What makes The Last of Us special
- Written by Michael Kateregga
The Last of Us season one is over. Was it a great show? The finale drew 8.2 million viewers, which is a series high.
Keep in mind that it aired on the same night as the Oscars. Clearly, people love the show. This is the trajectory studios expect. They want the viewership to grow with each episode, culminating in a record-breaking season finale. I have liked what I have seen so far (five episodes), but I expressed my reservations with the show when the first episode aired, and nothing has changed.
I played and loved the video game. Therefore, the live-action adaptation has nothing new to offer me. The gaming experience is significantly superior for two reasons. First, it’s fresh. Secondly, you have more time. Because I am a slow gamer, Sam and Henry’s story ended several days after I met them. So their fate was more harrowing.
I spent weeks on the road with Ellie, listening to the character as she oohed and aahed at the novel discoveries she made along the way. That generates an attachment you won’t find in a nine-hour show. That brings us to the sequel. We know from Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin that The Last of Us is getting a second season, although, I would be surprised if the show stretched past the third season.
What does that mean for people like me that never played The Last of Us 2? Should we play the second game before watching season two, or are we better off watching the TV show first and playing the game second? If you have not played the first game, start there, assuming you finished the show.
The Last of Us 1 is a masterpiece. Once you play it, wait for The Last of Us season two to air. The second game should come last. From the little I have seen, the second game is even better than the first. However, it may also prevent you from enjoying the TV show. Games are more versatile. Even if you know the story, the gameplay adds a thrill that accentuates the experience.
And again, you have more time. You can explore the setting and engage the characters in ways the TV show could never replicate. Therefore, watching the show first won’t ruin your experience of the game.
Naturally, it comes down to personality; have you seen the reactions to The Last of Us season one? People are shaken to the core by the tragedy in this show. And those reactions make sense if the events of the story are new to you.
The Last of Us is survival horror, and the game is at its best when it pits Joel and Ellie against the undead. You feel so helpless against the clickers that every snapping twig, clanging pipe, and mournful whisper makes you jump. Eventually, the noise falls away, and it is all silent, which makes you even more paranoid.
I don’t feel that tension when I watch the show because I know who lives and who dies. Therefore, while I am tempted to play The Last of Us 2, I think I’ll watch the second season first.
I want to finally experience this show like a non- gamer. I want to enjoy all the meaty human drama, and the heart-wrenching brutality Druckmann and Maizin will dish out once they adapt the second game.
But that’s just me. Maybe you played the first game, but you still love the TV show, and playing the second game won’t dilute your enjoyment of the second season.