The lights are on
Lara Croft is a crafty little one, and is determined to frustrate you as you move forward in this game. So the main point of this bullet is to make sure that you are always aware of your surroundings if you are on hard, or medium difficulty. Numerous times a quick time event would activate when I wasn't paying attention, or some wolf would blindside me out of nowhere as soon as I thought everything had calmed down. And the enemies, oh the enemies, they constantly flank you with heavy melee runners and shotgun runners that you couldn't possibly be ready for. So always keep on your toes and never relax, because I guarantee you, there is never a moment in this game where you feel like you are 100% in control of the combat.
For those who like the stealthy kind of playthrough of a game, will find this sort of disappointing. There are some points in the story that allow you to slip past enemies, but don't, because no matter what scenario you are in, a firefight will ensue, and those enemies that you left to live another day, will come up right behind you, and empty an entire clip into you before you can even turn around to return fire. So you can still be stealthy, you just have to make sure that you kill everyone along with that. For example, there's one small section of the game set in a nighttime forest, where you only need to kill a few enemies to reach the objective, leaving about two dozen alive. But when you get to the objective, you learn that three enemies are blocking the entrance. It is possible to silently eliminate them all with your bow if you're quick enough (which I was and you will likely be able to as well as long as you aim for the head and have Survivor's Instinct on), but there is and always is a fourth guard behind them that will always notice you, and alert every enemy on the map to your exact position the second that he sees you. And he will always see you. So my advice for that, and any other section like it, kill everyone, just make sure you do it quickly and quietly enough, if possible.
This is one of the categories that Lara can sink skill points into, and it is by far the most helpful. Due to the ridiculously overconfident AI, who charge you carrying deadly axes, Brawler is the category that will help you deal with these enemies. You start off with no melee attack, your only defense being whatever weapons you happen to have on you, which are not helpful when enemies get within melee range. Brawler will give you the ability to stun enemies, perform quicker stealth kills, melee attack (which you need more than anything else), the ability to strip the armor off of some the stronger enemies, and even instantly kill some of the weaker ones. It will quickly get you out of some of the hairier moments in the game, especially towards the end, when you can't break cover because of heavy machine gun fire, yet you've got several melee enemies charging you.
I personally, upgraded the bow and the machine gun. The point of this advice is to make sure that you have something that far surpasses what the enemy has by the end. If you spread the upgrades around, you'll end up having nothing even close to going toe to toe with the enemy. And by the end of the game, if you are not even on at least the same level as the enemy, you will die, you will die a lot, and you will curse the day that you thought that evenly distributed your upgrades was a good idea.
When in combat, this will be one of the most helpful things that you can have. Survivor's Instinct highlights any hostiles that are in the area, and since many areas are often dark and crammed, many enemies will be hard to spot up to the point where they've killed you. Now Survivor's Instinct turns off the second that you move, so the best way to utilize it in combat would be to find an entrenched position, take cover, turn on SI, and quickly begin picking off enemies. This may be unavoidable in some scenarios as many enemies will throw dynamite or flank you, but it's all a matter of regathering your strength and finding a good position from which to hide in.
Before zip-lining or slipping into an area, look ahead if you can, just to see if enemies are there or not. If there are no enemies, they saw you, and are waiting to ambush you the moment that you land or step even two feet into their territory. If you can see enemies, they will either spot you right away, or will be completely oblivious to you until one of them spots you and alerts the others. So make sure you know what kind of situation you're getting yourself into before you throw yourself into it. I won't spoil anything, but there's one moment towards the end of the story where a massive army of enemies were all marching in neat little rows like Nazis, and I thought that they would all spot me within seconds, so I got to the highest point I could, and fired a hell-storm of grenades at them. Where upon a cutscene began, featuring me getting my face shot with a million arrows.
Any combat oriented QTE is Y/Triangle, and the timing on them is annoying as ever. If you hit them before the selected time that you're supposed to when you're fighting a boss, you get knocked flat on your ass. If you hit them after the selected time that you're supposed to, you get knocked flat on your ass. Some QTEs are X/Square, where you tap repeatedly to escape something, like a wolf attack or a cultist murderer rape attack (just kidding, he only wanted to strangle her to death). And of course, the waggle of the left stick/controller for a different escape attempt. If you memorize these, you'll do fine, but trust me, even when you do one of the "fake" QTEs, where you are technically in full control, but if you go in the wrong direction or hesitate in any way, you will get murdered in a nasty way by nature. No matter what you do, these QTEs will kill you at some point, just try to master them by the end so that the final boss encounter and other final boss encounter aren't ruined.
As I mentioned before, there is almost never a moment where you feel like you are in control of the combat. Enemies will charge and flank you, suppress heavy fire, toss dynamite, Molotov cocktails, and send heavily armored enemies with riot shields and machetes. Yeah, many times, this actually happens all at once. You will be overwhelmed, very quickly, and you will have to master the way to handle combat, and that is to be fast and skillful, but mostly, stay in a position, until you are pushed out. But trust me, in these claustrophobic environments, you will be moving in and out of cover like Spec Ops: The Line. You will be frantically switching weapons as well, since you will run out of ammo on the machine gun and pistol very quickly, and you will find yourself relying incredibly heavily on the bow. It will be hectic, and you will either be near death, or die quite a few times if you don't work on your combat skills.
I honestly have no clue what you get if you go into these small, incredibly linear tombs, that just take you away from the main story path. The game claims that they have some kind of reward at the end, so my guess for what that reward might be would probably be a great deal of weapons-upgrade points. There also might be a part for one of the weapons which unlock more upgrades, but I would never tell you that you need any of these. One of the best bows in the game is just given to you later in the story, same thing with the pistol. Even with the machine gun and shotgun I upgraded just fine by finding their parts in random storage crates or on the bodies of heavier enemies. So honestly, unless you want to relive the first few games, except see how much they've been butchered, then I would not recommend going into any of those tombs. I was only able to find about two anyway, and when I did I just thought it more sensible to just ignore them, considering that my main priority was getting off of the island.