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The Last of Us is the latest video game adaptation plagued by the same problem

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The Last of Us has been widely celebrated not only as the “best video game adaptation of all time,” but also as the ostensibly simplest to jump from pixel to picture.

And in many ways, HBO’s The Last of Us earned that reputation. Showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann have a keen sense of what to expand, and each version wields impressive technical control over locale and light that makes the post-apocalyptic vision feel real.

There’s the strong cast, led by Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, giving two career-best performances that have the emotional stopping power of a sawed-off shotgun.

Yet, for all Mazin and Druckmann nailed (and it’s a lot), it’s ironic the thing HBO’s The Last of Us struggled with most wasn’t the visuals, story, or characters, it was what’s most inherent in video games: the gameplay.

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