Review: ‘The Last of Us’ masterfully adapts its videogame counterpart


Joel Miller (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie Williams (Bella Ramsay) sneaking through abandoned buildings. (PHOTO SOURCE: HBO)

Stella Williams, Staff Writer

The HBO original series, “The Last of Us” premiered on Jan. 15 and fans are raving with excitement for the episodes to come.

The HBO show is based on the 2013 Game of the Year, “The Last of Us.” The show is a zombie thriller that follows the main protagonists Joel Miller (Pedro Pascal), a man tasked with taking Ellie Williams (Bella Ramsay), a girl immune to the zombie infection, across a dystopian United States to a militia group called the Fireflies who think Ellie holds the key to finding a cure. 

In the first episode you’ll notice how Ellie is slightly more aggressive, whereas in the first game she is more of a laid back and wide-eyed teen character. Another noticeable difference is that Joel doesn’t have a consistent southern accent, which is slightly disappointing due to the fact that it is one of his most defining features.



Like in the game, we are given a glimpse into Joel’s past, but instead of a 15 minute intro, creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckman gave us a 30 minute intro. This allowed them to add more depth to these scenes, especially the scenes with his daughter Sarah (Nico Parker). It was an opportunity to flesh out the characters more and allow the viewers to create a sense of attachment to them. 

An important aspect of adaptations is making them realistic and believable. I was slightly worried that the show might not be able to immerse us as well as the game because of the limitations of CGI and SFX makeup. The thing about video games is that even if it doesn’t look the best graphically, it is still very easy to get immersed because it is an interactive medium. Luckily the show was able to live to my expectations. The zombies looked very realistic and sometimes even more intense than in the game. The first zombie you see is actually a very chilling experience.

Overall I think it was a very good start to HBO’s highly anticipated show and am excited to see how this adaptation goes.