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I think we might have our first truly great adaptation here (Gaming)

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Sunday, March 21, 2021, 11:40 (32 days ago)

https://www.ign.com/articles/the-last-of-us-hbo-show-season-1-adapts-the-first-game-but-will-deviate-greatly-in-some-...

For example, in the game, there’s so much action you have to have to train the player about mechanics. You have to have more violence and more spectacle to some degree than you would need on a TV show because you don’t need to train people on how to use a gun. So that’s something that’s been really different, and HBO’s been great in pushing us to move away from hardcore action and 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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I think we might have our first truly great adaptation here

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Monday, March 22, 2021, 10:07 (31 days ago) @ Cody Miller

If Druckmann helped keep the focus on character like he did in the original game, then color me cautiously optimistic.

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I think we might have our first truly great adaptation here

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Monday, March 22, 2021, 14:45 (31 days ago) @ Kermit

If Druckmann helped keep the focus on character like he did in the original game, then color me cautiously optimistic.

I have no opinion on whether the show is likely to be good or not, but the question I do have is: what will the show bring to the table above and beyond the game? The game was paced wonderfully, and roughly equal in length to many modern television “seasons”. The performances were also top-notch. The TV show will need to at least match the quality of those performances, while also staying “true” to the original portrayals of the characters... no small feat.

There’s also the issue of what gets lost by moving away from the video game medium. It isn’t obvious to me that some of the key dramatic payoffs in the story of TLoU will hit as hard without the experience of actively participating in some of the more chaotic/impactful moments. The article specifically mentions the fact that they don’t need as much action in the tv series, but that skips over the fact that the game incorporated action as part of the emotional ebb and flow of the narrative. Sometimes a particularly stressful stealth section was used to increase the sense of tension or dread. Other times, the action was more cathartic. A tv series can obviously use action in similar ways, but not necessarily to the same degree. Plus, if you were to approach the story of The Last of Us as a TV editor, the typical approach would be to only include action sequences that move the plot forward and/or convey something important about the characters. For tv and film, that’s a decent rule of thumb, and could work just fine for an adaptation of TLoU. Again, I just keeping thinking: “But... why?”. What will this adaptation bring to the table?

Of course, it’s totally possible that the answer to my question is simply “a wider audience”. I have plenty of friends with whom I wanted to share TLoU because I thought they’d really enjoy it, but they aren’t gamers. And as I discovered, those YouTube “games as movies” videos don’t do it justice. Maybe this adaptation will be close enough to allow non-gamers to experience it decently well.

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I think we might have our first truly great adaptation here

by cheapLEY @, Monday, March 22, 2021, 17:05 (31 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

Of course, it’s totally possible that the answer to my question is simply “a wider audience”. I have plenty of friends with whom I wanted to share TLoU because I thought they’d really enjoy it, but they aren’t gamers. And as I discovered, those YouTube “games as movies” videos don’t do it justice. Maybe this adaptation will be close enough to allow non-gamers to experience it decently well.

I think that's all in needs to be. People are too hung up on adaptations.

Does Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings need to exist? Is it as good as the books were? No and no, but it's still worth existing and experiencing for its own sake.

I think this is the perfect candidate for a good adaption. I also agree that the gameplay is tied into the story in both themes and atmosphere in a way that almost no other game I've played has done. I don't think that gameplay is essential to the themes, atmosphere, or story, though. I think film can capture all of those things just as well, if not better in some ways. There's plenty of segments of that game that do feel like just filler, like every single time I had to find a ladder or plank or pallet for Ellie.

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I think we might have our first truly great adaptation here

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Monday, March 22, 2021, 17:41 (31 days ago) @ cheapLEY

Of course, it’s totally possible that the answer to my question is simply “a wider audience”. I have plenty of friends with whom I wanted to share TLoU because I thought they’d really enjoy it, but they aren’t gamers. And as I discovered, those YouTube “games as movies” videos don’t do it justice. Maybe this adaptation will be close enough to allow non-gamers to experience it decently well.


I think that's all in needs to be. People are too hung up on adaptations.

Does Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings need to exist? Is it as good as the books were? No and no, but it's still worth existing and experiencing for its own sake.

So I do get your point, and I generally agree, but I think TLoU being adapted to TV is very different from TLotR being made into films. Movies and Novels are just drastically different experiences, with their own unique strengths and weaknesses. TLoU already has a very cinematic, dramatic presentation. It’s storytelling didn’t feel “held back” due to being a video game, the way so many games end up feeling. A TV series can certainly reach a different (potentially broader) audience. My main concern though is that TLoU: The Game is one of the absolute triumphs of the entire medium. What are the chances that a TV adaptation will come anywhere close to reaching a similar high?


I think this is the perfect candidate for a good adaption. I also agree that the gameplay is tied into the story in both themes and atmosphere in a way that almost no other game I've played has done. I don't think that gameplay is essential to the themes, atmosphere, or story, though. I think film can capture all of those things just as well, if not better in some ways. There's plenty of segments of that game that do feel like just filler, like every single time I had to find a ladder or plank or pallet for Ellie.

See, I think the way TLoU wove gameplay into the emotional arch of the story is precisely what makes it so fantastic AND unique. Take that out of it, and you’re left with a well made story with great performances. Still totally stands up on its own, but it’s not like there’s a shortage of similar content already on TV and in Film. We already have The Road, Logan, or The Walking Dead (granted, TWD has been all over the map in terms of quality, but at its best it certainly was deserving of the hype IMO).

In a vacuum, it’s totally fine if the TLoU show comes out and it’s decent, or even really good. But my fear with this particular choice is that if it doesn’t receive a comparably glowing reception to the original game, it might put a bit of a chill on studios willingness to try more video game adaptations in the future. I don’t think TLoU is special because of any of its “big picture” attributes. For me, it’s the countless tiny details that all came together like lightning in a bottle. I just can’t help but think the odds of a TV series duplicating all those successes are vanishingly small.

I actually think a franchise like Destiny is a much better option for screen adaptation, because there’s so much rich source material to pull from, but all the room in the world to create a new, unique stand-alone story that doesn’t have to match any pre-existing narrative beat for beat.

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I think we might have our first truly great adaptation here

by cheapLEY @, Monday, March 22, 2021, 20:05 (30 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

So I do get your point, and I generally agree, but I think TLoU being adapted to TV is very different from TLotR being made into films. Movies and Novels are just drastically different experiences, with their own unique strengths and weaknesses. TLoU already has a very cinematic, dramatic presentation. It’s storytelling didn’t feel “held back” due to being a video game, the way so many games end up feeling. A TV series can certainly reach a different (potentially broader) audience. My main concern though is that TLoU: The Game is one of the absolute triumphs of the entire medium. What are the chances that a TV adaptation will come anywhere close to reaching a similar high?

I hear this a lot, and I disagree. I think adapting a game to film is almost as big a change as adapting book to film. While it is obviously a more similar medium, I think the removal of gameplay presents as much of a challenge as translating text. The structure is the major change in either adaptation.

To us, the story wasn’t held back. But it’s held back in that not many people are going to play a 20 hour video game, in the same way that many people might not read a thousand page book.

See, I think the way TLoU wove gameplay into the emotional arch of the story is precisely what makes it so fantastic AND unique. Take that out of it, and you’re left with a well made story with great performances. Still totally stands up on its own, but it’s not like there’s a shortage of similar content already on TV and in Film. We already have The Road, Logan, or The Walking Dead (granted, TWD has been all over the map in terms of quality, but at its best it certainly was deserving of the hype IMO).

Funny you mention that, as I honestly expect Logan to remain the best film version of TLOU.

In a vacuum, it’s totally fine if the TLoU show comes out and it’s decent, or even really good. But my fear with this particular choice is that if it doesn’t receive a comparably glowing reception to the original game, it might put a bit of a chill on studios willingness to try more video game adaptations in the future. I don’t think TLoU is special because of any of its “big picture” attributes. For me, it’s the countless tiny details that all came together like lightning in a bottle. I just can’t help but think the odds of a TV series duplicating all those successes are vanishingly small.

I don’t disagree with that at all. The story is told and presented well, for sure, but being a game is what makes it special, I think. I guess I’m just totally fine with watching a decent adaptation. Sure, it’s a well worn genre, but since when has that mattered? The Godfather existing didn’t prevent anyone from making their own gangster movies. I feel like this is the same discussion that happens every time a book is made into a movie. I’m kind of at the point where I don’t care, I guess. It doesn’t really matter—at the end of the day the game still exists and is still amazing. But I do think the story is good enough to warrant being adapted.

I actually think a franchise like Destiny is a much better option for screen adaptation, because there’s so much rich source material to pull from, but all the room in the world to create a new, unique stand-alone story that doesn’t have to match any pre-existing narrative beat for beat.

I can’t disagree with that either!

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I think we might have our first truly great adaptation here

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Monday, March 22, 2021, 22:20 (30 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

Presumably that’s why Bungie hired all those people from Paramount and are seeking to take Destiny into new media.

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I think we might have our first truly great adaptation here

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Monday, March 22, 2021, 22:25 (30 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

The point I think they are making is that this adaptation is free from having the story have to inform the moments you play. At the end of the day, the story for Last of Us had to be something that would put you in positions that were fun to interact with. The adaptation does not need to do this. The story can be “anything”, whereas a game story must be something that facilitates interesting play scenarios.

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I think we might have our first truly great adaptation here

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Tuesday, March 23, 2021, 20:59 (29 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

If Druckmann helped keep the focus on character like he did in the original game, then color me cautiously optimistic.


I have no opinion on whether the show is likely to be good or not, but the question I do have is: what will the show bring to the table above and beyond the game? The game was paced wonderfully, and roughly equal in length to many modern television “seasons”. The performances were also top-notch. The TV show will need to at least match the quality of those performances, while also staying “true” to the original portrayals of the characters... no small feat.

There’s also the issue of what gets lost by moving away from the video game medium. It isn’t obvious to me that some of the key dramatic payoffs in the story of TLoU will hit as hard without the experience of actively participating in some of the more chaotic/impactful moments. The article specifically mentions the fact that they don’t need as much action in the tv series, but that skips over the fact that the game incorporated action as part of the emotional ebb and flow of the narrative. Sometimes a particularly stressful stealth section was used to increase the sense of tension or dread. Other times, the action was more cathartic. A tv series can obviously use action in similar ways, but not necessarily to the same degree. Plus, if you were to approach the story of The Last of Us as a TV editor, the typical approach would be to only include action sequences that move the plot forward and/or convey something important about the characters. For tv and film, that’s a decent rule of thumb, and could work just fine for an adaptation of TLoU. Again, I just keeping thinking: “But... why?”. What will this adaptation bring to the table?

A bigger question for me was, why make a sequel game? I understand from a business perspective, but I hated the decision from an artistic perspective. Other than not being able to endure the atmosphere during a pandemic year, I'm not excited about having the perfection of the first game diluted. I'm sure that has something to do with why i've played only three or four hours of Part II.

Of course, it’s totally possible that the answer to my question is simply “a wider audience”. I have plenty of friends with whom I wanted to share TLoU because I thought they’d really enjoy it, but they aren’t gamers. And as I discovered, those YouTube “games as movies” videos don’t do it justice. Maybe this adaptation will be close enough to allow non-gamers to experience it decently well.

And that's a good enough answer. The truth is it's just good source material. Yes, the experience of playing the game can't be replicated, but TLoU has good bones--the story, the themes, and the characters are all strong. The right creative talent who understands what makes it work can use that material in the different medium and take advantage of what's possible in that medium to make something special. I'm actually heartened that they acknowledge that it won't be some kind of shot-for-shot re-creation.

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