Boss Rush Banter: Video Game Adaptations – Should You Play the Game Before You Watch?

This past weekend, HBO aired the pilot episode of the highly anticipated video game adaptation The Last of Us on HBO Max. At the time of this writing, the show has a 97% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a landmark achievement in the otherwise spotty world of video game adaptations. And it’s not just critics that are loving the show, fans are also raving about the first episode. This is great news as video games are becoming a much more reliable source of inspiration for movies and series, with the Super Mario Bros. movie coming out in April and a whole slew of PlayStation properties getting adaptations in the next few years. The Last of Us is shaping up to be a massive hit for HBO, and as someone who has yet to play the games that inspired the show, I have found myself asking the question of if I should play the games first before I watch? Or does it even matter?

In my head, I am a purist. That means that if a book is being adapted into a movie, I want to read the book and form my opinions on how it should look and feel before watching the adaptation. However, in action, I never have time to read/watch/play/consume everything that interests me. Realistically, if I were to wait to read every book or play every game before I engage in the adaptation, I’d never get through my growing list of things with which I want to engage.

So, for the past few weeks, I’ve been going back and forth in my head, specifically about The Last of Us. I want to watch the show, especially because it is getting such rave reviews. But I want to play the game, too. The thing is, I don’t love scary games, so I feel like if I watch the show first it will make me like the game more. On the other hand, though, I feel like I could appreciate the story if I see the source material first. And the first game is coming out on PC in a few months–perfect for me, a father of four, so I can play it on my Steam Deck between changing diapers and trying to sleep.

What do you think? Are you watching the show before you play the game? Or are you hoping the show will get you interested in playing in a genre you don’t typically enjoy? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured Image source: Ruetir

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