The Last of Us Part 2 - Dying World

Naughty Dog, the studio behind the hit game The Last of Us Part II, released a statement that revealed a few new features coming in an update for their narrative-based survival game. The update is due to land on August 13.

The biggest change is the new Grounded difficulty mode. Intended to add more realism by further upping the difficulty of enemies — as well as reducing the amount of available ammo, upgrades, and crafting materials — this new game mode also removes elements of the HUD and disables some of the more generous player tools like the Listening Mode. Not a game+ mode, Grounded can be selected from the outset of any new game save file. Grounded also comes with two new PSN Trophies to add to one’s digital collection.

And as if that weren’t enough punishment for gaming gluttons, the update also adds a permadeath setting. This one sounds especially grueling, as one death can end the game completely if you decide to use this setting. Although, there is a slightly more forgiving option to set permadeath per chapter or per act, which would save your progress for the more broader sub-sections of the game. This still sounds pretty brutal to me.

The update will also allow players to change the visual filter of the game, adding cel-shaded, sepia, black and white, and pixelated options. This is a novel addition that sounds cool to at least try. I usually don’t prefer to play games with added or adjusted filters, but they can be interesting if for no other reason than to see what a game could have looked like had it released in a different era.

The Last of Us Part II Pixels

Some of the new unlockable gameplay modifiers sound a bit more interesting to me, including things like one-hit kills, infinite ammo, and infinite crafting. These hearken back to gameplay twists of yore and are much more tempting to me — this is definitely more my cuppa than an uber hard mode is.

The list of modifiers includes:

  • Mirror World
  • Mirror on Death
  • Slow Motion
  • Bullet Speed
  • Infinite Ammo
  • Infinite Crafting
  • Infinite Melee Durability (hell yes)
  • Infinite Listening Mode Range
  • One Shot
  • Touch of Death
  • 8-bit Audio
  • 4-bit Audio
  • Helium Audio
  • Xenon Audio
  • Saves now display playtime up to the second (something all games should just include normally)
  • Film Grain Adjustment option
  • Disable Listen Mode option
  • Motion Sensor Function Aiming option
  • Arc Throw HUD Display option
  • Accessibility improvements to Ground Zero encounter, collectible tracking, Enhanced Listen Mode for collectibles, and rope gameplay

You will need to first complete the game on any difficulty to unlock these features.

This sounds like a pretty robust update. Its maybe not enough to get me back into the game, per se, but if I ever do get the urge to revisit the game, there will at least be more ways to play than before. And that sounds alright to me.

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