Irrational Would Love it if You'd Party With BioShock Infinite's New '1999 Mode'

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Posted by Alex (2368 posts) -

I was dreaming (or half-awake, really) when I wrote this, so please do forgive me if I go astray.

Upon waking this morning, BioShock fans were greeted with a new tidbit of information regarding Irrational's upcoming continuance of the series, BioShock Infinite. Specifically, Irrational unveiled a brand new mode for the game, one steeped in heavy challenge and permanent consequence that's designed to give the more hardcore fans a more intense overall experience.

Elizabeth appears to have found the new '1999 mode' a tad daunting.

Titled "1999 mode," this new addition exists wholly separate from the normal story mode, and allows players to experience an environment in which their weapon specialties, upgrades, and moral decisions will have extremely specific, and extremely rigid consequences on how the player is able to progress within the game. Even respawning will be tied to resource management in this mode, and if you run out of the resources necessary to come back to life, your game will officially be over.

The mode is, of course, not actually a direct reference to a Prince song, but rather a hearkening back to the days of System Shock, a mode that Ken Levine describes as something for the old school Irrational fans.

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.

The idea for 1999 mode came from player surveying. According to Levine, more than half of the players surveyed wanted permanent consequences to their decisions made in-game.

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.

1999 mode is, of course, completely optional, and anyone who just wants to sky-hook their way around the city of Columbia all willy-nilly without worrying about consequences will have the ability to do so. For those who like a bit more in the way of serious business when they play their games, 1999 mode sounds like a perfectly reasonable, if also slightly daunting-sounding option.

So, who among you will take the 1999 challenge? Are you looking to party? Or are you ready to fight?

#1 Posted by Alex (2368 posts) -

I was dreaming (or half-awake, really) when I wrote this, so please do forgive me if I go astray.

Upon waking this morning, BioShock fans were greeted with a new tidbit of information regarding Irrational's upcoming continuance of the series, BioShock Infinite. Specifically, Irrational unveiled a brand new mode for the game, one steeped in heavy challenge and permanent consequence that's designed to give the more hardcore fans a more intense overall experience.

Elizabeth appears to have found the new '1999 mode' a tad daunting.

Titled "1999 mode," this new addition exists wholly separate from the normal story mode, and allows players to experience an environment in which their weapon specialties, upgrades, and moral decisions will have extremely specific, and extremely rigid consequences on how the player is able to progress within the game. Even respawning will be tied to resource management in this mode, and if you run out of the resources necessary to come back to life, your game will officially be over.

The mode is, of course, not actually a direct reference to a Prince song, but rather a hearkening back to the days of System Shock, a mode that Ken Levine describes as something for the old school Irrational fans.

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.

The idea for 1999 mode came from player surveying. According to Levine, more than half of the players surveyed wanted permanent consequences to their decisions made in-game.

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.

1999 mode is, of course, completely optional, and anyone who just wants to sky-hook their way around the city of Columbia all willy-nilly without worrying about consequences will have the ability to do so. For those who like a bit more in the way of serious business when they play their games, 1999 mode sounds like a perfectly reasonable, if also slightly daunting-sounding option.

So, who among you will take the 1999 challenge? Are you looking to party? Or are you ready to fight?

#2 Edited by ThePhantomnaut (6201 posts) -

YO PRINCE! LET'S PARTY!

#3 Posted by DeF (4958 posts) -

Hell yea, I'm gonna party like it's 1999!

I love that this mode exists! It sounds like this is suited for a second playthrough but I might actually go for this the first time around.

Please, other developers, demand more from us!

Thank you Irrational! :)

#4 Posted by MattyFTM (14424 posts) -

To quote Ryan Davis: "Thanks, Irrational Games, for making me feel like a fucking octogenarian by calling 1999 "old school""

Moderator
#5 Posted by Cheesebob (1246 posts) -

The GOAT 1999 Jam

#6 Posted by JohnDudebro (924 posts) -

Well, that's probably the easiest headline Alex has ever written. Thanks, Irrational!

#7 Posted by gosukiller (2324 posts) -
#8 Posted by SockLobster (456 posts) -

Going the extra step seems to be what this game is all about. Ken Levine is so dreamy.

#9 Posted by VoshiNova (1736 posts) -

I'm so 1999 right now

#10 Posted by SlashDance (1841 posts) -

I'm in !

#11 Edited by sixpin (1303 posts) -

@MattyFTM said:

To quote Ryan Davis: "Thanks, Irrational Games, for making me feel like a fucking octogenarian by calling 1999 "old school""

Yeah, pretty much how I feel about the whole 1999 thing.

Also, that mode sounds like a great way to make a good game way less fun. I've played games since 1982 and not once have I thought, "Gee, this game would be way better if it gave me the ability to permanently screw myself over with bad choices." Thankfully it is completely optional.

Edit: That sounded real negative. I'll try anything once. First impressions are that as a person with a limited amount of time for games due to real life responsibilities making greater demands on my time, I'll probably hate it.

#12 Posted by jvdgoot (73 posts) -

I think they are making this game specifically for me. It's like they opened up my brain and figured out exactly what would tickle my fancy and just create perfect game.

#13 Posted by Humanity (9871 posts) -

This looks like a cool new trend! We can all stop complaining about games being too easy these days.

#14 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

I'm in, sign me up.

#15 Posted by Rasgueado (719 posts) -

I'm very excited for System Shock 2 mode! Having to make permanent choices about your character was what made replaying that game more fun, and challenging.

#16 Posted by sickVisionz (1268 posts) -

Everything about this mode sounds cool except for the idea that you can get an old school "Game Over" screen where you have to start the entire game all over again.

#17 Posted by WilyBoy (163 posts) -

Dark Souls mode?

#18 Posted by Winternet (8035 posts) -

I didn't understand one thing: is the 1999 mode the story-mode but with different characteristics or is it a whole different set of levels?

#19 Posted by I_smell (3924 posts) -

"Party Like It's 1999 In Bioshock Infinite's new '1999 Mode'"
 
There, how hard was that?

#20 Posted by Cretaceous_Bob (527 posts) -

And Elizabeth's character design makes it look like I'm playing a game with Big Head Mode on. Throw in an instant kill plasma rifle and say something about "gibs" and I will officially kiss this game right on the mouth.

Well, it's BioShock, so I'll do that anyway, but still.

#21 Posted by Animasta (14718 posts) -

elizabeth still looks creepy so nope

#22 Posted by Evilsbane (4698 posts) -

No way in hell will I play like this first time through, but this may be my New Game +

#23 Posted by david3cm (636 posts) -

@WilyBoy: You realize there were difficult games before dark souls right?

#24 Posted by Brodehouse (10107 posts) -

So it's just the main game except you can't change your tonics? Which means instead of having a lot of variety to how you tackle things, you will be mechanically forced to use lightning and wrench for the entire game? Also, you start with 3 lives?

Why don't they just go whole hog and give you limited saves, you can only save near a typewriter, limited ammo, limited health items, limited inventory, no in game tutorial, useless UI elements, arbitrary and unexplained puzzles, and make it control really shitty? Then we're really in 1999 Mode.

#25 Posted by Praxis (261 posts) -

If this mode does not include Elizabeth constantly belittling you a la SHODAN, I am not interested.

#26 Posted by GalacticGravy (550 posts) -

I love that I knew this was an Alex article just by the image he chose.

#27 Posted by mnzy (2920 posts) -

"We want to give our oldest and most committed fans an option to go back to our roots,” said Levine.

Those playing games are your oldest players? Come on...

But I still like the idea, it basically says that gamers today are pussies.

#28 Posted by Progman9000 (258 posts) -

So this mode announcement just made Bioshock Infinite into what I was under the impression Bioshock was when they first started showing those original (incredible looking) demos. Unless some terrible news comes out about this mode, this will be the way I play the game.

#29 Posted by DarthB (260 posts) -

Great idea, I just hope the execution lives up to the potential. Good on Levine and co. for trying this out.

#30 Posted by RE_Player1 (7574 posts) -

I was 7 in 1999.

#31 Posted by kingschiebi (65 posts) -

Being part of the 56.8 percent, I approve of this option being offered.

I am also happy that Irrational does something based on player feedback that is not just influencing a marketing decision, but genuine gameplay.

Hut ab!

#32 Posted by Klei (1768 posts) -

Why call it 1999 mode though? Do you actually get to 1999 in this game? I've seen some star wars movie theater shit, but I didn't know it reached 1999.
#33 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12006 posts) -

I wonder if this will be just like Fallout New Vegas' Hardcore mode in that really, it's not all that hard.

#34 Posted by kyrieee (379 posts) -

@Klei said:

Why call it 1999 mode though? Do you actually get to 1999 in this game? I've seen some star wars movie theater shit, but I didn't know it reached 1999.

System Shock 2

#35 Posted by Klei (1768 posts) -
@Brodehouse said:

So it's just the main game except you can't change your tonics? Which means instead of having a lot of variety to how you tackle things, you will be mechanically forced to use lightning and wrench for the entire game? Also, you start with 3 lives?

Why don't they just go whole hog and give you limited saves, you can only save near a typewriter, limited ammo, limited health items, limited inventory, no in game tutorial, useless UI elements, arbitrary and unexplained puzzles, and make it control really shitty? Then we're really in 1999 Mode.


Brilliant.
#36 Edited by Scodiac (479 posts) -

Awesome. I love that they're doing this but I think it's something I'd reserve for my second play through of the game. I wanna experience it without too much stress and fear of having to restart my first time through. Well, I dunno. Maybe it would be worth it to have that kind of challenge right from the get go. Maybe it would make the whole thing more memorable and satisfying to complete.

#37 Posted by Crono (2698 posts) -

I think this is a cool way to deal with completely optional, additional play-throughs of a game

#38 Posted by Vexxan (4623 posts) -

Fun? I like fun!

#39 Posted by Hailinel (25203 posts) -

@Klei said:

Why call it 1999 mode though? Do you actually get to 1999 in this game? I've seen some star wars movie theater shit, but I didn't know it reached 1999.

It's a reference to the release year of System Shock 2.

#40 Posted by Tonetta777 (29 posts) -

I'm glad to hear that developers are finally getting the message that a lot of people aren't interested in playing a game that holds your hand the whole way through. Making it optional is also a good move.

#41 Posted by Brenderous (1107 posts) -

1999 is when games were more challenging? I dunno about that but ok.

#42 Posted by President_Barackbar (3472 posts) -

This is a cool way to both please hardcore players and add replay value, something most games today really lack if you aren't into achievement hunting.

#43 Posted by Zabant (1256 posts) -

Made me think of ottos shoes.

#44 Posted by spankingaddict (2727 posts) -

: D . I just wanna give Ken a hug !

#45 Posted by Philzpilz (225 posts) -

The reason I like this? This means the other mode might be easy enough that I can actually play an FPS for a change!

#46 Posted by Hailinel (25203 posts) -

@Brenderous said:

1999 is when games were more challenging? I dunno about that but ok.

Play the original Bioshock on its default difficulty and respawn settings, and then play System Shock 2.

You tell me which is the more difficult game.

#47 Posted by ChrisTaran (1667 posts) -

I can now only play this game in 1999 mode. Bring it on!

#48 Posted by Hamz (6846 posts) -

Really excited for this. A nice nod back to the days of old where GAME OVER meant just that, not "reload last save"....

#49 Posted by Zippedbinders (1030 posts) -

Second play through for this sounds about right, but I love that it exists. Between this, New Vegas' Hardcore mode, and Skyward Sword's Hero Mode, I'm liking the developers acknowledging that there are other ways to make games difficult than adjusting damage sliders.

Online
#50 Posted by firecracker22 (560 posts) -

I think I'll need to see more details, but adding another mode making things more challenging as an option for gamers is always a great thing.

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