The Last of Us 2: these permadeath fails are painful to watch

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

The Last of Us 2 Grounded mode is officially out, and it gives players the option to enable Permadeath, which sends you back to the beginning of the game whenever you die. That means there's now a world where one misstep dancing with a clicker could erase 30 hours of gameplay progress.

Of course, competitive players know the risk going in - it's an immense challenge of the riskiest kind, and surely overcoming the odds feels amazing. But the failures are painful to watch, indeed. Our sincere sympathies go out to the following streamers - it takes courage to do what you did - but in the spirit of laughing away our pain, check out these agonizing The Last of Us 2 permadeath fails.

*Story spoilers for The Last of Us 2 below*

"Permadeath ruins me"

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Let this incredibly deflating permadeath fail serve as a cautionary tale: never rush through menus, and don't enable permadeath in The Last of Us 2. This viral moment shows @TajaeMoment over two hours into the game, suspended on a rope dozens of feet from the ground. 

He quickly pulls up settings and toggles down Film Grain, but when he backs out of the menu he hits circle one too many times, dropping Ellie from the rope to her very, very unfortunate death. His reaction afterward is a grim scene - you can see him cycle through the various stages of grief as he slowly accepts what'd just happened.


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Sometimes running away is a viable, even recommended method of dealing with infected, and you'd be surprised the sort of dire situations you can escape just by beelining for an exit. @wiltedbricks was not so lucky.

The streamer is sprinting from a clicker and they hit a dead end, so they turn around only to realize the clicker closed that gap hella fast. They probably know it's game over at this point, but in a desperate shot at living they crouch behind a bench, likely knowing full well that clicker's got its target locked, before pointing the barrel of their shotgun toward the beast just a moment too late. Not an ideal way to go, but at least they went out fighting.

"Killed by Fall"

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"Killed by Fall." That's how The Last of Us 2 memorialized poor ol' @Jamie96309798, who eventually slipped under persistent stress and froze midair over a 50-foot drop into concrete. Not a clicker, hunter, or bloater in site - just Dina strolling around on horseback in the background and the unforgiving laws of physics. This one's particularly hard to watch because it was such an eminently survivable situation, but alas, technology is not a cure for human fallibility.

Abby deserved better

Abby spends most of her adult life hunting down Joel, and for good reason - he killed her dad and prevented the world from ending the zombie apocalypse. Unfortunately, in the horrible timeline we witness above, Abby is savagely killed just before she gets the chance to exact her revenge. It doesn't help to hear the sighs of utter defeat from the streamer afterward, making this by far the saddest permadeath fail we've seen from a story perspective.

Trap mines are your friend

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Let's end on a positive note. You don't have to end up on an article like this one - it is possible to beat The Last of Us 2 with permadeath enabled. In fact, @JPRphotogamer8 has a very useful tip for doing so: trap mines. Obviously this isn't a cure-all because you're not always in a situation where it's possible to booby-trap entire locations. But in situations where you have some time to prepare for an fight, absolutely set trap mines near as many openings as you can to save ammo, and potentially your life.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.