corpses of the men you kill. Thus, it is imperative to be thorough with one's exploration. Some of the crates can be found in flammable bundles either high up or beyond waterfalls that will need to be returned to once fire arrows have been acquired.