Why you should play The Last of Us Part 2 on Survivor difficulty

As you might expect The Last of Us Part II offers several difficulty tiers, catering to those who simply want to experience the story, those who was a genuine challenge, and everyone in between. There are five difficulty levels to choose from starting with Very Light and slowly ramping up to Survivor.

Some fans will notice that, unlike The Last of Us, Part II doesn’t offer a Grounded difficulty option at launch. This was added to original game as DLC while also being bundled into the PlayStation 4 remaster, stripping out vital UI elements, tripling enemy damage, and completely removing your listen ability. While it’s possible Naughty Dog may have something similar planned for Part II as part of an expansion or free update isn’t completely out of the question.

Why you should play The Last of Us Part 2 on Survivor difficulty

The thought of starting a new game on the highest difficulty option available is a pretty daunting notion though one we’d fully encourage for those wanting to play The Last of Us Part II. Even if the sequel’s unique brand of third person horror survival gameplay isn’t your bag, Survivor allows the combat system to flex its muscles to their fullest. Encounters go from tense of Hard difficulty to truly, nail-bitingly desperate.

With none of the game’s available trophies linked to completing Part II on a certain difficulty you can change it on the fly without losing your previous virtual silverware. So, we’d recommend whacking it on Survivor and seeing just how far you can get.

The sequel also offers a sixth “custom” difficulty and it’s pretty darn clever. This allows players to change the dial on individual gameplay elements and mechanics (from Very Light to Survivor), tailoring the game’s toughness in a way that is rarely ever seen in video games. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Player – adjusts the amount of damage taken from enemies and the frequency of mid-encounter dynamic checkpoints.

Enemies – adjusts firearm accuracy, aggression, and tactical thinking of enemies. Melee combos are more complex with certain enemy types gaining movement speed.

Allies – adjusts the effectiveness and killing power of companion characters.

Stealth – adjusts enemy perception and how hard they pursue the player once line of sight is broken.

Resources – adjusts quantity of ammo and supplies found as well as the durability of melee weapons and crafting yields.

So, if you’re brilliant at gunfights but suck at stealth you can modify the difficulty to your own playstyle. Similarly, if you want to save time or reduce the need to scavenge for crafting materials, you have the option right there without needing to also lower combat difficulty.

It’s a brilliant touch and, along with Part II’s enhanced suite of accessibility options, makes this AAA masterpiece surprisingly approachable.

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Senior Editor bursting with lukewarm takes and useless gaming trivia. May as well surgically attach my DualSense at this point.