The most recent news surrounding BioShock Infinite may focus on Irrational Games essentially shutting down as fans knew it, but publisher 2K Games is eager to remind fans that there is still plenty more BioShock on the way – beginning with the second half of Infinite‘s “Burial at Sea” DLC. And as consolation, diehard fans of Irrational‘s PC roots will have a brand new difficulty to look forward to as they step into Elizabeth’s shoes.
After the original Infinite shipped with a truly punishing 1999 Mode for those looking for a supreme challenge, “Burial at Sea – Episode Two” will come with an aptly-titled ‘1998 Mode,’ granting players a higher difficulty – requiring they not simply endure stronger enemies, but do so with self-control.
The announcement comes from Irrational directly, explaining that fans saddened by the news surrounding the studio’s downsizing will at least have a chance for added replayability once the DLC releases:
“Today, in conjunction with the upcoming DLC, BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea — Episode Two releasing March 25th, we’re revealing the brand new 1998 Mode, which challenges gamers to complete the narrative using only non-lethal tools. This mode will be in addition to existing difficulty modes, and the aforementioned 1999 Mode.”
Irrational boss Ken Levine (now preparing to take a small sliver of the studio in a brand new direction) explained that the emphasis on stealth and old-school non-lethality came from the team’s internal testing and design. As deadly as Elizabeth may be, the developers themselves seemed to think a subtle approach would be best – for the most devoted players, at least:
“In Burial at Sea — Episode Two we put a focus on balance and stealth mechanics… As we were developing this new style of gameplay, we started to see people self-impose non-lethal playthroughs. Given the fan reception of 1999 Mode, we thought it would be cool to give them another way to play Burial at Sea that challenged their mastery of stealth tools.”
Unfortunately, more precise details on how players will be charged with completing the DLC without leaving a wake of deceased inhabitants of Rapture in their wake are not yet being given. But with “Burial at Sea” already promising some serious surprises in its final chapter – not to mention some returning faces – it’s nice to know there will be a mechanical hook to grab fans’ attention as well as story.
Our hopes are high for “Burial at Sea – Episode Two” since the DLC’s first chapter wasn’t quite what was expected, mainly setting up the most powerful story beats for episode two. Does the inclusion of a 1998 Mode make you more or less interested in the last batch of Irrational-produced content? Will you be trying the mode out to test your stealth skills, or is it the story that you most crave?
BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea — Episode 2 releases March 25, 2014 for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.
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Source: Irrational Games