Home Gaming The Last of Us Grounded DLC: for the truly hardcore

The Last of Us Grounded DLC: for the truly hardcore

2 min read

I believe most of you know that I enjoyed The Last of Us last year. It was a fantastic game that took me on an incredibly emotional journey. It was one of the top games of the year, getting tons of awards. But now it has a new DLC to make it harder. Does that mean it’s better?

I played The Last of Us on normal for my first play through. This meant that I had the awesome ability to hear through walls to determine enemy locations, had a reasonable amount of ammo available and decent survivability. It was still a challenging game at times, and I heard people rave about how much better it was on hard. Of course, Grounded difficulty takes the game to a whole new level.

First of all, say goodbye to all your HUD elements. Wondering how long that bat will last before breaking or how much health Joel still has left? Too bad for you! Without the ease of seeing these things, the game becomes exponentially more difficult. Add to that the fact that enemies dish out twice the damage while Joel has half the resistance/health, and you end up with a game changing difficulty.

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Unfortunately, I don’t believe the game is changed for the better. Perhaps for some players who have already beaten the game on all the hardest difficulties, the Grounded DLC will offer a new challenge. However, it takes away from one of the aspects of the game that I enjoyed the most – the ability to play it however you like. With damage ramped up like this, it’s hard enough for Joel to take on opponents in a fist fight – forget about gun fights. This means that you’ll have to go the stealthy route every time, sneaking up behind your enemies to take them out. With checkpoints often spread out during fights, one wrong move can mean losing 15 minutes of careful planning and execution.

The Season Pass doesn’t include this DLC, so if you want to play the new multiplayer maps or this new difficulty for single player, you’re going to have to do so at an extra expense Sorry guys, got some bad info – the Season Pass does include this DLC. The map packs are $10 while the new difficulty is $5. It might give you some extra gameplay, and if you manage to beat the game on this difficulty you seriously deserve some major bragging rights. However, it might also induce some Dark Souls-esque rage quitting after dying over and over again from a single punch.

Without the game being built around giving a sense of reward after battle, like Dark Souls, I think only the most hardcore players will manage to push through playing the game on this new, ridiculous difficulty. The Grounded DLC pack will also be included in the PS4 version of the game, so if you’re a massive fan and plan on playing the game on the new console, you could also just wait and pick up that version.

Last Updated: May 26, 2014


  1. Umar_Zero

    May 26, 2014 at 15:36

    I played mostly stealth throughout the game…..I still however, do not like paying money for a difficulty setting….


    • Hammersteyn

      May 26, 2014 at 15:42

      Same here, but I can still drop a clicker faster than fourth period Accounting.


      • Sentient_Slug

        May 26, 2014 at 16:52

        hahahahahah champ!!


  2. Hammersteyn

    May 26, 2014 at 15:44

    So sad that they sully one of the greatest games with DLC


  3. Sk3tz0

    May 26, 2014 at 15:45

    If i wanted to play a stealth game I’ll Buy Metal Gear Solid games.


  4. Alien Emperor Trevor

    May 26, 2014 at 15:45

    I hate it when a game’s higher difficulties are a crappy damage buff or nerf. Looking at you Borderlands 2. UVHM my ass.


    • Sk3tz0

      May 26, 2014 at 15:46

      Agree.. They should of left the damage as is.. and just taken away the HUD and Other stuff like listening through walls.. less ammo and such things..


  5. Tomahawk "Lightning" Jones

    May 26, 2014 at 15:47

    Uhm, I patched the game and Grounded was there for free? I’m a SA (European?) account, so maybe it’s just AMERICA! PHUCK YEAH!


    • VergilPrime

      May 26, 2014 at 23:16

      I got it too ๐Ÿ˜ก


  6. RinceofFuturePast

    May 26, 2014 at 15:48

    I really don’t get this whole ‘insane, grounded, ranger’ difficulty thing. People really buy this?


  7. MakeItLegal

    May 26, 2014 at 15:55

    Pay to play on a harder setting , what ubisoft rep ended up at naughty dog


    • RinceofFuturePast

      May 26, 2014 at 15:57



  8. RinceofFuturePast

    May 26, 2014 at 15:58

    If i wanted the game harder, I’d play with one eye closed while balancing kitchen knifes on my head.


    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      May 26, 2014 at 15:59

      Why would that give you an erection? O_o


      • RinceofFuturePast

        May 26, 2014 at 16:00

        Erm… I said game, not Game ๐Ÿ˜‰


        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          May 26, 2014 at 16:02

          Don’t care. Laugh puppet.


  9. mikey2004

    May 26, 2014 at 18:40

    The DLC was part of the season pass, well it was for me in Europe


  10. Bob bobbington

    May 26, 2014 at 22:58

    I think it was well worth it and a ton of fum. I think it improved the game, bout time somebody turned off the hud


  11. VergilPrime

    May 26, 2014 at 23:15

    I got it with the season pass ๐Ÿ˜ก


  12. Gary Eller

    May 27, 2014 at 01:49

    This IS a part of the season pass….you’re an idiot, and not very good at games if you thought it was hard on normal at any point


  13. David Gowers

    May 27, 2014 at 04:34

    Not included in the Season Pass? Bullshit! I bought the Season Pass and got every single piece of DLC free…


  14. David Gowers

    May 27, 2014 at 04:34

    Not included in the Season Pass? Bullshit! I bought the Season Pass and got every single piece of DLC free…


  15. Zubayr Bhyat

    May 27, 2014 at 08:30

    The Last of Us: Dark Souls edition? ๐Ÿ˜›


  16. reon

    May 27, 2014 at 10:07

    Hey um need help play the university level and get half way through it and half the map doesn’t spawn nothing I do fixes it


  17. Alex840

    May 27, 2014 at 14:38

    Grounded mode IS included in the season pass actually.


  18. Brenz

    May 27, 2014 at 15:51

    Played on hard my first time, normal was a joke it was so easy. at least hard got challenging at times. That said I will NEVER pay for a fucking difficulty level, what a joke, they can fuck off, greedy cunts.


  19. Ken Blum

    May 28, 2014 at 06:12

    Fail. This DLC is included with the Season Pass. I did not pay for it. My psn download list is the proof I got it legitimately.


  20. dirk

    June 12, 2014 at 15:57

    having played the game on hard and very hard difficulty settings with great pleasure, I am currently greatly enjoying the grounded difficulty as well. It makes me rediscover the game in places that I raced through last times. True, you cannot start shooting like a madman like in the easier versions, but this greatly adds to me experiencing on of the best games I played in a long time once again. Highly recommended if you enjoyed it the first time if you asked me.


  21. Luke Passantino

    August 7, 2014 at 09:27

    Coming to this discussion late but honestly felt compelled to reply.
    The Grounded mode is difficult no doubt about it, I have finished it and now midway thru second play thru on plus mode. I can’t take the author very seriously here though cause from reading the article it seems that the previous time(only time?) she played was on normal.
    Personally I feel that survivor is the best difficulty for experiencing this game, it gives a more tense feeling and rewarding sense of accomplishment than easier settings and more properly immerses you in this post pandemic world. Grounded is for the masochist completionists like me that have to go the extra step. The author of this article seems to want a breezy experience where she is free to act like Rambo and be a bullet sponge. Absolutely fine, but maybe attempt a hard play thru and see how it compares and how your skill set develops before jumping from normal to grounded and then bemoan the experience as horrible because the difficulty spike is obviously very jarring.


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