The highly-anticipated HBO series adaptation of the popular 2013 video game, The Last of Us, premiered on HBO Max in the US on January 15th, and on Sky Atlantic in the UK on January 16th.
The series follows Joel, played by Pedro Pascal, as he is hired to smuggle 14-year-old Ellie, played by Bella Ramsey, out of a quarantine zone 20 years after modern civilization was destroyed by a zombie infection.
Alongside Pascal and Ramsey, the cast also includes Nick Offerman as Bill and Gabriel Luna as Tommy.
The creator of the Last of Us video game franchise, Neil Druckmann, is also a part of the live-action TV series.
Before its release, The Last of Us received high praise from critics, with a 98 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.
It has set a new record for being the highest ever score achieved for a live-action video game adaptation on Rotten Tomatoes.
While it’s possible the series’ score could drop in the next couple of weeks with more reviews coming in, it is well ahead of the second-best-scored live-action video game adaptation, Netflix’s The Witcher, which clocks in at an 81 percent.
Over the years, there have been many disappointing live-action video game adaptations.
The Assassin’s Creed film achieved a lowly 19 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, while Need for Speed’s venture into film didn’t do much better at 22 percent.
However, it’s worth noting that animated video game adaptations have generally done better than live-action. Netflix’s Arcane: League of Legends and Cyberpunk: Edgerunners – both video game adaptations – currently have perfect 100 percent scores on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Last of Us series is a must-watch for both fans of the game and non-gamers alike. ABC News’ review reads:
“Don’t worry if you’re not a gamer, this series—the best screen adaptation of a vidgame ever—will hit you hard.”
Financial Times’ review said:
“The Last of Us balances cold terror with warm humanity.”
The series is a triumph of ferocity and feeling, and it has set a new standard for live-action video game adaptations.