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Things that HBO’s The Last of Us Can Learn From Other Video Game Adaptions

Things that HBOs The Last of Us can learn cover

As exciting as the trailers for the upcoming show are, there are a few things that HBO’s The Last of Us can learn from other video game adaptions. The premiere is fast approaching and as buzzing as fans of the game are, there is always a sense of trepidation felt with any live-action video game adaption. This is owed to the fact that gaming fans have been burnt so many times in the past by movie and TV adaptions of classic games.

Looking at projects like Halo, Assassin’s Creed, Resident Evil, and Warcraft, it is easy to see why fans of The Last of Us didn’t want their favourite franchise marred by the video game adaption curse. With a story so beloved, the filmmakers are going to want to tread carefully. Here are a few things that HBO’s The Last of Us can learn from other video game adaptions:

Do Not Stray Too Far From the Source Material

Some of the Resident Evil Movies aren't awful, but they are not at all faithful to the source material.
Some of the Resident Evil Movies aren’t awful, but they are not at all faithful to the source material.

This is a common issue seen in a lot of video game adaption. Often filmmakers will take the basic themes of the game’s plot and discard the rest, instead opting for their own sub-par narrative. Whilst this is always a frustrating issue to those who were fans of the original story, it would be nothing short of sacrilegious to do this with an adaption of The Last of Us.

Also read: 5 Heart-Breaking Moments from The Last Of Us That We Aren’t Ready To Relive

The Last of Us is not only one of the greatest stories ever told in gaming, it is one of the greatest stories ever told across any medium. To mess with that would not only be an insult to those who loved the game’s plot, it would also an objectively poor decision. Thankfully, early reports have indicated that the first season’s plot will closely mirror the events of the first game. This is an important entry on the list of things that HBO’s The Last of Us can learn from other video game adaptions, given that it is a narrative-driven project.

Don’t Try and Pander To the Audience with Fan Service

Time and time again, we have seen filmmakers attempt to pander to fans of the video game source material using gimmicks. Whenever these cheesy ploys to win over the audience are included, it is usually due to the fact that the filmmakers are trying to make up for the other lackluster elements of the project.

Also read: The Last of Us Review – An Expert Level Video Game Adaptation

The sequence shot in first person from the 2005 Doom movie may have been the best part of that dumpster-fire of a film, however it was a clear papering over of the cracks. It reeked of the fact that it was only ever included to try and win some brownie points from the more forgiving fans of the Doom video games. This should be a high priority on the list of things that HBO’s The Last of Us Can learn from other video game adaptions, if the creators want this to be a show known for having integrity.

Don’t Rush It

There are many things that HBO’S The Last of Us can learn from the failure that was Mortal Kombat.
There are many things that HBO’S The Last of Us can learn from the failure that was Mortal Kombat.

The one thing that has me worried about the upcoming show is the reports stating that the entirety of the first game’s events will be covered within the show’s first season.  The idea of squeezing a fifteen hour game into nine episodes does have me slightly concerned. With that said, it has also been confirmed that several episodes clock in at over an hour respectively, so perhaps the total runtime of the show will roughly line up with the game’s runtime.

Also read: 5 Apocalyptic Games to Play to Get YourThe Last of Us’ Fix

So many other adaptions have rushed through the plot of the game as quickly as possible, without exploring the nuances in the layered storytelling. With a plot on the level of that of The Last of Us, doing this should be out of the question. This should be number one of the list of things that HBO’s The Last of Us can learn from other video game adaptions.

Swings and misses.
Swings and misses.

What did you make of our list? Are there any other things that HBO’s The Last of Us can learn from other video game adaptions which we didn’t include? Let us know in the comments section below.

Written by Daniel Boyd

Daniel is a 27-year-old writer from Glasgow. He graduated from university with an honours degree in 3D Animation, before pivoting to pursue his love for critical writing. He has also written freelance pieces for other sites such as KeenGamer.com and The Big Glasgow Comic Page. He loves movies, video games and comic books.