The Last of Us Part 2 released a free update to the game, updated graphics, and added in the Grounded mode and a Permadeath setting. In short, Grounded mode eliminates the HUD, makes crafting items and ammo scarce, removes the Listen mode, and triples enemy damage. You would have to hate yourself to attempt The Last of Us Part 2 Permadeath setting on top of Grounded mode.
Permadeath is self-explanatory: if you die once, you start from the beginning. This is some Nintendo difficulty type stuff Naughty Dog is pulling out. If you’re crazy enough to attempt to get the new trophies offered, here’s a list of the places that are most likely to ruin your The Last of Us Part 2 Permadeath run.
Warning: spoilers ahead!
— Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog) August 13, 2020
Love her or hate her, this is our first glimpse of Abby. Chapter 5, The Horde, gave players their first taste of serious combat as Ally has to fight off and escape a horde of infected. Luckily this early chapter enlists the help of Joel (RIP) and Tommy.
If your The Last of Us Part 2 Permadeath playthrough ended here, at least it wouldn’t take long to catch back up on your progress. That said, if you did die here, maybe the setting just isn’t for you. Also the Gondola was beyond frustrating to deal with while getting swarmed by some sickly fellows.
Chapter 13, The Tunnels, is definitely one of the spookier settings in The Last of Us Part 2, even without Permadeath. The red hue along with the flashlight lit rooms brings tension into the mix as it’s a mostly Infected setting. The Tunnels can be unforgiving with the volume of enemies, so players have to be aware of their surroundings in case they get swarmed in this very claustrophobic part of the game.
This is also the first appearance of a new enemy called a Shambler. These spore-exploding bad guys can suicide rush you, or throw spores at a distance, possibly sending you back to the beginning of the game. They’re absolute units to boot. Make sure to keep a reasonable distance and play it smart-like.
Three chapters later in Chapter 16, Hillcrest is one of the less memorable sections of the game. The issue here is the dogs. Make sure they don’t catch your scent; otherwise you’ll have a swarm of WLF soldiers shooting at you. There’s also a pretty cool car scene with Jesse, but that shouldn’t be an issue.
Scars are tactical, stealthy, cunning, and numerous. These religious fanatics are equipped with bows and melee weapons, using whistling as a means to communicate with each other. This chapter is a major point where the player might have to call it game. Even on a lower difficulty, it takes a few goes to understand your sneaky enemies’ movement patterns while keeping a keen eye.
The Flooded City
Ripping around on a boat was a feature that was both a lot of fun and also sort of annoying. It has minimal risk to your Permadeath run, but I felt the need to highlight how seriously sort of annoying it can get.
Grievances aside, Chapter 21, The Flooded City, has one of the appearances of the Bloater. If Ellie takes one wrong step, gets swarmed by too many regular infected, or runs out of ammo, you might be screwed. The arcade might have been too much fun for the developers.
Skip ahead to Chapter 30, and you’ll find yourself hanging upside down as Abby in The Forest. Lev and Yara come to Abby’s rescue, but it turns out that they need each other to escape the swarm of Stalkers. These nasty infected are agile and can dodge some melee attacks. This whole sequence is teeth-clenching, as they seem to never stop charging at Abby.
Once you’re done with the infected, you have to deal with the lady I’d like to call Bertha. She’s a Seraphite Brute that swings a giant pickaxe, and you have to fight her with only your hands. She isn’t too bad to deal with since it’s all pattern based, but if she connects, you’ll be in a world of hurt.
The Forest is also the beginning of the most challenging and frightening portion of The Last of Us Part 2; save all your luck to keep your Permadeath game going in this section of the game.
Whoever decided to put Stalkers in the wall needs to just stop. It was unfair and they’re always freaky on the first playthrough. The Descent is the hotel Chapter following Abby and Lev’s fall off the crane. It’s infested with infected, and Abby has to watch where she is going, otherwise she’ll get jumped when she least suspects it.
The likelihood of dying here might be low, but the scare factor is up. Also if Abby takes too much damage her, it could handicap her for the next chapter.
The hospital might be the peak of the game difficulty-wise. If you can get through this chapter, you should be able to finish the Permadeath playthrough. Ground Zero is where the infection started for the area, and festered to the point of birthing a Rat King.
The biggest boss in the game is able to one-hit Abby on even the easiest playthrough. There’s little margin for error in this fight, and it requires Abby to be well stocked prior to it so that she can do enough damage to the beefy Rat King. While this boss fight is the highlight of Abby’s section, don’t take the rest of the hospital lightly, as it’s difficult to navigate through with an abundance of infected roaming the halls.
Ellie is the complete package. This multi-tiered boss fight is another one-shot away from sending you back to the beginning. Managing to complete 40 chapters, defeating the Rat King, watching Joel die… only to get nuked by Ellie doing her best Rambo impression. If you’re one of those weak folks still mad at Abby for brutally murdering everyone’s favorite surrogate dad, this might be a cathartic way to rewrite history in TLOU2 for a moment.
Pushing Inland (Santa Barbara)
It’s near the end of the game and you are still likely to die in this unforgiving section of the game. Santa Barbara is a bizarre epilogue that looks to set up what should be a trilogy for The Last of Us Part 2. With the works of infected all chilling in one area, it would be easy to get picked off playing Ellie, as she tracks the whereabouts of Abby searching for the Fireflies.
There isn’t too much to elaborate on, other than there being a shocking amount of infected for such an unsuspecting place. Stalkers straight up suck, and there’s a decent amount of Shamblers lurking in the houses.
The Resort is the end of the game. Here you will face off against the Rattlers, a biker gang that really understands the concept of safety first. Bullet-proof vests add that extra bit of protection from Ellie insta-killing them from a distance.
The Resort is definitely not a walk in the park. This The Last of Us Part 2 section requires a unique blend of stealth, resourcefulness, and combat savvy to make it through in one piece, Permadeath or not.