2K Games has lifted the lid on an alternative way to play upcoming shooter BioShock Infinite that it hopes will ensure the game sells to the hardcore audience.
Called 1999 Mode, the publisher says it requires “substantial commitment and skill development” and that it is “designed for gamers who long for the days of games that demanded more of the player”.
Chief amongst the changes is a tweak to the way character development works. In 1999 Mode, any changes or upgrades applied will be permanent. Players will also see their game ended if they die without the required resource to be resurrected.
“We want to give our oldest and most committed fans an option to go back to our roots,” the creative director BioShock Infinite’s developer Irrational Games Ken Levine stated.
“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 per cent of respondents indicated that upgrade choices enhanced their BioShock gameplay experience; however, 56.8 per cent indicated that being required to make permanent decisions about their character would have made the game even better.”