HBO’s The Last Of Us Will Be Less Violent Than The Game
The Last of Us is a pretty gory game. It's a series renowned for its relationships between characters and the journeys they go on, but it also likes to indulge in the odd gruesome death animation from time to time. Anyone that's unfortunately been caught by a Bloater and seen Joel get his jaw ripped off knows exactly what I'm talking about.
However, don't expect to see much in the way of gore and violence when HBO's The Last of Us series airs next month, as Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann has explained in a recent interview with SFX Magazine (thanks GamesRadar) that the show will only keep the bloodshed to a bare minimum. He states that the reason for doing so is to give the moments in which there is violence more of an impact, claiming that the TV format means the show doesn't need to bombard the viewer with fights as often as games do.
"We need a certain amount of action, or violence, that we could use for mechanics so you could connect with Joel and get into a flow state,” says Druckmann about The Last of Us video game. "Then you would really feel like you’re connected with this on-screen avatar and you’re seeing the world through his eyes."
"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."
It's not too surprising that The Last of Us trailer is holding back on the violence, as Druckmann and Mazin are probably correct in that constantly subjecting a passive audience to it makes it lose meaning as a show goes on. The Last of Us has always been a series that tries to drive home the consequences of violence too, especially the sequel, although whether or not it was successful in doing so is down to your individual interpretation.
For you fans of The Last of Us with a bit of bloodlust though, never fear as there will be plenty of death in the series, although showrunner Craig Mazin believes it will hit harder than in the game since we won't be "watching pixels die." Mazin claims that due to the very nature of video games and the ability for characters to die and respawn, death has more of an impact in movies and TV shows. It's true that there's more of a disconnect between violence in games than in other mediums, but Mazin's words probably won't sit very well with the fans of the material he's adapting.
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