A story now not only for gamers, but for people from all walks of life.
The Last of Us originated as a game from 2013, while it was not ahead of its time it set a new benchmark in narrative storytelling for gaming. Ten years later and the story is more fitting today than it was back then. The story starts off with an interview from 1968 with a scientist talking about how he believes fungi is potentially much more worse than a virus or flu if there was to ever be a pandemic. The story then cuts to the day of the outbreak in 2003. Joel (Pedro Pascal), brother Tommy (Gabriel Luna) and Joel’s daughter Sarah (Nico Parker), experience their last normal day letting us get a glimpse into their life. The day unfolds with things happening in the background that show things are not right, much like how Shaun of the Dead reveals the zombies to the audience unbeknownst to protagonist Shaun. Once nightfall hits everyone is consumed by the chaos. Joel, Tommy, and Sarah leave their homes immediately for an escape as they experience the terror of this “zombie” outbreak. Not everyone survives the night as (Redacted) dies in a shocking scene that is also a revelation of how gone society is.
Twenty years later and we’re in 2023. The world didn’t recover, it’s barely surviving. The government is corrupt, and fighting with a resistance group called the Fireflies. Joel is changed, his humour is gone, and his occupation is smuggling. Between the infighting Joel has made a steady living for government rations. After a smuggling deal goes wrong Joel finds himself forced to smuggle the young girl Ellie (Bella Ramsey) for the Fireflies to another town. The episode ends with another reveal that will answer what Ellie’s importance is to the Fireflies. This is just the beginning of the journey and what an adventure it will be.
HBO did a phenomenal job at recreating the world seen in the original game. Unlike The Walking Dead the tone is near perfect. They didn’t artificially colourise the show to look gritty or dull. One of the beauties of The Last of Us is the beautiful new growth that has come out through all the cracks and crevices. The characters of Joel, and Sarah were given more characteristics. We see Joel is a hard worker trying to support his daughter by pulling double shifts. I like the way we get into Sarah’s psyche, she’s having a mental breakdown as we all probably would after seeing the world falling apart in an instant. The beginning prelude was a daring scene to start off with because if it felt the slightest bit campy you’ve made the world building feel campy. Surprisingly it worked to sell the realism, by subtitling hinting it was global warming that led to the fungi evolving to the outbreak. The thing that surprised me the most was how much I enjoyed watching the parts that weren’t in the game, in fact I rather them for the new experiences to the world I love so much.
Overall, The Last of Us is in good hands. Knowing where the story goes is one thing, however seeing what they do to expand the story is going to be the fun part.
For my review of The Last of Us: Part 1 click HERE