So, I finished my preparation for a one-life play of DXHR on hard mode by beating it (with dying) on hard mode.
Took a few notes about some tricky parts, but it went surprisingly easy.
Most importantly: The hardest part of the game is in the very beginning, before you’re able to upgrade anything. This level is but a taste of what the whole game would be like for random dude Jensen with no augmentations: 2-3 shots with a 10mm pistol will kill you, and if you’re crouching when you’re getting hit, that’s probably an insta-kill headshot. You also don’t have any augmentations that help with stealth or exploration, so you’ve gotta remember a few sneaking routines and get really patient. Getting pinned down in a firefight here is unforgivable. I expected a MUCH harder time with Highland Park (the end of the first Detroit act), but since I could take a few shots and I had a silenced pistol it wasn’t really a problem. You can clear out entire rooms of guys in a minute or two with that thing without putting yourself in any real risk.
This is good for my prospects of a no-death run, of course, since it means the amount of mindless painful replaying I’ll have to do is significantly lower once I work that particular level to the bone.
All the boss fights are ridiculously easy with the right firepower, of course. I managed to take out the first boss without the Typhoon, but I’m not going to risk it in the no-death run. First two should be doable with the Typhoon. Third I’ll use the grenade launcher for. Last boss just needs the plasma rifle and some typhoons or EMP grenades. Also: the electricity in the last boss appears to last for the same time even when you’re doing slow-mo stuff (like the Typhoon) because I had it start and end during one single Typhoon use. Good to know it works as an Oh Shit button.
I actually came to favor frag + EMP grenades far more than the Typhoon, since its range is actually rather pathetic. It’s worth it for the robot-killing function alone, but when it comes to regular dudes you need to somehow find yourself in the middle of ~3-4 of them before it’s at all useful. Otherwise, you’re basically better off using a takedown. Most of the rooms of bad guys can be easily handled by grenading the main group of 3 or so that are talking in the room, and picking off the stragglers/reinforcements with whatever you’ve got handy.
I kept the Heavy Rifle on hand for most of the game, but I don’t think it’s actually particularly useful. I held on to it because I noticed the game kept giving me ammo for it all over the place (especially right before big engagements) but it’s not great for more than mowing down all the crazy guys at the end of the game. Probably going to stick with the silenced pistol, assault rifle, silenced sniper rifle, and spend the rest of my inventory space on hypostims, typhoon, grenades, and the grenade launcher + plasma rifle for the last 30 minutes of the game.
As far as augmentations go, I’m going to start by maxing dermal plating, then typhoon. That’s the main stuff I’d need to get past Highland Park. Once you get to Hengsha, I’ll spring for Icarus (if I don’t already have it by then) and leg + arm strength and a few points in Hacking. After that, the stuff that is related to accuracy is pretty handy.
Looking forward to giving this a real go. If this actually happens, I might try doing a no-aug play next (if I still like the game by then).