The Last of Us series isn’t exactly the same as the game, but is that a bad thing?

If you’re even slightly into video games, The Last of Us is probably one of the names you’ve heard the most. The premiere of his series, the most anticipated adaptation in recent years, has given a lot to talk about. Between praise and criticism, one of the most interesting topics that has been touched on is how she is looking for her own identity. With content that It doesn’t appear in the game, the series has caused concern among some viewers. But, what is it that we should ask of the adaptations (it is already in general)?

To give some context, in the early stages of the HBO series, a project that seeks be very faithful to the original work of Naughty Dog, we have been able to see that its first episode has taken some licenses to add new details and scenes to the play. Narrative touches, such as starting the story earlier to give more background to the relationship between Joel and his daughter Sarah, show that the series does not want to blindly follow in the footsteps of the original work, being quite a declaration of intent.

With only one episode to talk about, there are several decisions that have been made to define the series as something different from the video game. Although this may be disconcerting and worrying (particularly considering that its greatest creative figures have spoken about discrepancies between the medium of television and video games), it not only seems to me that it is natural and inevitable, but also good, that this series of changes is being made without fear or shame.

None of us like it when an adaptation that claims to be faithful to its inspiration suddenly decides to ignore everything that made it special to go down disastrous paths. Works like the Resident Evil, Doom or Alone in the Dark movies have made it, reasonably, let’s be cautious when they try to translate our favorite stories to other media. Still, as with language itself, rough literal translation doesn’t work.

If you think The Last of Us and its sequel were Naughty Dog's biggest thing, their most ambitious project has yet to be released.

The Last of Us series is that, a series, and therefore it is 100% visual and passive. Interaction, even in the most cinematic video games, is a big part of what makes our digital medium special, and when looking to translate its worlds to other screens, you have to count on it being gone. In addition, series and movie formats They are very different from those of our games, as well as their audiences. Moving any story, not just The Last of Us, into the series framework was always going to come with changes inherent to this broadening of the audience, and that’s not a bad thing. That is natural and correct.

In addition, you not only have to think about how to make this work fit into the television mold, but also about the possibilities offered by this way of telling. If we had had a long introduction of Sarah in the video game 100% divorced of how the rest of the story is going to play out, that would have grated on us, and rightly so. Now, by moving to a narrative of simply seeing what they are telling us, there are licenses that help us to broaden contexts, strengthen relationships and add depth.

Image Of The Last Of Us

Sarah is good proof that this is more than just watching game scenes on TV.

Nor should we get the weekly format of the chapters out of your head, which has greatly influenced many of his creative decisions. The pace of the series it will be differentyou will need to make changes and reimagine when key events occur in order to stay relevant, concise and effective. In a video game, you can allow the meeting between Ellie and Joel, the two protagonists, to take time to appear. Making the television public wait for the other great interpreter of the show to appear would not only kill the rhythm of what is happening, but would make more than one possibly get off the wagon.

Finally, there are also changes that simply do not need much justification, but are there to explore new options. They are undoubtedly the most difficult to defend against skeptics, and even then does not mean that they are harming to early adaptation. If we want the exact same story, setting, and format as the game… we always have the game, right? Seeing that there are different details in the HBO product helps it not be simply the let’s play most ambitious in history, but something more.

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If you ask me what I think is going to happen with The Last of Us, I I don’t think you should worry because they are going to swerve in their history. Joel and Ellie’s epic has a lot of weight and cultural importance, and its creators know that they must treat it with care and responsibility. Neil Druckmann himself is there as well, and not as a footnote name, but as someone who wants to oversee the project. I can affirm that, at the very least, it is the video game adaptation that is most aware of what is being played in history, but he also knows that the path he must follow must be consistent with his own environment.