Grounded Difficulty and Permadeath mode added to ‘The Last of Us II’

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Two months after its launch, the controversial game The Last of Us Part II is set to receive its first content update.  And no, sadly it isn’t multiplayer just yet.

Titled the Grounded Update, this update introduces new features, gameplay modes, and more which will hopefully give us all an excuse to hop back into this bleak world for another playthrough. One of the main features of this update is the much-requested return of the Grounded difficulty. Veterans of the original title will know that Grounded difficulty represents the ultimate test of skill only for the true die-hard (quite literally) fans wanting the biggest challenge possible. The difficulty isn’t just raised by further limiting resources and making enemies even more dangerous but also removing important survival features like listen mode, elements of the HUD, and more.

And as if that wasn’t enough of a challenge, the update will introduce a brand new Permadeath mode. As the name implies, when you play in this mode there are no second chances as even dying once will mean restarting the entire game. But for those of us who find the notion of trying to survive the entire game without dying once a bit too daunting, you will be able to lessen the challenge by enabling checkpoints per chapter or act so you only have to restart the last section of the game.

When you take on feats such as these it is always nice to receive some kind of reward other than pride and Naughty Dog is happy to deliver. There will be two new trophies up for grabs – ‘You Can’t Stop This’ for completing the game with any Permadeath mode enabled and ‘Dig Two Graves’ for beating the game on Grounded difficulty. But as these are additional trophies to the game don’t worry about having to get them in order to get the Platinum.

The update will also deliver a plethora of new graphics, audio, and gameplay modifiers that will be sure to spice up that next playthrough. With nearly 30 new graphics rendering modes, including retro 8-bit and cel-shaded, and tons of new gameplay modifiers like One Shot, Touch of Death, and Mirror World you’ll be able to customise your experience so much more.

One of the best features of The Last of Us Part II was the sheer number of additional features in the game that didn’t just allow you to tailor to your playstyle, but allow those with disabilities to experience the game. With the Grounded Update, Naughty Dog is keeping up with this trend with more new options and improvements to the game including accessibility improvements.

To see everything being added in the Grounded Update click here.

The Last of Us Part II: Grounded Update is available now on Playstation 4.

Words by George Bell


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