Saturday, July 30, 2011

Do I have to say something nice?

L.A. Noire stopped being fun two days ago. It finally had the sense to end tonight and it did not come a moment too soon. Things started to go south when Phelps left his wife for a German jazz singer/drug addict/jazz singer (with no real warning or foreshadowing). He then was betrayed by the worlds slimiest cop and busted right down to the arson desk. I was bored with questioning people by this point and stopped paying attention enough to get the right answers, which did't manner because I had realized that no matter how poorly I interrogated someone or collected clues the game allowed me to continue. I could literally walk backwards through a case, get everything wrong, get yelled at by the head of the department and the only consequence was three stars as a reward instead of four.

Not content to waste my time with Phelps, the game decides to put me in control of his equally boring war buddy Kelso. He had been questioned once regarding a shit load of morphine that was stolen (that he knew all the details of and lied to police about) and shown up in a few flashbacks, but suddenly introducing him as a playable character was a terrible idea. So was the final set of cases being about real estate fraud. Include all the shoot outs you want, book keeping crime is still boring.

Still, as much as I hate to do it, I must give credit where credit is due. I have complained on several occasions about developers/producers/writers not having the balls to end a story on a real down note. The bad guys never really win and the good guys never really die. No so in L.A. Noire. While it is difficult to call Phelps the good guy, he seems to be one of the only clean cops on the force. At the end of a over wrought shoot out in a sewer (in which you don't eve play him) he saves the girl and the guy is mercy killed. Boring.  But wait, then he drowns in the sewer after saving Kelso and the girl. And the world smarmiest cop delivers his eulogy.

Damnit, L.A. Noire, I wanted to hate you. You deserve to be hated because you are a mediocre game (at best) masquerading as a AAA title. But you killed the hero and let the bad guys win, so I can't. The one things it got right was something that the player has no impact on, and while it does not save the game it certainly must be acknowledged.

That was much to lovey dovey. I must be getting soft. Being furious with the entire internet because my windows live account (and therefore my Tech Net access) is locked will do that to you.

1 comment:

  1. I really liked how they handled Phelps' narrative - how he seems a boring, squeaky-clean golden boy off the bat but slowly proves to be just as flawed as everyone around him.

    What I didn't like about L.A. Noire was... pretty much everything aside from the voice work, story, music and graphics.

    I thought the facial animation gave it all a weird real-heads-on-fake-bodies feel, the interrogations were unintuitive at best and downright arbitrary at worst, and from all ends the gameplay was either frustrating or just boring.

    You hit the nail on the head - it is a shitty game that was sold to us as a triple-A. And, coming from Rockstar, we believed them. Until we played it.

    Also, I appreciated your comment on my personal note the other day, man.