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Irrational announces, details BioShock Infinite’s 1999 mode

Thursday, 19 January 2012 13:08 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Irrational’s announced and detailed something called 1999 mode for BioShock Infinite.

The new mode will challenge players in ways that will require a fair bit of skill, and with it come “permanent consequences of in-game decisions” that will be “unforgiving”.

Those who do play 1999 mode will get tweaks and features unavailable in a normal playthrough. Miser Levine reckons the new mode will allow old-school players to “go back to our roots.”

“I’m an old school gamer. We wanted to make sure we were taking into account the play styles of gamers like me,” said Irrational’s creative head.

“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% of respondents indicated that upgrade choices enhanced their BioShock gameplay experience; however, 56.8% indicated that being required to make permanent decisions about their character would have made the game even better.”

BioShock Infinite launches later this year for PS3, 360 and PC.

A teaser image of Elizabeth was released today as well, and it’s posted below.

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28 Comments

  1. Erthazus

    Yes. That’s awesome. Hardcore gaming FTW.

    but i hope it’s not just a mode. Game must be build around it. Anyway, thank you very much.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. YoungZer0

    @1: Read the headline again. It’s a mode.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. unacomn

    Hehehe, nice. This is my most anticipated game of 2012 (which I am convinced will turn out good).

    #3 3 years ago
  4. TheBlackHole

    @1 That’s right, a game should be built around a feature which only applies to the hardcore niche of that game’s wider audience…

    Erm… no.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. endgame

    wohoo! \o/ first Hard Reset and now this. bring it! :D

    #5 3 years ago
  6. absolutezero

    Love how Levine is basically saying he would like to make a full game like that but its never going to be profitable anymore so he has to tack a mode on instead.

    Thanks again expanded audience, good to have you here as always.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Erthazus

    @2, i know, i just hope that it is build around it too when you switch to that mode. If that thing just belts and whistles than there is no point.

    @4, erm… Yes. If they are implementing that mode, game must be built for that mode too.
    For wider audience and for niche. If you are not bothering with the mode, than don’t make it.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Ekona

    @6 Not everyone has the time to sit there and replay the same sections over and over and over just to be able to finish the game. Personally I’d rather be able to complete a game and see the ending than get stuck at a particular point and never go back to it (I’m looking at you, RE4) so I stick all my games on Easy and blast through them in 6-10 hours, and then replay at my leisure.

    I’m sure I’m in the minority here, but I’m glad that Infinite won’t ship with 1999 as the only mode.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. YoungZer0

    @6: Cry harder. Seriously. If the game is too easy, play it on a harder difficulty. Nobody wants to waste their precious time replaying a section over and over again. Most people play games to have fun. Lets keep it that way.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. absolutezero

    Who said anything about making it harder?

    No im more interested in the permanent choices part. No way back, no get out of jail re-spec potion. Theres nothing wrong with wanting to have an enjoyable experience in a game like this, thats not what im saying at all. Playing on easy and having a good time is great! Im just mourning that Levine thinks he can’t make a game like he wanted to because of the current market. Kinda something similar with what happened with Syndicate, imagine if they gave Syndicate to the Frozen Synapse guys, imagine!

    If thats crying, then im crying. Boo Hoo.

    p.s. If you considering dying once and having to improve and improvise (Like Bioshock was all about) a waste of time then yes you need to drop whatever it is your playing and go do something else.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Thalius

    Has it been confirmed that Infinite will be shipped with the original Bioshock? I remember reading about it dont recall if it was ever confirmed.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. DSB

    @9 Fun doesn’t neccesarily equal convenience though.

    There’s a difference between punishing and challenging. I don’t want to be punished by a game, but I have a lot of fun being challenged.

    Some of the games I admire the most are the ones that have a single difficulty, that insists on challenging people, but never beyond reason. It must be incredibly hard to do, but when it works, I respect them more for it.

    Punishment is like the cost of banging into another car in LA Noire, where an actual challenge equivalent would be to arrive on scene within a specific timeframe. Basically setting people up to fail, as opposed to motivating them to try harder.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. YoungZer0

    @10: Whuh? That’s what Bioshock was about? Guess i missed that one! I didn’t die once in Bioshock.

    I’m just saying there should always be an option. From your comments i gather that you don’t want to have that. I also don’t understand how you blame it on todays gamers. 1999 is a stupid name for it anyway, don’t remember any game of 1999 that delivering the experience you just mentioned.

    Matter of fact, that’s exactly how i played Heavy Rain, not once did i go back.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. SplatteredHouse

    I was hoping there was going to be a video issued (and here included or linked), in which the Irrational Games staff illustrate and discuss the feature.
    Instead, I find out the details are to be of my own imagining, for the time being and based on vague impliance from Ken Levine. :(

    #14 3 years ago
  15. absolutezero

    System Shock 2 is what Levine is directly referencing. You could not release System Shock 2 with the same systems and expect it to sell in the same numbers as Bioshock.

    Bioshock gave you a huge amount of toys to play with then never actually made you use them, because it was never actually called for. The second tried to combat this with the Big Sister attacks and the Protector trials which were all about setting up areas to your benefit with traps and plasmid mixing.

    Ammo types, all those different plasmids and the crossbow just got pushed to the back because it was just easier to elecrobolt then shotgun something. If todays audience was more open to dying through experimentation that huge selection would have been used far far more. Imagine choosing something like the fire plasmid and never being able to swap it out again, you would go through all its various uses and environmental qualities.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. SplatteredHouse

    @13: 1999 as a name for it. It’s jarring, but I think it works while viewed in the perspective around the culture and basis of, the “year before the new millennium”. Maybe that wasn’t what they were going for, but under that consideration, “1999″ seems suitable.

    …just seen and read zero’s “system shock 2″ theory for the name. I don’t disagree with it, either.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. Moonwalker1982

    Oh how i would like to know the release date for this one.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. YoungZer0

    @15: Dying through experimentation … not a fan of it. Sorry but if all those things are uncalled for then that’s just a bad design. Good games teach you through the gameplay itself. Experimentation happens naturally that way. I was also not a Fan of Bioshock’s decision of letting you switch your Plasmids. Don’t blame the current videogamers though. Blame the developer. Other games don’t let you change your upgrades back. Sell just fine.

    I think it still would’ve sold just as much, even if they decided not to let you change them.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. DSB

    @18 Depends on whether it’s fair or not though.

    Super Meat Boy is really a great example of how you can make dying a lot less annoying. The levels are obvious, you reset fast, and there are several different ways to complete each level, and different objectives to shoot for.

    Something like Another World or Limbo that just enjoy killing you as if to say “Gotcha!” are pretty retarded in my opinion. I’m not gonna waste my time just to give a developer his cheap thrill.

    Trial and error is often a bad thing, but mostly because it’s rarely fair, and it rarely carries a reward. That was always my problem with the Hitman series. CoD definitely has similar problems on the higher difficulties.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. YoungZer0

    @19: Oh yes. Limbo is a great example. Most of the time you have to die to advance. You know there is something creepy going on and that the next step could kill you. But you only know what could kill you if you die.

    The Game also had serious issues with it’s Artsy Fartsy Style. It stands in the way of the gameplay. I tried to escape the spider, jump on something that looked like a lever and then into the water. Died. Had to die like 5 times just to find out that the lever was actually a broken tree and i had to push it into the water.

    Fantastic Game. Really.

    Feel the same way about CoD.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. DSB

    It’s the difference between “tough but fair” and “tough because it was developed by a total douche” :P

    #21 3 years ago
  22. Ireland Michael

    @1 and @6 Take your elitest knobbery elsewhere. Gaming is not made up of you basement dwelling, “hardcore” types.

    Making this a mode is entirely valid. There is nothing wrong with giving people a *choice* between simply enjoying the experience or being challenged in an old-school sort of way.

    They could have not even bothered, you realise?

    #22 3 years ago
  23. absolutezero

    Im not a hardcore type. Oh Dear Mom’s basement. oh dear oh dear. Deary me.

    I see nothing wrong with explaining what I dislike about the current industry and my reasoning behind them.

    I am a massive fucking elitest though you grubby casual serf.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. OrbitMonkey

    Sounds promising, but it could just end up being like the *hardcore* mode in fallout: new Vegas, which ended up being a lesson in irritation tbh.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. HauntaVirus

    So much bitching haha, just enjoy the article.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. minxamo

    Miser Levine?

    #26 3 years ago
  27. Edo

    So is this something that we unlock after we finish the “normal” story mode or….

    #27 3 years ago
  28. Dimaco

    I reckon they were mentioning some release date around March, which isn’ t the case, anymore… or is it?? Anybody knows anything?

    #28 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Very sad news out of Redmond this week, as Mike Ey was killed in a tragic accident. Ey, 30, was one of the key project designers on Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset. He was killed on Saturday morning in a rear-end collision. The driver of the second vehicle fled the scene but was tracked down by […]

  • AMD throws support behind VR with new low-latency anti-nausea tech

    GPU manufacturer AMD has released a new SDK compatible with “a broad set of VR devices”. Called LiquidVR, the tech is designed to “bring better content, comfort, and compatibility to VR applications” including games, simulation, entertainment, education, social media, travel, medicine, real estate and ecommerce, apparently. AMD said maintaining comfort and realism in VR environments […]

  • Danganronpa 3 in the works, but a long way off yet

    A new Danganronpa is happening. Danganronpa 3 is in the very, very early production stages, writer Kodaka Kazutaka has confirmed. Nothing about the project is “set in stone”, Kazutaka told Polygon, so there are no details to share yet; the characters and story may change several times before being finalised. The writer said he’s weighing […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League 2015 schedule announced

    Major League Gaming has announced the full schedule for the 2015 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League. The eSpots firm revealed two more seasons of Pro League, a live Relegation tournament for Season Three, and a season ending World Championship with $250,000 up for grabs You can watch all the action on MLG.tv […]

  • Happy Birthday PlayStation 2, you are almost old enough to drive

    Amidst all the GDC 2015 hoopla today, we forgot to wish PlayStation 2 a Happy Birthday. The system turned 15 years old today, going by its March 4, 2000 launch date in Japan. It was released in the west that autumn, and had shipped 100 million units in less than six years post launch. PS2 […]

  • Here’s what the final version of Valve’s Steam Controller looks like

    A look at the updated Steam Controller has surfaced via a hands-on post from Polygon. Valve said what you see in the images below is the final version of the controller. The controller has gone through numerous revisions since it was first revealed, but it seems Valve has decided on two touch pads which work […]

  • The Sims, SimCity developer closed down

    The Sims 4 developer Maxis has been shuttered, EA has confirmed. The Sims, SimCity and the rest of the Sim franchise has traditionally been helmed by Maxis, which had its flagship studio in Emeryville, California. Now EA has confirmed with Kotaku that this studio is being closed. “Today we are consolidating Maxis IP development to […]

  • Gigantic MOBA coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One with cross-play

    Today during GDC 2015, Microsoft announced that the new IP from Motiga called Gigantic will be cross-play enabled. Slated for Windows 10 and Xbox One, the five-on-five third-person battle arena game allows the player to select from an array of heroes with distinctive powers and play styles. Players will then make their way through areas […]

  • Here’s a look at Unreal Tournament DirectX 12 gameplay

    Epic Games is creating Unreal Tournament using Unreal Engine 4 running on DirectX 12, which Microsoft says “sets a new bar for visual fidelity.” DirectX 12 is a single API developers can access across Windows devices, which can result in a 20% improvement in performance over DX11 running on the same machine. The Unreal Tournament […]

  • Wireless adapter for Xbox One controllers out later this year

    Microsoft announced at GDC 2015 today it will that all wireless Xbox gaming accessories will be designed for and supported on both Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs moving forward. Later this year, a wireless adapter will be released, allowing current Xbox controllers and future devices to be used wirelessly on PCs. This will […]

  • Microsoft offers up more details on Spencer’s GDC 2015 talk

    Microsoft has provided more details on Cross-Buy functionality between Windows 10 and Xbox One as well as the Xbox Live SKU and other announcements made during Phil Spencer’s talk today. During the session, the head of Xbox shared “the next step” in the company’s plans for a unified platform across all Windows 10 devices which […]

  • Wasteland 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 this summer

    Wasteland 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 as a Game of the Year Edition. inXile Entertainment announced the news on the PS Blog, noting the edition contains enhancements and improvements. The game has been ported to Unity 5, which was announced over the weekend, providing upgraded visual effects, “improved character models, upgraded environments, and Unity […]

  • Cross-Buy detailed for Windows 10 and Xbox One; Elite: Dangerous coming to Xbox One

    During Xbox boss Phil Spencer’s session at GDC 2015 today, it was announced Elite: Dangerous would release on Xbox One. Spencer also outlined cross-buy functionality across Windows 10 and Xbox One. Spencer’s talk started off with Frontier Developments announcing Elite: Dangerous for release this summer as a console debut on Xbox One, suggesting the Elite: […]

  • Longbeards Culture Pack available now for Total War: Attila

    The Longbeards Culture Pack is now available for Total War: Attila and it comes with three new playable factions. The Langobards, the Burgundians and the Alamans can be played in both single and multiplayer campaign modes as well as custom and multiplayer battles. A new feature called The Lay of Ybor is also included. It […]

  • Nvidia unveils Titan X as world’s “most advanced GPU” – video

    Nvidia revealed Titan X as “the world’s most advanced GPU” during Epic founder Tim Sweeney’s State of Unreal session a t GDC 2015 today. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang took the stage during the panel stating it contains “8 billion transistors,” and has 12GB of RAM. Pricing wasn’t announced, but it was rumored back in January […]

  • Steam sale discounts titles announced for SteamOS

    With many of the year’s most popular games heading to SteamOS, Valve has decided to host sale in celebration. Here’s a short list of titles on sale. The full list of PC, Linux, Mac and SteamOS discounts can be found through the link. The Banner Saga Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Batman: Arkham […]

  • PayDay 2 announced for SteamOS, celebrating with franchise sale

    PayDay 2 is coming to SteamOS, Overkill has announced. Still under development, a release date will be announced at a later date. “Making sure PAYDAY 2 is available on SteamOS felt like a no-brainer,” said Bo Andersson Klint, CEO of Starbreeze in the press release. “With PAYDAY 2: Crimewave Edition coming to the next generation […]

  • Magicka 2 has a release date and a crazy new trailer

    Magicka 2 has a release date for PC and the PlayStation 4, and Paradox Interactive has released a trailer featuring “Vlad’s latest lyrical triumph,” which is his rendition of the Game of Thrones theme. Magicka arrived on PC and PS4 May 26 and the game can be pre-ordered on PC beginning today, with PS4 pre-orders […]

  • Nintendo eShop schedule: Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone, others

    Nintendo has sent over a list of titles heading to the eShop in 2015. The schedule contains titles such as Affordable Space Adventures, Runbow, Swords & Soldiers 2, Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone and Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars. Below a preliminary list of games scheduled to launch in the Nintendo eShop on […]

  • Week 8: Can you win the weekly VG247 GTA Online playlist? Play tonight at 8pm UK time!

    We’re hotdogging tonight. I don’t even know what that means. Eight weeks of ridiculous death. Such a brave, true milestone. We’re going to celebrate two entire months of playing weekly GTA Online playlists with VG247 readers with Hotdogging, a set of six jobs I named completely at random. This one ends with a straight-up border […]

  • Puzzle platformer Four Sided Fantasy coming to PC, consoles in early 2016

    Curve Digital and developer Logan Fieth’s studio Ludo Land are bringing puzzle platformer, Four Sided Fantasy, to PC all major consoles in early 2016. Ludo Land are developing the PC version, with Curve Digital handling the console and Vita versions. Four Sided Fantasy tasks players with venturing across “dreamlike levels” by controlling and manipulating the […]

  • Tropico 5 arrives on PS4 in April – video

    A release date for Tropico 5 on PlayStation 4 has been announced. This is the franchise’s first foray onto PlayStation consoles. It arrived in Europe on April 24 and in North America on April 28. A Limited Edition has also been announced, and it includes The Big Cheese DLC and the Bayo Del Olfato sandbox […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Limited Edition PS4 releasing in Asia

    A limited edition Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain PlayStation 4 system will be released in Asia. The system and its DualShock controller were designed in collaboration with Konami Digital Entertainment and targeted for the Asia region, per Gematsu. It will be released as part of PS4 Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain […]

  • This video shows Sid Meier’s Starships being played on iPad

    Sid Meier’s Starships will be released on iPad alongside Mac and PC, and to give you an idea on how it plays on the tablet, a new video has been released. Watch below as Pete Murray and lead producer Stuart Zissu show off the iPad version. The 4X space-strategy releases on March 12.

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood announced as standalone prequel to Wolfenstein: The New Order

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a standalone prequel to The New Order, will release May 5 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The game takes pace in 1946, and and players take on the role of B.J. Blazkowicz as he embarks on a two-part mission in Bavaria. Part one, Rudi Jäger and the Den of Wolves, […]

  • Observer Mode coming soon to Evolve as a free update

    Observer Mode will be released for Evolve as a free update for all platforms, 2K and Turtle Rock have announced. The community feature was designed to give Evolve players the ability to observe and add commentary as well as livestream, allowing a sixth user to “passively enter a custom game” with the ability to switch […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes and PS4 top Media Create charts in Japan

    The PlayStation 3 and PS4 skus for Dragon Quest Heroes were the top sellers on the Media Create charts in Japan, moving a combined 594,749 units. Elsewhere on the chart, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D was in third place with 39,751 units moved, and last week’s top seller, God Eater 2: Rage Burst, […]

  • Watch Hideo Kojima answer lots of your burning Phantom Pain questions

    What’s better than learning the official release date of MGS5: The Phantom pain? Hideo Kojima talking more about it, of course! Hideo Kojima has decided to answer a few fan questions about Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, to help boost everyone’s hype to insane levels. He talks about the game’s story, his relief […]

  • MGS5: The Phantom Pain Day 1 and Collector’s Edition revealed

    Konami has officially revealed the release date of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain alongside the game’s Day 1 and Collector’s Edition. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain will release September 1, worldwide, as previously leaked. It will be available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. The PC Steam […]

  • EU Club Nintendo: Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack back in stock

    Club Nintendo members in Europe can once again pick up The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack. For 3000 Stars, members of the program will receive the double-CD soundtrack which features 89 tracks with liner notes from Ryo Nagamatsu and 12 sheet music excerpts. It also comes with 16 Milk Bar Musician pieces. […]

  • HTC apologises over “confusing” Half-Life VR comments

    HTC has misspoke when it talked about Half-Life coming to VR headset Vive. HTC chairwoman Cher Wang has apologised over the comments she made yesterday about the possibility of Half-Life coming to Vive, the VR headset it’s manufacturing with the help of Valve. Sources close to Valve, have indicated to the BBC that the developer […]

  • What do Heists and Daily Objectives tell us about the future of GTA Online?

    Daily Objectives could be more important to GTA Online than Heists. These theories and more, from a giddy Matt Martin. Yesterday Rockstar dropped a bombshell. Not only is it releasing Heists next week – the mythical 4-player missions for GTA Online – but it’s also going to be introducing daily challenges and more modes to […]

  • Breaking down Hardline Premium, is it worth it?

    Having been announced just a few days ago, the Premium service for Battlefield Hardline has been a topic of constant debate among the Battlefield community. Many look at Hardline as a Battlefield off-shoot that will just tide everyone over until Battlefront comes out in the fall. EA has other plans however, announcing a $50 Premium […]

  • Watch Dogs sold more than GTA 5 and FIFA 15 in Australia in 2014

    Watch Dogs outsold GTA 5, and FIFA 15, at retail in Australia last year. According to data obtained by the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) from the NPD Group Australia, last year’s year retail sales charts look a bit different in Australia. The top-selling game was Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, followed by Watch […]

  • Watch PC footage of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt from GDC 2015

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a new gameplay video available that shows a bit of action from the PC version. The video below was captured from Nvidia’s GDC conference live-stream. Developer CD Projekt RED was on hand to show off The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt‘s graphical prowess running on a PC. Thanks, GamesHQMedia.