First massive ‘The Last of Us Part II’ update brings permadeath, 8-bit graphics, and more

Naughty Dog, in their most recent announcement, have introduced the new features coming to The Last of Us Part II  later this week. They include the return of Grounded mode and the introduction of Permadeath – which is exactly what it sounds like.

The Last of Us Part II was only released June this year, so this will be the game’s first update, and should be arriving August 13th. Alongside the new challenging modes, Naughty Dog is introducing new Trophies and graphic rendering modes, alongside unlockable gameplay modifiers and other new features.

The Last of Us II

The Last of Us Part II’s new Grounded update is introducing challenge modes, new rewards, and unlockable features. Naughty Dog has announced it will be released August 13.

The first aspect of the updated is Grounded, which will become a base difficulty option – no need to unlock it by completing the game first. The Grounded difficulty mode is a challenge mode that was available in the first game, and has returned to test the skills of The Last of Us Part II’s dedicated players.

The enemies will be deadlier, ammo, upgrade, and crafting materials will be very scarce, and to top it off, Listen Mode will be disabled alongside some HUD elements. Surviving is about to get a whole lot harder.

To make it even more difficult, if you so choose, players have the option of activating the new Permadeath mode, where there are no second chances. Once you lose your life, you’ll have to start all over again.

Unless you complete the entire game without dying, players will restart the game from the beginning. If this sounds a bit too stressful, don’t worry; players can choose to enable Permadeath mode with checkpoints per chapter or per act.

Now, this isn’t all for nothing, as the new update brings two new Trophies with it. If players complete the game with any Permadeath mode enabled, you’ll gain the ‘You Can’t Stop This’ Trophy, and the ‘Dig Two Graves’ Trophy if the game is completed in Grounded mode.

Aside from the difficulty modes, Naughty Dog’s update will bring 30 new graphic rendering modes including cel-shading and a retro 8-bit look. Players can also apply new audio modifiers to give the game a new feel.

There’s even going to be new unlockable gameplay modifiers accessible through the Extras menu such as:

  • 4-bit Audio
  • 8-bit Audio
  • Bullet Speed Mode
  • Helium Audio
  • Infinite Ammo
  • Infinite Crafting
  • Infinite Listen Mode Range
  • Infinite Melee Durability
  • Mirror on Death
  • Mirror World
  • One Shot
  • Slow Motion
  • Touch of Death
  • Xenon Audio

Players also have to option to disable Listen Mode, adjust Film Grain Levels, and choose additional display options, plus there are also new improvements to the game’s accessibility features. Naughty Dog even gave a shoutout to speedrunning players, announcing that they’ll be able to see their playtime down to the second in the saves menu.


Read our review of The Last of Us Part II here.