Thursday, March 11, 2010

BioShock 2 tonic loadout

Starting back from an AutoSave thanks to the Natural Camouflage glitch gave me a chance to properly configure my Gene Tonic loadout. Unlike its predecessor there are no set tracks that you have to fit tonics to, which means no more juggling over which type of tonic to load up.

This is based on having all 18 slots bought.

The non-movables - Once you get these you'll never remove them.

  • Natural Camouflage. Awarded by fully researching Houdini splicers so get the camera out as soon as you reach Persephone Dionysus Park. Stand still and disappear; hack machines, fail and hack the security bots that come to investigate for a couple of instant bodyguards.
  • Fountain of Youth. Awarded by fully researching Spider splicers. Stand in a pool of water and watch health and EVE levels replenish, stand in a pool under a waterfall and watch them shoot up. Combine with Natural Camouflage and you can just stand and watch your enemies walk by as you rebuild your health.
  • Damage Research. Well you're researching splicers for the best tonics, so might as well get the most bang-for-your-buck. Increases the damage bonuses awarded for research. Does not need to be equipped during said research to work.
  • EVE-link. A simple one, but occasionally a life-saver. First-aid kits also restore some EVE, not much but it can be as if you've 7 syringes instead of 5.
  • Cure-all. Another simple one. Health stations fully restore EVE as well as health. As even a non-hacked station costs less to use than a first-aid kit or EVE syringe, it leaves you more money for the important things in life; like ammunition.
  • Eve-Saver 1 & 2. Does what it says on the tin. Plasmids use less EVE meaning you can shock, fry, fling and freeze to your heart's content.
  • Armoured Shell 1 & 2. If they do manage to reach you make sure they do less damage with these tough tonics.
  • Elemental Storm. Awarded for fully researching the Alpha series. If they do reach you make sure they regret it. Combines the Electrical, Fire, and Ice Storm tonics to give anyone who hits you a random blast.
  • Drill Power 1 & 2. You might like the ranged weapons but they cost ammo. Sure the drill uses fuel when you spin it, but a quick smack uses no-fuel and delivers a hefty blow.
  • Handyman. Watched your two hacked bots getting into a fight and coming out the worse for wear. Don't hack for some more, repair them at a small EVE cost.

Optionables - Useful but not essential.
  • Medical Expert. Carry one more first aid kit.
  • EVE Expert. Carry one more EVE syringe.
  • Scrounger. Don't like what's on offer from looting change it. Might not so good a deal, but it beats those 'empty' crates.
  • Thrifty Hacker. One to possibly keep installed. Hacked machines offer a 10% discount.

Specialised  - Load these up for specific events.
  • Extended Reel, Keen Observer 1 & 2. Make sure get the research rewards as quickly as possible then dump these tonics.
  • Vending Expert 1 & 2. Gives you a 10% and 15% discount at Circus of Value machines. Stacks to create a 25% discount. combine with Thrifty hacker for 35%. Use when you're stocking up.
  • Hurried Hacker, EZ-Hack, Hacker's Delight 1 & 2 Careful Hacker 1 & 2. When you've got a chance to relax and hack some machines make it easier and get some EVE back too
  • Deadly Machines, Hardy Machines. Going to hack some bots or turrets? Make them tougher and deadlier.
  • Proud Parent, Demanding Father. Ready to let the Little Sister do some collecting? Get more ADAM and at a faster rate.
  • Drill Specialist. Laying down charge Cyclone Traps ready for a collection? Use this tonic to keep the EVE cost down, then swap it back out when you're ready to start.

Useful at a pinch - Useful at the beginning of the game and still occasionally useful if you've nothing better
  • Booze Hound. Plenty of booze around, and now it'll restore some EVE as well as health. Doesn't mitigate the doubled-vision though.
  • Freezing Drill. Keep them pinned longer under the drill and gain a chance to freeze and shatter them. Shattering removes any chance of loot though.
  • Electrical Storm, Fire Storm. Freebie tonics to find and use until you gain Elemental Storm.

The Don't buy list. These will cost you ADAM and pretty much are a waste of time.
  • Drill Lurker. Makes you quieter, increases melee damage on unaware opponents? Just shoot them in the head from a distance instead.
  • Electric Flesh. Zero damage from enemies electrical attacks and more damage from your attacks. What enemies electrical attacks? Besides zap'em and twonk 'em and down they go
  • Extra Nutrition. More health from snacks. Are you really that needful of this that you can't use a hacked med station?
  • Headhunter. Head shots do more damage. Upgraded shotgun blast to the head seems to work just as fine.
  • Ice Storm. Why bother when you can get Elemental Storm for free?
  • Machine Buster, Security Evasion, Short Circuit 1 & 2.  Hey you should be hacking them to get them to work for you not destroying them.
  • Shorten Alarms 2. Version 1's a freebie so use that if you haven't got Natural Camouflage and are useless at hacking
  • Walking Inferno. Oo more fire damage and less damage taken. The only enemies flinging fire about you can dodge. [Update - as mentioned in the comments this will boost damage from Inferno, the fully upgraded Rivet Gun and Phosphorus Buck; if those are your go-to weapons of choice this could be worth it]
Don't bother - no ADAM cost, but still not worth it.

  • Arms Race. More ammo from loot? Not enough to warrant taking up a slot.
  • Drill Vampire. Gain health from using the drill on someone, are you really that desperate for health at times to keep this loaded?
  • Elemental Sponge. Get hit by elemental attacks and get EVE. Worth it only if you get hit a lot.
  • Elemental Vampire. Use a level 3 elemental Plasmid and get health back. Like Arms Race not enough to be worth the slot.
  • Shorten Alarms 1. Well it cuts down on the number of waves of attacking bots, but if you're that bad at hacking use the auto-hack darts or just don't bother.
  • Sports Boost. Barely noticeable speed difference.

And that's the lot.


Anonymous said...

Pretty much agree on everything, except for headhunter. You missed the point there. This is for spears and rivets, pretty helpful for extra damage from the distance.
Also works a threat against tougher enemies if you freeze them, then discharge hell on their heads.

FlipC said...

On normal enemies a spear headshot is likely to kill them anyway.

With a caveat that I created this load with the PS3 in mind and that therefore lacked the fine control for true distance shooting.

I agree with tougher enemies it could be useful, but I had no difficulty without it and the fact it would cost ADAM was a discouragement.

I'd rather load in something else, but your point is a fair one.

Robert S said...

Nice guide, thanks. Just a couple of opinions to add:

* I agree with the other poster about Head Hunter. I prefer the rivet and spear guns, and it really makes a difference.

* I would move Drill Power 1 & 2 to the Specialised list. Personally, I virtually never use the drill and have no problems with low ammo.

* Elemental Storm is the worst of the Storm tonics IMHO. The element that triggers is random. I'd rather choose 1. Electric Storm is nice with Fountain of Youth and Electric Flesh while standing in water. This combo makes ADAM collection very easy. I'd put Elemental Storm on the Don't Bother list.

* As mentioned, I like Electric Flesh. Its a non-movable for me. Nice to charge up Electro Bolt and zap your enemies while taking no damage.

* Eve Link and Cure All aren't really that important unless you're low on Eve. I used them for a while and found removing them made little difference, so optional for me.

* I consider all the money saving tonics to be optional. Also, Thrifty hacker gives the same discount as Vending Expert, which doesn't have the requirement that the machine must be hacked to work, so the latter is slightly better.

Note that my opinion is based on the Single Player game. I haven't played the Multi Player.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree on Walking Inferno. If I am correct this will boost the power of your Incinerate, Rivet Gun and maybe the Phosphorus Buck ammo for the Shotgun. (Not sure about that one)At the same time it decreases the damage you take from fire which I found to be the most common element used by foes. So, for one slot you can both boost your Rivet and Incinerate Damage and at the same time decrease damage vs a common element. It also makes it safer to use Incinerate around oil and such. If you don't use Incinerate or upgraded Rivet Gun then I see your point but if you do it seems like it would be worth a slot.

Since, I don't use Drill that often I think I will subtract those tonics and add in Headhunter and Walking Inferno. I also have to say I found "Cure All" to be an amazing tonic. With the other Eve upgrades all of a sudden your a walking Plasma Machine of Death.

FlipC said...

Thanks for the Walking Inferno tip; I've updated the entry to reflect that. Combined with Headhunter I suppose it'll take down enemies that much quicker, but then again Cure-all with Fountain of Youth is a killer combination negating the absolute need for a quick kill.

Still that's the beauty of the tonics you can mix and match to suit your own style of play

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the response. Since, I have been late to the game your list has really helped me get a feel for the different tonics. Like you said the beauty is how its often up to play style. Thanks for the sharing!

Ben said...

Really nice guide but I would say this is very build dependant.

For example, on this last playthrough I used the drill the most. Vampire Drill was awesome against Big Sisters and Big Daddies. I dare you find a better weapon. I rush em, shock em, then drill into them. I can take out an Alpha Big Daddy on a 1/4 tank of fuel and about 20 seconds of fighting. When they hit me, shock em, drill into em more and watch my health meter get back to full.

A fully upgraded drill, with drill damage 1 and 2, vampire drill, and drill specialist made me almost invulnerable. Combined with the Eve reducers and I spent all of the last stages at full health, 5 eve hypos, 5 health kits.

FlipC said...

It does depend on your play style and I wouldn't expect anyone not to experiment, but I've run through like this at the highest difficulty setting with chambers off with very little difficulty

Unknown said...

This was very helpful toward strategizing the Gene Tonics and/or Plasmids - aka: being smart with the ADAM. Thanks to all of you! I'm a late bloomer obviously with respect to experiencing this fine franchise. As far as any input I have, I'm still in the early stages of BioShock 2 (Pauper's Drop), but I must emphasize my pleasant surprise with the use of Head Hunter. I was stuck with a Big Sister in a really inopportune time, so - lucky for my safe spot - I was able to experiment with some things, and Head Hunter was the only reason I got out of that battle without a serious depletion of resources. I'm too early in the game to utilize the various drill strategies, and the freezing Plasmids weren't an option either. So, I went with an Electro Bolt / Heavy Rivets to the head strategy via Head Hunter, and it was a noticeable advantage/difference. I really didn't want to spend ADAM, but it was the only option that got me out of the early Big Sister fight without unloading everything I had. The open area she spawned in made a gun and run strategy laughable. No matter how I rescued the 1st Little Sister in Pauper's Drop, a Big Sister came out Downtown where you have the low ground and no shelter; it was almost very bad...haha... SUCH a good game! Thanks again! \m/\m/

TheLancerSeries said...

Hey Ben i have a tip for you when you use the drill most next time head hunter also works with the drill it does lots of dmg and if you are using elemental vamp and drill power it pretty much makes you unstoppable (for me at least)