Enemy combat behavior in Tomb Raider keeps up darn well with some of the best AI in today’s shooters. And like past games in the series, the non-locals are an even bigger threat than the natives. When stalking a pair of mercenaries, you’ll quickly get into the habit of moving the camera to make sure there aren’t more enemies around, because there most likely is. Pull off your steady-arm headshots and stealthy takedowns, and you should be able to prevent full on combat. Miss, and you have an alerted guard who’ll shoot a flare within seconds to call in backup.
Then again, if you do like heated gun battles, Tomb Raider appears happy to oblige. Whether it’s two mercs or a whole squad, there’s some stimulating unpredictability to deal with. Enemies seldom pop out of cover from the same position twice and some are brave enough to charge toward Lara while she herself is in cover.
Even the environments can become an issue during combat. At one point I was engaged in a shootout along a tower staircase, trying to get my usual headshots both at enemies hiding around corners as well being mindful of the incoming reinforcements. Little did I know that the floor below me was being consumed in flames. This left me little time to rely on conservative tactics where I’d try to pick off enemies one by one.