Friday Free For All: The Last of Us-Soon to Be a Major Motion Picture

We all know that movies based on video games are uniformly awful (even though I have a soft spot for the first Resident Evil, personally). But if any game can successfully make that transition, it’s Naughty Dog’s “The Last of Us”…the thing is practically a movie anyway.

Sony dropped the bomb today that such a movie is in development, and its being written by the same guy that made the game (Neil Druckmann), and produced by horror icon Sam Raimi. Even better, it’s rumored that Arya Stark herself, Maisie Williams, is a strong contender for Ellie.

That sounds like a great casting choice, so fingers crossed if it’s true. If it is, they just need to find their Joel. Lots of people have mentioned another Game of Thrones alum, Nicolaj Coster-Waldeau, and, well, see for yourself:

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Joel, The Last of Us
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones
Ellie and Joel in “The Last of Us”

Not a bad likeness at all, yeah?

If there’s an element to all this I’m iffy about, it’s Sam Raimi. I love this guy’s movies as much as any horror buff, but his movies tend to lean toward the goofy. He’s only a producer, and I think he’s the kind of guy who knows when to respect  the source material. Only time will tell.

Now, to play the cynic: why does The Last of Us even need an adaptation in the first place? The game itself is an excellently told tale of horror and loss, with a great cast in Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker. People have even cut all the cut-scenes together and posted them on YouTube. And there is just something about actually PLAYING the game that adds an extra layer to it all, like you’re actually making the journey with these characters, that’s a unique element to games as a storytelling medium.

In any case, here’s hoping they make a damn good movie.

Friday Free For All: The Last of Us-Soon to Be a Major Motion Picture

Free for All Friday- New Witcher 3 Trailer Makes All Other Fantasy RPG’s Look Like Donkey Kong

Okay, so that headline is a bit heavy on hyperbole, but look at that! That lighting! Those environments! That monster design (oh, lord, the monster design)! And it actually has a color scheme other than brown and gray, while still maintaining its grim-dark feel.

I’m not really familiar with the Witcher series, outside of the second game. I know it’s a book series from Poland, and is considered to be something of a cultural benchmark (Prime Minister Donald Trusk gave President Obama a copy of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings as a gift, and it has been adapted into film and television in Poland). I really enjoyed that second game, however, partly because the story and setting had a density and complexity that is often lacking in other games that share its market.

The game’s developer, CD Projekt Red, is also notable for several reasons, namely their ability to retain independence as a developer in an increasingly publisher driven industry while still making sprawling, graphics intensive games. I’m really looking forward to this one.

The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, releases for PC, XBox One, and PS4 in February 2015.

[trailer via]

Free for All Friday- New Witcher 3 Trailer Makes All Other Fantasy RPG’s Look Like Donkey Kong

Violence and Story in The Last of Us (SPOILERS ABOUND)



The past seven years have seen a rather stark evolution in videogames, and how they are used to tell a story. For the first time, developers have had the technology available to them to bring game characters, and the worlds they inhabit to life. More than technology, however, are the stories developers have chosen to tell.

Continue reading “Violence and Story in The Last of Us (SPOILERS ABOUND)”

Violence and Story in The Last of Us (SPOILERS ABOUND)