BioShock Infinite's '1999 Mode' is harder, old school

Do you long for the days when games put the hard in hardcore? BioShock Infinite's newly announced "1999 Mode" is for you, then.

"We want to give our oldest and most committed fans an option to go back to our roots," director Ken Levine said in the announcement. "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."

1999 Mode will tweak Infinite to be more challenging and "old school," regardless of the set difficulty level. For example, you will not be able to magically respawn in 1999 Mode if you don't have the right resources. If you took advantage of the Vita-Chambers from the original BioShock, 1999 Mode is definitely not for you. 1999 Mode will also feature more demanding weapon, power, and health management.

Levine added: "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."

BioShock Infinite will be available on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 later this year.