The first episode of HBO's The Last of Us is now out, and as a longtime fan of the games, I am super excited for a new fandom to get into the story of Joel and Ellie.
You may have heard that the show is an incredibly faithful adaptation thus far, which is definitely true. But there are still some changes from the video game to the series — so here are some of the biggest similarities and differences:
Warning: Major spoilers for The Last of Us Episode One and some game play.
1.One change right off the bat is that the game begins in 2013, whereas the show starts in 2003. "I just had this thing where if I'm watching a show and it takes place 20 years in the future from my time now, it just seems less real," showrunner Craig Mazin told Insider.
2.The opening of the show is different from the game. The game doesn't open with the news flashback explaining the fungal pandemic, or any of the details of the daytime on outbreak day.
3.That's not to say that there aren't details about the nature of the pandemic in the game — one of the first things you can do in game play is pick up this newspaper that warns of "contaminated crops" and "admittance spikes at area hospitals."
4.You might be wondering why the game doesn't include anything about Sarah's day in school or with the neighbors. The answer is simple: You initially play as Sarah in the game, instantly giving you a personal connection to her. "We can't do that in a television show," Craig explained, "but what we can do is give you more moments with her alone."
5.Following Sarah in the show does allow some clues about the imminent breakout to be dropped — like her classmate, whose hand is twitching in the school scene.
6.And this terrifying shot:
7.But the show and game versions of Sarah are incredibly similar — even down to their T-shirts.
8.Instead, the game opens with Sarah giving Joel the watch as a present. Plenty of the dialogue in this scene is exactly the same:
9.Joel and Sarah also don't watch Curtis and Viper 2 — which isn't a real movie — in the game. It's actually a fun Easter egg for The Last of Us Part II, where it's said to be one of Joel's favorite movies.
10.The neighbor is the one to attack Sarah in both the game and the TV show — but in the former, a male neighbor named Jimmy crashes through their glass door.
11.The introduction of Tommy is slightly different from game to show. In the game, he's the one to pick up Sarah and Joel — rather than needing to have Joel pick him up from jail.
12.The driving scene heavily references the game, even down to lines of dialogue.
13.The attention to detail on shot-for-shot re-creations is astounding:
14.Incredibly small detail, but it's the farm of "Jimmy" that burns down in the series — likely a callback to the infected male neighbor in the game.
15.In both versions, Joel is the one to insist that Tommy not stop to help the family on the road.
16.Game play switches from Sarah to Joel after the car crash. The ensuing events are heartbreakingly similar in both versions.
17.The opening of the time jump is handled slightly differently in the game. Rather than follow a child entering the quarantine zone, the game opens on Joel waking up with a gasp and Tess entering his apartment.
18.Joel and Tess do not do jobs for FEDRA in the games and solely get their ration cards through smuggling.
19.It might be explored later in the show, but the game characters have to use respirators in certain areas, as the infection can be transmitted via spores in the air.
20.The sequence before Tess and Joel get to Marlene is different in the games. There, Joel tortures and kills Robert for selling their guns to the Fireflies, and there's no FEDRA middle man.
21.The introduction of Ellie is also fairly different. In the show, we see Ellie shackled and angry. Marlene is the one to untie her, which is possibly a reference to their first encounter in The Last of Us: American Dreams comics. Indeed, the first time we see Ellie in the first Last of Us game, she's trying to stab Tess and Joel and already has a close relationship with Marlene.
22.The final sequence of the first episode is incredibly similar to the game, but since the FEDRA officer isn't a character there, it's two random soldiers whom both Tess and Joel kill. It's not explicitly linked to any trauma over Sarah.