Don’t worry! I didn’t suddenly explode or anything! For those of you who noticed that my “post-a-day” challenge stopped suddenly, well, your right, it did, good job. I couldn’t keep up that level of updates, I simply couldn’t think of enough things to talk about! However I don’t like only updating once a week, that feels weak to me. I am going to try to update twice a week, and see how I like that: Tuesdays and Thursdays sounds good, there isn’t much going on internet-wise on those days.
So what have I been up to? L.A.Noire!
Yeah. That one.
If you haven’t played it yet, do it. Seriously, now. No, stop reading this, and go play it. This will still be here until you get back!
For those of you returning from playing it, welcome back! For those of you who didn’t, maybe I can explain what makes this game interesting.
This game is something new entirely. It is similar to old pont-and-click adventure games, but it’s not that either (which is good, because those kind of sucked). You play Cole Phelps, Ace Detective, as he solves various murders, murders, and attempted murders around the city of Los Angeles (hence the ‘L.A.’ in the title). It seems like no matter what desk Phelps is working for (Traffic, Murder, Vice, and Arson), he’s solving murders. That’s ok though, solving murders is exactly what I want to do!
When you get to a crime scene, you are told what happened, and then you get to play CSI. This is by far the best part of the game, you wander around the crime scene, and whenever you feel your controller rumble, you press A. Phelps will then pick up or investigate whatever you are looking at, and try to figure out if its relevant to the case. A lot of the time, it’s not, which is still hilarious, as it means Cole stares inquisitively at a menacing coffee cup. Since the game takes place in the late 40’s early 50’s, fingerprints aren’t much of a concern, so you can grab anything you like, relevant or not. Each new crime scene is completely different. Some are more exciting then others, and some phone it in quite hard (one or two crime scenes only have one clue to find), but you still want to keep going to find out what happens next.
The other big gameplay bit is interviews. You ask the person a question (from your notebook, which is also your menu), and then you can accuse their answer of being truthful, doubtful, or a flat-out lie. It’s tough to get the hang of, and I still mess up a lot, but it’s so much fun, especially when you know you have a guy dead-to-rights, and trapped in his own lie.
For me the highlight of the game is around the middle, while on the Murder desk. You need to solve a string of murders, each one seemingly similar to The Black Dahlia Murder, which was very famous at the time. Each murder has its own little messed up bits, one has the murder using the victim’s blood to paint a trail to follow, another has the woman being stalked by a ridiculously creepy homeless man. It’s like no other game i have played in that regard, however I have heard it compared to Heavy Rain. The graphics are great, Rockstar has really outdone themselves here. The facial animation system is absolutely stunning. You can see the throat muscles move when the suspect breathes in.
The game is long too, it comes on three discs (for the 360 that is) and likely uses most of the space for all of the many dialog trees you can have. At time of writeing I am about 70-75% of the way through the game, and I am still having so much fun I wont even stop playing to play Duke Nukem Forever (god it still feels weird that its out).
I have heard some complaints about Cole Phelps as a character, that he is not very interesting and his back story is blah. I agree with both, but some how I really liked him. This makes it all the more painful as he begins making really stupid decisions that I wont spoil here. His back story isn’t all that interesting, and we receive more of it between each mission but I can’t bring myself to care about it, no matter how hard I try.
Anyway that’s about all I can say without spoiling the game heavily (Darth Vader is Luke’s father by the way), over all its the best 60-something dollars I have spent in a long, long time. It’s so good it has me wearing my black fedora again and calling women “Dames”. By the way, women don’t like being called “Dames”. Crazy Broads.