Sunday, December 28, 2014

Combat Cameraman

With an emphasis on the "combat."

Just for a lark I started a new game of Bioshock just to see what you could do with the Research Camera.

The game is pretty well balanced, and pretty well organized where you usually need a combination of approaches to get through all the various obstacles. But still, a few combinations are so powerful you can get through ninety percent of the game with them. What a lot of players like is the Electroshock/Wrench combination. You can switch (equipped) plasmid and (equipped) weapon very quickly, usually by tapping the right mouse button. For the above combination, you stun enemies (or cameras, for that matter) with the plasmid then close in to melee range with the wrench.

(It is also a nice combination if you've been hacking turrets, particularly flying turrets. Just stun the enemy and let the turret finish them off.)

There are a half-dozen buffs for the wrench anyhow (various tonics you stumble upon at various points in the game -- no, using the wrench more doesn't increase the probability of these items being made available). I can't think off-hand of any corresponding buffs for the various ranged weapons options, other than the "Power to the People" weapons upgrade stations.

So the trick to using the Research Camera fully was to equip a plasmid that was a primary weapon. And Telekinesis was it. It is also spoken of as, really, the most powerful plasmid in the game. You practically never run out of ammunition if you are using it in combat, and the EVE cost is so low you can use it for hours without needing to find more EVE to recharge.

The first time I tried this combo, I was searching a room when a Spider Splicer ran in after me. I took her picture, then caught one of her spider claws in mid-air and threw it back at her. She yelped, and ran back out to use the nearby First Aid Station -- which I'd hacked on the way in! And I was sold.

So I went through the game with the camera at the ready. Everything that attacked -- and several things that didn't -- I took pictures of. Only when I'd finished, or when I was really pressed, I'd switch to telekinesis.

And boy is the Research Camera powerful!

You almost immediately start collecting damage bonuses. It also starts dropping tonics on you. Within the first few dozen pictures of Splicers leaping at me, I had upgraded to Static Discharge 2. Which meant any Splicer closing to melee range would be thrown back violently by my natural electric shield, and with my other damage bonuses often killed outright. Then I'd pick up the Splicer's body with telekinesis and use it to mow down the others.

The only downside is I'd also been letting the Big Daddies be, so I quickly ran out of fresh slots for all my nifty new tonics.

Makes me wonder what other under-emphasized gameplay mechanics in the game might be similarly powerful if utilized correctly...

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