TV show “The Last of Us” just surpassed the game

Image: HBO / Kotaku

Seems I was too fast to judge HBO Last of us. While the first four episodes certainly grabbed my attention as well-written and delightfully filmed prestige TV, I was a bit disappointed as the adaptive process of turning a game into a show so far didn’t allow for recreating specific, memorable action sequences from the game. Well, with “Survive and Survive” the fifth series of the first (but not the last) season Last of usthe show has shown to be more than capable of adapting the action of a video game, and in some cases, may just be better at it.

Adapted from hit for PlayStation 3 of the same name, Last of usAn engaging, character-driven storyline exists alongside tense, deadly, minute-to-minute combat encounters. The player playing as Joel must defeat both the hostile humans and the infected using a combination of stealth, firearms, and crudely improvised weapons. First four episodes HBO adaptation mostly prioritized story elements, choosing in some cases not to recreate memorable action sequences or use the unique, crafted props we saw in the game. It makes sense for TV to focus on the actors and the story, but so far I’ve found the show to be missing that key action ingredient that I loved so much, not only because of watching the game, but because of the play This.

Read more: Last of us The show could be better if it worked like a game

there is a reason Last of us appears on our list best action games You can play this year. With a slower pace than other recent Naughty Dog series. unknownand focus on survival Last of us as the game introduces tense, tense action sequences throughout the narrative, reminding you that no matter how many things you feel in control of during the idle time of the narrative, you will never be safe in this deadly world. has been pulled out from under you and you have to deal with the situation here and now. Disorder and someone dies.

Highlighted in our list of action games is the sequel, Part IIlike a little more flexibility, with more options for how you approach and react to different situations. But the sequel follows what the first game already did so well: moments when, pardon the cliché, everything breaks loose and you have to respond. Immediately. It’s certainly stressful, but damn it’s a thrill.

Read more: The 16 Best Action Games You Can Play in 2023

Although I would definitely trade the first game “upside down shootout sequence at the “City of Bill” level for beautiful story of bill and frank we entered third episode of the show, I began to worry that the HBO television adaptation would continue to omit other, more explosive episodes rather than trying to bring the immediacy of the game’s action to the screen. But then we got to the episode with the sniper in the suburbs of the fifth episode. Not only does this gripping scene capture the action of the game particularly well, it does so with a revised narrative that makes the carnage even more tense.

Joel hangs upside down in the garage, aiming his gun at infected enemies.

Screenshot: Sony/Kotaku

Read more: Last of us Fans Create Amazing Bill and Frank Fan Art

As in the game, Joel and Ellie team up with Henry and Sam. But this time around, Henry and Sam’s situation is a little more urgent. Kathleen, the leader of a revolutionary force, obsessively wants Henry to die for his role in her brother’s death. As in the game, Joel, Ellie, Henry and Sam must travel through an abandoned suburban street, moving from car to car without being shot by a sniper watching the area.

The TV show deviates slightly from this scenario that exists in the game. To begin with, Joel does not encounter additional hostile forces on the way to the sniper nest. And when Joel deals with the sniper, it becomes clear that this person belongs to the revolutionaries in Kansas City (the parallel version of these events in the game takes place in Pittsburgh, and neither Kathleen nor any of the revolutionaries introduced in the fourth episode are in it ). It’s one of the improvements the series has made over the original game, and one that its sequel has also worked harder on, giving the antagonists faces, complex motives, and personalities.

Read more: The Last of Us Episode 4 Summary: Return to the Familiar

But first we need to talk about the sound design of the sniper scene. Although the show caught my attention before (especially the unnerving but enjoyable ambient music, Joel, Ellie and Tess climb the stairs to second episode museum is one such example), I’m unhealthy obsessed with the gunshots in this scene. The precise and penetrating strike of a sniper rifle is followed by a fraction of a second of silence that can engulf the universe, giving way to the timeless whisper of the air and sensual impact strikes on the bodies and windows of cars. Satisfying punches that turn into powerful clanks, sharp shards of glass… heavy metal bands will dedicate their entire careers to trying to create something so beautiful and soundingly destructive at the same time. This is bliss.

The sounds are nice as special effects and creations in and of themselves, but the effect really drew me in with the intimacy I felt in video games – and in particular the one that this show is based on. The scene that reflects this in the video game is one example, but the second half The Last of Us Part 2 also has a similar sniper scenario. The movement from cover to cover with the threat of violence that repels you is successfully brought to life on the screen. But we’re not done yet.

Pedro Pascal as Joel holding a sniper rifle in the HBO series The Last of Us.

Screenshot: HBO

As in the game, Joel eventually makes it to the top of the sniper’s nest, eliminates the shooter, and then must stay out of sight as hostile human forces march forward. In the series, an impersonal crowd of enemies replaced by new character Kathleen in his quest for revenge with his powers in tow. Joel must fire several needle-thrust shots, one of which is recreated from the game: hitting the driver of an enemy car, while the camera goes beyond the scope of the rifle itself. And yes, just like in the game, this car crashes into a house… a house with a surprise in store.

Read more: Who are Kathleen and Perry in the HBO series Last of us?

The TV show’s car swerves and crashes to the right. Flies to the left in the game; this mirror image of re-created scenes seems to be a common element of the show. Joel and Sara roll over on the couch in opening episode; In Joel’s line of dialogue “I’m sure you’ll figure it out”, Ellie asks what the hell she’s supposed to be doing while he’s taking a nap in the first episode, sees the couch he’s lying on flipped over to the other side of the room.

And although in the game, the accumulation of infected eventually also floods the street, in the series, this is not the case. Here, the appearance of a horde of infected from underground serves as payback for the miraculous omen in the previous episode and earlier scenes in this one, where we learn that FEDRA previously pursued all infected underground in order to “fix” the problem. Clearly, this is what will surface to cause the problem. And in this scene, as soon as you see the truck crash into the house… you know what’s going to happen, and that the arrogance that drove Kathleen to such extremes will soon demand its price.

Melanie Lynskey as Kathleen stands with fiery debris behind her in a scene from HBO's The Last of Us.

Screenshot: HBO

Shattering the calm frenzy of Kathleen’s short-sighted desire for revenge, the crashed truck and the chorus of screams and roars of the mob of the infected that it unleashes, is a powerful release that pulls us out of the stupor of trying to follow Kathleen’s cruelty justification. We barely have time to digest the contours of her bloodlust as the long-buried fury of the infected drowns out everything, the great equalizer who sees no one as safe and needs no justification for her anger and violence. At the end of this scene, I felt an instinctive urge to put the controller down and take a breath. Unless there was a controller.

Episode 5’s sniper script doesn’t just adapt the game’s key action sequence, it makes it better. The pace is tighter, more intense. The narrative wrapper pulls you into what’s at stake in a much more enjoyable way, and it justifies the zombie crowd scene. It’s the sort of adaptation of the game sequence I’ve been waiting for on the HBO series, and it didn’t disappoint. Until next time, I’ll go see if there’s a raven for sale at Whole Foods.

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