Let's get the obvious stuff out of the way, shall we? There's a few ground rules and recommendations I want to make before we begin . . .
Nothing aside from the knife, crowbar, baton, riot prod, sword, and the Dragon's Tooth Sword are to be used. No LAMs, no chucking TNT crates, (yes I know it's fun seeing me blow up, but please don't do it) no nothing. You get intimate and do the damage yourself, get an automated machine to do it perhaps, or you don't do it at all. I'd recommend keeping the regular sword along, it can chip away at strong doors while the Dragon's Tooth either takes it out in one hit, or not at all. Toss the regular sword once your combat strength augmentation is maxed out, you won't need it when you and your sword can do jobs normally saved for explosives . . .
Augmentations are a very important thing to go over. I simply can't allow some, while others are strongly discouraged. The ones which you absolutely MUST not use are:
- Microfibral muscle: it may allow you to lift heavy objects, but this is a melee only game we're talking about. You'll disable yourself to the point you won't be able to complete the game if you get this.
- Spy drone: I've never used it but it sounds like a ranged attack to me . . .
Keep in mind, when it comes to augmentations, you're going to want to stick to ones that compliment a stealth approach. One augmentation that's a good idea which doesn't seem like it is targetting. It amplifies the damage you do, which can help you kill something troublesome in a hurry. When the time comes that you gain access to a cloak or radar invisibility augmentation canister, get cloak. Almost always you can deal with the bots without any fighting on your part, while humans can't be disabled from afar.
Also, make absolutely sure your combat strength augmentation is maxed out as soon as possible. If you reach the Wall Cloud without this augmentation fully upgraded and don't have any upgrade canisters, you're screwed.
When you start your game, choose the Realistic difficulty level, downgrade your pistol skills, and upgrade your low-tech weapon skills, computer, lock-picking, and electronics skills to Trained. That's really all there is to do before we dive in head first into this.
One last thing. When you're upgrading your skills, focus on getting your low-tech weapon skills upgraded over anything else. Next, environmental training is wanted, when we tear apart the Wall Cloud, the explosions that are caused by the weld points being breached will tear us apart if we're not careful. A master in environmental skills stands a better chance of surviving the blast, especially one with the ballistic augmentation maxed out. Other than that, you can have fun with the skills. Swimming skills are definitely recommended, but how far you go with them is up to you
Outwitting the baddies, by Marecki
Marecki had some good strategies that I couldn't place anywhere else, and I figured it couldn't hurt to give them their own section. They're pretty handy!
A general note on melee attacks against groups of two people neither of which cannot be approached without the other noticing:
While it doesn't take a genius to figure this out, let me say it anyway, just in case: as long as you're unable to eliminate your targets with one blow of whatever weapon you want to apply to them, use the prod! Jump out on one of the guys and zap him; with luck he will go down, but even if he doesn't you'll have few precious seconds in which to take out the other opponent. I don't recommend switching weapons to finish off stunned (gassed etc. too, but it's not relevant to us, ain't it) guys, most of the time this doesn't work - i.e. they remain standing and eager to hurt you.
Triggering turrets when you have no place to hide from them for a while:
After you've triggered the alarm, go back under the turret and make it face in the opposite direction of where you want to go, then run like hell. This will give you precious few extra seconds before the turret can start firing at you.
Another strategy for sneaking up on two guys close to one another:
Sometimes the only reason why they both cannot be taken out quietly and without wasting prod charges is that once one has fallen down, the other notices his body; another problematic situation is two guys watching over each other's shoulder, so to speak. The solution? Make the other turn away! There are two ways of doing that, one for friends and one from enemies. In the former case, simply stand in the right place (i.e. where you would like the AI to be looking) and talk to the fellow. The latter is a bit more risky: standing as close to the desired direction as possible, become visible for your target so that he becomes alert, then QUICKLY hide again (having objects to hide behind is very useful here); if you want him to turn more, wait and repeat the process as many times as needed. In either case, in most situations your victim will remain facing in that direction, either becoming unaware of the other crumpling down to the floor or actually opening a formerly-watched path of approach. Then again, there are a few fellows who do return to their original position having returned to their idle state.