Challenge and Difficulty Menus (+ Gameplay Modifiers)
The Last of Us Part II has several different difficulty settings. These can both be set at a global level, making all experiences of the game either easier or more difficult, and also by adjusting specific gameplay elements. You can set the overall difficulty setting at the main menu, and this ranges from ‘Very Light’ to ‘Survivor‘.
Below are all of the global difficulty settings, with the in-game descriptions of them. Note that specific accessibility settings may also be automatically switched on within certain difficulty settings. These are shown when selected and can be altered by the player.
Very Light ‘Explore and experience the story with a lighter combat challenge. Camera and aim assistance settings are enabled by default.’ (Options offered after selecting: Lock-On Aim = On, Awareness Indicators = Stealth, Camera Assist = On and Auto Weapon Swap = On)
Light ‘Less challenging than Moderate. Resources are more common and enemies are less dangerous.”'(Options offered after selecting: Lock-On Aim = Off, Awareness Indicators = Off and Camera Assist = Off)
Moderate ‘Provides a balanced experience. Resources are limited.’ (Camera Assist = Off)
Hard ‘For those looking for a greater challenge. Resources are very limited and enemies are more dangerous.’
Survivor ‘An intense, demanding challenge. Resources are extremely scarce and enemies are deadly.’
Once you have started a game, like with all other settings, you can also adjust Difficulty settings at any point by pausing the game (Pause > Options > Difficulty). This gives access to a different menu, which allows you to access and create custom difficulty settings. For example, if you are happy with the combat being more difficult but wish that your allies were more or less helpful within combat, there is individual ‘Allies’ setting that you can adjust.
Challenge (Very Light / Light / Moderate / Hard / Survivor) – As above, these are the global settings for below options, which can be customised with the below options.
Player (Very Light / Light / Moderate / Hard / Survivor – correspond to levels between ‘Resilient’ (1) and ‘Vulnerable’ (5)). ‘Adjusts difficulty settings related to: Amount of damage the player takes from enemies. Frequency of mid-encounter dynamic checkpoints.’
Enemies (Very Light / Light / Moderate / Hard / Survivor – correspond to levels between ‘Passive’ (1) and ‘Aggressive’ (5)). “Adjusts difficulty settings related to: Accuracy of gunfire and frequency of projectiles. Aggression of enemies advancing and flanking. Complexity of enemy melee combos. Movement speed of certain high-threat enemies. Custom tuning to specific combat encounters.”
Allies (Very Light / Light / Moderate / Hard / Survivor – correspond to levels between ‘Aggressive’ (1) and ‘Passive’ (5)). “Adjusts difficulty settings related to: Aggressiveness of allies in combat. Frequency which allies kill enemies.”
Stealth (Very Light / Light / Moderate / Hard / Survivor – correspond to levels between ‘Unsuspecting’ (1) and ‘Vigilant’ (5)). “Adjusts difficulty settings related to: -Enemy’s perception through vision, hearing and smell. -Length of grace period before enemies will alert others. -Conditions for grabbing enemies from stealth.”
Resources (Very Light / Light / Moderate / Hard / Survivor – correspond to levels between ‘Common’ (1) and ‘Scarce’ (5)). “Adjust difficulty settings related to: Quantity of ammunition and supplies found in the world. Durability of melee weapons dropped by enemies. Yield of certain crafting recipes.”
*Update* The ‘Grounded Update’ released 13/08/20 added some Gameplay Modifiers (found in the ‘Extras’ menu in the main or pause menu) which are unlocked using XP and available once you have completed the story. We will look at the ones we feel are relevant to Motor Accessibility here.
Available only once the story has been completed, these modifiers, which ‘change the behaviour of the game’, can be individually unlocked by earning XP in-game. They can be found in the ‘Extras’ menu from the main menu or when the game is paused.
They include audio and visual modifiers, but the modifiers we are going to look at here are those that affect gameplay and are listed as ‘Cheats.’ They can be used to affect the ‘difficulty’ of the game in terms of changing the speed of the game, giving the player infinite equipment, or increasing the effectiveness of the players’ weapon shots or melee attacks.
Slow Motion (Off/On): When Slow Motion is turned ‘On’ here, unlike the option in the Combat Accessibility menu, the game speed is reduced at all times to 50% and doesn’t need activating in-game.
Bullet Speed Mode (Off/On): reduces game speed to 25%, but only whilst aiming (LT by default).
Infinite Ammo (Off/On): This ‘enables unlimited ammo’ when turned ‘On’.
Infinite Crafting (Off/On): This ‘enables infinite ingredients for crafting’ when turned ‘On’, so you can craft any item at any time.
Infinite Melee Durability (Off/On): When ‘On’ this ‘enables infinite weapon durability’ for your melee weapons so you can keep using them until you decide to swap them for another type.
Infinite Listen Mode Range (Off/On): This ‘enables infinite listen mode range’ when ‘On’ when using the ‘Listen Mode’ action (R1 by default), so you can see the position of enemies regardless of their distance from you.
One Shot (Off/On): With this mode ‘On’, ‘all player guns are one shot kills’ if you hit an enemy anywhere on their body.
Touch of Death (Off/On): As with One Shot mode above when using weapons, with this ‘On’ ‘all player melee attacks are one shot kills’ meaning a strike anywhere on an enemies body results in a kill.
Other options which can be customised to affect the personal level of difficulty and challenge for an individual, game can be found across the different menus in the game.
Click the page numbers at the bottom to navigate or use the headings below:
Intro/Contents (Page 1)
Motor Accessibility Preset (Page 2)
Controls Menu (Page 3)
Controls List (Page 4)
Alternate Controls Menu (Page 5)
Alternate Controls Menu Continued (Page 6)
Challenge and Difficulty Menus (Page 7)
Combat Accessibility Menu (Page 8)
Navigation and Traversal Menu (Page 9)