Bioshock

From Before I Play
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  • Resources will seem scarce enough during the intro that you may think the game is a survival horror: it is not. (Unless you play on Survivor difficulty.) Before long you'll be forced to leave behind all kinds of stuff you can't carry, and even your wallet has a Zelda-style limit of five-hundred bucks, which you'll probably hit faster than you'd think. There aren't any big purchases to save up for, so don't be stingy.
  • If you do somehow manage to actually run low on cash, Big Daddies always drop a ton, and there are several that can be killed pretty cheaply if you get the power that can temporarily charm them (which requires you to rescue, not harvest, three Little Sisters) - just befriend one, lead it to another, attack it, and watch. They'll stay completely focused on each other until one of them is dead, so make sure to even the odds if one of them gains too much of a lead.
  • The above strategy is especially useful for quickly and (relatively) safely researching Rosies, which eventually yields the Photographer's Eye 2 tonic, which boosts how many research points points you get from photos.
  • After killing a Big Daddy and rescuing/horribly violating his Little Sister, the Big Daddy will always respawn. That said, you don't need to fight or sneak past them. They won't hurt you if you don't hurt them.
  • Die. Die a lot. Unless you turned off the Vita Chambers, there's ultimately no real penalty for dying other than a lot of backtracking. This is both a good and a bad thing; it's great when you're stuck in a situation you can't possibly get out of, but it's bad when you get lazy and don't want to fight those damn security robots so you let them kill you.
  • You don't really need anything other than the wrench. That doesn't mean you should use it exclusively; you can almost beat the entire game with just the wrench, but it's much more fun if you play around with your powers.
  • Play around with plasmids to see what works best for you. The generally accepted 'best way to kill something easily' is the Electro Shock -> Wrench combo, but again, play around to see what you enjoy.
  • Pay close attention to your surroundings, and play in the dark if possible. The game's much better that way.
  • Don't be afraid to burn through ammo. You'll end the game with nearly complete clips anyway, so you might as well go out in a blaze of bullet glory.
  • Research as early as you can and as often as you can. Make sure you have enough film to fill the camera. Equip Photographer's Eye 1 and Photographer's Eye 2 to get a +25 bonus to taking pictures, then snap pictures until the game won't let you photograph an enemy any more. Then go find a new one and photograph him. The game gets much easier the more research you do, especially if you research turrets and security robots.
  • Don't kill Sander Cohen when he comes down the stairs. Just don't. You can do it later. But if you have to, make sure to photograph him.
  • There are plasmids and tonics that make the wrench the most powerful weapon in the game. Might not use it on the final boss or Big Daddies, but everything else dies in a hurry.
  • There's a tonic that makes you invisible if you don't move for a couple of seconds. This helps a lot when doing the research photography. Try to place yourself near where the enemies path through, and you can take lots of good close-ups when they walk by.
  • The plasmid that makes enemies trip security alarms (or just hacking cameras and drones) is your friend when you are doing research. You cant photograph friendly drones, but I believe drones summoned by a friendly camera are still technically neutral. They turn up, fight the splicers, and you stand there invisible, snapping away. That way you get bonuses for action shots (they are fighting), and for "Multiple targets" (assuming you manage to get a splicer and the drone they are fighting in the same frame). Hypnotizing big daddies can be used in a similar way, but there are less opportunities to do that, and the fights tend to be a lot shorter.
  • While harvesting Little Sisters gives you more Adam to begin with, if you save them you'll get more rewards as after so many you'll get a gift from one of them that involves unique plasmids and a lump of Adam.
  • Vita-chambers revive you when you die with no penalty whatsoever. Turn them off if you want a challenge.
  • Most plasmids are underpowered, but Electro Bolt and Telekinesis will be useful throughout the entire game.
  • The harvest vs. rescue option comes down to more ADAM immediately vs. bonus ADAM and unique plasmids/tonics with every three rescues.
  • The wrench is the overall strongest weapon if you equip its boosting tonics.
  • At a later part in the game, your health will be permanently lowered on occasion. Your health bar will be restored to its previous level eventually, so don't worry about losing your health bonuses.
  • Don't pick up a Big Daddy helmet unless/until you really, really have to. I found what happens afterward to be slightly annoying.
  • Upgrading your weapons at certain stations isn't as important as you think it would be, once you discover the awesomeness of wrench + wrench tonics.
  • Echoing research everything ASAP, which includes little sisters and security cameras/bots/turrets. The camera doesn't use film unless it takes a picture worth points, so snap like a madman.
  • The only time I remember having to backtrack across loading screens was after getting a key from Sander Cohen, and even then it wasn't really worth it. Other than that each map can be fully explored before moving to the next.
  • Also the Freezing plasmit is always useful, even for hacking. If you freeze something beforehand, like a Vending Machine, the stuff flows more slowly.
  • Hack Everything. Literally. There is nothing bad that can come from Hacking something.
  • 4 or 5 trap bolts will kill a Big Daddy from full health on Hard mode.
  • Note that the flavor text about the camera magically sampling the targets DNA or whatever is bullshit and you can photograph security cameras, turrets, and helicopters. Unfortunately, you can't photograph them after you've hacked them, so if you're playing for achievements/trophies, take the picture first, and then hack.
  • Unless you're totally overwhelmed with enemies or have no film, there's no reason you can't switch to the camera and take at few photos of your aggressors. You can also research the Little Sisters for small bonuses to your health and eve bars.
  • The invisibility plasmid you receive for researching spider splicers is also one of the most useful in the game, as splicers tend to give away themselves when nearby thanks to their senseless mutterings, giving you plenty of time to stand still and wait for an opportune moment to attack.
  • The electric discharge plasmid can be pretty cool, but beware that if you're near a Big Daddy or any friendly machinery the shockwave will hurt them too (which also causes the Big Daddy to attack you too).
  • If you're heading into an icy area, bring incinerate with you. There's plenty of treasure trapped under that ice.
  • If you're absolutely desperate for a health pack, destroy a health station.
  • If you don't kill Sander Cohen when you first meet him, you can visit him at home in his apartment later and access a room with goodeis, like a weapon upgrade staion and stuff. This roomis locked if you killed him earlier. However, on the downside, you'll have to traipse all the way back to Fort Frolic to get inside the Muse Box, though the contents aren't worth it.
  • Electric Gel and Chemical Thrower upgrades will absolutely murder Big Daddies. Electric Gel is therefore fairly rare, but there is enough to make it through the game.