The Last of Us Part II Remastered will bring fresh new content to the game that is more than just improved graphics. Naughty Dog is throwing in a brand new roguelike survival mode. The mode is called No Return, and it looks like it will be a huge selling point for the game.
As mentioned in a PlayStation post, No Return throws you into randomized encounters pulled from familiar Last of Us Part II locations like Jackson and the Channel 13 News Station. These encounters will be twisted and spontaneous, with unique gameplay modifiers to keep you on your toes. In this mode, death is permanent, so losing means starting from scratch with a fresh set of randomized scenarios.
You’ll have some control over your path, so there’s some freedom of choice. You’ll choose between different encounters, influencing the type of gameplay you’ll face, the rewards you unlock, and even the potential modifiers you’ll encounter. Between each fight, you’ll rest and prep in a Hideout, plotting your next move on a corkboard.
And if you make it to the end of a run, you’ll face one of six boss encounters, each a remixed version of Part II’s most memorable foes. Like most roguelikes, all runs will be different, thanks to the randomized challenges and modifiers.
These challenges come in four versions:
- Assault (waves of enemies)
- Capture (loot guarded by enemies)
- Holdout (defending against Infected hordes)
- Hunted (surviving against endless enemy reinforcements)
Each type can take place in any location, and random Mods can be added to spice things up even further. One example given was enemies exploding into pipe bombs or a thick fog rolling in during a tense encounter.
You can also make things more challenging with Gambits, which are optional dynamic challenges that offer bonus rewards if you can pull them off. These might involve landing headshots or dodging melee attacks, adding another layer of strategy to your encounters. If you like competition, a Daily Run mode pits you against the world in the same randomized challenge.
You’ll start with Ellie and Abby, but you can unlock and play as other characters like Dina, Joel, and even newcomers to the franchise. Each character has unique traits and playstyles, adding even more variety to your runs. You’ll also unlock new skins, gameplay modifiers, and even AI buddies to help you out.
You’ll earn upgradeable weapons and skills, but these reset after each run. So, you’ll have to decide which upgrades to prioritize and adapt to the weapons you find. Some unlockables carry over between runs to give a sense of progression but not much is mentioned about that.
This feels like a game within a game and will undoubtedly make many people want to buy the game.