I successfully finished my DXHR hardcore/no-death run. Spoilers:
I’m actually glad I didn’t record it since it wasn’t a particularly masterful display of skill. I had hoped to look like a total savage, and instead it was mostly me taking advantage of the game’s too-predictable enemy AI.
I got pretty close to death a few times! I had (foolishly) planned on taking out the first boss with the Typhoon. In some respects, he’s actually the hardest to deal with because you can’t always Typhoon him without ending up in his takedown move and losing 70 health or so. I was about 20 health away from death at one point there. Ended up beating him with grenades.
The remaining bosses were all easy. Typhoon x 3 for the machine pistol chick, grenade launcher x 3 for the muscle suit guy. Against the last boss I just took out the turrets with the plasma pistol, used an unlocker on the terminal (i never upgraded hacking for this run) to kill the GLaDOSes or whatever are in that thing, then just wasted bots with EMP grenades and the crazy guys with the Typhoon.
I made sure to take the Most Violent Route possible (read: no red arrows left behind). I cleared out pretty much every room from beginning to end. Zhao’s penthouse battle was particularly fun; during previous playthroughs I stubbornly insisted on taking out each and every enemy by sneaking in the vents back and forth. This time, I just left a frag mine in front of the elevator (5 kills) and a remote-control grenade in the doorway shortly afterwards (remaining 2 kills).
This was my third playthrough overall. If anyone is interested in trying it out for themselves, here’s more or less how I did it:
-For augmentations: Dermal armor (just damage resistance) is the first priority. After that: Max Typhoon, Icarus, Jump (you should have Icarus and Jump by the time you get to Hengsha). From there, it’s kind of up to you: I maxed all the Arm upgrade stuff (inventory, heavy stuff, wall-punching and recoil), then gas/conc/elec resistance, then upgraded radar and double takedown.
-Praxis points were far less valuable than money in most situations. I cashed out every vendor for the relevant ammo, and my three main guns (combat rifle, sniper rifle, 10mm) were packed to the gills with all their upgrades. also, you NEED healing items. hypostims are worth their weight in gold.
-Heavy explosives are your friend. Generally speaking, if you get into a fight with 2-3 guys at once, you’re screwed. If you’re planning on clearing that room, the easiest thing to do is take out the cluster of 2-3 guys talking to each other with a grenade, then pick off the stragglers.
-Initially, I figured that doing a no-death, kill-everyone run would be pretty hard. I mean, this game is “realistic”, right? If you keep a few rules of engagement in mind, however, it’s far easier to kill everyone than it is to sneak around–because if you get caught sneaking, you’re usually going to be in a really shitty position (exposed, in a crossfire, etc.). As long as you have ample cover, a safe place to retreat to, and room to run from grenades, you’re usually okay. Bonus points if you have multiple potential entrances to that room, because then you can just run back and forth between the two. Also: in the big warehouse-style rooms with two levels, you always want to take the high ground before you start shooting. The enemy AI is pretty crap, but if they can hit you from up top, you’re basically dead.
Also, I made sure to punch Darrow, Sarif, and Taggart in the face before choosing the ending. That was satisfying as all hell.
I’m still unpacking exactly why it is I felt compelled to do this. Will probably write about it somewhere when I do.
Finally, a not-spoiler question: Has anyone else noticed that the conversations seem to vary from game to game? Some of them don’t (Zeke and that cop guy in the beginning, I think), but I’ve noticed that even though I make the same conversational decisions, I end up with different results sometimes.