BioShock Infinite prepares to party like it's 1999

Further to our earlier observations that – sometimes – game developers listen to their audience, Irrational Games has announced a shiny new mode for BioShock Infinite.

Titled simply 1999 Mode, the creators are promising an “especially demanding gaming experience,” which will prompt all gamers to think more carefully about their decisions as they move through Columbia.

With every choice you make, there are irreversible implications, and if your choices guide you down a path not suited to your play style, you will suffer for it.

The Irrational Insider explains that it’s not just a matter of “adjusting the difficulty sliders” – in 1999 mode, you’ll require proper planning in order to survive.

Weapons will be useless unless you have the appropriate specialisation, meaning you’ll have to work on developing them from the get-go. Predictably, health is also set to “an entirely different baseline”, and game saves will be few and far between. Creative Director Ken Levine sums it up in typical fashion: “there are game saves, and you’re gonna f***ing need them.”

We want to give our oldest and most committed fans an option to go back to our roots. 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.

…so why 1999 specifically? Why is Irrational taking us 13 years into the past? Remember how the original BioShock was touted as the spiritual successor to System Shock 2? Guess what year that one was released. Bet it all makes sense now, huh.

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