General Game Play:
The game features three set difficulty settings—easy, medium, and hard. They are referred to as Rogue, Thief, and Master respectively. You also have the option of customizing a difficulty beginning with one of the set difficulties as a base and adding conditions. The game will assign a difficulty score.
Counterintuitively, we will start the game on custom difficulty. This is because we must finish the game using a custom difficulty of at least 700 points. We will take the path of least resistance and get the associated achievements. As it turns out, this streamlined run through the game is easier than scouring the nooks and crannies for the rest of the achievements. We will use the skills that we have acquired playing on a high degree of difficulty and find ourselves more than adequately prepared to knock out the rest of the achievements on an easy (Rogue) difficulty level.
The custom difficulty will not allow us to be detected. If we are, it will revert back to the most recent save. As a result, we will automatically get an achievement for finishing a chapter undetected:
Because the custom difficulty precludes us from using Focus, we will automatically get an achievement for reaching the final chapter without using it:
Reach the final chapter without using the focus ability
Since the custom difficulty will not allow us to kill or perform knockouts. Accordingly, we will automatically get an achievement for finishing the game with no knockouts or kills:
Note that two of the above achievements are flagged as missable. Nevertheless, by installing the custom difficulty modifiers as we are in this walkthrough, they are not missable. Ironically, therefore, by setting the difficulty bar higher, we are making it easier to unlock achievements.
There is a custom difficulty setting for Zero Damage. If invoked, it would revert the game back to the most recent save whenever damage is incurred. We have over 700 points of difficulty without it. By not using it, you would be able to take a moderate amount of damage in the final and difficult confrontation. There is an achievement for finishing three chapters in a row without taking damage. However, since the custom difficulty will prevent us from being detected, the only damage we could take would be through carelessness. In such an event, we would revert back to the most recent save. Indirectly, therefore, the custom difficulty setting will virtually guarantee the following achievement:
Finish 3 consecutive chapters without taking damage
You are free to do this in reverse. The walkthrough will be divided into two playthroughs each on separate ‘pages’. You are welcome to play the second section first if you so desire. There will be comments to accommodate those who decide to follow the walkthrough in the reverse order.
There are some difficult areas but the game is quite forgiving. It will generally make a checkpoint save before a challenge. Additionally, the player can usually make manual saves at will and I strongly recommend it. There is no penalty for dying or loading a save file. You begin at the point where the game was saved with your full inventory. You are limited to your most recent checkpoint save file and manual save file. Be aware that when you make a new checkpoint save or manual save that the previous one will no longer be available.
Checkpoint saves are made at pre-determined points in the game. You can also create a checkpoint save by hiding in a closet when you are not engaged in combat. Unless you have good reasons not to overwrite your most recent checkpoint save, it is a wise practice to pop into a closet or cabinet whenever you come across one.
Focus. Focus is a special extrasensory ability Garrett has. During our custom playthrough, we will be turning it off. During the Rogue playthrough, it can be used and, in fact, there are a couple of achievements related to Focus. However, Focus needs to be maintained through the consumption of poppies that are moderately expensive and relatively un-plentiful. Except for the focus related achievements, the walkthrough will ignore it. However, if you feel it gives you an added advantage, feel free to use it. After completing the game on a custom Master difficulty without it, you will most likely find that it’s not worth the trouble maintaining it.
Movement. When employing stealth, your movement should be slow and purposeful. When going through open areas, either move quickly by using or swoop by pressing the action button. There are times when you must avoid noise at all costs. In these cases, you can flick or nudge the left stick rather than press it. Each flick advances Garrett only about half his body width on screen. However, you can flick rapidly moving almost as quickly and far more silently than you would if you just pressed the left stick. This technique is particularly valuable when passing through broken glass on the ground or walking through water. Normally, the glass or the water would generate noise but you can be completely silent using the ‘flick the stick’ technique.
Booster Packs. There are three booster packs that can be bought as download content. They provide you with upgrades that you would normally have to pay a merchant for. Note, however, that in establishing our custom difficulty that we will be setting, “No Upgrades (Non-critical tools, gear upgrades, and trinkets are disabled).” Thus, even if you have the bonus packs, you will not be able to take advantage of them. You would be able to employ them during the collecting part of the game. However, we will be playing that on Rogue (easy) and you will find that the upgrades are not necessary.
Bank Heist and The Forsaken Challenge DLC. There is a Bank Heist DLC and an extra Challenge (The Forsaken). Neither one has achievements directly associated with it. The Bank Heist can be used to increase wealth that has an indirect advantage. Additionally, the Bank Heist DLC provides up to four additional thieving challenges that also provides an indirect advantage. The Forsaken challenge can be used to get the one challenge achievement. However, the House of Blossoms challenge that is included in the main game is the best challenge for that.
Time to Get the Show on the Road:
The above discussion is not meant to be exhaustive. Nor are you supposed to be proficient before you start the game. The concepts discussed above will be introduced and emphasized through normal story progression. The information here is provided to make you aware of what you will experience in the game. Everything here will be discussed when you’ll need to make use of it playing the game.
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