HBO’s ‘The Last of Us’ is a video game adaptation that’s really good • TechCrunch

HBO’s ‘The Last of Us’ is a video game adaptation that’s really good • TechCrunch

HBO’s ‘The Last of Us’ is a video game adaptation that’s really good • TechCrunch

This weekend, HBO and HBO Max will air the first episode of The Last of Us, a post-apocalyptic thriller based on the popular video game. On Sunday, January 15, it will debut on HBO at 9 p.m. ET and will stream in 4K on HBO Max. The series will have a total of nine episodes and will continue the storyline of the 2013 game where a fungus outbreak turns half the world’s population into flesh-eating zombies – known as “clickers”.

Starring The Mandalorian actor Pedro Pascal as Joel and Game of Thrones actress Bella Ramsey as Ellie, The Last of Us centers around these two characters who initially want nothing to do with each other. Joel and his confidante, Tess (played by Anna Torv), are tasked with smuggling Ellie out of the quarantine zone in Boston and across the United States.

The Last of Us is HBO’s first attempt at adapting a video game into a series. But you wouldn’t know that based on the quality. After so many failed video game adaptations, the series is likely to bring relief to many Last of Us fans. Granted, it was co-written by game developer Neil Druckmann, so there was no room for a flop in the first place. HBO’s The Last of Us is Druckmann’s love letter to the millions of loyal fans who help sustain the decade-long franchise.

(Spoilers for “The Last of Us” lie ahead.)

On the surface, The Last of Us may seem like just another zombie survival story. However, unlike the shiver-inducing gore that is associated with the genre, the HBO series doesn’t focus on dramatic, lengthy gunfights and shots of the undead cut in half. Instead, it focuses on the human relationships between the uninfected as their world becomes more uncertain by the minute.

In our opinion, what makes this show so great is that viewers don’t have to play the game to understand it. While HBO’s The Last of Us is very accurate in its timeline and sprinkled with Easter eggs, there are some key differences that help the story appeal to a larger audience.

For example, the game takes place in 2033 and the series takes place in 2023. This was done to help viewers.”connect a little more,” co-creator Craig Mazin said in an interview with CNET. “If I’m watching a show in 2023 that takes place in 2043, it’s a little less real. I thought it might be interesting to just say, “Hey, look, in this parallel universe, this is happening right now,” Mazin added.

Another difference we’ve noticed so far is how in-depth the show goes with Joel’s backstory. The video game’s opening cutscene only lasts about 15 minutes, while HBO’s The Last of Us takes a more dragging approach.

The first episode begins with a flashback to 2003, when the first mushroom epidemic occurs. In this scene, Joel appears as a less intense man, sleeping throughout his alarm and struggling with simple issues such as forgetting to buy pancake mix. Also, Joel’s daughter Sarah (played by Nico Parker) gets plenty of airtime, showing clips of her cooking scrambled eggs, fixing her dad’s watch and baking cookies with her neighbor. These scenes are unique to the show and give viewers more time to get to know the father-daughter duo, which makes the events that follow more harrowing.

Image credits: HBO

The episode then jumps to 2023, where Joel is a smuggler in a quarantine zone guarded by FEDRA (Federal Disaster Response Agency) soldiers, while a militia group led by Marlene (Merle Dandridge) called “The Fireflies” aims to rebel against military oppression and restoration of government control.

Viewers then meet Ellie, a teenage girl who is immune to the fungus and is being held captive by the Fireflies. Much like the game, the series will focus mainly on Joel and Ellie’s relationship and how their views on the world differ.

Other characters yet to be introduced include Frank (Murray Bartlett), Bill (Nick Offerman), Kathleen (Melanie Lynskey), Florence (Elaine Miles), Riley (Storm Reid), Perry (Jeffrey Pierce) and Henry (Lamar Johnson) ).

“The Last of Us” is likely to do well on HBO Max, even though the streaming service bumped up the subscription price earlier this week.

As with other long-awaited shows like Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon, the company has gone to great lengths to promote its latest series. For example, Warner Bros. Discovery hosted a two-hour immersive experience and screening of the first episode in New York, offering guests a range of The Last of Us giveaways, photo opportunities and more.

HBO Max will also launch on January 15 The Last of Us Podcast,” hosted by Troy Baker, the voice actor who plays Joel in the game. Druckmann and Mazin will also appear in episodes as they talk about how they made the show and other behind-the-scenes stories. Each episode will air every Sunday with the show.

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