A common complaint of BioShock is that it wasn’t System Shock 2. Irrational Games is changing that with BioShock Infinite.
Irrational Games revealed a new mode for BioShock Infinite today – the fittingly titled “1999 mode.”
The new mode is for those of us who remember how difficult, but rewarding, older games were. This mode is especially designed for those who fondly remember games like System Shock 2 that challenged the player with a harder difficulty and more stats to keep track of.
“We want to give our oldest and most committed fans an option to go back to our roots,” Ken Levine, Creative Director of Irrational Games, said. “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.
The mode came about when the team at Irrational asked players about their individual play styles. They came back with results that said 94.6 percent of players indicated that they used and enjoyed the upgrade choices in BioShock, but they were not permanent either. Those who felt that upgrades, however, should remain permanent constituted 56.8 of respondents.
In addition to the permanent decisions, 1999 mode will demand that players manage their weapon, power and health more closely. It also takes a harder stance on player respawns by sending the player directly to the “Game over” screen if they lack the resources to be brought back to life.
While 1999 mode is cleverly titled, it’s not the first time that game developers have realized that many gamers want a challenge that is reminiscent of days gone by. Fallout: New Vegas from Bethesda and Obsidian featured a hardcore mode that forced players to eat and drink to surive as well as other realism factors.
The game will release for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC later this year.
For an idea of what they’re going for with the new 1999 mode, check out the main inspiration for this new mode: Irrational’s System Shock 2 which coincidentally released in 1999.