The Last Of Us: That’s why the fight for survival in the HBO series is much less bloody than in the games

“The Last Of Us” starts in early January. A key unique selling point of the PS game is the explicit depiction of violence. Neil Druckmann now reveals why this is scaled down a bit in the series.

The Last Of Us
The Last Of Us

The Last Of Us” is set in a post-apocalyptic world where order has gone haywire. Marauding groups roam the country, monsters and beasts in human form threaten life and limb. No wonder, then, that explicit violence is an integral part of The Last Of Us video game series. Chief developer Neil Druckmann, who is also responsible for the series adaptation together with “Chernobyl” creator Craig Mazin, has now revealed in an interview with SFX Magazine: The level of violence in the HBO series will be reduced somewhat.


The Last of Us TV Series on HBO Gets a Premiere Date - IGN

Druckman explains that the action and violence in The Last Of Us games also serves to make you feel connected to your character and put you in a “flow state,” because then “you would really feel like… you are connected to this avatar on the screen and see the world through his eyes.” Violence thus becomes the connecting element, precisely because of the harsh and always ugly depictions of the fight sequences, as a player you feel as if you really have something lived through together with his character, which welded together forever.

That level of connection to the character doesn’t need to be built in a passive medium, however: “One of the things I thankfully heard from [co-creator Craig Mazin] and HBO very early on was, ‘Let’s take out all the violence, down to the most important part.’ Ultimately, it allowed the violence on the show to have an even greater impact than it does in the game, because if you continue to show the threat and see people’s reaction to a threat, it makes things even scarier. And if we do that Infected and revealing the clickers, you can see what brought humanity down and why everyone is so scared.”


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So while in the games threatening situations are constantly being resolved, be it through the use of force or the end of a game segment, in the series this threat simply remains unresolved and looms over future events.

In a previous interview with IGN, Druckmann hinted that the series will move away from the “hardcore action” of the games: “HBO has been good at pushing us to move away from the hardcore action, to be around us to focus more on the drama of the character. Some of my favorite episodes so far have deviated greatly from the story and I can’t wait for people to see them.”


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The Last Of Us is based on the 2013 PlayStation hit of the same name (and its expansion, Left Behind). Chief developer Neil Druckmann is now personally responsible for the HBO adaptation of the game series together with “Chernobyl” creator Craig Mazin. The plot will stay close to the events from the popular game series.

In the near future, a mysterious fungus has wiped out almost all of humanity. Cities are derelict, brutal marauders roam, and infected roam everywhere who have transformed into bloodthirsty, zombie-like creatures. The hard-nosed Joel ( Pedro Pascal ) and the young Ellie ( Bella Ramsey ) also make their way through this post-apocalyptic world , which may well hold the key to a better future…

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We already know from January 15, 2023 whether the “The Last Of Us” series will also appeal to fans of the series, when the HBO series will start in the USA. As Sky has now announced in an official press release, the series is coming to Germany as expected. The first episode of “The Last Of Us” is already running in Germany on the night of January 15th to 16th (probably from 3 a.m.) on Sky and the Sky streaming service WOW.

What do you think?

Written by Geekybar

Linguist-translator by education. I have been working in the field of advertising journalism for over 10 years.

For over 7 years in journalism. Half of them are as editor. My weakness is doing mini-investigations on new topics.


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