March 12 marked the end of the first season of HBO’s adaptation of “The Last Of Us”, which I firmly believe will go down in history as one of the greatest video-game-to-TV adaptations ever.

If you’ve read my previous piece discussing the first two episodes in comparison to Paramount+’s “Halo” show, you know that I already was a fan of “The Last Of Us’” loyalty to the source material, and that only continued as the series went on. They even cast the original voice actors for both Joel and Ellie as characters in the series.

Troy Baker (Joel) was cast as the right-hand man of a religious cannibal who takes a cleaver to the neck, and Ashley Johnson (Ellie) plays Ellie’s mother in a later episode, who gives birth only to turn into a zombie mere hours later.

The nine-episode series continues to just ooze dedication to its source material, partially due to the fact that one of the lead writers is Neill Druckman, the head writer behind the original games as well. In keeping it’s loyalty, however, the show possibly moved beyond the scope of the first game, where one of it’s final scenes mimics the final act of the game, an intense close quarters run-and-gun through a hospital.

In the game, it’s a rough slog of fighting through tons of gunmen. However, the sequence in the show takes a whole new spin. Where you’re actively in the boots of the vengeful Joel as you play the game, the show takes you out of the boots of Joel and forces you to watch what is an objective evil act occur from an outside perspective. It really sets in the fact that Joel is not doing “the right thing”, dark lighting and red alarms blaring as Joel quickly and brutally murders his way through a hospital that is unable to put up any resistance. I think the focus the series has on humanity, including very few sequences where zombies are actually present, are an added positive.

While I would have liked to see more clickers portrayed, I think what we saw was an overall better story and an improvement on the “movie game” that “The Last of Us” originally was.

Braedon Martin is a Hutchinson sophomore studying journalism. He is the Managing Editor for Design and the Opinion Page Editor.

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