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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at USF chapter.

Gamers are constantly vying for their favorite video games to be created into TV and movies that do the source material justice, but what The Last of Us on HBO has done surpasses all expectations. The original game, released in 2013, brought in scores of players with its incredibly compelling story along with its genuinely terrifying zombies. The game follows Joel, a grizzled apocalypse survivor, and Ellie, a 14 year old girl with a life altering secret, as they try to navigate life 20 years after the end of the world. The game is not only fun to play, as players try to blast through hoards of fungus infested zombies, but it also has a strong emotional core which players can view just as they would a movie. 

These unique aspects of the game are only heightened in HBO’s rendition of The Last of Us. Following Joel and Ellie, played by actors Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey respectively, is as much fun as playing the games. However, through this medium, more aspects of this complex world are fleshed out. We see the first days of the apocalypse, the fallout afterwards, and even follow two characters throughout a 20 year relationship, one which was barely mentioned in the games. Every episode is beautifully shot, with some shots being kept so close to the game that it feels just like a cutscene. Every episode explores the relationship between Joel and Ellie, but also delves deeper into relationships between side characters, which all build towards a theme of family, responsibility, and the effects of love. 

As someone who found out about the world of The Last of Us through the TV show, I was initially out of my depth with the complexity of this world that was previously established in the games. However, creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann have created a narrative that not only honors the games, but also is a standalone piece of art. The love they have for The Last of Us’s story and characters shine through, with changes that fit the medium and that bring a fresh take to the story which all can appreciate. Every episode has sob worthy moments, and I would recommend a box of tissues and some Gatorade to rehydrate, because the zombies are no match for the emotional wounds these episodes inflict. 

Eight out of nine episodes have released so far, with episodes being released every Sunday night. A companion podcast that features the creators also comes out at the time of release for those who wish to delve deeper into the making of the episode. Another season has been confirmed which follows the story of the second Last of Us game. 

Hey there! My name is Aditi Dhruve and I'm a freshman at USF. I love writing about issues within my community as an Indian American, and things like fashion history, art, and films!