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As a huge fan of Naughty Dog’s latest masterpiece, I have played through its single-player campaign five times. While it didn’t take nearly as long to complete in the Normal difficulty, it was worth the extra hours to play it in Survivor.

Survivor mode is challenging, but I feel that it’s the only way to get the full experience of The Last of Us. There’s no “Listen Mode,” supplies are extremely limited, and AI is extremely intelligent. It’s hard to get used to at first, but after a short while, it becomes really enjoyable.

I don’t enjoy playing most games on the hardest difficulty because, well, it’s just too frustrating. Too much rage quitting can’t be good for you. However, for some strange reason, I really enjoyed being challenged in The Last of Us. I guess because the whole goal of The Last of Us is to survive, playing on the hardest difficulty made it feel all that more real.

There were a few parts in Survivor mode that took me nearly an hour (if not more) to complete. I had to take breaks because I began to get really frustrated. The feeling you get when you complete that really hard part, though, makes it all the more worth it.

If you’re up to the challenge, I recommend playing The Last of Us on the Survivor difficulty the first time around. You’ll feel so great when you complete it, and you won’t have to bashfully say “…normal” when someone asks you what difficulty you played on.