The Last of Us video game was released June 14th, 2013 for the PlayStation 3. Once it was released, many video game broadcasters on YouTube and Twitch had begun playing it in front of their audiences, which made it a rather popular game to talk about. The game had won many awards for its story and even got a sequel years later. So, when it was announced that a Last of Us show was in the works, it was safe to say that many of us were excited.
One of the best parts about Last of Us was that while it is a story about a zombie apocalypse, it was mainly a show about how people act during a zombie apocalypse, which to me is the most interesting and important part of these worlds. The zombies were, in fact, terrifying, especially the fact that there are different types. But the story was mainly focused on what people resorted to during what seems like the end of humanity, and it wasn’t even all negative. Some found love, others started to cannibalize other survivors – a horrifyingly good mix.
When the world falls to zombies in The Last of Us world, the government takes over and creates camps for survivors to live in. They stay on guard for the undead, but they also keep the people living in the camps in check as an attempt to rebuild humanity. As time goes on, an antigovernmental group is created called the Fireflies, who attempt to overthrow the government-run camps. During the chaos that is the new world, the main character is tasked with taking a young girl from one of the camps and to the Fireflies.
One of the main characters, Joel (played by Pedro Pascal – Game of Thrones, 2011), is an anti-hero. We watch as he goes through hardships that have made him into the tough “don’t mess with me” kind of guy. We see how he went from just a man living his life with his family to someone that people feared to cross. During the course of the show, we see his behavior toward others change from not caring about anyone outside of his brother and girlfriend, to truly caring for someone (Ellie) that symbolized a loved one that he had lost early on in the apocalypse – his daughter. Our other main character, Ellie (played by Bella Ramsey – Game of Thrones, 2011), is a young teenage girl who was born into the zombie-ridden world. She was raised in the government schools and was known as a bit of a rebel and a wise-ass when it came to authority. The unlikely pair of Joel and Ellie end up traveling together to the Fireflies, which leads up to a lot of entertaining and funny scenes.
After every episode of The Last of Us, I felt something. Whether it be sadness, joy, anger, hope, I always felt SOMETHING. In my opinion, the greatest shows are able to do that. It kept me wanting more, and therefore I kept watching. Also in each episode, you could feel the closeness between Joel and Ellie grow stronger. It was a gradual yet steady connection. We were also able to see how other people interacted in this world with flashback scenes, which created an even greater connection between the audience and the characters.
Another thing that I liked about The Last of Us was that it didn’t depend on gore and jump scares to give us horror. A lot of the problems I have with modern day horror movies and shows is the fact that a lot of them depend on those aspects, rather than giving a well-written story for the audience to follow. The Last of Us was still able to give us that horror factor as they took us on Joel and Ellie’s journey.
From someone that has personally watched gameplay of The Last of Us, I think that this adaptation goes beyond the expectations that were set for it. The game has become popular because of the great story-telling, and I believe that this adaption did it justice and then some. We saw more depth in the storyline like Bill and Frank. We saw more of both Ellie and Joel’s pasts to explain their behavior. The show really blew my mind, and I would recommend it to anyone, even to those who aren’t into horror, because it goes so much deeper than just another zombie apocalypse.