A month or two ago, I finally finished LA Noire. I got it when it was released and the time it’s taken to complete it is more down to other games and real life getting in the way, not the quality of the game. It is definitely a good one with a great cast, utilising superb facial technology.
But there are just a few things not quite right. In fact they’re just odd.
First of all, the difficulty. I’ve never known a game hold the player’s hand as much as LA Noire. Never once did I feel like I was failing the game – even when I clearly was. I could get everything wrong on an investigation and yet would still complete it. Even when told that I was “back on the streets”, the next case would start and I’d still be in my detective suit like nothing had happened.
And if I died 3 times in a particular shootout, or failed to chase down a suspect in the street, I was given the option to just skip this bit and carry right on with the game. What?!
Then there’s the main character. When the game was in development, the choices you had in interviews included “Force” and the script and acting was finished accordingly. But somewhere along the line, “Force” was changed to “Doubt” and so the voice and motion capture that had already been done, no longer fit. Instead of the suspicious, cajoling questioning you’d expect from the word “Doubt”, you get a Jack Bauer-like line of questioning that is downright psychotic!
Det. Phelps: “How did you know the deceased, ma’am?”
Little Old Lady: “I live down the street, officer.”
Det. Phelps: “YOU BITCH! DON’T LIE TO ME! WHERE IS THE NUCLEAR BOMB?!"
Even knowing the little hiccup during the development cycle, doesn’t help you live with the fact that the main character of the game; the guy you are controlling; the hero – is an arsehole.
He even (spoilers) abandons his wife and kid to get his end away with some singer!
And to remind you of how you’ve just spend 10-12 hours playing a complete prick, the last quarter of the game you play as someone else! Someone altogether more likeable and less likely to bit a suspect’s face off in an interview. Again….what?!
I enjoyed LA Noire. It made a nice change from the usual games that pass through my console. But it didn’t make it easy.