Naughty Dog has announced that it will be bringing a new update to The Last of Us Part II that will make the already difficult game even more difficult if you’re a glutton for punishment.
The patch is titled The Grounded Update because its headliner is the return of the series’ highest difficulty setting: Grounded Mode, which brings with it a minimal HUD to obscure your current health and ammunition, more powerful enemies so Ellie and Abby can take fewer hits, and scarce resources so you won’t be able to craft as frequently.
But on top of that, there’s also a new Permadeath mode coming, which will wipe all your progress if you die. It’s worth pointing out that there are enemies in this game that can kill you in one hit, so if you have the patience for that, by all means be my guest. Should you die, you’ll also get a time card that breaks down the stats of how far you got into the game before you ultimate demise. If the idea sounds somewhat enticing to you, but also daunting, there will be settings to enable Permadeath with checkpoints for each of the game’s chapters. Meaning if you die during one chapter, you can start at the beginning of it instead of starting the whole game over.
Both new difficulty options will bring new trophies for completing the game with these settings, but they won’t be required to get the Platinum trophy, Sony clarified on the PlayStation Blog.
Beyond difficulty options, the new update will also bring in new gameplay modifiers like infinite crafting, slow motion play, and mirror mode. Alongside those will be new graphics modes, which allow you to mess with visual settings, like giving The Last of Us Part II a cel-shaded look or a pixelated one. Just some real, video game ass shit. Here’s the full list of modifiers being added, each of which will be available after you’ve completed the game once:
- Mirror World
- Mirror on Death
- Slow Motion
- Bullet Speed mode
- Infinite Ammo
- Infinite Crafting
- Infinite Melee Durability
- Infinite Listen mode Range
- One Shot
- Touch of Death
- 8-bit Audio
- 4-bit Audio
- Helium Audio
- Xenon Audio
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Across the board, new features are being added that will aid in making the game as easy or as difficult as you’d like. In general, The Last of Us Part II has already been pretty great at this in the base game, coming in with some new industry standard accessibility options, so more of those are always welcome. Here’s the list of new features that are coming with the Grounded Update:
- Saves now display playtime up to the second
- Film Grain Adjustment option
- Disable Listen Mode option
- Motion Sensor Function Aiming option
- Arc Throw HUD Display option
- Aiming Acceleration Scale option
- Aiming Ramp Power Scale option
- Accessibility improvements to Ground Zero encounter, collectible tracking, Enhanced Listen Mode for collectibles, and rope gameplay
The update will launch on Thursday, August 13.
While Naughty Dog is still supporting the game with updates, the studio has already said it has no plans to release story DLC like it did with the original game. That doesn’t necessarily preclude an Uncharted: Lost Legacy-style side game, but whatever may come likely won’t be attached to Ellie and Abby’s stories in the main game.