The first major addition to The Last of Us Part II, the recent sequel on the PlayStation 4, from developer Naughty Dog, released today. As we noted when it was first announced, there is a slew of different odds and ends included as part of the Grounded Update, but most notably it includes the new Grounded difficulty as well as a Permadeath mode alongside trophies for both.
"For veteran The Last of Us fans, Grounded difficulty represents the ultimate test of skill," the original announcement reads in part. "This difficulty raises the stakes by not only making enemies deadlier and ammo, upgrade, and crafting materials incredibly scarce, but also removing invaluable tools for survival, such as disabling Listen mode, deactivating elements of the HUD, and more. Beginning with the update, Grounded will become one of the base difficulty options available when starting the story, so you won't need to have beaten the game once already to access it."
Alongside the new content added to #TheLastofUsPartII with today's Grounded Update, we've also introduced a number of changes, fixes, and improvements to our accessibility features. Learn all about them here: https://t.co/uUrk4kfE1R pic.twitter.com/RYrRzlecdv— Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog) August 13, 2020
By default, the new Permadeath is exactly what it sounds like; rather than getting a second chance, the game is over if you die. That said, in the same vein as the various options provided for accessibility and so on, players can choose to instead have this be based on checkpoints, acts, or chapters. The new update also adds a bunch of graphical and gameplay modifiers as well as a few tweaks and fixes.
The Last of Us Part II is currently available on PlayStation 4. The new free update adding new modes and more is available now, and may already be downloaded depending on your PlayStation 4's settings. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the video game sequel right here.