Season 2 of The Last of Us can fix the biggest flaw in the video game | digital trends

The general consensus around season 1 of The last of us It seems that it was a resounding success. The first 9 episodes of the HBO series faithfully adapt the original The last of us video game, which was first released 10 years ago in 2013. Now, The last of us Showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann are set to begin work in earnest on the second season of the HBO show, which Druckmann has confirmed will adapt the events of 2020. The Last of Us Part II.

Anyone who’s played that divisive sequel will know that it’s not as easy a game to adapt as the original. The last of us. To their credit, Druckmann and Mazin seem to be aware of this. The couple, in fact, have already said they believe The Last of Us Part IIIt will be necessary to tell the story of several television seasons to be able to adapt it faithfully.

While that will go a long way to help The last of us Avoiding the risk of releasing a second season that feels narratively rushed isn’t the only creative decision Mazin and Druckmann will have to make to address the issues they dragged down. The Last of Us Part II down when originally released.

The last of us the biggest challenge of season 2

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The Last of Us Part II is a very different game than its 2013 predecessor. Unlike the original The last of uswhich tells a fairly linear story, Part II it spends large portions of its execution time bouncing around in time. The game is filled with more flashbacks than you know what to do with. Not only does he frequently reminisce about some of the moments Joel and Ellie shared in the 4 years between him and the original. The last of usbut it also features flashbacks dedicated solely to fleshing out the life and perspective of its deuteragonist, Abby.

Abby is introduced at the beginning of The Last of Us Part II without much fanfare or explanation, which makes his actions at the end of his first act all the more shocking. Unfortunately, the game’s decision to present Abby that way also forces it to spend much of its second half going back in time to moments that are meant to help explain her actions throughout. The Last of Us Part II. In case all of that wasn’t ambitious (or confusing) enough, the game’s second act is also split into two chapters that explore the same 3-day period from the dueling perspectives of two characters.

Suffice it to say: The Last of Us Part II it makes a lot of narrative choices that not only work within the confines of a video game, but definitely wouldn’t work on a TV show. The good news is that Craig Mazin, who received widespread acclaim several years ago for his work on HBO Chernobylseems fully aware of the structural problems with The Last of Us Part II.

A potential solution

Abby stands in the rain in The Last of Us Part 2.
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In the final episode of the official HBO program The last of us podcast, Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin spoke briefly about their plans for the series’ second season. Specifically, when asked about their approach to adapting The Last of Us Part IIDruckmann said: “We’re going to see what made that story special and what is the soul of that story, and that needs to stay intact. And then the rhythms and the characters from moment to moment, they can stay the same, they can change. We will do what needs to happen in that story as it transfers from one medium to another.”

Mazin, for his part, added: “We will also take advantage of the freedom that we have on television that did not exist in games, specifically, the advantage of changing perspective. So we’ll use whatever we can use in a new medium to tell that story, and we’ll go through the same adaptation process.”

Mazin’s comment, in particular, suggests that future seasons of his and Druckmann’s hit HBO show won’t necessarily have to rely on as many non-linear storytelling tricks as The Last of Us Part II does. That’s an extremely good thing, especially given how disjointed The Last of Us Part IIis the structure of , as well as the irregular rhythm in which it tells its story.

Joel and Ellie look at each other on a rooftop in episode 9 of The Last of Us.
Liane Hentscher/HBO

Some of The Last of Us Part IIThe flaws of are not the result of its overly ambitious story, but rather the fact that video games require their stories to be told from the perspective of the characters their players inhabit. For one thing, that requirement gives games a higher level of interactivity than movies or TV shows. On the other hand, it also means that they can’t bounce between multiple perspectives with the same ease. In The Last of Us Part IIthat fact becomes so apparent that it nearly strangles the entire life of the game’s story.

Based solely on Craig Mazin’s recent comments, it appears that The last of usThe next seasons will not have the same luck. Instead, the program may well end up throwing Part II‘s nonlinear structure as a whole. Doing so would make the next chapter of the show’s story flow much more smoothly than in video game form and give it The last of us the opportunity to alternate between Ellie and Abby’s stories as they move at the same time and pace.

In other words, viewers may never have to worry about HBO shows. The last of us spending five episodes building up to a major turning point in its story only to spend the next five episodes exploring the same time period it literally just did. Thank God.

Season 1 of The last of us is available to stream now on HBO Max.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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