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I just got through to the cordon and there is a military base that it seems you have to get past before you can go anywhere(the only other option is going back to the swamps) However there seems to be a mounted machine gun with a spotter that is impossible to kill/avoid who stops me from getting anywhere.
Is there something that i am supposed to do to take him out or am i missing something obvious?
Actually I got passed the machine gun a couple times when I restarted the game, I believe the game actually points you to that entry point for cordon.
Just stay to the left, make sure your weapon is holstered, and run to the pile of rocks at the bottom of the hill. From the pile of rocks run to the tree, keep hitting the quick use buttons for medkits and bandages.
When you're behind the tree hit the jump button several times to get over it and then run like hell staying close to the fence and heading north.
I tried the running and cringing thing............no use! I've read if you turn around and go back into the swamp from Cordon the other (second) Swamp/Cordon gate will show on the map then (what the second poster was saying). I started my game over for an unrelated reason, when I get to Cordon again; that's what I'm going to do!
If you desire to avoid the Cordon gunner, and use the Northern route - you must still use the guide to go to Cordon once , to "open" the area. You can then just turn around, go back to Swamps and take the northern route.
The gunner IS difficult - but certainly not impossible to pass. The tips here are accurate. It can be done as long as you have a supply of bandages and Medkits with you. Once you've done it - you will find the "path" to the left that is the most efficient to take. Unfortunately, you don't know that the first time!
This has been posted heaps of times already - but for the sake of argument lets assume you are new.
You can get past the auto gun. its actually very simple
Make sure you have a few bandages and health kits. Put your gun away - it seems to make them spot you easier if you have it out. Sprint for the fenceline on the left and follow it until you get to a gap in the fence near a fallen tree. Go through the gap and head for the loner camp to the north. Make sure to weave around a bit, it seems to make them hit you less. Keep sprinting for as long as possible until you are clear of the range of the auto gun.
I also believe there is another entrance into Cordon to the north of the Swamps map that bypasses the machine gun crap shoot entirely - but I haven't tried it.
I gave up on the south entry point and used the north one. It was no problem at all ....... just dont shoot anyone till after you get to the trader and take his first mission. Oh yeah ....... avoid evrybody (eveni f they show up yellow on the mini map) till you get to the trader.