I’ve got a few tips for making the difficulty feel less punishing. Most of you have probably already finished it, but if someone’s starting late or wants to replay the other timeline, these strategies will make your playthrough much easier.
I played through the game on its second-highest difficulty when it first released, and found myself hating the - seemingly - unfair combat, dying way too often. Then, earlier this year, I found myself in a nazi-punching mood, and decided to give it another go, this time on Uber so I could get the platinum. I went in with a completely different approach, and found most of this run a breeze to get through. Turns out, the game is actually very manageable, even on the highest difficulties, if you play it the way the game wants you to. It’s a dissappointingly inflexible system where you have to adapt to its rigid expectations or suffer greatly. Think of it as clunky meta-commentary on fascism, if you will.
Anyways, here are the most important things you need to keep in mind to be an effective nazi-killer:
General playstyle: I know that dual wielding shotguns is extremely badass, but you will benefit greatly from using a single-wield approach for most of the game. For one, you can be more accurate due to the availability of down-the-sights aiming. But more importantly, single-wield allows you to shoot from cover: when you stand behind a wall or large object, you will see a white arrow appear if you approach one of its edges. When you see the arrow, holding down L2/LT/whatever your aim button is, you will pop out of cover until you release the aim button. In this cover-aiming mode, you take significantly decreased damage. It’s hard to get into this mindset if you’re coming from the fast-paced, constantly on-the-go style of Doom, but this is how the game is apparently meant to be played: methodically clearing rooms before you enter them, peeking in the doorway. This is the most important strategy tip in this entire post. Corner peeking makes you much safer.
So, what is the point of double wielding, you ask? Until you get the perk upgrades, it’s mostly there for the occasional adrenaline rush and feeling of badassery. However, once you get the perks that increase double wielded damage, dual wield becomes a very useful situational tool. Note that these damage increases don’t seem to apply just because you’re in double wield mode, you need to press the two buttons simultaneously and shoot both weapons at the same time to get the boost. This is kind of difficult with some of the smaller, rapid fire weapons, but isn’t much of a problem with rocket launchers, and two pairs of rockets will be enough to kill the biggest enemies, even on Uber. The final boss on Uber literally took me less than 20 seconds, 8-10 dual wielded rockets finished him off before he could get any of his taunts off.
Enemies / damage types:
The game does a terrible job of teaching you this, but I think different enemies are vulnerable to specific types of weapons, and if you don’t use the correct one, you can easily waste most of your ammo without doing any significant damage. Generally, anything except energy weapons (LKW, Marksman alt.fire, Tesla grenades) and rockets will be completely useless against bigger enemies. I’ll do a quick rundown of the most important enemy types:
anything goes, but once the stronger enemies start showing up, you’re gonna want to save your more powerful ammo and use only your default ballistic weapons (AR, mostly) against these guys.
armored shotgun dudes (first encountered in chapter 4 IIRC):
these guys can be a pain in the ass. The tank on their back is their weak spot, if you have good aim, you can take it out with a few well-placed AR shots, but once you get the alt.fire for the shotgun (one of the most fun and effective tools in the game), you can easily get that to hit their backs. If you have LKW charge and the scope upgrade or a surplus of grenades, just use those to get rid of them quickly. Rockets also work, but once again, you’ll want to save those for the enemies below.
armored rocket launcher dudes (first encountered at the start of chapter 12 IIRC): grenades, LKW, rockets. No shame in using rockets on these guys as they deal massive damage if left alive. Take them out first.
robots (first encountered in chapter 3): hitting them with a tesla grenade stuns them for a long time. One grenade and a few rounds of simultaneous double-rockets should be able to take them out before they get a chance to hit you. The LKW also works, if you have the charge. Also, most of the time they appear in environments with mounted turrets, so if you take care of everyone else, you can just stun them with the grenade and easily tear them apart with the turret.
supersoldaten (first encountered at the end of chapter 6, IIRC): two pairs of simultaneous rockets, pulling out a fully charged alt.fire marksman dual-wield and emptying both of them completely, or a fully charged scoped LKW shot will generally take them out. Grenades can also work until you get the rocket launcher.
Finally, make sure you find as many of the LKW upgrades as you can. When fully upgraded, this will be your most powerful weapon, able to take down almost any enemy in a single shot, even on the highest difficulty. Worst case scenario, you will need 2 shots, and you can get free ammo at the charging stations, even in the midst of combat.
I’ve found an online list of the upgrades. Cannot vouch for its veracity but figured I’d post it here with spoiler tags so you can look at the one for your current level without spoiling future locations.
Chapter 6 - Laserkraftwerk: Full Automatic – Once you make it to the hanger in chapter 6 you can get the upgrade. If you look at the map it is in the bottom room next to one of the commanders. In the back corner you can get the upgrade.
Chapter 7 - Laserkraftwerk: Reflection – In chapter 7 you finally can use the Laser in the base. Once you are retrieving the power saw you will fall down into the sewers. Follow the path until you go through a hole in the wall into another part of the sewer. Instead of heading for the objective go the opposite way and get the upgrade.
Chapter 9 - Laserkraftwerk: Strobe – In chapter 9 after you collect the welder you you will have to knock a ladder down with you laser. Once you go up the ladder look to the right for an upgrade box.
Chapter 10 - Laserkraftwerk: Tesla – In chapter 10 after you take the elevator up towards the train you can find this in between two crates. It is a large yellow box.
Chapter 11 - Laserkraftwerk: Portable Reactor
Towards the end of Chapter 11, you will unlock a story-based achievement and find yourself in a treasure room.
You will need to solve a small puzzle in order to unlock this upgrade.
Chapter 12 - (This is the most important upgrade, as it completely changes how you use the weapon) Laserkraftwerk: Targeting Scope – After you clear out the double decker train car of Nazis you will climb up to the main train car you need to enter. Take the beam across to the train car behind the double decker and cut a hole in the fence to get this upgrade. It is a large yellow box.
Hope this helps everyone become a more efficient nazi hunter in the future - as well as in the game. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.