“The Last of Us”: from Video Game to your Home Screen


Rock Paper Shotgun

Side by Side Comparison of the Game vs. the Show! Promo for the Game is Shown On The Right, and The Series On the Left.

Emerson Conigliaro, Writer

  By now we’ve all heard of the apocalyptic hit show, “The Last of Us.” Adapted from the 2013 video game, the show is set in a zombie-filled world due to the fungi, cordyceps. However, like all movie or show adaptations, there are some key differences between the game and the TV version of it. To point out some of those differences, Cat Talk asked some Millbrook Wildcats and players of the original game what they noticed. Minor spoilers ahead!

  Senior Sophia Cerone was asked what main difference she liked the most from the game to the show, to which she replied, “The thing that stands out the most is how some of the characters meet their end.” When asked to explain a little bit about that, Cerone says, “One instance is the story told about Bill and Frank. The story they narrate in the show about their romance is quite beautiful and ends quite peacefully, which is not how it ends up in the game.” To expand, she explains that HBO gives us this quite coincidental and awkward story at first, but it blossoms into a sweet love story nobody was expecting due to prior knowledge of the game. Viewers get a full and rich storyline about the two, and it also makes Bill seem a lot less mean and off-putting than his game counterpart. They get to grow old together, which is not something seen in the game.

  Cat Talk asked Cerone what was something that she did not like to see in the show as someone who played the game first. She explains that she did not necessarily like the fact that they stirred away from the use of spores as the way of spreading the infection. She says, “I think they’re kinda weird and stupid, but I understand they made that decision for a reason.” Cerone explains that after listening to Peter Hoar, the director of “The Last of Us,” she was more inclined to accept the use of the tendrils for the sake of cinema.

  Cat Talk also had the chance to interview Camden Sluder: EA Sports competitor and ranked in the Top 20 players in eastern North Carolina. As someone who loved the game and played it multiple times, he says that the difference that stood out to him the most between the show and the game was the way the series showed the way cordyceps spread. He explains, “In the show, it’s shown that the fungus spread through a small community and eventually ended up being so hard to control that they couldn’t even quarantine the ‘infection’ properly anymore. But in the game, they had areas the main characters couldn’t step on because the mushroom would release spores, which were dangerous to the characters. Instead, they seem to have changed this by making the infected more alert when you step on one of the fungi, as if they were all connected like one being.” Sluder explains that even though the show has its differences from the game, he really liked the use of the Clickers, and how the directors of the show used the environments around the characters to make a situation seem like it was the end for the characters, just like how the game did. “You were never really supposed to fight clickers, as they are the hardest infected to deal with. So every scene that they were involved in created an extremely tense and scary environment for the main characters, almost putting the viewer in the same place as they were in the game.”

  However, as a person who played the game before seeing the show, Sluder says that he would have really liked for the show to incorporate the use of stealth more in the show, as it was a crucial part of the video game. He says that you were traveling in the game with two people who needed to be kept alive, so staying quiet was very important. “While it would make the show a pretty unpleasant viewing experience with little to no action, I believe that a few more moments of just tense silence would be perfect for the show, something that the game truly did master.”

  With all this in mind, all episodes of “The Last of Us” are streaming on HBO Max now, so go watch and look out for the comparisons that were pointed out!