BioShock Infinite Will Weed Out Wimpy Gamers with '1999 Mode'

Paul Lilly

Talk to any thirty-something who grew up playing Atari and NES, and he'll tell you today's games have made gamers soft. Ever tried beating Adventure on Level 3? Or the original MegaMan? Don't even get us started on Silver Surfer or Battletoads. That's not to say there aren't any tough games out there today, but Irrational Games clearly feels gamers are in need of a good old fashioned ass kicking, hence the introduction of a '1999 Mode' in BioShock Infinite. It's intended for "gamers who long for the days of games that demanded more of the player," Irrational Games says.

Described as an "unforgiving new mode," this new and optional setting will include tweaks and features not available in a standard play-through of BioShock Infinite, regardless of 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."

If old school gamers find the mode too tough, well, tough luck. This is, after all, what they wanted.

"I’m an old school gamer," Levine confesses. "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."

Everything will be tougher in 1999 Mode, including more demanding weapon, power, and health management. Even respawning will be more difficult, sending the gamer directly to a 'Game Over' screen if he or she doesn't have the resources to be brought back to life.

"It's not for the faint of heart," Irrational Games promises.

What's the most difficult game you ever played and/or beat, and on what platform?

Image Credit: Irrational Games

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