‘The Last of Us’

‘The Last of Us’

By LaShea DeSelle

Staff Writer

The last episode of the show “The Last of Us” aired on HBO on March 12 with another jaw dropping episode.

The TV series is derived from a 2013 action-adventure survival horror game franchise created by Naughty Dog and Sony Interactive Entertainment.

They released part one on PlayStation 3-5 and Windows for PC gamers.

Part two was released in 2020 exclusively for PlayStation 4.   

The show and game are set in a post-apocalyptic United States ravaged by cannibalistic creatures infected by a mutated fungus in the genus cordyceps.

The two main characters are Joel, a weary protagonist, and Ellie, the 14-year-old girl Joel is hired to smuggle out of a military quarantine zone.

What starts as a small job soon transforms into a brutal cross-country journey.

After the 2013 release of the successful game, PlayStation expanded the gaming experience in 2014 by delving deeper into the story of Ellie and her friendship with her best friend Riley in “The Last of Us: Left Behind.”

In a 2012 interview with Newshub.com, “The Last of Us” game designer Jacob Minkoff described the gameplay.

“It’s an extremely grounded, systems-driven game that has a ton of different player choices,” said Minkoff. “A bond between Joel and Ellie build as they travel across the United States seeing all kinds of different iconic environments and meeting new characters.”

The TV series is an eerily similar adaptation of the game that immerses viewers completely into the story.

It is written and created by Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann who break down the events of each episode during the HBO original documentary “Making of The Last of Us.”

Appearances by lead actors Pedro Pascal (Joel) and Bella Ramsey (Ellie) provide a peek into their experience on set and the effort it took to nail their roles for each episode.

Episode one, which was almost movie-length, dove into Joel’s way of survival in the post-apocalyptic United States and the incident with his daughter that changes his outlook on living, also introducing Ellie into the story.

Episode two continued with gut-wrenching action as the plot thickened with intense scenes of violence while the characters navigate through Boston.

 After two heavy episodes, Mazin wanted to shake things up with the characters Bill and Frank in episode three.

“I needed an episode to just take a breath,” Mazin said. “I started to think, naturally about how what would happen next is that we would get to Bill. The way Neil had designed Bill’s character in the game, he becomes a partner to you, in gameplay. Some of what he was, was connected specifically to the needs of gameplay. But also, he was a dark omen of what Joel could become, if he didn’t open his heart back up to somebody else.”

During episode three, we can see the way love transcends through time and circumstances. This entire episode is dedicated to Bill’s survival separately from the rest of the living people with his partner Frank.

Mazin and Druckmann constructed some of the best scenes in cinematography by combining effects and live action scenes that required a budget of almost $100 million dollars, according to HBO.

Rotten Tomatoes scored season one with a whopping rating of 96%, matching gaming network Imagine Games Network (IGN) 9/10-star rating for part one of the game.

Fans are enthralled in the journey Ellie and Joel must face within the next season which is rumored to begin production during the spring of 2024.

For now, fans across the world will have to have patience for season two, but until then we are able to binge the best moments from this season.

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