Milky Reviews: LA Noire

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Milky Reviews: LA Noire

Post by MilkyFresh on Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:58 pm

Milky Reviews

LA Noire


So I should probably preface this review by saying that there is a pretty good chance some of what I say will be inaccurate, I only had the chance to play LA Noire for four or five hours. For the most part it was a good experience.
The first thing to get out of the way is that LA Noire is brilliantly faithful to the films it is emulating. Every backhanded slap and casually racist remark feels like it could have come straight out of the original films, nothing feels forced or contrived. Even the combat is a near-perfect replication of Film Noir, with the violence toned down quite a lot from Rockstar's previous efforts on current generation software. The men you shoot look like actors with squibs exploding on their chests; they fall dramatically to the ground without any gore or even a great deal of bloodshed, it's all fabulously understated. The driving is also a real pleasure, quite possibly even more fun than it was in GTA IV, despite suffering from the Far Cry 2 problem of "oh no, I've hit a pebble at 400 kh/h and my automobile has come to an abrupt halt".
I almost find myself bracing for whiplash. Still, the driving is a lot of fun. That much Rockstar got just right. I would comment on the soundtrack but I didn't really get a chance to hear much of it, I played the game in a small room filled with shouting stoners.


LA Noire's biggest problem for me was what I initially believed to be a lack of freedom, but I soon realised otherwise. The problem isn't that the game is restrictive, it's that it gives the illusion of freedom then lets you find out the hard way that your experience is, in fact, quite limited. I can understand why Rockstar don't let you pull out your firearm in the middle of the street, or why pedestrians slide out from under your wheels like the fucking ghost-people of Midnight Club, they thought it would compromise the tone of the game to do otherwise. I can understand that, but I disagree. Nobody goes into video games with that mindset. When I'm playing as John in RDR, kidnapping women and stabbing them to death in the hills I take it for granted that these activities are non canon. It's not John shooting all those mexicans in Casa Madrugada, it's me. When he goes into the next cutscene acting as though nothing has happened then lectures people about morality I'm totally okay with it. What I did was seperate to the storyline and I think everybody understands that.
The police aren't really letting Niko off with a warning after killing two hundred people in times square. Here's the thing: Film Noir just isn't suited to sandbox gaming. You should be able to explore and look for clues, certainly, but only within predefined environments. Games only benefit from free exploration when you let the player do whatever they want in those extra areas. Otherwise it's just empty space.

Another criticism: why can't I change my gun? Film Noir's were famous for their gritty anti-heroes, yet I'm stuck with the biggest by-the-books pussy in the police force. I must hang on to my standard issue handgun lest the powers that be come by for a random weapons check and find out that I'm having some non-regulation fun. Bullshit. Fuck you Cole, if Bogart found a tommy gun just before his climactic shootout he'd totally take it with him, uniform or not. You're a prick. I'm willing to bet you're the kind of cocksucker he shot his hand up in class every time he caught somebody looking out the window, I bet you called your teacher mum on a semi-regular basis. Brown nosing dandy. In fact, a note to all writers in every form of media: cops fighting corruption do not have to be a bunch of fucking girl's dicks, Serpico was awesome. Cole, be more like Serpico. I've forgotten what I was meaning to say.



Overall LA Noire is a very good game, but it is flawed. Rockstar simply shouldn't have stuck with their usual sandbox format for this one, by presenting it as a linear game they could have opened themselves up to a whole lot of new possibilities, while simultaneously preventing all of the issues that stopped this game from being the Film Noir masterpiece of my wet dreams. Overall, for me, it isn't worth the $110 price tag at EB, but that probably has more to do with my income than anything else. If I didn't have to go without cigarettes for a month to save up that much money then I would definitely buy this game. What does that mean for you? I don't fucking know, make your own mind up. Buy the game. Buy it, and then after that have your manservents carry you back to your money-bath on your velour cash-hammock you opulent fucking kike.

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Re: Milky Reviews: LA Noire

Post by PayJ on Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:43 pm

So it's worth getting? Surprising I heard baaaaaad words.

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Re: Milky Reviews: LA Noire

Post by MilkyFresh on Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:46 pm

I'd say so, if you're keen on Film Noir movies. It's not much like GTA or RDR though. More story based.

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Re: Milky Reviews: LA Noire

Post by PayJ on Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:11 pm

Ah right. A Noir guys wet horny sex dream. But everyone elses nightmare.

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Re: Milky Reviews: LA Noire

Post by MilkyFresh on Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:54 am

Possibly

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Re: Milky Reviews: LA Noire

Post by The Moonbai on Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:14 am

Rent it, play it... Forget about it.

Well worth it in that case~

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Re: Milky Reviews: LA Noire

Post by LordCuthberton on Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:53 pm

I too was thinking about the sandbox recently, and I completely agree with your RDR example, but I feel Noire is a different story entirely.

The game is broken up into "cases" and as such, what Cole is doing under your control is what 'actually happened' so to speak. That's why your overall mark at the end of a case is downgraded for erratic driving for example.

The city is not for you to interact with, rather it is a setting and nothing else - much like how the cities in classic noir films were not the focus - it's the people who are the main focus of both films and game, so you must travel to the persons house and drive through the backdrop - the setting.

If the backdrop was not there and the game was linear it would end up as a horrible "teleport" to each scenario. Besides, gameplay benefits from the open world as the player can learn the streets which is useful for chases, and I know while driving I put pieces of the puzzle together and decided to change who I was heading to interview, for example.

That's my interpretation, that is by no means the definite article, but something to consider milky.

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Re: Milky Reviews: LA Noire

Post by MilkyFresh on Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:15 pm

That's a really interesting way of looking at it, I didn't even consider that.

I don't think I played the game enough to really comment on that, I never got past more than one case, but I can definitely get behind the whole "city as a film set" idea. I'll get the game and then make up my mind, but that'll probably change my perspective on it quite a bit.

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Re: Milky Reviews: LA Noire

Post by LordCuthberton on Wed Jul 06, 2011 4:26 pm

I'll be doing the same in a week or two.

I'll see if my initial interpretation changes.

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Re: Milky Reviews: LA Noire

Post by MilkyFresh on Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:01 pm

We shall discuss

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Re: Milky Reviews: LA Noire

Post by LordCuthberton on Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:42 pm

The city is definitely like a Film set man.

It's all background until one particular section that has you solving cryptic notes that lead you to 6 major sites around town (The Library for example)

But even in that case, it's still like a background to the characters.

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Re: Milky Reviews: LA Noire

Post by MilkyFresh on Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:29 am

I still haven't played the game since I last posted, but you're probably right. Having given it some thought I actually quite like the idea of the city as a film set anyway.

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Re: Milky Reviews: LA Noire

Post by Hubilub on Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:54 am

The game starts sucking by the end.

I HATE ALL ENDINGS

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Re: Milky Reviews: LA Noire

Post by Furburt on Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:06 pm

This is rapidly becoming apparent.

Does that mean you also hate orgasms?

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Re: Milky Reviews: LA Noire

Post by Hubilub on Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:09 pm

I hate the part where I have to clean it up

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