BioShock Infinite will return to a time when games demanded more of players, a time when dying actually meant something and only the very best players could make it to the end.
2K Games has unveiled the 1999 Mode, designed to challenge players in a variety of ways not present in standard playthrough, no matter the difficulty level.
"We want to give our oldest and most committed fans an option to go back to our roots," said Ken Levine, creative director of Irrational Games. "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 specialisations, 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."
1999 Mode will also feature more demanding weapon, power and health management, and takes a much stricter stand on player respawning - expect to go straight to the Game Over screen if you lack the resources to be brought back to life.
BioShock Infinite is expected to hit stores later this year for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.
This is a clever way of bringing some attention to the game by announcing what really doesn't sound like much more than a rock hard difficulty level. Still, the hardcore brigade - our own Martin Gaston included - will be pleased to have another avenue through which to highlight their gaming superiority over the gaming masses.