The Last of Us Part 2’s Grounded Update – which introduces new way to play Naughty Dog’s acclaimed adventure with the likes of a permadeath mode, gameplay and visual modifiers, and more is out today on PlayStation 4.
Leading the charge is the the titular Grounded Mode, returning from the original Last of Us, which lends the update its name. This new difficulty option is selectable from the off whenever players start a new game, and is designed to deliver a substantially tougher challenge. To that end, it features deadlier enemies, as well as scarcer ammo, upgrades, and crafting materials, and it disables key survival tools including Listen mode and certain elements of the HUD.
The Last of Us Part 2’s Grounded Mode is also accompanied by a new permadeath option, which gives players a single life to complete the game. If that’s a bit intimidating, however, it’s also possible to enable per-chapter or per-act checkpoints. Each new mode unlocks a new Trophy, but Naughty Dog notes neither is required for Platinum.
Elsewhere, the update introduces a host of new modifiers, affecting everything from sound and visuals to gameplay. You can, for instance, enable infinite ammo, or to mirror the world, and there’s even an option for One Shot insta-kills. Visual modifiers, meanwhile, add filters that simulate cel-shading, noir-ish black and white, sepia tones, even a pixel-y retro 8-bit look.
Rounding out the update are a range of new tweakable options and quality of life improvements, including the ability to disable Listen Mode, adjust film grain, and more. A full list of The Last of Us Part 2 additions can be found on Naughty Dog’s website.
There’s a lot of death in The Last of Us Part 2. Soon, all that death is getting a bit more permanent.
Naughty Dog will add two new modes to its post-apocalyptic sequel in the coming days: permadeath and Grounded (thanks, VG247). Both have been spotted via two newly-uncovered Trophies, although are not live in the game yet at the time of writing.
Grounded was the tough-as-nails mode in the original The Last of Us which switched off the game’s HUD and Listen Mode, while limiting supplies and boosting enemy damage. Presumably it will operate in the same way here.
Permadeath, meanwhile, appears to be a setting you can toggle on and apply to any difficulty. Good luck to anyone who wants to combine both Grounded and permadeath together.
If you’ve completed the game already, our Aoife sat down for a spoiler-heavy interview with The Last of Us Part 2 director Neil Druckmann to talk about the game’s ending (and more death).