The Last of Us Part 2 Officially Announces First Major Update

Naughty Dog today officially announced a major addition to The Last of Us Part II, the Grounded Update. Trophies for the new free update surfaced online previously, but this is the confirmation that the video game sequel will, in fact, be receiving a new mode, difficulty, trophies, and more. Perhaps best of all? It is set to release this Thursday, August 13th.

"For veteran The Last of Us fans, Grounded difficulty represents the ultimate test of skill," the announcement of the update 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."

The new Permadeath Mode, on the other hand, is exactly what it sounds like: you only get the once chance. That said, the developers state that certain options can be enabled that instead punt players back to checkpoints or the like rather than starting all over from scratch. Also worth noting is the fact that while the new Trophies are for beating the game on Grounded difficulty or Permadeath Mode, neither is necessary to earn the game's Platinum Trophy.

The free update also includes a bunch of graphics and audio modifiers so that players can tweak how the video game looks and sounds. Want to play The Last of Us Part II like an 8-bit era game? Or as a cel-shaded game? That's something you can do beginning this week. A whole mess of new gameplay modifiers will also now be unlocked by completing the game, including the ability to enable one-hit kills, infinite ammo, and more.

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The Last of Us Part II is currently available on PlayStation 4. As noted above, the new free update adding new modes and more will be available beginning this Thursday, August 13th. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the video game sequel right here.

What do you think of the new update? Are you ready to return to The Last of Us Part II? Let us know in the comments, or hit me up directly on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk all things gaming!