The Last of Us has been widely lauded as one of the best examples of storytelling in video games of all time, and when it makes the jump to TV with HBO’s upcoming series, that story is going to be told to an even wider audience. And according to the series’ showrunner Craig Mazin, it’s a story that ranks as the best that’s ever been told in a video game, bar none.
Mazin stated the same in a recent interview with Empire, saying, “It’s an open-and-shut case: this is the greatest story that has ever been told in video games.”
He went on to talk about the game’s biggest strength on that front, which he feels is how grounded the story is, and how grounded Joel and Ellie are as the protagonists. “They didn’t shoot anything out of their eyeballs. They were just people,” he said. “And that, in and of itself, is remarkably rare in games. The fact that they kept it so grounded, and really made you feel – I had never experienced anything like it, and I’ve been playing video games since 1977.”
Of course, there’s been no shortage of video game adaptations in the past, not a great many of which have been particularly successful- so what’s going to be the difference with The Last of Us? According to Mazin, it’s how the show strikes a balance between remaining faithful to the source material while also expanding on it with new ideas.
“Games themselves are often brilliant to play, and not at all brilliant to watch when dramatised,” he said. “Neil and I always knew to ask, ‘Why are we only doing what’s in the game? What can we do to expand?’”
The Last of Us premieres on HBO on January 15. Meanwhile, The Last of Us Part 1, currently available on PS5, will also be coming to PC on March 3. In addition to that, recent reports have claimed that Naughty Dog is also working on The Last of Us Part 3.
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