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This took more time than expected. But anyways, onto the Brute Splicer: as opposed to most other enemies, the Brute Splicer's appeal comes from his overall fighting style, and not just the particular mechanic he ascribes to. He's an incredibly versatile enemy type, able to attack the player from any distance using a variety of different abilities. In BioShock 2 he truly was the game's miniboss. Unfortunately, though, towards the end he became a pushover, to the point where the developers had to send Brutes in droves just to hold the player up. In a co-op mode, these'd be the centerpiece of tough Splicer fights, and so would have to remain challenging throughout the whole game. Most of the changes I propose here are designed to not only make the Brute tougher, but also deadlier in certain situations.
Awarded at random:
- +Damage Against Brute Splicers
- Concussive Attacks (attacks push enemies back, and knock non-armored enemies to the ground if used at point blank or melee range)
- Increased Quick-Melee Damage
Changes: Stage One
The main change I'd like to implement on the Brute Splicer from the start is the ability for him to shield himself with his arms. This'd likely affect his model, making his forearms larger than his arms (think Popeye or a very big gorilla). Attacking the Brute's arms would deal him reduced physical damage, though while shielded he wouldn't be able to see in front of him or move as quickly. He'd still be able to charge, though, though he wouldn't be able to see where he'd be going. If he hits a wall while charging, he'd take damage and be knocked down. He'd also take full damage from non-physical attacks such as fire, ice, electricity and the like, regardless of whether or not the attacks hit his arms. Furthermore, considering the players are Big Sisters and thus relatively lighter than an Alpha Series Big Daddy, the Brute could be able to pick up one of the players and throw them, possibly at the other player.
Tier One Mutations
- Reflective Arms: Attacks that hit the Elite Brute Splicer's arms are reflected back towards the attacker, though the Brute still takes damage from the attack.
- Sonic Boom: Elite Brute Splicer has access to the Sonic Boom iteration of Telekinesis, allowing him to let out a powerful roar that violently throws back objects, non-armored enemies and the players.
- Leap: Elite Brute Splicer can leap to his target location, damaging and throwing back everything around him upon landing.
Evolution: Stage Two
Though the Brute's ability to shield himself may initially challenge the players, it'd soon become clear that the counter to such a tactic would be to attack the Brute from both sides and wear him down. To further amp up the difficulty, he could have a regeneration factor. In a serious fight, this'd make him last a little longer, but if the players don't dedicate themselves towards killing him as fast as possible he'd be able to regenerate the damage dealt to him.
Tier Two Mutations
- Boxer's Boon: Elite Brute Splicer's attack speed increases the more hits he lands on his target.
- Death Rage: At low health, the Elite Brute Splicer's movement and attack speeds are greatly increased, and he will charge much more often at his enemies.
- Kinetic Accumulation: Elite Brute Splicer accumulates kinetic energy by moving and taking damage from physical attacks, and explosively expends a portion of it by attacking, causing his attacks (including thrown objects) to deal increased damage as well as splash damage. Kinetic energy accumulated from physical damage is dependent upon the attack itself and not just the damage (i.e. a Tri-Barrel Shotgun blast would cause the Brute to accumulate more kinetic energy than a headshot from the Harpoon Launcher).
Evolution: Final Stage
Even a healing factor wouldn't stop a Brute from quickly succumbing to a barrage of the players' attacks, especially since the latter would have found ways to negate or even bypass the regeneration entirely (e.g. setting the Brute on fire to counter the healing over time, freezing him to put the regeneration factor on hold, etc). As a result, in the late stages of the game, attacking the Brute with a Plasmid or elemental effect would cause the enemy to metabolize it, becoming immune to any further elemental attacks of the same type until hit with another elemental effect, which would cause him to metabolize the new one and become vulnerable again to the previous one. In addition, metabolizing an element would cause the Brute to emanate an aura specific to the element, each with its own unique effects. The effects are as follows:
- Electro Bolt/Electricity: Brute Splicer emanates an electric field, periodically shocking anything in its vicinity. He also electrifies any water he comes into contact with.
- Incinerate!/Fire: Anything close to the Brute Splicer gets set on fire.
- Winter Blast/Ice: Brute Splicer chills everything in his vicinity, slowing them down and increasing their vulnerability to damage. He also freezes water upon contact.
- Hypnotize/Hypnosis: Brute Splicer's foes become enraged at close range and will fight amongst themselves. In your case, as you approach the Brute Splicer you'd start suffering from hallucinations as if you'd been Enraged by a Hypno Splicer.
- Decoy/Deception: Brute Splicer occasionally turns invisible. Additionally, if the Brute has allies, they'd be invisible when near him until they attack.
- Security Command/Machine Targeting: Brute receives two extra fully-upgraded Security Bots as companions.
- Cyclone Trap/Plasmid Trap: Brute's foes are pulled towards him when nearby.
- Insect Swarm/Insects: Brute is surrounded by a large swarm of bees who attack nearby enemies.
- Telekinesis/Force: Brute Splicer's attacks, both melee and ranged, send enemies flying back. Additionally, if any of the Brute's allies are within range their attacks deal knockback.
- Scout/Fear: Brute becomes intangible. While in this form, any projectiles and physics objects fired at the Brute pass harmlessly through him, and he can ghost through certain parts of the scenery.
- Chrono Warp/Time: Brute's healing factor decelerates, but all shots, projectiles and physics objects fired at the Brute are slowed down when they pass near him. Additionally, the Brute's enemies are slowed down when near him.
- Teleport/Spatial Displacement: Brute will occasionally teleport instantly to his target destination.
- Gravity Well/Gravity: Objects and the Brute's enemies float into the air when near him. Upon leaving his aura, anything in the air crashes back down and takes damage.
- Buddy Boost/Debilitation: Splicers and machines fighting alongside the Brute have their accuracy, movement speed, attack speed and general tactical intelligence increased.
- Presto/Conjuration: Brute can spontaneously conjure physics objects, including explosives, to throw at the players.
Tier Three Mutations
- Genetic Contagion: Elite Brute Splicer's allies temporarily gain a miniature version of the original's aura upon benefiting from it.
- Plasmid Thief: Elite Brute Splicer can metabolize Plasmids and elemental effects present near him, not just the ones inflicted on him.
- Reactive Skin: Elite Brute Splicer takes increasingly less damage from physical attacks the more physical damage is inflicted on him. This damage reduction is reset when the Brute metabolizes a new elemental effect.
And that's it for the Brute Splicer! Good thing now is, either I get to write a new blog post really soon, either I get to document a buttload of awesome BioShock Infinite news. In any case I'm happy. How about you?