The Last of Us New Difficulty Mode Explained; PS4 Release Still On Track For Summer 2014 [Update]

The Last of Us will get a new difficulty mode in the latest DLC, which will add new incentive to replay the game again. People might be wondering what’s new in this additional difficulty mode. According to Arne Meyer, Community Strategist at Naughty Dog, this new difficulty mode is “a step beyond” even the Survivor mode.

Replying to the comments on the official PS Blog, Arne Meyer explained this new difficulty mode.

Grounded Mode is an advanced difficulty mode for the single-player content. Imagine a step beyond even Survivor Mode.

Update: On official PS Blog, Naughty Dog have listed this difficulty as offering “Super aggressive AI” and they consider this mode for “toughest of the hardcore.”

Survivor mode was the hardest difficulty mode for The Last of Us. It disabled the ability to use the “Listen mode” for Joel. Button prompts also disappeared when we sneaked behind enemy, or when we had to use a QTE, we had to trust our instinct here. Not only that, ammo/supplies were scarce and enemies used to take double the amount of damage to take down, and did double the damage.

How exactly is the new “Grounded mode” beyond this difficulty settings, it is not yet known. Maybe along with the additions of Survival difficulty, the AI might also behave more intelligently, making it difficult for the players to fool them. In any case, this new mode is definitely welcome for most of the veterans of The Last of Us.


Arne Meyer also assured that The Last of Us Remastered won’t miss its Summer 2014 release, and most of the release dates by online retailers are just placeholders, when referring to the end of the year release date from these retailers.

Naughty Dog will also keep a close eye on the latest DLC and tweaks so the MP doesn’t become a run and gun type of mode, according to Meyer.

We’ll keep an eye on things and make adjustments if it doesn’t turn out balanced like we want or planned for it to be.

Are you excited for the upcoming DLC for The Last of Us? Let us know in the comments below.

Khurram Imtiaz

Editor-in-Chief at GearNuke. I am a hardcore Final Fantasy fan and lover of JRPGs. When I am not posting news, I can be seen sharing my thoughts over at Twitter.

You can follow me on Twitter and Google+

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  • Kamille

    is grounded mode really more difficult than survivor? Wow, I didn’t know that….

    • Russell Gorall

      Just wait for the PS Vita “Bankroll” difficulty, which is where you get the Remastered DLC along with Beta Axe-ess to the Remastered Director’s Cut of Uncharted Zombies.

  • benbenkr

    The idiocy that is Khurram Imtiaz and Gearnuke is just mind blowing.

  • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

    YES! I love a challenge! That Grounded Mode is gonna be grounded when I’m done with it.

  • Dave

    So, the new difficulty mode isn’t explained at all then. thanks

    • Arnold Stallone

      But that didn’t stop ads to pop up.

      • DarthDiggler

        Who in 2014 isn’t using an adblocker?

        • BalramRules

          Well said, I’ve got 8 different adblocking apps on my web browser right now, that’s how excessive I am, only one is needed to do the job, at most two, but fukkit, 8 is my kind of blockage.

        • Russell Gorall

          The site gets paid for hits, not whether or not the ads pop up.

          • Solid Snake

            you have to see the adds for them to get paid…….its not based on hits.

          • Russell Gorall

            Adds or ads? That isn’t how the sites get paid. They look at hits when their ads are set to pop up.

            If you think you are stopping ads from getting hits by blocking them is like saying a TV show won’t get commercial money because everyone DVR’s it.

    • Craig Martin

      Lol. Helpful article eh? Either way it’s welcome. I played through TLOU 8 times on ps3, a new difficulty will be welcome.

      • datdude

        I’m with you. I played through it about 5 times, and held off on any dlc hoping for the ps4 version. I’m pretty excited for this one.

        • Craig Martin

          I missed the dlc cuz of the 90% trade in bonus towards next gen, so I paid 300 for ps3 and sold it for 190. Sad to say I’m more excited for this release than anything next gen to date and until this release. Watch dogs a close second. Any bound by flame reviews? 50 is a bit harsh with only 1 sketchy youtube review

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