When Bioshock came out in 2007, it revolutionized many aspects of how we perceive the modern videogame while still remaining an excellent shooter. Problem is, some players (read: masochists) would rather the game smack them over the head repeatedly than implement some of the more elegant changes to help players experience the story more fluidly. Apparently even the game’s own Creative Director, Ken Levine, is one of those people, and now something truly evil has spawned. Meet Bioshock Infinite’s 1999 Mode.
From a press release on the new mode:
“We want to give our oldest and most committed fans an option to go back to our roots,” said Levine. “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.
There you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth: Irrational Games only hurts you because they love you. Get ready to buy a new TV, because you’re likely to throw your controller straight through your current one. We’ll all get the chance to torture ourselves and party like it’s 1999 sometime later this year.
Nick Hawryluk is the senior pruducer, director and editor of Press Play the Webseries. He also runs and contributes articles to the Press Play website.