First thing’s first, start swinging. Disrupt the bundle next to you to push it into the candles. Then bump into the burning pole next to you. Follow the on-screen prompt at the bottom of the pit, and then start moving.
Now you’ll meet a new mechanic for TR, picking up torches and burning stuff with them. It’s pretty straightforward.
Now you’ll need to relight your torch and look for something ‘splodey. No problem. The problem comes after you squeeze through the next section and come under attack. You’ll learn another quick time response trick in exchange.
In the smuggler’s den, relight your torch. Burn the two things holding the hanging platform. Then go up and jump onto it. You’ll watch it trigger some boxes falling into a “cage” at the end of the walkway. Go there, set your timing with the water, light the crates, and then shove the cage. It’ll send fire down to the big blockage.
Then it’s time to run for your life. Expect at least one more quick time event along the way, but just keep moving forward. When you reach a climb, it’s just pulling on the triggers in succession, and watching for dodge opportunities.
Enjoy the pretty view when you break out into the open. Wow! Now, follow the path. It’s pretty clear, and you’ll learn basic mechanics along the way. If you played Assassin’s Creed, this will be very familiar, jumping, grabbing, leaping up and sideways while climbing… No problem.
After you learn the wall scramble, you’ll get a two-way radio, your first real piece of equipment. Keep following the path, you’ll hit a false jumping opportunity, and then find a place to camp out.
Part 2: On the Hunt
After your flashbacks, it’s time to get moving. Look for quivers with arrows, and climb on top of the bunker to reach the bow. Then, follow the instructions to get your first kill.
In case you’re not picking up what the game is putting down, this is gonna be a bit more sandboxy than you may be used to for Tomb Raider. Feel free to look around the forest before moving back to camp. Look for other things to shoot, including Totem Targets dangling from trees.
Back at camp you’ll get to assign your first XP bonus from a number of options. Hit a shoulder button for a second menu of choices. I chose more accurate bow shooting.
If you haven’t yet, take this time to explore this chunk of forest a bit, before you head into the bunker, which is where your next checkpoint is. Make sure you have a complete compliment of 20 arrows, and get the lay of the land. If you get lost, you can follow the river back to where you need to be.
At the end of the bunker tunnel, look for a box with your first Relic in it. Burn the obstacle to find your next tool, which you can put to use immediately.
When you exit the bunker, you’ll learn how to extinguish your torch. Consider that a cue to do so.
Follow the trail for a convo and a cutscene, and then some fast shooting with your bow.
After another cutscene, look for a document on the bench near you. Then, go to the brazier, light your torch, and burn the bundle for some salvage. Then head out after your homie. You’ll learn how to dodge enemies, and have some wolves to deal with.
After another cutscene, look for a document on the bench near you. Then, go to the brazier, light your torch, and burn the bundle for some salvage. Then head out after your homie. You’ll learn how to dodge enemies, and have some wolves to deal with, or you can just keep running to meet up with dudeface. I left the wolves for later.
Now it’s time for a fetch quest. Look to the left of the doors for a document. There’s a totem to the right, too. Activate your survival vision, look for a small crate. In it is enough salvage to upgrade your axe at the campfire.
Open the big crate by the campfire with your new axe to recoup your salvage. I chose to go exploring before I used the axe to open the door. You can kill wolves and other critters, find more salvage (there’s another big crate by the campfire where you started this section), and get the lay of the land.
Once you have the new axe and you’re ready to move on, head for the gate and use the axe to open it. That’ll take you to the next area.
Part 3: Lara’s First Gun
Welcome to the wonderful and familiar world of chest-high walls! A new lesson, this one in finding cover.
Use your survival vision to illuminate the bad guys so you can avoid them while staying behind cover. Keep an eye out for the destination marker, and go slow.
After the hunt will be some quick-timey goodness. Be prepared, the game will not be patient.
When you reach the next section, you’ll actually get to use a gun for the first time. Learn fast! After that, if the game switches you to the bow from the gun, it’s because you’re about to learn how to kill someone without drawing attention to yourself.
A few more opportunities to kill quietly come almost immediately. Fortunately, the bad guys aren’t clever enough to panic immediately. Don’t forget to loot the bodies, then head up the ladder.
At the top of the ladder, in the tower up and to your right is a GPS doohickey, one of only two in this level. Look for a campfire to upgrade in case you need to, and you’ll unlock fast travel, which is keen! Feel free to backtrack to the Forest at this point to build up some XP, some skills, or hunt for collectibles. Oh, and check out your campfire options now, you can upgrade your bow or gun, too!
Move to the next section, and the game will advise you on how to distract guards. If you get their attention, they’ll set off a flare and call reinforcements. If you’re feeling confident, do it anyway to clear out the next chunk of guards all at once. Headshots get you extra XP!
Time to learn a new skill! Stealth killin’. It’s a pretty simple mechanic. However, in the next section, there are a number of guys gunning for you, and if you draw their attention, they’ll aggro FAST. Take them one at a time. There are five, and there’s cover, but one of them is a freakin’ psycho who starts tossing Molotovs. Go slow.
Once you hit the ground on the other side of the burning building, look for a document off to the right. If you wanna loop around to your right, there’s a relic in a building, too.