The lights are on
If you want to experience BioShock Infinite at its most difficult, you need to play on 1999 Mode. This typically isn't an option on your first playthrough...unless you input a secret code. The best part? You probably already know the code.
Going back to the sensibilities of late-'90s shooters, 1999 Mode makes enemies tougher, resources scarcer, and resurrection more expensive. Normally, this option is unlocked after beating the game once, but if you're a glutton for punishment, you can unlock it right away. Just enter this button sequence at the main menu (with the "Play Game" option at the top):
Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, (Cancel), (Confirm)
That's right – the ol' Konami code strikes again.
As a funny sidenote, this is exactly what Ken Levine said wouldn't happen when we interviewed him about 1999 mode last year:
Probably what we're going to do is you'll only be able to get to that mode through some kind of unlock. Not unlock in the game through "left, right, up, down," that kind of thing.
Things change in development, but we're certainly not complaining because the game turned out to be really good.
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Awesome. The Konami code lives on!