This has some SPOILERS in it. I tried to mark them all, but there are probably some I missed. If you don’t want to be spoiled, don’t read this. If you want it spoiler-free, here’s a walkthrough. Max out your drill, use every drill tonic, the freezing drill especially, max out Winter Blast to Level 3. That’s my tip in a nutshell for those who don’t want minor spoilers.
If you want to cut time on your playthrough, go for this and the Big Brass Balls achievement, but the Big Brass Balls(completing the game without using a Vita-Chamber) can be unlocked on EASY. BioShock's Brass Balls achievement was added later, and you had to be on HARD difficulty; this is not the case in BioShock 2, although they could always do the same thing for BioShock 2. I was able to get every achievement in one playthrough on Easy except for completing the game on hard(and one easy secret achievement I missed). Trying to do the Big Brass Balls achievement on hard will just make your life a lot more miserable.
Now, my advice when going through this game on Hard is this: don't do the Big Brass Balls achievement. Turn on vita-chambers, if you had them off. (Another note: I unlocked the Big Brass Balls achievement with them enabled, I just never died)
Here are a few MAJOR points to follow:
- I recommend saving your human enemies, and harvesting the little sisters. I did about 10 gathers, for the first 5 Little Sisters. After that, I immediately harvested them, and still had 400 ADAM left over when I finished the game, using my method.
- Don’t be afraid to die! In regular combat, dying isn’t so bad. You’ll just spawn in a Vita-Chamber.
- I beat the entire game without touching any weapons other than the drill and Machine Gun. Which means that it could end up being a heck of a lot easier for you(and it was pretty easy for me as it was).
- Make use of the exploits you can find(such as EVE dispensers, which I’ll mention later).
- The Fountain of Youth tonic, for those patient enough to use it, is IMMENSELY helpful.
Avoid spending money on health, unless you absolutely have to, such as to prepare for an instance you know you can’t die during(i.e. gathers, boss fights). Save often, just in case. You don’t want to get caught in a bad spot, or have to reload the entire area because of a glitch. Gather up as many First Aid kits as possible. Unless you are religious against dying, only use one if you find another one lying around and you are carrying the max. If you die with 5 Health Kits, you spawn in a Vita-Chamber with 5 health kits. I started my hard playthrough trying to spend money on both health and EVE and never had enough money to buy everything else. This will save you a LOT of money for keeping your drill fuel up(for reasons explained later), along with special ammo.
In my playthrough, I maxed out the drill and used the other ammo when appropriate, but the Freezing Drill/Winter Blast Tonic and Plasmid work wonders in taking out Big Daddys, and many other powerful foes, for that matter. As long as you take advantage of the opportunities you’re given, hard mode isn’t very hard at all. Of course, that could be said of any game where you can never really “die”.
On the first level, you have an EVE dispenser. The second level also gives you an EVE dispenser(although I can’t confirm this one is infinite), and where you get Telekinesis, an infinite supply of food and EVE-restoring products(I say infinite, but there may be a limit, I only had 50 or so canned items sitting around before I stopped). On Paupers Drop you can use the drill refill to farm big daddies for money and max everything out. In Siren Alley you can use the slot machines and save/load to max your money out, as the slots aren’t fixed like they were in the first game. ***MINOR SPOILER*** Make sure that before you attack Father Wales you have maxed out your money using the slot machines. If you do, you will be able to fly through Dionysus Park and most of Fontaine Futuristics***END SPOILERS***
Almost every level has some exploit to use to get through it. And really, the game isn’t even that difficult outside of using these.
Another key point to beating the game is equipping the right plasmids and tonics, and making use of the right ones. Outside of using different ones for research, the only plasmids I used on a regular basis were EletroBolt and Winter Blast.
I already mentioned the Freezing Drill Tonic. This is one of the main tonics I used, and (***MINOR SPOILERS***) it’s found inside the hotel, at the back on a body on an altar, in which you confront Grace Holloway on Pauper’s Drop***END SPOILERS***. Another tonic which will be important to use is the Fountain of Youth tonic, found for researching the Spider Splicers completely.
At the conclusion of the game, my tonics were(I’ve purchased all available slots):
Careful Hacker 2
Drill Power 1 AND 2
Vending Expert 1 AND 2
EVE Saver 1 AND 2
Fountain of Youth
Armored Shell 2
Now, understand, everyone is a little different. The drill tonics were my way of playing through. If that’s the way you want to play, this is a great way to do it.
If you’ve been following my advice, upgrading the drill, using the drill power ups, etc, you should have no problems flying through Dionysus Park and Fontaine Futuristics, using the Winter Blast/Freezing Drill combo, then using water to refill everything with the Fountain of Youth tonic.
By the end of Fontaine Futuristics, you will probably be running low on money, and will be in a scrap for it. If you are really desperate, you can farm Big Daddies for money. ***SPOILERS***After finding all four ADAM flowers for Gil, you can repeatedly run over to where the final two flowers were, and a Big Daddy will usually spawn there***END SPOILERS*** Never use anything except a melee and slight Winter Blast….and keep attacking until someone dies. You’ll respawn in a VitaChamber. Run at him and keep attacking until he dies, and drops $50 or so, and repeat until you’re ready. Or, you can just continue on and hope for the best.
Remember, it’s the last level. Strategy for using certain things can go out the door. You’re not going to be needed all that extra ammo you’ve been saving up.
As far as this guide goes, if you’re looking here for help, you’re probably going to want to play the finale as conservatively as possible. Don’t go all Rambo just because it’s the last level. It could land you in serious trouble.
I was worried about the last level. But after farming the Big Daddys at the end of Fontaine Futuristics, and upgrading my Winter Blast, I had my money maxed out before the final Boss Fight, and actually didn’t even need to use it. The ONLY problem you’ll run into in the final fight is having to destroy the pipes, which is harder to do without a gun equipped(one of the tonics greatly reduces amount of EVE used but you can only use the drill). Just use Telekinesis and throw stuff at them until they burst.
Again, I was able to beat the game using only the drill(and occasionally the Machine Gun early on) using this method. It may work for you, it may not. But if you take advantage of the Fountain of Youth, this method will work well for you.
There’s not much else to say, but good luck!