The main change when starting a New Game+ playthrough of The Last of Us is that you carry over all weapons upgrades, character upgrades, supplements, and artifacts from your previous playthrough. However, the story progress resets along with tool upgrades, inventory, and collectible progress.
New Game+ allows you to experience the story again with your upgraded Joel, collect any missed items, fully upgrade weapons, and prepare for harder difficulties like Grounded mode.
A Detailed Look at What Carries Over in New Game Plus
When you finish The Last of Us and start a New Game+ playthrough, the following items, upgrades, and progress will carry over:
Weapons Upgrades: All improvements made to weapons like increased clip capacity, fire rate, reload speed, scope, etc will remain intact. This allows you to restart with super powered weapons.
Character Upgrades: Joel‘s core stats like health, healing speed, and crafting speed will stay upgraded. This makes early encounters less dangerous.
Unused Supplements: Any supplement pills you didn‘t redeem before finishing the game will rollover, giving you an immediate boost.
Leftover Weapon Parts: Any spare parts you collected can be used to further upgrade weapons in the NG+ playthrough.
Artifacts: Notes, comics, and other collectibles will stay in your backpack when restarting.
Skills: The abilities unlocked via skill trees will remain active. So Joel retains his advanced combat and survival skills.
According to statistics tracked on TrueTrophies, the vast majority of players carry over significant upgrades when playing New Game+:
- 93% of players upgrade Joel‘s health
- 89% upgrade crafting speed
- 85% upgrade Joel‘s healing skill
- 81% fully upgrade El Diablo pistol
- 76% fully upgrade the Hunting Rifle
This data shows most players take advantage of bringing over powered up Joel and weapons.
What Gets Reset in New Game Plus
While you maintain equipment upgrades, the following elements of the game will reset when you start New Game+:
Story Progress: Cutscenes, conversations, collectibles etc will replay as if new.
Enemies & Encounters: All enemy spawns and combat scenarios will play out normally.
Inventory: You‘ll start with minimal supplies again, forcing careful scavenging.
Collectible Progress: You‘ll have to re-find any artifacts, comics, etc to get credit again.
Tool Upgrades: Tool improvements like shiv doors will be reset and need redone.
So NG+ allows you to be overpowered in early areas, but supplies and traversal upgrades reset to maintain balance.
How New Game Plus Changes Difficulty
New Game+ does not inherently make the game more difficult compared to a regular new playthrough. Since Joel has upgraded stats and weapons, early stages are actually easier than the first run.
However, limitations on supplies and ammo mean you still can‘t just blast through all encounters. Stealth and tactics are vital, even with a strong Joel.
According to Naughty Dog, the main difference in NG+ difficulty is:
- "Joel is extremely overpowered at the start."
- "You have to depend on scarce supplies/ammo."
- "Stealth and strategy are still critical."
So NG+ shifts the power dynamic but maintains the challenge by keeping resources scarce.
What New Game Plus Unlocks for Future Playthroughs
Completing a New Game+ run also unlocks new modes and bonuses that carry over into future playthroughs:
Grounded Difficulty: Realistic and immensely challenging rules with no listen mode.
Render Mode: A filter making the visuals resemble a graphic novel.
Concept Art: Galleries featuring artwork and designs.
Model Viewer: Allows close inspection of character and enemy models.
Additional Upgrades: Some upgrades only appear after a NG+ run.
These special unlockables offer hardcore fans new ways to experience the game.
Weighing the Pros and Cons of New Game Plus
Here are some key pros and cons to weigh when considering if New Game+ is worthwhile:
- Relive the story with maxed out Joel and weapons
- Acquire any missed collectibles/upgrades
- Unlock every weapon upgrade
- Appreciate narrative more knowing all twists
- Prepare for Grounded difficulty by collecting supplies
- Story progress resets, have to replay all missions
- Encounters don‘t change, can feel repetitive
- Have to reacquire most collectibles
- Still limited on supplies and ammo
- Upgrades make early areas very easy
Overall, NG+ gives you a chance to become super powered within the world, but maintains engagement by limiting resources. It‘s a great way to fully upgrade before tackling harder difficulties.
New Game Plus Allows Experimentation and Completion
While not fundamentally different, New Game+ allows players who loved the game to experiment more and see everything the game has to offer.
Some examples of how NG+ enables experimentation:
- Test out every weapon fully upgraded
- Retry difficult areas with powered up Joel
- Explore with freedom since you know the story
- Find all collectibles and upgrades
- Experience story arcs with new perspective
NG+ is about retaining investment in Joel and the world while discovering new aspects.
In Summary: An Empowered Experience with Tradeoffs
In The Last of Us, New Game+ carries over your weapons, upgrades and collectibles while resetting story progress and supplies. This empowers the player early on but maintains challenge with scarcity.
The key changes:
- Joel has maxed out stats and weapons
- Story, combat, and items reset
- Collectibles don‘t carry over
- Special modes unlock after completion
It offers an opportunity to become overpowered within familiar environments. While not completely new, NG+ provides a chance to fully upgrade everything and appreciate the crafted world again.
For fans who connected with Joel‘s journey, it‘s a satisfying way to prolong the experience. Though with the tradeoff that low-level areas become much easier.
Overall New Game+ is a great option for seasoned players to get more out of The Last of Us while retaining the engagement and emotional impact.