Any modern gamer with at least half a brain recognizes the power of Naughty Dog’s action-adventure survival horror video game, The Last of Us. Ever since its 2013 release, the title has garnered all sorts of wild praise, from multiple Game of the Year awards to countless arguments for why it’s one of the greatest video games of all time.
Users play as Joel, a man tasked with escorting a teenage girl named Ellie across a post-apocalyptic United States. It’s pretty terrifying material and also strikingly sobering, what with its photorealistic graphics and a tantalizing threat (see: Cordyceps fungus) that might make any hypochondriac out there fall into a dazed stupor.
Nevertheless, YouTuber Grant Voegtle is well aware of the game’s prestigious fame, which is why he dedicated “dozens of hours” of his life “filming, rendering, editing, and uploading” the title into an easy-to-watch mini-series. But he didn’t just do it for entertainment purposes, the guy has his own completely valid (and sane) reasons.
He argues The Last of Us Cinematic Playthrough, which is what he dubbed the project, was “designed to push a common and highly demanded (but overly abundant) type of content, YouTube playthroughs, into a more artistic, cinematic, and accessible space.” Not good enough? That’s okay, he broke down his argument into three goals:
1. Edit and film the playthrough in a way so that non-gamers, or people who are otherwise unable to play the game for any number of reasons, can enjoy watching the game play out as much as players enjoyed playing through it.
2. Give fans of the game a new lens through which to view a game they otherwise know too well. (And for fans who don’t want the movie to be made because it can’t possibly do the game justice in their eyes, this can be an alternative.)
3. To motivate developers, like Naughty Dog, to incorporate film making tools into their future games.
Nobility doesn’t always go a long way in this crummy world, but when you produce content this striking, you’re bound to get a round of applause or two. Needless to say, Voegtle deserves a standing ovation, as he’s broken down the entire game into a series of seven mostly-40-minute episodes. In other words, here’s your next mini-series to binge watch, and thank god, because it couldn’t have come at a better time for diehard fans.
Earlier today, director and producer Sam Raimi confirmed to IGN that Sony’s plans to adapt the game into a proper film have been put on hold indefinitely. “Right now it’s just sitting there,” he argues. “They don’t want to move forward, and it’s not my place to say why, and [Creative Director] Neil [Druckmann], I think, is in a slight disagreement with them about how things should go so there’s a standstill. And I don’t have the power to move it.”
Don’t be too bummed out, though. Instead, you should grab some popcorn, hit your Chromecast, and enjoy…