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HBO’s The Last of Us will include only “the very essential” violence

HBO’s The Last of Us TV show adaptation is set to premiere in just a few short weeks on the 15th of January 2023. Ahead of the show’s launch, TLOU creator and game director Neil Druckmann discussed the approach taken with this adaptation, revealing that only “the very essential” violence from the game will be kept for the show.

In an interview with SFX Magazine (and reported on by GamesRadar), Druckmann discussed the upcoming Last of Us TV show, comparing it to the game and explaining the differences needed to be made in order to correctly adapt the game into a different medium, saying:

“We need a certain amount of action, or violence [in the game], that we could use for mechanics so you could connect with Joel and get into a flow state. Then you would really feel like you're connected with this on-screen avatar and you're seeing the world through his eyes.”

Druckmann continued, “But that doesn't exist in a passive medium. One of the things that I loved hearing from [co-creator Craig Mazin] and HBO very early on was, ‘Let's take out all the violence except for the very essential.' That allowed the violence to have even more impact than in the game, because when you hold on showing the threat and you're seeing people's reaction to a threat, that makes it scarier. And when we do reveal the infected and the Clickers, you get to see what brought down humanity and why everyone is so scared.”

The Last of Us is a very violent game, and this works for the context of the game with us playing as the main character. This move to tone down the show slightly in terms of the consistency of the violence should make for an even more impactful viewing experience and so it is undoubtedly the right move.

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