Irrational Games has revealed that BioShock Infinite will cater for hardcore traditionalists thanks to its 1999 Mode, which is designed to replicate some of the more technical and demanding features we were used to in the last years of the 20th century. It will include tweaks and features that don't apply to a standard playthrough, as well as a good old fashioned game over screen. More details below.
Irrational Creative Director Ken Levine explains that players' actions will carry much greater consequences in 1999 mode, and that characters won't be fully rounded. You'll need to specialise to survive.
We want to give our oldest and most committed fans an option to go back to our roots. 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.
I’m an old school gamer. 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.
On top of that, 1999 Mode will feature demanding weapon, power, and health management - and a game over screen if players have no means to revive themselves.