L.A. Noire (360)

The investigations and interrogations were the best parts. That’s good since it was the main focus of the game. The car chases were a nice addition to break things up from time to time, but got a little bland by the end because of repetition. The shootouts were a nice diversion at first, until they got longer and more frequent, reminding me how terrible shooter controls are with analog sticks. How are FPS games popular on consoles? The controls are terrible. LA Noire recgonized that they’re such a complete joke that it aims for you. They might as well have just made the shootouts a QTE event. PUSH BUTTON TO KILL GUY.

It’s a good thing upper-management doesn’t know anything about video games, because if they did we’d be reading about how people in charge of LA Noire’s development got fired. They’d have been pissed to find out they spent millions on a team of people to meticulously recreate a model of 1940s Los Angeles and license dozens of songs from the time period only to find out they’re completely unnecessary and wasted. There is no reason for this game to be an open-world game at all. Even the game agrees by letting you hold down a button and skip driving to a crime scene location. There’s random street crimes you can drive to, but the few I tried were all shootouts with horrible console shooter controls and they started putting street crimes a million miles away from your location with no option to teleport there. There were also hidden cars you could find, but they added nothing to the game so who the fuck cares about finding any of them.

And on the subject of pressing a button to skip the game, I failed a really awful bulldozer chase segment enough (3 times) for the game to ask me if I wanted to skip it with no consequences at all. I’m not hot-shit game designer Shigeru Miyamoto or even pretend hot-shit game designer Tim Rogers, but here’s what I know about game design: if at any point you find yourself implementing a feature that says, “PUSH BUTTON TO SKIP GAMEPLAY,” go ahead and remove that whole section right out of the game. You’ve just admitted it sucks, so might as well take it out.

This game is also F U C K I N G R I D I C U L O U S about failure. At one point I had to choose between 2 suspects and charge one with a crime. I picked the wrong one, and literally as I was walking out of the interrogation room the police chief was standing there and started laying into me asking how I could fuck up so bad and finger the wrong guy for a crime. No passage of time, no “two weeks later.” Just interrogation room -> charge -> police chief instantly does a Macho Man Randy Savage through the wall and calls me a stupid asshole. That’s an awfully fast turnaround time in the criminal justice system. I knew the war on drugs was clogging up the legal system, but holy shit. I would have loved the option of asking the chief why he made me go through questioning if he already knew the guy wasn’t guilty. “Oh, I saw you were close to leveling and wanted to let you earn some xp ^__________________^”

I think it was IGN that mentioned supporting it for the sake of someone trying something new. Yeah, no. Maybe if it goes on sale for $19.99 you can pick it up to see what the hype was about. But it’s not really anything new. It’s 3D Phoenix Wright with a bunch of confused gameplay elements sewn together. I think there’s a good game buried in there, and maybe if they skipped creating a pointless open world and the crappy shootouts they would have had more time to find it.