A quick note on a game I just finished: LA Noire, in my opinion, is the best game of this generation by quite a margin. From a technical standpoint it is very impressive. The beautiful graphics lead enable a fantastic depiction of 1940s LA, the facial animation was amazing; the voice acting itself and audio in general is also stand-out. But the main reason I say this is because it represents a very fine-tuned balance between these technical achievements and the more organic components: story (which I applaud largely because it’s the first game I’ve played where narrative isn’t funnelled into the gamer’s gullet, you’re not treated as an idiot, how much you invest is up to you but there’s a very clever and complex story at the centre), innovation and so fourth. When the game released I wasn’t so sure whether I’d like a detective style game (probably not the first, but the first big mainstream of the detective genre?) I held back and waited for it to get cheap. But I have been really impressed by it. The only real criticism I think I have is that you sometimes the gameplay itself feels like a passive vehicle for the story to unfold, but even that in some ways should be applauded. I’m glad to see developers aren’t afraid to heavily invest in this aspect of gaming, in a world of mindless first person shooters. To me, while technically games have come on waves and bounds in recent times, I think some of the more organic components such as story have been neglected and under-estimated. Not that there also isn’t plenty of joy in ‘the princess has been kidnapped’ type of games that just set you on your way: but it’s great to see the heavier dramas start to arise, because they can be done extremely well, as LA Noire shows.
I would love a 2nd LA Noire, in the meantime, hopefully a lot of the first game will influence GTAV: it’s amazing how great Noire looks in comparison to GTA4. Also a Wii U port would be awesome.
Comment on The Strat Man's blog entry
Yeah, I enjoyed L.A Noire overall. Felt it was perhaps stretched out a bit too long, story wise, but the pretty much all detective aspects were great and I liked the fact you couldn't kill people and it wasn't just another mindless shooter. The facial stuff was indeed, impressive and the interrogation scene were interesting, sometimes hard to read even (I failed sometimes). It was a far more interesting experience than from other Rockstar published games, I found.
Yeah the interrogating was fairly straight-forward once you realise that doubt is the way to go 2/3 of the time. They didn't do a great job of explaining the differences to be honest, that aspect could have been handled better (more variance). But I put it down to a good measure of detective/cop cynicism.
It's a shame Team Bondi went Bankrupt