BioShock Infinite 1999 Mode Courts System Shock Fans

By Pete Haas 2012-01-19 08:16:52 discussion comments
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If you thought BioShock was too easy, then a new difficulty level in BioShock Infinite might satisfy you. The game's 1999 Mode promises to make the campaign a more challenging, less forgiving experience.

"We want to give our oldest and most committed fans an option to go back to our roots," said Ken Levine, Creative Director of Irrational Games. "In 1999 Mode, gamers face more of the permanent consequences of their gameplay decisions. In BioShock Infinite, gamers will have to sweat out the results of their actions. In addition, 1999 Mode will demand that players pick specializations, and focus on them."

Levine said that they discovered fans' desire for a hardcore mode through a questionnaire on their website.

"I'm an old school gamer. We wanted to make sure we were taking into account the play styles of gamers like me. So we went straight to the horse's mouth by asking them, on our website, a series of questions about how they play our games. 94.6 percent of respondents indicated that upgrade choices enhanced their BioShock gameplay experience; however, 56.8 percent indicated that being required to make permanent decisions about their character would have made the game even better."

Permanent augmentation decisions aren't the only aspect of 1999 Mode. It will also demand better "weapon, power, and health management" from the player. It will actually cost resources to respawn and if you run out of said resources, it's "Game Over."

Why is it called "1999 Mode"? It's likely a reference to System Shock 2, an Irrational-developed game released in 1999. The gameplay was similar to BioShock but definitely harsher. Resources were more limited, character choices were permanent, and weapons degraded in quality over time. I wonder if Irrational will be including that last bit in Infinite as well.

BioShock Infinite will be released later this year on the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
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