Right, I've just finished Stranglehold on Hard Boiled mode and to say it is one of the hardest achievements I've come across is an understatement. This is mainly due to the complete lack of help for Stranglehold on this difficulty. So to help future gamers trying to get this I thought I would pass on my tips that helped me.
If you guys have any of your own, post them on here and I'll add them to the main list. Also please be aware, this isn't a 100% accurate guide. I've played through it once on hard boiled and these are my recollections of the game, the harder bits stick out in my mind but the easier bits don't. If anything I've mentioned doesn't seem to work or your stuck in a particular part of the game, post in the thread or PM me and I'll replay that section and give advice. Again be aware this is a work in progress.
Thanks to B8TINGU for the alternative Lok solution
General Gameplay Tips
Preparation is everything - When you start the game go to the options and switch the auto aim onto high and switch on the target lock switch too. You could class this as cheating I suppose but I see it as balancing. Plus with the auto aim you'll lock onto the body of the enemy, move the aim directly up while shooting to get head shots pretty much all the time
Use your cover - Cover is so much more important in this difficulty. Not only does it protect you but it also boosts up your style points allowing
more Tequila bombs. Also don't forget to duck, it makes you a smaller target and although you move slower when there's lots of low cover you can cross areas to safety without getting hit once.
Listen out for the drums - Whenever you empty an area of bad guys you'll hear beats of a drum. Keep an ear out for this sound to know its safe to move forward out of your cover without worry of being shot at.
Tequila Time is your friend - Use it whenever you get the chance. When your overwhelmed TT will allow you to quickly take out enemies enmasse before they do too much damage.
Use your Tequila bombs - I know this sounds obvious but keep an eye on your gauge. Even the simple health boost at the minimal level can
keep you alive just long enough to reach a first aid kit or take out that last enemy.
Save your Tequila Bombs - In other words use them when you need them only. If you've got a room covered and are slowly taking out the bad
guys with ease. Don't show off and use your bombs, you may not get a chance to restock them before the bosses.
Precision Aim and Barrage those bosses - This will depend on the boss more than anything else. Precision aim is good for bosses you cant get
near and don't move too much e.g. Wong, while barrage is great for bosses that move about or you can get right up close and personal with, Dapong is a great example.
Standoffs - These are a lot harder than normal but relatively simple compared to the rest of the game. If you die you just begin at the start of the standoff again. So learn where your enemies are going to be and just keep your eye on the bullets coming towards you to avoid them. If you miss anyone don't worry too much, just quickly switch on Tequila Time and take them out and you should be ok
Most importantly, have patience - You are going to have to take it slowly and let the bad guys come to you as if you go charging in they will
make mincemeat of you. Be patient hold back and let them come to you.
Level Specific Tips
This level is very simple really. Just take your time and move through slowly. There are a lot of environmental hazards to help so use them every time as it will speed up your progress and boost your bombs. The only tough bit will be the marketplace section, but try and stay in cover and take out the bad guys slowly but surely.
After defeating all his gang Kwong will appear, now hopefully by now you've got quite a full tequila bar. So avoid him till he goes downstairs then hide either upstairs or behind the stirs (Stairs cannot be destroyed but the blast may still get you). Now unleash some precision aim on him to knock that health down. Now continue this mixing with some tequila time shots to weaken him and taking out his bodyguards to build your tequila bar. He shouldn't be too hard to beat overall,
Again take it easy with this level. On the sections where there are Drug tables the enemies do not respawn so take it easy and slowly and use that cover to work your way through the level, concentrating on enemies rather than the tables. Go back for any you miss and beware of standing too close you really don't want to blow yourself up with the tables.
The hardest part of this level is sinking the three ships. From the start turn around and run towards the tower with the zip line to the ship. Do this ship first as getting up that tower without being killed is tough and even if you kill the enemies on the ship they will just respawn. Once you've taken out that ship, heal up and take the other two out. It may be worth running round the path at the back of the island for some cranes and a handy Heavy Machine Gun. Then just get in there and blast those ships to pieces.
After this its just the bomb section. Again work through it slowly and you shouldn't have too much trouble with it.
Ok, this is where it starts to get really tough. There are lots of different strategies for this section and if I come across any others which work for people I will add them.
I personally placed the two cases right in the entrance to the area at the bottom of the small steps at either side. I then crouched and hid between these two cases. If you time it right you should be able to survive down here for most of the waves. Grab health only when your down to a quarter and hopefully by the time you need to heal up again the other case should have re-opened. When the trench coat guys come in, if you've got a spin attack use it. These guys are tough and you will struggle. If you haven't got a spin attack barrage will work as well. After that run up the stairs and get as many cranes as you can to set off an other spin attack and take them out. When your left with just the guys in the lift, just use cover and shoot them out. Again if this doesn't work let me know and I'll play through it again and fine tune this.
This time you want to hide up by the bar at the far end. Place the cases at either end of the bar and crouch. Pop up to shoot. They should just come in waves from directly ahead most of the time with occasional enemies from the side.
Thanks to Capn Doug X360a for this tip too.
In this section above the band members are a pair of golden guns you can get by shooting the scenery up there. Keep hold of these as they will make defeating Lok a lot easier!
After the stand off, run to the top left corner where the bar is next to the elevator. I found if I stayed up here the enemies tended to leave the band
members alone and there is plenty of cover to hide behind. This is tough though as there is no refills this time so you may have to dash forward and pick up some guns. Try to avoid shotguns unless they get too close as the ranged weapons will allow you to pick the enemies from afar before they get too close.
And now for the most annoying boss in the game. From the start run left and hide behind the stairs. If you are lucky and you have a barrage already unload that in him before you move to the side. If you position yourself carefully you should be safe from Lok's gun. First take out the two statues. If you shoot the Right one first, nine times out of ten it will get stuck and do no damage but sometimes it does and it'll hep. Then take out the left statue. This should land on him, and if your lucky wound him down to phase 2. If not shoot him with the assault rifle till it does. You will probably need to run to the other set of stairs before you take him down this far. Try to get him to reload before you do by just edging forward enough for him to run out of bullets. If he can't hit you sometimes he will just fire for ages without reloading.
Once hes hit phase 2 its time to run. Run round the room avoiding his shots picking up cranes and first aid kits a you do. Once you can precision aim him do so. Then its up stairs you go. Up here you'll find your health and another crane. Run round here taking pot shots at Lok when you can but beware as he'll take the floor out below you. Eventually with luck and patience you'll take him down but it won't be easy.
Alternatively, this solution was given to me by B8TINGU
KILLING LOK on HARD BOILED:
Arguably the toughest boss in the game and for good reason. I just beat him so all this info is pretty fresh in my head. I hope this helps as it took me quite some time to figure this out.
FIRST A FEW PREP NOTES:
First off try to have as much ammo and big guns as you can before going into this checkpoint, even with that you will still need to use the weapons in the circular shaped room. When you first enter the room you will notice a small set of stairs leading down in to the room. You then have two sets of longer stairs to the left and to the right.
He shoots with a great accuracy and damage.
He hardly ever reloads and has unlimited ammo.
He has three distinct phases you will know them when you have the small cut scenes. Phase 1 is when you first enter the room. This is where he will stand in one spot and shoot. Phase 2, he will come after you. Phase 3: He will start throwing hand grenades, while coming after you.
He’s very predictable.
You must use the environment to hurt him as much as possible otherwise you will run out of ammo. With the method I have explained here I only had to grab one extra MI6 ASSULT RIFFLE and change the SHOTGUN out with the DUEL SUB MACHINE GUNS.
TAKE NOTE OF WHER YOU ARE: (Use this part after you get LOK to come after you)
Starting to the right and following the right path you will see a WHITE PAPER CRANE. Directly in front of the white paper crane and to the right on the wall is a GUN rack filled with M16 ASSULT RIFFLES, a few more feet in front of that and on the same wall is a FIRST AID KIT.
Following in that same direction keeping the wall to your right will be another gun rack filled with the DUEL SUB MACHINE GUNS, another FIRST AID KIT a bit further along and little farther after that will be another WHITE PAPER CRANE and a Gun rack filled with SHOTGUNS. (If all goes well you will not need to use the shotguns)
DO NOT USE THE PERSICION SHOT EVER!
As the scene/checkpoint starts, immediately run to the right and get behind the stairs, there is sweet spot where Lok cannot shoot thru it and will not come after you until he has ¼ of his life taken away. You will also notice a white paper crane that if picked up will give you just enough Tequila bomb for a precision shot, or a small health boost, DON’T USE IT!! (You will need it a bit latter) Equip your M16 ASSULT RIFLE if you have it, anything just NOT the shotgun. (Only use the shotgun as a last resort)
STATUES ARE THE KEY:
It may take only one statue but more than likely it will take both to get him down ¼ on his health. Start with the left statue right leg it’s the easiest to hit. It may take a few tries to get the angle right but if you mess up you can always restart the check point. Remember you have two statues to try with before you have to restart; it took me about thirty minutes to get it right.
With the first statute Lok will take some damage and if you’re lucky he'll take enough damage to start coming after you. (About 1/4 of his health should be gone before he’ll come after you). If not move to the right a bit more and you will see the leg of the second statue. Shoot the left foot first as this will help with the proper angle to have it topple over, then shoot the leg out. It should be the one that is most visible and is taking a step forward. Shoot it to topple it on top of LOK for the remaining damage need for him to come after you, but be quick as the pillar that shields you can be shot out by LOk and it will fall on top of you giving you damage. (It’s actually pretty hard to screw that up and take damage) or he will just shoot thru it giving you damage.
LOK COMES AFTER YOU:
NEVER GO UPSTAIRS…EVER!!!
You know you got the damage when you get a quick cut scene of Lok getting mad and he will then begin firing his massive machine gun, get ready to move. Lok will come straight to you. Sometimes he gets’ caught up on the debris in the room but that will not slow him down. Do not use that time to PERSICION SHOOT HIM!! You may at your discretion shoot him if he lingers too long or seems to not be able to move, but this will not last long as he will turn to shoot you as soon as you’re in a clear view and thus either taking your health down or freeing him of his debris
*NOTE* If you decide to go up the stairs do so at your own risk as 90% of the time he will shoot the pillars from under you and you will fall taking damage and then he will shoot you some more and you’ll most like die very quickly. For your information there are more FIRST AID PACKS, WEAPONS and PAPER CRANES up there, but really it’s not worth it, as most of that stuff will probably end up falling to the floor with this method.
You should still be behind this same stairs from when you shot the statues. Use these stairs to circle around and stay out of his sight. Lok will constantly change direction to move from left to right if he cannot get a clear shot at you. He will stop occasionally to shoot at you. Try to get him to follow you up under the pillars. This not only gives you some more protection, but also plays in to his undoing. While he is shooting at you, you can get an angle on him and shoot him or, shoot the pillar he is standing under. (While he’s shooting at you he may also be hitting pillars too.) The pillar will fall causing more damage to him. Sometimes it drops weapons, first aid or additional cranes from the floor above. Now when the two or three pillars next to those stairs have fallen on him he should take enough damage to start the next phase.
CUT SCENE #2:
When Lok takes enough damage another shorter cut scene happens. When this happens be careful as your camera angles may change on you, so you need to be quick on determining where you’re at and where Lok is at in relation to you. At this point Lok starts throwing hand grenades at you. Now you’re ready to kill Lok.
Now RUN! Run until you get to the next FIRST AID, (if you need it) then get the WHITE PAPER CRANE (Note you will now have enough Tequila Bomb for the BARRAGE power up!) and the DULE SUB MACHINE GUNS. Press A to equip the Shot gun and then Press X to switch it for the DULE SUB MACHINE GUNS.
Now find where LOK is at. Make sure you can get a good full body & head shot on him. (Make sure there is no debris in the way of your target) Now if you can wait until he reloads, run out to attack him. Wait till he starts to shoot and use your BARRAGE ability. You take no damage from his bullets and you can just continually shoot him (try for head shots) hopefully you will have killed him, if not, now use your Tequila time to slow time and get out of the way.
After that move he should be down to almost no health and you can just run around a bit and pick him off. You may have another barrage move or precision shot after that as some paper cranes may have fallen from the top floor or your style points may have given you some. Either way you still have to be careful as he will still be throwing grenades and shooting you with deadly accuracy. I hope this helps!
Usual rules apply. Take your time, use cover and environment attacks and you shouldn't have too much of a problem.
As soon as this battle starts run up the stairs to the left and follow the path round to find a crane and a heavy machine gun. Grab both then run to the middle of the path and grab the crane hanging by the chandelier. As you land in front of the window let loose a barrage with the heavy machine gun on Vlad then grab the two cranes and get cover. Grab health when you need it and head up the stairs. If you crouch near the top of the stairs you'll find a spot where the helicopter and Vlad can't hurt you. When you get a chance unload another barrage into him then take potshots at Vlad when hes in front of the stairs. If you run out of ammo try and grab some more. There are golden guns in there if you can get them superb but any gun will do. Keep hiding on those stairs until you finally whittle away his health.
Chicago History Museum
Another level where its just working your way through slowly. However this level has a huge advantage. On many of the rooms you can activate the enemies in a room by approaching the doors then back up and hide round the corner. This will draw the enemies through the narrow entrance
allowing you to lean out and pick them off nice and simply. When heading up the stairs make sure to look up with Tequila Time ready as your guaranteed a bad guy to come down those stairs with a shotgun for your face.
From the start take out all the guards hurtling towards you. It's all about precision aim for this boss, so once you've got it ready use it. Once you've taken care of the guards run around the outside diving about taking out the guards coming out the door. You've got to be diving to rack up those style points. But if your really struggling there's a crane in the center walkway and under one of the horses in the pit. Eventually a scaffold falls down and you can get up stairs. Be aware no more enemies will spawn downstairs so if it gets hectic run back down there again. There's one more crane up here to collect but again its diving and taking out guards taking a precision aim when you can. if you want to take a few normal shots go ahead but do it in Tequila Time so you can spot the animation beginning for his super shot and dive out the way.
After Damon is dead carry on as before using cover to move forward slowly. When you get to Jerry it should be a walk over. Again use precision aim and cover to pop out and whittle his health down. There is so much cover in this area you should have no problem taking him down at all. If you need cranes shoot down the totem poles to reach them.
Slums of Kowloon
Hooray no boss battle!! But its not the easiest of levels. Take it slowly (I know I've said it a 1000 times but I can't state how important it is to do so) and beware of snipers. Use the environment a lot and if it gets too much run back. Few areas are really shut off to you, so sometimes its better to retreat and restock. Best of all some bad guys will follow you allowing them to be wiped out away from the rest of their friends.
It's the last level and though it will take awhile once you get to the helicopter its easy for a while after that. If you get a spin attack built up, use it as there are a lot of enemies to take out and this makes life a lot easier. In the furthest right building there is a pair of respawning golden pistols. These are your friends, use them to help take out hose bad guys and go back and replenish when you run out. It may be a trek but there is no better gun to get through this section. Use the huts as cover to move forward. Especially the hut at the bottom of the steps leading to the palace. Cover by the door and just lean out and pick those bad guys off as they come running towards you. Get cranes when you can and pick up health packs as you need them. They may respawn but I wasn't too sure. Eventually you'll notice the palace door opening and then you know its almost over. Take out those last few waves and you can have a breather. It's a little easier for awhile.
Firstly as soon as you get control run to the right of the palace and behind a pillar by the pond is a heavy machine gun. Pick this up (if you have one already still pick this up, more ammo never hurt anyone). Then run back and down to the left and skirt round the left side of the hut and wait. When the copter flies over to swop ends. Run towards the hut on the left to pick up the rocket launcher (keeping the HMG as well). Then run back outside and crouch behind the rock. Here you are safe from everything the copter has. When it flies back over run back round the rock and face the top left point of the palace. The copter will always fly into view right here. Hit TT and fire both rockets at it before turning around and running down the stairs and heading left behind the wall. Once the copter flies over again run back up, get the rocket launcher and repeat till dead.
After this your inside the place. Pick up some golden guns and any cranes to fill up your bar. Then head froward. When you go through the first set of doors move up slowly till the guards run out. Hit TT take them out and once those drums bang head up replenishing your Golden Guns on the left before taking a deep breath and approaching the end bosses.
Wong and Dapong
This is drawn out!! In the first part your main priority is wiping out his guards. Do not pick up any cranes!! Hide in one of the side corridors, to the left and right of where Wong stands. Crouch in the corner, without the med kit in it, with your Golden guns and wipe those bad guys out. You should be able to position yourself to see the full view of enemies coming towards you . If you run low on health run to the other corner and crouch there. When the bad guys stop, run below Wong and look up. If you stand to one side and aim for the grey slab above Wong any grenade will hit him and do some damage (It should also damage Dapong once but he'll run off after that). There are loads of grenades about so ammo won't be a problem. After awhile he'll disappear
backwards and more bad guys will turn up. Don't forget all ammo and medkits respawn over time, so keep those golden guns loaded and you'll get there.
Once Dapong jumps down turn left run up the left side of stairs, turn left and grab the crane at the back of the room. Then head for the right chandelier and swing across. Once over run straight ahead and collect the other crane, then run towards the right chandelier and swing across. This is the best time to collect the cranes as Wong will snipe you too easily if you try and get them when he returns. Now head left and head across the bridge bearing left to pick up the medkit shooting any bad guys you come across. Run down the first stairs you see and head behind the dragon statue. Pick up or replenish your golden pistols before hitting TT and spinning round to pick off the bad guys. If Dapong in view hit barrage with either the HMG or the golden pistol. A full barrage with either will wipe him out and set you up for the last section.
Repeat the method for the first part of this battle. But leave the guy who will hide behind pillars alive. When you think he's alone wait a few more seconds as sometime a second wave will appear. Once he's on his own its time to finish off Wong. Run up the stairs closest to Wong but on the opposite side to the remaining bad guy. If you need to cross to the other side of the room. Run under Wong picking up medkits if you need them. As you head up the stairs when you have a clear view of Wong, Precision aim him then back down the stairs. If the machine gun guy is still on the other side run back up the stairs and repeat till you can no longer use precision aim. Use the HMG to knock the statue down and pick up the two cranes. Keep an eye on your health and keep picking up medkits. Now repeat the method to precision aim again. One there all done, Wong should be quite low on health. Now your going to use the same method but using TT and shooting him with Golden Pistols or the HMG. By the time you've emptied them he should be long dead and you'll be finished.
If by any chance you end up killing the lone bad guy, head back up in the corners and wipe the waves of enemies out till you've got one bad guys left again. Though this is a pain in the ass you should get enough Style points to unlock Precision aim again.
And that's it. As I said, some of the early battle s are a bit hazy so if my methods won't work let me know and I'll double check them. If you have any suggestions again feel free to add them and I'll add them to the list with credit.