“The Last Of Us” Snares a New Generation of Fans

Hector Rodriguez, Scribe Reporter

In The Last Of Us, there are winners and losers;  hunters and prey. The hit game series has received a multitude of awards such as best game of year award, best story, best performance and much more. On January 15th, a live-action adaptation show created by HBO premiered. Let’s see if it holds up to the beloved original, or if it falls short.

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HBO is a media giant and HBO Max is its streaming service where you will be able to watch the new adaptation of the series. HBO is renowned for creating award-winning programs like Euphoria, Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, Barry, Chernobyl and much more.

Set 20 years after a zombie-virus has devastated the world, Joel Miller, a grizzled veteran survivor is contracted to help move ‘contraband’ across the state. What starts off as an easy payday turns into utter trouble and danger as it turns out that the ‘contraband’ is a teenage girl named Ellie. She is immune to the virus. and so is wanted by the remaining government in order to run tests on her. Together, they fight “militia” and people infected with the zombie virus while praying that they survive. 

Joel Miller, originally played by Troy Baker, is now portrayed by Pedro Pascal–best known for his roles as Javier Peña in Narcos, Agent Whisky in The Kingsmen: The Golden Circle and the title character in the Disney+ hit, The Mandalorian. Ellie, originally played by Ashley Johnson, is now portrayed by Bella Ramsey who had her breakthrough role as Lyanna Mormont in Game Of Thrones. The original voice actors from the videogames are expected to show up in later cameos.

Watching the episode, it’s obvious that the showrunners really cared about their product. Craig Mazin (seen on the right), the producer of the show, worked alongside with Neil Druckmann (seen on the left), the producer of The Last Of Us game series. The show feels like a true adaptation of the game, but there are some minor differences between the game and the show.

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A difference that fans may not like is the year during which the initial outbreak is set. In the game, the outbreak  is set in 2013.  But in the show, the outbreak is set in 2003. This changes minor plot details like who’s in president during the outbreak, etc. The problem is, this impacts the soundtrack as the show plays older music and uses older technology. 

Despite being a die-hard fan of the game, I could care less about these changes; while watching the episode, I was intrigued, excited and even ecstatic. If you’re not familiar with the game, don’t worry… the show gives viewers everything they need to know; you don’t experience with the game at all. In the first scene, we get introduced to the infection and its apocalyptic aftermath. For the next 20 minutes of the 80 minute pilot, you get a chance to connect with several characters.

I’ll be honest, I felt so invested  in the characters that I was upset when seeing some of the deaths. I had to take a moment even though I already knew what was going to happen from the videogame. I won’t spoil the rest of the episode as you should watch it for yourself.

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Typically, movie or show adaptations of games are horrible and heartbreaking to watch. While I had high hopes for this episode, I now have higher hopes for the rest of the series . The first episode gets a 9.5/10 from me. I loved the soundtrack, the acting, the pacing, the action, and while the camera work could use some more work, I can’t wait to see more.

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