Reviews// LA Noire

Posted 16 May 2011 17:07 by
Games: L.A. Noire
Take the clue finding technique that is used again and again and again. Not a surprise or even necessarily a criticism given the subject matter.

What’s missing is the thrill of the chase. What you get is a location that appears to beg you to use a modicum of investigative initiative (or failure) only to realise that you can’t head to the next location until you’ve discovered all the clues therein; even, it seemed to me, the ‘clues’ that were in fact merely loose items left lying around for you to discover and then say, “No… this is no use to me.”

If you’ve spent a while trying to find the last remaining clue that will add a cross to your notebook (in the handy ‘Location’ section) then you can invoke “Intuition”. This is a misnomer if ever there was one. You can add it to ‘Plan a spontaneous act’ if you like.

Facial Intuition
‘Intuition’ can be thought of as a sort of ‘experience point bonus’. You gain up to five intuition points that you can use, for example, to reveal the locations of remaining clues that you might have missed when you initially walked in decreasing circles within the marked crime location.

You can also use Intuition to remove ‘wrong’ questions in a reverse ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ sort of a way, when carrying out interrogations.

These interrogations are, in theory, the centrepieces of Team Bondi’s art. Much has been made of the ‘MotionScan’ technology of 32-camera’s trained in the actors, the footage from which is then built into the game without the ‘uncanny’ valley phenomenon that bugs human face-to-animation when it comes to the perceptions of real human beings.

Rightfully so. The characters, the voice acting and the facial performances are absolutely as top-notch as video gaming acting gets at the moment. My initial reaction is that the industry really could succeed in becoming acceptable to people who want realism, to move beyond Kirby or Mario. I accepted the Motion-scanned faces. My partner – a non-gamer but huge noir fan – reacted as follows:

“Oh, that’s horribly weird. His face… it makes me feel a bit sick looking at it.”

“That’s called ‘uncanny valley’,” I explained by not explaining.

“Makes me a bit sick,” she replied.

“You’ll get used to it,” I promised before realizing what I was urging.

“What’s next in the story?” she responded and we moved on.

So, I can only imagine that as an industry we’ve still got some way to go before truly achieving the kind of realism that some people desire and I personally feel can be delivered by real people.

Questioning stance
Anyway, Intuition can also be used in interrogations to remove wrong questions. Why does this relate to Motionscan? Simply that you are supposed to be able to observe the people you’re questioning; to look into their faces and observe it they’re lying or hedging or, gods forbid, telling the truth.

To an extent, using for example the good old “If they’re looking up and left then they’re probably fibbing” trope that has been floating around since before Paul Ekman wrote Emotions Revealed, Second Edition: Recognizing Faces and Feelings to Improve Communication and Emotional Life, you can decipher if a suspect is being less than forthcoming.

Then you have to decide if they need to be forced into a confession by pressing the ‘Lie’ button; whether they need a bit of cajoling with the ‘Doubt’ button, or whether they need to be trusted with the ‘True’ button.

Frankly, once you’ve made your decision, you can move on having been made aware by dint of a tick or a cross whether or not the response you received was. Once the case is closed you are told how many questions you got correct answers to (in case you forgot).
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Games: L.A. Noire

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WhoaDIgg 19 May 2011 08:50
L.A. Noire is awesome so far! I just found a blog that's giving out the DLC for all the extra cases!

I just got my Slip Of The Tongue Case DLC, but I don't know if there's anymore DLC codes left. If you want to check it out, here's the site:

[19 May 2011, 10:21: Message edited by 'TimSpong'] Yup edited for SPAM
Jimmer 15 Jul 2011 14:44
I have just started disc three and decided that I really cannot be arsed to grind it out for a few more hours, just to say I have finished the game. It's a truly wretched game. The only saving grace is the facial animation stuff, although that is totally bollox when it counts, during the fatally flawed interrogation bits. The driving is pump, gunplay is not much fun and the foot chases are tedious and often don't make any sense.

For me, it's a massive missed opportunity. I loved the idea of starting out as a beat cop and working my way up. Problem is the progression through the ranks is too quick, plus you are basically dealing with homicides from the off. Why not start out just patrolling a block or two, dealing with parking offences and muggings etc? Then you would actually feel a sense of progression when you move up.

Red Dead Redemption is vastly superior to this pile of cack.

So there!
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