‘The Last of Us’ shows the Best of Us



The simplicity of the show is what allows for such a compelling story, there is a plot of course, but what you stick around for is the blossoming relationship between Joel and Ellie.

Hugo Heim Romero, Staff Reporter

“The Last of Us” or TLOU as known by fans, was released in 2013 to the Playstation 3. It was created by Naughty Dogs, LLC, famous for the “Uncharted” series. In March 2020, “The Last of Us” was announced to have a television adaptation. It was directed by the creator of the show “Chernobyl,” Craig Mazin, who was familiar with post-apocalyptic settings.

In January 2023, “The Last of Us” released to critical acclaim and has started paving the way for other video game adaptations.

 TLOU has been touted as one of the best story games ever created and so the announcement of a TV show being made about the game was no surprise. 

The story is of a man named Joel, played by the daddy of the internet, Pedro Pascal, and a young girl named Ellie, played by “Game of Thrones” veteran Bella Ramsey. The story follows these characters as they travel across the U.S. growing closer, after what can only be explained as a zombie outbreak.

The use of scientific explanation in describing the zombie outbreak  makes it so that the viewer believes it may happen in real life.

At its core, TLOU is not about the zombie apocalypse, it’s about a father-daughter relationship and what it means to protect your family. It is not just in Joel and Ellie where we see family, but through every part of the show. Such as the relationship between Bill and Frank in episode 3, the siblings Sam and Henry, and Tommy and Maria.

TLOU is all about allowing things to speak for themselves, from the story, to the score to the visuals, TLOU is all about emphasizing subtleties.

The score of the games makes a triumphant yet somber return. The soundtrack by Gustavo Santaolalla has been remastered to give it a crisper and more visceral feeling. 

The tracks are succinct, often being composed of one or two instruments. 

Notes are often spread out and sustained, letting them linger in your mind, enough to allow you to fully immerse yourself in them but also giving you just a touch of anxiety, as you hold your breath waiting for that next note to ring out. 

This anxiety continues throughout the visuals of TLOU. Often, the show depicts desecrated and ruined buildings overrun with moss and fungal roots growing onto them, making them seem not only overrun by the infection, but as if the cities themselves are living, breathing things.

TLOU is not restricted to one location either, showing vast forests, some with skeletons and corpses lining the dirt. Open fields with destroyed planes in the distance, and even perfectly kept settlements that contrast with the continuous destruction and death riddled throughout.

…video game adaptations have only received scornful insults from the original fanbases, heartless cash grabs to profit off of fans, whereas nowadays love can be felt through the screen.

— Hugo Heim Romero

With the bombastic success of “Arcane,” “The Witcher,” last year’s “Cyberpunk: Edgerunners” and now TLOU, it seems that video game adaptations are finally taking a swing in the right direction after years of profound mediocrity. 

From “Super Mario Bros” (1993) to “Silent Hill: Revelation 3D” (2012,) video game adaptations have only received scornful insults from the original fanbases, heartless cash grabs to profit off of fans, whereas nowadays love can be felt through the screen.

Like “Arcane” being made by the artists of the original game or Henry Cavill being a huge nerd for “The Witcher.”

The largest difference between TLOU and other successful video game adaptations is the fact that most of it came from the game. Of course there are many original pieces such as the fantastic episode three, but even if all the original pieces were removed, this still would have been a good show.

TLOU is one of many games that is often beloved for its story, games like God of War, Red Dead Redemption 1 and 2, Detroit: Become Human and Life is Strange.

The fact that TLOU was made relatively faithfully to its source material and is so beloved will no doubt bring rise to many more competent and exact video game adaptations that will bring many more fans to their franchise.