Last Of Us Game Designers Have Very Positive Response To HBO Footage

Game designers for The Last Of Us only have good things to say about the recently released footage of the game’s HBO adaptation. The fan-favorite video game (also titled The Last Of Us) was released by Naughty Dog in 2013, and accomplished the impressive feat of becoming the biggest original game launch since 2011. Garnering specific praise for its cinematic quality and compelling narrative, the game was picked up by HBO for a television adaptation in 2020. Helmed by game creator Neil Druckmann and Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin, the series has become the largest television production in Canadian history.

Since it was announced, the show has been met with plenty of buzz online. The hype has only increased with each subsequent update about the series, like the casting of Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey in the main roles of Joel and Ellie and the few set photos that have been released. On August 21st of this year, a 46-second first look clip of The Last Of Us was released by HBO. The footage proves that the big-budget series is set to live up to the hype by presenting a faithful adaptation of the beloved game.

In an interview with EW, original game designer Matthew Gallant noted his admiration for the upcoming series. Though neither he nor co-designer Shaun Escayg are involved in the HBO adaptation, the game designers seem thoroughly hyped for the show. See Gallant’s full quote below:

“It gave me goosebumps to watch the [HBO] trailer, as little footage as that was. I felt like I was wanting to watch it over and over again, and catch all the little details… They really, really care about the art direction. That two-second clip of the infected embedded in the wall. That looks like it’s right out of the game. The way the characters’ outfits look. The way certain lines are delivered in that trailer. That’s often not true in video game adaptations. They often take really big creative license with the original franchise. This looks like it’s just gonna be so authentic to the original games. And as someone who loves the original games, I’m so excited to see that being explored in a different medium.”

Though HBO’s The Last Of Us will reportedly take a few liberties with the source material, the involvement of Druckmann and game composer Gustavo Santaolalla, as well as the positive reaction of the game designers, bode well for the authenticity of the adaptation. Even if the series is not an exact replica of the game, a feat which would be virtually impossible no matter how cinematic the game due to the change in medium, the intentions behind the show are clearly to create a faithful retelling of the game’s fascinating story. The fact that Gallant and Escayg have signed off on the footage reveal and demonstrated excitement for the adaptation only contribute to the already-massive fan hype for the show.

Gallant’s mention of less faithful video game adaptations has never been more relevant, as video game adaptations are experiencing something of a heyday in this era of sequels, prequels, remakes, and reboots. Video game adaptations face a double-edged sword upon their release – if done well, like Arcane, they catapult to fame due to their built-in fan bases. However, they risk a public reckoning when executed poorly due to the high hopes of those same fans of the games. Luckily, it seems more and more likely that fans of The Last Of Us will fall in love with the story all over again when the HBO series releases next year.

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