Houdinis are probably one of the Splicers with the biggest potential for development, since they're the only enemies (beside the Big Sister) who seem to be actively using plasmids against you. In the original BioShock, this got explored a bit when they added ice Houdinis at the end of the game. But in BioShock 2, zilch, only fire Houdinis. So now, instead of there being only one boring Houdini type, there'll be four.
- Level 1: EVE Saver Gene Tonic
- Level 2: +Damage
- Level 3: Easier to predict where the Houdini Splicer will appear
- Level 4: ++Damage
- Level 5: Natural Camouflage Gene Tonic
Along with the standard Fire Houdini, there'll be three other types: the not-so new Ice Houdini, the Lightning Houdini and the Psi Houdini. Each will wear a distinct set of robes that allows you to tell them apart:
Fire Houdini: Haven't changed since the last two games: like all Houdinis, they disappear and reappear around you, and they still want to set you on fire. They wear bright red and orange robes.
- Attack: Incinerate!. Unlike the fireball attack in the previous game, these deal very little damage instantly. Instead, they set you on fire, dealing a fair bit of damage over time. Like all fire effects, you can douse the flames in water.
- Strenghs: Deal lethal amounts of damage, can set off fire-based traps and hazards.
- Weaknesses: Weak around water, only deals damage over time.
Ice Houdini: Not much of a threat on their own, but will make your life a lot harder when fighting other enemies as well. Wear deep blue and white robes.
- Attack: Winter Blast. These attacks don't deal much damage, but they drastically slow you down and render you more vulnerable to enemy attacks for a short time.
- Strengths: Deadliest of all Houdinis when it's got friends, weaken the player.
- Weaknesses: Weakest Houdini when alone.
Lightning Houdini: These guys are a pain on dry land, and a menace if there's any water nearby. Watch your step with this one. Wear yellow and gray robes.
- Attack: Electro Bolt. Deals a bit of damage and stops you in your tracks, interrupting your attacks. You can still turn around while stunned, however. If you're unlucky enough to be in a body of water, you'll receive a huge amount of damage, the likes of which can only be rivalled by a Big Daddy attack.
- Strengths: Freeze you in place, interrupt your attacks, deal critical damage if the victim is touching water, can disable machinery.
- Weaknesses: Weak on dry land.
Psi Houdini: Don't leave anything dangerous lying around, these guys will pick it up and throw it in your face. Wear purple and black robes.
- Attack: Telekinesis. They pick up the deadliest thing in the area and fling it at you. The damage the object deals depends on its weight and whether it's explosive or not (or on fire).
- Strengths: Unpredictable, can deal consistently high damage (especially with explosives).
- Weaknesses: Weak when there aren't any dangerous objects nearby, completely defenseless in empty areas, can be forced to drop whatever they're holding by freezing or electrocuting them.
After fighting these guys over and over again, you'd be forgiven if you thought they were getting a bit weak. After the midpoint, though, Houdini Splicers get scary. After splicing up so much to become better at using plasmids, these guys will have become the very element they were splicing. Fire Houdinis will be covered in flames, Ice Houdinis will be literally made of ice and Psi Houdinis, well... you'll see. Oh, and they also evolve deadly new powers related to the plasmid they use, and you can't beat them with their own plasmids. On the other hand, they'll develop new weaknesses for you to discover and exploit... And fast, now that they use their plasmid twice every time they reappear instead of once. On the plus side, their fancy new abilities also make them easier to get detected while they're invisible (you do have a chance of getting frozen, electrocuted, or spontaneously combusting for no apparent reason, though).
The new Fire Houdinis are constantly on fire. Their very skin has turned to magma and their eyes burn like miniature suns. In short, they burn.
- New Abilities: Anything they touch, they set on fire. If they step into an oil slick, it'll burst into flames. If they touch an enemy, they'll ignite (and won't be too pleased, either). If you happen to run into these guys, you'll also get set on fire. To top it off, they're immune to the effects of Incinerate! and fire-based attacks.
- Super Attack: Fire Storm. Instead of throwing two fireballs at you, they'll stand still, charge up, and set the entire area in their vicinity on fire, including you if you're too close.
- New Weaknesses: These guys don't like water. At all. As in, if they so much as touch the thing they'll start taking damage and deal less damage. Also, if you use Winter Blast or any other kind of ice-based attack on them, it'll actually hurt them as well as freeze them.
The new Ice Houdinis, on the other hand, are pretty cool (hardy-har. Sorry.). Their entire body is made of solid ice, and you can actually see through them if you get close enough.
- New Abilities: In addition to being completely immune to the effects of Winter Blast and other ice-based attacks, these guys have a chilling aura. The closer you get to an Ice Houdini, the colder it gets. The colder it gets, the more and more you start to get slowed down and take extra damage from attacks. To add insult to injury, if you're in a pool of water and you're too close to an Ice Houdini, they'll freeze your legs, rooting you to the spot.
- Super Attack: Ice Flurry. It's like Fire Storm, except with ice. Don't get too close.
- New Weaknesses: As everyone knows, ice is made from water. And what works against water? Lots and lots of electricity. Not only will it stun them for even longer than with other Splicers, but it'll also hurt them much more. Not only that, but setting them on fire deals all of the flame attack's damage instantly rather than over time. Don't use it too heavily, though: too much heat will melt the Splicer. Yep, you read that right: you can melt an Ice Houdini into a puddle of slush by setting them on fire.
The new Lightning Houdinis are walking Tesla coils. Their skin has turned into a super-conducting metalloid and is constantly crackling with thousands of volts of electricity.
- New Abilities: First of all, they're immune to the effects of Electro Bolt and electrical weaponry. Second, anything they touch gets electrified. This has the unfortunate effect of electrifying any body of water the Houdini happens to be standing in, dealing critical damage to anyone in contact with it. Stay away from the water. Also, watch out if you get too close, they can deal One-Two Punches...
- Super Attack: Static Discharge. Like Fire Storm and Ice Flurry, these guys release their element explosively all around them, electrocuting anything in range.
- New Weaknesses: Metal. If you find anything made of metal, throw it with Telekinesis. Not only will it deal extra damage versus this Splicer, but it'll also short-circuit them, stunning them momentarily. Remember: your weapons are made of metal as well, so you can try getting up close to hit the Houdini with them.
The new Psi Houdinis look like they've burnt out from the inside. Part of their skin is missing, revealing an inner body made of pulsating purple energy. They've basically turned into shells housing pure psionic power.
- New Abilities: These guys like to screw with gravity. Once you get too close to them, you could either be floating in the air or crashing back down. The same goes for any nearby objects and enemies. One other thing they like: tennis. If you try to throw an object at them with Telekinesis, they'll either pick it up and throw it back or stop it before it hits them (if the object's too heavy).
- Super Attack: Psionic Boom. If they manage to charge up their attack, they'll violently eject any nearby object outwards with an extreme amount of force. Anybody in range gets ejected too, including you.
- New Weaknesses: Psi Houdinis don't like melee attacks, it messes up their energy reserves. If you do manage to hit them, they'll take extra damage and it'll screw up their invisibility, causing them to phase in and out of their cloak.
Alright, then. After this and the Spider Splicers, I'm going to add an entirely new kind of common Splicer. But so far, whaddya think?