The Last of Us Grounded DLC: for the truly hardcore

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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.

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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

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. You can read more of my words over at www.borngeek.co.za, or just follow me on all the social networks to get the true range of my sarcasm and wit.

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