2. General hints and tips
I won't bore you with a button for button breakdown of the controller and call it ‘hints and tips’, but there is one important button to point out -- . Holding when behind the corner of an obstacle, door, wall, etc and tilting will cause BJ to ‘lean’ out from cover. This is an absolutely crucial skill to master when playing on Mein Leben. Even though you will feel like you are highly exposed with a good view of the area ahead, you will notice enemies are magnitudes less accurate when shooting at you, hitting you far less frequently and for less damage than if you simply step out from behind cover. Trust me, you cannot ‘pop out’ and back into cover fast enough to avoid eating led on IADI/Mein Leben.
You must exercise care when leaning, however, because it can cause you to inch your way out from behind cover. If you are aiming in the opposite direction from that which you are leaning, for instance if leaning out to the left from behind cover but aiming at enemies to the far right in the area ahead, you can actually aim too far in that direction and it will cause BJ to inch his way out. Try to make sure you are aiming generally straight ahead or in the direction you are leaning (lean left, aim left) in order to avoid this. You can also ‘lean’ up, over the top of short boxes and whatnot, although this comes into play very rarely in my experience with the path I take through the game.
A note on collectibles...there are a boat load of them in this game. Considering how quickly you can speed run the campaign, it's really no surprise the developers padded the game's 'content' massively by sending you around collecting hundreds of meaningless lore items that most players will never even look at. There are even a massive amount of readables and audibles that you can collect in addition to the rest, but thankfully these don't have an achievement. DO NOT waste your time getting collectibles on the way through the campaign. None are missable and it is much more efficient to play through the districts on the easiest difficulty in the post-game mop-up to grab them, since you have to do that anyway for the ubercommander kills/deathcards and Max's Toys. All of these will be on their own page for the main game's collectibles. For each DLC everything will be on one page.
I want to point out some shorthand I use in the main walkthrough so as not to have to re-type all of the long, convoluted names of things in German. Even the US version has German names for things. The seven regular weapons (those that can be upgraded) are as follows:
Pistole – Pistol
Maschinenpistole – Machinegun
Sturmgewehr – AR-style rifle, referred to as rifle in my guide
Schockhammer – Shotgun
Laserkraftwerk – Laser
Kampfpistole – Not really sure what this is, but with upgrades it acts like a grenade launcher. I don’t bother with this during my main campaign playthrough, so any mention of it will just call it by name.
Handgranate – Grenade.
There are three heavy weapons that can be obtained by detaching turrets or killing enemies that have them (supersoldats): a heavy machinegun, a heavy laser, and a napalm cannon. There is a fourth that is found once on Venus and once on the Ausmerzer before the final battle against two enemies wielding them, the Ubergewehr.
Next a word on perks. Maxing them all is easy enough as you can just save your game at a good spot, do a perk, then suicide. Rinse and repeat. However throwing back enemy grenades is a tricky one to set up. It can be done easiest on the Ausmerzer in Mission 2. At the 2nd room with a commander in it (just after a room with 2 commanders), you can take cover in the red hall and enemies here will throw grenades relatively often. Knock out the enemy grenade throwback perk in that spot before continuing on in your 1st playthrough. I mention this again at that spot.
Finally I will frequently refer to supersoldat enemies in the walkthrough. These are the large, heavily-armored enemies that you will encounter frequently throughout the game. They have a gas tank on their back that can be detonated to blast off their armor, before or after killing them. This weakens them if alive, as well as generating more pieces of armor for you to scrounge whether they are alive or dead.
As for weapon upgrades, I advise the following upgrades as you play through, assuming you collect all the upgrades along the way and aren’t ‘short’ on anything. After the first nine weapon upgrades, it really doesn’t matter where you put the rest if following my paths/strategies. Maybe get the scope for the laser with the 10th, though it isn't particularly needed, and put a couple into grenades if you like using them.
Upgrade 1 – Silencer for the Pistole
Upgrades 2 & 3 – Marksman Scope and Armor Piercing for the Sturmgewehr
Upgrade 4 – Charge shot for Laserkraftwerk
Upgrades 5-7 – Rotor, Ricochet, and Extended Mag for Schockhammer, respectively
Upgrade 8 – Battery upgrade for Laserkraftwerk
Upgrade 9 - Jungle Mag for the Sturmgewehr
Remember one final thought. If frustration sets in on Mein Leben, move on to the three DLCs: The Adventures of Gunslinger Joe, The Diaries of Agent Silent Death, and The Deeds of Captain Wilkins. You would be surprised how many silly mistakes and entirely avoidable deaths happen when an hour or two into a Mein Leben run simply due to frustration and fatigue. Sit it down for a few days and return to it fresh, trust me. Also follow along with video guides like Falcon’s, Kreeper’s, Flipy Fliperson’s, or my own which is included in this WT. I have tried to edit down my full-game walkthrough video as well as the Mein Leben video for brevity and to avoid the user having to skip the oh-so-annoying unskippable cutscenes.
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