The Last of Them

The Last of Us series is better than the videogame it’s based on. If anything, this adaptation should, in a perfect world, elevate the interactive medium beyond its current marketable limitations.

The reality is videogames still rely on instant gratification. At around 15-20 hours, the Last of Us videogame stuffs itself with action scenes to reach that length. In reality, much of that is filler. Last of Us, in its TV format, trims that to around nine hours, and does so intelligently.

Last of Us becomes a potent survival parable, and bleak look into distinctly human needs

A show featuring undead, fungus-infested people, Last of Us isn’t about the zombies. The game wasn’t either, which is difficult to understand when Sony’s mainstream, twice-remade source material focuses on shooting monsters. Instead, the show hones in on Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey), their journey cross-country, and the people who either help or hunt them. In this way, it’s a varied apocalypse, showing human conditions from every perspective, and at a time when social worries like race no longer matter – or shouldn’t, anyway.

The time spent developing people matters. The way Last of Us the series emboldens, even enriches the game’s world, is a benefit to both mediums. There’s no way to truly tell Bill’s (Nick Offerman) story in an interactive medium, or rather, at least not in the action-focused way needed to sustain players. Viewers then are granted a look at perseverance and love through the utmost hardship, with only small bursts of action rather than anything sustained.

Scripting the show does tweak some elements to suit a different medium, if almost universally to the story’s benefit. Truly astonishing production design mirrors the videogame in almost eerily accurate ways, at times indistinguishable from the source material. Plus, the serialized approach not only allows the narrative room to flourish, but continues the level-like approach, wherein each episode brings new people encountering the protagonists. There’s no singular antagonist either, but several, handled in a way that such variety lets each episode become an individual story or adventure. But connected, Last of Us becomes a potent survival parable, and bleak look into distinctly human needs.


Marvelous and almost wholly clear 4K digital cinematography is the best case scenario for Last of Us. With some of the grandest black levels on UHD with startling bright Dolby Vision peaks, this is a depth-laden masterpiece visually.

With no barriers to speak of, definition soars. Texture strikes from every frame, the absolute definition of perfect on this format. Close-ups show impeccable resolution, the type 4K was made for. Sharpness never wavers unless the source material wants it to for dramatic reasons. That’s rare.

Nearly every episode features a unique color palette, but there is consistency. Last of Us prefers drained earth tones, the perfect accompaniment for the show’s tone. This doesn’t mean splashes of color don’t exist because they do, brilliantly rich, dense, and vivid where possible. Flesh tones steer toward warmth, but mirror the specific episode’s tone and do flatten. That’s fine.


Episode 5’s finale becomes the stand-out sequence for this season. Between the massive horde of infected and swirling gunfire in the chaos, the mix uses every speaker to its fullest. Directionality spares nothing, and it’s design worthy of film, let alone streaming TV. During downtime, especially outdoors, breezes slip through trees to sustain ambiance, or various false scares from snapping branches keep the soundstage lively.

Bass doesn’t always have the punch it needs (again, episode 5’s exploding truck for an example), but the thrust is felt in the low-end. As needed, the LFE’s might can rattle a room, but that’s used sparingly to showcase range.


Spread across each disc, bonuses include looks at every episode that run a few minutes each. The majority of extras reside on the final disc, but sadly don’t stretch beyond general EPKs. A look at the videogame adaptation process, how the game’s stages were translated into episodes, five featurettes focused on individual cast members, two fun snippets on the script with the cast, and a short series with game voice actor Troy Baker discussing the show fill this disc.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

The Last of Us
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras


A near-classic survival story, Last of Us translates better to this medium than its original videogame format.

User Review
0 (0 votes)

The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 33 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *