Your Answers for 1999 Mode

by IG.Ratana on January 24 2012

21 comments

Last week, we called on our fans to ask any questions they may have about the recently announced 1999 Mode for BioShock Infinite. We’re thankful to say that we received quite a few responses, and many of them shared common themes, giving us a nice selection of topics to cover. We handed these questions from the community over to Irrational Games Design Director Bill Gardner, who was more than happy to shed some light on what the new mode has to offer. Without further ado, take it away Bill!

Are you going to need to complete the game to unlock 1999 Mode or is it available from day one?
-Facebook User Brandon Jackson

Bill Gardner: 1999 Mode doesn’t require you to complete the game before you can experience it. However, since we don’t want just anybody stumbling across it by accident and getting overwhelmed, we’re toying with the idea of “unlocking” it from the main menu. I’m sure you can imagine some ways we might do that.

Will it have a limited number saves, or designated save points, or anything that interferes with saving your game?
-Facebook User Sam Gross

Bill Gardner: We have no plans to change the save system. We felt that this would not enhance the experience we’re going for with 1999 Mode.

Many regret adding weapon degeneration in SShock2, but I loved that disadvantage. Will there be weapon degen in 1999 Mode?
-Twitter user acantophis3rd

Bill Gardner: Weapon degeneration won’t be a feature in 1999 Mode.

Will this harder mode make the enemies smarter or merely tougher and more accurate like many games do?
-Irrational Games user danielhill

Bill Gardner: The scarcity of resources and the fact that you’re having to deal with enemies using the tools you’ve specialized in make the enemies feel a lot tougher. That said, we’re not changing the enemies on a behavioral level. Things like health and accuracy will be tuned differently, but enemies won’t be using any screw attacks, showing off fancy new abilities or anything like that.

I had understood that the Nostrums were a permanent modification of the player character, as opposed to the Tonics of BioShock which could be swapped out at a Gene Bank. If the permanent player mods are in the 1999 Mode, does that mean that Nostrums in the regular version are modifiable?
-Irrational Games user 1019ice

Bill Gardner: One of our goals in BioShock Infinite is to give your choices more meaning across the board. Nostrums are permanent choices in every mode. However, in 1999 Mode, we take this even further by raising the stakes and make it so that if you’re not specializing in something, you’re really not going to be use that tool effectively (be it a weapon, vigor or other tool). Your choices push you towards specific play styles, and these are choices you’re going to need to commit to. Once you walk down a path, it’s going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to change course.

Besides the experience and ultimate bragging rights, would 1999 Mode have a payoff you’d miss in a normal playthrough?
-Twitter user phonehands

Bill Gardner: Aside from the zen of achieving such a masterful feat? Yes, we’ll have regular achievements/trophies as well.

Does higher difficulty imply enemies will become bullet sponges or more aggressive / intelligent / numerous?
-Twitter user Frobitz

Bill Gardner: We have a bunch of ways we’re adjusting how deadly they are. The mode isn’t about introducing new content. Rather, it’s about approaching decisions with more caution. You have to choose which fights you can take on, along with which tools to specialize in, while committing to a long-term strategy.

For more info on the BioShock Infinite 1999 Mode, Bill and Ken Levine answer some questions to provide some additional reading:

BioShock Infinite Gets Hardcore – IGN
BioShock Infinite’s 1999 Mode Forces You To Live With Your Choices – G4
Ken Levine On BioShock Infinite’s 1999 Mode – Game Informer

Avatar Image Posted this January 24 2012 02:45 pm, under Ask Irrational,
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  • muskellounger | January 24, 2012 2:58 pm

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    Those links aren’t working for me. Thanks for the insight and fan service!

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  • January 24, 2012 3:16 pm

    [...] Irrational Games answer gamers questions about 1999 mode. This entry was posted in Games, Winning!. Bookmark the permalink. ← Fungus Infects [...]

    See Original Post at [n3rdlife.org]

  • ig.eduardo | January 24, 2012 3:22 pm

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    Whoops! Sorry about that! Those links are now working.

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  • quancro | January 24, 2012 4:11 pm

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    well for sure i need a video gameplay of that for a better understanding.

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  • felonious | January 25, 2012 12:48 am

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    Thanks for more clarification on the mode, will be looking forward to trying it out!

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  • icegrove | January 25, 2012 11:15 am

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    It will be so much fun.

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  • losstarot | January 25, 2012 1:57 pm

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    I feel unexpectedly less hyped after reading this; is it because I feel this is not gonna be much different than a hard mode? is it because of the chosen questions that don’t really add anything to what we know? or is it because I’m slightly disappointed by the lack of new content?
    Dunno if IG wants to keep their aces up their sleeves when the game is out and keep things secret, meanwhile I’ll wait for a defacto comparison.

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    • spata | January 25, 2012 5:35 pm

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      Couldn’t agree more. It seems like the more info we get and the more articles I read about 1999 the more disappointed I get. Definitely starting to look more like your everyday Hard mode, and not all that challenging. Hopefully I’m wrong, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see

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    • 1019ice | January 25, 2012 8:04 pm

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      Honestly, there might not be a huge amount of appeal for a lot of people. Nothing pisses me off more than feeling like the game is unfair, and I get the feeling that 1999 mode is going to avoid a level of trial and error that most people are going to get really, really turned off by.

      It might just be a glorified Hard mode, but people are gonna try it for the same reason people climb Everest. Just because it’s there.

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  • juan29zapata | January 25, 2012 2:10 pm

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    This will be very interesting to play! Although I will play this on my second playthrough, I’m sure I would get my butt handed to me if I play this the first time. Thanks for the answers!

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  • andrewmarathas | January 26, 2012 1:48 am

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    Moving forward, I’ll find myself more and more interested in this as more is revealed about the tools, the vigors, the nostrums, etc. Specifically, I’m interested to discover the ways that players can interact with the environment to solve problems. The idea that a player can define their playing experience apart from others’ and best enemies under hard circumstances with limited resources by exhibiting destructive creativity is what I’m hoping for.

    THQ’s work with the RF series brings to mind examples of this, where the hardest difficulty of the game – though not explicitly meant to be impossible – provides situations where you have limited options, most of which include arranging chain reactions of mayhem to achieve success in lieu of lots of readily available resources. The enemies are sharper, more numerous, you have less ammunition, and you’re forced through all of that to specialize and become aware of all the McGuyver shit you have to accomplish to prevail.

    Anyway. Yeah.

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  • coolpix56 | February 2, 2012 10:20 am

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    Very intriguing… I’m actually really interested to see how this turns out in the final game. I love that IG is making an effort to do something different with their difficulty setting, instead of simply making an enemy tougher to kill or throwing a simple horde at you. Adding weight to one’s actions and choices will bump the difficulty up in the right way, in my opinion.

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  • highfuel90 | February 2, 2012 9:46 pm

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    Thankyou guys so much! Not just ken, but everyone on the team. the reason why i still even play xbox is because of irrational! in fact thats the only games my xbox reads.(haha) SS2 is my favorite game of all time and im glad irrational isnt all about “what will make us the most money” and more about what should be done. Its games. made by gamers. for gamers. You dont see that today, thats why im a vintage video gamer. Because games were made thinking with the mindset of fun and not what will increase profits.

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  • fmov3r | February 29, 2012 10:39 pm

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    gonna be so much fun

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  • magicmaker | March 11, 2012 3:47 pm

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    I’ll definitely be playing on this level, probably my first time thru to make it as hard as possible. I’m a glutton for punishment.

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  • co10 | March 15, 2012 12:47 pm

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    Maybe to “unlock” 1999 mode from day one-if the main menu selections are on a cloudy background (maybe the weather changes from sunny to cloudy to snowy to stormy etc. as you progress through the game), perhaps you could move around these clouds with the right analogue stick, and if you roam far enough to a particular cloud, maybe the 1999 mode can flicker across the cloud, similar to Elizabeth’s tears in the fabric of space and time, and whichever button you use to manipulate those powers within the game, if you employ that there, then 1999 mode will reveal itself across the cloud and you’ll be able unlock the mode from the get-go. Then the mode can be found on the MAIN main menu once the game is completed for those who are new to the game, just to separate the fans from the newcomers.

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  • bookerdewwit | January 21, 2013 3:42 am

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    exited to play all ready preordered primum editon beat bioshock infint industreal revalution and it just keeps geting better with ever post

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  • pennywise | March 31, 2013 7:04 am

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    Revive swat or division 9 the games are fun no one really cared about the story and the fact that it had co op was great its sad to see a fun series die out

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  • vitek | April 22, 2013 2:43 pm

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    Finished game on Hard. I think that i prepared for 1999 mode

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  • c2sito92 | May 16, 2013 10:58 am

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    It was hard but i enjoyed it more the medium

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  • rockstar0982 | July 10, 2013 12:21 pm

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    The satisfaction of conquering this game on 1999 mode was such an indelible experience. I can’t wait for the DLC! :-)

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