One of my only issues with the first Bioshock was how easy it was. Even on the hardest difficulty the Vita-chambers meant that you could brute force your way through any battle in the game. And on the easy or normal difficulty it was likely that you would never even need to make use of them in the first place. One of the few things I thought Infinite did better than the first game was its combat. While none of the enemies were as fun to fight as the big daddies, even the weaker enemies could take you down if you were careless enough on the default difficulty. It wasn't a hard game by any means but I found myself back in Booker's office at least once or twice each level while that final battle took me something like an hour to get through. Step forward a year and I finally got the season pass on the Steam sale. I decided that instead of jumping straight into the Burial at Sea stuff I would replay the main game to remind myself of all the complicated elements of the story and also to pick up the audio diaries I missed the first time around. I didn't even realize that the season pass included a bunch of bonus items for the core game until I started. Suddenly I had five infusions, four pieces of gear, and two super-powered weapons in my arsenal. Now I am used to games ruining their balance with pre-order DLC. But usually the pre-order stuff will help you for a level or two before you get better stuff. This was the case with three of the pieces of gear, but the fourth piece gave you a ridiculous 75% increase in ammo for every weapon. Combined with the over powered machine gun I managed to take out even Handy Men with ease using that starting gun (upgraded over time of course) from beginning to end of game. The 5 infusions were maybe even more of a balance issue. There are a limited number of infusions in the game. I got the achievement for getting every one of them and including the 5 bonus ones I was ranked at 9/10 on health, salts, and shields. What that means is that you are getting a significant bonus with those 5 infusions. Again, using the handy men as an example, I was able to beat every one of them by just standing in place and firing at them until they died. I could survive a one on one firefight with the George Washington lookalikes, again without moving. I had just so much health and such a strong shield that nothing could take me down.
That final battle which previously took me an hour? I beat it in a single try and never even had to have Elizabeth summon any health packs for me. Now obviously playing a second time meant I knew more of the vigor combinations and what vigors worked well against what enemies, but that shouldn't have let me beat the entire game without dying a single time. Only once was I even downed (Elizabeth saved me) when under fire from a handy man, two of the George Washington dudes, and like a dozen other opponents. I am also not especially good at shooters. I tend to play Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Halo on easy and die quite a few times per level. And I am rarely within the top 50% of players in a multiplayer match in any online shooter. So I'm no savant or anything. I'm honestly pretty bad. I was just shocked at how the combination of 5 infusions and a 75% ammo bonus made a game I felt was generally well balanced (and quite hard at the end) suddenly a cakewalk.
I guess I should note that as I said I did get every infusion in the game, and also attempted to collect all of the money I could find so I was about as upgraded as I could have been by the end of the game and, again, knowing what vigors were most effective meant that I didn't waste any money on upgrading vigors I knew I wasn't going to use, and quickly upgraded the ones I knew would be most useful, but that alone shouldn't have made that massive of a difference.
So my question to you guys is: Did any of you play through the game both with and without the season pass bonus content? Did the season pass stuff make the game super easy for you? Or did knowing what vigors to use and what vigor upgrades were important make that much of a difference for me?