The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered – Naughty Dog Explains How No Return Works

The roguelite mode will feature six boss encounters, four unique combat modes, upgradeable skill trees, and more.

Posted By | On 06th, Dec. 2023

the last of us part 2 remastered

In the lead-up to The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered’s launch, Naughty Dog has been revealing new details for its star attraction, No Return, the new roguelite mode. After recently having released a new trailer, the developer has now also revealed several new details in a fresh blog post.

Each run in No Return will put players in the middle of different combat encounters in locations from The Last of Us Part 2’s campaign, including Jackson, the Channel 13 News Station, and more (previous reports have suggested there will be 12 different locations in total), and in between each combat encounter, you will return to your Hideout, where, as Naughty Dog describes it, you will be able to “choose your next fight via a path laid out on a corkboard”.

Each combat encounter type will be chosen by players themselves, with four of them being available- Assault, which will task you with battling successive waves of enemies; Hunted, where you’ll have to survive against enemies and constant reinforcements while a timer counts down to zero; Capture, where you’ll have to make your way to a heavily guarded safe and loot all of its valuable supplies; and Holdout, where you and an AI companion will have to survive against hordes of Infected.

Different encounter types can be set in various different locations, and depending on which one you choose, other things will also be affected, like the rewards you unlock, the modifiers that are applied, and more. Speaking of which, players can also have choose to have randomized modded challenges applied to each encounter, which will affect the rewards received at the end.

Naughty Dog says mods will “test your skills in some fun and surprising ways”, from fog enveloping the entire map to enemies dropping pipe bombs upon death. Similarly, No Return will also feature optional dynamic challenges in the form of Gambits, like having dodge a certain number of melee attacks, or having to kill a certain number of enemies with headshots.

Speaking of enemies, at the end of every run, players will also encounter one of six available bosses, which, according to Naughty Dog, will be some of The Last of Us Part 2’s “most memorable foes, but not necessarily in the ways you first fought them”. In the recent No Return trailer, we saw Ellie taking on the infamous Rat King in a boss encounter. At the end of every run, you’ll also receive a cumulative score and a performance rank.

Meanwhile, Naughty Dog has also confirmed that players will be able to upgrade weapons and progress through skill trees during every run, though of course, this being a roguelite mode, your upgrades will reset at the end of each run. Which weapons are popping up as pickups will also vary from run to run. Meanwhile, where the mode’s metagame progression is concerned, players will be unlocking new skins, characters, Gambits, AI companies (aka Buddies), and more.

In total, the mode will feature 10 playable characters, of which only two – Ellie and Abby – will be unlocked from the get go. From there, completing different challenges will allow you to unlock the remaining eight, with different challenges being tied to both, specific characters and all of No Return as a whole.

Characters will, of course, also have unique traits and play styles. Dina, for instance, will have access to trap and stun bomb recipes right off the bat, and will also have an unlockable skill that will let her craft twice the amount of bombs compared to usual. Abby, meanwhile, will be more of a bruiser, with a melee upgrade recipe and the ability to heal with every melee hit.

No Return will also players play through custom runs, where you’ll be able to toggle various different factors on or off, while Daily Runs will be common for all players worldwide and will give everyone one shot at clearing the same set of randomly generated challenges with a specific character. Daily Runs will also have leaderboards where you’ll be able to see how you fare against other players in terms of your score and runtime.

Naughty Dog has also released some new screenshots for No Return. You can view them below.

The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered launches on January 19 for PS5.


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