Videogame Volumes: The Last of Us

In+this+weekly+column%2C+staff+reporter+Vaughn+Perez+writes+about+the+gaming+and+esports+community.

Vaughn Perez

In this weekly column, staff reporter Vaughn Perez writes about the gaming and esports community.

Vaughn Perez, Staff Reporter

A week ago, HBO Max released its first episode of their new series, The Last of Us, which is based on the extremely popular video game that shares the same name. This is one of the many attempts of trying to adapt a video game into a TV show, however, this time, it’s looking like it’s actually worked for once.

Video games have had a pretty bad reputation when it comes to being adapted onto the tv screen, with notable flops like Halo and Uncharted in recent years, because of how the directors deviated from the original storyline, making it confusing and unenjoyable for most. These are just a few examples of recent adaptations, but the list goes on for years, one of the most notable and oldest failures being the 1993 Super Mario Bros. adaption which was just a mess of a movie.

However, two weeks since release and only two episodes in, it seems like HBO Max has gotten it right. After watching the first episode, it so far has followed the plot of the game well, which is good news because it allows for people who haven’t played the game, to watch the series and understand the whole story. This is piggybacked by the great talent that’s helped bring this show to life, with Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey playing the main characters, Joel Miller and Ellie Williams, respectively.

This has been, so far, the best video game adaptation since Arcane, based on League of Legends, so why, after two years, has there finally been another adaptation that’s good? It’s because of how hard it is for directors to balance telling the story it’s based on and adding originality, similar to book adaptations. 

I love how Last of Us has stuck to the original story because it allows people who don’t play games to enjoy it on their big screen, but maybe down the line of different directors for this series, someone wants to try something different and off script. This is a hard line to balance on because just a little too much can change a lot for the series and possibly in a detrimental way.

HBO’s adaptation, even though it’s only been two episodes, has looked great up to this point. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s something that develops in the future to make the series stand out from the game, I just hope that they do it right and deliver it well to the viewers.