HBO’s adaption of the beloved video game, “The Last of Us,” is a testament to its faith in the original writing. Staying true to the script set by its source material, HBO has undoubtedly not made an incorrect decision; The TV show itself speaks for that assurance.
Naughty Dog’s 2013 PlayStation 3 title, “The Last of Us,” drew exceptional attention for its revolutionary depiction of what a video game could be. Players were offered the chance to experience the gripping story through Joel and Ellie’s perspective; Joel as a father who has experienced immeasurable heartache before being forced into becoming a black market smuggler at the commencement of an apocalypse and Ellie as an orphaned teen born after humanity was assailed by zombies. This Sunday — a full decade since the game first launched — both PlayStation veterans and new viewers will be thrilled to find fresh faces in those roles: Pedro Pascal as Joel and Bella Ramsey playing the part of Ellie.
Instead of being painted as the archetypal undead, the zombies in “The Last of Us” are corrupted by an amplified Cordyceps fungus that takes control over the brain function of insects. In this instance, it infects humans and empowers them with maniacal tendencies that can’t be restrained or prevented. There’s no vaccine available against it either.
“The Last of Us” was developed with a television show structure, making it an ideal candidate for adaptation by HBO. The TV series has done justice to the original work, bringing even more depth and insight into several characters’ lives. Two notable inclusions are Sam and Henry’s stories; the two brothers were already key figures from the game but their motivations have been explored further by giving them greater screen time on HBO’s rendition. This fleshed-out narrative allows us to understand exactly why they joined Joel and Ellie throughout their adventure, a journey that is now made all the more memorable thanks to this additional context provided.
Craig Mazin, showrunner for HBO’s “The Last of Us” and Neil Druckmann, co-president at Naughty Dog Studios have crafted a faithful adaptation that has been highly praised by fans. The game is already beloved; having won numerous awards in the gaming world as well as gaining an extensive audience of players. Consequently, it comes as no surprise that their translation to television has resonated so deeply with viewers due to its incredibly accurate recreation in look, sound, and atmosphere.