Arts & Entertainment

Is ‘The Last of Us’ worth the hype?

Taking a loved video game and turning it into a live action drama that’s sure to make anyone cry.

Image by HBO | A scene from Episode 3 of the series.

HBO Max has put out a rendition of a known and loved video game, “The Last of Us”created by Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann and produced by Greg Spence and Cecil O’Connor. This apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic nightmare follows Joel Miller  (Pedro Pascal), a hard-working construction man just trying to make a living, and his young daughter Sarah Miller (Nico Parker). A normal day turns chaotic as a fungal outbreak ravages the planet, Joel must move past his loss in order to survive. Viewer discretion is advised.

The show heavily pays homage to aspects of the video game and for fans of the game series.  Fans have been praising the adaptation for following the original storyline but keeping it original all in one. 

There are fans online using scene-by-scene comparisons online of the moment when Joel met Ellie (Bella Ramsey). As I watched the gameplays, I was impressed by the similarities in graphics, and stylistic choices made, with its bold vibrant colors, background setups, and rehearsed furniture movements. 

The gameplay was evident in the shooting sequences with the more complex zombies, as it took multiple shots to knock one down. The movements were obnoxiously slow as well, and the graphics’ special effects lived up to the game. 

But as we pay homage to the gameplay comparisons, we can also appreciate the attention to its storyline.

When quoting episode three, Den of Geek writer Bernard Boo says, “Simply put, this is one of the best episodes of television in recent memory and acts as irrevocable proof that this show may be, only three episodes in, the best video game adaptation ever made.” 

“This isn’t a show about monsters—it’s a show about relationships,” Boo says.

Film noir stylistic aspects also become apparent during the third episode “Long, Long Time.” Every moment of the episode seemed to allow the viewer to immerse themselves as if they were playing a video game. As this episode shows as a flashback, we are also able to tell the two stories apart, the director did this well. Focusing the episode on a love story between Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett), that is sure to make anyone sob.

So, is “The Last of Us” worth a watch? Yes, I’d recommend you take a seat, turn on your TV or laptop, and enjoy your regularly scheduled program.

You can watch all three episodes on HBO Max, as more will be added every Sunday at 9 p.m. EST.