the series of The Last of Us is getting episodes every Sunday, but you certainly aren’t seeing developments about the show here on Minha Série. All coverage of TechWorld of HBO’s new work is being done by the people at Voxel, who are masters in covering games and their derivatives.
This text, however, needed to be published here, in our little corner dedicated to movies and TV shows. The reason? the series of The Last of Us officially stopped being just an adaptation of a game. In its third episode, focused on the characters Bill and Frank, production has shown that it can be much better than its inspiring game.
Don’t get me wrong: I like The Last of Us like a game. However, the absence of gameplay ends up taking away the constant need for action, which opens doors to raise the level of the biggest attraction of Joel and Ellie’s journey: the story. This was already noticeable in the first two episodes of the series, but the story of Bill and Frank elevates this concept.
Bill’s differences in the game and the series
Who has played and replayed The last of us knows how shallow Bill’s story is. The sequence of the game with the character is marked by exchanges of barbs with Ellie, friendly insults with Joel and subtleties about the survivor’s past. And, also, gameplay: the main role of the character is to serve as an aid in the evolution of the gameplay.
Nick Offerman (left) plays Bill in The Last of Us series.
In the game, when it comes to history, we know that the guy is a great badass that he is surviving the apocalypse very well, that he has a past with the protagonist Joel and has already become involved with a person named Frank. However, the main focus of the game ends up being the clashes with the infected and the incessant search for a vehicle.
and why this happens? Because of the structure of The Last of Us like game. The game is made to have action sequences sprinkled with history, which ends up preventing such huge dives into secondary characters like Bill. As everything is practically seen through Ellie and Joel’s eyes, a big flashback focused on the history of Bill and Frank’s relationship could break the pace of gameplay. Because of this, we only get a few glimpses into the lives of the two characters.
At the end of the day, the action is the main focus in the video game. The Last of Us, as it works best in an interactive medium. When you have the controller in your hands trying to escape a giant killer fungus, the fear brought by immersion tends to be much greater than watching it on TV. In the series, who are “playing” the story are the actors: there is much more room for drama, something that is being well used by the cast of The Last of Us.
Without needing to cling to the action moments, The Last of Us gives more space to the story of its characters
When the series takes the focus away from the action characteristic of games and turns the camera to Bill as a character, not a narrative lever, we have two great successes. In addition to deepening someone who is already known to gamers with a touching story, we also have an extension of the universe of The Last of Us.
While the game’s version of Bill serves practically as a prop for Joel and Ellie, things take a different turn on television. In the third episode of the series, we see that there is still life in this apocalyptic world. More than life, there are also reasons to keep fighting and protecting dear people.
- The Last of Us: who’s who (meet the cast and characters)
With this premise, in addition to showing that Bill was much more than his arsenal of weapons and a car, the series also provides even more context for protagonist Joel’s actions.. After all, in addition to a “friendship” with the armamentist, an entire relationship arc between Frank and Tess, which is non-existent in games, is also established.
While we have little about Bill and Frank in the game, the series provides an exciting arc for the characters.
While Bill’s “gamer” counterpart makes it clear that affection can kill you, the show’s version delivers the opposite message, pointing out that it’s important to keep protecting people. The message fits perfectly with Joel’s current journey in the series, which has an annoying teenager in his custody. The protagonist played by Pedro Pascal doesn’t have many obligations with the life of Bella Ramsey’s character, especially after getting everything she needed from Bill, but he continues to protect her.
Can the series surpass the games?
By filling the gameplay space with more story rather than simple action moments or adaptations, HBO shows how the series The Last of Us can become bigger and better than the original game in the franchise in terms of narrative. For those who are not interested in spending hours fighting infected and collecting bottles and bricks, it is no longer necessary to resort to YouTube videos to follow Ellie and Joel’s journey.
If it continues at this pace, the series will become the definitive version of the story of The Last of Us. It is important to emphasize, however, that this does not invalidate the great work that already exists in games. After all, we are talking about different media, with different approaches and totally different experiences.
Ellie and Joel in the third episode of The Last of Us series
The series does very well in going beyond the games’ story and providing a greater context for everything that is happening in the post-apocalyptic world. With in-depth and chilling builds, HBO not only adapts, but enhances the already conceptualized narrative of The Last of Us. As a fan of the game’s history, that’s exactly what I want: something better. Otherwise, just turn on the video game and play it all over again.
Bringing more depth and changes, the third episode of the season may become one of the most memorable of the series, but it should also displease the most “conservative” gamers for its changes. For this group, my recommendation is to put the PlayStation (and soon the PC) to work and get back to playing. The Last of Usbecause the story you already know continues to exist, unchanged, with a lot of interactivity and fights with infected people.
And the magic of a well-made adaptation is precisely this: to deliver the option of how to consume a well-told story. I don’t know about you, but I have no problem giving up the fight with Clickers on PlayStation to simply watch a bigger, better narrative with great performances.