HBO’s The Last Of Us Is The Perfect TV Show For People Who Enjoy Video Game Walkthroughs

For decades, there’s been talk of a video game curse, based on the poor reception and the poor performance of most movie adaptations of video games. It’s easy to see why. For many years, movies based on video games would have a hard time finding a balance between being faithful recreations of the gaming experiences fans loved, and taking enough liberties so that newcomers could feel welcome.

We’ve come a long way from movies like “Super Mario Bros.” or the first “Street Fighter,” which at times felt embarrassed to be based on video games and — much like early comic book movies — tried to distance themselves from their source material. Nowadays, video game adaptations are praised, lauded even, and sometimes even commercially successful. We’ve gotten stunning visual marvels like “Arcane” that completely reinvent their source materials, and even more successfully faithful adaptations like “Castlevania” and “Werewolf Within.”

What makes “The Last of Us” different is how, unlike something like “Warcraft,” the game’s gameplay revolves around its narrative rather than the other way around. The “Warcraft” movie, for instance, was a terrific translation of the games’ lore, but it bore little resemblance to the actual experience of playing “Warcraft: Orcs & Humans.” 

“The Last of Us” isn’t like that. The game is already narrative-heavy, filled with cutscenes and relatively linear levels without a lot of exploration. This isn’t “Elder Ring” where you’re free to do whatever you want in any order you want, leading to hundreds of solutions to most problems. Instead, playing “The Last of Us” feels like watching a movie, with breaks for a little gameplay where you solve a puzzle, sneak around a group of enemies, or do a bit of fighting once you’re caught, then sprint the hell out so you don’t die. 

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