One of Naughty Dog’s best-selling games, The Last of Us was launched for the PlayStation 3 in 2013 to widespread critical and financial acclaim, and a sequel is scheduled for release in 2020. It’s been given a high-quality makeover and made available again on PC and next-gen platforms.
HBO announced in March 2020 that they will be adapting the game into a television series, with the game’s creator and director, Neil Druckmann, serving as writer and executive producer.
What’s The Last Of Us About?
The Clickers, Bloaters, and other monsters from the critically acclaimed Sony PlayStation game that the HBO series The Last of Us is based on aren’t what scares writer Craig Mazin the most. The time when one scientist realizes that a fungal brain illness will turn humanity into barbaric cannibals. This is a made-for-the-show flashback that didn’t make it into either the 2013 or 2020 games. Look at the Zombies virus in the next paragraph.
Zombies Are Viruses, Right?
Yes, albeit the “zombies” in The Last of Us are unlike any others. Rather than being a fictional virus, this one is based on a real-life mutation of a fungus belonging to the genus Cordyceps that causes an insatiable craving for human flesh.
Because of their unsettling clicking sound, the monsters are not referred to as zombies but rather Clickers. The fungal origins give them a look that is distinct from the standard zombie; their faces resemble the mushroom platforms that grow on the sides of trees. Take a look at the review of The Last of Us About.
The Last Of Us About Review
In the second episode of The Last of Us, we are met with a cold open that once again demonstrates Neil Druckmann’s ambition to grow this universe beyond the confines of the first game. A riveting exposition of how the fungus works for novices and fascinating new context for those acquainted, this is not necessary to Joel and Ellie’s adventure.
Transported to 2003 Jarkarta, we see the beginning of the pandemic that will soon sweep the globe in a horrific sequence that sees all hope drained from Professor Ratna thanks to a brilliantly nuanced performance.
After building up to a point of silent dread, the scenario abruptly suggests bombing an entire city. Taking us back to a bombed-out Boston is a powerful image that foreshadows the show’s bleak present.
Save who you can save.
— The Last of Us (@TheLastofUsHBO) January 23, 2023
Bella Ramsey’s performance as Ellie, which provides much-needed comic relief in an otherwise bleak environment, has not diminished at all. As the full evils of the larger world are slowly exposed to her, she remains reliant yet resourceful and, crucially, determined to learn.
Not much seems to indicate that Joel is interested in anything beyond using her as transportation to see his brother Tommy in Wyoming at this point. Ellie’s care and education about the world beyond the QZ gates are primarily provided by Tess.
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Anna Torv gives a fantastic performance throughout, revealing vulnerability beneath a tough exterior. Together with Pedro Pascal, she does a fantastic job of making the audience care about their characters’ backstories in a relatively brief period of screen time. Both have tough exteriors but can show genuine affection and trust for one another.
With nature’s reclamation of every structure, car, and dining table in full action, the set design remains one of the show’s highlights. Fungal strands wind across the streets like the electricity that once powered these cities, serving as a constant reminder that humanity no longer possesses them.
However, Tess’ horrifying description of how infected colonies can function as a single organism coupled with a bird’s-eye view of a mass gathering of the colony is an image that stands out. That many afflicted people are terrible on their own, but often even one new strain is more alarming.
Leaving the QZ.
— The Last of Us (@TheLastofUsHBO) January 22, 2023
Clickers, an echo-locating subspecies of the infected, are first encountered; their chirping voices, which sound like a cross between the Predator’s croaking battle cry and a ghoulish screech, are the last things most people hear before they perish.
They look horrible, with their (largely) human bodies and grotesque fungus heads standing in stark contrast to one another. It’s not lost on me that our initial encounter with one of them takes place in a museum, given that they eventually take over not only the present day but also a place meant to preserve human history.
Like the velociraptors in the Jurassic Park kitchen, the Clickers prowl the museum’s floor and spring into action as suddenly as they were spotted. The close-ups resemble a young Joe Mazzello in this excellent illustration of tension building to a climax with the sound of breaking glass on a floor that will soon be littered with bloody chanterelle pieces.
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