Critics reviews of HBO’s new series “The Last of Us” are out and with 29 reviews counted, the series is charting as of writing at a perfect 100% on Rotten Tomatoes along with a very solid 82/100 on Metacritic from 18 reviews.
Essentially every review dubs it the best video game adaptation ever made and points to it as precisely what a good adaptation should do – honoring the original whilst also expanding it and even improving in some areas.
The few criticisms surround issues of pacing, saying the show does move too fast at times, with the first episode the weakest of the bunch. Others find a problem of this coming in the wake of other horror survival shows.
All praise the deviations from the original game, especially episode three, which seems to be the high point of the whole series, and many suspect it’s going to be one of the year’s best works.
Below is a sampling of quotes from various reviews for the Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin-produced series:
“Comfortably the best adaptation of a video game ever made: one that deepens the game’s dystopian lore while staying true to its emotional core. Like the game, it’s a masterpiece, too. 5/5” – John Nungent, Empire
“For fans of the game, it is an adaptation of the utmost skill and reverence, yet one still capable of surprise; for people who have never picked up a controller, it is an encapsulation of the game’s heart and soul – its full-blooded characters, its neat plotting, its mature themes of love and loss. 4/5” – Stephen Kelly, BBC
“The show expertly tugs on both the heartstrings and the nerves to create something that feels very binge-able. For thriller fans, it’s going to be catnip: more please.” – Vicky Jessop, London Evening Standard
“From the performances to the storytelling to the aesthetic elements, it’s an exquisitely made adaptation. But it also asks viewers to absorb a whole lot of human misery without saying much that we haven’t already heard in similar shows.” – Judy Berman, TIME
“The Last of Us becomes at least as engrossing in its quiet moments as in its scary ones — and arguably more so when it’s just focusing on who these people are rather than the dangers they are running from.” – Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone
“What works about ‘The Last of Us’ works well enough that one sees the near future in which the show winds up among television’s best. The raw material, including a poignant and thoughtful curiosity about what it might be like to live through catastrophe, is there.” – Daniel D’Addario, Variety
“The Last of Us series does not feel like a revolution of any kind – it is simply well-made television that elevates itself slightly above some of its genre peers” – Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair
“The Last of Us” premieres the first of its nine-episode series on January 15th on HBO.