Naughty Dog has officially announced that The Last of Us Part II will be getting its first major update later this week, and it’s chalked full of new content for players to go through. The most noteworthy addition in the patch is the inclusion of the famous, or infamous Grounded Difficulty. Longtime fans of the first title in the series will instantly recognize this as the most grueling way to play through The Last of Us, and as if that wasn’t enough, Naughty Dog is also adding a Permadeath option to the fold, because why not increase the tension in an already tense game.
#TheLastofUsPartII Grounded Update introduces Permadeath mode. Beat the game in one life or start over from the beginning. You can also choose to enable checkpoints on a per-chapter or per-act basis for shorter challenges.
— Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog) August 11, 2020
As the name implies, Grounded ups the ante in terms of not only difficulty, but also accessibility. Enemies are now insanely tougher and harder to dispose of, and they can hear you almost instantly even if you’re trying to sneak around them. Speaking of listening, the games listen feature is completely removed for Grounded, essentially rendering you at the enemies mercy in almost every possible scenario. On top of all that, all resources are now nearly impossible to come by. This includes ammo, supplies, crafting materials for upgrading, and taking away some of the HUD (Heads Up Display) features that you may need to rely on.
For those looking for a reason to hate, or enjoy, playthroughs even more, the company is also bringing in the dreaded Permadeath mode. Just as it sounds, you get one life, one chance to complete the game without dying. If you fail, it’s game over and you start over from the very beginning. However, Naughty Dog has added a special tweak for Permadeath, where you can modify it so that it only activates on checkpoints in a chapter-to-chapter or act-to-act basis. In short, should you lose your life at any point of these parts, you’ll only need to start over from that chapter or day as opposed to the very beginning.
Along with these new difficulties, Naughty Dog is also adding some new graphic options, quite a few in fact. This includes cel-shaded, 8-bit, black and white noir, and many more They’ve also added in some game modifiers for those who have already beaten the title. These are essentially cheat options that can be activated at any time in the Extras menu, some of which include slow-motion, mirror world, infinite ammo, infinite listen mode, and a one-shot mechanic. Naughty Dog states that they’ve also made some updates and improvements to the game in general such as adding a playtime for playthroughs so players can keep track of how long they’ve been playing. The studio states that the update should be coming this week on August 13.
The Last of Us Part II is available now exclusively for the PlayStation 4.