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Feature

Eight Spoiler-Free Rise Of The Tomb Raider Tips For Beginners

by Kimberley Wallace on Nov 10, 2015 at 02:15 PM

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Rise of the Tomb Raider hits store shelves today, finally giving Xbox One and Xbox 360 players the chance to dive into Lara's latest adventure in Siberia. You can read our review here. The good news is you can play the game however you want. You can power straight through the story or take your time and explore for hours on end in its quasi-open world. Even so, there are still a few tips to keep in mind when starting your journey to maximize your potential for enjoyment.

Pick The Right Skill Upgrades

Rise of the Tomb Raider features three different skill categories (Brawler, Hunter, and Survivor).  First off, I recommend you read our feature on the best upgrades. In short, you want to grab every skill that gives you bonus experience, natural crafting resources, ammo, etc. Grab the Finesse and Avid Learner upgrades as soon as possible. Avid Learner will give you additional XP for your discoveries (relics, documents, survival caches, etc), and Finesse gives you bonus XP for chaining headshots, stealth skills, and death from above. In addition, longer chains increase bonus multipliers. Other than that, focus the rest of the upgrades on your playstyle. I recommend putting everything you can into skills that cater to the bow since it's a powerful and fun way to eliminate enemies.

Revisit Areas Once You Get A New Tool

The exploration and progression definitely takes some cues from Metroid, where you obtain tools as you progress that open up new paths and discoveries in previously explored areas. If you see a blocked path you can't get through at first, make a mental note and don't fret over it. As you advance, you get new ways to traverse the world, opening up these areas even more. Going back to these locales and breaking through these obstacles often reveal powerful weapon upgrades and other worthwhile collectibles. Making the trek back via fast travel is easy and worth your time.

Pay Attention To Everything Around You In Combat

Sometimes you can plot out your attacks; at other times you need to react on the fly. Either way, try to take note of everything around you. Rise of the Tomb Raider offers multiple ways to take down enemies, but some are more satisfying than others. While the gunplay is solid, I was way more into stealth and environmental kills. Crafting explosives in the heat of battle is also beneficial and one of the best ways to kill a slew of enemies in a jiffy. Use survival instinct to see what you can interact with, such as explosive barrels and bottles for crafting molotov cocktails. Too many times I regretted not being patient, only to see better options after I completed a large fight. Don't make the same mistake.

Forget The Guns: Use Your Bow

Lara's bow is powerful and a gratifying way to kill enemies, especially as you craft more arrow types such as poison and fire. Your instinct may be to reach for your gun, but you're much better off using the bow, especially when it comes to dealing with vicious bears and other dangerous wildlife. Plus, headshots are super easy to land with your bow, and that's important because they yield more experience than regular kills. You can still go guns a blazing if you desire, but the bow is also great for getting some stealth kills in before you take on a large group. This can make all the difference in approaching a tough battle.

Explore, Explore, Explore!

Rise of the Tomb Raider has a lot to do and discover. Don't feel like you have to stay on the main path. In fact, you're much better off searching every nook and cranny of the main hubs before proceeding onward. These hubs are littered with weapon upgrades and optional tombs, caves, and crypts. Each optional tomb offers Lara a valuable skill that can only be unlocked upon completion. Also, scavenge as much as you can as you search areas. Nothing is worse than not having the materials to craft special arrows or bandage wounds while in intense fights. Most extra activities offer great incentives, so you're not wasting your time. These include new areas, learning more about the world, and obtaining new gear and better weapons.

Take Advantage Of Survival Instinct

You should be using this obsessively to see what you can interact with, as it shows items and what's available for traversal. This comes in handy for the more intricate puzzles you come across in tombs. It doesn't give you the solution, but more so reminds you of the parts you must piece together. At many times it's about finding a hidden ledge that either reveals a new area or seeing something underwater that's easy to miss. You especially want to keep an eye out for archivist maps and lost satchels as they reveal other item locations on the map.

Spend Some Time Hunting

Lara can craft some useful pouches and tools to make your life easier, but a lot of them require a good amount of animal hides. Thankfully, Siberia is teeming with wildlife. Taking the time to kill a wolf, rabbit, or bear can provide some of the essentials for increasing the amount of arrows and resources Lara can hold. You want to craft the satchel and rucksack as early as possible so you never have to worry about being empty handed.

Overwhelmed? Remember You Can Always Go Back Later

Rise of the Tomb Raider offers a lot to do, making it hard to stay on the main story path. If you veer off but find yourself getting bored or frustrated with something, always remember that you can come back later. Sometimes taking a break from a tomb's puzzle and coming back later makes all the difference. The game lets you know as you're approaching the ending sequence, giving you a heads up to do any last-minute tasks. You can also resume finding discoveries after the credits roll. Don't forget the game has tons of fast travel points to make this easy.