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BioShock Infinite gets punishing 1999 Mode

BioShock Infinite has been given an old school upgrade in form of a new 1999 Mode designed to give players a taste of what gaming was like before endless saves, forgiving gameplay, and videogame hand-holding.

Not for the faint of heart (or the easily frustrated), the 1999 Mode will ramp up the game's difficulty by forcing players to practice strict resource management, punishing them harshly for making poor decisions, implementing “Game Over” screens for those who lack the resources to be resurrected, and generally making the game hell for anyone who slips up in the slightest possible way.

“It’s not simply a matter of adjusting the difficulty sliders in the game – the team went much further than that,” read the announcement on Irrational's blog. “Resource planning? If you’re to survive this mode, proper planning will be crucial. Combat specializations? You’ll need to develop them efficiently and effectively throughout the story; any weapon will be useless to you unless you have that specialization. Combat? You will need to carefully target every shot, and your health will be set to an entirely different baseline. Game saves? Well, yes, there will be those, but according to Irrational Games Creative Director Ken Levine “there are game saves, and you’re gonna f***ing need them.”

Levine noted the 1999 Mode was created based on feedback from a community survey, which indicated a majority of the franchise's fans were interested in trying something a little more fiendish and unforgiving, explaining, "I'm an old school gamer. We wanted to make sure we were taking into account the play styles of gamers like me....We want to give our oldest and most committed fans an option to go back to our roots."

Of course, BioShock Infinite will still ship with the regular Wuss, Delicate Flower, and Coddled Modern Gamer modes (not necessarily the official names) when it lands for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC later this year.

24 comments

  • CitizenWolfie - January 20, 2012 10:58 a.m.

    Did Bioshock have regenerating health anyway? It's been a long time since I played it but I seem to remember stocking up on health packs/hypodermics while playing... As a side note, might be just me but from that artwork it seems Elizabeth's breasts are smaller and her eyes are much bigger. Anyone else reckon they've bought out the boobie banhammer?
  • purple_omlet - January 21, 2012 9:16 p.m.

    Those tits are smaller. I can tell by the cloth around them and from seeing many tits in my time.
  • CitizenWolfie - January 22, 2012 5:51 a.m.

    I doff my cap to your meme knowledge sir.
  • FatDarkPlace - January 20, 2012 12:57 a.m.

    Cant wait! oo weee
  • Spybreak8 - January 19, 2012 7:28 p.m.

    Well like what he says if you plan it out and use strategy then you're good but yeah if the dif level is just cheap than no sir. Cheap difficulty would be something an amateur team would do, I have confidence that will not be a problem with this one. Really looking forward to Bioshock Inf.
  • winner2 - January 19, 2012 6:25 p.m.

    Most anticipated game of the year for me so far. and this is just a guess but maybe the fact that this got announced means they're close to finishing it since the main game itself would come first right?
  • gondarpwns - January 19, 2012 3:59 p.m.

    very interesting /thethingmr.burnsdoeswithhishandswhilesaying"excellent"
  • comaqi - January 19, 2012 3:54 p.m.

    Can't wait!
  • fuzzybunny566 - January 19, 2012 2:32 p.m.

    How about a 1994 mode?
  • Redeater - January 19, 2012 2:17 p.m.

    I hope to god they do this right! I played both Bioshocks to death on hard and never really had a problem. Then again resource management never was a problem for me. I am one of those people who finished RAGE without even using the BFG.
  • TheMagnificentManCooker - January 19, 2012 1:57 p.m.

    Awesome I love this! I always liked playing needlessly strategic in Bioshock anyways! Now it'll actually be necessary YES CAPS EXCLAMMATTIONNN!!!!!!
  • ihopethisisnotantistasblood - January 19, 2012 1:45 p.m.

    i'll play it on delicate flower first so I can enjoy the story, then i'll try the new mode
  • therawski - January 19, 2012 1:37 p.m.

    There she is (they are) again! Except now she's (they're) dirty, Ken Levine has added 2 more target audiences!
  • ObliqueZombie - January 19, 2012 1:08 p.m.

    Hahaha, this is awesome! I may be a "modern gamer," since I'm only 18 and haven't gotten to delve too hard into the older titles, but with all the articles I've read calling out the easiness of some games on the verge of stupidity. I've realized long ago that games teach us more than a good story and the "hand-eye coordination," and that punishing difficulties (not less health/less ammo) teaching us to manage our resources as well as utilize our cognition like a human should. I'm gonna tackle this right my first playthrough.
  • NightCrawler_358 - January 19, 2012 12:32 p.m.

    Or you can play the game regularly in "1984 mode." *rimshot*
  • BALLSTOTHEWALLET - January 19, 2012 12:30 p.m.

    I like the sound of "any weapon will be useless to you unless you have that specialization. Combat? You will need to carefully target every shot", sort of like a cross between Bioshock and Deus Ex, or more like System Shock 2
  • soggysage - January 19, 2012 11:52 a.m.

    Cannot wait!!!
  • GhostNappa2k10 - January 19, 2012 11:47 a.m.

    Consider me beyond excited :D gonna be amazing to play a game old-school style :D
  • BladedFalcon - January 19, 2012 11:40 a.m.

    As long as the number of saves is not limited, (Like the hardcore mode of Dead Space 2... Allowing only 3 saves for the entire 10 hour campaign, which is just ridiculous.) I'm all for this mode, no doubt. I mean, to be honest, the biggest concern I've been having for Bioshock: Infinite, is that it could be too easy, even in the hardest difficulty. So knowing they will add a mode that WILL force you to play smart is definitely great news :D
  • ObliqueZombie - January 19, 2012 1:10 p.m.

    I'm with you--Dead Space 2's Impossible mode wasn't even fun to take on. Let's hope that, even with our accumulated upgrades, the game never becomes too easy! I think the other two sffered from that, even though the experience was still solid throughout.

Showing 1-20 of 24 comments

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