The Last of Us is a game that I finally got my hands on due to its release on the PS4 by way of the Remastered version. The experience I had with it is a topic for another day, but there was one character for me that stood out in front of the rest as something very special and that character may not be the one you’re thinking of. That character’ name? Henry.
When I first met Henry, I was completely in awe of how technically perfect he looked. Now what do I mean by this? There were time while playing The Last of Us that I could genuinely see Henry as a real person, just based on how well the character model was made.
If one were not to concentrate super hard at him, they could easily believe that the scenes with him in it are actually done with a real person. His appearance just looks so convincing. He looks like a real person. His complexion, hair and everything else combine together to create a character that is very visually believable.
If we’re being completely honest, there were times when Joel and Henry were talking and Henry would look like a real life actor and I believe that speaks to how great of a studio Naughty Dog is. I can’t say if it looked this good on the PS3 version, as I didn’t play it, but man does his character shine on the PS4 Remastered version.
Now appearance alone isn’t the only thing that makes Henry so convincing, it’s also his emotions. There are many times that Henry acts just like a regular person would act and has a bit of a nervous breakdown. He reacts just like you or I would act in such a disastrous situation.
He’s not like Joel and I think that plays to make them play well off each other. Yes their current situations are the same, but their mental toughness is just not on the same level and I believe that this makes Henry seem much more relatable in retrospect.
SPOILERS AHEAD, READ ON AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION
I think this whole emotion thing really carries on and shines brightest when Sam turns into an infected and tries to attack Ellie. The emotion that shows on his face when he is faced with the decision to actually kill his brother is very moving in and of itself.
I also believe the way Naughty Dog animated his emotions is very much believable too. You can tell they spent a lot of time making sure the way his face moves accurately portrays his current emotional state.
Like I said before, this is just done so well when Henry has to shoot his brother and eventually take his own life. I truly believe that the great animation, long with the script writing, make this scene all that more powerful.
All in all, I truly believe that Henry is one of the best characters that I’ve ever encountered in a video game. I’m not saying he’s one of my favorites because he’s such a badass or anything like that, but I really like him because he’s so believable. I hope other developers take a look at him and strive to hit that sort of realism in their games.