In case you didn't get the memo, video games have been turned into movies and TV shows that are good now. I'm not sure exactly when it happened. Probably at some point between Ryan Reynolds turning into Pikachu and OG movie Sonic having a redesign didn't give us nightmares. Since then various studios have announced adaptations of Mass Effect, God Of War, BioShock, and for some reason It Takes Two. The only part about that game not worth exploring more was the story, so good luck to whoever takes that one on.
I'm excited for pretty much all of the above. Yes, even It Takes Two despite my snide remark. However, none of them come close to how much I'm looking forward to seeing what HBO does with The Last Of Us. Production has been underway for a while, and everything I've seen so far, whether it be a leaked photo or official news, has me feeling incredibly confident the big-budget show will do the games justice. The casting has been spot on, the sets are so detailed you can instantly pick out where exactly in the games they've been lifted from, and even the cordyceps infection you can see crawling up the walls has been intricately replicated. Everything has been so well done that I can't decide if I'm excited or terrified to experience a live-action Clicker for the first time.
Odds are most of you who played The Last Of Us are as excited about the HBO adaptation as I am. Seeing characters you love come to life, whether it be from a game, a book, a comic, or otherwise, is always exciting. You just have to hope those in charge of retelling their stories via an entirely new medium do them justice. I'd hazard to guess I might actually be looking forward to the show a little more than most people, though. I'm especially keen to relive Joel and Ellie's story without a controller in my hand, as I don't think I will ever do so with one.
For most of my life, the first four Sonic games, with a special onus on Sonic 2, were my favorites. I never thought anything would knock them off of that pedestal, especially since for a large chunk of my life I played pretty much nothing but FIFA, Call Of Duty, and GTA. A few years ago I had a video game awakening and re-expanded my horizons. That eventually led me to the doorstep of The Last Of Us.
The Last Of Us pulled me in like no game ever before. I struggle to play even the most immersive games for more than a few hours at a time, but there were points where I lost whole evenings to Joel and Ellie's journey. I had that feeling you get when you finish a chapter of a book or watch an episode of a show with an epic cliffhanger and you have to move on to the next immediately. Except here there was no discernable break. Just moving through the game, needing to know what happens next.
The benefit of unwittingly waiting for eight years to play what is now my favorite game is The Last Of Us Part 2 was ready and waiting for me once I was done. I continued Ellie's journey immediately, not having to endure what must have been an excruciating wait for the rest of you. I empathize with any of you that had to do that and sympathize with those of you now waiting for any hint that there will be a Part 3. That feeling hit me as soon as I rolled credits on Part 2. My epic journey was over, and it might be over forever. I needed more, and I still do, but there isn't anymore and there might never be.
Before you say just play through them again, that's not going to cut it for me. Not this time. I have played the first four Sonic games more times than I can remember, and when the Origins collection launches, hopefully this year, I will play them again. But I will almost definitely never play The Last Of Us nor its sequel ever again. The enjoyment from the games was from experiencing its story for the first time: watching the characters evolve, the unexpected twists, the heart-wrenching losses, that inability to put down the controller as I needed to know what was coming next. Those feelings and experiences simply cannot be replicated via a second playthrough.
The show will tell the same (or at least a very similar) story to the games, and that might make you question how watching it will be any different to me than simply playing through the first game. But this is The Last Of Us as seen through different eyes. When Bella Ramsey is about to drop into the Rat King's lair, it'll be her problem, not mine. I can watch, safe in the knowledge that she'll be fine. Perhaps best of all, I'll be reliving one of my favorite stories along with everyone else in real-time. All the people who played the game before me, and all my non-gamer friends who otherwise wouldn't experience it. Maybe one day enough time will have passed, and they will have been remastered so many times, that I want to play The Last Of Us again, but right now the only way I will ever experience the thrill again is through the eyes of whoever is running the show at HBO.
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