The Last of Us 6 post-apocalyptic visions that inspired the game

4. The Road

The story of a father and son known only as the Man and the Boy, The Road might be the bleakest post-apocalyptic vision ever committed to film. Just like in The Last of Us, you can see every soul-staining experience the characters have been through in their bleary eyes, dirty faces and tattered clothes.

While we're actually hoping The Last of Us won't gaze as deeply into the abyss of bleakness as The Road, the survivors and the marauding scavengers they face have a lot in common. While Ellie isn't Joel's daughter, he does look after her in a very fatherly manner. Since we know that Joel was once a scavenger himself, this gives him a very different backstory and character arc from the Man, who's been looking after his son since disaster struck. Ellie, however, is a lot like the Boy. She's got some kindness left, some empathy. Her urge to help others would probably have gotten her killed if wasn't for the older, grimmer man looking after her. In both works, this pairing of grizzled protectiveness and sweet naivety begs the question: how far gone is the adult character, and is a child's innocence really something worth preserving in a world like this?

Alex Roth