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BioShock Infinite gets a '1999 Mode' difficulty setting

BioShock Infinite gets a '1999 Mode' difficulty setting

BioShock Infinite is to get a System Shock 2-inspired '1999 Mode' difficulty setting, Ken Levine has confirmed.

Irrational Games has announced a treat for those who like their gaming a little more old-school in its unforgivingness: the upcoming first-person splice-'em-up BioShock Infinite is to feature the rather special '1999 Mode.'

Designed to offer a more demanding gaming experience for those who are in to such things, enabling 1999 Mode will turn what would normally be relatively inconsequential decisions into game-changers that could leave the incautious suffering from an inability to play to their chosen style.

'We want to give our oldest and most committed fans an option to go back to our roots,' explained Irrational's creative director Ken Levine of the new game mode. '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 brutal gameplay style enabled by 1999 Mode doesn't extend to disabling saves, Levine has confirmed: 'There are game saves, and you're gonna f***ing need them.'

Changes made to the gameplay when 1999 Mode is enabled will include a tighter focus on resource planning, mandatory combat specialisations that render weapons completely useless without its specific specialisation having been chosen, a totally different health baseline which makes combat a more dangerous prospect and even a requirement to target shots more effectively in order to put down enemies.

For those wondering why the name 1999 Mode was chosen, the answer would appear simple: back in 1999, Irrational Games worked with Looking Glass Studios to release a sequel to the latter's popular sci-fi epic System Shock. As with its predecessor, System Shock 2 featured an inventory with limited space, complex resource planning and research mechanics and weapon specialisation systems. It also featured some impressively punishing difficulty levels, although lacked the sliders from the original which allowed individual game elements - such as puzzle complexity and combat difficulty - to be adjusted independently.

From Levine's comments, it appears that BioShock Infinite will be a real return to his company's roots.

Pleased to hear that the hardcore gamers are getting some love, or do you think 1999 Mode is little more than a gimmick? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

21 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
OzThe2 20th January 2012, 11:20 Quote
I for one am looking forward to this game. How often have you played a game and completed it in 4 hours or less with little or no replay value. Good on them...let's hope it still plays as well.
Omnituens 20th January 2012, 11:24 Quote
It's a step in the right direction. Just a shame it's not System Shock. And it's on that awful engine.
azrael- 20th January 2012, 11:41 Quote
Testing the waters for a possible SS3? I _can_ dream, can't I? :)
Phil Rhodes 20th January 2012, 12:43 Quote
Outstanding.

Please do a video feature in which twelve year old console owners are depicted sobbing into their controllers as they march woodenly around the game, moving in only one direction at once.
XXAOSICXX 20th January 2012, 13:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Outstanding.

Please do a video feature in which twelve year old console owners are depicted sobbing into their controllers as they march woodenly around the game, moving in only one direction at once.

+1
GravitySmacked 20th January 2012, 14:40 Quote
It's a welcome extra, hopefully it will stop some of the negativity people have towards this game.
RedFlames 20th January 2012, 14:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Please do a video feature in which twelve year old console owners are depicted sobbing into their controllers as they march woodenly around the game, moving in only one direction at once.

Ignoring the fact the first 2 were 18/M rated [so they shouldn't be playing it at all... shouldn't...], that would be fun to see...
ProAken 20th January 2012, 16:04 Quote
This setting alone has changed my opinion on the game, can't wait for the challenge good I miss system shock 2 :(
rogerrabbits 20th January 2012, 17:03 Quote
Argh, how I miss the days when every game wasn't so dumbed down, we didn't need to start lame petitions to get lame last minute difficulty modes thrown in.
Redbeaver 20th January 2012, 19:16 Quote
nice. 1999 will be the mode i will play right off the bat.
kzinti1 20th January 2012, 20:03 Quote
It doesn't bother me in the least. I've never heard of System Shock and think BioShock was one of the lousiest games ever.
I would never have bought the 1st BioShock except for the rave reviews given it by the review sites and the lemmings who follow such tripe, religiously.
Yes, that one day I turned into a lemming, and drowned for it.
DanSonley 20th January 2012, 20:32 Quote
this bioshock looks so confusing... looks good though
GravitySmacked 20th January 2012, 21:05 Quote
So to get this straight because you didn't like a game, one that a lot of others did like, those people are lemmings who follow tripe?
knuck 20th January 2012, 21:20 Quote
[OT]
1999 ? I want UT99
[/OT]
toolio20 21st January 2012, 06:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kzinti1
It doesn't bother me in the least. I've never heard of System Shock...
It should bother you quite a bit that you've never heard of System Shock, or more to the point System Shock 2. It's akin to saying you've never heard of Deus Ex - for the sake of any credibility you might wish to purport you should really keep confessions like that to yourself.

Getting back on topic, 1999 mode is an interesting stab at fostering some nostalgia but it won't make me play what will likely be a POS game. And not to undermine the PC crowd or anything, but it's a good thing they didn't go for "Ninja Gaiden NES mode."
Hovis 21st January 2012, 07:54 Quote
So this would be 'hard' difficulty then. Now that's what I call innovation.
fluxtatic 21st January 2012, 08:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kzinti1
It doesn't bother me in the least. I've never heard of System Shock and think BioShock was one of the lousiest games ever.
I would never have bought the 1st BioShock except for the rave reviews given it by the review sites and the lemmings who follow such tripe, religiously.
Yes, that one day I turned into a lemming, and drowned for it.

To each his own and all,but on this I declare you very wrong. Bioshock was f*cking awesome. When I saw this news here, I'll admit, I got a semi :D
Lenderz 21st January 2012, 13:45 Quote
Awesome, I wasn't overly excited about BioShock Infinite, I liked the first but didn't find it a decent successor to SS2, and I gave the second a miss after mixed reviews. But this is something that will encourage me to pre-order Infinite.
Ayrto 21st January 2012, 19:10 Quote
If it's done well , as in, not just something contrived like high damage , it could be interesting. Lack of difficulty has been a major complaint on many a recent SP campaign. Although, on a first playthrough of Alice MR the' nightmare' setting had me struggling :o. When weapons were upgraded it became a little too easy though.
bobwya 22nd January 2012, 00:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kzinti1
It doesn't bother me in the least. I've never heard of System Shock and think BioShock was one of the lousiest games ever.
I would never have bought the 1st BioShock except for the rave reviews given it by the review sites and the lemmings who follow such tripe, religiously.
Yes, that one day I turned into a lemming, and drowned for it.

I miss being 10 years old... Ahhh the innocence of youth...
rogerrabbits 22nd January 2012, 22:42 Quote
O NO U DI ENT!
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