Here are a few tips for anyone attempting to get the Platinum trophy, specifically the "A Man Chooses" and "I Chose the Impossible" trophies for completing Survivor difficulty without using Vitachambers.
Golden Rule: Save often, and on a couple different files. This is a rule for most games, and it really applies here. (I kept forgetting it.
Did half of Hephaestus Core three times.
) Best times to save are A) when reaching a new section of an area, and B) before provoking a Big Daddy.
Seriously, you'll get through the whole game just fine with only three Plasmid slots. One for Electrobolt, one for Incinerate, and one for Telekinesis. Near the end I bought the other slots simply because I had the Adam. They were used for Security Bullseye, Hypnotize Big Daddy 2 (free) and Insect Swarm 3, which I bought just for the last fight (more on that later). Telekinesis is free if you use square to drop what you've pulled to you (or pick it up if it's ammo/health/eve). It only consumes eve if you fire objects away.
2. Prioritize your Adam Purchases
Health and Eve upgrades come first. You'll want to get Armored Shell as soon as you can and Eva Saver later in the game when the Adam is there. There is absolutely no need to upgrade your Plasmids until the last level (ie, don't go from Electobolt to Electrobolt 2 or 3). EB is best used for opening doors and stunning turrets. Incinerate is really only used for melting ice. They'll do those things without costing more Eve if left alone.
3. Suggested Tonics
Scrounger: Important one. Finds you the things you need. Ammo, Batteries, health kits.
Sport Boost 1 & 2: Swap 1 out for 2 when you get it, but don't forget you have both. You'll need it for the endgame. Being able to move quickly is not a bonus, it's a need.
Armored Shell 1 & 2: Purchase 1 and when you get 2 free near the endgame equip them both. Everything can really hurt you. With these they hurt you a good bit less. This helps save on Health Kits.
Natural Camouflage: Research Houdini splicers for this one. Being invisible is a great help. It makes it a lot easier to get one shot kills on splicers. As well as, helping you avoid alarms when you can't find a bot shutdown panel.
Wrench Lurker: Hand in hand with the last one, this helps you be more stealthy. Added sneak attack damage is okay, but most times you won't use it. Keep this around for the quieting of your footfalls.
Wrench Jockey 1 & 2: More damage from the wrench. This will destroy a Houdini splicer in a couple hits, without consuming ammo. And if you're low on ammo, it's a good fallback.
Medical Expert: More Health from kits=win.
Eve Link: Eve from health kits is good, but don't prioritize it.
Hacking Tonics: Pretty much any of them will greatly benefit you. The ones you don't need are Safecracker, Hacker's Delight, and Shorten Alarms. Safes aren't hard to learn and the health/eve you get from the HDs is negligible late game, but useful early on so keep it until you find something better, like Speedy Hacker. If you're playing this right, you'll never set off an alarm.
Photographer's Eye: Greatly speeds up research. Faster research=better stuff/damage sooner. This is good.
This is a major source of damage. The more research levels you have, the more damage your weapons will do to that enemy. The more damage you do per shot, the less ammo you use. Not only that, but a few tonics are only obtainable this way. Turrets and bots are instant hacked at research level 3. No more research needed. Little Sisters give small increases to health and Eve at each level. Every little bit helps.
5. Hack most things.
Early on you'll want to hack everything. Late game you'll find that destroying a few things is more helpful, but you'll want to make every turret and camera your friend for most of the game. Again, the more damage you don't have to do, the more ammo you save. If there's a health station where you expect to fight enemies, make sure to hack it too. Injured splicers will try to heal, and will die for the effort. Yet again, saving you ammo by not requiring the last shots. Which brings me to...
6. Conserve Ammo
Make every shot count. Again, there is more room for error in the late game when you get damage upgrades for your weapons, but the longer you can go without resorting to the wrench/plasmids (which you won't be upgrading until the last level), the healthier you'll stay.
7. Weapon Upgrades
Get them all, yes, but certain ones should come first. Start with Grenade launcher damage immunity, then damage increase. The next one you get should be the Chemical Thrower consumption upgrade. Once you get the Crossbow make it's upgrades your priority. After that go for the Shotgun damage, then reload speed. The rest is just icing.
8. Use the Crossbow.
No matter what difficulty, no matter what kind of splicer, a headshot with the crossbow is ALWAYS a one hit kill. Moreover, most often the bolts can be reclaimed, not that you'd run short of them. They're the most cost efficient ammo at 23 bucks for 6 with a max of 48. Basically under four bucks per splicer kill, with a high chance for a two (or three or four) for one. Act now, even though the offer isn't going anywhere!
9. Rescue Little Sisters.
The rewards are greater. Trust me.
10. Big Daddy tactics.
If there are barrels/tanks around, use them first. Huge Damage.
If there are enemies fighting a BD then let them. Pick off the winner (which will always be BD).
Lure BDs to turrets, then try to distract them from destroying the turrets with Electric Buckshot/Electrobolt to stun them while the turrets get in more shots. The less damage you have to do...sick of that line yet? Too bad. It's still true.
Chemical Thrower with Electric Gel. One 'clip' of 100 will deal exactly 1/2 of a BD's life with the reduced consumption upgrade. This is why batteries are important as they let you make Electric Gel.
Stay healthy. If you've been hit by any of it's attacks, then heal. One more hit and you WILL die. Before you get any Health upgrades, you can die in just one hit. Use cover, and don't engage without max healing kits.
Suggested fight flow:
Research pictures of BD/LS.
Check for barrels/tanks. TK attack if found.
Spam with 'nades.
Stun with Electric Buck.
If their health is still above half, use Crossbow or Armor Piercing rounds in conjunction with Electrobolt to get it down.
Kill with Chemical Thrower.
The hardest BD fights are the earliest because you have nothing. You'll need to rely on barrels and electric buck until you get the Grenade Launcher. From then on, just make sure you have enough ammo before you pick a fight.
11. Final Boss fight.
Make sure to have both Armored Shells and both Sport Boosts equipped. He'll always be faster than you, but with both Sport Boosts equipped you can dodge his Bouncer-like charges.
Other than that the Electric Flesh 2, Human Inferno 2, and Frozen Field 2 tonics are a good choice. There IS a genebank in the room if you'd like to switch out on the fly between his forms, but it isn't really needed. Just pick two and go for it.
He shifts elements in the different phases. Obviously you don't want to shock him when he's in Electric mode, etc.
There are barrels and tanks in here. Use them.
Between phases he returns to his central location. Make sure not to be too far away from here when you deplete his health bar. Don't want to have to repeat a phase because you couldn't get back to drain him in time.
He's unarmored. Use Anti-personnel rounds. They hurt.
Use Insect Swarm 3. Damage is next to nil, but it'll get him to hold still a moment for headshots.
During the second phase he summons bots. Use Security Bullseye to turn them on him.
In the last phase he summons splicers. If you have Enrage, then use it. I didn't, but I didn't need to as I hadn't used my 'nades yet. Just dodged until he got close to one and then hit them both. Heat seekers work too, but don't drop proximity mines. You'll be running all over and don't want him to trigger one while you're near.