The video game world has been blessed with many amazing stories, but the one that tops them all is The Last of Us, according to Chernobyl showrunner Craig Mazin, who was interviewed by Empire Magazine this month regarding HBO’s upcoming live-action adaption of Naughty Dog’s hit game and described the developer’s work as being “the greatest story ever told in video games.”
“It’s an open-and-shut case: this is the greatest story that has ever been told in video games,” the 51-year-old director and screenwriter, who is also serving as the showrunner for The Last of Us, told Empire for its February 2023 issue with Nicolas Cage on the cover.
“They didn’t shoot anything out of their eyeballs,” Mazin said in regard to what made the 2013 post-apocalyptic game work. “They were just people. And that, in and of itself, is remarkably rare in games. The fact that they kept it so grounded, and really made you feel – I had never experienced anything like it, and I’ve been playing video games since 1977.”
Mazin’s comments have drawn the attention of both fans and critics, with the latter bringing up the seemingly popular claim of how Naughty Dog and game writer/director Neil Druckmann messed up the story for The Last of Us Part II, which released in 2020 and killed off one of the franchise’s fan-favorite characters to launch its tale of revenge.
“In the spirit of collaboration and authenticity, Neil has taken on the roles of Executive Producer and Writer and also directed a full episode,” Naughty Dog revealed in an announcement post from June 2022 that discussed all of the ways in which The Last of Us franchise is expanding. “Bringing The Last of Us to life has been a deeply creative collaboration between our studio and HBO.”
HBO’s The Last of Us is headlined by Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian) and Bella Ramsey (Game of Thrones), who star in the roles of Joel Miller and Ellie Williams, respectively.
The first episode of The Last of Us will premiere on HBO and HBO Max on Sunday, January 15, 2022, as noted in the official trailer above that was shared by HBO Max in early December.
The Last of Us Part I, a remake of the original 2013 game, will be released on PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store on March 3, 2023.