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  • Combat tactics

    As it is, many people seem to be struggling with the combat aspect of the game. And sure, this is as it was designed to be, but this thread is open to discussion about the tactics that helped you through some of the hard times.

    Maybe some of our less combat-oriented fellow players can find help from here.


    Let's get started on the simplest fighting form, which serves as a nerve-control practice as well saves flares and flashbangs for a more difficult situation.

    Part 1: The Taken

    Stage 1: Identify your opponents
    The attacking groups usually consist of three to four Taken. Sometimes they are all of the same type, and sometimes there are a couple of fast weak ones, or slower big ones in the mix.


    Stage 2: You want no-one behind you
    The basic way to fight a group is to keep moving so you get them to attack you from the same general direction

    Stage 3: Thin the ranks
    Use boost only when pointing at a Taken. There is a very good way of doing this: Boost your flashlight, and sweep the light across all of the taken.
    You will notice them stop, stagger and cover their eyes.
    Then pick one and start lighting (no boosting) the darkness away from that one a little more. When you see the others start moving towards you, boost-blind them again and then without boosting continue to burn the one you started with.
    You can stay still while doing this, or move a little to try to keep them bunched up (when they are bunched up, your light might hit them all).
    When the first one loses the darkness, quickly blind the rest and then concentrate on putting the first Hillbilly down with your revolver.

    Stage 4: Start with the weak ones
    You really want to get the easier ones down before starting the real bout with the heavyweights. The smaller ones tend to charge you if you concentrate on the heavies first, and you are a goner.

    Thumb rule: If you are facing two or more heavies, feel free to unleash a FB or a flare, but keep in mind the thumb rule: These are your best weapons, so do not waste them. They are to be dropped only when standing right next to the Taken.

    There, part one.
    Last edited by Hukka55; 06-02-2010, 12:37 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Combat tactics

    Part Two: Poltergeist Objects

    Thank Remedy the poltergeist objects don't harrass you at the same time with the Taken.

    Stage 1: Identify your targets
    Most of the time you will have to combat only one poltergeist object, but at times there will be two or more, with some toughness differences possibly.

    Stage 2: Choose the battleground
    Basically you cannot run too far or the object "deactivate", unless of course you run past them towards the next objective, in which case this is a good thing.
    What I mean by this is that you need to keep in mind your surroundings. Keeping girders, lamp posts, tower legs, cars and wall between you and the poltergeist objects is a winning tactic.
    Stand behind an object half-way so you can shine your flashlight on the object while it's gathering strenght before flying at you. Most times you do not have to even dodge, the object will just bounce off of your cover.

    If it bounces to a place where it will hit you the next time it is thrown at you, stop lighting it and run to a new safe spot before turningn your attention to lighting it up.

    Stage 3: Start with the weak ones
    The same as with the Taken. First remove the weak ones. They are faster to remove and it really helps with taking down the big ones when you do not have to worry about the smaller ones.

    Thumb rule: cover yourself. Dodging these objects is really hard. Hide halfway behind the terrain to be protected while you shine them up.

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    • #3
      Re: Combat tactics

      Part 3: Using your terrain

      This part is pretty obvious to most, but here goes anyway.

      Stage 1: Mind your step
      First terrain rule is to always move only where you want to go, even if it means moving closer to the Taken. Do not let them make you run in blind panic. If you need to run, then do so, but always to the direction most helpful (nearest safe haven, a stationary construction light or a building/rock formation to help your fight).

      Stage 2: Herd the Taken
      By using the terrain you can maneuver so that the Taken have to approach you from a direction of your choosing. Use what ever bottlenecks (doors, adjacent cars) that you can to drive the Taken together to help your fight.

      Stage 3: Identify means of collateral damage.
      Sometimes you can even use the terrain itself to rid the Taken.
      Snapped powerlines kill taken on touch, but also hurt you. Place a snapped powerline between you and the Taken, then watch them burn.
      If a taken is near a cliff, blind it and pump a shot or two in it. Most times it will stagger over the edge from the flash alone.

      Thumb rule: Always keep an exit line in mind. If you get overwhelmed, your fight or flight reaction will flip to flightmode. Having a preset thought of direction will help your mad dash to escape to at least be taken in a sensible direction.

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      • #4
        Re: Combat tactics

        Thanks for these tips, been using them on my current Nightmare run-through

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        • #5
          Re: Combat tactics

          Thanks, good to hear I helped at least somebody.

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          • #6
            Re: Combat tactics

            Extra Tip:

            When you drop a flare, it's a good idea to change order of elimination.
            Get the heavies first. They tend to sometimes charge even if you are boosting your flashlight, but the flare will make tem back off no matter what. That is a good time to help with your flashlight, boost the darkness away and put the big one down. The remaining lightweights are easier to put down using only your flashlight.

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            • #7
              Re: Combat tactics

              Extra tip #2:

              Flashbangs have a short fuse, but also explode on impact. Use this to your advantage. Sometimes it is smarter to let the Taken come close and take a few strikes even if you fail to dodge their attacks, in order to have your flashbang have an effect on all of the Taken.

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              • #8
                Re: Combat tactics

                Combat tactics part 4: Escape

                Stage 1: Dash to safety
                Don't just run, dash (left buffer)

                Stage 2: Know your limits
                Alan can only dash for a very short while, so try to stop the dash before the exhaustion limit and go to stage 3.

                Stage 3: Blind your pursuers
                This is key in a succesful escape. When you stop before, or because of, exhaustion, turn around keeping a calm mind and boost-blind the Taken following you while walking backwards.

                If Alan was not exhausted when you came to Stage 3, then go to stage 1, and repeat until safe.
                If Alan was out of breath, go to stage 4.

                Stage 4: Gather your strenght
                After blinding your pursuers, turn around and walk for a short bit towards your objective, then go back to stage 3. If you know how, walk backwards and re-blind the Taken when you see them lower their hands and start pursuing you again.
                When you see Alan straighten up, that is a signal that he is ready to dash again. Go to stage 1.

                Thumb rule: When you get enough distance, the Taken will start throwing their infinite farm tools at you. This is signaled by a sound you will learn to recognize. When you hear the sound, wait half a second and dodge forward. Most of the time you will succeed.

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                • #9
                  Re: Combat tactics

                  Just to clarify with regards to the throwing axes - the Taken will lead their targets. So let's say you're looking straight at a Taken and start running sideways, the Taken will calculate where you're going to be and throw their axe at that exact location. This explains why they seem to have such uncanny accuracy even at long range.

                  However, this also means that all you need to do is wait until the very moment the axe leaves the Taken's hand, and then start moving in the opposite direction (if you were moving to the side and the Taken is in front/behind) - it usually isn't even necessary to use the dodge button. The axes don't home in on Wake once they're airborne, so as long as you're moving out of the way of their original flightpath they shouldn't touch you.

                  Thus in the context of dodging axes when you have your back to the Taken, the success rate of using a forward-dodge depends on where the Taken are in relation to you. If they're almost directly behind you, there's still a reasonable chance you'll be struck because even after dodging Wake will still be in the path of the axe, whereas if the Taken are a little more to the side, a forward dodge is more likely to get you out of the way.
                  Last edited by Ed321; 06-08-2010, 03:24 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Combat tactics

                    I also found a tip towards the end of my first playthrough I wish I would have known at the start. It's a simple tip, but for the bigger flashlights it takes more than one battery to refill the light. I was at a point later in the game with the bigger flashlights I was constantly running out of power, even when being careful, due to the amount of enemies I was dealing with. I find it easier to manage my inventory if I pump the amount of batteries needed into the flashlight all at once instead of slowly (one at a time). I use 2 batteries at a time with the longer MAGlite like flashlight, and 3 at a time on the biggest Lamp flashlight. Only do this in the middle of big combat scenarios to avoid wasting batteries though...

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                    • #11
                      Re: Combat tactics

                      Originally posted by Ed321 View Post
                      Thus in the context of dodging axes when you have your back to the Taken, the success rate of using a forward-dodge depends on where the Taken are in relation to you. If they're almost directly behind you, there's still a reasonable chance you'll be struck because even after dodging Wake will still be in the path of the axe, whereas if the Taken are a little more to the side, a forward dodge is more likely to get you out of the way.
                      Exactly, though if you get your timing right, you will be able to dodge axes thrown straight at you with a forward dodge. This will take you forward instead of sideways, though it is a bit harder to pull off.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Combat tactics

                        Has anyone found these helpful, or maybe has something new to show&tell?
                        I for one find it difficult to spend so much ammo that I'd run out during gameplay on nightmare, but light is a real issue.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Combat tactics

                          I have a couple of new tactics to tell. I really had a lot of success the last time I was playing on Nightmare using a couple of gameplay elements. The first was I noticed it is really easy to blind multiple taken by tapping the flash button (LT) as Alan Wake has an aim assist like Call of Duty. When you pull the trigger in the flashlight automatically aims at the nearest Taken. I also found that it easy to line up multiple Taken while moving around in order to multiply the amount of Taken affected by the flashlight. Probably things that have been mentioned before, but they really help on Nightmare.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Combat tactics

                            Explode gas cans, use the environment to your advantage before wasting batteries/bullets.
                            Sarah Breaker > Barry Wheeler. Yep, I went there!

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                            • #15
                              Re: Combat tactics

                              Originally posted by Gumbeaux Jr View Post
                              I have a couple of new tactics to tell. I really had a lot of success the last time I was playing on Nightmare using a couple of gameplay elements. The first was I noticed it is really easy to blind multiple taken by tapping the flash button (LT) as Alan Wake has an aim assist like Call of Duty. When you pull the trigger in the flashlight automatically aims at the nearest Taken. I also found that it easy to line up multiple Taken while moving around in order to multiply the amount of Taken affected by the flashlight. Probably things that have been mentioned before, but they really help on Nightmare.
                              yep that is a very good tactic. I press LT so much my fingers hurt
                              I'm back.

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