Weapons and Upgrades
Weapons will be your primary source of dealing damage in the game if you're anything like us. Sure, you can get all fancy with plasmids if you like, but weapons are there to be used on your opponents. Luckily, the game encourages you to use weapons by liberally supplying you with ammo; if you're diligent in searching, you shouldn't have any problems finding huge amounts of ammo for your guns, assuming you don't insist on using a single weapon in every fight. The game also gives you plenty of cash, so if you do run low on ammo, you'll usually be able to find plenty to make up for it.
Each weapon (except the wrench) has three kinds of ammo available for it: a normal ammo, a rare ammo, and an inventable ammo. Normal ammo will be commonplace, and can be bought at most Circus of Values stores. Rare ammo will be tougher to find, but will still be around, and can usually be bought at Ammo Banditos stores. Inventable ammo will be the toughest to find, although you will come across it in the game world. If you want a steady supply of it, though, you'll need to take your junk items to a U-Invent store and make some.
Lastly, each weapon (again excepting the wrench) can be upgraded in two ways. You do this at Power to the People stations scattered around the game world. Each station can upgrade one of your weapons one time, after which it'll shut down. There should be 12 stations in all, although they're usually somewhat obscured and can be difficult to find since they don't appear on your map. Not all upgrades are really worthwhile, though, so you don't need to find all of them unless you're looking to get all of the Xbox 360 achievements.
The wrench will be the first weapon you pick up in the game, and one of the most useful throughout the game. At its most basic, this is a simple melee weapon: you hit your enemies with it a bunch of times, and they'll eventually die.
The wrench can't be upgraded like other weapons can, but once you start delving into tonics, you'll be able to find a number of tonics that enhance your ability to swing the wrench. In particular, look for the tonics on the list below.
- SportBoost: A physical tonic that lets you move more quickly and swing the wrench faster. Get these by taking snapshots of Thuggish Splicers.
- Bloodlust: A physical tonic that lets you regain health and Eve when you hit a foe with the wrench. Can make this at U-Invent stations later in the game.
- Wrench Jockey: Combat tonic. Increases the amount of damage you deal with the wrench.
- Wrench Lurker: Combat tonic. Decreases the noise that your footsteps make, and increases the amount of damage you do with the wrench on opponents who aren't aware of your presence. Bop!
When you have all of these equipped, you'll be in a position to dish out tons of damage to your opponents. The Wrench Lurker 2 tonic, in particular, will let you basically run up behind splicers and instantly kill most of them with a single blow.
In addition to these, other tonics can come in handy while using the wrench. You might want to consider Frozen Field, which will let you deal freezing damage with the wrench; this will prevent you from looting most of your enemies, though, since their bodies will be destroyed when you kill them. Static Field can also help stun your enemies when they strike you, which will be handy since you'll be in melee combat quite a bit.
Note that even if you have a bunch of wrench tonics, you still won't be able to take on a Big Daddy with the wrench by itself. It can be a handy weapon to use when you use up all of your frag grenades and need to finish your opponent off, but don't try to sneak up behind a Big Daddy and hit him on the head; they'll just shrug it off.