To earn all story-related achievements, you are going to need to complete two playthroughs. I would strongly recommend taking the stealth/non-lethal approach to start, for three reasons. First, you earn the highest amount of experience by doing non-lethal takedowns, which will unlock more Praxis points; which is necessary for the Jack of All Augments achievement in one run to avoid partial run through. Second, melee takedowns allow you to control the environment better, using corner or cover takedowns can help move a body out of sight and remove the threat in one step to avoid a body being spotted and an alarm raised. Third, you can get the two harder achievements (Pacifist and Foxiest of the Hounds) out of the way so you can go into the hard playthrough with no limitations or worry about missing either of those achievements and requiring a third playthrough. Additionally, the hardest difficulty only allows you one save file, so there is not a lot of room for error. While completely achievable, it would be more practical to try to get them done earlier rather than later.
Difficulty "Give Me A Story" - Easy
For this run, you should maintain an alarm free and non-lethal position while progressing through the story for the Foxiest of the Hounds and Pacifist achievements. You will be completing the main missions, side missions, and collectible gathering; all of which, when paired with some exploration, will help amass enough XP to earn enough Praxis upgrades to earn The Jack of All Augments achievement. Due to certain collectibles that can only be found during specific events, the decisions you make are critical in this playthrough; or else you will not be able to earn the Tablet Collector achievement. Secondary missions are essential for Tablet Collector as well, as two such missions will provide access to otherwise unobtainable eBooks. In addition, most side missions have an achievement tied to them for successfully completing them in a specific way and reward significant XP to level up. This run will also see the obtainment of several combat specific achievements in a unique way to both earn the achievement and maintain your non-lethal position. The final mission will also require a choice between two final objectives, which you will need to complete both within the time limit. This initial playthrough should result in the majority of achievements being earned, which will make the second playthrough (hard) that much easier and faster to complete.
Difficulty "I Never Asked For This" - Hard
This run should focus on mopping up the few achievements remaining. The two to note are Time Traveler and God Killer. This run will see that you choose the opposite option, Mission 10 or 11, from the first playthrough. You will also need to retrieve a story related item from North Prague before getting your augments reset. You should strive for this to be a fairly efficient playthrough, where you should skip side missions and avoid other objectives, or side tasks, that fall outside the purview of the main missions.While you will want to do some tasks to earn XP, so you can earn Praxis for upgrading skills, the goal here is to avoid most of the secondary stuff and focus on the main objectives so you can finish quickly. The only real difficulty about hard mode is that it only allows one save file (however, you can save as often as you want) and that it has a Permadeath feature. Meaning, you have only one life and if you are killed, you will have to start a new game; from the very beginning. There is a work around, if you are fast enough, in the event of a sudden death. Before you reach the reload screen, you can dashboard to the XBOX Home screen. Then load another game or use some other means to have the game load up from the main menu instead of jumping right into your current progress. Now, you can reload to your latest save point and continue. Regardless of how long it has been since your last save, it is better than restarting the entire game. It is highly recommended to reload a previous save if you are close to death, cause and alarm, or enter open combat; simply because the risk of getting killed is too great, and not worth the risk. Keep in mind, stealth should be utilized as much as possible, avoid risky actions, and SAVE OFTEN!
The layout I used, was BREACH; therefore, there is a chance that some of the buttons called out may be different for you if using another layout.
Only a few items are worth holding on to. Hypostims, Biocells, Crafting Parts, and Hacking Software are things you should keep. The only Weapon you really need is the Stun Gun, and some ammo. This is the cheapest weapon to fully upgrade for an achievement, and is extremely efficient for incapacitating enemies; including those in an Exo-Suit and the final boss, just FYI. All other items, weapons included, should be sold for credits to any Merchant as they are not really needed.
HACKING, CODES & PASSWORDS
Most devices have a code or password that can, generally, be found by reading emails, pocket secretaries, or learned from other NPC’s. These are set, not random, allowing you use the established codes/passwords described in the guide, without having to find them yourself. I will write in ones that pertain directly to the guide, if there is one; however, you will occasionally have to hack a keypad or computer, or find an alternative means to get past the security. Hacking can provide additional reward opportunities from accessing datastores for XP, credits, or hacking software during a hack. You can also earn bonus XP for successfully hacking on a first attempt, so there is some benefit to hacking devices. Aside from the very first keypad, which relates to an achievement, use the code/password at your convenience. An additional note, hacking is considered a hostile act. Therefore, be sure that you are in the clear to prevent a Panic or possibly an Alarm. Additionally, failing to Hack a device will cause you to be locked out for a short period, and some devices will also trigger an alarm; therefore, you may want to save before each attempt at hacking, just in case.
What you need to know is that there are two variants of stealth to focus on; unseen, and no alarm.
Unseen relates to Ghost, the XP bonus and the achievement of the same name. This is a stricter guideline for the stealth bonus, but is somewhat misleading; as you can be seen and still earn Ghost. However, take careful note that if any red text pops up under the mini-map, such as Alarm, Searching, Panic, or Hostile, you have failed the Ghost criteria. This will happen if an enemy or camera see’s you long enough to have both yellow and red threat meters fill, if you pass through a laser sensor, if an enemy or civilian spots a body, if someone hears gunfire, a mine or grenade explodes within earshot, and if you fail (not all devices) or get caught hacking; just to name a few.
No alarm relates to the XP bonus Smooth Operator and the achievement Foxiest of the Hounds. This is the more lenient stealth criteria. For this, you can have most of the red text alerts pop up under the mini-map, just not Alarm. Essentially, you can have an alert of Hostile, Panic, and Searching as long as it doesn’t evolve into an Alarm. This generally means incapacitating the person that is threatened or searching for you; in doing so you should see “Updating…” flashing in yellow, then the alert will clear from the mini-map.
It is best to avoid any of the red threat alert notices as much as possible, to ensure that you earn Foxiest of the Hounds by the end of the game. However, per the achievement, you only need to adhere to the more lenient stealth restriction (No Alarm) for the entire playthrough. There are a few scripted events where an Alarm is sound, but you are not specifically the target and therefore will not affect your achievement earning chances. These instances will be called out in the guide so you are aware; but take note that you can quickly become the target, thus failing the achievement, during these events if you do anything considered hostile. The best way to know, in these instances, is to watch for the XP bonus to pop up once an objective is completed; or better yet, watch to see if someone is targeting or shooting at you. If you notice your health is depleting, you are likely being shot and have become the target of the alarm. If no XP bonus for Smooth Operator or Ghost pops up on the completion of a mission objective, then you likely were the cause of an alarm. In this case, or if you second guess yourself, just reload to a previous save and be more cautious as you try again. This is why saving often and over a few different files is helpful.
PRAXIS & AUGMENTATIONS
Augments are your skills, and are acquired by spending Praxis. You earn 1 Praxis each time you gain a level, and can find or purchase up to 20 of these kits throughout your travels; really 19, with one on the body of the final boss. You should have more than enough opportunity to earn enough XP, paired with the 19-20 Praxis picked up during your gameplay, to unlock The Jack Of All Augments achievement. You can earn enough Praxis to complete this feat, during your 2nd visit to Prague; as long as you limit your spending of Praxis and follow the outline below. You want to be sure not to overspend Praxis on secondary upgrades, because you will not earn enough to acquire every Augment and upgrade; therefore, you could potentially run short on Praxis needed to earn the achievement. Below is a list of a few augments that will be necessary to follow along with the guide, and the order in which they are brought up within. The guide is written with these specific augments in mind; so without them, and in the order described, you may have to deviate from the guide to reach or obtain the items/location specifically called out.
- ARMS – Remote Hacking – All – 3 Praxis in total
- LEGS – Cybernetic Leg Prosthesis - Klipspringer Jump Mod – 2 Praxis
- ARMS – Cybernetic Arm Prosthesis – Optimized Musculature & Punch Through Walls – 2 Praxis
- BACK – Icarus Landing – 2 Praxis
- CRANIUM – Hacking Capture – at least to level 3 – 2 Praxis
- SKIN – Glass-Shield Cloaking – Cloaked takedown Support - 3 Praxis in total
- CRANIUM – Social Enhancer – 2 Praxis
- EYES - Smart Vision - 2 Praxis
Hacking Capture Lvl 4 & 5 might not be worth the cost, there are only a few devices that don’t have a code/password and you could use a multi-tool or other means to get through it; freeing up 2 Praxis for use in other areas. Fully upgrading Remote Hacking will earn a pair of achievements, provide additional opportunities to earn XP, and increase your ability to find alternative routes into secure areas. The Jump Mod, Optimized Musculature, and Punch through Walls augments are needed for collectible gathering; whereas the Cloak and Icarus Landing will help with maintaining Stealth and survivabilty. The Social Enhancer, Smart Vision and upgrade on the Cloak will provide extra XP earning potential, and are needed for achievements later on in gameplay. There are other helpful augments to get, that can serve as both progress towards The Jack Of All Augments and be helpful during gameplay; but are not necessary to follow the guide. These would include would include the first level of Hacking Stealth, Implanted Rebreather, and Quicksilver Reflex Booster.
There are several achievements related to combat and augments, which the guide will detail a strategy to save a handful of Praxis for use later on; to methodically earn each achievement. These achievements require fully upgraded augments, which make earning The Jack Of All Augments an impossible task in one playthrough, and these will cause you to miss out on the Pacifist achievement, if you do not follow this method. Following the method described is the most efficient means to earn the related achievements, and reduce the risk of missing other achievements. There are many beneficial augments, and your playstyle might dictate which are more useful to you. However, the list above should be the obtained when it becomes reasonable to do so, so you can follow the guide effectively. Just remember that you will eventually need to invest Praxis in the first skill of each Augmentation; and that every secondary skill you purchase for a given augment, will make earning The Jack Of All Augments that much harder. Therefore, saving Praxis at a point after acquiring those mentioned above, might be more practical to ensure earning this achievement, then you can assign the points after to better fit your preferences. If all else fails, you can always play through a partial New Game+ if you must, in order to reinvest augments acquired in the completed story; but that will increase how long you will have to play and is not necessary if you prepare ahead of time.
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