Gamer’s Guide To BioShock Infinite 1999 Mode
BioShock Infinite is a phenomenal game. This much is certain. It’s the type of game that makes every fibre of your being vibrate with happiness. The story is fantastic, the combat is satisfying and the conclusion is master class. I played it obsessively for days since it released and after finishing the game on Normal, I decided that I wanted a challenge. I wanted to experience this game the best I can. So I decided to start a new playthrough on 1999 mode with the added challenge of not buying a single thing from a Dollar Bill vending machine because of achievements. 1999 mode is essentially BioShock Infinite’s “Insane” mode with more difficult enemies and much less health.
I was a bit intimidated at first thinking that I’m going to struggle my ass off with every combat scenario there was, but that was only partially true. 1999 mode is a challenge. Enemies are tough, relentless and will do everything in their power to kill you as violently as humanly possible. If you don’t take cover for only a few seconds then you will be turned into ribbons by constant gunfire and your health just vanishing in front of your eyes at a lightning fast rate. A few bullets from a light enemy will decimate your shield and one hit from a heavy enemy will put you into a critical state. This mode is certainly not for the faint of heart.
- You’ll Be Able To Play (Expensive) PS2 Games On Your PS4 Now | 2 months ago
- Jessica Jones Disempowers Its Male Characters And The Effect Is Refreshing | 2 months ago
- Hell Is 30 000 Deathclaws Tearing Through Boston And It’s Glorious | 2 months ago
- Sony Santa Monica Is Teasing Something Truly Strange | 2 months ago
While it was very difficult at times, it was more challenging than hair-rippingly frustrating. Every combat situation could be done with proper use of weapons and Vigors and it hardly becomes overwhelming. Also, there is no real penalty for dying other than a few dollars being deducted so it can also become a sequence of trial and error. Enemies do recover their health so some of the bigger enemies can become quite a challenge if you run out of ammo after dying too many times and cannot find any more.
The added challenge of not being able to buy anything from a Dollar Bill store made everything so much more challenging. Because of your enemies’ bolstered health you will constantly run out of ammo. There were so many instances where a trip to the vending machine would have made my life a whole lot easier especially when my most powerful weapon had no ammo and I had to resort to replacing it with random weapons dropped from enemies. Scavenging is a must if you choose to do this and more often than not, weapons and ammo will always be around just waiting for you to discover it.
Some fights were extremely tough and most of them have to do with mass amounts of enemies that completely overpower and surround you. Some of these sections can be done with careful strategies and proper use of Vigors and some of them can be done by just sitting behind a rock or a trash-can and taking pot-shots with whatever weapon you have that has ammo and only running out to get some supplies. It all depends on what is happening at that time.
Here are some strategies that I have developed during my playthrough of 1999 mode that you can use. Note that some of these will have mild spoilers, but if you’re playing 1999 mode then you had to finish the game in any way. Unless you used the Konami code and unlocked it early and decided “Screw it, I’m going to do my first playthrough like this”. If you did then I commend you, you mad person.
These tips are just for general survival and effective combat:
- Cover is more essential than ever in this mode. Once you see an enemy shooting at you immediately move to cover. If there are only a few enemies, a good strategy to use is to wait until they reload and then pop them in the face as quickly as you can. This strategy is essential with turrets seeing as they are more ruthless than ever. Wait until they stop shooting and use the 3-4 second window to get as many shots in as possible. It may not be as exciting, but sometimes it’s your only means of survival.
- Abuse Elizabeth. Not like that you freak. Elizabeth will throw ammo to you at random times and this can be a godsend in this mode. If you have a powerful weapon and your ammo has run dry, a good strategy is to keep that weapon out for a while and hope Elizabeth will throw some ammo at you. I have noticed a limit in this ability and she will only throw you ammo a maximum of 2 times at the most, so make proper use of it.
- Choose your favourite weapon and stick with it. If you have a weapon that you use all the time and are pretty skilled with then keep that weapon on you at all times. Also, upgrade that weapon as often as you can so that you can deal some heavy damage. I chose the Hand Cannon as my preferred weapon and after upgrading it to its maximum potential it was quite a force to behold. The Hand Cannon is kind of a strange choice because of its low ammo capacity, but its insane power made up for that. You can also use a weapon that enemies constantly use so you know you can get ammo off them.
- Trash-cans and baskets are more useful than you think. I have noticed something while I was playing that loot containers have the supplies you need the most at that time. When my Hand Cannon was completely dry I would find ammo in trash-cans, cabinets and other random places. Try to exploit this as much as you can by equipping the weapon with the least amount of ammo while you are away scavenging.
You find Infusion upgrades throughout the game in random places and in optional quests. When you drink them, you get a choice of 3 upgrades. Health, shield or salts. This decision is crucial because it can either make your life easier or a living hell. Many people will choose their own build of character, but the build that makes sense to me the most, and what I ended up using, is to upgrade my shield and salts as much as I could. It’s a good idea to alternate between the two at first and not just upgrade one specific slot. The reason for this is as follows: health is kind of useless in this mode. That might sound ridiculous, but it’s true. When your shields drop your health will just vanish as quickly as it can.
It’s a better option to just upgrade your shield as much as you can because that allows you to hide and recharge it when it goes down. If you have massive health you will have to find health kits lying around and in mid-combat that’s not a good idea. Once your shield has reached its full potential, you can take quite a few hits before it goes down. And when it goes down you just have to suck your thumb for a while before it comes back up. Salts are essential because of obvious reasons. The more salt capacity you have, the more Vigors you can cast before you run dry and some Vigors are essential for your survival as this next entry will outline.
Vigor Combinations And Strategies
There are specific Vigors that will give you an edge in combat. Some of your other Vigors might go by unused, but that’s the price of survival. Vigors are mostly subjected to preference and some people might use other combinations that work for them, but these are the Vigors that helped me out a lot in combat.
Bucking Bronco: This is a good Vigor to use because of two reasons. It flings your enemies up in the air and gives you some much deserved time to shoot them or move to a new position and it doesn’t cost a lot of salts. These two advantages make it the perfect tool in combat because you can throw your enemies in the air, shoot them as much as you can and then do it all again without worrying about using too much salt. This will be your general purpose Vigor because of its usefulness and you can still combine it with other more aggressive Vigors such as Devil’s Kiss and Shock Jockey. It’s also worth noting that when you have enemies in the air and shoot them with an RPG, it creates a massive cluster explosion that damages everyone around it. Try and buy the upgrade that makes your enemies float for longer because that can be a huge help.
Return To Sender: Probably the most important Vigor that you will use. If you tap your trigger once it will create an impenetrable shield for a few seconds that essentially makes you invincible. That’s reason enough to use it because that added protection is much sought after in this mode. You can also hold your trigger and make an absorbing shield that takes the damage dealt to you and makes it into a fireball of damage. This can be used to your advantage in more ways than one. The normal tap shield can be used to move around the battlefield and take out menacing enemies such as snipers that kill you in one hit. It is a bit hard to control because of the shield not lasting too long and can make you susceptible to large amounts of damage if you don’t activate it soon enough.
The other method you can use is to use the hold shield and run around everywhere and not take any damage at all. This is particularly useful with large enemies and even the insanely tough Handyman can’t harm you when you have the shield up. You can walk up to enemies and shoot them in the face at close range even if they are barraging you with missile fire. Be careful that you don’t run out of salts and always take note of the salt locations around the battlefield so you always stay stocked. If I didn’t have this Vigor then everything would have been much more difficult. Especially the insane end battle where they just throw enemies at you. You only get this Vigor about midway through the game, but that’s when you need it the most. Also try and buy the “Send for Less” upgrade as soon as possible because it reduces the salt usage and allows you to use it much more frequently.
Undertow: Undertow is a very situational Vigor that you can use, but is still extremely useful. You can only ever use it when your enemies are close to the edge of a large fall, but when they are it makes your life much easier. Many RPG wielding enemies will be close to a fall and with their large amounts of health, they are pretty difficult to kill with just normal gunfire, so a quick trip to their position and throwing them off the floating city is a much better strategy. There are also many parts where enemies will stand in a cluster next to a long fall so make sure you use it when you see fit.
The other Vigors can also be useful, but these are probably the Vigors that you will use the most. Another notable Vigor is Shock Jockey that temporarily stuns your enemies. It’s very useful against large enemies and gives you a small window of time to target their weak points. Especially useful against Motorized Patriots.
Specific Enemy Strategies
These tin bastards with their chain guns can be quite the formidable foe. You will encounter them the most throughout your playthrough so a proper strategy is crucial. Shock Jockey is very effective against them and will stop them in their tracks. It will stun them for a few seconds, allowing you to shoot the gears on their back for massive damage. They are slow movers so if you are toe to toe with one, you can effectively run around in a circle casting Shock Jockey and shooting their gears as often as you can. Be careful of them when you are close-range because they will strike you with massive damage. If all else fails, use Return to Sender. Their gears aren’t their only weak spot though and they take increased damage if you shoot them in the head. Their heads will fall off after you do enough damage to them, but it’s still a valuable strategy to use.
These massive monstrosities of both man and steel will be your most formidable foe in this mode. There are only a few of them so they’re not that fearsome, but they are still tremendously difficult. A Handyman will jump on you, use area of effect attacks and constantly chase you with malicious intent. It’s near impossible to be anywhere close to the bastard because he will bodyslam you back to Rapture. The most effective strategy that you can employ with your first encounter is, and I shit you not, run around like a little girl. Without Return to Sender you’re pretty much screwed when you fight him and the best you can do is run as far away from him as possible and shoot him in the heart. Shock Jockey only stuns him for less than a second, but that brief period of time can help you out tremendously. Be careful of Skylines when you fight him because he will jump on it and electrify the entire line, killing you almost instantly.
The best method you can use to defeat him is Return to Sender. Hold it down, find an RPG or Volley Gun and spam away. He won’t damage you at all even at close range so you can get as close to his heart as possible. Be mindful of your salt usage because if you run out, you will die. Again, make mental notes of all the salt drops in the area and replenish it when you start running out. If you have enough ammo for a Volley Gun, he will go down rather quickly and even quicker if you have upgraded the damage of the weapon. Do your damn best to not die whatsoever because if you do, his health replenishes fully and by then all the ammo in the area has been used up. If you do die, then I strongly recommend reloading a checkpoint and starting again. You will save yourself a lot of heartache. (Get it? Get it? I’m sorry.)
Probably the most annoying enemy of the entire game. She only appears as a story character, but her battles are still horrendously difficult. There are only 3 battles that you have to fight, but each of them is a different challenge on their own. What she does is summon dead soldiers to fight for her and each of them is equipped with a powerful weapon and normal health. What then happens is you getting surrounded by enemies and even if you kill them, the Siren just summons more. What you have to do is to be as brutal as you can. Before the battle, get the most powerful weapon you can find such as a Crank Gun, RPG or Volley Gun. Upgrade their damage to the highest you possibly can. When she spawns, activate Return to Sender and just shoot as quickly as you possibly can. The key is swiftness. If you don’t do high damage in the first few minutes of fighting then you will have an extremely hard time with the rest of the fight because of the overwhelming amount of enemies.
Like I said, there are 3 battles that you have to do and here are the strategies for them:
Graveyard: Because of the smallness of the battlefield, you will be overwhelmed by enemies quickly if you don’t act fast. There is a tear that spawns a Crank Gun for you to use and make sure you equip it before you initiate the cut scene. When you open the gate she will start summoning enemies instantly so what you do is active Return to Sender and hammer her with the Crank Gun. It’s also a good idea to have a secondary weapon with high damage if you don’t succeed in killing her there. Don’t focus on the soldiers because their bullets will be absorbed by your Return to Sender. Only focus on the Siren. If you did all this effectively she will die within the first few minutes of battle.
Bank: This one is tricky because of its openness and lack of resources. If you’re smart you can use the same method as above, but having the resources to do so is hard because of the lack of weapons and ammo available. There is a slow, but sure method of taking her out and that requires you to pick up the sniper rifle from the left top stairs, returning to the vault where you exited from and taking pot-shots at her. The soldiers will not advance on your position and will just stand there so you don’t have to worry about them. It is a rather slow process, but it does work. Elizabeth will provide some ammo if you run out, but be warned that she will eventually run out. If you can get a carbine rifle, then stick with it because it’s the next best thing from the sniper rifle. Have fun.
Comstock Gate: This will have the most enemies, but you can use the Return to Sender and high powered weapon trick quite effectively here. If all else fails there is a tear that gives you a sniper rifle that you can use to take pot-shots with, same as the previous method. It is a little bit trickier this time because of the lack of cover, but find a comfortable place that you can use. Also make note that some enemies will come and melee you if you choose to take pot-shots.
The most effective weapon I have found is a fully upgraded Volley Gun. It destroys her quickly and effectively. Just make sure you have enough ammo.
1999 mode is certainly a challenge. It will test your patience and your willpower, but it’s also a rather enjoyable experience. The added difficulty and rush of the fights will have your heart racing and your blood pumping. After defeating my first Handyman, I jumped out of my chair in absolute glee and screamed victory chants. When I defeated the Siren I woke the entire house up with the obscenities that I screamed. It was quite the journey and one I won’t easily forget. Now go ahead and party like it’s 1999.