The upcoming BioShock Infinite DLC Burial at Sea Episode Two will include an all-new "1998 Mode," inspired by the stealth classic Thief: The Dark Project.
BioShock Infinite's highest difficulty level was called "1999 Mode," a tip of the hat to Irrational's brilliant System Shock 2, which came out that year. Today, the studio announced that the Burial at Sea Episode Two DLC will include something similiar: a "1998 Mode" that requires players to complete the game using only non-lethal means.
1998 was the year that Thief: The Dark Project made its debut and while it was developed by Looking Glass Studios, Irrational boss Ken Levine was a key figure on the game. It was possible to commit all sorts of mayhem while playing the game, but the acme of excellence was to get the job done without killing anyone - which was actually mandatory in several missions at the highest difficulty level.
"In Burial at Sea Episode Two we put a focus on balance and stealth mechanics," Levine said. "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."
Irrational made no specific mention of Thief in the announcement but in case there's any doubt about the connection, it also released a very cool piece of 1998 Mode art that clearly references the cover art, and even the box design, of the original Thief games - a very nice touch indeed. Perhaps this will deliver more of the Thief experience that so many people have been longing for.
BioShock Infinite: Burial At Sea Episode Two comes out on March 25.
Source: Irrational Games