Talk about a (Bio)shock to the system -- Irrational Games, the studio responsible for the BioShock series, is officially closing up shop after close to two decades of game development. Co-founder Ken Levine delivered the sad news to the gaming community in a blog post today, saying he's at a point where he needs to refocus his energy on a smaller team with a more direct relationship with gamers.
BioShock Infinite’s first story-driven DLC is hitting the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC on Nov. 12. BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea - Episode 1 will give you the opportunity to explore Rapture “on the eve of its fall from grace.” Think of it as a prequel to BioShock and BioShock 2.
And we feel the need to clarify that we're not being literal with that headline, seeing as a certain other game recently attempted to enter geosynchronous orbit because, well, marketers do the darndest things. At any rate, Ken Levine's magical/society-damning cloud adventure now has an official release date of October 16. This is, of course, a reason to get obnoxiously excited, seeing as the game's mix of character interaction, high-flying combat, and higher-flying steampunk nightmare birds has looked positively excellent so far. Also, 1999 mode strikes us as an interesting alternative approach to difficulty, even if we'll go skydiving without a parachute before we acknowledge 1999 as “old-school.” That's just... wrong.
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.