LA Noire rant
So far my nomination for Furry Senpai Game of the Year is Portal 2… but this game came really close to challenging that nomination. It is still a quality title, but it shoots itself in the foot with questionable plot turns and an interrogation system that doesn’t feel nearly as intuitive/flexible as it should be.
Multiple discs! …AWESOME
As is common with my rants, I will first address the most common criticisms with the game that didn’t bother me. Firstly, some complained that they had to switch out discs for the 360 version. Maybe the 360 is showing its age, but disc-swapping really did not bother me. In fact… and this may sound odd, I actually LIKED it in a weird way. I haven’t had to switch discs in an adventure game in YEARS, and I felt like a kid again every time the screen said “Insert disc…” And nothing says “THIS GAME IS EPIC” than a package with multiple discs. Frankly, if Skyrim were 10-12 discs long, that would only add to its appeal for me.
Secondly, people complained that the driving was awful. Really, I didn’t have much of a problem controlling my vehicles… in fact, for most of the game my driving was perfect. Sadly, the computers’ wasn’t. Often I’d be hit head-on by other drivers who don’t understand that at a traffic light the oncoming traffic has the right of way, and those turning have to wait until the oncoming traffic is clear. Sadly, in the game, the computer sees fit to floor it as they turn right into you through an intersection. And really, this wouldn’t even bother me THAT much if I could arrest people on the spot, but noooo. In real life, try that with a cop and let me know what happens.
Lastly, the interrogation system in the game works fairly well…mostly, and those few times where it falls on its face will have you screaming at your television. On the surface it seems fairly simple, the witness/suspect will say something and you read their expression. If they appear honest, you select “Truth” or if you have evidence that contradicts their statement, you pick “Lie,” select the evidence and (you hope) your character uses it to catch the other person in their lie. If you don’t have the evidence but think the other person isn’t being honest you can select “Doubt.”
Again, this doesn’t seem too bad, but there were moments where I’d have damning evidence on a suspect, but for whatever reason my character chooses to ignore it, and seems oblivious to an obvious string of reasoning. Also, there is a time to play this cat-mouse guessing game, and there are times where it is not appropriate. AFTER YOU ARE ATTACKED BY THE SUSPECT’S THUGS AND YOU FIND A STASH OF MONEY AND DRUGS IN HIS POSSESSION IS NOT THE TIME. From there, if the characters have ANY sense, the story should just automatically unfold, and you shouldn’t have to try to catch this guy in lies. Again, this is the same guy that ATTACKED YOU, and is sitting on a LOAD OF DRUGS MONEY AND PAPERS SAYING PEOPLE OWE HIM MONEY. Situations like this aren’t common, but when it does happen, it is really frustrating.
Almost makes me wish the Patriot Act was in effect back then… it’d make this part so much simpler.
Other than that, the game succeeds in pulling the gamer into the story. The detective system works mostly well, except for the exceptions mentioned above. The graphics are fine, the music and sound are outstanding and do play a part in your investigations, as certain high notes will designate when a player is close a clue.
Frankly, I would like this style of gameplay attempted again with slightly more polish, and usher in a new generation of adventure games. Honestly, while playing this game, I kept thinking “Wow… this is fine, but how AWESOME would it be if instead of taking place in America in the 50s, if it took place in… Neo Kobe!
Snatcher 2? PLEEASEE???!! Still no…? ok….
…why does almost everything I talk about come back to the Sega CD? Er anyway, LA Noire, is a quality title. Just be warned that the story can and will blindside you if you’re not paying attention. Driving works (have your partner drive as much as possible), and the interrogation system does have some problems but it is hardly anything that ruins the overall gameplay experience.
– Furry Senpai Mikekun