No Matter What, You Keep Finding Something to Fight For
The Last of Us has all the potential to be the greatest video game adaptation of all time. The upcoming HBO series is the first major attempt to translate a video game to a traditional television format, and HBO have a reputation for creating some of the most loved TV series of all time like Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones (which The Last of Us shares its stars with), and The Wire. While we’ve seen Netflix delve into video game adaptations, HBO getting in on the fun is a sign that video games are finally being recognized as a legitimate art form.
Now that production is heating up, Neil Druckerman is dropping hints about what we can expect from the series.
Firstly, we now know that the first series will adapt the events of the first game, so if you’re one of The Last of Us: Part II‘s haters, you’re in luck – at least, at first.
Secondly, we know that the series will stick closely to the game, with some pieces of dialogue lifted directly from the game, but not always.
“Things sometimes stay pretty close. It’s funny to see my dialogue there from the games in HBO scripts. And sometimes they deviate greatly to much better effect because we are dealing with a different medium,” said Druckerman.
“For example, in the game, there’s so much action you have to have to train the player about mechanics. You have to have more violence and more spectacle to some degree than you would need on a TV show because you don’t need to train people on how to use a gun. So that’s something that’s been really different, and HBO’s been great in pushing us to move away from hardcore action and focus more on the drama of the character. Some of my favorite episodes so far have deviated greatly from the story, and I can’t wait for people to see them.”
This does, of course, make sense; we can’t expect every battle scene to be lifted exactly as it plays out in the game. Outside of the huge cost involved in terms of VFX, make-up, and set design – just look at Joel, Ellie, and Tess’s journey through the collapsing office building in the first hours of the game – there’s the fact that some things just don’t translate all that well. While it might be fun to play out a long and drawn-out stealth section, having to watch it may not be quite as exciting.
What is exciting is that, according to Druckerman, the prosthetics are well on their way, bringing one of gaming’s most iconic and creative monster designs to life: “I just saw the first prosthetic test for the Clicker and it’s awesome. It’s so rad to see this thing come to physical life,”