Yes, The Last of Us 2 enemies can hear you reload on Grounded difficulty

Beware how brazenly you proceed when making your way through The Last of Us 2’s Grounded difficulty mode – the enemies can hear you reloading. 

Eagle-eyed Redditor u/DEMONITIZEDZ (opens in new tab)discovered a few enemies with sharp hearing in a short clip featuring Ellie hiding behind a wall. As she reloads her gun, one enemy perks up immediately: “What was that?” It’s obvious they could hear everything going on, which would normally not be a good omen. 

Luckily, this player was quick enough to move to the right and swiftly take out one of the the enemies about to make their way over to Ellie. Except they missed the shot they took, which probably doesn’t bode well for players on that difficulty mode. 

This appears to be yet another part of Grounded mode, which makes the already-tough game ridiculously difficult. It first appeared in the original The Last of Us, and represents “the ultimate test of skill,” according to Naughty Dog (opens in new tab). The mode makes enemies deadlier in addition to keeping ammo, upgrade, and crafting materials scarce. That’s all on top of removing Listen mode, elements of the HUD, and more. 

If that option isn’t enough for you, there’s also Permadeath mode, which really ups the stakes. It’s hellish to be unable to safely reload around enemies, but Permadeath mode also means you must complete the entire game without dying or be forced to start over from the beginning. You can choose to play with checkpoints, but it’s still an incredibly austere mode that only the best players will want to pursue.

The Last of Us 2 keeps on giving, even after its release in summer 2020. It looks like there’s still plenty to discover, nearly two years after its debut, which is a testament to the game’s dev team.

Be sure to check out our full The Last of Us Part 2 review

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