My final thoughts in LA Noire (spoilers ABOUND!)

Posted by MooseyMcMan (10471 posts) -

So, I finished LA Noire this morning. And I have to say, I felt kinda disappointed at the end of the game. And as stated above, there's going to be MAD spoilers here, so YOU'VE BEEN WARNED! Also, there may be Red Dead Redemption spoilers in there too, in case for whatever reason you haven't played that game. 


First off, let me get this out of the way: I have no complaints with the gameplay. The investigating and interrogating work as advertised, and the action scenes aren't bad. Well, the fistfights are a little clunky, but the gunfights are fun, and the car chases are often pretty excellent. 

Where I do find fault with the game is in the story. And in a story-focused game like LA Noire, that's not good. And it's especially disappointing when the first, I'll say two thirds of the game was so good. 

See, up through the homicide desk in the game, I was absolutely loving every second. But then once Phelps got transferred to vice, I found my interest waning. For one thing, investigating morphine trafficking isn't as interesting as going after a serial murder, and more importantly, Roy Earle is an asshole, and I didn't like working with him at all (though I feel like that part was intentional), especially after working with Rusty Galloway. 

But those are minor issues. Where I really find fault is the in overarching story. See, at the end of vice, it turns out that Phelps had been having an affair with some German broad (and he's married with two kids). This is where the game started to lose me.

First off, goody-two-shoes Phelps wouldn't be having an affair. It's out of character for him. Now, I could understand if he was having marital troubles at home, but the game shows literally none of that. And to top it off, he's not even having an affair with someone attractive. No offense to the actress who played Elsa, but she just seemed ugly to me. Why would the star officer of the LAPD risk his career on an ugly German broad? It doesn't make sense, and more importantly, I didn't like it. 

In a game where so much of what happens in the cases is entirely dependent on my actions, it felt really cheap that something like this was entirely out of my hands. It really destroyed the "connection" with Cole that had been created over the course of the game up to that point. And again, in such a story focused game, that's not good. 

But after that, the game got my interest again, because I dug the whole, "You're demoted to arson thing." At least I did for a while. Because after I had just gotten into the swing of searching through the burned down remnants of houses, the game says, "Hey, you know that guy you've played as for the whole game? Well, now you're playing as this other guy." I'm not going to lie, I hate it when games do that. I hated when it happened in MGS2, and I really hated it in Red Dead Redemption. 

And I hated it here. I spent the whole game playing as Cole Phelps, who, aside from an affair that I think was out of character, was one of the best new characters I've seen in a game in years. And then the game, with no warning, makes me play as Jack Kelso, or in other words, that asshole I don't like. I don't mind if games tell you that you play as multiple people, and if they're all likable, but springing it out in the last hour or two of the game, and having it be someone I really didn't like really makes me angry. 

And then the end of the game. They kill off Cole for no reason. Why? I don't know. I hate it when games kill off likable characters, whether they're good guys or bad guys. But especially when it's the dude you play as in most of the game. It's what ruined the ending of RDR for me, and it looks like this year's big RockStar release followed suit (though I realize there's no real connection here, because I don't think Team Bondi would change their "vision" to do what RockStar wanted). 

So, yeah. I really felt disappointed in the game's story. That doesn't change the fact that I still think that, for the most part, this is a phenomenal game that everyone should play. Just because I didn't like the story doesn't mean everyone won't like it, and the first 2/3-ish of the game is so fantastic that it easily makes up for the rest of the game (again, much like my thoughts on RDR last year). 

But if you're reading this, then you've already beaten the game! Right? You know, because I warned about spoilers. 

Also, Rusty Galloway was awesome. 
#1 Posted by MooseyMcMan (10471 posts) -

So, I finished LA Noire this morning. And I have to say, I felt kinda disappointed at the end of the game. And as stated above, there's going to be MAD spoilers here, so YOU'VE BEEN WARNED! Also, there may be Red Dead Redemption spoilers in there too, in case for whatever reason you haven't played that game. 


First off, let me get this out of the way: I have no complaints with the gameplay. The investigating and interrogating work as advertised, and the action scenes aren't bad. Well, the fistfights are a little clunky, but the gunfights are fun, and the car chases are often pretty excellent. 

Where I do find fault with the game is in the story. And in a story-focused game like LA Noire, that's not good. And it's especially disappointing when the first, I'll say two thirds of the game was so good. 

See, up through the homicide desk in the game, I was absolutely loving every second. But then once Phelps got transferred to vice, I found my interest waning. For one thing, investigating morphine trafficking isn't as interesting as going after a serial murder, and more importantly, Roy Earle is an asshole, and I didn't like working with him at all (though I feel like that part was intentional), especially after working with Rusty Galloway. 

But those are minor issues. Where I really find fault is the in overarching story. See, at the end of vice, it turns out that Phelps had been having an affair with some German broad (and he's married with two kids). This is where the game started to lose me.

First off, goody-two-shoes Phelps wouldn't be having an affair. It's out of character for him. Now, I could understand if he was having marital troubles at home, but the game shows literally none of that. And to top it off, he's not even having an affair with someone attractive. No offense to the actress who played Elsa, but she just seemed ugly to me. Why would the star officer of the LAPD risk his career on an ugly German broad? It doesn't make sense, and more importantly, I didn't like it. 

In a game where so much of what happens in the cases is entirely dependent on my actions, it felt really cheap that something like this was entirely out of my hands. It really destroyed the "connection" with Cole that had been created over the course of the game up to that point. And again, in such a story focused game, that's not good. 

But after that, the game got my interest again, because I dug the whole, "You're demoted to arson thing." At least I did for a while. Because after I had just gotten into the swing of searching through the burned down remnants of houses, the game says, "Hey, you know that guy you've played as for the whole game? Well, now you're playing as this other guy." I'm not going to lie, I hate it when games do that. I hated when it happened in MGS2, and I really hated it in Red Dead Redemption. 

And I hated it here. I spent the whole game playing as Cole Phelps, who, aside from an affair that I think was out of character, was one of the best new characters I've seen in a game in years. And then the game, with no warning, makes me play as Jack Kelso, or in other words, that asshole I don't like. I don't mind if games tell you that you play as multiple people, and if they're all likable, but springing it out in the last hour or two of the game, and having it be someone I really didn't like really makes me angry. 

And then the end of the game. They kill off Cole for no reason. Why? I don't know. I hate it when games kill off likable characters, whether they're good guys or bad guys. But especially when it's the dude you play as in most of the game. It's what ruined the ending of RDR for me, and it looks like this year's big RockStar release followed suit (though I realize there's no real connection here, because I don't think Team Bondi would change their "vision" to do what RockStar wanted). 

So, yeah. I really felt disappointed in the game's story. That doesn't change the fact that I still think that, for the most part, this is a phenomenal game that everyone should play. Just because I didn't like the story doesn't mean everyone won't like it, and the first 2/3-ish of the game is so fantastic that it easily makes up for the rest of the game (again, much like my thoughts on RDR last year). 

But if you're reading this, then you've already beaten the game! Right? You know, because I warned about spoilers. 

Also, Rusty Galloway was awesome. 
#2 Posted by darkwingduck (174 posts) -

personally, i loved the story and the ending. to be honest, i was shocked that cole was the only one who died in the end, i was sure one of his former partners would bite it too, and i had my money on biggs. i must admit though, elsa is one ugly-ass person (in-game atleast) and the affair angle was really badly executed.


Also, Rusty Galloway was awesome. 
#3 Posted by Sarumarine (2170 posts) -

Since this game is going for the Noir feeling, I figured something bad to terrible would happen to Phelps before the end of the game if just to mark the "crazy, sad kind of world" vibe some Noir films go for. Couldn't say if I thought they'd kill him. I feel like Cole had it coming though with all the shit he did in the Pacific Theater. How many men did he get killed under his horrendous command? Not to mention his own private war crime with the flamethrower guy and the cave.

But yeah, the affair wasn't handled well at all. It might have made more sense (if that's possible) if we saw Cole's wife and his home life. But since the game is carried through individual cases from desk to desk, those kind of things hang in the background and get throwaway lines.

#4 Posted by Sitoxity (551 posts) -
@MooseyMcMan: Completely agree with everything you said mate. Nice blog here.
#5 Posted by Lelcar (597 posts) -
@MooseyMcMan: I actually mostly agree with you. I found homicide to be the best part of the game. I like how he got demoted. And I didn't care too much for the ending. However, Ad Vice wasn't too bad, but the last four cases in Arson and with Kelso were not great.

I don't agree, however, that Phelps was a goody-two-shoes or it was out of character for him to have an affair. The cutscenes from the war depict Phelps and a huge ass who makes poor decisions and refuses responsibility for them. He's even turning his back on the hospital situation when it's brought up in the sewers at the end of the game. He wanted justice, but he was also pretty obsessed with rank too. He had decent intentions, but made big mistakes. I think Cole started pretty cool, but then became an unlikeable character by the end, but that was the plan the writers had for him since the beginning. I like that direction. I also like how he's a just a guy who isn't immune to temptation. It's not so unbelievable that anyone can succumb to adultery.

By the end of the game I thought Kelso was more likeable than Phelps. So I didn't mind that they switched up characters. I'm also not bothered by that fact in videogames, as I didn't mind it in MGS2 or in RDR either, but I understand if it is a bit unnerving.

But yeah. L.A. Noire peaked at Homicide, and most of everything you posted makes perfect sense to me.
#6 Posted by InsidiousTuna (377 posts) -

The elements of Phelps' infidelity and seemingly sudden turn toward Elsa were deliberately hidden from the player, in order to make that admission of guilt a more surprising and powerful moment. I had been hoping the entire game that at one point he'd get the "Badge-and-Gun", and seeing him tacitly admit that he's fully at fault made for a really cool scene and turn for his character, who had previously been an unlikeable dick and a total stuffed shirt. And the tonal switch to Kelso was pretty great, as Kelso got to play a hammier PI type. One of my favorite moments in the game is when Elsa walks into Kelso's office and asks if he's Jack Kelso. His response of "That's what it says on the door, sweetheart" is perfectly-delivered. 


The stuff with the stolen morphine and the way it wove into the Suburban Redevelopment Fund was all extremely engrossing, and it involved a ton of characters in really interesting ways. After having beaten the game, I honestly think that the Homicide desk was the weakest part of the whole game, as the Dahlia and the connected cases feel really ancillary and completely disconnected from the rest of the story.

And are people really suggesting that Elsa was ugly? Really? 

#7 Posted by Sin4profit (2907 posts) -

Didn't care for the ending either, also thought the downward spiral part was forced..wasn't handled very well. Though, i thought the RDR ending was great so i'm not with ya there.

I was getting a little tired of the story by the end of vice. I'd love to play the DLC with hopes that it doesn't need to be a part of the overarching story and can just be their own random cases. I think that would be far more interesting at this point.
#8 Posted by Juno500 (382 posts) -
@MooseyMcMan said:


First off, goody-two-shoes Phelps wouldn't be having an affair. It's out of character for him. Now, I could understand if he was having marital troubles at home, but the game shows literally none of that. And to top it off, he's not even having an affair with someone attractive. No offense to the actress who played Elsa, but she just seemed ugly to me. Why would the star officer of the LAPD risk his career on an ugly German broad? It doesn't make sense, and more importantly, I didn't like it. 

I have to say, this paragraph came off to me as really, really shallow.
#9 Posted by Bloodgraiv3 (2712 posts) -


Couldn't agree more with a lot of what you said, I lovd the game.

 

#10 Posted by mfpantst (2574 posts) -

I think you have to consider what you consider as your arbiter of truth during the game.  It seemed highly irregular of phelps to start up an affair with Elsa, but as the flashbacks filled out the story of the War, I began to understand Phelps as flawed beyond what we had previously seen.  Now, the switch to Kelso totally flipped me for a loop.  I actually had to switch the game to Black and White for the first hour or so of Kelso play, because I was legit confused.  Though as he played a little more the 'johnny dollar" type PI (go look it up, radio drama where the PI was an insurance investigator), I began to get a better feel of the action.  I think you sell the characters short to take them at face value, or at first impressions.  I think you also sell the story short to think you are experiencing the truth throughout the game.

#11 Edited by Zabant (1233 posts) -

I grew attached to cole in his naive quest to rid the streets of scum as I also felt this way. When it came out he was cheating on his wife I at first thought it was some kind of  necessary cover to get to the bottom of a case that you as the player weren't getting the full story on, like risking his rep and home life to catch the bad guy. Needless to say when it turns out he's just cheating on his wife I kind of felt like he was cheating on me as the player as i didn't make him do that. This marked the beginning of the end for me and i just stopped caring about cole and his story. Even during my game play i stopped caring about driving precisely, i would just smash into things and hit peds if it meant I could stop the guy in front getting away and push the game forward. When it finally came to his anticlimactic death scene I was nonplussed. No emotions either way and a real feeling of entropy. Bad guys win and nobody is punished or held accountable for the terrible things they have done.

What a real downer, i guess noir really isnt my thing.

#12 Posted by Brackynews (4045 posts) -

I haven't made it father than the Vice desk yet (just a weekend rental for starters).
Other than the affair business, can you answer Yes/No if Cole's family makes an actual appearance?
With the first half of the game being all business, I just want to know how personal it gets.

#13 Posted by mfpantst (2574 posts) -
@Zabant: yeah- noir is somewhat intended to impress upon the viewer the immense pointlesness of life.
#14 Posted by Vinny_Says (5686 posts) -

There was somewhat of a reason John Marston died, no reason at all for Phelps to die. It was just pointless

#15 Posted by sleeprockss (200 posts) -
@InsidiousTuna: This about sums up how I felt about the story
#16 Posted by HistoryInRust (6274 posts) -

The problem I have is that Phelps' death is a way-too convenient way for the game to present a "dark" ending, and it almost serves as an avenue through which Phelps can escape dealing with his demons. 

#17 Posted by chstupid (806 posts) -

At the end it seemed like Cole wanted to die which I thought was interesting.

#18 Posted by BBQBram (2202 posts) -

You really don't see why Cole and Elza find refuge in each other? Also;

@InsidiousTuna said:

The elements of Phelps' infidelity and seemingly sudden turn toward Elsa were deliberately hidden from the player, in order to make that admission of guilt a more surprising and powerful moment.

And why is it that in video games there is somehow a one-protagonist rule? There are certainly a lot of movies and books with multiple protagonists and overlapping arcs. I just finished the game and all the negative reactions just make me think of the controversy around the RDR ending last year. I will continue to defend these games!
#19 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

Amazing game 5/5 just finished it, The final cut scenes were amazing. Well done team bondi. 

#20 Posted by haggis (1677 posts) -
@MooseyMcMan: Many of the same thoughts here. The affair, in particular, seemed absolutely insane. I can imagine Cole being tempted, but I couldn't imagine him actually doing it. It didn't make much sense to me. The entire last act of the story seemed like it had been altered to have more action. I mean, I killed more dudes in that section than the entire rest of the game. I wonder if someone pressured them to add more action. After the Red Dead ending (which I thought was just alright), I was hoping they wouldn't kill Cole, but I figured they would. I agree with you that I thought the homicide cases were more interesting than the later cases, though I liked the Arson stuff alright.

I think part of the problem with the story was that there really were two arcs, the one leading up to the capture of the serial killer, and then the developer scam. They intertwined a bit (the developers said it was like two seasons of a television show, and that seems right), but I think it might have been better just to have one primary arc and flesh it out more. I liked the mechanics of this game quite a bit, but the story just didn't quite do it for me, in the end. I'd easily pick up another one, or some DLC for that matter. A very nice change of pace.
#21 Edited by SteamPunkJin (1286 posts) -

Cole is not the goody-two-shoes he's made out to be, that's kind of a major point to the plot, so the affair is entirely in line with all of that, not to mention it's a very Noir move to show someone in glancing that's a major player (Elsa when they'd visit the club).
But I'll bite, we can pretend Cole is the good guy,  they met while working the Vice case, Elsa is a woman who understands the horrors of war, mean while Mrs. Phelps does not and cannot understand. Does anything else really need to be said as to why Cole would be attracted to Elsa?

There was an excellent post (maybe blog? Couldn't find link at the time of writing) that goes into why Cole is in fact, the true villain of the game, and how his behavior fits that of a true Noir Antagonist.  It was quite the compelling argument. Cole is deeply flawed no matter how you chose to view him (as hero or villain).

Also to everyone asking about Phelps' family, they appear twice: Once in the intro movie when Cole is leaving his house and then again when his wife throws him out.
I thought a lot about it, and it's fine, if we had spent time with the family then everyone would be yelling 'saw that one coming, cause we had to spend time with them, no other reason for it'. Simple fact is, outside of the affair his family has nothing to do with the story and rightfully kept out.

#22 Posted by MEATBALL (3064 posts) -

The adultery element felt rushed but beyond that I really enjoyed the way the story picked up from Vice onwards. Roy Earle is a giant slimeball but I loved the character and the actor's performance. I also really liked Kelso and found playing as him did a great job providing a real classic noir feel (the LA fire and life office was even ripped straight out of double indemnity). I also thought playing as Kelso offered a really interesting perspective on Cole.

The black dahlia killer stuff was great, but I didn't really feel like the game truly hit it's stride until Vice and all of the little pieces started to fall into place.

#23 Posted by ClaritySam (594 posts) -

The ending is SO BADLY handled in my opinion.  I'm almost convinced they were planning to have a dual narrative structure all the way through, with the Arson missions originally intended to be Jacks portion of the game.  

#24 Posted by Everyones_A_Critic (6287 posts) -

I thought Earle was a great character. Sure he was a corrupt scumbag, but he was a great foil to Phelps. While Phelps resisted against (most of) the temptations offered by his position and city, Earle represented indulgence in all of those things. Plus, he was really fucking cool. 
 

#25 Posted by ShaneDev (1696 posts) -

To me the murders were becoming very formulaic it was all following Rusty's Razor if you know what I mean. Going to Vice made things more interesting and having Roy as Cole's partner was fun to watch. Switching to Jack was fine for me as well. I enjoyed the exploration of the more classic noire style with Jack.  
 
I am not sure what you mean by Cole being a goody two shoes or having an affair is out of character. We learn throughout the game that Cole is a fucked up character who is not really any better or in some cases worse than those around him. 

#26 Posted by MikkaQ (10268 posts) -

The end of the story and the death of phelps, with the slightly downer ending are all film noir staples, it made perfect sense if you're a fan of those kinds of movies. I knew either Jack, Cole or Elsa had to go. They picked the ballsy option and I respect them for it.  Especially since after the affair you feel disconnected to cole, so taking him out of your hands made sense. I kinda liked the Jack Kelso portions, it was like playing as an unhinged cole. 

#27 Posted by YoThatLimp (1880 posts) -
@MooseyMcMan said:
So, I finished LA Noire this morning. And I have to say, I felt kinda disappointed at the end of the game. And as stated above, there's going to be MAD spoilers here, so YOU'VE BEEN WARNED! Also, there may be Red Dead Redemption spoilers in there too, in case for whatever reason you haven't played that game. 

First off, let me get this out of the way: I have no complaints with the gameplay. The investigating and interrogating work as advertised, and the action scenes aren't bad. Well, the fistfights are a little clunky, but the gunfights are fun, and the car chases are often pretty excellent. 

Where I do find fault with the game is in the story. And in a story-focused game like LA Noire, that's not good. And it's especially disappointing when the first, I'll say two thirds of the game was so good. 

See, up through the homicide desk in the game, I was absolutely loving every second. But then once Phelps got transferred to vice, I found my interest waning. For one thing, investigating morphine trafficking isn't as interesting as going after a serial murder, and more importantly, Roy Earle is an asshole, and I didn't like working with him at all (though I feel like that part was intentional), especially after working with Rusty Galloway. 

But those are minor issues. Where I really find fault is the in overarching story. See, at the end of vice, it turns out that Phelps had been having an affair with some German broad (and he's married with two kids). This is where the game started to lose me.

First off, goody-two-shoes Phelps wouldn't be having an affair. It's out of character for him. Now, I could understand if he was having marital troubles at home, but the game shows literally none of that. And to top it off, he's not even having an affair with someone attractive. No offense to the actress who played Elsa, but she just seemed ugly to me. Why would the star officer of the LAPD risk his career on an ugly German broad? It doesn't make sense, and more importantly, I didn't like it. 

In a game where so much of what happens in the cases is entirely dependent on my actions, it felt really cheap that something like this was entirely out of my hands. It really destroyed the "connection" with Cole that had been created over the course of the game up to that point. And again, in such a story focused game, that's not good. 

But after that, the game got my interest again, because I dug the whole, "You're demoted to arson thing." At least I did for a while. Because after I had just gotten into the swing of searching through the burned down remnants of houses, the game says, "Hey, you know that guy you've played as for the whole game? Well, now you're playing as this other guy." I'm not going to lie, I hate it when games do that. I hated when it happened in MGS2, and I really hated it in Red Dead Redemption. 

And I hated it here. I spent the whole game playing as Cole Phelps, who, aside from an affair that I think was out of character, was one of the best new characters I've seen in a game in years. And then the game, with no warning, makes me play as Jack Kelso, or in other words, that asshole I don't like. I don't mind if games tell you that you play as multiple people, and if they're all likable, but springing it out in the last hour or two of the game, and having it be someone I really didn't like really makes me angry. 

And then the end of the game. They kill off Cole for no reason. Why? I don't know. I hate it when games kill off likable characters, whether they're good guys or bad guys. But especially when it's the dude you play as in most of the game. It's what ruined the ending of RDR for me, and it looks like this year's big RockStar release followed suit (though I realize there's no real connection here, because I don't think Team Bondi would change their "vision" to do what RockStar wanted). 

So, yeah. I really felt disappointed in the game's story. That doesn't change the fact that I still think that, for the most part, this is a phenomenal game that everyone should play. Just because I didn't like the story doesn't mean everyone won't like it, and the first 2/3-ish of the game is so fantastic that it easily makes up for the rest of the game (again, much like my thoughts on RDR last year). 

But if you're reading this, then you've already beaten the game! Right? You know, because I warned about spoilers. 

Also, Rusty Galloway was awesome. 
The German singer used morphine to ease her pain, and Cole used this German singer to ease the pain of his WW2 experience.  That is what I got from it anyway.
#28 Posted by Dylabaloo (1549 posts) -
@chstupid said:
At the end it seemed like Cole wanted to die which I thought was interesting.
The impression I got is that Cole felt his only retribution would be scarifying himself for Kelso. Afterall thats why Phelps joined the LAPD, he couldn't live with what he had done in the army and needed to prove to everybody and himself to atone for his past. In that moment in the sewer Cole saved Jack's life, the one person he had let down the most and through this corrupt system of solving murders to no true justice; he had finally done some good. I found the reason for Cole finding safety and warmth in Elsa very understandable, she too has seen the tortures of war, as said before she was coming off an addiction on morphine which she confessed to Fountain saying Cole was helping her get through her addiction while she was helping him with his issues, at the start of this affair I hated Cole and felt betrayed not unlike his Wife, his last scarifice not only  redeemed him with Jack but with the player. A self-less act of redemption. Very akin to classic film noir. 
#29 Posted by AlisterCat (5482 posts) -
@Dylabaloo: I had become very attached to Cole and when he had the affair I was angry at him, and felt shamed when he was shamed. It was out of character for him at that point, because they hadn't revealed how he's not really a good guy even though he's trying and over compensating for his past in the process.  
 
I really wish they had established the affair angle a lot more though. Spend some time with his wife after a couple of cases. Go in to his relationship with Elsa a bit more.
#30 Posted by SSully (4125 posts) -

Yeah the final act of the game was pretty bad compared to the rest of the game. Interrogations and evidence collection are basically thrown out the window for more action, which was ok at first, but when they make you storm the mansion I was pretty disappointed. The sewer tunnels were the worst because you are fighting all of these guys for no reason. I thought I went down into the tunnels to find the arsonist?? Why are all of these weapon stashes and random guys down here?? 
 
Also, like many others, I am pretty sick of rockstar killing off main characters. I got past it in red dead because of how impactful the ending was. It made sense that John died, and his death and the actions leading up to it were very sad and fit in with the kind of person he was. I wish I was able to play as him in another game, but that's ok. Cole on the other hand shouldn't have died. I get he was trying to redeem himself from his past mistakes, but the way he died was completely random and was rushed. For everything you did with Cole during the game I felt robbed to have had him get killed by a fucking flooded tunnel. It wouldn't have been so bad if you got to play with Cole up until that point. But instead you have to play as Jack and get completely disconnected from Cole hours before his demise. I liked the game, it was fun, smart, and interesting, but I am very disappointed with the ending.

#31 Posted by Dylabaloo (1549 posts) -
@AlisterCat said:
@Dylabaloo: I had become very attached to Cole and when he had the affair I was angry at him, and felt shamed when he was shamed. It was out of character for him at that point, because they hadn't revealed how he's not really a good guy even though he's trying and over compensating for his past in the process.   I really wish they had established the affair angle a lot more though. Spend some time with his wife after a couple of cases. Go in to his relationship with Elsa a bit more.
I see where your coming from, the newspapers shouldn't have been a collectible as they fill valuable gaps to the story. In the case of the affair and martial problems I feel less is more, Team Bondi wanted it to have a strong emotional impact that the surprise factor helped towards. Also I think it was important  for them to show that Cole was very human character that was/is capable of doing wrong, up until this point he was the shining sword of justice. Also considering it was after the Black Dalihia case where he must be emotionally torn up, his morals being challenged by the corrupt force he was poster boy for and being moved to an entirely new station, i'm not surprised he didn't feel comfort in being at home with all these secrets and pressure.
#32 Posted by MattBosten (497 posts) -

Completely agree with you on the whole affair; when you first go to Elsa's apartment I thought it was just to get more information and Phelps didn't trust Roy or thought his presence would make Elsa withhold information. The trouble Phelps' had dealing with his past was never really explored in the present timeline outside of a few comments like "I'm no hero", until towards the end of the game. I'd have thought it would be more interesting to see his descent between cases, maybe expanding on the Blue Room scenes.  
 
I personally loved the switch to Kelso and the differences between the two leads. Kelso is portrayed early as a dislikeable guy but watching the newspaper scenes he slowly grows to be a character you can relate to. The only disappointment for me was Phelps' death, it felt very contrived, sacrificing himself to atone for his past wrongs. 

#33 Edited by UlquioKani (1027 posts) -

I just wish he wasn't killed in a flash flood, that seemed a little stupid to me. I enjoyed the Red Dead Ending because while the ending was tragic, they justified it and was probably a better ending than if he lived. After going through all of that and being killed by water (I know it was a flash flood) annoyed me too much. I do promote endings with the good guy dying. Also going with what haggis was saying, I didn't think they would kill the protagonist a second time, although it was developed by a different teams years before red dead redemption

#34 Posted by Dookysharpgun (586 posts) -

I agree, I don't think Phelps' character was well developed, at least to the stage where they could introduce the storyline aspect of him cheating on his wife. Lack of context really ruined the experience for me....I would have liked to actually get to know Cole before his affair started....

#35 Posted by Linkster7 (1011 posts) -

@MooseyMcMan: I agree with you completely.

I had an even worse experience though as the game would crash right before the white light flashback to when you found out what Cole did in the war. This happened 4 times, 4 times I had to go through the car chase and and the damn shooting in the sewers. Well three of the times I tried to just fail as fast as possible to get the skip choice.

Now I don't even want to do the DLC, this game really soured at the end for me.

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