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Has ‘The Last of Us’ Broke the Game Adaptation Curse?



The Last of Us, Naughty Dog’s critically acclaimed video game released on the PlayStation 3 in 2013, has been considered a masterpiece by both critics and gamers alike. But what sets it apart from other video game adaptations that have come before it? Has it broken the “game adaptation curse”?

The curse of video game adaptations is a phenomenon where film and television adaptations of video games tend to be poorly received by both audiences and critics.

This can be attributed to a number of reasons, such as a lack of understanding of the source material, poor casting choices, and a lack of faithfulness to the original story. However, The Last of Us has managed to avoid many of these pitfalls, and as you are going to find out today, it may have just changed the tides for game adaptations.

The Last Of Us Has a Simple Yet Incredibly Emotional Story

One of the key factors that sets The Last of Us apart from other game adaptations is its story. The game’s story, which follows the journey of a father-daughter duo as they navigate a post-apocalyptic world overrun by a deadly fungus, is both emotionally charged and deeply personal. The game’s story was written by Neil Druckmann and was praised for its compelling characters, emotional depth, and masterful storytelling.

However, there is one thing that is missing from The Last of Us’ story; complexity. Take a look at any The Last of Us review and you will see heaps of praise regarding its beautiful storytelling and atmospheric marvels, but there are mysteriously no mentions of complexity.

This is for a good reason. You see, the Last of Us is not a complex story. The best way to describe The Last of Us is as various games of survival overshadowed by a depressing narrative following how an orphan and a grizzled old veteran bond, and this is about as complex as it gets.

TLAU is a story that is easily translatable, and while this spells success for this game adaptation in particular, it does little to nothing to change the game adaptation curse.

Staying Faithful To The Source Material is an Abnormality

Another thing that worked heavily in The Last of Us’ favour was the fact that it sticks so close to the source material. The showrunners behind The Last of Us have done an excellent job at staying as close to the source material as possible while still adding a unique flair, and this comes together to create an experience that is loved by TLOU fans and casual viewers alike.

It’s also worth noting that the cast from TLOU also plays a huge part in bringing this story to life. Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey capture the essence of their respective characters perfectly, and this makes the whole show feel incredibly close to the source material.

This is an abnormality in the world of game adaptations. Most game adaptations feel entirely removed from their source material, and this is one of the main reasons why the dreaded game adaptation curse was brought to light. Hopefully, this show will make other producers realise how important sticking to the source material truly is.

We hope we have been able to give you a better insight into whether or not The Last of Us has been able to break the game adaptation curse. While The Last of Us itself has most definitely broken the game adaptation curse, this does not mean that every single game adaptation that comes out is now going to be able to replicate its success.

Until producers learn the importance of following source material and realise that not every story has to be an intricate, multi-layered story, game adaptations are likely going to continue to disappoint. The Last of Us is an exception.

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