Before the release of HBO’s The Last of Us, a TV adaptation of one of the most acclaimed games of all time, many on the internet were ready to deride the show before having seen an episode–partly because the history of live action video game adaptations has been a mixed bag at best, but mostly because a lot of commenters online enjoy being grade A haters.
Following positive press reactions to the show’s first season, the first two episodes that have aired since have changed a lot of people online’s tunes. There seems to be a general consensus that the show not only faithfully adapts the story of the game, but expands on the world, characters, and plot beats in meaningful ways. In a few short weeks, the conversation around HBO’s The Last of US has gone from, “This is going to be bad,” to, “Is it actually better than the game?”
Opinions like these are subjective, but I saw a post on Twitter that made a good point about comparing the two: You can’t call one better than the other because one is a TV show and the other is a video game. The playable version of The Last of Us has game mechanics that you can interact with and critically weigh when determining if it is good or not, whereas the TV show has the flexibility to jump around in the story and follow the perspectives of numerous different characters. It’s a solid argument to make.
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