Da Couch Tomato

An attempt at a new layout, with horrible glitches, and very minimal knowledge of HTML.

L.A. Noire First Impressions

I am in the middle of L.A. Noire; but here are my impressions on it so far. Considering a video game is a stretch of constant rules, this should be a pretty accurate interpolation, but I'll come up with a full review soon.
  1. The crime scene investigation sequences are sadly reduced to talking around, listening for a chime, pressing A, and seeing if it’s a clue or not. If it is, then move on. If it’s not, then move on. It gets tedious and sad. Since not all objects can be selected, it’s pretty easy to just pick everything up, sift the clues through that way.
  2. There are also obscene cases of ludo-narrative dissonance, where one thing happens in the game and another in the story. The characters “know” information that was never given, things that never happen are suddenly references, the game doesn’t accept evidence it doesn’t expect, and so on. The technical design may be incredible, but the game design, which is supposed to be the core craft of the video game medium, is only average, sometimes dipping into below-average territory, even.
  3. You never actually solve a case. You find clues mechanically by walking around waiting for your controller to jiggle, this leads you to another place, and you talk to people, and you never have to think about anything. You lose points if you miss the obvious signs and don’t act on it, but there never comes a point when you’re stumped and cannot solve the case. You just follow the obvious bread crumbs and go through the obvious motions. There is also the usual trope of the fuel-filled barrel and the two-to-dozen shootout, which is never a good sign for a video game’s intellectual health.
  4. A good story isn’t enough. Realistic faces, historical detail, and good voice acting must revolve around the fundamental core of any video game—a game. So while everything around the game in L.A. Noire is very nice, the game itself needed more attention; which just goes to show: You build a great universe to complement a great game, not to cover up a mediocre one.
  5. It’s not actually noir, and may have probably only been called (and misspelled that way), like many other aspects of this game, in a particularly violent fit of pretension.
  6. The interrogation sequences where you have to tell if the suspect or witness is lying, telling the truth, or to express doubt is pretty arbitrary. While it is easy to tell if they are contradicting evidence, it is never clear if you should express doubt or accept a statement as truth. It becomes guesswork, and the nuance that should be coming through is lost. The ambition does not translate.
  7. The protagonist is an annoying know-it-all, do-gooder, which betrays the creator’s lack of talent for storytelling. He also looks annoying. He is forgettable, sometimes morphs into a stereotype, and sometimes simply turns into this annoying goody-goody who sees the good in all people, that believes above all in justice, that is perfect beyond belief or tolerance.


Premium Blogspot Templates
Copyright © 2012 Da Couch Tomato