BioShock Infinite to Introduce 1999 Mode

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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.

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.

In BioShock Infinite, a first-person shooter, the player assumes the role of former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt, who is sent to Columbia to rescue Elizabeth, a young woman imprisoned there since childhood. He develops a relationship with Elizabeth, augmenting his abilities with hers so they may escape from a city literally falling from the sky. DeWitt learns to fight foes in high-speed Sky-Line battles, engage in combat both indoors and amongst the clouds, and harnesses the power of dozens of new weapons and abilities.

The title is due out for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC later this year.