Over the last decade, some standout game franchises have been released. Perhaps, though, none have received as much critical acclaim, won as many awards, and developed a considerable cult following like The Last of Us has.
Initially released in June 2013, The Last of Us is a survival horror video game franchise that has expanded into other forms of entertainment, including a comic book, a live show, and, most recently, an HBO television adaptation.
HBO’s television adaptation of The Last of Us was long coming. In 2014, a film adaptation was in the works, but the project was abandoned by 2016. In 2020, it was announced that HBO was planning a television adaptation and the series debuted on January 15, 2023.
The series is gaining worldwide attention, with around 4.7 million viewers tuning into the premiere. This figure increased by 22% for the second episode on January 22.
Side By Side Comparison
The Last of Us follows several survivors living in a post-apocalyptic world. Unlike other zombie shows like The Walking Dead, the antagonists in The Last of Us have become infected by a mutated fungus that turns them into cannibalistic creatures that take different forms depending on their stage of infection.
These forms include runners, stalkers, clickers, bloaters, shamblers, and rat kings. A rat king is the final stage of the infection process; these creatures’ characteristics include extreme strength.
Video game vs. TV show
Video game vs. TV show. The new poster for HBO's The Last of Us series pays tribute to the original video game poster. pic.twitter.com/INySIazBIG
— GameSpot (@GameSpot) November 29, 2022
The timeline is different in HBO’s adaptation. In the video game, the outbreak began in 2013, but the show has pushed it back ten years, setting the story in 2003. The show does, however, jump forward to 2023.
The Existence of Spores
In the game, there is an airborne virus called spores. This virus is a challenge for players, but it’s also a crucial part of the story. By breathing in the spores, Joel becomes further convinced that Ellie is immune to the virus.
One known fact about The Last of Us game franchise is that it can be pretty violent. However, according to Neil Druckmann, HBO’s adaptation isn’t going to be nearly as violent, only leaving in what they feel is essential.
What’s The Same?
Ellie’s Swimming Ability
In episode two, viewers learn that Ellie can’t swim. This fact might not seem important for anyone who has never played the game before, but it’s a big part of the franchise. That’s because Ellie has to complete environmental puzzles whenever she comes across a body of water.
Marlene is one of the survivors the game franchise follows, and actress Merle Dandridge voices her. Viewers of HBO’s adaption may find that the character sounds familiar in the show, and that’s because Dandridge has returned to the role and is acting on screen.
HBO’s The Last of Us is just getting started. Fans of the game will know that Joel, Ellie, and the rest of the survivors have a long road ahead of them, but if the show continues like the first two episodes, we’re in for a treat.
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