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BioShock Plasmid guide: Which power ups are best for defeating Splicers or a Big Daddy

BioShock Plasmids:

BioShock Plasmid: Security Bullseye

What is it?

A glowing blue orb that marks enemies as threats to Rapture's security system. Cameras, turrets and bots will hunt a Splicer tagged with Security Bullseye as fiercely as they would you. Sweet, sweet vengeance!

When should I use it?

Security Bullseye is probably the most useless plasmid in your arsenal - or at least the most inconvenient. When you happen to discover an enemy wandering in view of a security device and happen to have the power equipped, everything proceeds fantastically. Nothing's more satisfying than watching a few of those blasted turret bots chase someone else for a change.

But opportune moments to use Security Bullseye don't crop up randomly very often. And on the rare occasion that they do, you'll probably have a different plasmid equipped in its place. We suggest playing around with Security Bullseye when you first receive it, as the game will provide you with a few obviously perfect chances to test it out. After that, consider it dead weight.

Does it work against a Big Daddy?

The best Big Daddy fights are those that don't even require you to lift a finger. If you catch one stomping through a heavily monitored area, tossing a Security orb at him will cue a light-and-smoke stunt show the likes of which you have never seen. Seriously, grab some popcorn - these matches are even crazier than a mob of Splicers on Enrage.

Plus, our snide dismissal of the Security Bullseye plasmid doesn't apply to Big Daddies. Since these are showdowns you usually want to spend time arranging in your favor, it's logical to make a special trip just to re-equip the plasmid. Of course, if you have to travel too far to find a Gene Bank, you run the risk of the Big Daddy not being in the right area when you return.

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BioShock Plasmid: Cyclone Trap

What is it?

You've channeled fire, ice and electricity out of your flesh... why not wind? Pinpoint a spot on the ground and this plasmid will produce a swirling, permanent tornado there. Anyone who passes through it will be rocketed helplessly towards the ceiling. Comedy gold.

When should I use it?

As the name suggests, Cyclone Trap is designed for ambushes. You're not shooting gusts of wind straight at enemies, but placing dangerous hot spots on the map like you would with proximity mines or trip wires. Therefore, the best time to employ this plasmid is when you know - or think you know - exactly where a Splicer is going to go. Door frames, narrow hallways, catwalks and any other confined space is perfect.

Cyclone Trap can be used effectively in the heat of battle... you just need to know what you're doing and practice, practice, practice. The trick is to aim not at the enemies themselves, but at the patch of ground directly in front of their feet. The tornado takes half a second to appear, so you'll need to lead your prey like you would with a sniper rifle. NEVER use Cyclone Trap in close quarters combat.

Here's something to try if you're feeling adventurous. Throw a proximity mine onto the ceiling (or move it there with Telekinesis) and then set up a Cyclone Trap immediately below it. Splicer goes up... Splicer comes down, nicely toasted.

Does it work against a Big Daddy?

If used correctly, yes. The Big Daddies are far too massive to be troubled by a little gust of wind, so don't expect to send one flying through the air. For some reason, though, they can't move through the tornadoes.

By creating multiple Cyclones in a row, you can form a wall that effectively and permanently blocks the Big Daddy's progress. He'll still be able to shoot and lob grenades at you, but the threat of charging is removed. With enough space and maneuvering, you can even build an elemental prison around the Big Daddy, trapping him in one place forever.

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BioShock Plasmid: Target Dummy

What is it?

A ghostly decoy that stands, cowering, wherever you place him. Smelling fear, Splicers will forget all about you and concentrate their fury on the trembling bait instead.

When should I use it?

When losing to a large group of monsters, this plasmid can buy you some precious seconds of time. If he's in their field of vision, Splicers will invariably prefer bullying the poor Target Dummy instead of you, the guy with all the guns. They're stupid like that.

After you've shot them in the back enough times, the Splicers will remember your presence, so make sure to choose weapons that can finish them off quickly. In fact, these moments are the perfect opportunity to tag an entire crowd with Enrage. Then, when they're finished beating up your doppelganger, they'll simply begin warring with each other and leave you out of the whole affair.

Does it work against a Big Daddy?

When you and a Big Daddy are the only guys in the room, the Target Dummy is your only option for distraction (Enrage being suicide, basically). Conjure him a good distance away from you and the Dummy can keep a Big Daddy out of your face for much longer than Electro Bolt or Winter Blast.

In fact, by putting the Dummy in a corner or enclosed space, you can lure the Big Daddy right where you need him for the Cyclone Trap jail cell trick to work.

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BioShock Plasmid: Insect Swarm

What is it?

Proof that drugs were involved in the making of BioShock. How else to explain the strange and incredibly surreal ability to call forth an army of angry bees and send them swarming at your enemies' heads? From within the flesh of your own arm, no less.

When should I use it?

When you don't have the time or concentration for anything else. Precise aiming is awfully difficult when creatures are bashing your face in from all sides, something the Splicers and Big Daddies are awfully fond of doing. With the special exception of Electro Bolt in water and Incinerate on oil, Insect Swarm is the only plasmid that can harm multiple enemies at once. Don't worry about lining up a shot - just unleash the cloud of poisoned stingers as fast as possible.

Insect Swarm, like many plasmids, is only a short-term solution. The bees take awhile to finish monsters off, so you'll want to fire other weapons in the meantime. Oh, and stay away from the buzzing chaos, because you're as likely to get stung as everyone else.

Does it work against a Big Daddy?

The bees will bother a Big Daddy for the same amount of time they do regular enemies, and nothing's funnier than watching a guy in a giant diving suit swat blindly at teensy tiny insects. Like Incinerate, however, Insect Swarm will only make him angrier at you.

If you have enough Eve, the game's equivalent of mana, feel free to pile on more and more bees. But if you run out and he's still not dead, you'd best run or have a Plan B ready.

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BioShock Plasmid: Hypnotize Big Daddy

What is it?

Nail a Big Daddy with this gooey green orb and you'll get what the name promises - a brainwashed bodyguard who believes you're his Little Sister and who will pound anyone who even tries to mess with you.

When should I use it?

If you have the plasmid handy and a Big Daddy nearby, there's no reason not to use it. Fighting alongside BioShock's iconic bad boy ranks among the coolest moments of the entire game. Not only will he assail your enemies, he'll follow you from room to room and sacrifice himself to protect you, putting his own body in the Splicers' line of fire. Awesome beyond words.

A note of caution: Do not hurt the Big Daddy while he is on your side. Hitting him with a single attack... even accidentally, even splash damage... will immediately turn him against you. You'll know you've made a mistake when the happy green glow inside his helmet transforms to stop sign red. For that reason, you should never, never use Insect Swarm in these situations. The bees' attack patterns are just too unpredictable.

In fact, now that we think it over, maybe you should just cower in a corner like the Target Dummy when under the Big Daddy's watch.

Does it work against a Big Daddy?

Well, obviously it works on a Big Daddy, but does it work against one? Sort of.

As we just mentioned, you can't attack him - let alone kill him - while he is your guard. And, as you can't directly command him, it would be very tough to have him walk into any kind of trap. Your best bet is to have him fight as many Splicers as possible - eventually, he'll be taken down. If not, at least you obliterated every other enemy in the level. Also be sure to keep reapplying the Hypnotize plasmid, as it does wear off.

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