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How To Play Tomb Raider Like A Professional

Every now and then I try to impart some of the wisdom I've accrued from my distinguished career as a professional gamer to the common men and women out there who enjoy games merely as a hobby. I look at it as one of the responsibilities that comes with my natural talent, and my guides for Skyrim and Far Cry 3 have undoubtedly lifted countless players out of their once-accepted mediocrity, even if none of them have had the decency to thank me for my help. Today I'm back with a list of tips for surviving Lara Croft's latest adventure.

For each entry, I outline how an amateur gamer might handle the situation. If that description sounds like the way you're playing, don't be ashamed; we can all get better. Well, except for me – but that's where the pro descriptions come in. They explain how I personally handled each situation, so study them well to be more like me.

Situation: While scrambling to get out of a collapsing cave, a demented madman grabs you from behind.
How an amateur handles it: Follow the onscreen prompts to shake him off and escape.
How a pro handles it: Lackadaisically wiggle the analogue stick out of contempt for quick-time events, getting crushed by a boulder in the process. Wiggle more vigorously the second time, but overlook the button prompt at the end of the sequence and get crushed by the same boulder. Wiggle your way through the sequence a third time, then hit the button as soon as it appears onscreen, not realizing it has to be a timed press. Get crushed by the boulder. Again. Play through it a fourth time while muttering to yourself how stupid QTEs are.

Situation: After escaping the cave, you come across a campfire.
How an amateur handles it: Sit down to save your game and upgrade your skills and gear.
How a pro handles it: Try jumping on top of the campfire to see if it's possible to burn yourself. When you take damage, continue jumping and rolling through the flames to see if you can actually take enough damage to kill yourself. Upon dying, wonder if psychologists have a name for whatever mental condition makes you do the things you do.

Situation: You enter a wolf den in search of a radio.
How an amateur handles it: Forge ahead. After finding the radio, fight off the alpha wolf by following the onscreen prompts.
How a pro handles it: Inch along inside the cave, jumping at every scripted noise while simultaneously feeling stupid for falling for them. Freak out when the wolf jumps on you as if you were a six-year-old seeing Gmork from The Neverending Story for the first time. Spend 20 minutes after the fight googling pictures of Gmork for comparison (I swear they're related).

Situation: Your quest for Lara's fellow crew members brings you to a new location.
How an amateur handles it: Activate Lara's Survival Instinct mode to locate your objective and other items of interest.
How a pro handles it: Scour every inch of your new surroundings, breaking pots and jumping at nets that are clearly out of reach while wondering what they're for. Startle yourself by stumbling into a thorny bush and taking damage, then stand underneath a hanging lantern and jump repeatedly because you find it funny when Lara hits her head.

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