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Impressions: L.A. Noire so far

The game in L.A. Noire and these are a few quick impressions of aspects I enjoy and those I dislike. Keep in mind I am still early in the game—as far as I know—and some things may change, but others will likely sit tight. You will likely notice complaints and compliments that seem extremely minute, but we all have our own nits in need of picking. With all that said, here is some good and some bad from L.A. Noire, from the point of view of man who named his site "Pixelated Sausage."

The Good

The facial animation is obviously well done—if a little exaggerated at times—and adds genuine emotion to fictional characters. The story is interesting and the voice acting is top-notch, but there seems to be no existence of a large, encompassing story. The fact that I can adjust the audio level of dialogue separately is a huge relief—I know this is not a big deal for most. The ability to play the game in black and white. Being able to say, "Hey! It's that actress who sucked on Steve Carell's toes in The 40 Year Old Virgin!" And last but not least, the maturity of L.A. Noire—not in levels of violence, language, or sexuality, but in its literal maturity.

The Bad

Everyone is a track star. Their shape and size doesn't matter because everyone has more stamina than a camel, with the speed of a cheetah. Maybe they're trying to teach the lesson of not judging a book by its cover, but the inhabitants of L.A. Noire are ridiculously agile. The side missions—called "Street Crimes"—are fun in theory, but they are far too scripted and once I realized this, I no longer enjoyed them nearly as much. The lack of a first-person view while driving, which makes having your partner drive nothing more than a convenience. The truth/lie system should be amazing, but it feels like more of a tech demo. It isn't hard to tell if a character is telling the truth or telling a lie—every character shows obvious tells—and that takes out a lot of the fun. The difficulty comes from choosing between a lie or a doubt, but the only difference is whether you have evidence or not. Last and certainly least, I just want an outfit that doesn't include a fedora—or a hat of any kind.

Closing Comment

I am enjoying L.A. Noire, but I can't help but feel a little disappointed. It may be the fact I started playing minutes after completing Portal 2—which is unquestionably my favorite game of the year—but something is missing and I can't quite put my finger on it. I still have ways to go and my mind may still be blown—unintentional rhyme—but right now I kind of want to stop playing in favor of Portal 2's co-op.

Reader Comments (1)

every game has flaws.. even the most amazing ones
still can't wait to play thru this game
May 18, 2011 | Registered CommenterKevin Speaker

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