The Last of Us Part II’s new Grounded difficulty and Permadeath mode are available Thursday, Aug. 13 to players as part of a free update, alongside other options and improvements.
As teased by a pair of trophies added to the game yesterday, players can now earn two new rewards: one for beating TLoU II with Permadeath enabled, and another for beating the game on Grounded difficulty. These two trophies will not be necessary to earn the Platinum, however.
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Grounded is a returning hardest difficulty mode, featured in the original The Last of Us as well. That version of Grounded stripped away several key elements for players, severely reduced resource availability, and made foes all the more difficult to defeat. Meanwhile Permadeath can seemingly be enabled on any difficulty, and as the screenshot below shows, TLoU II will keep track of what killed you, what difficulty you played on, what aspect of the game you were tackling, and how long and to where you lasted.
Additionally, Naughty Dog has added a host of graphics, audio, and gameplay modifiers that can now be included in your playthrough. (Check out some in the gallery above.) These elements include:
- Mirror World
- Mirror on Death
- Slow Motion
- Bullet Speed Mode
- Infinite Ammo
- Infinite Crafting
- Infinite Melee Durability
- Infinite Listen Mode Durability
- Infinite Listen Mode Range
- One Shot
- Touch of Death
- 8-bit Audio
- 4-bit Audio
- Helium Audio
- Xenon Audio
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Additionally, more options have been added to the game, including some specific to visual and HUD elements, plus more:
- 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 and rope gameplay
- Additional accessibility improvements
The Last of Us Part 2 debuted earlier this year to huge sales success, and our Last of Us 2 review praised it as “a masterpiece worthy of its predecessor.”
For more on the sequel, watch our interview with Neil Druckmann and Halley Gross above about how The Last of Us Part 2 grew and changed during development, and hear more from Gross and Josh Scherr about the unexpected ways in which The Last of Us 2 tells its story.[poilib element=”accentDivider”]
Jonathon Dornbush is IGN’s Senior News Editor and host of Podcast Beyond! Talk to him on Twitter @jmdornbush.