The initial loadout for every character is the same:
Sub-Machine Gun: rapid fire, low power, short to mid range accuracy
Double Barreled Shotgun: low rate of fire, medium power, extremely short range.
Shield (Ability): Increased defense.
Simply put, this is not enough to get very far. With a little persevearance (and the proper roadmap) however, you will get stronger. Here's 5 tips for the novice Olympian.
1. GET THE REVOLVER
Your first purchase should be the Revolver, replacing the Double Barreled Shotgun as your side-arm. This allows more precision in picking off ranged enemies on ledges, which would otherwise be very difficult with the initial offerings.
2. BUY HEALING
The Healing ability will help in two main ways. First, it keeps you alive more effectively than Shield, so you can get to health and armor pickups. Second, its effect is far less pronounced. Shield's golden barrier obstructs a good portion of the screen, making it hazardous in crowds. It often shuts off only to have you find yourself surrounded.
3. UPGRADE THE SUB-MACHINE GUN
No matter how tempting other purchases may seem, focusing funds on upgrading is generally more efficient than buying new weapons. When fully upgraded, the SMG is more than capable of crowd control and deals quick, pronounced damage to all bosses. With the Olympian Upgrade, it is reasonable to complete any bronze level solo with little fuss.
4. PLAY SOLO FIRST
Playing solo allows you to learn the level at your own pace. When finished with a section, you can wander freely, learning the layout. On multiplayer, when one player enters the portal, a countdown begins which, when expired, whisks you to the next screen. Explore the areas and learn where items pop in (ammo pops even after the screen is cleared) and defensible postions. Also, it allows you to experience Tests of Faith without other people blasting you in crossfires. It's called Grudge. You'll see.
5. GO ONLINE
Now that you have some proper equipment and now where to go when Shroud sets in, you can venture onto the network and show off your skills. When playing in groups, however, your style will most often be decided by the current Test of Faith. Here's some pointers:
Grudge - Spread out and keep an eye on the player tags to know where not to shoot (and where to avoid in case they lack trigger discipline)
Brotherhood - Stay close. When a group of 4 is all assisting each other, everyone is practically invincible.
Book/Arrows - Be aggressive. Take every shot you can, and stay to the front. Enemies often come in a line in long hallways, and in blobs in arenas. Get to where they spawn in, and clean up.
Bomb - Find an overhang. If you're in the open, keep moving.
Famine - Keep your magazine full. Famine only draws from your reserve, not what is in the clip.
Life - Keep an eye on your health, and always try to group the enemy so they stay in front of you. Getting surrounded during this Test will get you killed, fast. You don't regenerate as fast as you think you do.
Dice - Hands down the most frustrating, as it switches the weapon very quickly and the effect takes place immediately. Characters with the Minigun and Buzzsaw CAN NOT run - and this will cost lives. When saddled with a weapon you don't like or isn't good for the situation, avoid the enemy until it changes. This will become simply a matter of luck.