Video game Adaptation of ‘The Last of Us’ premiers on HBO


Noah Simon, Staff Writer

The new HBO series ‘The Last of us’, which is based on the video game series wit the identical name that captivated gamers when it was first released in 2013, has been transformed into a dramatic Tv series, which premiered January 15, 2023, with episodes released every week for the 9 episodes of season one.

 The Action and adventure game series developed by ‘naughty dog’ and published by Sony computer entertainment, lets gamers control a smuggler named Joel Miller (played by Pedro pascal in the tv series) who is tasked with transporting and accompanying a young teenage girl named Ellie Williams (Bella Ramsey), across a post apocalyptic United States.

The game is played from a third person perspective, and players use firearms and improvised weaponry, as well as stealth to defend themselves against humans and cannibalistic creatures infected by a mutated fungus.

The Relationship between Ellie and Joel is the vocal point of the game that all other elements were developed around.

 Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson portrayed them through voice and motion capture in the game, which was written and directed by Neil Druckmann.

The captivating and dramatic new tv series provides a remarkable mix of horror and intensity, elevated by an incredible cast.

The breathtaking adaptation of one of the most impactful stories told in video games, brilliantly brings Joel and Ellie’s journey to a whole new audience, while taking the essence of what made the original tale so enduring, and building out the world of the game, including switching up some aspects to create a stunning new dynamic.

 The performance is anchored by the outstanding lead performances from Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal.

It delivers an enriching show for fans of the Video game, while also being incredibly interesting and thrilling to newcomers.

Ellie is the charming driving force of the show, who often times acts as a reminder for Joel of what he has lost since the apocalypse, while also providing him giving him a sense of purpose he has not felt since the darkest day.

 Bella Ramsey leaves a lasting impact as Ellie, effortlessly shifting between intricate vulnerability, sheer determination and power, as well as youthful excitement.

Pedro Pascal brilliantly embodies the character of smuggler Joel Miller, acting as a foil to Ellie’s youthful excitement.

He is quiet and showcases his discontent powerfully through deep emotions with merely the look on his face.

He is fearless and emotionless when faced with adversity and he is also able to represent both sides of Joel’s emotions, ranging from being warm and caring to ruthless and violent.

The Shape of the story will be familiar to anyone who has played the game previously, but it still offers surprises with constant alteration of details of the main storyline, which highlights the danger that lurks within the post apocalyptic world, jeopardizing the characters improving bond.

The  Show is at its best when allowing set breathing room, which can be seen within Bill’s character portrayed by Nick Offerman.

Bill’s character is given incredible new depths within the show, as one handwritten note from the game is expanded into incredible detail and provides a great piece of entertainment in form of a  heartbreaking account of love being found during times where it seems impossible.

The plot stays true to the original story for the most part, but does occasionally stray away to shine a light on previously unexplored corners of the world.

 Certain shots or lines of dialogue will have players doing their best Leonardo DiCaprio impressions by pointing at the TV, fitting in perfectly with the aesthetic of the show.

 A diligent use of flashbacks paints a bigger picture of the world and provides additional context through societal snapshots of life both before and after the fungus mutation.

The show presents two hallmark episodes that push queer relationships into the center of the show to celebrate them.

Given the post apocalyptic sense that suffocates any kind of happiness, these rare sparks of life and love are all the more impactful and make the show incredibly diverse and captivating to follow.

The Visual and audio effects add the cherry on top to the already brilliant show, by paying attention to detail, such as paint scabs and fungal veins all over the place.

The hectic and alert nature of the story is emphasized by limited still camera shots, and the show focuses on presenting the fallout of violence over the actual violence itself.

But the best aspect of the show are the audio effects, the echoing of gunshots ring out, along with distant cries and nearby clicks which echo through scenes in a world so quiet that any sound is cause for concern.

Additionally, the original score of the game provides familiar refrains from Gustavo Santaolalla’s iconic soundtrack which sing in harmony with original pieces that drive their way through some of the more action packed moments of the show.

Neil Druckmann, who wrote and co-directed the original game, assisted Craig Mazin with the scriptwriting for the nine episodes of the season and given the immediate success of the show, it was renewed for a second season.

 More than 4.7 million viewers across platforms watched the premier on day one, and over 22 million people did in the first 12 days.

Overall, the show is one of the best live action adaptations of a video game and very appealing to fans of the game and even those who haven’t played and are fans of thrilling, captivating, and dramatic television.