Announcing 1999 Mode

by ig.eduardo on January 19 2012

45 comments

Back in December, there was a survey from us here at Irrational to better understand how you play games. We had a hunch about a new feature for BioShock Infinite, and we built this survey to see if it’s something that our fans wanted. The results of the survey are in and we heard what you want loud and clear, which is why we’re proud to announce something new for the game: 1999 Mode!

BioShock Infinite’s 1999 Mode will feature an especially demanding gaming experience, forcing you to examine your decisions while going through your adventure in Columbia. With every choice you make, there are irreversible implications, and if your choices guide you down a path not suited to your play style, you will suffer for it.

It’s not simply a matter of adjusting the difficulty sliders in the game – the team went much further than that. Resource planning? If you’re to survive this mode, proper planning will be crucial. Combat specializations? You’ll need to develop them efficiently and effectively throughout the story; any weapon will be useless to you unless you have that specialization. Combat? You will need to carefully target every shot, and your health will be set to an entirely different baseline. Game saves? Well, yes, there will be those, but according to Irrational Games Creative Director Ken Levine “there are game saves, and you’re gonna f***ing need them.”

“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.”

Avatar Image Posted this January 19 2012 07:59 am, under Insider
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  • joemommak1200 | January 19, 2012 8:05 am

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    The sky was all purple, there were people every where!

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  • joemommak1200 | January 19, 2012 8:08 am

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    Well, if there incorporating a major wrinkle like this just now, irrational is probaly a whole lot further away from shipping than i was hoping. bitter sweet news!

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    • felonious | January 19, 2012 8:15 am

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      You have a point but then again sometimes what sounds like it might be a lot of work and take a lot of time doesn’t and what doesn’t seem like a big deal sometimes is.

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  • sh0dan | January 19, 2012 8:24 am

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    Wow almost coughed out my tea when I read this on twitter.

    Its AWESOME news!

    I figured we would never see what became of that fan feedback. But this is fantastic news. More game developers need to include these types of deeper more complex, challenge modes, for their older / more “travelled” gaming audience. I loved it in FO: New Vegas and I know its the only mode I will play BioShock Infinite in. Thank you for listening guys. :)

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  • felonious | January 19, 2012 8:25 am

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    Sounds like my type of game mode! Survivor Difficulty on the PS3 Bioshock was a fun challenge, I hope this will match that difficulty as well as really be a unique mode, almost like a whole other game, the way the Second Quest was for the original Legend of Zelda is the best comparison of what I’m hoping this is!

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  • choo1701 | January 19, 2012 8:26 am

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    *** crosses out “Moon the Songbird”, “Loiter around” and “Try the Konami Code” off the ‘Things to do in Infinite’ list. **

    You know joemommak, they have been hinting at something like this before, with the Handymen randomly appearing, and in the Gameplay video eg: Elizabeth “Might be more supplies this way, or straight to Comstock House…” In the Gameplay Video the player goes straight to Comstock, but what happens if you go looking for supplies?

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  • japester | January 19, 2012 8:27 am

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    Interesting. Not a mode that appeals to me personally, but I’m sure the hardcore crowd will eat it up! :-)

    The name seems a bit odd, but I guess it’s a reference to the year System Shock 2 came out?

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    • choo1701 | January 19, 2012 8:30 am

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      @ Japster. Yeah I think a new name would be better. “1999 mode” makes me think everything’s going to suddenly shift to ‘Original Tomb Raider’ style graphics :p

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    • sh0dan | January 19, 2012 8:54 am

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      Yep SS2 was released sept 1999.

      SS2 fans will immediately recognize the reference and understand what it means in regards to the mode in BSI. And since that is who the mode is targeted at, its actually a pretty descriptive name for what it hopefully will be delivering. :)

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  • timogul | January 19, 2012 8:31 am

    This sounds very cool. I only hope that it is itself enough incentive to play and enjoy it, and that they will not “bribe” players into playing it in order to unlock special bonus content, like secret endings and stuff. I mean, if this is the sort of gameplay that appeals to you, then that’s great that it;s being made available, but it should reward players with extra prizes just for playing the mode that they happen to enjoy, or cause other players to miss out on that content because they don’t enjoy that level of stress in their gaming.

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  • vsharres | January 19, 2012 8:36 am

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    Yessssss!!!
    I was hoping something like that was being developed, that also increases its replay value

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  • mbourgon | January 19, 2012 9:08 am

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    Awesome. Too hardcore for me anymore, but awesome nonetheless.

    And let me state that the picture of Elizabeth is AWESOME.

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    • johnclilly | January 19, 2012 2:08 pm

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      That picture was the only thing I didn’t like about this announcement. :\

      Super excited about 1999 Mode and the fact that it’s optional since not everyone will want to play that way.

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  • diogoribeiro | January 19, 2012 9:31 am

    I agree with the sentiment – give players an extra hard mode, something tailored to their tastes. Not everyone is a stunted manchild of a reviewer who drops to points on your game and brings dischord to the cosmic might of Metacritic. It’s that weird adage of having cake and eating it too; it’s fine for what it is.

    I can’t agree, however, with what seems to be shafting permanent choices and consequences into an optional mode. Of course, it’s largely guesswork what said choices and consequences will be, but if these are tied to the main narrative, I’ll have a pass. Irrational: if you believe your ideas of choice and consequence are good, and that they provide for a unique experience in regards to how the game is played, don’t shove them into an optional mode. Run with them from the start. I want to be challenged by your design and ideas, no matter how aggressive or anti-current gaming climate of player grooming they may be. Yes, many developers in the industry have only seen one movie or read one book; but don’t be the studio that only played one game.

    Also, “Game Over” screens are 1999 and counting, but they aren’t hardcore. Unless you plan on revealing at the last minute that Infinite is a roguelike, or that you’ll wipe out data, which I don’t think you will, there’s not much hardcore about reloading saved games.

    I’m only being harsh because I care. Kisses!

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  • mikepadg | January 19, 2012 10:03 am

    Ohhh HELL yes 1999 mode……just don’t scatter saves guys. Us gamers with limited time have to pick up and play when we can. I hate having to leave my Box on pause for hours because I gotta jet to work and can’t find a save.

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  • spata | January 19, 2012 10:19 am

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    Niiiice I’ve been hoping for something like this ever since that survey. Hopefully it will not disappoint

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  • perfectdarkling | January 19, 2012 10:40 am

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    YES! I love a challenge like this, where every shot counts. This game keeps getting unbelievably better every time I see it. Thanks for considering your fans, Irrational!

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  • muskellounger | January 19, 2012 11:22 am

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    WOOT! You just made this old schooler extremely happy. Huge…I mean HUGE thank you. Need a playtester? j/k

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  • icegrove | January 19, 2012 11:25 am

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    Just like a good old horror game.

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  • crackgoblin | January 19, 2012 11:31 am

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    definitely something im going to have to go back and do but i wonder how many people will choose to play the game through the first time on this mode?…sounds way too stressful

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  • musecuts | January 19, 2012 12:01 pm

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    Sounds good, 1999 is a classic album and should provide some classic gameplay.

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  • losstarot | January 19, 2012 12:10 pm

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    Hey that’s f…… awesome! I’m glad such a bold mode will be implemented when it’s so common for devs to take the casual way. Now the only question that remains, will I take this course on my 1st playthrough or the second one? ^^

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  • neftali | January 19, 2012 1:06 pm

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    System Shock is back in spirit!

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  • boltonhawser | January 19, 2012 1:15 pm

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    Oh man, I knew I was going to replay Bioshock Infinite more than once but now it won’t be a matter of turning the game up to the hardest difficulty to receive the same gameplay but at a more stressful level, I’ll be playing Biodhock the way it was meant to be played!

    Of course now I wonder if I should do 1999 mode on my first playthrough instead of my second…

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  • hottomato | January 19, 2012 1:43 pm

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    Guys from irrational games, I LOVE YOU!!!

    It seems like Bioshock Infinite will be THE game of the gen, really. There not many AAA-games in this (console-)generation which got so much love from their developers.

    Thank you!

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  • jameslame | January 19, 2012 1:57 pm

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    Just made an account to show and say I really appreciate the extra effort. Definitely buying this.

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  • marksmith | January 19, 2012 2:26 pm

    Irrational, you have my heart!
    I didn’t think there was anything that could possibly make me more exited about this game.

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  • mortalmonday | January 19, 2012 2:27 pm

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    This sounds amazing. Cannot wait for this game!

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  • precarious | January 19, 2012 2:50 pm

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    For some reason, this reminds me of those ‘Choose your own Adventure’ books when I was little. I’m looking forward to exploring the possibilities!

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  • roguewriter | January 19, 2012 3:12 pm

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    While I personally really care nothing for this “Hard Mode” augmentations (I trust the Dev team to give me a rewarding experience with game-play and story just on normal settings) I can see how gamers that feel the need to “challenge” themselves might be excited for this, as such it’s a smart move on behalf of IG since it might bring in those FPS oriented folks who might have been worried about the game being too “main stream.” Other FPS-RPGs have incorporated this idea (i.e. Fallout New Vegas) and while it didn’t exactly work out as planned I know folks appreciated it none the less. So, yeah, good call.

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    • roguewriter | January 19, 2012 3:14 pm

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      On a side note, that is a *Fantastic* bit of Art for ‘99Mode Elizabeth.

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  • mindfreeeeeeeek | January 19, 2012 3:15 pm

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    can someone tell me when bioshock infinite will be release??

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    • japester | January 19, 2012 3:24 pm

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      2012

      There is no new info about the release date.

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  • aimeebeardslee | January 19, 2012 3:24 pm

    in June Can’t wait!!

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  • allanlazcano | January 19, 2012 4:15 pm

    Thank you so much for including this mode :D DDDDDDDD

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  • svenderson | January 19, 2012 4:53 pm

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    This sure sounds really interesting! Very tempting to pick this mode from the beginning, but I might be better off saving it for my second playthrough. That’s what was so great about Survivor Mode on PS3, it really changed the game. But when you do it once, you never go back to an easier setting, so better save it for later!

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  • juan29zapata | January 19, 2012 5:21 pm

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    This game just got awesomer (I just invented a word just for this game), thanks for making this game so much better, Irrational!

    If the mode is unlocked from the get go, I will so play it!

    Or just play until I unlock it. :)

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  • miiamigo | January 19, 2012 7:34 pm

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    Well I’m happy that the survey actually spawned or help spawn something this cool. I can’t wait to see how bad I screw up on my first round to learn from for the following rounds thereafter.

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  • 1019ice | January 19, 2012 8:34 pm

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    Elizabeth might look beat up, but you do NOT want to see what she did to the other guy.

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  • kvick | January 19, 2012 8:53 pm

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    seriously, im so glad that there are still bigtime developers like you guys who understand that this is something absolutely worth investing in

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  • mistahj | January 19, 2012 9:26 pm

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    Challenge accepted Irrational. Keep in mind though if I break a controller in the process it’s on you ;-p

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  • joshua3991 | January 19, 2012 10:51 pm

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    GOD DAMN!!!! FINALLY!!!! I have REALLY high hopes for this new game mode!!!

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  • quancro | January 19, 2012 11:39 pm

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    this is something new in gaming … or acction and consecuetion..thats is fantastic..to see how we devolope or gaming ..and this will give us replayable value…i love it .

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  • alexweed | January 20, 2012 2:33 am

    This is System Shock 2 mode?

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  • shodanfreeman | January 20, 2012 10:52 am

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    Yay

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