L.A. Noire

So, the newest Rockstar crime solving simulation. Or not, as you will drive like crazy, shoot gangsters and question witnesses about questionable circumstances and accusing them of lying, even if you have no idea, because you know, why not, it works. 

Still, let us work in the format, first the good, as last time:
  1. Facial animations are awesome. You can almost always tell the actor behind the face and it really really looks the case. Great!
  2. The cases are interesting and diverse. Very often you find yourself between thinking really hard about wether or not the one you call into question is really the criminal and about the circumstances.
  3. The City of Angels feels fucking alive, all this stuff happening outside, like world living.
  4. Each episode feels like I´m watching good ol´Perry Mason, only without Perry and the judge etc. Still, I like it.
  5. Music is nice, dialogue is interesting, the way the game ranks your score is apt to tell how good you are.
But of course, behind everything else, there is also the bad.
  1. While the faces look good, the rest of the game does not so much. GTA 4 looked much better, all the while being 3 years older.
  2. The cases are convoluted. Very. Several times I was wondering in the latter cases, who was doing what and why.
  3. Several of the logic puzzles in interrogating witnesses and accused are ... moon logic. Several times I have known thank to "Guide Dang it" that witnesses lied due to proof lying around somewhere while being obscure also having no connection to anything whatsoever. Which is really stupid, because those things you want to ask about or need to think for logical conclusions can´t be reached, meaning you will miss several cases or screw them up because.
  4. The difficulty is all over the place. Due to the DLC cases being inserted into the game, the difficulty jumps like hell. Going from an easy traffic case to the question of the argentinian ambassador car is like giving an analphabet a book telling him "You can do this!"
  5. Mechanics-wise the game gets old very fast. It´s always going around, looking for clues, talking to witnesses, accusing them of lying, and charging them with something. Duuuullllllllllll...
  6. You can NEVER defy your station commander, not matter how idiotic the supposed reason is about which you wish to speak up.
  7. Cole Phelps has no personality, nor a real arc. You are supposed to learn about him from short flashbacks from the war and his talks with his colleagues. But since you never see Phelps anywhere else than at work and you only guide his instinct, not his character really, he forever is distant from the player. I was suprised as hell when he suddenly spoke about having a wife and some cases later he said something about kids. What the hell. How are we to sympathize with this stuck up bastard if we can´t get to know him?
  8. The car and on-foot controls are bad. Really really bad. On foot Cole is navigating like he walks on a minefield and the cars all drive like a bizzaro porsche.
  9. The 40 sidequests are purely filler. Absolutely pointless it seems, after 3 I could go on no more with them. Been ignoring them ever since.
Still, in conclusion, not unlike Skyrim, I like LA Noire, because it has that typical Rockstar Vibe we all know and love. Also, I´m a sucker for criminal shows, as long as they are not CSI BlaBla.

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