(Image via gamepur.com)
Photography Manager: Brendan Flaherty
Television adaptations of video games are increasing in popularity, and HBO has recently added to the growing genre with its new series, The Last of Us. This faithful adaptation of the Playstation game is a brilliant must-see.
Whether you’re a fan of the video game or just a fan of action-adventure shows, this show will not disappoint you.
Fans of the game can rest assured that the series stays true to the source material, as it accurately depicts the original characters, environments, and story. Although there are slight cosmetic changes, like the depiction of Joel’s daughter, the story has largely stayed the same. Any divergence from the games themselves work to build and expand upon plot points and character development rather than changing them altogether.
While there are only two episodes so far, they do not disappoint. They have just the right amount of action, suspense, and character development.
Pedro Pascal was chosen for the role of Joel. He is also known for his roles in The Mandalorian and Narcos. He is a truly talented actor and the right choice for the role of the caring yet strong and skilled adult figure.
Young British actor Bella Ramsey is just the right accompaniment to Pedro Pascal. She plays the role of his new daughter figure named Ellie. She maintains the same energy as Ellie from the game with many witty comments and a fun nature about herself at all times.
As for the show itself, there are endless amounts of breathtaking moments where the show takes you out of your own world and transports you into this post-apocalyptic universe. With stunning visuals and a realistic atmosphere, you’ll feel like you’re experiencing the scenery at the same pace as the characters.
There have only been two episodes released to date, with more to be released every Sunday. So, what exactly has the show done differently, and what have they kept the same so far?
Thankfully, there is not much difference between the two. Rather than changing plot points and game mechanics for seemingly no reason, as other adaptations have done in the past, The Last of Us builds upon its world and characters, drawing out scenes and giving the narrative room to grow under the supervision of its original creators.
At the beginning of the show, there is more exposition about the virus, how it started, and life preceding the outbreak than was offered in the game.
The show starts with a TV segment on how an evolved fungal infection would mean death for the entire world. They also show viewers how the virus really started and what precautions people took in order to try and stop the spread.
One scene in the show that is not included in the game is of a doctor in Indonesia who examines one of the first people to be infected. After determining the extreme danger of the infection, she advises a military general to begin bombing the population, as she believes it is the only way to stop the virus.
Despite the accuracy and attention to detail, the show cannot behave exactly like a video game. Game mechanics such as looting, crafting, and parkour were simplified to better translate to television. The idea of “infectious spores” was scraped altogether and replaced with fungi tendrils for scientific accuracy.
Although there are not as many violence and action sequences as there are in the game, the show still accomplishes its task of following the story accurately.
A few other noteworthy things that I noticed between the game and the show are the way certain scenes play out.
At the beginning of the game, Joel seeks revenge against Robert, a fellow smuggler, with the help of Tess. They hunt down Robert and his gang of thugs, and the player is tasked with taking them all out. In the show, however, Joel and Tess find that Robert and his goons are already dead at the hands of the fireflies.
This effectively cuts out large portions of action sequences that were included in the original gameplay.
Another example is that in the game after they reach the Capitol to find everyone dead, the player is assaulted by a large force of troops that they must fend off. But in the show, after Joel shoots an infected, an infected stampede occurs, forcing the already-bitten Tess to use her last moments to provide Joel and Ellie with a much-needed headstart.
There were other simple changes, such as when they traveled through the streets, it was bright and sunny, but in the game, it was dark and raining.
These slight differences aside, the show is amazing at recreating the visuals and the dialogue that players experience within the game.
At some points in the show, the actors even repeat lines word for word from the game.
The scene where Joel Tess and Ellie first see the capitol building in the distance is almost completely identical to the cutscene in the game.
Overall, this show has demonstrated how staying true to the source material is essential to creating a faithful and enjoyable adaptation.
For the most part, fans are loving this show, and I personally cannot wait for the next episode to be released.
With 7 episodes left and about 14 hours of game story to cover, I, along with many excited fans, are curious and excited to see what the show has to offer.