2K Games announced today that BioShock Infinite from Irrational Games will feature a new form of play – the 1999 Mode, designed to challenge players in a variety of ways – each requiring substantial commitment and skill development. Those who played the original BioShock may remember how difficult the original game was. A certain achievement required players to not only play on Hard difficulty, but were not allowed to use any of the respawn points known as Vita Chambers. The reward was a 100 point achievement, and a certain feeling of accomplishment. We can only imagine how difficult the 1999 mode will be, and the reward at the end of the journey.
1999 Mode is a way of playing designed for gamers who long for the days of games that demanded more of the player. It will include tweaks and features that BioShock fans will not experience in a standard play-through of BioShock Infinite, no matter the difficulty level.
“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.
“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.”
In addition to these permanent decisions, 1999 Mode will feature demanding weapon, power, and health management. The mode also takes a much harder stand on player respawning, sending the gamer directly to a “Game Over” screen if he or she lacks the resources to be brought back to life. It’s not for the faint of heart.