BioShock Infinite Will Include Finger-Breaking '1999 Mode'

LOL Irrational Games, you know us well: The developer of games like System Shock 2, Freedom Force, and BioShock just announced that BioShock Infinite, due out this year, will include a game mode designed to take you back to the twentieth-century. You know, when gamers had to actually work to beat stuff!

It's called "1999 Mode," and Irrational writes you'll "face permanent consequences" for your choices if you opt to enable it. It's "a way of playing designed for gamers who long for the days of games that demanded more of the player."

It sounds like more than just a "bad guys gets more hit points" tweak, too. According to the company, it's "a new form of play...designed to challenge players in a variety of ways...each requiring substantial commitment and skill development." The developer says it'll 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, Irrational Games' creative director. "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."

Levine says 94.6 percent of respondents said "upgrade choices" made BioShock a better game, but that 56.8 percent indicated "being required to make permanent decisions about their character would have made the game even better."

What else should we expect? More challenging "weapon, power, and health management," as well as a shortcut to permanent death (a "Game Over" screen, no respawning) if you "lack the resources to be brought back to life."

Bring it on, Irrational. Bring it on.

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