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And now, let's get onto something completely new: Buddy Boost, one of my two new co-op oriented Plasmids. Of all the utilities offered by the already existing Plasmid arsenal in the two games (damage, control, mobility and damage evasion), one ability is conspicuously missing: the power to buff, that is, to augment one's attributes or those of another. This is simply because so far there hasn't been an occasion to implement such an ability in Plasmid form: in the singleplayer there is no one else to buff but oneself, and Gene Tonics already cover that need, whereas the multiplayer in BioShock 2 doesn't encourage cooperation enough to warrant such a Plasmid. However, co-op would be the occasion to add a tool dedicated to augmenting an ally's abilities. So, without further ado, presenting Buddy Boost:
Description: Casting the Plasmid at your partner will temporarily increase their speed, attack and reload rate, as well as render them immune to all movement- and aim- impairing effects for the Plasmid's duration. While under the effects of Buddy Boost your partner will be engulfed in a golden glow to indicate that they are boosted. Has no effect on enemies.
- Upgrade 1: Super Boost. Increases the duration of Buddy Boost and augments the bonuses granted to your partner.
- Upgrade 2: Instant Crackshot. While under the effects of Buddy Boost your partner will also gain a minor target lock, causing their aim to naturally adjust towards the nearest effective target. If your partner is aiming towards a target's weak spot (the head, for example) their aim will naturally home in on said weakness. Can break the lock-on by jerking one's aim away or destroying the target.
- Upgrade 3: Wither. Casting Buddy Boost at an enemy will weaken them, withering their appearance and momentarily reducing their accuracy, reflexes, attack speed and maximum health.
Level Two-A: Healing Hand
Description: Charging up Buddy Boost and pointing at your partner will allow you to heal them continuously, gradually draining your EVE in the process. The healing effect takes the form of a green stream of fluid erupting from your hand and will cause your partner's suit to take a sickly green hue. While healing your partner, you do not need to point directly at them to heal them so long as they are visible to you (except if you're separated by a glass pane). Has no effect on enemies.
- Upgrade 1: Poison. Allows you to use Healing Hand on enemies. While doing so, the victim will take continuous damage and will have their accuracy severely disrupted, which persists momentarily even after you stop attacking them with the Plasmid. In addition, their movements will be more erratic and they'll neglect tactics such as taking cover or flanking while poisoned.
- Upgrade 2: Healing Factor. While using Healing Hand, you'll also continuously heal yourself at a smaller rate than the original effect.
- Upgrade 3: Combat Medic. If you or your partner deal damage while you're using Healing Hand on them, the healing effect will temporarily increase. The more damage you deal, the bigger the increase, which will cap at one and a half times the base rate.
Level Two-B: Shield Sphere
Description: Charging up Buddy Boost and pointing at your partner will continuously project a large transparent blue sphere with them at the center, draining your EVE as long as you maintain it. Any enemy attack that passes through the shield will deal far less damage if it hits you or your partner. The shield effect is represented by a solid beam of blue energy coming out of your palm. As with Healing Hand, you do not need to aim directly at your partner after first deploying your Shield Sphere on them so long as they remain visible. Has no effect on enemies.
- Upgrade 1: Safe Zone. When first deploying Shield Sphere any enemy around your partner will be pushed outside the sphere's radius. While maintaining the shield, the sphere will push enemies back slightly and any enemy within it will take knockback from attacks.
- Upgrade 2: Ricochet. While your Shield Sphere is up, any attack that hits your partner (or yourself, if you're inside the sphere) will rebound after dealing damage towards the attacker, dealing them more damage than what it would normally deal (without the shield up).
- Upgrade 3: Shield Sisters. While casting Shield Sphere on your partner, you will also deploy a smaller shield on yourself with the same properties as the main sphere. The damage reduction effect from both shields will stack if any attacks pass through both.
Level Two-C: Psionic Power
Description: Charging up Buddy Boost and pointing at your partner will cause you to emit a stream of glowing red viscuous liquid from your arm, continuously empowering them while draining your EVE. While empowered, the EVE cost of all Plasmids is drastically reduced, all elemental effects are augmented and all weapon-based damage dealt is increased. While empowered your partner's portholes will glow a bright red (you play as Big Sisters). As with the other advanced iterations of Buddy Boost, as long as your partner is visible you do not need to aim directly at them to continue casting the Plasmid after first deploying it on them. Also, like the others, has no effect on enemies.
- Upgrade 1: Retaliation. While under the effects of Psionic Power, any damage your partner takes will temporarily increase their damage output. This effect increases with damage taken until it caps at twice the damage output your partner would normally deal if unbuffed.
- Upgrade 2: Psionic Attacks. While under the effects of Psionic Power, when your partner attacks an enemy with a weapon every other hostile enemy around them will also take damage, albeit less than that dealt to the original victim.
- Upgrade 3: Mind Tap. You no longer require your partner to even be visible to cast Psionic Power. As long as they are in the vicinity, casting the Plasmid will empower them.
And there, Buddy Boost! Yes, I did take the icon from the Master Gatherer Gene Tonic, but only because it was the only icon that would sort of convey this Plasmid's general use. Also, only one more Plasmid left! What do you think of this one? Could it work? Would it be fun to use? Does it fit with the other Plasmids? Start commenting... now!